I'll chime in.When I start evaluating these marathons, I always start from the same premise- how hard is it too win the elite field. So I think the number of majors depends should depend in part on how many great marathoners there are in the world. I'm always fearful that one year Boston will be so watered down (as London is so so good) that an American will win by default. Thankfully, that's never been close to the case.
But I just looked it up. It looks like there are roughly 50 sub 2:08 marathoners most year. I'd say you want at least 8-10 of them at each race. If they can run two races per years, that's 100 racing opportunities. So you can easily get 8 of them in 10 majors in a year.
The problem is there aren't that many big-time real studs. Looking at sub 2:06 performances, in the last three years, that's been done by 15, 11 and 14 people in a given year. If they race twice per year, that's a maximum of 30 racing opportunities. I'd want at least 4 of these guy in each field and that can't be achieved if there are even 8 races. Now some guys do it in one year but not another.
Maye in the next week, I'll try to figure out how many different humans have run sub 2:06 in the last 3 years. You need 4-5 of these guys in each race at a minimum.
Now, if they over expand, I can think of a way to save it. They could have each major only have one elite race. Boston has men, London has women, etc.
I'd almost prefer that to the way they do it now as right now they have the elite men and women finishing almost on top of each other. With almost 100% degree certainty, I can guarantee you when I watch an World Marathon Majors broadcast that I will miss "the break" in either the elite men's or women's race. That's because normally the elite women are finishing when the men's break is being made (to be honest they often miss both breaks which is embarrassing). They way they put on these races, they make it impossible to watch as a marathon is all about one thing - the anticipation of the break.
Since there is a high likelihood that marathon staffers will see this thread, I'm going to urge them to do the following.
Start the lite men and women farther apart. If you are worried about time, start the elite men first as they finish faster. Your goal should be to have the 1st elite race finish when the other race is just past the half-way mark. Definitely before 30k.
If you are worried about the cost of putting it on tv, put the first half of one race on line only. Come one when they are nearing halfway. There is still plenty of time to catch up.
So if you want the elite men to finish when the elite women are at 16 miles, the elite men need to start about 40 minutes before the elite women.
If the elite men start at race at 9:00, they'll finish at 11:05.
If the elite women start at 9:40 am,they'd hit 16 mile at 11:05 if they are running 2:20 pace (and finish at 12 noon).
If you want to start the elite women first, then you need more of a gap.
If the elite women start the race at 9:00, they'll finish at 11:20.
If the elite men start the race at 10:04, they'd hit 16 miles at 11:20 and finish at 12:09.
I'd really prefer if it they aimed for halfway. So adjust accordingly.