Prominent spot for World Athletics Heritage Plaque in municipal offices

It was a festive moment for Enschede Marathon on Thursday 27th January: the unveiling of the prestigious World Athletics Heritage Plaque, which was awarded to the organisation by the international athletics federation World Athletics (formerly IAAF) in December laxast year. The plaque was unveiled by Niels van den Berg, deputy mayor and alderman for Sport of Enschede, and is located in a prominent place in the municipal office. “This way everyone in Enschede can admire this beautiful award,” says Sandra Melief, director of Enschede Marathon.

Enschede Marathon is “proud and honoured” with this special award, says Melief. “It means international recognition for Enschede Marathon and is also a great boost for the organisation and all employees. We have had an eventful time, but we have always been able to think in terms of possibilities and have shown that we can react quickly.”

And acting fast was necessary, when on 18th April 2021, with minimal preparation, NN Mission Marathon was organised at Twenthe Airport. Two weeks earlier, this marathon, intended as a qualifying event for the Tokyo Olympics, could not take place in Hamburg. “With minimal preparation time, we then took over the organisation,” says Melief. “An enormous challenge, but we succeeded.” And also memorable: Enschede Marathon celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, making it the oldest marathon in the Netherlands and Western Europe. Melief: “Enough achievements to deserve this award!”

The World Athletics Heritage Plaque was established in 2018 by World Athletics Chairman Sebastian Coe. The award, a beautiful, gold coloured plaque, is displayed in the City Office on a special plinth. “As a city we are super proud of our marathon,” says Niels van den Berg, deputy mayor and alderman for Sport of Enschede. “The marathon shows what Enschede is capable of. Not only thanks to a great organisation, but also the participants and the audience. We really do this for each other and with each other. We would therefore like to share this award with all residents.”

Enschede Marathon, with distances from 3.2 km to the full marathon is on the calendar on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th April 2022.