Road Runners Club of America

Growing the Running Community Since 1958

RunPro : Roads Scholars Program®

RRCA Announces Special Grant Funds for Athletes that Have Qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials - Marathon
The Road Runners Club of America has a long history of supporting elite U.S. distance runners going back to the early 1960s. At that time, the RRCA began providing some financial support for runners to travel to major marathons in the U.S. and road races abroad.  In 1996, the RRCA established the highly successful Roads Scholar program, granting over $590,000 to emerging elite runners during the program’s history.

As distance runners look towards the 2020 Olympic Trials - Marathon competition, the RRCA will be making an additional financial contribution to elite athlete developing.  In 2019, the RRCA will provide a one-time, guaranteed contribution of support totaling $40,000, with potential for bonus money awarded to qualifying athletes, for a maximum allocation of $51,000 for this project.

Grants to Elite Distance Runners
In 2019, the RRCA will provide for a special round of grants to support athletes that have qualified to run in the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Marathon and have not previously been to an Olympic Games.  This special grant project is separate from the annual Roads Scholar grant selection process.  This grant is open to all athletes that meet our criteria. The RRCA will provide grants to 6-8 men and women, up to sixteen total grants, in the amount of $2,500* per athlete.

  • Criteria for receiving a one-time grant through this funding project, includes:
  • Must be a U.S. citizen that meets the USATF eligibility requirements for international competition;
  • Must never have served a doping suspension and must comply with all anti-doping regulations;
  • At the appropriate time, must declare to run the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials– Marathon;
  • Must be able to promote yourself as an RRCA grantee on social media;
  • Athletes will be selected based on qualifying time standards, top placements in distance running events over the last few years, and approval from your sponsor(s) to be able to announce that you have received this grant of support from the RRCA.
  • You do not have to be a previous Roads Scholar grantee to apply; this grant is open to all athletes meeting the criteria;
  • The RRCA will provide an additional amount of $500 to qualifying Roads Scholar grantees from 2018-2019 class or earlier.

The grant will be paid directly to the athlete in two disbursements.  First disbursement of $1,500 will be provided shortly after the grant is awarded.  The second disbursement of $1,000 ($1,500 for past Roads Scholars) will be provided in late November/early December after verification a grantee still plans to run/remains eligible to run in the Trials in February.

Winner Bonus

The RRCA will award a bonus for each male and female that earns a spot on Team USA as a result of the U.S. Olympic Trials - Marathon.

Eligible Athletes Apply Today >>

The purpose of and RunPro Camp is to assist promising young distance runners in making the transition from collegiate to professional running.  The intent is to provide athletes with a comprehensive overview of what it takes and what is involved in becoming a professional distance runner - competing on the track, the roads, and in cross country.

RunPro Camp

The purpose of the RunPro Camp is to personally connect aspiring professional runners with the resources necessary to pursue a professional running career. The next RunPro Camp will be held July 16-18, 2020 in Arlington, VA. Application information can be found on and 15-20 athletes will be funded to attend this special orientation to professional running.  Athletes interested in running distance events on the track and on the roads professionally are encourage to apply.

Roads Scholar® Program

2018 RS logo templSince 1996, the Road Runners Club of America has awarded 124 grants totaling $590,000 through its Roads Scholar program to assist American post-collegiate road runners who show great promise to develop into national and world class road running athletes.  As of 2016, over 60% of the grantees (60 total) have gone on to run at the Olympic Trials after receiving the grant in either the Marathon or distance events for Track.  Four grantees, Deena (Drossin) Kastor, Kate (O'Neill) Tenforde, Amy (Yoder) Begley, and Alexi Pappas (for Greece) earned spots on Olympic Teams.

Grants in the amount of $5,000.00 per year have been awarded to four to six athletes annually since the program’s inception. The program was created to improve the state of long distance running in the United States.

The program is directed towards runners who:

  • Are U.S. citizens
  • Have recently graduated from college (or whose class has graduated)
  • Plan to pursue elite distance running as a career
  • Expect to earn less than $35,000 from all sources during the calendar year

The deadline to apply for a 2019-20 Roads Scholar grant is September 15, 2019.  Attendees to the RunPro Camp are strongly encouraged to apply, however attendance at RunPro Camp is not a requirement for receiving a Roads Scholar grant.

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