You Can Earn $1,250 If You Break This Time at the Hong Kong Marathon

However, the prize-earning time standards make it easier for male runners to earn cash than female runners.

Turns out, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to earn money from running. The Hong Kong Marathon on February 12 is giving out 10,000 Hong Kong dollars (about $1,277 USD) to every male finisher under 3:00 and every female finisher under 3:30 who are permanent residents of Hong Kong. 

“We estimate there may be around 300 to 350 runners that can reach the standard,” Simon Yeung Sai Mo, senior vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Athletics Affiliates, told South China Morning Post. That means the Hong Kong Marathon is prepared to give out nearly $400,000 in prizes to non-professional athletes.

In a email to Runner’s World, the Hong Kong Marathon shared the following statement:“The increase in prize money is a ‘one-off’ special award this year to celebrate the 25th edition of the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon. Participants in the Marathon Challenge Category, who are also permanent residents of Hong Kong, finishing marathon under 3 hours (sub 3) for men and under 3 hours 30 minutes for women (sub 3:30) will be awarded with the Special Incentive Award HKD10,000, which is 10 times the amount of the same awards in previous marathons.”

According to numbers crunched by South China Morning Post, 147 participants finished below 3:00 in the men’s race in 2018. In the women’s race that year, there were only 52 runners that finished below 3:30.

The women’s time standard is more challenging than the men’s. According to World Athletics scoring tables, a 3:00 marathon by a male runner is equivalent to a 3:50:18 marathon by a female runner. The Hong Kong Marathon prize-earning standard for women is 3:30, so female runners have a harder challenge by 20 minutes—that comes out to 46 seconds per mile.

In the statement to Runner’s World, the Hong Kong Marathon clarified the reasoning for the standards: “Based on previous records, the men to women [participation] ratio is approximately 8:2.”

On the professional side, the Hong Kong Marathon offers $30,000 to the individual winners in the men’s and women’s races. Professional men who finish faster than 2:10 and women who finisher faster than 2:28 earn an additional $10,000. The course record bonus is $12,000; the men’s record stands at 2:09:20, the women’s at 2:26:13. 

The Hong Kong Marathon first occurred in 1997. It has been run every year since, with the exception of 2020 and 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, this year’s race is the 25th edition. 

posted Sunday January 29th
by Runner’s World