The World Marathon Majors -The 6 Largest Marathons on Earth

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In this podcast episode we speak with Tim Hadzima, the Executive Director at Abbott World Marathon Majors, about the six largest marathons in the world and what makes them unique.

The Abbott World Marathon Majors

The Abbott World Marathon Majors is a series consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. The races take place in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City. The purpose of the Abbott World Marathon Majors is to advance the sport, raise awareness of its athletes, and increase the level of interest in elite racing among running enthusiasts.

“Each of the six races that make up the Abbott World Marathon Majors boasts an international elite field for both men and women in the open and wheelchair categories, has a mass participatory field completing the same course as the elites, takes place in a major international market, has a history of 25 years or more and is regarded among the very best in the industry. Collectively, the group annually attracts more than 5 million on-course spectators, more than 250 million television viewers, 300,000 applicants and 150,000 participants. It also raises more than $80 million for charity worldwide and generates an economic impact of more than $400 million”.

In addition to the five races, two other Qualifying Races were included in the series: the IAAF World Championships Marathon and the Olympic Marathon.

We had the chance to speak with Tim Hadzima for this episode. Tim has been the Executive Director at the Abbott World Marathon Majors since 2013. He is also a marathoner himself and based in Chicago.

Interesting Facts We Learned from Talking to Tim Hadzima

  1. The Tokyo Marathon was not originally part of the Majors.
  2. The Chicago Marathon donates the red carpets that cover the bridges.
  3. Over 400,000 people enter the lottery for the London Marathon.
  4. The New York City Marathon had 52,000+ runners in 2018.
  5. The Berlin Marathon has one of the best start lines in the world.
  6. The London Marathon has raised 1 billion pounds for charity.
  7. The Singapore Marathon is under consideration to become the 7th World Marathon Major.
  8. Running is becoming more global. A decade ago there might have been a dozen marathons in China, now there are 1,200-1,300.
  9. Eliud Kipchoge, who is highest in the global rankings, is a once-in-a-generation gifted athlete.
  10. Elite wheelchair athletes can recover more quickly and most of them do every race or ever other race in the WMM series.
  11. If you’ve finished one of the Majors you can claim a star towards a Six Star Medal.
  12. Over 4,000 runners have completed all six Majors.
  13. There is also a global ranking system for amateur athletes.

Trevor and Tim Hadzima at the Boston Marathon 2019

Medal for Six Star Finishers

Also Mentioned in This Episode

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Topo Athletic -Our first running shoe sponsor!!! Topo Athletic makes a gimmick-free running shoe with a roomy toe box that promotes functional foot movement. And the cushioned midsoles come in a variety of thicknesses and heel elevations, so you can pick your unique level of protection and comfort. Get 10% off your first pair with promo code MTA.

Take our Podcast Survey -In order to find great advertisers, we’ll need to learn a little bit more about you. Once you’ve completed the survey, you can choose to enter for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.

Blinkist -the only app that condenses thousands of nonfiction books into the best key takeaways so you can read or listen to them in just 15 minutes.

Experiencing “Phantom Pain” during marathon training. Have you ever found yourself obsessing over little aches and pains as you get closer to race day? Read Angie’s post here.

Help us Plant a Tree for the John Muir Trust!

Help us plant a MTA Forever Forest in partnership with the John Muir Trust. We’ve set an initial target of planting 262 trees (you will see what we have done there) as part of the Trust’s Wild Woods tree planting appeal during 2019 as they look to significantly increase the number of native trees across the land in their care.

Angie visited one of the places where they are planting trees when she walked the slopes of Schiehallion, a few days before she ran the Loch Ness Marathon.

By helping us plant the MTA Forever Forest, you’ll be helping the MTA community to create an everlasting feature of the Scottish landscape. Each donation of £10 (about $13 USD) will cover the cost of planting one tree, including staff time and equipment.

Angie with Kevin Lelland of the John Muir Trust

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