Big Payday For New B.A.A. Distance Medley

New road racing series puts $200,000 in prize money on the line.

Written by: David Monti
(c) 2011 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. 

American road running in 2012 got a $200,000 shot in the arm today with the announcement of the new B.A.A. Distance Medley, a Boston-based race series.

Officials of the Boston Athletic Association, the founders and organizers of the Boston Marathon, have decided to link three of their already popular road races –the B.A.A. 5K, B.A.A. 10K and B.A.A. Half Marathon–into a series for 2012 with the overall male and female series champions earning $100,000 each, by far the largest “grand prix” check for a series of road or track races held exclusively in the United States.  The 5-K is scheduled for April 15, the 10-K for June 24, and the half-marathon for October 7.

“B.A.A. races offer runners uncommon racing opportunities in Boston,” said B.A.A. executive director Tom Grilk through a media release.  ”We appreciate the partnership we enjoy with the Mayor’s Office which highlights this renowned, running city.”

Instead of using a points system, the overall winners of the series will be determined by total time their total time for the three races.  That means that going into the final race of the series, the half-marathon, an extraordinary performance could lift a lower-placed athlete to the overall victory of he or she enjoyed a wide winning margin.  To establish a point of reference, the overall times for the three male and female winners of those races this year was 1:45:02 for the men and 1:59:48 for the women.

According to Grilk, the B.A.A. will fund the prize for 2012, but hopes to land a series sponsor.

“The B.A.A. is committed to funding the prize purse in 2012,” Grilk explained to Race Results Weekly in an e-mail. “And now that the news of the Distance Medley has been released we will actively seek an appropriate sponsor for the series.”

The three races of the B.A.A. Distance Medley recorded a total of 12,416 finishers in 2011.  The B.A.A. 5-K was held for the third time, the 10-K for the first time and the half-marathon for the 11th time.  The Boston Athletic Association was founded in 1887.

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