We are fast approaching the next busy period for the Abbott World Marathon Majors as we look towards the fall.
Berlin in September 2022 was my first introduction to the Majors in this role, and what a place to start!
We saw Eliud Kipchoge smash his own world record and it was my first opportunity to award some Six Star Medals. It was the perfect example of the unique feature of this sport. On the very same day, on the very same stage, runners from all walks of life share the roads with the giants of the marathon.
We will witness such scenes again in the fall and I am especially excited to see our best age groupers come together in October to race in Chicago at the third AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships.
More than 100 nations will be represented, with some highly talented names among them vying for an age group title within the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. You can meet some of them within these pages.
Our evaluation team will also be visiting Sydney and Cape Town to assess their races as the candidate process to become a Major continues.
They are working hard to join this amazing group of races, and we wish them well in their next events.
Whatever your goal for the coming marathon season, I hope training is progressing smoothly. And for those of you aiming for Age Group glory or Six Star satisfaction, I’ll look out for you at the finish!
Dawna Stone, CEO, Abbott World Marathon Majors
The coming marathon season can be a great opportunity to see new parts of the world, test yourself in different climates, or aim to improve your time ahead of a push for the 2024 Age Group World Championships.
Our Qualifier focus this month is on races happening between the end of September and the beginning of November to try and inspire those looking for something a little different before the end of the year.
Hans Christian Anderson Marathon September 24
They say the perfect marathon is a fairy tale but this 26.2-mile loop around one of Denmark’s oldest cities must surely come close. Describing itself as both the ‘fastest and cleanest marathon in the world’, it offers a chance for a quick time.
On average, runners finish this marathon in just 3:51:22 which is a speedy eight minutes and 50 seconds per mile. If you’re dreaming of a negative split marathon, this could be the race for you.
Loch Ness Marathon October 1
From a race named after the author of The Little Mermaid to another with a mythical aquatic connection. The Loch Ness Marathon takes in nearly the full length of one of the world’s most famous deep-water lakes. With a negative elevation over the first 10 miles, this race is perfect to set yourself up for a decent time as you approach the Highland city of Inverness. The Loch is continuously on your left, so you’ll know exactly where to look for any curious creatures breaching the surface.
EDP Lisbon Marathon October 8
The Lisbon Marathon is simply a great race around a great city. Starting in the resort city of Cascais, with its golden beaches and historic architecture, over 2,000 athletes will run along the Costa do Estoril, with fresh Atlantic breezes keeping them cool along the way before reaching the mouth of the Tagus River and approaching the finish line in downtown Lisbon. With the promise of some late summer sun and Portuguese hospitality, it’s one of the great destination races on the calendar.
TCS Amsterdam Marathon October 15
Amsterdam’s popular course takes you through the outskirts of one of Europe’s most enchanting cities, along the banks of the Amstel River, and through the famous Vondelpark towards the old Olympic Stadium. Temperatures at that time of year are expected to be cool, so this race has all the elements to make a PB a real possibility. Its popularity has also seen organizers increase the field size for this year’s marathon with an additional start location taking capacity from 15,000 to 20,000.
Garmin Kansas City Marathon
The Kansas City Marathon is expecting up to 2,000 athletes on its streets on the third Sunday of October. The race starts and finishes on the banks of the Missouri River and takes you on a figure-of-eight loop around the City of Fountains. As you progress around the course, you’ll take in some of the city’s most famous landmarks and as it’s Kansas, you can guarantee that the BBQ at the finish line will be worth the effort!
Mainova Frankfurt Marathon
The longest running city-based marathon in Germany, the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon participants will follow in the footsteps of some marathon greats when they take on this well-established race.
Past winners in Frankfurt include Robert Kiprono, winner of the 2010 Boston Marathon, Caroline Kilel, who was also victorious in Boston, a year later, and the former marathon World Record holder, Patrick Makau, who rounded the famous Messeturn skyscraper to cross the finish line in first place back in 2012. Needless to say, it’s a fast, flat course that will test you to your limit.
Boundary Bay Marathon November 5
An out-and-back route that starts just one mile north of the Canadian/US border and curves along the bay it’s named after. The course has a total elevation of two meters across the entire 42.2km and will be the last Boston Qualifier of 2023. If you’re looking for a race that showcases the picturesque natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, you just found it.
OMT Beirut Marathon November 12
Celebrating 20 years of the Beirut Marathon, this race has become a symbol of unity, harmony and togetherness to the capital of Lebanon. Starting and finishing in downtown Beirut and running along the Mediterranean coast and alongside the Beirut River, the race attracts over 20,000 runners across all distances, both local and international. Temperatures are often still warm for this November date.
An Abbott research scientist specializing in hydration shares her top tips
Hydration is a vital part of our everyday lives, but it’s especially important when training in hot conditions.
Even a seasoned marathoner with a lot of springtime races under their belt will likely need to adjust their hydration plan and pacing during the summer.
Jennifer Williams, a research scientist at Abbott who specializes in hydration, is here with some top tips on how to train through the heat.
Let Your Body Acclimate
“Dehydration can happen relatively fast when you’re training in the heat,” says Williams. “Taking time to get used to hot weather will help reduce your likelihood of dehydration or heat exhaustion during future training runs.”
Limiting your indoor air-conditioned runs and spending more time outside will help your body adapt. Transition safely by tracking your heart rate. Listen to your body and gradually ramp up mileage and pace.
“Also, check your urine color,” says Williams. “If it’s clear to light yellow, you’re good to go.” If not, you need to drink more water before starting your workout.
Research shows that endurance athletes can benefit from dropping their core temperature before or even during exercise. The cooler your core temperature when you begin, the more it will have to rise before you start to overheat. Try making your pre-workout drink a cold one or putting ice in your water bottle or hydration bladder.
With increased sweat rates, it is also likely that you need to drink more during your marathon training runs than usual.
Also, even if you can usually get through short or middle-distance runs with only water during and after them, you may need more than that now.
Electrolyte specific formulas, like Abbott’s Pedialyte, are a great way to help you rehydrate and feel better fast.
Track Heat and Hydration
Use your training app or diary to note the heat index (the “feels like” temperature listed in your weather app), how much (and what) you drank and how you felt during and after your run, Williams says. You can then pinpoint the best hydration strategy for you.
Mild dehydration, consisting of losing at least 2% of your body weight in water, can negatively affect your run performance and result in symptoms of dehydration. So, if you weigh 160lb, your goal is to drink enough that you weigh no less than 156.8 pounds at the end of your run. (Every lb you lose during your workout signals 16oz of water gone, says Williams.)
For the most accurate measurements, weigh yourself naked before and after your training runs. After runs, your clothes will be weighed down with sweat.
Go the “Extra Mile”
You don’t stop sweating the second you cross the finish line. To fully replace any losses, you need to drink more than you think within 90 minutes of your workout.
“It’s recommended to drink 1.25 to 1.5 times the fluid volume that you lost,” Williams says. “For every lb you lose in body weight, you should drink 20 to 24floz.”
You can read a longer version of this article in the AbbottWMM.com content hub.
TAKE YOUR NEXT MARATHON GLOBAL!
There’s a new medal up for grabs for the fall Global Marathon.
We are steaming towards the fall Majors season in the Global Run Club, which means the next Global Marathon is now open for entries!
If you have an in-person marathon in the diary for the latter part of the year, you can enter the Global Marathon as an accompaniment and, if you’re aged 40 and over, increase your chances of earning an invite to the 2024 AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships. 200 slots for the fastest runners who complete the virtual challenge are available.
All you need to do is log your Global Marathon on race day using the device linked to your Global Run Club account, and your 26.2 miles will be logged for that challenge too.
There is also a new 2023 fall Global Marathon medal available to commemorate your effort!
Road To the Majors
If you are striving for your Six Star Medal, our Road to the Majors half marathon series also continues this fall. There are three races left, with each race completed earning you an extra chance in one of our fall draws for places in Tokyo, Boston and London in 2024.
To be eligible for the Tokyo and Boston draws, you need four or five stars in your AbbottWMM.com account already, and for London you need three, four or five.
The Great Haile Gebreslassie breaks his own marathon world record, becoming the first person to run the distance in under two hours and four minutes.
It is the Ethiopian’s 26th world record of an unparalleled track and road career, shaving 27 seconds off the mark he set in Berlin in 2007.
The 27th and final world record under his belt would come in the 2009 Berlin Marathon, setting 1:27:49, a new record for the road 30km.
Although he would run more marathons, that 2008 world record would go down as the peak of his road career. After announcing retirement following a DNF in New York City in 2010, he reversed that decision and was back on the streets of Berlin in 2011.
There, he saw his marathon and 30km records tumble when he dropped out of the race as Kenya’s Patrick Makau claimed both of them.
Gebreslassie was on the podium at every track world championships from 1993 to 2003, winning four consecutive 10,000m golds in that era. He claimed gold in the same distance at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, coming fifth and sixth in 2004 and 2008.
It is hard to imagine another athlete in the modern era gathering that many track accolades before going on to set multiple road world records. Even the great Eliud Kipchoge has not won four consecutive Berlin Marathons.
As Sifan Hassan embarks upon her marathon career, she is perhaps the next athlete whose light will shine as brightly on the road as it has on the track. She certainly has some illustrious footsteps to follow.
The term icon might be used too liberally in some quarters. Where Haile is concerned, it is entirely apt.