Organisers of the Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon have revealed that an impressive £12,000 prize pot is up for grabs at this October's inaugural event. This lucrative prize money means the flagship marathon - which is sold out - will offer the highest level of prize money anywhere in the UK, outside of London.
With a flat and fast course through the historic city of York and its picturesque surrounding countryside, the event is said to offer a great opportunity for hitting a quick time. Top placed male and female runners will receive £2,500 each, £1,250 is up for grabs for the second place finishers and £750 for those in third.
A bonus of £500 each is available to both the top male and female British finishers. In addition, there is a £500 bonus for the fastest male finisher under 2:16 and female under 2:35. Therefore, if a British runner were to manage first place below the times set out above, they would receive an impressive £3,500.
Event lead Lisa Ashcroft commented: "We are expecting the marathon to become a 'must event' for top class athletes. To that end, we've decided to introduce a prize structure that confirms our ambition to be among the UK's best marathons. It also brings together the best of international athletes while providing a fantastic opportunity to help develop opportunities for home-grown talent."
As it stands, no male UK runner has managed a sub 2:16 this year, although Derek Hawkins and Ben Moreau have come close, setting 2:16:50 and 2:16:54 respectively. Hawkins will be buoyed by the fact a 2:16 is well within his capabilities, managing a 2:14:04 in London last year. Britain's other top marathon athlete, Scott Overall, is currently training for Berlin and therefore unlikely to compete. A trio of female runners - Susan Partridge (2:30:46) Aly Dixon (2:31:08) and Amy Whitehead (2:34:14) - have all ran well within the female target time this year and would presumably stand a strong chance if they were to compete.
Elite athletes who have not already secured their place are invited to apply for places in the event on Sunday 20 October. To be eligible for an elite place, men must have achieved a sub 2:24 time and women, sub 2:50, with times recorded in the last two years. To apply, athletes or their agents should send a race CV including their name, date of birth and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.