Athletes will become eligible to compete for $35,000 bonus after one victory at a qualifying circuit race
The Professional Road Running Organization (PRRO) Circuit has adopted new eligibility rules for runners planning to compete for the 2008-09 PRRO Circuit Bonus Purse ($35,000). Under the new rules, an athlete who wins any one of the qualifying PRRO Circuit races will automatically become eligible to compete for the bonus at the 2009 PRRO Race of Champions hosted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race on July 4.
Previously, an athlete had to win two PRRO Circuit events to become eligible to compete for the bonus. The 2008-09 qualifying circuit races include the Boilermaker 15K in Utica, NY (held on July 13, 2008) and in 2009, the World's Best 10K in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 1, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run in Washington, DC on April 5 and the Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K in Spokane, WA on May 3.
Once an athlete is eligible, he or she needs to win the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race to take home the Bonus Purse. If an eligible male and female runner both win at Peachtree, the two will share the Bonus Purse. Two athletes - Terefe Maregu and Ashu Rabo Kasim, both of Ethiopia - are already eligible based on winning their respective divisions at the Boilermaker 15K on July 13. The Boilermaker was the inaugural race of the 2008-09 PRRO Circuit, and the new rule applies retroactively to the 2008 Boilermaker champions. If the bonus is claimed next July in Atlanta, the Bonus Purse will be $15,000 for 2009-10.
"This rule change makes it dramatically more likely that someone will win the Bonus Purse," said PRRO President Don Kardong, who is also Race Director of the Lilac Bloomsday Run. "With this change, we could have as many as eight runners - four male and four female - battling it out for the Bonus Purse next July in Atlanta."
The new policy was adopted at a recent PRRO Circuit meeting in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The PRRO Circuit offers world-class competition for athletes of all nations in events at less than the marathon distance. Along with offering the Bonus Purse, PRRO Circuit events have also agreed to implement drug testing at all Circuit events, and the races also share a policy of not providing travel or lodging assistance to athletes who have begun competing again after serving a drug suspension.
Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Director
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