Wonders Bred wrote:
I know I certainly would take half an amount in exchange for a 2:09:59 on my resume.
Ward is doing fine financially if he’s an associate prof.
Bottom line is outside of rehabbing Rubb, we have nobody.
I'm not expert, nor do I have any insider knowledge of marathon appearance fees.
Yeah, Ward could probably live just fine on his professor salary. But if he earns $25k at Boston, and the same amount at NYC, I have to think that he is making a big chunk of his yearly income from his two marathons. If he doesn't make the Olympic team in a year, I bet those fees go down by a lot. So in that window between Olympics, I think that money has played a bigger role in which races he has done than you seem to be suggesting.
I would also bet that when you are an American who has been 6th at the most recent Olympics, it doesn't really matter if your pr is 2:09 or 2:11, neither one is really that fast when NYC was won in 2:05 this year. Boston and NYC pay him more than any American man who isn't Rupp (or Meb in 2017) because of his place at the Olympics, not his time. So running a 'fast' time won't change future appearance fees, only making another Olympic team will.
Its also not crazy to think that he could finish high enough at Boston to get significant prize money. Bumbalough was 4th last year, Jason Hartmann was 4th a few years ago. 4th at Boston earns $25k. If he ran 2:09 at London, its hard to imagine Ward would place in a position that would earn him more than a small fraction of that (I can't find prize money past third place at London.)
I just don't see what incentive Ward has other than pride to go after a fast time at a foreign race and forgo significant money running Boston.