Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon Qualifies for Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings

The second edition of the Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings began on 30th September 2019 with more than 175 marathons across the globe giving runners the chance to earn ranking points.

The event organisers of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon have confirmed they are a qualifying event this year, putting Belfast on the map for those planning to gain marathon points through a spring marathon, nationally and internationally.

The 39th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon will take place on Sunday 3rd May 2020 with a full line up of events to suit all levels of fitness including the Marathon and Wheelchair Race, the Team Relay, 8 Mile Walk and Fun Run. The main marathon event will start at the iconic Stormont Estate, encompassing North, East, South and West of the City finishing in Ormeau Park, with strong local support throughout.

Popular format

Qualification for the 2021 Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) Wanda Age Group World Championships runs from Sept. 30, 2019 to Oct. 11, 2020, which coincides with the conclusion of AbbottWMM Series XIII at the 2020 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The world championships will take place in the spring of 2021 with the location to be announced no later than June 2020.

“The inaugural series of the world rankings has proved to be extremely popular amongst our runners; we are very excited about this growing community of athletes,” said Tim Hadzima, Executive Director of Abbott World Marathon Majors.

“With qualifying events on six continents and some incredibly fast times coming from all of them, it is clear there is a real passion and very high standard for marathon running in the over 40s that we are proud to celebrate and support.

“As more races join our qualifying series, the level of competition is only going to heat up, and it is going to be incredible to see those runners battle against each other at the world championships.”

With more than 30 events across Asia, four in Africa, 20 in Central and South America, more than 60 in Europe, 8 in Oceania and more than 50 in North America, there is a race for everyone in almost every corner of the globe.

Hengming Yang, Chief Executive Officer for Wanda Sports Group said “These qualifying races will allow the best age group marathoners in the world to be able to experience the extraordinary Abbott World Marathon Majors standard of race and celebrate the inspiring stories of these everyday champions.”

Building a wider audience

John Allen, Chairman of the Belfast City Marathon organising committee, commented:

“As our marathon event grows year on year, attracting a wider audience from across the Globe, we feel very privileged to be chosen as a qualifying event for the Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings. We look forward to seeing many of our marathon participants gain valuable points to potentially secure a place in the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships in 2021.”

Abbott WMM Wanda AG explained

Participants in an AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Ranking qualifying race earn points according to their age, time and gender, aligned with the following age groups for men and women: 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+.

Each country with a ranking athlete will be represented at the world championships making it a truly global celebration of age group marathon running as it is intended to be.

The inaugural AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships is set for April 2020, as part of the Virgin Money London Marathon. The first year of rankings came to a close at Sunday’s BMW BERLIN-MARATHON and in the coming weeks the top 1,000 runners will receive an invitation to compete at the world championships. They will have a specific time frame to accept or decline their place.

For more information on the second edition of the world rankings and how you can be part of the action, visit the WMM website.

A positive for the sport?

The establishment of the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships is not without controversy. It will clearly appeal to many runners as a way of challenging themselves to greater performances across a broader span of races.

Looking at it with a more spectical eye however the commercial aspect is one that might leave a bad taste in the mouth of many competitive runners. We are all for races outside the ‘Marathon Majors’ to have an opportunity to publicise themselves more widely. There are some great races out there. The reality is though runners can enter these races and perform without the additional commercial burden of entering a ‘championships’. Neatly summed up there by Chris Greenwood who is currently the fastest V45 marathon in the UK in 2019;

Entries are now open for the 2020 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon. Entries can be made via mobile or desktop with an early rate available until 30th November 2019. A final entry deadline will be on 10th April 2020.

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