The best of Scotland's women runners are in for a cash bonanza at this year's Ignis Asset Management Women's 10K (Sunday, May 13). In a move that is aimed at encouraging the best Scottish runners in the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2012 prize fund has been doubled. In addition a raft of new prizes is being introduced and the emphasis will shift from inviting elite overseas runners towards developing and rewarding the best of Scotland's home-based runners.
The new prize structure will see the first 20 women across the line collect cash prizes ranging from £1,000 for first place, down. Several new categories have been introduced. The popular Masters group, which previously represented anyone over 35 years of age, will be broken down into five sub-sections. Those finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the over 35, 40, 45, 50 and over 55 age group will receive a monetary reward. First in each category will run away with £200.
For the first time cash awards will be presented to those runners who performance sees them complete the course in under 35 minutes, 35.5 minutes and under 36 minutes. Also, the top six Scottish Athletics registered teams, who compete in groups of four runners, will split the spoils of a successful race day, amounting to more than £3,000.
Head of Sport at Glasgow Life, Keith Russell, said: "The Ignis Asset Management Women's 10K is the premier all women road race in the country. We have listened to what last year's runners have said - good and bad - and made several key improvements to make sure it says that way.
"An event of this calibre attracts a multitude of Scottish club runners. As well as making changes which appeal to the first-time participant and fun-runner, we are keen to strengthen our relationship with the more serious athlete by providing even greater reasons to run in 2012. The new prize structure should achieve this by giving more Scottish runners the opportunity to win.
"As we approach the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games it is vital we do all we can to not only increase participation but also reward athletes who want to compete at the highest level and that has been a major driver behind our revamped prize structure. Club runners will now have a serious chance of winning a prize and that will hopefully help push them to new levels in their training and of course when competing.
"Club runners are the lifeblood of the running community in Glasgow and of course Scotland and we want to make sure they have something to challenge for other than a personal best time. We now can't wait for the action to get underway in May."
Other improvements include freezing the entry price for the 2012 Women's 10k at £20 and introducing more start pulses than ever before, to allow more people to pass through the start line as smoothly as possible.
While for those keen to finish in a set time or smash a personal best the introduction of pace setters will be a welcome addition for 2012. A top club runner will join each main muster group and set a pace that, if matched, will ensure each member of the group hits their target.
Like pace-setters the option to upgrade to a technical t-shirt is sure to appeal to the more seasoned runner. In addition to the prized medal the t-shirt is a cherished souvenir for many. However, the opportunity to upgrade to a new super-lightweight t-shirt, which helps keep you cool in training and on race day, is expected to be a big success for 2012.
Online registration is now available through the official race website from £20.