New Bonus Increases Minnesota Marathons’ Appeal

An additional $10,000 is on the line.

By David Monti

(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission.

Organizers of Minnesota’s two biggest marathons, Grandma’s in Duluth and Medtronic Twin Cities in Minneapolis/St. Paul, have teamed up to offer a bonus to any athlete who can win the open titles of both races this year.  The bonus of $10,000 is available to both men and women and will be added to the races’ regular prize money purses.

“We are excited to partner with Twin Cities In Motion to offer this doubleheader bonus,” said Grandma’s Marathon executive director Scott Keenan through a prepared statement.  ”Not only will it provide an element of added excitement to both events, but we feel this type of monetary reward is an appropriate way to recognize someone achieving this unique accomplishment.”

In 2010, Buzunesh Deba, an Ethiopian athlete who lives in New York City, won Grandma’s in June in 2:31:35, then rallied back to win Twin Cities in October in 2:27:24 (she also won two other marathons in Florida and California).  By doing so, she became only the second athlete to accomplish this feat.  The first was Kenyan Andrew Musuva who won both men’s titles in 1999.  Deba won $12,000 in prize money and bonuses in Duluth and $25,000 in Minneapolis/St. Paul.

“We are proud to support the sport of running with this incentive,” said Twin Cities In Motion executive director Virginia Brophy Achman, whose organization stages the Twin Cities race.  ”Together, we have 65 years of race experience and we continue to find new and innovative ways to reward professional runners.”

The 35th Grandma’s Marathon will take place on Saturday, June 18, while the 30th Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon will be held on Sunday, October 2.

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