Series spoils up for grabs in New York

Elite Series XIII of the Abbott World Marathon Majors will conclude at the TCS New York City Marathon on November 7.

The series began way back in October 2019 at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon when Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei smashed the women’s world record by clocking 2:14:04.

At the time, no one could foresee that the next race of the series in New York City that year would be the last with mass participation fields for more than a year.

Now, with the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, the world of marathon running has been safely grinding back into gear. Following the return of four Majors races this autumn, only Tokyo has been unable to welcome back its race to the roads, with the 2021 event rescheduled to take place in March 2022.

Now, New York City will host the long-awaited series finale, where we will learn exactly who will become the new champions. Here is how things stand across all four divisions with one race left.

Men’s Open Series

One thing we can say for sure is that we will have a new name on the silverware for 2021. Eliud Kipchoge’s stranglehold on the crown has seen him take home the last four series’, but with his only victory in this edition coming in the Olympic marathon (a scoring race in the series during which it takes place), he will relinquish the title.

Sisay Lemma currently has the advantage, with 34 points from his victory at the 2021 TCS London Marathon allied to his third place there in 2020.

Only two men can deny the Ethiopian a first AbbottWMM series crown and they are both scheduled to run the TCS New York City Marathon.

His compatriot Kenenisa Bekele’s nine points earned at the 2021 BMW-BERLIN MARATHON mean he can equal Lemma’s 34 points if he wins in the Big Apple, while the Netherlands’ Abdi Nageeye finished second in the Olympic Marathon and could overtake Lemma if he registers his first AbbottWMM victory on November 7.

Should Bekele triumph, there is no head-to-head contest during the series between the two Ethiopians, so the six race directors of the Majors would each have a vote to decide the champion.

If neither Bekele nor Nageeye make the top two. Kenyan pair Vincent Kipchumba and Lawrence Cherono will claim second and third respectively.

Women’s Open Series

Brigid Kosgei and Joyciline Jepkosgei are locked on 50 points each after two series wins apiece (Kosgei won Chicago 2019 and London 2020, while Jepkosgei triumphed in New York City in 2019 and London in 2021).

The fact that both athletes ran the 2021 London Marathon means Jepkosgei edges it on a head-to-head.

The one athlete taking part in New York who can tie this pair is Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir. Should she take the tape in Central Park, she and Jepkosgei will be the subject of a race director vote.

Men’s Wheelchair Series

The rules of the wheelchair series dictate that in a Paralympic year, an athlete’s best five performances will be used to tally up their final points total on the leaderboard. So far, that means Marcel Hug leads Daniel Romanchuk by nine points.

Hug has four wins to Romanchuk’s three and both men have won three sets of bonus points and can win no more.

Hug cannot be overtaken on points because if Romanchuk wins, he only gains nine points (replacing one set of 16 with 25) and draws level.

Under the rules of the competition, head-to-head victories would then come into play. The Swiss has won more head-to-head races between the two (Romanchuk won Chicago 2019 when Hug wasn’t present), and so already has one hand on the sliver salver.

The battle for third place will be one to watch, featuring David Weir and Brent Lakatos, with the Briton nine points ahead of the Canadian going into the final race.

Women’s Wheelchair Series

Manuela Schär has already wrapped Series XIII up with a maximum five wins and three bonuses to total 149 points.

Tatyana McFadden is safe in second place with 97, while the Netherlands’ Nikita den Boer currently sits in third with 38.

The USA’s Yen Hoang would need to come second in New York to overtake the 2020 London champion, with the Dutchwoman doing no better than fifth place.

View all current standings here.

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