ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

American-only Prize Money for U.S. Runners

Updated on November 9, 2011

Who won the Boston Marathon? A Kenyan. Who won the Chicago Marathon? A Kenyan. Who won the NYC Marathon? A Kenyan. Are you seeing a trend here? Race after race the Kenyans and Ethiopians are winning the race, as well as the coveted prize money. So is it right that the Pittsburgh Marathon developed a prize for the top Americans, not just the top runners?


Marathons and races did not offer prize money until the 1980s. That's when we started seeing the international competition in American races. That's also when we started seeing Americans get beat race after race. In 1995, the USA Track and Field Organization introduced a series of national championship road races to help American runners rack up points and prizes to help win back the roads. Still, Americans weren't coming out on top. The question remains, will Americans ever come back to win marathons?


Running against other Americans is hard competition but is it as hard as running against the tough international competitors? Probably not.

In 2010, the Bix 7 in Davenport, Iowa hosted the USARC 7-mile championship. Ryan Hall won the race after 19 years of a non-American winning. But this year it was limited to Americans only. If he had competed two years earlier when the race was open to international racers, his time would have placed him sixth overall.

Other races offer more money to the American winner versus the overall winner. This strategy decreases the presence of foreign runners and allows for Americans to take home more prize money. But not at a cost. Winning times slow down and the Americans still aren't beating the Kenyans in other races. Should races continue to offer prize money to Americans over foreign runners?

The opportunity to win money allows Americans to stay in the game. Races who give prize money to only Americans help keep American runners financially able to compete and help their dreams going. It's hard to justify running competitively if you know you never have a chance at winning a race because the foreign competition will always outrun us. Competition is competition and whether American runners are running against other Americans or the Kenyans, they still run as hard as they can.

The Bloomsday 12K in Spokane, Wash., developed a prize purse that brought foreign runners but also encouraged American runners to compete. Over $10,000 goes towards the top American runners with the catch that the U.S. runners have to finish in the top 25 overall to be eligible for the American prize money.

On the other side of the spectrum is Dave McGillvray, race director of Maine's Beach to Beacon 10K, who says that the objective to racing is to showcase the best runners, no matter what country they are from. Race directors with this point of view agree that there shouldn't be a prize purse just for Americans.

The prize incentives for Americans keep Americans in the race and keep the sport alive in America. American times may never be as fast as the Kenyans but that should not stop us from running and encouraging top collegiate runners to go out there and compete.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Maybe not additonal prizes for Americans but maybe some races for Americans only.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)