I saw a stat online recently which said 1% of the population will run a marathon in their lifetime. My dream was to run a marathon, the London Marathon to be exact, and I achieved this goal in 2015. This year I have gone on to add two more races to my marathon tally; the Manchester Marathon and the Berlin Marathon, however I do not intend to stop here – I am seeking the Six Stars.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors are a set of six marathons, not just any races, but six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. Completing these six races themselves gives any runner a very prestigious collection of medals, but finishing all six races also comes with the added bonus of being eligible for the Six Star Medal (see image). This is quite simply a giant piece of bling (which would probably pull my medal hanger off the wall!) and is a medal which suitably reflects the achievement of gaining Six Star status.
The World Marathon Majors are formed of the Tokyo Marathon, the B.A.A Boston Marathon, the Virgin Money London Marathon, the BMW Berlin Marathon, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and the TCS New York City Marathon – so with my London and Berlin medals I am already a third of the way there! I think I may have ticked off the easiest ones first in terms of location and actually getting a race place... but it’s still a feat I am proud of.
I guess you could ask what attracts me to the World Marathon Majors when there are so many marathons out there? For me it’s not just the feat of running a marathon, but by entering such events it will enable me to travel the world and see some of greatest cities – and what better way to do this than by running through their streets?! The atmosphere which surrounds these events and the emotion of the occasion is also like nothing else I have ever experienced; put simply, I have had a taste and want more.
It may be a while until I earn my Six Star Medal – I wish I could get there sooner rather than later, but my bank balance and the fact I am not quite quick enough to qualify for some of the races puts the brakes on a little! I am determined to do it though.
Out of the remaining majors I have left to complete Boston holds that extra special place in my heart. The fact you have to run a qualifying time in order to even be able to claim a space on the start line means that to me it would feel an honour to have a race number. I am currently a long way off running a qualifying time for my age category – but even if I am sixty years old before I run a BQ (Boston Qualifying) I will be there! The tragedy of the Boston bombs at the finish of the race in 2013 also left me with feeling that to be able to run that finishing section would feel like small sense of defiance.
Seeking a Six Star Medal is not for everyone, and I am not saying you are not a 'real' runner or are any less of a runner if it does not interest you, or even if you do not ever want to run any marathon! But if the thought tempts you, and you love a bit of bling, then why not reach for those stars?
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...