The 2013-2014 World Marathon Majors series will come to an exciting conclusion in New York City on Sunday, November 2. Two men hailing from Kenya, Dennis Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang, are in contention for the men's title, while compatriot Rita Jeptoo has already secured the women's crown and the winner-take-all $500,000 USD prize. In New York City, Kimetto will have to wait and see how Kipsang finishes, ultimately determining the men's outcome and who is awarded the 2013-2014 WMM title.
At the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on September 28, Dennis Kimetto earned his third victory of the 2013-2014 WMM series in a world record time of 2:02:57. With the win, Kimetto scored 25 additional points, springing him to the top of the World Marathon Majors leaderboard. As a result of his win and cumulative total of 75 points, Kimetto overtook Wilson Kipsang atop the standings.
In New York City, Wilson Kipsang will toe the line knowing he'll need a victory to reclaim the World Marathon Majors lead and assure himself the 2013-2014 WMM title. Having already scored 51 points, a first place finish would give Kipsang 25 additional points for a total of 76 points, a single point more than Kimetto's total of 75.
If Kipsang finishes any lower than first, the title and $500,000 first place prize will belong to Kimetto. Reigning World Marathon Majors champion Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia is currently in second place, having scored 55 points. Kebede finished ninth at the BMW Berlin-Marathon and will not be running in New York.
Kipsang will face tough competition in New York City, including from 2011-2012 World Marathon Majors champion Geoffrey Mutai (KEN). Mutai is the defending TCS New York City Marathon champion, and set a course record of 2:05:06 in 2011. Lelisa Desisa (ETH), currently fifth on the 2013-2014 World Marathon Majors leaderboard, is also running.
Rita Jeptoo - winner of the women´s competition
On the women's side, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 12, assuring herself the 2013-2014 World Marathon Majors title. Scoring a maximum 100 points, Jeptoo earned first place finishes at each and every marathon she entered over the past two years. At the 2014 Boston Marathon, Jeptoo set a course record and personal best of 2:18:57, adding to her 2013 and 2006 victories. In winning both the 2013 and 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon, Jeptoo established herself as the world's most dominant female marathoner of the last two years.
Jeptoo will be awarded her $500,000 first place prize in New York City. It is the second consecutive year that a woman with the surname Jeptoo will be WMM champion, as fellow Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo (no relation) won the 2012-2013 title. Rita Jeptoo is the first athlete in the history of the WMM competition to score the maximum 100 points.
Two-time World Champion Edna Kiplagat (KEN) sits in second place in the women'standings with 65 points. Kiplagat will be racing in New York City, a race she won in 2010. A victory would bring her within ten points of Jeptoo. Ethiopia's Tirfi Tsegaye (winner in Berlin this year) is currently third with 51 points, while Priscah Jeptoo (KEN) is fourth with 50 points and Florence Kiplagat (KEN) fifth with 40 points.
Points are awarded based on the finish placing of athletes. First place earns 25 points, while second earns 15 points and third 10 points. Finishing fourth and fifth place earns 5 and 1 point, respectively. An athlete’s four best finishes at World Marathon Majors events are added together over the two-year scoring period.
About World Marathon Majors (WMM)
Established in 2006, World Marathon Majors (WMM) is a race series comprised of the Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, BMW Berlin, Bank of America Chicago, and TCS New York City Marathons. In the years in which they are run, WMM also includes the IAAF World Championships and Olympic marathons. At the conclusion of each two-year cycle, WMM offers a $1 million prize purse to be divided equally between the top male and female marathoners in the world. The inaugural 2006-2007 Series was launched at the 110th Boston Marathon on April 17, 2006, and concluded at the New York City Marathon on November 4, 2007. The 2013-2014 series, the WMM’s eighth two-year series, began with the Tokyo Marathon on February 24, 2013 and will conclude at the TCS New York City Marathon on November 2, 2014.