The World Marathon Majors is a championship-style competition for marathon runners that started in 2006. It comprises six annual races (five 2006–2011, four 2012) for the cities of Tokyo (starting in 2013), Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City (2006–11, 2013–), a biennial race, the IAAF World Championships Marathon, and a quadrennial race, the Olympic Games Marathon. Each WMM series spans two calendar years; the second year of a series overlaps with the first year of the next.
Athletes who compete in the marathons receive points for finishing in any of the top five places (1st 25; 2nd 15; 3rd 10; 4th 5 and 5th 1). Their four highest ranks over the two-year period will be counted; if an athlete scores points in more than this number, the athlete's four best races will be scored. To be eligible for the jackpot, an athlete must compete in at least one qualifying race in each calendar year of the series.
For the first three series if there were equal top scores at the end of the competition the tiebreakers were head-to-head competition and, if necessary, a majority vote of the five WMM race directors. This happened in the 2007–08 woman's competition.
Beginning in 2009–10 following best head-to-head record, the following tie-breakers were implemented, in descending order: the person who achieved his or her points in the fewest races, the person who won the most Qualifying Races during the period, the person with the fastest average time in their scoring races, and a majority vote of the six race directors. If the final circumstance is necessary, the Race Directors may award the title jointly.
At the end of each WMM series the leading man and woman each win $500,000, making a total prize of one million U.S. dollars. The competition has completed seven race series since its inception.