The Hong Kong Marathon prize money competes with major world marathons
The men’s and women’s winners of next month’s Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon will each receive a cash award of US$65,000 (HK$507,000) from the organizers, a figure which does not lag far behind other major races around the world.
Although the amount remains the same as last year, the annual Hong Kong showpiece, to be held on Sunday, February 9, is still attractive to many distance runners from marathon powerhouses such as Kenya and Ethiopia, with all top 10 finishers to be rewarded.
The runner-up will receive US$30,000 with US$15,000 going to the third-placed finisher, down to US$1,000 to the runner who finishes 10th.
There will be an additional bonus for runners who can break the 42.195-kilometer course record starting from Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui to the finish in Victoria Park on the Island side. But after Barnabus Kiptum, of Kenya, set an impressive time of two hours, nine minutes and 20 seconds for the men’s in 2019 and Volha Mazuronak of Belarus’s 2:26:13, which was also set last year, it would be a touch challenge to collect that extra US$12,000 (HK$93,600) cash bonus.
But if they can’t beat the course record, there is still be a consolation prize of US$10,000 if a runner can finish below 2:10 in the men’s and 2:28 in the women’s.
Local runners may struggle to beat the overseas legions to collect the cash awards, but the best Hong Kong runner is still rewarded with a cash prize of US$3,400 (HK$26,500), down to US$200 for the 15th place finisher.
Hong Kong runners may also find it difficult to set personal bests because of the difficult course, which involves running up to the top of Stonecutters Bridge from the 10km mark before going through the Western Harbour Tunnel when they reach the Island side. But it serves as a good opportunity to secure some prize money.
In Asia, the 2020 Tokyo Marathon, which will be held a month after the Hong Kong event, offers US$98,000 to the men’s and women’s champions as one of the six marathon majors in the world. The Seoul International Marathon, also in March, rewards each winner US$80,000, provided they can finish below 2:10 for the men’s and 2:24 for the women’s. If not, the two winners receive US$40,000 each.
The Dubai Marathon in UAE once offered a stunning cash prize of US$200,000 for the winners, but the 2020 event only sees a top prize of US$100,000, which is the same amount offered by the two Majors in the United States – the Chicago and New York City Marathons. The Boston Marathon, which began in 1897 and usually takes place on the third Monday of April, hands out the biggest cheque of US$150,000 to the 2020 champions.
At least 4,000 marathon runners have entered the IAAF “Gold Label” event in Hong Kong, including home favorite Christy Yiu Kit-ching who aims to get into the top five in the women’s category to secure her berth for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
posted Thursday January 23rd
by Chan Kin-wa