There are incredible marathon events right around the world, including Sydney’s iconic event down under.
But only six on planet earth are classified as Abbott World Marathon Majors; Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York.
And that’s what Sydney aspires to be in the next couple of years.
But runners all around the world are planning either their first or their next major run. And one of the majors might just be on that bucket list.
So here’s more on the Abbott World Marathon Majors and when they’re next on.
Upcoming Marathon Majors
There’s only one of 2023’s marathon majors to come, with five out of six now in the books. But 2024 dates are now virtually locked in, with a few scheduled for the first half of the year.
2024 Marathon Majors Schedule Summary
- Tokyo: March 3
- Boston: April 15
- London: April 21
- Berlin: September 29
- Chicago: October 13
- New York: November 3
Tokyo Marathon 2024 date & qualification
Date: March 3, 2024
Spectator estimation: 1,000,000
The Tokyo Marathon theme is The Day We Unite — runners gathering together in front of a huge crowd.
Though wildly popular, the event only kicked off in 2007. It’s organised by the Tokyo Marathon Foundation.
Details can be found here. But the marathon cut-off is seven hours, while the wheelchair cut-off is 2:10. So entry is not as restrictive as other Majors.
Interested competitors can find official coordination and accomodation packages HERE.
Men’s: 2:03:58 (Wilson Kipsang, KEN, 2017)
Women’s: 2:17:45 (Lonah Chemtai-Salpeter, ISR, 2020)
Men’s Wheelchair: 1:21:52 (Tomoki Suzuki, JPN, 2020)
Women’s Wheelchair: 1:40:00 (Tsubasa Kina, JPN, 2020)
Boston Marathon 2024 date & qualification
Date: April 15, 2024
Spectator estimation: 500,000
The Boston Marathon, run on Patriots’ Day in the iconic Massachusetts city, is one of the most prestigious marathon Majors – and competitive running events – on the planet. The inaugural race happened all the way back in 1897.
The 2023 edition saw just under 12,000 runners compete, which included marathon GOAT (unquestionably the greatest of all time) Eliud Kipchoge. The Kenyan legend, though, wasn’t at his brilliant best, finishing sixth (2:09:23). Compatriot Evans Chebet went on to claim consecutive Boston Marathon victories, winning in 2:05:54 in damp conditions.
The qualification window for Boston 2024 began September 2022, featuring some of the strictest time thresholds of any marathon in the world. For the 18-34 age bracket, for example, men must get under the three hour mark, while women must prove they can clock under three hours, thirty minutes.
Registration window: September 11-15, 2023
Registration will open on Monday, September 11 at 10am Eastern Time (local time in Boston) and close Friday, September 15, 2023 at 5 p.m. E.T.
Applicants must submit their qualifying times during the firm registration window.
Men’s: 2:03:02 (Geoffrey Mutai, KEN, 2011)
Women’s: 2:19:59 (Buzunesh Deba, ETH, 2014)
Men’s Wheelchair: 1:18:04 (Marcel Hug, SUI, 2017)
Women’s Wheelchair: 1:28:17 (Manuela Schär, SUI, 2017)
London Marathon 2024 date & qualification
Date: April 21, 2024
Spectator estimation: 750,000
Starting back in 1981, this is one of the great marathon majors, taking place in one of the world’s truly prestigious cities.
There’s a brand new Men’s record in the London Marathon too,
There are multiple qualification avenues to enter the TCS London Marathon, including ballot, through a tour operator, through charity and for those associated with British Athletics clubs.
Otherwise, for Championship entry, it’s a little more strict. Here is the Championship criteria, which includes strict cutoffs; for Men it’s running a sub-2:40:00 and Women’s requires a certified sub-3:14:00.
Men’s: 2:01:325 (Kelvin Kiptum, KEN, 2023)
Women’s: 2:17:01 (Mary Keitany, KEN, 2017)
Men’s Wheelchair: 1:26:27 (Marcel Hug, SUI, 2021)
Women’s Wheelchair: 1:39:52 (Manuela Schär, SUI, 2017)
Berlin Marathon 2024 date & qualification
Date: September 29, 2024
Spectator estimation: 1,000,000
The Berlin Marathon is one of the biggest and best running festivals in the world, founded in 1974. A new era of the race kicked off after the collapse of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the event his risen spectacularly since then.
Just under 50,000 runners will enter.
All 2023 race entries have already been allocated.
The course must be completed within 6:15 hours. But the kicker is that entries are handed out through a lottery draw, due to popular demand.
Men’s: 2:01:09 (Eliud Kipchoge, KEN, 2022)
Women’s: 2:11:53 WR (Tigst Assefa, ETH, 2023)
Men’s Wheelchair: 1:21:39 (Heinz Frei, SUI, 1997)
Women’s Wheelchair: 1:36:53 (Manuela Schar, SUI, 2018)
Chicago Marathon 2024 date & qualification
Date: October 13, 2024
Spectator estimation: 1.7 million
The Chicago Marathon has been going for nearly 50 years, dating back to 1977.
The flat and fast course takes entrants on a diverse journey through the historic city.
It draws a stunning amount of spectators every year.
Runners can either go after a guaranteed entry, through qualification, or non-guaranteed through a draw. Check out the info here. Non-guaranteed entries are available between October 17 (2023) and close November 15 (2023).
Men’s: 2:03:45 (Dennis Kimetto, KEN, 2013)
Women’s: 2:14:04 (Brigid Kosgei, KEN, 2019)
Men’s Wheelchair: 2:14:04 (Brigid Kosgei, KEN, 2019)
Women’s Wheelchair: 1:39:15 (Tatyana McFadden, USA, 2017)
New York Marathon 2024 date & qualification
Date: November 3, 2024
Spectator estimation: Over 1,000,000
The largest and perhaps the most iconic of all the Marathon Majors, New York City is a trip through some of the most well-known suburbs on the planet; starting Staton Island, then going through Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and finishing in Manhattan.
The first running was in 1970, recently celebrating 50 years.
It’s held annually on the first Sunday in November. The largest field was over 53,000 competitors.
There are competitive time standards for automatic entry, while there’s also a draw so additional entrants can go in the running to gain qualification.
Men’s: 2:05:06 (Geoffrey Mutai, KEN, 2011)
Women’s: 2:22:31 (Margaret Okayo, KEN, 2003)
Men’s Wheelchair: 1:29:22 (Kurt Fearnley, AUS, 2006)
Women’s Wheelchair: 1:43:04 (Tatyana McFadden, USA, 2015)
When is the Sydney Marathon?
Sunday, September 15, 2024
Perhaps it’s only a couple of years before Sydney itself becomes an Abbott World Marathon Major. Things are on track.
2023 Marathon Majors Schedule Summary
- Tokyo: March 5 (done)
- Boston: April 17 (done)
- London: April 23 (done)
- Berlin: September 29 (done)
- Chicago: October 8 (done)
- New York: November 3 (done)