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Posted: February 5, 2009  :

Athletics: Los Angeles Marathon Announces Prize Purse, Bonuses For Elite Runners

$100,000 "Challenge Bonus" Tops List of Awards

LOS ANGELES, Calif.-- The Los Angeles Marathon, which pioneered the “challenge bonus” among big-city marathons, has announced its prize purse and bonus structure for the May 25, 2009 race. In addition to awards for the top five male and top five female runners, there are time-based bonuses and the “challenge bonus” – which goes to the first runner, male or female, across the finish line.

The top male finisher and the top female finisher will each win $20,000 in cash prize money, along with a 2009 Honda Accord Sedan EX-L V6 (MSRP $28,705), for a total winning prize value of nearly $50,000. Second place male and female finishers are each awarded $12,500 in cash, while third through fifth places are worth $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500, respectively.

The $100,000 challenge bonus is, among big-city U.S. marathons, a concept unique to the LA Marathon. The challenge bonus gives elite runners, male and female, another opportunity to win significant cash prize money. Here’s how it works: The female elite runners will begin the race prior to the male elite runners, according to a time differential that will be determined just prior to race day. The intent will be to give both male and female runners an equal chance to finish the race first. On race day, the first runner – male or female – to cross the finish line – will win an additional $100,000.

"The Challenge Bonus provides an added dimension to our race, and gives elite runners another way to earn significant prize money," said Los Angeles Marathon Race President Russ Pillar. "We look forward to attracting an elite field of runners for the 2009 LA Marathon – and beyond."

In addition to the above awards, top runners can win as much as $75,000 each for running exceptionally fast times. A male runner who completes the race in under 2 hours, 7 minutes and 30 seconds will win a bonus of $75,000 – as will any female runner who finishes under 2:20:00. Time bonuses will be given for male runners finishing under 2:12:00 and female runners under 2:30:00, and are not limited in number. Thus, if a large number of male and female runners finish under the appointed times, all will be eligible for bonus money. A detailed breakdown is attached.

The course for this year’s race is the popular 2005-2006 loop course, which starts and finishes downtown. The event records were set on this very course in 2006 -- 2:08:40 was the top men’s time, and 2:25:10 was the time of the top female runner. A field of elite runners is expected to compete this year for all three categories of prize money.

About the Los Angeles Marathon
We harness the transformational power of sport to inspire athletes and connect communities. With more than 20,000 participants, 12,000 volunteers, and 1 million spectators along the course route, the Los Angeles Marathon is one of the largest organized road races in the world. To sign-up to run, volunteer, or learn more about us, please visit

2009 LA Marathon Prize Purse & Bonus Structure
1st Place $20,000 & 2009 Honda Accord Sedan EX-L V6 (MSRP $28,705)
2nd Place $12,500
3rd Place $10,000
4th Place $5,000
5th Place $2,500

The Challenge Bonus-- $100,000

The challenge bonus goes to the first runner -- male or female -- across the finish line. In order to provide equal chances for top runners of both genders, the elite female runners will begin the race prior to the men. The precise time differential will be determined immediately prior to race day.

Time Bonus Structure

These awards are given to runners who finish the race under the specified times, and are not limited in number. Thus, if multiple runners are eligible for awards, each will win the bonus to which he or she is entitled (e.g. three sub-2:10:00 male finishes would each win $20,000). These awards are non-cumulative.
Male Female  
sub 2:07:30 sub 2:20:00 $75,000
sub 2:08:00 sub 2:23:00 $50,000
sub 2:09:00 sub 2:24:00 $40,000
sub 2:09:30 sub 2:25:00 $30,000
sub 2:10:00 sub 2:26:00 $20,000
sub 2:10:30 sub 2:27:00 $15,000
sub 2:11:00 sub 2:28:00 $10,000
sub 2:11:30 sub 2:29:00 $ 5,000
sub 2:12:00 sub 2:30:00 $ 3,000

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