Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Last Sunday, November 3, the 49th New York Marathon was held. He is one of the six largest races, which many athletes dream of participating in. The Challenger decided to find out what the coveted Six Stars Finisher medal attracts runners with.

Series of the largest and most famous marathons in the world

Abbott World Marathon Majors

includes races in these cities:

  1. Tokyo,
  2. Boston,
  3. London,
  4. Berlin,
  5. Chicago,
  6. New York.
>49> A marathon in Tokyo is held in March, Boston and London - in April, run in Berlin for records in September, in Chicago - in October, and the oldest marathon in New York closes the series.

York on the first Sunday of November.

Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Photo: shutterstock. com

Each of the majors has its own story, each is interesting in its own way. But several factors unite them:

  • scale - from 30 thousand participants in Boston to 55 thousand in New York,
  • support - almost the whole city goes out to cheer for marathon runners in each case,
  • you cannot get to the majors using the usual registration - you need to either win the lottery, or qualify for the qualification time, or collect a certain amount for the charity foundation,
  • everyone who has run all six marathons, receives a special medal - it is called Six Stars Finisher.

Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Photo: from the personal archive of Oksana Akhmedova

- I closed the “six” in 2017.

Now, looking back, I understand that my story of conquering the majors is also the story of my formation as an athlete. The first marathon I managed to run faster than three hours was Boston. The legendary Katherine Switzger wished me good luck then (the first woman to officially run the Boston marathon in 1967, before that women were forbidden to participate in the race. - Approx. Ed.

). The marathon in Berlin was a record for me, I covered the distance in 2:54. Then this result was still considered outstanding for the amateur. In New York, she cried at the finish due to 30 seconds in excess of the treasured three hours. The “magic of the marathon” first happened in Chicago, when I, not getting ready for the start, ran the distance in 2:56.

Tokyo was after a major operation: the start for me meant more than the finish. And finally, London, where all six marathons became one.

Specifically, I did not choose these starts specifically. In 2015, when I ran the first one, I didn’t even know that World Marathon Majors exist. The goal came when I accidentally went to the official website and saw that only a few Russians finished the entire series - and there was not a single girl among them.

I decided that it would be great to try to be the first. Unfortunately, I didn’t succeed: Eleanor Semenovskaya ran her final Boston earlier, and only six days after that my London happened. But then it no longer mattered to me, I did not feel like a loser.

Each of the Big Six marathons is an event of an exceptional scale, most often perfectly organized. Races are held in the most beautiful cities on the planet, in stunning scenery.

- I knew Am I at school translating a text about the sights of London that after a few years I’ll run them all ?! A major is a huge number of participants, fans, a real holiday of running. It would be great if every runner could one day get at least one of these marathons - there will be enough impressions for life.

Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Photo: from the personal archive

When I first picked up the “gear” (Six Stars Finisher medal. - Approx.ed.

), could not hold back the tears. This award was not easy for me - it is worth a lot of work, falls, ups, victims, but also a lot of joy. When I squeezed it in my hands, I thought that after 12 marathons I had nothing more to say on the road. But, as it turned out, I was very mistaken.

Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Photo: from the personal archive

- A couple of years ago, a friend sent me a photo of the legendary "gear".

All! Since then, peace has been lost, I really need this medal! Now it’s already done half the battle - I have three majors behind me: Berlin, Boston and Chicago.

Eliud Kipchoge fled in Berlin that year! Boston is a legendary marathon where every runner wants to go. When you run and realize that you are also part of this sporting story, emotions go wild. Chicago ..

. All three marathons are very beautiful! Here you can feel the incredible support of the fans, the organization is at the highest level. Here in Boston, I would even return. This marathon is very peculiar, despite the fact that it is difficult in terms of the profile of the track.

I’m still an inexperienced marathon runner in the formative stage, after my first 42.

2 km race, only 2.5 years passed, in my piggy bank there are only six marathons. But the marathons-majors are special, everything is different in them, from the realization that you have a treasured slot, to the finish line.

Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Photo: from the personal archive

- I started running when in life a vacuum has formed. I was kicked out of a large corporation - no money, no friends, no hobbies.

I moved to live outside the city on the shores of the Gulf of Finland and began to run.

The first major was in New York. I had no idea that it was hard to get on him. Artificial intelligence slipped me an advertisement about the start of registration. I filled out a questionnaire and almost forgot about it, when suddenly a message came that the money was debited from the card.

For the event that you need to fly for a day, it makes sense to prepare well. I overlaid with books and found a coach, Misha Pitertseva.

- Energy such a marathon that goosebumps begin to run a year before the race and never end. Several million people think intensively about running. Feel it thousands of kilometers from New York.

I woke up from this magic about halfway up, when I had to endure a little bit. There was no suffering until the very end, it seemed to me that people shouting "Go, go!" pump adrenaline into my bloodstream. After such a start, do not stop.

Then I had no idea to run through all six majors. I just wanted more.

The result of New York was enough to run through Boston. This marathon does not have a lottery, but there is a selection according to the results. I did not run the Boston marathon so well, I did not have enough experience. I was dying from the first to the last mile.

I went to Chicago as a fast runner, with registration without a lottery.

The last few kilometers of this marathon were even sad. For the first time in my running life I had no new registrations, no goals, no tasks. I resorted to the void. My friends, climbers, talk about it this way: you go down from Everest - and you have not yet built the mountains above.

Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Photo: from the personal archive

You can’t simply register for a mager.

You need to take part in the lottery and, if you are lucky, one fine day they will write off the amount equal to the cost of the entry fee from your bank card. But even this option does not work on each of the races: you can get to the oldest of the series - Boston - only having a result at a marathon that matches the qualifications. For women it is 3:30:00, for men - 3:00:00.

- I was fortunate enough to run two majors already: Berlin and Chicago. And I hope I can run the whole series.

I like the fastest runner Boston attracts by the fact that participation is not to buy and not win the lottery. You need to "work" for it: run out for qualifying time in the age category. Last year, I planned to qualify for Boston in Chicago, but then it failed. For me, this was a big goal, which took another year. I trained and this year I ran a 3:28 marathon.

Next year I will be able to apply for Boston!

Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Photo: from the personal archive

But if you can get to the Boston marathon, having done a good job, then the chances of participating in the London marathon for Russians are extremely small: there are no qualification standards, and few get lottery slots. Therefore, some runners use such an opportunity as raising funds for charity.

- I was not lucky in the London lottery : Russians are the most difficult to get into this race. As it turned out, the slot as an ambassador of one of the charitable foundations is also not so easy to get: charity runners vacancies are dealt with very quickly. I wrote to several funds, the list of which is on the site, not one of them had free slots, I was put on a waiting list, and I did not think that in the near future I could get to the marathon.

But suddenly I was lucky, and one January evening a letter fell in the mail: "Now you have a place on Virgin Money Marathon, confirm your participation." I became a volunteer for a foundation that helps the blind: The Royal National Institute of Blind Peo384le (RNIB).

- I struggled with myself for a long time - I’m far from charity, and I couldn’t deceive people, asking for help for those in need, while keeping silent that I really just want to get to the marathon. As a result, I decided to act as honestly as possible: I published a post on Facebook in which I asked for help - for myself.

Explained how it will work, that all the money will go to the British fund and will be exactly used for the intended purpose, that I will also participate in the collection of money, but emphasized that the ultimate goal of this whole event is my participation in the marathon.

In return, she promised each victim a joint run, a heart-to-heart talk, a bunch of thanks and prepared to wait for a barrage of criticism and accusations of unscrupulousness. But, to my surprise, none of this happened: I collected the necessary amount - 1,900 pounds - a little more than 24 hours.

In addition to donations, amazing words of support for acquaintances and strangers flew to me. I felt as if I had closed my eyes and dropped my back into the crowd, which caught me and threw me up. I remember that I was crying from the feeling of community that came over me, from love, from kindness.

I believed in people, and suddenly I was absolutely not afraid to live.

This was the fastest fundraising campaign in the history of the fund and the organizers were so impressed that I was lodged for free in a hotel where the entire marathon elite lived and sent to start in a cluster with cele494ity. On the bus on the way to the start, my neighbor was the famous Chrissy Wellington (the legendary triathlete athlete. - Approx. Ed.

), whose autograph now flaunts in my room.

- В there are no slots for fast runners in the London marathon; I did not win the lottery. The path through charity was not difficult - once again I want to thank my friends on Facebook. I wrote several posts about what I knew well about spinal cord injuries, and very quickly collected the required amount. Several people suggested immediately transferring money in one payment, but I refused.

The idea of ​​charity was that as many people as possible were inspired by the idea itself. If you are active on social networks, there will not be any problems with getting to the majors.

In 2020, the World Championship in age groups will be held at the London marathon. I am now the fifth in the ranking. All the Russians who passed the selection gathered in a real team.

We have a teamrussia website. run, we communicate, share experience. The real team of Russia is obtained. I have no goals, I run for pleasure, but there is a problem: it’s good to run a marathon in London.

Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Photo: from the personal archive

Of course, participation in the main world marathons is not cheap.

For example, a slot in Tokyo costs $ 115, in Chicago - $ 220 for non-residents of the country. But a trip to a marathon also consists of the cost of air tickets and rental housing , which is usually high during such large-scale events.

Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Photo: from the personal archive

- Of course, it is expensive to start in London, Tokyo and America. I didn’t specifically calculate the costs, so I can’t name the most expensive trip. I know that an impressive entry fee is in New York ($ 358 for non-residents), in New York it is very expensive housing, as in Tokyo, and the transport there is not cheap.

In addition to the entry fee, you buy a plane ticket, pay for a hotel, spend money on a visa, leave some amount at the EXPO (exhibition in front of the marathon, where representatives of sports brands are usually present, and numbers are also issued. - Approx. Ed. ). I didn’t always have enough money, I often borrowed from friends and, as a rule, at the end of the season I ended up in debt, which I distributed exactly at the beginning of the next.

I remember that in order to arrange a trip to Chicago, I even had to take a small loan from the bank.

When it comes to the marathon, the fare does not bother me so much. Of course, I try to make spending reasonable: I fly with the economy class, try not to waste money on things at the EXPO, but I need to live near the start. On the day of the marathon, I should get enough sleep and not spend too much time on the road - ideally, if I can run to my cluster, and this will be a warm-up. There are no trifles here - everything will affect the result, therefore, even if a suitable hotel is very expensive, I will still borrow money and will live in it.


Why run 6 major world marathons: monologues of participants

Photo: from the personal archive

- The first difficulty that I had to face in Chicago, - the cost of housing. Next - the flight, which had to be paid at the last moment, after obtaining a visa, and the visa to America itself was expensive, since it had to be obtained through another country. Of course, all the waste of money and effort was worth it. This is one of the most memorable trips of my life. When you get to the start in Chicago, you realize that you are at the top of amateur racing.

- You can save if immediately after confirming participation in the marathon, book accommodation and buy tickets. In our family, often starts are combined with travel: my spouse and I take our children on a trip and after the competition we can still travel around the country and see something. Therefore, we cannot make such trips budget.

But thanks to sporting events, our family visited such fantastic places that often a simple average person does not go, because it is very far away. Emotions and memories more than offset the financial costs.

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