The 2017 New York City Marathon was just run Sunday, Nov. 5, and Americans know it as one of the biggest long-distance running competitions in the country, with the Boston Marathon having a slightly greater profile. What’s interesting is that those two races are part of an even bigger circuit that involves the entire world! It’s the Abbott World Marathon Majors, with eight different marathon races that are occur over the course of four years.
Most people can likely name many of the tennis tournaments in a tennis grand slam, like Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, and the PGA has four majors, which include the Masters at Augusta and the U.S. Open. All of the major team sports have their respective all-star games or Pro Bowls, but none of them offer the exclusivity of what the Abbott World Marathon Majors can offer to its participants who win a few of the races.
What Should We Know About the Abbott World Marathon Majors?
This competition was founded just over 10 years ago in 2006, and it involves six annual races from major cities across the world, a biennial race, and a quadrennial race. This means if someone is ever going to win all eight races, they’d have to do so over the course of at least a four-year period.
Abbott Laboratories became a sponsor for this circuit of races in 2015. It’s a worldwide health care company headquartered in Lake Bluff, Illinois, that creates branded generic drugs, medical devices, diagnostic essays and nutritional products.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors is currently in its 11th year, which means they are currently in the Series XI for the Men’s Series, the Women’s Series, the Men’s Wheelchair Series and the Women’s Wheelchair Series.
The scoring system awards points to runners who finish in the top five of any of the eight races, and then their four highest ranks over a two-year period were originally used. But they amended the scoring system in 2015 to just the two highest ranks during the scoring period.
The top male and female marathon runners at the end of each cycle receive an equal share of U.S. $1 Million.
The Amazing Races of the Abbott World Marathon Majors
Here are the eight amazing and exclusive races included in the Abbott World Marathon Majors.
Bank of America Chicago Marathon – This is the third-most known marathon race in America, but it happens to be the fourth-largest marathon by number of finishers. It’s held in early October each year.
BMW Berlin Marathon – This German race takes place in late September, which also happens to be when Oktoberfest is happening!
Boston Marathon – Always held on Patriots Day in Boston in late April, this is considered the most famous marathon race in the world.
Virgin Money London Marathon – One of the five founding marathons for the World Marathon Majors, the London race also takes place in April.
Olympic Games – Obviously, these races only occur every four years, during leap years, and they are a part of a much bigger world competition in the summer.
TCS New York City Marathon – Held on the first Sunday in November, the only year this race wasn’t a part of the World Marathon Majors was 2012, when it was cancelled because of the Hurricane Sandy aftermath.
IAAF World Championships in Athletics – Held during odd-numbered years, this race is held in different cities every two years. The 2017 event will be held in London, with the 2019 race occurring in Qatar. In 2021, however, the World Championships come to Eugene, Oregon!
Tokyo Marathon – This race is only 11-year-old, and it usually takes place in late February. Six Kenyans and three Ethiopians are among the 11 different winners.