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Cash prizes increase for Ascent and Marathon winners
Organizers are hoping a larger prize purse will bring added attention - and more elite athletes - to the demanding Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon in August - and in years to come.
We're waiting to get sports writer Neal Reid's full report from Wednesday's lunchtime Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon press conference, but it sounds like these are the highlights:
* $5,000 to the first male to reach the summit (finishing the Ascent or the ascent portion of the Marathon) in less than 2 hours.
* $5,000 to the first female to do the same in under 2:32.
* $2,000 to the first male to break the Ascent record of 2:01:06 (but if the runner breaks 2 hours, he'll get the $5,000 prize).
* $2,000 to the first female to break the Ascent record of 2:33:31.
* $2,000 to the first-place male and to the first-place female in the Ascent.
* $1,200 to the second-place male and to the second-place female in the Ascent.
* $600 to the third-place male and to the third-place female in the Ascent.
* $200 to the fourth-place male and to the fourth-place female in the Ascent.
The Ascent Challenge, which awards $1,000 to the fastest ascent of the weekend, will still be awarded.
* 4,000 to the first male and female runners to break the Marathon records of 3:16:39 for men and 4:15:18 for women.
Prize money for top Pikes Peak Marathon finishers also has increased. (We're waiting for details.)
It seems as though every distance runner in the region is gearing up for this year's races; 2012 U.S. Mountain Running champions Sage Canaday and Kim Dobson are expected to compete.