How it works

For athletes across the globe, competing in an Abbott World Marathon Majors race is a significant accomplishment.  Six of the largest and most renowned road races in the world – the Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, BMW Berlin, Bank of America Chicago and TCS New York City Marathons – make up AbbottWMM.  The organization delivers several unique benefits to runners:

  • Unparalleled experiences – operational excellence at each race ensures a premium race-day journey for runners
  • Professional Series – Professional athletes competing in AbbottWMM qualifying events compete for a prize purse every year
  • Advancement of marathoning – AbbottWMM organizers aggressively champion anti-doping protocols and other efforts to move the sport forward

Since its inception, AbbottWMM has operated its championship series to determine the world's best male and female marathoners.  This year’s Series X, which kicks off at the April 18, 2016 Boston Marathon, for the first time includes wheelchair athletes.

AbbottWMM will award a $1 million, and $100,000 (US) prize purse, split evenly by the Series X men’s and women’s running, and wheelchair champions.

Details of the AbbottWMM Series:

The series’ qualifying races are: Tokyo Marathon, Boston Marathon, Virgin Money London Marathon, BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, Bank of America Chicago Marathon, TCS New York City Marathon, Olympic/Paralympic Marathon, IAAF World Championships Marathon/ International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships Marathon

One Year Series: AbbottWMM Series X begins at the 2016 Boston Marathon and ends upon completion of the 2017 Boston Marathon. AbbottWMM Series XI begins at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and ends upon completion of the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon. AbbottWMM Series XII begins at the 2018 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON and ends upon completion of the 2019 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. AbbottWMM Series XIII begins at the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon and ends upon completion of the 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. AbbottWMM Series XIV begins at the 2020 TCS New York City Marathon and ends upon completion of the 2021 TCS New York City Marathon. Each subsequent series will begin and end at the next AWMM race on the calendar. The Olympic and Paralympic Marathons and IAAF/IPC World Championships Marathon will be included in the race schedule in the years they are held, but will not begin or end the Series.

Point System: The champions of each AbbottWMM Series will be the male and female athlete who scores the greatest number of points from Qualifying Races during the one-year scoring period.

During each scoring period, points from a maximum of two Qualifying Races will be scored. An athlete must start in two Qualifying Races over the Series cycle to be eligible for the championship. If an athlete earns points in more than two events, the athlete’s highest two finishes will be scored.

The Wheelchair Series will follow the same rules, with the only difference being the number of races that count for the title. In Series without World Championships or Paralympic Games it will be the best four of seven races to score. In years with either of those events, it will be the best five of eight races to score.

Points are allocated following each race as follows:

1st place

2nd place

3rd place

4th place

5th place

25 points

16 points

9 points

4 points

1 point

Tie Breaker​: In the event of a tie in points earned at the conclusion of a Series cycle, the winner shall be determined using the following rules (addressed in descending order).

1. The athlete with the best head­-to-­head record in Qualifying Races during the Series period will be declared the winner. Only the fact that one athlete finished ahead of the other will be taken into account and not by how many places. For purposes of clarity, it shall not matter whether or not the athletes scored points towards their Series total when considering head-­to-­head competition.

2. The athlete who has won the most Qualifying Races during the period.

3. The athlete whom the majority of the Race Directors of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors determines to be the champion. In such circumstances, the Race Directors may decide to award the title jointly.

Doping Violations:​ Under AWMM rules, no athlete who has been found guilty of any antidoping rules enforced by the IAAF, World Anti­Doping Association (WADA), National Federations, or any of the individual AWMM races is eligible to win the AWMM championship title. Athletes must comply with the AWMM Code of Conduct.

Click here to read the Abbott World Marathon Majors Code of Conduct.