FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Richard Finn
Media Relations Department
New York Road Runners
Largest Guaranteed Prize Purse in Marathon History,
More Than $700,000, at ING New York City Marathon 2006
Men's purse raised to match women's with special ING bonus
ING extends title sponsorship through 2010
New York, October 4, 2006—New York Road Runners announced today that a
special prize bonus funded by ING has helped create the largest guaranteed
prize purse in marathon history. The prize purse, totaling more than
$700,000, includes a $130,000 first place payout for both the men's and
women's champions at this year's ING New York City Marathon. ING, the
global financial services company and advocate for the sport of running,
has also extended its title sponsorship of the race through 2010, further
emphasizing its commitment to the sport. As part of this extension, ING
will provide an additional special bonus of $65,000 to the 2006 men's
professional prize purse, bringing the men's purse to the same level as the
"New York Road Runners' belief in and commitment to our world-class
athletes is steadfast. As so many of the world's best athletes prepare to
join us for this year's ING New York City Marathon, we are delighted to add
some additional gold to the pot at the end of the marathon rainbow thanks
to our relationship with ING," said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of
New York Road Runners and race director of the ING New York City Marathon.
"Over the last four years, our relationship with New York Road Runners has
flourished as we've worked together to further develop the sport of running
through the ING New York City Marathon," said Toby Hoden, chief marketing
officer for ING U.S. Financial Services. "We are looking forward to
building on this success through the end of this decade."
Injuries have forced two professional runners to withdraw their names from
the ING New York City Marathon field. Mara Yamauchi, owner of Britain's
second-fastest female marathon time and winner of the Fortis Half-Marathon
in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on September 10, will put her ING New York City
Marathon debut on hold because of hip problems. The ING New York City
Marathon 2003 champion, Martin Lel, who also won the 2005 Flora London
Marathon, will not compete in New York this year due to a leg injury.
In addition to naming rights to the marathon, ING has also committed to
helping further enhance the race experience for elite and recreational
runners, spectators and New York City children by:
* Boosting the marathon's 2006 men's prize purse by funding $65,000 in
extra prize money, which will supplement the cash awards to the top four
male finishers and bring ING's total prize money contribution to $130,000.
In 2005, ING added a $65,000 bonus to the women's purse pushing the women's
prize purse higher than the men's;
* Through its ING Run for Something Better program, funding track and
field programs designed to introduce New York children to the sport of
running and the benefits of living healthy, active lives. The program
serves New York City children during the school year through the New York
Road Runners Foundation and over the summer months through the City Parks
Foundation, creating a 12-month fitness program;
* Creating special "ING Cheering Zones" to serve as rallying points
along the marathon race route to cheer the runners on and encourage
community involvement and;
* Supporting the Run with Champions event, which gives children the
opportunity to run their own race in Central Park on the Friday before the
ING New York City Marathon. The young runners participate in a clinic and
Q&A session with professional athletes competing in the marathon.
"This is a red letter day as we add incentive for our athletes and thank
ING for extending its commitment to New York Road Runners, our community,
and our sport," said Wittenberg. "ING shares many of New York Road
Runners' values for promoting running, community service, and health and
fitness, which make this relationship a perfect match."
"The characteristics of marathon running are like financial planning, with
a similar journey to success. With both, you start small, continuously
improve, set goals and stay committed throughout the journey," Hoden said.
"Our goal is to help make it easier to achieve success, every step of the
way—whether you're running or planning your financial future."
ING began its title sponsorship of the ING New York City Marathon in 2003,
in a three-year deal with New York Road Runners. In 2005, the sponsorship
was extended through 2007.
New York Road Runners
New York Road Runners, soon to celebrate its 50th anniversary, is dedicated
to promoting the sport of distance running, enhancing health and fitness
for all, and responding to community needs. Our road races and other
fitness programs draw upwards of 300,000 runners annually, and together
with our magazine and website support and promote professional and
recreational running. A staff of 60, assisted by thousands of volunteers,
stages the ING New York City Marathon, as well as a road race nearly every
weekend plus many track and cross country events. NYRR's home base in New
York, and its lifelong identification with Central Park, have given many of
its events iconic status, attracting the world's top professional runners.
Our youth programs provide running to 15,000 New York City schoolchildren
who would otherwise have few or no fitness opportunities.
For more information visit www.nyrr.org.
ING New York City Marathon
The premier event of New York Road Runners, the ING New York City Marathon
is one of the world's great road races, drawing more than 90,000
applicants. The race attracts many world-class professional athletes, not
only for the more than $700,000 in prize money, but also for the chance to
excel in the media capital of the world before two million cheering
spectators and 312 million worldwide television viewers. As any one of the
672,000 past participants will attest, crossing the finish line in Central
Park is one of the great thrills of a lifetime. For more information
ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking,
insurance and asset management to over 60 million private, corporate and
institutional clients in more than 50 countries. With a diverse workforce
of over 115,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent
companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand.
In the U.S., the ING family of companies offer a comprehensive array of
financial services to retail and institutional clients which include life
insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative
investments, direct banking, institutional investment management,
annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING
holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves over 14 million
customers across the nation. For more information, visit www.ing.com.