The AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships is heading to North America in 2023 and will be held as part of the 2023 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
After consecutive championships in London, the Chicago Marathon, held in October each year, will welcome a larger field size of 3,000 top age group runners from across the continents, all battling it out for podium positions in their respective age categories.
The second AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championship will be held on October 2, 2022, as part of the TCS London Marathon with more than 1,000 runners competing across nine age categories.
Dawna Stone, CEO of the Abbott World Marathon Majors, said “We are delighted to be taking the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships to Chicago next year.
“The number of runners competing for world rankings points shows the appetite for this championship and we know that Chicago will create a unique and unforgettable stage for the world’s best age group runners next October.”
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon is one of the largest marathons in the world, annually welcoming thousands of runners from world-class elite athletes to debut marathoners. The 2023 event will mark the 45th anniversary of the marathon, with the 2020 Bank of America Marathon cancelled due to the pandemic.
The race’s course, home to five world records, takes runners on an architectural and cultural tour of the city through 29 neighbourhoods.
Carey Pinkowski, Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, said “The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has a rich tradition of racing and fast performances.
“We’re thrilled to build on that tradition by welcoming the largest AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships field to our city in 2023. All eyes will be on Chicago next year as some of the world’s top age group runners battle for world championship titles.”
Chris Miller, DVP, Global Brand Strategy and Innovation at Abbott, said “We’re looking forward to welcoming the AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championships to our hometown next year.
“The runners represent what’s possible with good health and watching them gather from around the world in Chicago is inspiring for the many who aspire to live their healthiest, best lives – no matter their age.”
Runners will have access to exclusive race day hospitality in the central location of Grant Park. This will comprise pre- and post-race amenities including breakfast, lunch, private gear-check, changing areas, post-race massages, an awards presentation and guest appearances from the race day champions.
The US$380 / US$390 championship entry fee (US / international athletes) will also include the 2023 AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championship medal, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon medal, and an exclusive gift that runners will receive during race pack collection.
Runners who qualify for an invite to the 2023 AbbottWMM Wanda Age Group World Championship place will be notified early 2023 once the Age Group World Rankings have closed and results have been verified.
Qualifying for the 2023 World Championship continues until December 31, 2022. There are three pathways for runners to earn their place next year.
- In-person events – the global growth of the series continues with more than 170 races remaining in the qualifying series, covering 80 countries, and spanning six continents. Runners can earn ranking points on a maximum of two qualifying events including the remaining four Abbott World Marathon Majors this year.
- The AbbottWMM Global Marathon – the Abbott World Marathon Majors Global Marathon virtual event will take place this autumn from September 25 to November 6, offering 200 places for the 2023 World Championships.
- Virtual qualifying events – some marathons that are part of the third edition of the qualifying series have also introduced virtual versions of their events. Races that provide Abbott World Marathon Majors with full results from these events will give their top age group performers the chance to earn world ranking points in a newly created virtual rankings platform that sits alongside the other avenues to the world championships. A portion of the Championship places on offer will be allocated to this pathway to entry. More details on this will be made available at a future date.
Infront to lead in 2023
The 2023 World Championships will continue to be supported by Wanda but following the close involvement in the partnership by Infront, a Wanda Sports Group company, it will take the lead on the partnership framework moving forward.
‘This will allow the Abbott World Marathon Majors to fully leverage the organization’s expertise and commercial network to provide additional value. Infront will also support and engage brands that are keen to use the world’s most renowned marathons as a platform for their own awareness.’