Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya and Gete Wami of Ethiopia were the recipients of the first $1 million payout from the World Marathon Majors this week. The majors will pay out every year going forward on a 2 year rolling cycle. Both runners received $500,000 checks.

For the inaugural 2 year cycle, there were 11 races in which runners could score. For both 2006 and 2007, the Boston and London Marathons in the Spring and the Berlin, Chicago and New York City Marathons in the Autumn scored, while this year’s IAAF world championship marathon also scored. Next year, the Olympic Marathon will also fall onto the roster.

Robert Cheruiyot won the Boston marathon both last year and this year, and won the Chicago marathon last year despite cracking his head open at the finish line. He was 4th in Chicago this year.

Gete Wami won the Berlin Marathon both years, and was 2nd in the London and New York Marathons this year. Her New York performance brought her an additional $100,000; $65,000 for 2nd place and a $35,000 time bonus.

It has been exciting to follow the Majors through the past couple of years. I hope that it picks up steam and stays the course. Meb Keflezighi was the 1st American on the men’s leaderboard this year in 18th place with 10 points after his 3rd place finish in Boston last year. Deena Kastor led the Americans on the women’s leaderboard in 8th with 26 points after her 5th place finish in Boston this year and her win in London last year.

(Source: World Marathon Majors)