World Marathon Majors Championships Awarded for 2011-2012

By: Scott McMahon

With the cancelation of the ING New York City Marathon on November 4, the World Marathon Major standings for 2011-2012 became official. The two-year accumulation of points—done to allow elite runners proper rest and recuperation after each race—included nine different chances to tally points. Runners earned 25 for a first-place finish, 15 for second, 10 for third, 5 for fourth, and 1 for a fifth-place finish.

Even without the New York City Marathon, Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai had a stranglehold on the championship. Mutai turned in his best performances during the 2011-2012 Series, including victories in Boston and New York in 2011, and Berlin in 2012. He also set a personal best at Berlin with a time 2:04:15, and had a wind-aided time of 2:03:02 in Boston in 2011. Mutai finished the Series with 75 points, topping Ethiopian and 2012 Chicago Marathon winner Tsegaye Kebede by 29 points. Kebede finished at 46, and Kenyan Wesley Korir accumulated 41.

New York could have impacted the women’s standings, however. Mary Keitany, of Kenya, held a 15-point lead over countrywoman Edna Kiplagat, and a 20-point lead over another Kenyan, Sharon Cherop, and Russian Liliya Shobukhova. A win by either Kiplagat or Cherop could have vaulted them past Keitany, but the cancelation of New York secured the victory and a Kenyan sweep of both the men’s and women’s series. Keitany used a personal best of 2:18:37 in her first-place 2012 London Marathon run, and another first-place finish at the 2011 London Marathon, to vault her into the lead. Keitany’s third-place finish at New York in 2011 gave her 65 total points over the two-year span. Kiplagat’s 50 points earned her second, and Cherop and Shobukhova tied for third at 45 apiece.

The 2013 Qualifying Races will begin with the newest addition to the World Marathon Major Series—the Tokyo Marathon. Points from the 2013 Tokyo Marathon will only count towards the 2013-2014 Series, while the other five majors will make up the final five scoring opportunities in the 2012-2013 Series. As of November 5, Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia and Wilson Kipsang of Kenya share the overall points lead, with 35. Kenyan Wesley Korir sits in third place with 26 points. Keitany leads all women with 30 points, while five runners hold a tie for second place at 25.

For more information about the World Marathon Majors, including dates and how to participate, check out their website.

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