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Feature23 Sep 2021


Elite Platinum Label marathons in numbers

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2021 Platinum Elite Label marathons

Big city marathon action returns later this week with the BMW Berlin Marathon marking the first of seven major races in 2021 with top-class international fields and mass starts.

Due to the pandemic, several races that are traditionally held earlier in the year were postponed to the last few months of 2021. It means that distance running fans will be treated to an intense and exciting 10-week period of the world’s biggest road races.

The race in the German capital on 26 September will be followed by major marathons in London (3 October), Chicago (10 October), Boston (11 October), Amsterdam (17 October), New York (7 November) and Valencia (5 December).

Many of the world’s leading road runners have already been confirmed in the various line-ups. Here’s a closer look at the numbers surrounding each race.

 

BMW Berlin Marathon – 26 September

Started: 1974

Course records:
Women: 2:18:11 Glady's Cherono (KEN) 2018
Men: 2:01:39 Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2018

World records: 11
2:34:48 Christa Vahlensieck (FRG) 1977
2:20:43 Tegla Loroupe (KEN) 1999
2:19:46 Naoko Takahashi (JPN) 2001
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2:06:05 Ronaldo da Costa (BRA) 1998
2:04:55 Paul Tergat (KEN) 2003
2:04:26 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) 2007
2:03:59 Haile Gebrselassie (ETH) 2008
2:03:38 Patrick Makau (KEN) 2011
2:03:23 Wilson Kipsang (KEN) 2013
2:02:57 Dennis Kimetto (KEN) 2014
2:01:39 Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2018

Expected 2021 participation: 25,000

Fact: Several noteworthy barriers have been broken in Berlin, including the first men’s sub-2:05, 2:04, 2:03 and 2:02 runs, plus the first women’s sub-2:20 marathon.

 

Virgin Money London Marathon – 3 October

Started: 1981

Course records:
Women: 2:15:25 Paula Radcliffe (GBR) 2003
Men: 2:02:37 Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2019

World records: 6
2:25:29 Grete Waitz (NOR) 1983
2:21:06 Ingrid Kristiansen (NOR) 1985
2:15:25 Paula Radcliffe (GBR) 2003
2:17:42 Paula Radcliffe (GBR) 2005 (women-only)
2:17:01 Mary Keitany (KEN) 2017 (women-only)
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2:05:38 Khalid Khannouchi (USA) 2:05:38

Expected 2021 participation: 50,000 mass runners plus 50,000 virtual runners

Fact: From 1981 to 2019, 10 runners – also known at the ‘ever presents’, ranging in age from 60 to 85 – have competed in all editions of the London Marathon.

 

Bank of America Chicago Marathon – 10 October

Started: 1977

Course records:
Women: 2:14:04 Brigid Kosegei (KEN) 2019
Men: 2:03:45 Dennis Kimetto (KEN) 2013

World records: 5
2:18:47 Catherine Ndereba (KEN) 2001
2:17:18 Paula Radcliffe (GBR) 2002
2:14:04 Brigid Kosgei (KEN) 2019
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2:08:05 Steve Jones (GBR) 1984
2:05:42 Khalid Khannouchi (MAR) 1999

Expected 2021 participation: 35,000

Fact: Although the Chicago Marathon in its current format started in 1977, marathons were held annually in Chicago as early as 1905. 15 runners started that race and just seven finished.

 

BAA Boston Marathon – 11 October

Started: 1897

Course records:
Women: 2:19:59 Buzunesh Deba (ETH) 2014
Men: 2:03:02 Geoffrey Mutai (KEN) 2011

World records: 2
2:42:24 Liane Winter (FRG) 1975
2:22:43 Joan Benoit (USA) 1983
Note: marks set on Boston’s current standard course are no longer eligible for record ratification as it’s a point-to-point route with a net elevation loss of 146 metres.

Expected 2021 participation: 20,000 mass runners plus a virtual race

Fact: The Boston Marathon is the only world marathon major with a qualifying standard. Runners need an entry time of 3:30 (women) or 3:00 (men) to register. There are different standards for various masters age groups.

 

TCS Amsterdam Marathon – 17 October

Started: 1975

Course records:
Women: 2:19:26 Degitu Azimeraw (ETH) 2019
Men: 2:04:06 Lawrence Cherono (KEN) 2018

World records: 0

Expected 2021 participation: exact figure unknown, but will feature a mass start

Fact: Amsterdam is where Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie achieved his first marathon victory, clocking a national record of 2:06:20 in 2005.

 

TCS New York Marathon – 7 November

Started: 1970

Course records:
Women: 2:22:31 Margaret Okayo (KEN) 2003
Men: 2:05:05 Geoffrey Mutai (KEN) 2011

World records: 4
2:55:22 Elisabeth Bonner (USA) 1971
2:32:29.8 Grete Waitz (NOR) 1978
2:27:32.6 Grete Waitz (NOR) 1979
2:25:41.3 Grete Waitz (NOR) 1980

Expected 2021 participation: 33,000

Fact: Grete Waitz won this race an incredible nine times, the highest number of victories in a single big city marathon by any athlete in history.

 

Maraton Valencia Trinidad Alfonso EDP – 5 December

Started: 1981

Course records:
Women: 2:17:16 Peres Jepchirchir (KEN) 2020
Men: 2:03:00 Evans Chebet (KEN) 2020

World records: 0

Expected participation: 18,000

Fact: Last year’s edition of the Valencia Marathon produced the deepest races in history for the classic distance, with 10 men finishing inside 2:06 and eight women finishing inside 2:21.

 

 

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