Spokane, WA—The Lilac Bloomsday Run has added a $20,000 purse for US citizens who finish in the top 25 at the 33rd running of the 12-kilometer race next spring. The additional prize money brings the Bloomsday total—including open, masters, wheelchairs, and US—to over $93,000, one of the largest purses in the country for a non-marathon road race.
“Bloomsday's decision to increase the elite athlete purse shows its continued commitment to competitive distance running, both in the United States and
internationally,” said Bloomsday Elite Athlete Coordinator Jon Neill. “We’re hopeful the American purse will draw top USrunners to Spokane and show that they can compete with the world's best.”
The US citizen purse replaces Bloomsday’s policy of doubling prize money payouts for US citizens, which has been in effect since 1997. Under the new system, the top US male and female will each receive $5,000 plus any prize money due for their finish in the open division. If a US runner wins Bloomsday, he or she will receive $12,000, which includes both the open prize of $7,000 and the US prize of $5,000. The second through fifth US runners will receive $2,500, $1,250, $750 and $500, in addition to any open prize money due, assuming they finish in the top 25 overall.
Along with an increased presence by top Americans in 2009, Bloomsday expects another great field of international runners. Bloomsday ’08 was won by Micah Kogo, who earned a bronze medal in the 10,000 at last summer’s Beijing Olympics. Bloomsday’08 runnerup Catherine Ndereba was the silver medalist in the marathon in Beijing. The last American to win Bloomsday was Jon Sinclair in 1986, and the last American female champion was Colleen De Reuck in 2002. Last year’s top Americans were Lucas Humphrey in 21st and Christine Lundy in 14th.
In addition to prize money, invited athletes may receive airfare, hotel and meals as part of their Bloomsday participation. Athletes capable of finishing in the top 20, male or female, should contact Elite Athlete Coordinator Jon Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on travel assistance.
Nearly 50,000 participants are expected to sign up Bloomsday ’09, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 3, 2009. Online registration will be available for $15.00 beginning in January. Full details of the 33rd annual event will be released in early March, at which time printed entry forms will be available at locations throughout the Inland Northwest.
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