Popular and Ethical?
Suppose you have $10,000 in prize money. ..which scheme would you use to attract semi-elite or elite runners to your first year marathon?
How deep would you give prize money? How top heavy would you make it?
A) Divide the prize money only to the top men and women.
B) Divide the Prize money 80% to the top men and women and give say 20% to masters.
C) Give the top 3 prize money and the top 3 masters prize money and then have money set aside for to give only Americans who run the OT Standard.
Does anyone think this might attract any borderline or better OT type Americans? Would this be legal? What amount would you recommend for this time bonus?
Popular and Ethical?
At the $10,000 total prize money level it's incredibly hard to get elites/semi-elites, in my opinion. Of course that sort of depends on what you classify as elite. I'm assuming you're talking men with sub 2:20 credentials, women sub 2:40.
We have a local race which pays out a total of $8700 (6 to 1 ratio open to masters money), not counting the $1000 paid for a course record, $200 for a masters record, and $150 for a wheelchair win. So I guess if all the course records were broken in a given year they'd be on the hook for $11,400. This race pays 6 deep in open divisions and 3 deep in masters, and does allow doubling up.
This race has an experienced invited runners coordinator who is well connected in national running circles, yet it still struggles with depth of field. Seems like they either get a good mens field or a good womens field, but not both in the same year. This year only 2 men broke 2:30 (5 under 2:40), 2 women were under 2:45 (6 under 3:00). 2:40:39 cashed in the mens race and 2:58:46 cashed in the womens race.
This race has been around almost 15 years and has only seen 3 sub 2:20 performances (1 woman under 2:40). It's not a severe course either, with only 2 hills of note.
Weldon took home $1300 for the "W" back in 1999 :-)
I think your best first year strategy within your stated budget is to go after the top local runners, or good runners who used to live in your area. Often it's factors other than the prize money that encourage good runners to enter your race. You may be able to offer substantial bonuses for OT qualifying times and get that portion of the prize money guaranteed through insurance. If you've got a quality event then you'll have a race that lasts and you can set up a prize structure for course records and OT qualifying times in the future.
But San francisco, the capitol of PC, had exactly $10,000 to give away this past weekend in the marathon/half marathon.
They gave a grand each to the winning men and women in both races. A grand to the winning male/female masters in both races and a grand to the first San Francisco resident male and female in the marathon.
I think this was a real dumb way to allocate the money...fist master female in the half marathon gets the same as the guy who wins the marathon???
Probably the best way to attract fast runners is to offer $7000 for first male and $3000 for first female and thats it....only problem with this scenario is that as soon as the first African signs up no American runner will bother and the sponsors will get all bent out of shape because they hate to see nameless African guys win their races every year and disappear back to kenya to start a goat farm.
If you want American runners and the added crowd interest that they bring you need to offer the prize money much deeper.
Being a first year marathon, I think the motivation would be to get more depth up front than having one faster guy and woman, I don\'t see having prize money only for first place doing that.
In fact, my idea would go the other way, which might not seem fair, would be to give prize money to the top 3 and then have prize money say $500 for Americans going under 2:22 and even maybe something like $200 for sub 2:30 so the course would be known and established as a faster course for future years.
Would insurance companies offer a policy like that?