The Abbott World Marathon Majors (AWMM) is expanding its series to include elite wheelchair athletes. For the first time, a male and female winner will be determined over a 12-month period based on scoring earned via results from six iconic global races, and each will be awarded USD 50,000 for the championships.
The new series is set to begin at the April 2016 Boston Marathon, which in 1975 became the first major U.S. road race to recognise wheelchair participation. Including each of the AWMM qualifying races, Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, BMW Berlin, the Bank of America Chicago and the TCS New York Marathons, AWMM Wheelchair Series X will begin at the April 2016 Boston Marathon and end upon completion of the April 2017 Boston Marathon. Each subsequent series will begin and end at the next AWMM race on the calendar.
"These athletes compete at the highest levels, and it's time for us to formally recognise the achievements of wheelchair athletes," said Tim Hadzima, AWMM general manager. "Our objective, and that of our title sponsor, Abbott, is to elevate marathoning across the globe by advancing and promoting all aspects of our great sport."
Paralympic Games and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics World Championships races, when scheduled, will also count as part of the series. Scoring will follow existing AWMM rules with the only difference being the number of races that count for the title. In Series without World Championships or Paralympic Games it will be the best four of seven races to score. In years with either of those events, it will be the best five of eight races to score.
"This is a key milestone for all athletes and for the global sport," said Tatyana McFadden, 11-time Paralympic medallist and multiple wheelchair champion of the Chicago, New York, London and Boston marathons. "It's thrilling to be able to race on the best courses across the world, and a formalized AWMM series adds more honour and weight to any finish."
IPC Athletics rules and regulations will govern the races and all athletes must be registered or licensed with IPC Athletics.
"This is another major milestone in the global development and promotion of para-athletics," said Ryan Montgomery, head of IPC Athletics. "Wheelchair marathon races are amongst the most exciting and competitive in the world and on behalf of the athletes I would like to thank AWMM for their support in making this become a reality."
About Abbott World Marathon Majors The Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, BMW BERLIN, Bank of America Chicago, and TCS New York City Marathons together represent the Abbott World Marathon Majors and serve as Qualifying Races. In the years in which they are run, the Series also includes the IAAF World Championships and Olympic Marathons. At the conclusion of each Series cycle, a $1 million prize purse is divided equally between the top male and female marathoners in the world as determined by points earned in Qualifying Races. The inaugural 2006-2007 WMM Series was launched at the 110th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2006, and concluded at the New York City Marathon on Nov. 4, 2007. The Tokyo Marathon became a Qualifying Race in October 2012, and the 2013-2014 series, the WMM's eighth two-year series, began with the Tokyo Marathon on Feb. 24, 2013, and concluded at the TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 2, 2014. The first Abbott World Marathon Majors series, titled AWMM Series IX, began at the Tokyo Marathon 2015 and will conclude after completion of the Tokyo Marathon 2016.
About IPC Athletics
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement, and also acts as the International Federation for nine sports, including athletics.
Para Athletics is governed by the IPC and co-ordinated by the IPC Athletics Sports Technical Committee, offering a wide range of competitions and events for male and female athletes in all impairment groups.
Also, please visit www.ipc-athletics.org, www.twitter.com/IPCAthletics, www.facebook.com/IPCAthletics or www.ParalympicSport.TV.
ABBOTT WORLD MARATHON MAJORS IPC ATHLETICS Cindy Hamilton Ryan Montgomery email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org +1.312.659.0554 +184.108.40.206.217
TOKYO MARATHON BMW BERLIN-MARATHON Ulala Nagashima Thomas Steffens email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org +81.3.5500.6653 +49.171.9334836
BOSTON MARATHON BANK OF AMERICA CHICAGO MARATHON Jack Fleming Alex Sawyer email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org +1.617.778.1627 +1.312.992.6618
VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON TCS NEW YORK CITY MARATHON Penny Dain Chris Weiller email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org +44.0.7799.170433 +1.212.320.4046