It is every marathon runner’s dream to qualify for the Boston Marathon. The Boston Marathon is one of the six largest and most prestigious running marathon within the Abbott World Marathon Majors series. It all started when several members of the Boston Athletic Association founded their own marathon in 1897 after being inspired by their experience during the 1896 Olympic Games.
Ever since then, it has been an ongoing marathon and will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2021.
The Qualifying Time
It should be known by now that the main way for runners to enter the Boston Marathon is through a qualifying time from another marathon. However, have you ever stopped to think about why was this the only marathon that has a qualifying time whereas the other Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) do not? Well, here are your answers.
Each race has been organised independently while having their own rich history. As mentioned above, the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and has always been seen as a challenge for every runner. Due to their limited participant numbers, narrow roads, starting area and other factors affecting the race, the organisers opted to make it a qualifying event a long time ago. It is a great honour and achievement for many runners to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
As for the other five majors, a ballot/entry system that is a lucky draw selection is implemented due to the high demand for places (London marathon got more than 400,000 applicants for 40,000 places in 2018!) On top of that, there are charity places and sponsors that are able to grab some places and use them for various activations during the respective marathons. For smaller marathons around the world, they do not have this problem because they can normally accommodate everyone who is keen to participate in their marathon, or at most setting a cut off date for entry.
Therefore, the six Abbott World Marathon Majors have such a huge number of entrants that they have to do the ballot system.
The New Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Championships
Executive Director of Abbott World Marathon Majors, Mr Tim Hadzima announced:
We are very excited to be launching the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings at the BMW Berlin Marathon. More than 125,000 runners aged 40+ participate in AbbottWMM races each year and this new system will allow even more runners to become a part of the AbbottWMM family. Our new system will give runners a chance to run all over the world and all across the calendar on a truly global stage. It will give them a chance to gain recognition like never before.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings officially launched on 16th September 2018 at the 45th BMW BERLIN-MARATHON as the start of the one-year qualification period. During the qualification period, athletes in nine separate age groups will have the option of over 50 marathons across the world to compete in to earn ranking points.
These ranking points will determine the top ranking runners in which they will be invited to the upcoming AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships held within the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon. If you do more than two, your best two times will count.
How To Score Points?
The maximum and minimum amount of points that can be obtained in any race by an age group winner is 4,000 and 1,000 respectively. The age group winners in any AbbottWMM race will automatically get 4,000 points. Runners of any age group who is within 29 seconds of the age group winning time in an AbbottWMM race receives 10 points less, within 30-59 seconds of the winning time receives 20 points less, within 1 minute and 29 seconds of the winning time receives 30 points less, so on and so forth. Hence, based on their performance, it will determine their points scored.
Scoring is based on a platinum time calculated for each age group and gender by using the average standard of the current marathon world record times. Winners of any age group marathons that are not Abbott World Marathon Races must run faster than the platinum time for their gender and age to score a total of 4,000 points. If the age group winning time is below the platinum time, the points awarded to the winner and every subsequent age group runner are reduced by the time the age group winner has missed platinum time for the age and gender of the athlete.
These are the platinum timings for the nine separate age group:
The Qualifying Races
There is a total of 51 qualifying races that are being organised all around the world for the inaugural series. Since 2018 has passed, 18 qualifying events have already been held. Therefore, the table below shows the remaining 36 qualifying races to participate in 2019:
|20th January 2019||Chevron Houston Marathon||Houston, Texas, USA|
|20th January 2019||TATA Mumbai Marathon||Mumbai, India|
|20th January 2019||Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon||Phoenix, Arizona, USA|
|10th February 2019||Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon||New Orleans, Louisiana, USA|
|22nd February 2019||Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon||Tel Aviv, Israel|
|3rd March 2019||Tokyo Marathon||Tokyo, Japan|
|9th March 2019||United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC Marathon||Washington DC, USA|
|17th March 2019||Chengdu Panda Marathon||Chengdu, China|
|24th March 2019||Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|7th April 2019||Sao Paulo Marathon||Sao Paulo, Brazil|
|7th April 2019||Generali Milano Marathon||Milan, Italy|
|7th April 2019||Santiago Chile Marathon||Santiago, Chile|
|15th April 2019||Boston Marathon||Boston, Mass. USA|
|27th April 2019||Marathon de Bordeaux Metropole||Bordeaux, France|
|28th April 2019||Virgin Money London Marathon||London, England|
|28th April 2019||EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon||Madrid, Spain|
|28th April 2019||St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon||Nashville, Tennessee, USA|
|18th May 2019||Helsinki City Marathon||Helsinki, Finland|
|25th May 2019||Runaway Noosa Marathon||Queensland, Australia|
|26th May 2019||Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon||Ottawa, Canada|
|26th May 2019||Scotiabank Calgary Marathon||Calgary, Canada|
|26th May 2019||Rock ‘n’ Roll Liverpool Marathon||Liverpool, United Kingdom|
|1st June 2019||Asics Stockholm Marathon||Stockholm, Sweden|
|2nd June 2019||McDonald’s Brisbane Marathon||Brisbane, Australia|
|2nd June 2019||Synchrony Financial Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon||San Diego, California, USA|
|9th June 2019||Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon||Seattle, Washington, USA|
|22nd June 2019||Grandma’s Marathon||Duluth, Minnesota, USA|
|4th August 2019||7 Sunshine Coast Marathon||Queensland, Australia|
|25th August 2019||Telcel Mexico City Marathon||Mexico City, Mexico|
|15th September 2019||Sanlam Cape Town Marathon||Cape Town, South Africa|
|22nd September 2019||Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Montreal Marathon||Montreal, Canada|
|22nd September 2019||Absolute Moscow Marathon||Moscow, Russia|
|29th September 2019||BMW BERLIN-MARATHON||Berlin, Germany|
How can organisers join the new Abbott WMM Wanda Age Group Qualifying events?
Slowly but surely, marathons around the world are becoming part of the Abbott WMM Wanda Age Group Qualifying events. It is free to be part of it as long as they are certified courses in one of these three ways:
- AIMS certified
- IAAF certified
- Certification from a country’s governing body (e.g. USATF in the US)
The respective marathon will then be able to get in touch with the Abbott WMM team and discuss further details. Along the way, the Abbott WMM team is also doing a fair amount of proactive outreach to inform races and organisers about it. Thus, the number for the 2019-2020 series is growing rapidly.
They will be able to promote the fact that they are a qualifying event and many runners may be looking for a qualifying event in a particular location, in which then sign up for their race. Furthermore, Abbott WMM will provide them with a media kit to use and logos to display.
Unless participants are aged 40 and above, nothing much will change. When they run a race that is a qualifier, they do earn the rights to claim ranking points. To claim those, they will have to make a profile on the Abbot WMM’s website and when the race results are final, they drop into their system and goes into the rankings for their age category and gender.
If they run two of the qualifying events within the series, they stand a chance of being invited to the Age Group World Championships depending on where they end up in the rankings. For more information and to claim your results from Singapore or any other event you’ve already taken part in that qualifies, please go to this website.