The Marathon Majors is a great idea. They have shown, so far, that the major events can a) work pretty well together, b) tell the story and c) provide riveting races globally. The issue is visibility. A global TV program highlighting the event, a global commemorative program highlighting the sport and most importantly, a global sponsor recognizing global marathoning as a major sport would take the marathon to a new level...the events are doing a good job, and the key is not to focus on what goals can be accomplished in the short term and what needs long term direction..at Runblogrun.com, we applaud the effort and the creativity of the World Marathon Majors and wish them every success!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Second World Marathon Majors Series Nears Conclusion
Six Athletes Remain in Contention for $1 Million Prize
With the Beijing Olympic Games having come to a close and the Fall/Autumn marathon season about to begin, the 2007-2008 World Marathon Majors Series men's and women's titles remain very much up in the air. Last year both titles were decided in the final two races of the Series. With six athletes still in contention in 2007-2008 -- two men and four women -- the Series is headed for another exciting conclusion. Athletes will have three chances to score points before the champions are crowned on November 3 in New York City:
September 28 real,-Berlin-Marathon
October 12 Bank of America Chicago Marathon
November 2 ING New York City Marathon
The men's race is down to two contenders: defending champion Robert K. Cheruiyot (KEN) and his training partner Martin Lel (KEN). Lel holds a substantial 21-point lead, but has already scored in four events (the maximum number allowed in a two-year scoring period). Should he choose to race again, Lel could still improve his score by improving upon his 5th-place finish in the Olympic Games. For Cheruiyot to defend his championship he will first have to recover from the injury which forced him to withdraw from the Olympics. Then, only a victory -- coupled with Lel failing to add to his lead -- would give Cheruiyot the title.
The women's race is a bit more complicated. Defending champion Gete Wami (ETH) holds a 15-point advantage, but like Lel she has already scored in four events. Wami would have to place first or second in a Fall race to improve her 65-point total. Should she fail to do so, the door will be opened for three women to challenge for the WMM Series championship.
Olympic bronze medalist Zhou Chunxiu (CHN, 50 pts.) sits in second place, and holds a tie-break advantage versus Wami by virtue of their head-to-head record, so a victory or runner-up placing this Fall could give Zhou the win. Meanwhile, Olympic silver medalist Catherine Ndereba (KEN, 41 pts.) would surpass Wami by a slim 1-point margin with a win. Irina Mikitenko (GER) also still has an outside chance. Injury prevented her from competing in the Olympic Games but a win in Berlin on September 28 would vault her into a tie for first with Wami.
If there is a tie atop the leaderboard following the last race in the Series, New York City on November 2, the tie would be broken by head-to-head record. If the athletes remain tied, the WMM race directors would decide the champion by a vote.
The 2007-2008 World Marathon Majors Series champions will be honored and presented with their $500,000 checks at a special luncheon in New York City on Monday, November 3, the day after the 2008 ING New York City Marathon.
Men's 2007-2008 WMM Series Leaderboard
1. Martin Lel (KEN) 76 pts.
1st London 2007 2:07:41
1st New York 2007 2:09:04
1st London 2008 2:05:15
5th Olympic Games 2008 2:10:24
2. Robert K. Cheruiyot (KEN) 55 pts.
1st Boston 2007 2:14:13
4th Chicago 2007 2:16:13
1st Boston 2008 2:07:46
3. Abderrahim Goumri (MAR) 40 pts.
2nd London 2007 2:07:44
2nd New York 2007 2:09:16
3rd London 2008 2:05:30
3. Samuel Wanjiru (KEN) 40 pts.
2nd London 2008 2:05:24
1st Olympic Games 2008 2:06:32
5. Jaouad Gharib (MAR) 35 pts.
4th London 2007 2:07:54
2nd Chicago 2007 2:11:11
2nd Olympic Games 2008 2:07:16
Women's 2007-2008 WMM Series Leaderboard
1. Gete Wami (ETH) 65 pts.
2nd London 2007 2:21:45
1st Berlin 2007 2:23:17
2nd New York 2007 2:23:32
3rd London 2008 2:25:37
2. Zhou Chunxiu (CHN) 50 pts.
1st London 2007 2:20:38
2nd IAAF World Championships 2007 2:30:45
3rd Olympic Games 2008 2:27:07
3. Catherine Ndereba (KEN) 41 pts.
1st IAAF World Championships 2007 2:30:37
5th New York 2007 2:29:08
2nd Olympic Games 2008 2:27:06
4. Irina Mikitenko (GER) 40 pts.
2nd Berlin 2007 2:24:51
1st London 2008 2:24:14
5. Constantina Tomescu-Dita (ROU) 35 pts.
3rd London 2007 2:23:55
1st Olympic Games 2008 2:26:44
Athletes are awarded points for a top-5 finish, with 25 points for 1st, 15 for 2nd, 10 for 3rd, 5 for 4th and 1 for 5th. A maximum of four events can be counted in a two-year period.
Complete WMM Series leaderboards can be found at worldmarathonmajors.com.
For additional information on the World Marathon Majors, or if you would like to speak to a Race Director or athlete, please contact one of the following Public Relations Directors:
Jack Fleming or Marc Chalufour, Boston Marathon
[email protected] or [email protected]
Nicola Okey, Flora London Marathon
+ 44 207.902.0182
Thomas Steffens, real,-BERLIN-MARATHON
+ 49 171.933.4836
Marianne Caponi, Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Richard Finn, ING New York City Marathon