Already offering the largest prize money purse for a half marathon in the Western United States, the November 16 Half Marathon on Monterey Bay is now increasing the ante. The top three male and female U.S. runners finishing the race, and all Americans who qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials will be awarded a cash bonus.
"�The Big Sur International Marathon organization has always tried to balance bringing in the best international runners and helping develop our U.S. runners,' said John Mutty, chair of the Marathon Board of Directors. "�The U.S. bonus is another step in those efforts.'
A total guaranteed purse of $20,000 will be awarded to the top eight male and female finishers, the top three male and female Masters (over 40) runners, and this year to the top three U.S. male and female runners, regardless of their overall finish. A $1,000 bonus will also be awarded to any runner who sets a new course record besting a 1:02:32 (Ian Dobson, 2006) for men and a 1:09:43 (Belainesh Gebre, 2010) for women.
Also new this year is a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier bonus of $500 for any eligible U.S. runner who runs under the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials "�B' standard of 1:05 for men and 1:15 for women for the first time since the eligibility period began in August 1, 2013. To date, already 74 American men and 94 women have qualified. Race directors expect more than 200 men and women will qualify for the February, 2016 Olympic Marathon trials race, to be held in Los Angeles.
"�This should draw a significant number of our country"�s fastest runners,' said Steve Butler, Elite Co-coordinator of the Big Sur Marathon"�s events.
Butler"�s Elite Coordinator partner, Greg Mislick, adds, "�We are pleased that the Big Sur Marathon organization is willing and able to support top male and female US distance runners as they attempt to compete at the highest level of competition at the Half Marathon. We hope that many will take the challenge to qualify for the 2016 US Olympic Trials on our beautiful seaside course and attain the cash bonus while doing so. We anticipate another very strong field, as it just keeps getting tougher every year.'
The male and female winners of the event will each take home $3,000 plus gifts and potential additional prize money. The individual breakdown of prize money placement and other elite runner information can be found on the Event Information page of the website, www.bigsurhalfmarathon.org
The Half Marathon on Monterey Bay is celebrating its 12th Presentation on Sunday, November 16. A sold out field of 9,000 runners from all 50 states and more than 20 countries is expected. The race runs on a fast and scenic course beginning along the waterfront in downtown Monterey, through a tunnel, down historic Cannery Row and past the Monterey Bay Aquarium, into downtown Pacific Grove and alongside a rocky shoreline with crashing waves in Pacific Grove. The return trip ends at Monterey"�s Fisherman"�s Wharf with finish festivities nearby in Custom House Plaza, a part of the Monterey State Historic Park.
The previous day, two shorter distance races, the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K and the "�By the Bay' Kids 3K, will be held along the waterfront in Pacific Grove. A two-day Health and Fitness Expo also takes place at the Monterey Conference Center on Friday and Saturday, November 14 and 15.
Race sponsors include ASICS, DOLE, Runner"�s World, MarathonFoto, Gatorade, GU, the Monterey Marriott and several more.
For more information and event registration visit www.bigsurhalfmarathon.org