January 22, 2022
ABBOTT WORLD MARATHON MAJORS AGE GROUP CHAMPIONSHIPS
We know many sports with world championship races for age groups such as Kona Ironman World Championship, Cycling Road World Championships, or World Athletics Race Walking Championship. But we never had a Marathon World Championship for master athletes especially.
Abbott World Major Marathons (AbbottWMM) started to respond to this need for 40+ age Master Marathoners globally. We now have a big excitement to challenge ourselves with our global runner age groupers and build new connections through running.
The program started in 2019 with the very first Series 1, but the actual championship race did not occur until October 2021 due to COVID, including the Series 2 marathoners. The 3rd series top marathoners will be racing in the London Marathon on October 2, 2022.
As of January 1st, 2022, the 4th Series of the AbbottWMM championship eligibility period started, and it will continue until the last race in Dec 25, 2022. Top runners from Series 4 will race in the championship race in North America the very first quarter of 2023. Details of the 4th Series race will be announced at a later date.
As the program is pretty new while popularity of this championship increases, there are so many questions around this program. AbbottWMM has lengthy program details on its website. This is a snapshot summary of the program to encourage 40+ master marathoners with fast performing times to join this uniquely exciting championship races.
There are over 300 eligible races, and many high performing 40+ age group runners are on a competing spot globally. Simply check this eligible races link and the rankings, and you may possibly see your name in the ranking if you already ran an eligible race in early January such as Carlsbad or Chevron Houston Marathon.
Imagine you have a winning lottery ticket but forgot it in your pocket and washed it in the laundry, and it is gone! You do not want to do that if you have a chance to be invited for a global World Major Marathon Championship, right? Now, let’s look into the details of the program and how to earn points in the global marathon ranking.
HOW TO EARN POINTS IN ABBOTT WANDA WMM RACES
The age group winners in any AbbottWMM race—the Tokyo, Boston, TCS London, BMW BERLIN, Bank of America Chicago, and TCS New York City Marathon—will automatically get 4,000 points. Any age group athlete who is within 29 seconds of the age group winning time in an AbbottWMM race receives 10 points less, earning 3990 points. Runners within 30–59 seconds of the winning time receive 20 points less, and those achieving times within 1 minute and 29 seconds less than the age group winning time receive 30 points less, and so on.
WHAT IS PLATINUM POINT?
There are two different point systems in AbbottWMM races . One for the six World Marathon Major races as explained above. The second point system is for all other over 300 AbbottWMM Championship eligibility races. You can earn points by running other eligible races listed on AbbottWMM’s website. As mentioned in the website, in those events, scoring will be based on a platinum time calculated for each age group and gender, using standard multiples of the “mean” of the current marathon world record times for each age group and gender.
Winners of any age group marathons that are not AbbottWMM races must run faster than the platinum time for their age and gender to score 4,000 points. The same points degradation according to time behind the winner applies.
PLATINUM TIMES FOR EACH AGE GROUP
Now, let’s take a look at the points earned with a non-AbbottWMM race and platinum time.
At the time of publishing this post (January 22, 2022), the 1st place 45-49 AG male runner finishes Carlsbad Marathon with a time of 3:05:12 and earns 3370 points. Because his age group (AG) Platinum time is 2:34. Each 29 seconds slower than the platinum time equals to the loss of 10 points from the maximum 4000 points.
Let’s look at another runner, a 55-59 AG female runner, finishes the same Carlsbad Marathon with a time of 3:51:58 and earns 3320 points.
The Strategy: You can see that how age group platinum times might affect the points you might get at the end. So, the main goal in these races has to be running as close as possible to your age group platinum time and not pick the hardest courses or the most challenging conditions that will impact your race time negatively and cause you to lose 10 points in every 29 seconds of slow running.
FOUR WAYS TO HAVE A CHANCE FOR THE ABBOTT WMM CHAMPIONSHIP INVITATION
1. In-Person Qualifying Marathons
By running in-person marathons in eligible races and being in the following top spots listed below for each gender and age group. AbbottWMM has limited top spots per age and gender as shown in the table below.
2. Virtual Races
Running virtual races from the qualifying races (only if races have a virtual option) and being in top spots listed below per age group and gender.
Virtual Ranking Verification: You have to have a smart watch with your running data link access, such as STRAVA or GARMIN, and your profile has to be public so that the AbbottWMM race verification team can access it. If your account is private, even if you run a fast virtual race, your data will not be verified by AbbottWMM, and you may lose a valuable invitation spot.
3. Abbott WMM Global Marathon
By running the next virtual Abbott World Marathon Majors Global Marathon on May 7–8, 2022, and being in the top 100 spots listed below per age group and gender. Registration link for the global marathon is currently open.
4. Highest Point Scoring Marathoner in Your Country
Being the highest point scoring marathoner in your country across all age groups. One man, one woman in all age groups who have the highest points (maximum two spots per county) are invited. Series 1, 2, and 3 had these spots and runners were invited to represent their country. Eligibility of this spot for Series 4 is not known yet.
- The first requirement is to be happy that you are aging! :-)
- Create a free AbbottWMM portal profile account. Without an AbbottWMM account, even if you are the fastest AG on earth, you will never receive an invitation.
- Run a minimum of two qualifying in-person races. Running only one race and earning the maximum 4,000 points will not make you at the top spot if your competition runs slower than you but runs two races, hence increasing his/her total points.
- In person races’ points calculated with a maximum of two races. The best two results in marathons over this period will count for each runner’s ranking.
- The minimum points you can get by completing an eligible marathon is 1,000 points, and the maximum points for the 1st place winner is 4,000 points.
- Virtual races are calculated with only one eligible race.
- You must have an in-person marathon performance which is NO SLOWER than 10% of your virtual marathon time. Virtual races have a strict verification process. You cannot stop/pause your smart watch during a virtual race. It will make your run ineligible. More details explained in the virtual races section of the AbbottWMM website.
- What does "THIS IS ME" mean in the rankings?: If you see “This is Me” next to a result, it is not owned by a runner with a profile. All gray avatar icons are results not owned by a registered profile holder. That means when you compare your ranking standings, do not count those "unregistered runners." However, it is important to know that a runner has time until the end of December 2022 to create an AbbottWMMM account and to be included in the rankings if they run any eligible qualifying races.
You registered in the AbbottWMM portal, you ran some eligible races or qualifying events. Then what? You should be checking the rankings both in-person and virtual occasionally to get a feel for the competition and which spot you are in. If there are certain upcoming races you possibly might perform better and earn more points, you will increase your chances to be in the top invitation spots.
Embrace challenging yourself regardless of your age. Read our other blog posts here or join our Strava or Facebook group or follow us on our Facebook page to stay connected with endurance oriented athletes globally.