By JENNY ROGERS
What is the World Marathon Majors?
The World Marathon Majors is a set of five marathons in major world cities that attract elite marathon runners. Each two-year cycle, a $1 million prize is split between the top male and female marathon runners in the world based on their performance in the Majors. The Majors were united beginning in 2006, though each individual marathon had a history of at least 25 years before then.
The World Marathon Majors:
Size of the Marathons:
In terms of the number of race finishers and spectators, the New York City Marathon is the largest of the Majors. It also has the largest official number of charities it supports (210).
The Boston Marathon, meanwhile, has the longest history and the highest value of prizes awarded.
Marathons and Times:
World records made at these marathons date back to a 1947 men’s world record at the Boston Marathon. In total 29 Men and Women’s World Records have been set, with additional World Master and World Debut records set.
Over the last decade, Berlin has seen the most world records made by men (four) and London has seen the most world records made by women (two in women-only races and one in a mixed-gender race).
Note: Boston’s most recent world record, 2:03:02, is not recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations, which maintains records, because the course does not meet the organization’s standards.
Note: London’s women’s record of 2:15:25 was made in a mixed-gender race.
Sources: ING NYC Marathon 2011 Media Guide; World Marathon Majors Website