WMM fall preview

The chase for a $1 million USD prize to be split equally among the top female and male marathoner in the world will continue this fall on both sides of the Atlantic. With the 2013 IAAF World Championships Marathon in Moscow now completed, the World Marathon Majors (WMM) 2012-2013 Series moves into its final three races: the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on September 29, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13, and the ING New York City Marathon on November 3.

The 2012-2013 WMM Series includes the Boston, Virgin London, BMW BERLIN, Bank of America Chicago, and ING New York City marathons, along with the London Olympic Games and Moscow IAAF World Championships marathons.

At the conclusion of the Series in November, the top female and male marathoners in the Series, based on their total number of points, will each earn $500,000.

BMW BERLIN-MARATHON: Sunday, September 29, 2013

Attention will first focus on the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on September 29, where Wilson Kipsang, the only male athlete in the WMM top five competing in Berlin, will aim for the victory. If the Kenyan, who won the Virgin London Marathon in 2012, wins in the German capital he would move into second place in the Series with 61 points. This would leave him four points behind the Series leader, Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede.

In the women's Series, only 25 points separate the top six women as the Series looks ahead to Berlin. Kenya's Sharon Cherop, currently in fourth place, would move to the top of the leaderboard with 60 points with a victory in Berlin. She is the only woman in contention for the Series title competing in Berlin.

Bank of America Chicago Marathon: Sunday, October 13, 2013

The head-to-head matchup of Kenya's Rita Jeptoo and Ethiopia's Atsede Baysa in Chicago may change the complexion of the Series leaderboard. Baysa, the defending champion in Chicago, is currently in fifth place but can tie Kenya's Edna Kiplagat in first place with 55 points with a repeat victory. In the event of a first place tie, however, Kiplagat will win due the WMM Scoring System, which gives the Series victory to the athlete with the best head-to-head record during the scoring period. Kiplagat's runner-up finish in London in 2013 gives her the advantage over Baysa's fourth place finish. Jeptoo, the runner-up in Chicago last year and the 2013 Boston Marathon champion, can take the Series lead with a victory. A win would give her 65 points, 10 more than Kiplagat.

ING New York City Marathon: Sunday, November 3, 2013.

Olympic and World champion Stephen Kiprotich, of Uganda, is in a strong position to take the WMM title. Currently in second place with 50 points, Kiprotich will line up in the final marathon of the two-year Series on Sunday, November 3. A win on New York's tough course will give him 75 points and the $500,000 prize. A runner-up finish would also give Kiprotich the Series victory through a tie with the current WMM Series leader with 65 points, Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede, who is not scheduled to compete in any races this fall.

Like the men's Series, the women's Series is likely to be decided in New York. Kiplagat currently leads the WMM Series standings with 55 points. After her gold medal in Moscow, she can seal her victory in the Series in New York, but she must contend with 2013 Virgin London Marathon winner Priscah Jeptoo, of Kenya, who aims to improve on her fifth place finish in the 2011-2012 WMM Series. If the standings remain unchanged through Berlin and Chicago, neither Kiplagat nor Jeptoo would need a victory in New York to win the Series.

Regardless of the circumstance of the Series leaderboard, both women will aim for a victory in New York's Central Park this November and their chance at the $500,000 prize.