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The Abbott World Marathon Majors, originally known as the World Marathon Majors, is a championship-style competition for marathon runners that started in 2006. It comprises six annual races for the cities of Tokyo (starting in 2013),Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City (except 2012), a biennial race, the IAAF World Championships Marathon, and a quadrennial race, the Olympic Games Marathon.
Each WMM series originally spanned two calendar years; the second year of a series overlapped with the first year of the next. Starting in 2015, each series began with a City race and ended with the following City race; Series IX started in February 2015 at the Tokyo Marathon and ended there in February 2016; Series X will start and finish with the Boston Marathon 2016/2017. It began being sponsored by Abbott in 2015.
Beginning with Series X at the 2016 Boston Marathon wheelchair competitions were added for men and women.
At the end of each WMM series the leading man and woman each win $500,000, making a total prize of one million U.S. dollars.
Athletes who competed in the marathons originally received points for finishing in any of the top five places (1st 25; 2nd 15; 3rd 10; 4th 5 and 5th 1). Their four highest ranks over the two-year period were counted; if an athlete scored points in more than this number, the athlete's four best races were scored. To be eligible for the jackpot, an athlete had to compete in at least one qualifying race in each calendar year of the series.
In 2015 the scoring was revised to 1st 25 points, then 16 (2nd), 9 (3rd), 4 (4th) and 1 (5th). The two highest ranks during the scoring period will be counted, with only the best two if more than that number.
For the first three series if there were equal top scores at the end of the competition the tiebreakers were head-to-head competition and, if necessary, a majority vote of the five WMM race directors. This happened in the 2007-08 woman's competition.
Beginning in 2009-10 following best head-to-head record, the following tie-breakers were implemented, in descending order: the person who achieved his or her points in the fewest races, the person who won the most Qualifying Races during the period, the person with the fastest average time in their scoring races, and a majority vote of the six race directors. If the final circumstance is necessary, the Race Directors may award the title jointly.
The competition has completed seven race series since its inception.