Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM), along with partners Abbott and Wanda Group, has announced the creation of its first global age group marathon ranking system and age group world championships.

The AbbottWMM collectively covers marathons in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City, as well as at the IAAF World Championship and Olympic marathons.

Launching in September 2018, the new AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings aims to advance the sport of marathon running by highlighting the achievements of age-group marathon runners, that otherwise sometimes go unnoticed.

The new initiative will see the top-ranked age group athletes qualify to participate in the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships in the spring of 2020. The rankings will cover age groups for men and women from age 40 to 80+.

“There has been huge growth in marathon age group running and now more than 125,000 runners aged 40+ participate in AbbottWMM races each year,” said Tim Hadzima, AbbottWMM general manager. “Our series has celebrated the world’s best professional athletes for more than a decade and now it is time to formally celebrate the achievements of age group marathon runners and the truly inspiring stories of these everyday champions.”

“Some of the best stories of health and achievement come from marathon runners,” said Chris Miller from Abbott. “We’re pleased to recognize these men and women who lead their age classes, juggle demanding training schedules and inspire their friends and families to set big fitness goals. They’re a testament to what’s possible with good health.”

Participants in the new age-group ranking that compete in qualifying races will 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 and 80+.

The first qualifying period will begin on Sept. 16, 2018, coinciding with the 2018 Berlin Marathon and the start of AbbottWMM Series XII, and will end on Sept 29, 2019.

The best two results in select qualifying marathons over this period will count for each runner’s ranking. The top-ranked runners in every age group will qualify to run in the spring 2020 AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships.

A full breakdown of the points, qualifying times and races, plus the scoring system for AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Rankings can be found here.