The first race of the year for 2023 saw a landmark day in the history of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.
We set a Guinness World Record in Tokyo for the most Six Star Finishers in a single day, and also sailed past the 10,000 mark for total members of the Six Star Hall of Fame.
Standing at any of our medal presentation areas always offers a reminder of the power of these six races, and what it means to the runners when they complete their journey.
In Tokyo, with the wait for overseas runners to return stretching back four years, it was an especially poignant day, and a further reinforcement of just how special it is for each runner to achieve the Six Star medal.
We now look ahead to the rest of the year with a renewed sense of pride and passion for what we do. The runners’ journeys and stories we heard before and after Tokyo showed us once again that this is a truly special movement.
So whether you are on the first step of your Majors mission or you know how it feels to have one of those medals hung around your neck, what I’d like to say is thank you, from me and our entire team, for making what we do matter.
I look forward to seeing many more medals handed out as we move through the year, and hearing lots more about the striving it took to get there.
Dawna Stone, CEO, Abbott World Marathon Majors
The sound and color of a full field came back to the Tokyo Marathon on March 5 for the first time since 2019. That included the streets lined with spectators - both two- and four-legged! Someone needs to let these dogs know they are facing the wrong way.
WORLD RECORD FOR THE WOLFPACK
Double celebrations for the Six Star family
WORDS Danny Coyle
Chilean father Rodrigo Hernán Lobo Puccio, 64, and his five sons, Rodrigo, Tomas, Santiago, Agustin and Raimundo, made history at the 2023 Tokyo Marathon.
The men claimed a new Guinness World Record when they became the largest family to ever complete all six Abbott World Marathon Majors together.
It was a journey over a decade in the making for the group known as the Wolfpack (the family’s name, Lobo, is Spanish for “wolf”), who were supported all the way by our title sponsor, Abbott.
“The Wolfpack family is a true inspiration for people around the world,” says Juan Carlos Sola, Abbott’s general manager of Nutrition in Chile. “They are living proof that it is possible to fulfill your dreams and be healthy while spending quality time with your family. For Abbott, it was a perfect match – supporting a family that represents the essence of who we are and what we do: helping people live their best possible life through the power of health.”
The idea of running as a collective first came to life at the Amsterdam Marathon in 2012. They did it again in Vienna a year later, and their first Major as a family unit was Berlin in 2014.
“It was at this point that we decided to take things a step further and see if we could make history as the largest family to complete the six Abbott World Marathon Majors,” says Tomas, 34.
“We reached out to the Guinness World Records (GWR) and received confirmation that there was no record for the largest family to complete the six Majors. This fueled our motivation, and we decided to set our sights on achieving it.”
The next four Majors were soon crossed off the list, but then the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the Tokyo race. Japan eventually opened its doors for the March 2023 race, and the Wolfpack, along with a 3,000-strong contingent of Six Star Hopefuls , successfully reached their journey’s climax in the final major Marathon.
Together they had accomplished something that no other family had done before, something they will carry with them forever.
“We trained for months, even years, to prepare our bodies and minds to complete these marathons, working hard and giving it our best,” says Rodrigo. “That is one of the reasons why our family is enormously proud to be sponsored by Abbott - a company that believes that at our healthiest, we can do amazing things. We have done an amazing thing, and it feels wonderful!”
ALL ROADS LEAD
TO THE MAJORS
A new half marathon series this year offers a double chance in our draws for a place in a Major
There are four opportunities left this year to compete in the Global Run Club Road to the Majors series.
This new program of virtual half marathons gives you the chance earn an extra place in one of our draws to win an entry for an AbbottWMM race you still need to advance along your Six Star Journey.
Everyone who completes one of these races can choose the draw they would like to allocate their extra place to. In the March and April Road to the Majors races, over 3,000 runners completed their half marathon and will now have double the chance in the ballot for a race place.
The draws for places in the 2023 Berlin, Chicago and New York City Marathons are open to all individuals registered with AbbottWMM.com who have completed three, four or five WMM races prior to the draw taking place, but are yet to complete their fourth, fifth or sixth WMM race.
The prize draw for places in the 2024 Tokyo and Boston Marathons is open to all individuals registered with AbbottWMM.com who have completed four or five WMM races prior to the draw taking place, but are yet to complete their fifth or sixth WMM race (respectively). To be eligible for the London 2024 draw, you’ll need three, four or five stars already.
If you have the required number of stars and would like to double your chances of success, the remaining race dates for the Road to the Majors series are May 7-14, August 20-17, September 3-10 and October 15-22.
Visit globalrunclub.com to see all the current challenges available to join.
A MAJOR MOMENT
The South African wheelchair racer Ernst van Dyk wins the 105th edition of the Boston Marathon in 1:25:11.
Pre-race predictions had focused on a battle between two great Swiss athletes, Heinz Frei, the course and world record-holder, and defending champion Franz Nietlispach, with five Boston titles to his name.
The two men, both now 43, went into the race with a total of seven wins in Boston between them. In fact, no one from outside Switzerland had won the men’s wheelchair race since 1993/.
The 28-year-old from the Western Cape had other ideas. Van Dyk took the race away from the rest of the field straight away, and eventually won the race by more than six minutes.
It was the beginning of a one-man dynasty in Boston. Van Dyk, who began his sporting career as a teenage swimmer at the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics, would go on to amass a total of 10 titles in Boston. He set a world record there in 2004 when he became the first man to break the one hour, 20-minute barrier.
He went undefeated for the next five editions before finishing third in 2007, only to regain his crown the following year and keep hold of it util 2011. He was back on top for victory No. 10 in 2014 at the age of 41, becoming the most decorated Boston Marathon champion of all time.