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Lamine Diack sends his support to NY City Marathon runners

Lamine Diack sends his support to NY City Marathon runners

2 November 2001 - Monaco - On the occasion of the New York City Marathon, that takes place on Sunday 4 November, IAAF President Lamine Diack has sent a message to Allan Steinfeld, President and CEO of the New York Road Runners Club, and to all runners participating in the race.

After the attacks of 11 September on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon in Washington, Mr Diack believes the world athletics community can play a role in strengthening the message of understanding between all men and women around the world, as enshrined in the IAAF Constitution.

The ways of peace are many and, as Mr Diack says, the determination of thousands and thousands of people to run through the five boroughs of New York is a way to counter the angst that followed the tragedy of 11 September as well as to meet, despite fatigue,  the special challenge of the marathon. 

Transcript of the letter sent to the New York Marathon organisers by IAAF President Lamine Diack

Mr Allan Steinfeld
President and CEO\
New York Road Runners Club 

Dear Mr Steinfeld, 

The athletes who will compete, on 4 November, in the 32nd edition of the New York City Marathon through the five boroughs of the city to the finish line in Central Park will be both the protagonists of a great sporting event and the harbingers of great hope.

The tragedy of 11 September, which has indelibly marked every citizen of the world, should constitute for us, people of sport, a new incitement to spread the message of mutual respect and solidarity that is the foundation of all athletics competition.

This is the very spirit that led Fred Lebow many years ago to create and promote the New York City Marathon. Lebow was a personality who, having borne suffering and solitude, sought a new way to develop between men and women that feeling of solidarity which is one of life’s greatest values. In the fatigue of the marathon, which is equal for the winner and for the last runner to cross the line, Fred Lebow identified the unifying element that goes beyond any social, political, ethnic or religious barriers.

Today more than ever, Fred Lebow’s insight has proved correct.

The many thousands of runners, from every part of America and around the world, who will expend their energy on the streets of New York, symbolise the suffering and effort that humanity must bear to attain peace.

It is with this sincere conviction in my heart and mind that I thank you and all the athletes who offer this day of hope. Hope that that the ideals in which we believe may become reality; hope that New York may once again find that creative force that has made it unique; and finally, hope that on 4 November all humankind may feel, for at least a day, that they participate in the marathon of peace. 

Lamine Diack
IAAF President