Active Travel



How to Run the World Marathon Majors & Become a Six Star Finisher

May 10, 2018 | Active Travel, Marathon Majors, Marathon Majors, Running | 8 comments

A six star finisher is someone who has completed all six Marathon Major marathons; London, New York, Boston, Chicago, Berlin and Tokyo.

You can complete them at any time, in any order, as long as you can send evidence that you’ve run – usually your race bib number and finishing time to Abbott. And after completing your six major, you can collect your huge medal!

Tokyo Marathon 2018 Race Recap

London 2012 : 4.54.59 

I started my journey to becoming a Six Star Finisher back in London in 2012. I signed up for the marathon not able to run a mile and with no clue how many miles I’d need to run to earn that medal. All I knew was that I was running for a good cause. I got my bib for the race through the charity route, running for MIND, raising money in memory of a friend.

New York 2013: 4.09.49 

I signed up to NYC on a bit of a whim, only 10 weeks out from the race through a tour company (2.09 events), which was incredible. It’s an expensive race to run, but booking the flight and accommodation package through 2.09 and booking our own accommodation definitely saved some money. The race was incredible, and it was there that the Marathon Major dream was born.

Berlin 2014: 3.49.56 

The Berlin marathon used to be a ‘first come, first served’ sign up system, I was lucky to be the last year that just had to set an alarm, get online and have your credit card ready to get a bib. This race was awesome and was my PB marathon for a long (long) time.

Chicago 2015: 4.10.33 

I was going for a BQ here but failed miserably (and still have serious unfinished business in Chicago, would love to do it again). This became a ballot entry marathon in 2014, I think, and I was lucky to get in on my first year entering the ballot. This race actually gave me a real confidence knock in terms of my running ability, wondering if I was ever going to run a BQ, but the race and race weekend were awesome.

Tokyo Marathon 2018 Race Recap

Boston 2017: 3.59.04

I felt to incredibly lucky to be offered a bib by Adidas for the Boston Marathon. Originally, I had said I wouldn’t do the race without a qualifying bib, but it was looking less and less likely that this would happen before I was 30. It was when my Tokyo Marathon bib fell through in 2017 that Adidas came through. Although I didn’t run a PB, I still loved the race and it made me even more determined to earn that qualifying time and return to Boston.

Tokyo 2018: 3.44.00 

Ending on a bang. Tokyo’s ballot is notoriously difficult to get in to, I actually got in one of the years I applied but couldn’t afford the trip that year and they don’t let you defer your place. I was unsuccessful all the other years I tried so was grateful to Asics for helping me secure a bib and fulfilling my Six Star dream. And finishing with a PB was the perfect icing on the cake.

You can find out how you can run the Marathon Majors

I’ve hear rumours that they are planning on adding more marathons to the Abbott Majors, with a high possibility of the next marathon being Singapore. Whilst I’d be a bit annoyed it they added more, it would be fun to explore more of the world running 26.2s.

Do you have the Marathon Majors on your bucket list? How would you feel if they added more to the list? 


  1. Michael Ward

    Fantastic achievement Charlie and some great times too, like me London was your first and your time diff between 2012-2018 shows just how far you have come over the years. I am a little slow at getting my six star moving and so far Berlin ballot rejections and other travel plans have meant apart from London I have done non major marathons so far. But I am determined to do London again next year, as well as Berlin and one of the US races. It may take another few years but my medal haul is growing and I am sure I can get there eventually

  2. W.Purves.

    Great photo of you with your six stars! Can I have a photo? G.

  3. Charli

    They are on my list too! However I also have the goal of running one marathon in each of the 50 states and I have just 12 left. I have run NYC and Chicago…am in the ballot for London and may go the charity route. This year I vacationed in England (first time there ever), and ran the Brighton marathon. Great race! But it was the week before London and I admit I was so jealous of the people with bibs. Would love to return. Boston… day Inhope to BQ. But I am coming back from a serious illness that took me out of training for almost two years. So, one mile at a time!

  4. runninginnc

    Congratulations! What an awesome achievement!

  5. Laurie

    That is an amazing achievement! Congratulations! I have run Boston, Chicago, Berlin and NYC. It seems like London is so difficult to get into. I may have to pay for a tour company if I want to do it. I will also keep entering the Tokyo ballot too. I didn’t start out with this goal in mind, but now I would like to do it.

  6. Cari

    As a relatively new reader to your blog, I really enjoyed your history in these posts. Congrats on your achievement and totally agree re: traveling the world via races.

    • charlotte

      Aww thanks so much for reading! Hope you continue to enjoy it! x

  7. Glyn

    Wow! Congratulations on your awesome and amazing achievement. I know the preparation to the race is tough but you did a great job!


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