The World Marathon Majors is about to resume, with real, Berlin on September 26, Bank of America Chicago on October 10 and ING New York on November 7. Patrick Makau will lead the fields in Berlin, Haile in New York and the battle of the Titans in Chicago: Sammy Wanjiru verus Tsegaye Kebede. Throw in Ryan Hall in Chicago for some American running, and you have three very tough races this fall!
The women’s marathon fields feature Liliya Shobukova, who took her 5,000 meter European record speed and won both Chicago and London. Irina Mitkitenko and Salia Kosgei will challenge Shobukova, reminding Liliya that the race for the grand prize is not over until the final race of the season is over!
The World Marathon Majors has been a unique way for the major marathons to promote the sport, their events and showcase the professionalism of the top events to a sports media focused on soccer, golf and American pro sports (football, basketball, baseball). In the spring, the World Marathon Majors will feature the BAA Boston Marathon and the Virgin London Marathon.
The World Marathon Majors is road running‘s equivalent to the Samsung Diamond League, that conglomeration of 14 meets this year that thrived even with Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay racing each other once during the season. In both road racing and athletics, it still comes down to competition.
Hats off to the support the World Marathon Majors give to innovative programs in our sport.Don’t miss our live coverage of all five events, on RBR, twitter and the Running Network.
Marathon Majors Series Resumes with
Million Prize Purse to be Claimed
Stellar fields will compete at
remaining 2010 WMM Races
21, 2010)–A head-to-head battle for the World Marathon Majors series
crown between Samuel Wanjiru and Tesgaye Kebede at the Bank of America Chicago
Marathon next month and the first appearance of world record-holder Haile
Gebrselassie at the ING New York City Marathon in November highlight the Fall
World Marathon Majors campaign that kicks-off in Berlin this Sunday. The real,-
Berlin Marathon resumes the series on Sunday, September 26, followed by the Bank
of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 10 and will conclude with the ING
New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 7.
Runners have already earned points
(25 points for first place, 15 for second, 10 for third, 5 for fourth, and 1 for
fifth) for top-five finishes in April’s B.A.A. Boston Marathon and Virgin London
Marathon, as well as top-five finishers in each of the five marathons in 2009,
and at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin in 2009. Men’s and women’s winners
of the series will share a $1 million prize purse.
Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru and
Kebede currently share the lead in the men’s series with 50 points
apiece, while Russia’s Liliya
Shobukhova leads the women’s field with 60 points, with
second with 40 points. All four will race in Chicago, along with Robert
Kiprono Cheruiyot who currently sits in sixth place with 26 points.
While the titles are likely to be decided in Chicago, Kenya’s Emmanuel
Mutai could come from behind if both Kebede and Wanjiru finish third or
lower in Chicago and Mutai wins in New York. Salina Kosgei, who will
toe the line in New York, is the only woman besides Mikitenko with
enough points to potentially defeat Shobukhova.
Each of the three
fall WMM events will host an impressive elite field. At Berlin, seven men have
run faster than 2:07, and three under 2:06. Kenyans Patrick Makau and Geoffrey
Mutai lead the field after running the top two times in the world this year when
they placed first and second at the Rotterdam Marathon in 2:04:48 and 2:04:55.
In Chicago, besides the WMM
contenders, the men’s elite field includes Kenyan Vincent Kipruto who placed
third last year and U.S. Olympian Ryan Hall, who will attempt to break the
record set by Khalid Khannouchi in 2002. Hall
currently shares 10th place in the WMM series with 20 points. The
women’s field includes Russians Lidiya Grigoryeva, 2008 Chicago Marathon
champion, and Maria Konovalova, U.S. Olympian Magdalena Lewy-Boulet, British
Olympian Liz Yelling, Japanese star Naoko Sakamoto and up-and-coming U.S. runner
Desiree Davila who placed 11th at the 2009 IAAF World Championships
York features one of the
deepest elite fields ever, highlighted by Gebrselassie making his New York debut. The world
record holder in the marathon and multiple Olympic and World Championships gold
medalist, Gebrselassie has become a running legend in his native
Ethiopia and worldwide. He currently
sits ninth in the 2009-2010 WMM standings. The men’s
and women’s elite fields hold 24 Olympians, 14 World Championships Medalists,
eight WMM race winners, seven World Champions and four Olympic Medalists. The
Olympic medalists include Gebrselassie (1996 and 2000, gold, 10,000m) and
fellow Ethiopian Derartu Tulu (1992 and 2000, gold, 10,000m), who is tied for
fifth in WMM standings. 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist and 2009 New York
Champion Meb Keflezighi of the U.S. will try to defend his title and
better his sixth place WMM ranking. The United States’ Shalane Flanagan
(2008, bronze, 10,000m) will make her marathon debut.
WMM series points earned in 2010
will also count toward the 2010–11 series
championship. If either Kebede or Cheruiyot wins in Chicago, they’ll enter the
2011 season with a virtually unbeatable 50 points. If Shobukova wins in
Chicago and Erkesso wins in New York, they will enter
2011 with a tie at 50 points. Complete WMM Series leaderboards are posted at
Jack Fleming +1 617.236.1652 ext. 2627
T.K. Skenderian +1 617.778.1632
Nicola Okey + 44 207.902.0182
Thomas Steffens + 49 171.933.4836
Jeremy Borling +1 312.992.6614
York: Richard Finn +1 212.423.2229
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