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Posted: February 1, 2019:  

Athletics: Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon Kicks Off 2019 PRRO Circuit Season

Annual 13.1 mile road race on Sunday, February 24 offers $30,000 U.S.-only prize purse; race winners eligible to compete for the $10,000 Super Bonus at the 2019 PRRO Championship; overall 2018-19 PRRO Circuit event prize purse exceeds $330,000, including $109,500 U.S.-only money

TAMPA, Fla. - (February 1, 2019) - The Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon kicks off the 2019 PRRO Circuit racing season on Sunday, February 24. The race will award a U.S.-only prize purse totaling $30,000 that goes 5-deep per gender ($8000, $3500, $2000, $1000 and $500) as well as a local purse of $10,000. In addition, the race champions will qualify for the opportunity to win the $10,000 PRRO Super Bonus offered at the 24th PRRO Championship, hosted by the Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K on Sunday, May 5 in Spokane, WA.

"With its rich history and always exciting competition, the Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon is a great way to kick off the 2019 PRRO Circuit," said PRRO President Don Kardong. "We look forward to having the race winners in Spokane this May for the PRRO Championship."

The 13.1 mile road race is one of four events of the 42nd Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend - a 15K and 5K on Saturday with the half marathon and 8K on Sunday - that draws more than 30,000 participants to downtown Tampa.

The Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon is run on a fast, flat and beautiful USATF-certified course that includes quaint waterfront neighborhoods and the iconic Bayshore Boulevard that borders Tampa Bay. Last year's race champions were Americans Elkanah Kibet and Sara Hall, breaking the tape in 1 hour, 3 minutes, 39 seconds and 1:12:01 (an event record), respectively.

The Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K on May 6, 2018 was the first event on the PRRO Circuit 2018-19. The PRRO Circuit - celebrating its 25th year - showcases world class competition at 4 classic American road race events shorter than the marathon distance and features more than $330,000 in prize money overall with $109,500 available for U.S. athletes. The 43rd Bloomsday edition will also host for the second time the PRRO Championship race on Sunday, May 5, 2019.

PRRO CIRCUIT 2018-19 SCHEDULE

Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K, May 6, 2018, Spokane, WA
$81,000 in prize money ($20,000 U.S. prize money)
Winners: Jemal Yimer*, Ethiopia (34:18) and Buze Diriba*, Ethiopia (39:27)

Boilermaker 15K, July 8, 2018, Utica, NY
$66,000 in prize money ($14,500 U.S. prize money)
Winners: Gabriel Geay*, Tanzania (43:40) and Mary Wacera*, Kenya (50:01)

Publix Gasparilla Half Marathon, February 24, 2019, Tampa, FL
$40,000 in prize money ($30,000 U.S. prize money)

Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, April 7, 2019, Washington, DC
$65,000 in prize money ($25,000 U.S. prize money) plus performance bonuses

Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K: The PRRO Championship, May 5, 2019, Spokane, WA
$81,000 in prize money ($20,000 U.S. prize money)

*Qualified to compete for the $10,000 PRRO Super Bonus at the 2019 PRRO Championship.

At the PRRO Championship, reigning champions and any athlete who has won one of the 2018-19 Circuit events are eligible to compete for the $10,000 PRRO Super Bonus, which is awarded to the winner of the 2019 PRRO Championship (bonus split if an eligible male and female win the PRRO titles). Those aforementioned runners are also eligible for the PRRO Event Champion's Bonus ($1500 cumulative for eligible athletes who do not win the PRRO Championship but do finish in places 2-10 at the PRRO Championship). Any athlete who wins the PRRO Super Bonus is not eligible for the PRRO Event Champion's Bonus.

If the male and female winners of the PRRO Championship have not won any of the events on the current Circuit, they will be awarded $2500 each as the PRRO Championship Circuit winners in addition to the prize money at the PRRO Championship event.

To-date, PRRO Circuit events have produced 17 world and 17 U.S. road records, awarded more than $7.4 million in prize money and seen more than 2.4 million runners cross their finish lines. In addition, since 1996, the PRRO Championship race has paid out more than $1.8 million including $148,500 in PRRO Circuit Championship bonus money.

The PRRO Circuit, a long-time pioneer and champion of a clean sport, has funded drug testing at its events since 2006. During the 2017-18 season, more than 50 in-competition tests and an undisclosed number of pre-competition tests were conducted.

PRRO Championship and Circuit Year

The PRRO Circuit, launched in 1995, starts and finishes the Circuit Year at the same event that will also host the season-ending PRRO Championship race. The reigning titlists of the PRRO Championship and the event winners on the current Circuit are eligible to compete for the PRRO Super Bonus at the PRRO Championship.

Visit PRRO.org for more information, including PRRO's history and past champions, as well as how to join the PRRO Circuit. _


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