Here is a guide to the six World Marathon Majors

ATHLETICS Here is a guide to the six World Marathon Majors

Abigael Wafula • Abigael Wafula • 13:57 - 12.02.2023

The Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) comprises of six of the world’s most prestigious and largest marathons: Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and the New York City Marathon.

The AbbottWMM celebrates not only the one-year-long series of elite athletes and elite wheelchair athletes but also the accomplishments and passion of ordinary runners around the world who deserve to be champions.

The six-star system is a website-based results database that honours runners who have completed at least one of the series’ events (with one star) and increases the number of stars toward winning six events (Reach for the Stars).

AbbottWMM launched the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Ranking in 2018.


First held on February 18, 2007, the Tokyo Marathon joined the AbbottWMM from its 2013 edition as the newest member. The 2007 marathon was also a representative selection race of the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka.

Since then, as the only race in Asia, the Tokyo Marathon exerts a strong presence and gains great popularity with runners from all over the world. For runners who seek to complete all six races and become a Six Star Finisher, the Tokyo Marathon often happens to be the last race to run, and in 2019, it saw 731 runners become Six Star Finishers in Tokyo.

The 2023 Tokyo Marathon will be held on March 5, 2023.


It is the second largest annual road race in the United Kingdom after the Great North Run in Newcastle. Founded by Chris Brasher and John Disley in 1981, the elite race became part of the World Marathon Majors in 2006.

It was the biggest marathon on the planet in 2021 with 35,838 finishers in the mass race and 22,193 in the virtual event.

The London Marathon has seen the marathon world record broken on seven occasions. The current elite course records are held by Eliud Kipchoge (2:02:37 in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in 2003). The 2023 London Marathon will revert to its traditional spring date which will be held on April 23.


Started in 1897 after being inspired by the success of the first marathon competition at the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest continuously contested marathon race. It is the first major marathon that admitted female and wheelchair athlete’s participation, and is traditionally held on Patriot’s Day, the third Monday in April.

Amos Kipruto won the 2022 London Marathon

It is hosted by several cities and towns in greater Boston in eastern Massachusetts, United States of America. The 2023 Boston Marathon will be held on April 17.


Berlin Marathon was first initiated in 1974 by Horst Milde, a baker and running enthusiast in the city. This race is known for the flat and fast course, which goes through Berlin city and finishes at the Brandenburg Gate. The marathon world record has been broken in Berlin on twelve occasions. The current record was set at the 2022 edition, where Eliud Kipchoge won the men's race in 2:01:09. Ethiopia’s Tigist Asefa set a new women's course record that same year with 2:15:37.


The first Chicago Marathon was held on September 23, 1905 and continued with annual races that extended until the early 1920s. The first race in the present series occurred on September 25, 1977, under the original name the Mayor Daley Marathon. Since then, the race has been held every year, except in 1987 when only a half-marathon was run, and in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. World records have been broken at Chicago five times with the current being Brigid Kosgei’s women’s marathon world record of 2:14:04 that she ran in 2019. The 2023 edition will be held on October 8.


It is the premier event of New York Road Runners (NYRR) and historically has been the largest marathon in the world. Held annually on the first Sunday in November, the race features the world’s top professional athletes and a vast range of competitive, recreational, and charity runners. The race began in 1970.

The 2023 edition will be held on November 5, 2023.