What Are the World Marathon Majors and Where Are They?

Chicago Marathon
Written by Charlie

Ever wonder what the World Marathon Majors are? Find out where they are and what it costs to enter each of these great marathons around the world!

If you are new to marathons or you are a veteran trying to hit some of the biggest marathons in the world, you should know about the World Marathon Majors and what they are!

What Are the World Marathon Majors and Where Are They?

There are thousands of marathons around the world and some of the best run ones are not always the biggest ones! I have run some marathons that are in small towns and cities that are exceptionally well run and well-supported by the local businesses and citizens. Just because a marathon is big doesn’t always mean it is better than all the others!

But, when marathons are big and have large title sponsors, they do have the potential to be incredibly well run. That brings us to the World Marathon Majors.

What Are the World Marathon Majors?

The Abbott World Marathon Majors as they are officially called, is a marathon series that has 6 large and well-known international marathons as part of the series. For starters, they include the most famous marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon!

These marathons are all large and famous enough that some of the best marathon talent in the world are present at each of them and many world records have been set at them (not just speed records but other records as well, the kind that are very popular at the London Marathon).

Here is the list of the World Marathon Majors and their dates for the 2019/2020 series (or the Series XIII):

Marathon NameHost CityRace DateRace FeeRegistration/Lottery Deadline
BMW-Berlin MarathonBerlin, GermanySeptember 29, 2019€125November 7, 2018
Bank of America Chicago MarathonChicago, IllinoisOctober 13, 2019$205 for US residents
$230 for non-US residents
November 29, 2018
TCS New York City MarathonNew York, New York November 3, 2019$255 for NYRR Members
$295 for US residents
$358 for non-US residents
February 14, 2019
Tokyo MarathonTokyo, JapanMarch 1, 202016,200 Yen for Japan residents
18,200 Yen for non-Japan residents
August 1, 2019
Boston MarathonBoston, MassachusettsApril 20, 2020$200 for US residents
$250 for non-US residents
Late September, 2019
Virgin Money London MarathonLondon, EnglandApril 19, 2020£35/39 for UK residents
£80 for overseas residents
Until first week of May, 2019
Do You Get a Special Medal for Finishing All the World Marathon Majors?

If you are able to gain entry to and finish all 6 marathons included in this series, they have a special medal for you. It is the Six Star Finisher medal.

This will certainly not be something easy to get, unless you are really fast! The reason for that is, in addition to the number of places you must travel to, these marathons have a lottery or qualification system in place. The chances of you getting in all of the lotteries in one year is pretty fantastic so completing all 6 is more of a long-term goal.

Still, that is an amazing goal to have – to finish all 6 World Marathon Majors. Plus, they are in some fabulous cities around the world and will take you to 3 continents! At present, there are almost 5,000 runners that have completed all 6! To find out more and how to join this great club of runners, visit the page here.

Why Run the World Marathon Majors?

There are certainly many races around the world that you should consider. Some of the draw has to do with those races being a great draw to incredible race talent as well as being in some wonderful cities. Plus, each of them is famous in their own way as well.

Being able to hit all 6 is a huge accomplishment! While it can take some work, at least the travel part can be something that is done on the cheap – if you are using miles and points, that is! Later next month, I will have a guide out on how to get to each of these World Marathon Majors, using miles and points for flights and hotels.

In the meantime, if you didn’t know about the World Marathon Majors before, now you do!

Featured image courtesy of Max Herman via Shutterstock

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


    • Actually, I have yet to run one of them! Sunday marathons never work for my schedule and the only one on the list that isn’t is Boston so I need to get a little faster for that! 🙂

    • Maybe there is someone impersonating me on other blogs then (though I have no idea why someone would do that!). I have probably commented on like 2 blogs in the last week and respond to comments here every couple/few days.