BOSTON April 16, 2016 Today Wesley Korir, Caroline Rotich and Tatyana McFadden joined leaders from Abbott World Marathon Majors and Abbott at an event to celebrate the beginning to Abbott World Marathon Majors Series X, which begins at Monday's Boston Marathon.
The April 18 Boston race, followed by the April 24 Virgin Money London Marathon, are key first steps in the trans-Atlantic race for an AbbottWMM title.
�"After crowning Eliud Kipchoge and Mary Keitany as our Series IX winners at the Tokyo Marathon 2016, we expect to continue thrilling our global followers with intense competition on our iconic courses in Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York and Tokyo, as well as on the streets of Rio in Series X," said Tim Hadzima, Abbott World Marathon Majors general manager.
Also beginning in Boston is the first-ever Abbott World Marathon Wheelchair Series, and Hadzima said it's indicative of the organization's �"long-term support of marathoners within para-sport."
�"It is our hope that by elevating and celebrating the incredible professional athletes that compete in our races, it will lead to more interest in, and awareness of the sport of wheelchair racing," Hadzima said.
�"I am so excited the wheelchair series is finally happening," McFadden said. �"It's always been a dream of mine, and it's the perfect time to reach runners across across the world who will now know more about wheelchair racing. To have it kick off in Boston is something special."
Joining the event today were Elaine Leavenworth, senior vice president, chief marketing and external affairs officer of Abbott; Tom Grilk, Boston Athletic Association executive director; Tad Hayano, Tokyo Marathon race director; Carey Pinkowski, Bank of America Chicago Marathon executive race director, and Peter Ciaccia, president of events, New York Road Runners, and TCS New York City Marathon race director.
�"This series of races and the people who conquer them show us that at our healthiest, we can do more, achieve more, and experience more in life," said Abbott's Leavenworth. �"We at Abbott are inspired by all the runners of all ages and abilities and are proud to support them as they tackle the iconic Boston Marathon, and we kick off the Series X."
�"Abbott World Marathon Majors has really changed the sport," Korir said. �"We look forward to a great year, a competitive year and a clean year."
�"I am thankful to be here," Rotich said. �"I am often asked which Majors race I will run next."
AbbottWMM awards its title to the top-ranked male and female runners, and male and female wheelchair athletes, after a one-year cycle of eight Qualifying Races, which include the 2016 and 2017 Boston Marathons; the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Marathons; and the 2016 Virgin Money London, BMW BERLIN, Bank of America Chicago, TCS New York City and Tokyo Marathons. Details of the prize purse, scoring and rules can be found at worldmarathonmajors.com.
Also helping to celebrate Series X was Chris Beck, of Stow, Mass., who will become an AbbottWMM Six Star Finisher when he completes the 2016 Boston Marathon, joining the more than 800 runners from around the world who have finished all six of the AbbottWMM marathons.
Chris has participated in AbbottWMM races to raise funds and awareness for Autism Speaks, in honor of his son Owen.