IAAF Road Race Label Events are races that the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) designates as one of the "leading road races around the world." The classification was first introduced for the 2008 running season, upon the suggestion of the IAAF Road Running Commission. In that first year, only Gold and Silver Labels were awarded, and 49 races were recognised. A third tier was introduced in 2010, entitled the Bronze Label, and in 2014, 72 races were listed in total. The races are split into three categories: marathons, half marathons and other. Within the "other" category are traditional road race distances, over which IAAF world records can be set, along with some "Classical races," which span unusual distances.
The Labels are assessed and awarded each year, although races that have held the same Label for three years in a row can be granted that Label for another three years. Race organisers have to apply to the IAAF for recognition, and show that their race can meet a number of criteria. The criteria vary for the different levels; Gold Labels have the strictest requirements, followed by Silver, then Bronze. All three categories require what the IAAF describes as an international elite field, that requires at least five nations (four for Bronze) to be represented by runners with times faster than the IAAF's guidelines. Additionally, the race course must be closed to vehicular traffic, and measured to the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) standard, with full electronic timing used to generate the results. The race must be organised in a way that minimizes ecological damage to the surrounding areas. A specified number of doping tests must be carried out, and prize money for the participants should be equal, irrespective of gender or nationality, though additional rewards can be given to runners from the host nation.
The Labels are considered a "prestigious" award by race organisers, and include the six marathon majors. In 2014, Japan has the most road race Label events, with 10, although the United Kingdom hosts the most Gold Label events. No races on the African continent have Label status in 2014.