Oh, the brouhaha! The Competitor Group’s decision to radically re-direct funds toward mass participation that had previously been earmarked for its elite athlete program, a story that quietly filtered out over Labor Day weekend on Larry Eder’s RunBlogRun.com, has since gained Spinal Tap volume over the ensuing two weeks. Today, Letsrun.com published a blistering editorial excoriating CGI for its decision while encouraging its readers to boycott the CGI Rock `n` Roll events.
For its part, Competitor Group has aggressively defended its position, and offered no apologies for what CEO Scott Dickey sees as a purely market driven reconfiguration of CGi’s business model — though he is fully aware it was “a controversial decision, “and the timing was a big thing, I know.”
But amidst all the din that has arisen in the wake of this story, we have begun to hear constructive responses that go to the solutions rather than accusations, recriminations and rebuttals (not that there’s anything wrong with those, as they can be very cathartic for both sides.)
Today, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., a nonprofit organization that touts itself as “promoting the love of running”, announced the expansion of elite athlete support for its calendar of events to more than $150,000, with a plan in the works to expand even farther. Included in the current plan is the introduction of the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler, which will have a prize purse of $10,500 for its inaugural run November 3rd.
When I asked Patrice Matamoros, executive director of the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., why November 3rd had been chosen since it conflicts with the mega New York City Marathon, she replied.
“We wanted to grab a placeholder for the event this year because Rock`n’ Roll was trying to come in, so I set a date (free of the Steelers) to get it on the calendar. We actually weren’t looking at making it an elite race this year, but were motivated so much by Rock `n’ Roll’s announcement, we couldn’t help but put a prize purse out there. This has suddenly changed our path, and I feel we will need to secure a set date for years to come. I just met with the City Representative and am setting up a meeting with the “potential incoming Mayor” to make this happen in subsequent years.”
According to their press release, the top five finishers per gender at the EQT 10 Miler will be awarded prize money, with the race champions receiving $2500 each.
“The addition of prize money to our newest event reinforces our continued support to elite athletes,” said Matamoros. “We are committed to establishing Pittsburgh as top destination for competitive runners. We feel strongly that it is part of our mission to provide support and resources to our country’s emerging talent.”
The USATF-sanctioned 10 mile event will feature a scenic, certified course that highlights some of Pittsburgh’s unique neighborhoods. The course begins in Station Square and crosses four bridges before finishing in Downtown.
Since its inception in 2008, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc. has consistently supported elite athlete development. Their calendar of events now include: DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon, UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon, GNC Live Well Liberty Mile and EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler.
For further information, including elite runner registration and the prize purse breakdown, visit Pittsburgh10Miler.org.
Who else wants to play?