Cleveland Marathon Now Offering Elite Time Bonus

The directors wanted to give the fans a little added excitement.

From: Running USA

CLEVELAND — After selling out both the full marathon and half-marathon at the upcoming 34th Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on Sunday, May 15, the race directors have announced that they will make the stakes even higher for the winners of the full marathon by offering an extra $3000 each to the male and female winner if they finish under a certain time.

“The excitement surrounding this weekend’s events is already soaring,” said Executive Director of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Jack Staph. “We wanted to give the fans at the finish line a little added suspense to make the ‘Cleveland Experience’ even more entertaining for participants and fans alike.”

If the winner of the men’s marathon can break 2 hours, 20 minutes for his finishing time, and the women’s marathon winner can break 2:40, they both will claim an additional $3000 on top of the standard $1000 for claiming the lowest finishing time. The course records for the event are 2:10:29 for the men, set in 2000, and 2:30:15 for the women, set in 1998.

“This 300% increase in the winners’ purses should make for an interesting finish line on Sunday,” said Staph. “Our revised course is very flat and fast, so the times should be low for all runners, not just the elites.”

The new finish line for the 34th edition is located between the Cleveland Browns Stadium and Great Lakes Science Center in the heart of the North Coast Harbor. There will be a 26.3-mile finish line rock party with live bands, a beer garden, food vendors and an official gear store set up near the finish area. The finish line is free and open to the public. Those traveling into downtown should give themselves extra time and expect to encounter closed roads and detours, due to the marathon’s course throughout the city.

Sunday’s event includes a 10K, half-marathon and full marathon. The 5K and Kids’ Run take place Saturday at the Browns Stadium. The first winners will cross the finish line on Sunday around 7:40am. They will likely be the professional international runners competing in the 10K. The half-marathon winners will finish around 8:00am and the marathon winners will cross the line around 9:20am.

Currently, registration for the 2011 event is up 25 percent from the same time last year. Race organizers are expecting another year of record registration, with more than 19,000 runners and walkers expected – up from 15,600 in 2010. The full marathon and half-marathon have both sold out, but there are still spots available for Sunday’s 10K and Saturday’s 5K, which finishes on the field at Browns Stadium.

The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon offers the following opportunities for people to participate in the event: full marathon, half marathon, 10K, full marathon walking division, half marathon walking division, 10K walking division, 5K (run or walk) and Kids’ Run. The races take place May 14-15, 2011.

There are also opportunities for non-profit organizations to raise funds through their participation in the race through Cleveland Marathon Charities, for which information can be found on the marathon’s website.

To register for any of the events, or learn more, visit: www.clevelandmarathon.com

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