The annual California International Marathon in Sacramento, known to feature one of the fastest courses in the U.S., is offering cash bonuses to any American men or women who hit Olympic Trials Marathon qualifying standards at this year’s race.
The qualifying window for the Olympic Trials Marathon, which takes place on February 13 in Los Angeles, closes on January 17, 2016. Cal International is one of the last chances for runners who haven’t yet qualified for the Trials to try and do so.
At this year’s race, CIM officials are offering a $1,000 bonus to any American male who is under the 2:18 “B” qualifying standard or woman who is under the “B” standard of 2:43. That bonus is upped to $2,500 for any male who runs under the “A” standard of 2:15 or woman who breaks the “A” standard of 2:37.
“This year will be an exciting year as we close out the fall marathon season as the ‘last chance’ opportunity for many elite American runners who will be looking to fulfill an important step in their Olympic dreams by earning an Olympic Trails qualifying mark,” says Scott Abbott, executive director of the Sacramento Running Association, the organization which puts on the race.
Last year at CIM, 14 American women ran under the 2:43 “B” standard to earn a qualifying mark, while on the men’s side, seven runners punched their ticket to the 2016 Trials. In 2013, nine U.S. women and two men earned their Trials berths, while in 2011, just over a month before the 2012 Olympic Trials in Houston, 24 women and seven men hit the qualifying standards.
At this year’s race, it is expected that close to 50 aspiring Trials qualifiers will be looking to punch their ticket to L.A.