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Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon Joins the PRRO Circuit

03/02/2017

Circuit expands to 5 classic American road races that showcase world class competition and support a clean sport; 45th Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile next stop in 2016-17 Circuit

TAMPA, Fla. - (March 2, 2017) - The PRRO Circuit has announced that the Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon, beginning with its 14th edition on Sunday, February 25, 2018, has become a member of the Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO) series. Gasparilla joins 4 classic American road race events shorter than the marathon distance - Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K, Boilermaker 15K and EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler - to showcase world class competition and support a clean sport. 

"We welcome the addition of the Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon to the PRRO Circuit. Tampa has been the site of world class foot racing for four decades, so the race will fit nicely with our collection of classic American road races," said Don Kardong, PRRO Circuit President.

"As a member of the original ARRA circuit and one of PRRO's founding members, the Gasparilla Distance Classic Association is thrilled to return to PRRO, and in doing so, showcase the Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon and its American field in the Tampa Bay community and beyond," said Susan C. Harmeling, Executive Director, Gasparilla Distance Classic Association. "Additionally, like the PRRO Circuit events, we are committed to fair competition and a clean sport for all."

The 2018 Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon will offer a U.S.-only prize purse totaling $30,000 that goes 5-deep ($8000, $3500, $2000, $1000 and $500). One of four PGDC Race Weekend Events, the Half Marathon is run on a fast, flat and beautiful USATF-certified course that includes quaint waterfront neighborhoods, the iconic Bayshore Boulevard that borders Tampa Bay, and if the timing is right, the dawn arrival of one of Tampa's cruise lines.

The Gasparilla Distance Classic Association, established in 1978, is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated specifically to raising funds for charitable youth organizations and running programs in the Tampa Bay area. Its mission is carried out through the administration of the annual Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic Race Weekend and Jr. Gasparilla Distance Classic, which last weekend celebrated its 40th edition.

The EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler on November 6, 2016 opened the PRRO Circuit 2016-17 series, and the annual fall Steel City road race will also host the PRRO Championship race in October 2017. The current Circuit features more than $250,000 in prize money overall with $66,900 available for U.S. athletes. The next PRRO Circuit race is the 45th Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile on Sunday, April 2 in Washington, DC. The World's Best 10K is no longer on the PRRO Circuit. See complete Circuit schedule below.

PRRO CIRCUIT SCHEDULE 2016-17

EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler, Nov. 6, 2016, Pittsburgh, PA 
$26,200 in prize money ($5200 U.S. prize money)

45th Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten MileApril 2, 2017, Washington, DC 
$65,000 in prize money ($25,000 U.S. prize money) plus bonuses

Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K, May 7, 2017, Spokane, WA 
$81,000 in prize money ($25,000 U.S. prize money)

40th Boilermaker 15K: July 9, 2017, Utica, NY 
$58,000 in prize money ($6500 U.S. prize money)

5th EQT Pittsburgh 10 MilerThe PRRO Championship, Oct. 29, 2017, Pittsburgh, PA 
$26,200 in prize money (date tentative)

To-date, PRRO Circuit events have produced 17 world and 17 U.S. road records, awarded more than $6.9 million in prize money and seen more than 2.3 million runners cross their finish lines. In addition, since 1996, the PRRO Championship race has paid out more than $1.7 million including $121,500 in PRRO Championship bonus money.

The PRRO Circuit, a long-time pioneer and champion of a clean sport, has funded drug testing at its events since 2006. During the 2015-16 season, USADA conducted more than 50 in-competition tests and an undisclosed number of pre-competition tests.

PRRO Championship and Circuit Year

The PRRO Circuit, launched in 1995, currently rotates among the four PRRO Circuit races with the Circuit Year starting and finishing at the same event (and in 2018, the Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon will join the rotation as the fifth Circuit race). The winners of 2016 PRRO Championship at the Boilermaker, followed by the winners of the four events on the 2016-17 Circuit serve as qualifiers for the PRRO final at the 2017 EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler.

At the PRRO Championship, reigning champions, or any athlete who has won one of the Circuit events, are eligible for the $10,000 PRRO Super Bonus (winner of the 2017 PRRO Championship crown, split if an eligible male and female win the PRRO titles) as well as the PRRO Event Champion's Bonus ($1500 cumulative for current series event champions who do not win the PRRO Championship but do win Open prize money at the PRRO Championship). If the male and female winners of the PRRO Championship have not won any of the events on the current circuit, they will win $2500 as the PRRO Circuit champions in addition to the prize money offered by the PRRO Championship host event.

Visit PRRO.org for more information, including how to join the PRRO Circuit.

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