NEW YORK, September 18, 2013 — The Professional Road Running Organization announced Tuesday that it is adding an up to $9,000 “Bump Up Bonus” to the prize purse in the PRRO Circuit of races to underscore its “commitment to elite competition.”
The move comes two weeks after the Competitor Group, Inc., which puts on the Rock’N’Roll Marathon Series of races nationwide, announced it would no longer offer professional athlete appearance fees, but would continue to offer regular prize money.
“At a time when funds available for elite athletes are being curtailed at many races, the PRRO Circuit is upping our commitment,” said PRRO president Don Kardong in a statement. “World-class competition brings unparalleled excitement to the races on our circuit, and supports the development of the sport.”
The PRRO Circuit includes five of the U.S.’s premiere non-marathon events: Boilermaker 15K in Utica, N.Y. on July 14, 2013; World’s Best 10K in San Juan, Puerto Rico on February 23, 2014; Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in Washington, D.C. on April 6, 2014; Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K in Spokane, Wash. on May 4, 2014; and AJC Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta, Ga. on July 4, 2014, which serves as the circuit championship.
“The Bump Up Bonus, together with the existing circuit purse and the nearly $400,000 in total prize money offered at our member races, emphasizes our commitment to elite competition,” Kardong said.
With the new bonus, a champion runner could take home a $24,000 pay day in addition to the regular first place money at the series championship and any other prize money earned throughout the series.
In order to get the bonus, a runner must win one of the first four circuit events and the PRRO Championship at the AJC Peachtree Road Race. If runners in both the men’s and women’s competition accomplish the feat, they split the prize. If no one gets it, the bonus rolls over to the next season and grows by $5,000. The bonus for the 2013-2014 season stands at $15,000.
The new “Bump Up Bonus” throws in additional money for each top three finish at other races in the PRRO Circuit. If the championship winner has one additional top three finish at other PRRO events, they earn another $5,000. If they have more than one? They net an additional $2,000 for each one for a total of $9,000 in possible “Bump Up Bonus” money.
The PRRO Circuit races aren’t alone in offering professional runners an extra bounty if they perform well. Races that place an emphasis on attracting elite runners regularly offer incentives to draw top athletes to their event. The Kaua’i Marathon in Hawai’i offers the Grand Hyatt Kauai $15,000 Speed Challenge to any male runner who breaks the course record or female runner who breaks 2:45. At the 2013 race on September 1, Tyler McCandless took home the prize after breaking his own course record, finishing in 2:21:09.
Still other races offer no prize money to elite runners whatsoever, like the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va. and Washington, D.C., and the entire runDisney race series in Florida and California.
The PRRO Circuit is open to athletes from any country. The series also funds mandatory drug testing, conducted by the United State Anti-Doping Agency, for all professional athletes at its events.
Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runners’ show about running. Her work has been seen in Newsweek, RunnersWorld.com, Active.com, ABC-TV in New York and over two dozen other outlets. She has finished six marathons and four triathlons. Follow Karla at RunKarlaRun.com.
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