The Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMM) has confirmed that the Sydney Marathon in Australia will now proceed to the second stage of the candidacy process in its attempt to join the series.
Sydney becomes first race to pass the AbbottWMM stage one assessment. The marathon was assessed in September 2023 and was judged to have met the criteria set out by Abbott World Marathon Majors in its second year of candidacy.
Sydney will now be required to meet the criteria for a second consecutive year when it stages its next marathon on September 15, 2024. If it is successful, the race would join the Majors in 2025, becoming the first race added to the series since the induction of the Tokyo Marathon in 2013.
“Our assessment team found that the 2023 Sydney Marathon has made significant improvements in a number of areas where we required it to raise standards following its 2022 event,” said AbbottWMM CEO, Dawna Stone.
“The team was impressed with the efforts made to meet the criteria set out in the assessment process, and we now look forward to returning in 2024 for the next stage of their candidacy.”
AbbottWMM added in a release that the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon in South Africa was also assessed in October 2023 – its second assessment year. While it has not yet achieved a pass, the race was found to have made significant strides towards the standards set out in the assessment criteria.
The South African race will continue its journey in the first stage of the process when the AbbottWMM assessment team visits the race again in October 2024.
The Chengdu Marathon in China also underwent assessment in October 2023, which was the AbbottWMM team’s second opportunity to assess the event, and will also continue its stage one assessment journey in 2024 to achieve its first pass.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors can also confirm that the current Six Star Finisher program will remain unaffected should new marathons join the series, and there will be a new additional awards program for runners achieving more than six stars. Plans for this program will be finalised and announced in the second quarter of 2024.
Dawna Stone added “We have been listening to our community and fully appreciate the huge appeal of the Six Star Medal. We are also aware of the tens of thousands of runners on their Six Star journey whose strong desire is for this goal to stay in place.
“We have therefore decided that this original award for completing all six current Abbott World Marathon Majors will continue.”