When Sacramento hosts the U.S. Marathon Championships at the California International Marathon, the top runners might want to plan a victory lap to the bank.
The prize purse totals $140,000, the biggest payout in event history, thanks to a contribution from the Sacramento Running Association, which upped the ante by nearly $100,000 compared to 2016, the association announced Wednesday in a news release. The Sacramento Running Association organizes the CIM, which will be held in conjunction with the championships for men and women in December 2017 and 2018.
“Sacramento has one of the best running communities in the United States,” said Scott Abbott, Sacramento Running Association executive director. “And we are a community, as a whole, that supports all different kinds of sporting events exceptionally well, so we expect that there will be a lot of excitement around this event and that it will be a source of pride for our community.”
The prize for the first-place male and female finisher is $20,000. The Sacramento Running Association also added several performance bonuses for elite runners.
Because of the U.S. championships designation, the CIM will not feature its typically deep international championship field as it will be limited to American distance runners, according to the release.
“By hosting the U.S. Marathon Championships, CIM will be center stage for professional marathoners from all over the country,” said CIM elite coordinator Danielle Domenichelli. “With CIM being one of the first opportunities to quality for the 2020 US Olympic Trials coupled with the large prize purse and the U.S. Championships, we expect a large competitive field and perhaps a few of the country’s most recognizable marathoners.”
The qualifying standards for the championships are under 2 hours, 22 minutes in the marathon and 1:07 in the half-marathon for men, and under 2:46 and 1:18 for women.