Where Champions Run: Abbott World Marathon Majors

23 Apr, 2019 • by Admin

A series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world

The Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. The races take place in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City. The purpose of the Abbott World Marathon Majors is to advance the sport, raise awareness of its athletes, and increase the level of interest in elite racing among running enthusiasts.

Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon is unique: no other mass marathon in Japan has an extensive elite field, and no other elite marathon has such a huge mass participation field. Organized by the Tokyo Marathon Foundation, the inaugural Tokyo Marathon was held on February 18 2007, and drew 95,044 applicants and 30,870 participants. Kenya’s Daniel Njenga (2:09:45) and Japan’s Hitomi Niiya (2:31:01) were the first champions. Since then, the Tokyo Marathon has grown to more than 300,000 applicants and nearly 36,000 participants.

  • Prize Purse: $400,000
  • Largest Field: 34,819
  • Estimated spectators: 1.3M

Boston Marathon

Inspired by their experience at the 1896 Olympic Games, several members of the Boston Athletic Association founded their own marathon in 1897. The race has been run every year since (though the 1918 edition featured a military relay rather than an individual race) and is now the world's oldest annual marathon.

  • Prize Purse: $868,000
  • Largest Field: 35,868
  • Estimated spectators: 500,000

Virgin Money London Marathon

The London Marathon (currently known through sponsorship as the Virgin Money London Marathon) is a long-distance running event held in London, United Kingdom, part of the World Marathon Majors. The event was first run on 29 March 1981 and has been held in the spring of every year since.1 Since 2010, the race has been sponsored by Virgin Money.

Since 1981, the Virgin Money London Marathon has grown to more than 39,000 starters and finishers, is viewed in more than 196 countries worldwide and watched by between four and five million viewers in the UK.

  • Prize Purse: $313,000
  • Largest Field: 39,487
  • Estimated spectators: 750,000

BMW Berlin Marathon

The Berlin Marathon (branded BMW Berlin Marathon for sponsorship reasons) is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers (26 miles 385 yards) is set up as a citywide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate. Initiated in 1974, the event traditionally takes place on the last weekend in September, with the exceptions of 2000, because of a conflict with the Olympic Marathon date, and 2018, held two weeks earlier due to Day of German Unity preparations

  • Prize Purse: $416,629
  • Largest Field: 44,389
  • Estimated spectators: 1M

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon is a marathon held every October in Chicago, Illinois. The first race was held on September 25, 1977 under the original name the Mayor Daley Marathon, which drew a field of 4,200 runners. The race has been held every year since. The race is limited to 45,000 runners and only runners who finish within 6½ hours are officially timed. Those wishing to participate can register after either meeting a time qualifying standard or being selected through a general lottery

More than 1.7 million spectators line the Chicago streets every autumn to cheer on a field of over 40,000 runners, who sweep through 29 different neighborhoods in the city.

  • Prize Purse: $753,000
  • Largest Field: 44,341
  • Estimated spectators: 1.7M

TCS New York City Marathon

The TCS New York City Marathon is the premier event of New York Road Runners (NYRR) and the largest marathon in the world. Over 1 million people have finished the race since its first running in 1970 with just 127 entrants and 55 finishers running four laps around Central Park. The race expanded to all five boroughs in 1976 and just celebrated its 40th year as a five-borough affair.

Held annually on the first Sunday of November, the race features over 50,000 runners including the world’s top professional athletes and a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. Participants from approximately 125 countries tour the city, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and running through the neighborhoods of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx before ending in Manhattan.

  • Prize Purse: $825,000
  • Largest Field: 51,388
  • Estimated spectators: 1M


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