Eliud Kipchoge is among five finalists for the Male World Athlete 2019 award.
The Kenyan, 35, became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours at in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria in October.
Kipchoge also set the London Marathon course record of two hours, two minutes and 37 seconds earlier this year.
Americans Sam Kendricks and Noah Lyles, Uganda's Joshua Cheptegei and Norwegian hurdler Karsten Warholm are also up for the award.
Pole vaulter Kendricks won a world title, cleared a world-leading 6.06m and won 12 outdoor competitions this year, while Lyles won world 200m and 4x100m titles and moved to fourth on the world all-time 200m fastest list with a time of 19.50 seconds.
Cheptegei won the world cross-country title, Diamond League 5,000m title and set a world-leading time of 26:48.36 in the 10,000m, while Warholm won the 400m hurdles title, clocked the second-fastest time in history of 46.92 seconds and went undefeated this year.
Kipchoge's 1:59:40 marathon time is not recognised as the official world record because it was not in open competition and he used a team of rotating pacemakers.
The Olympic champion, who holds the official marathon world record of 2:01:39 and is a four-time London Marathon winner, compared the feat to being the first man on the moon.
The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced at the World Athletics Awards 2019 in Monaco on Saturday, 23 November.
Britain's world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson was included on a list of 11 for the women's award on 15 October.
A vote to determine the five finalists ended on 5 November, although the list is yet to be released.