FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Maeve Mullally
ING New York City Marathon 2005 to Offer
Largest-Ever Marathon First Place Women's Purse
Olympians Kiplagat, Rhines and Davenport
announced as first three women entrants
NEW YORK - (June 14, 2005) - Through an added bonus from the ING Run for
Something Better program for women, the ING New York City Marathon 2005
will increase its prize purse to $130,000 for the women's champion, the
largest guaranteed first place prize in the history of marathoning.
"Today in collaboration with our partners at ING, New York Road Runners
takes another milestone step in the support and encouragement of women's
running," said Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners
and the race director of the ING New York City Marathon.
"We believe this to be the first time that any major sports event has put
up more money for the women's winner than for the men's. So we are breaking
ground not only in the sport of long distance running but in all of sport,"
Wittenberg made the announcement at a luncheon at Restaurant San Domenico
NY, located along the marathon course. Joining her were the first three
professional women athletes signed for the race: Olympians Jen Rhines of
the United States, Marie Davenport of Ireland and Lornah Kiplagat of the
Netherlands. Rhonda Mims, president of the ING Foundation and vice
president of community relations for ING, was also at the luncheon.
The men's champion of the five-borough 26.2-mile race on Sunday, November
6, will collect $100,000.
The added $30,000 for the women¹s winner comes from the ING Run for
Something Better, the cause-related cornerstone program of ING's title
sponsorship. Additional prize money will also be paid to the women's second
place ($20,000 additional for a total $65,000), third place ($10,000
additional for a total $40,000) and fourth place ($5000 additional for a
total $25,000) finishers.
ING became the marathon's first title sponsor in 2003 and recently extended
its title sponsorship through the 2007 race. Since the ING Run for
Something Better program's inception in 2003, ING has contributed close to
half a million dollars to community and youth running organizations.
"ING's sponsorship of the ING New York City Marathon is part of ING¹s
commitment to support running events to enhance the experience not only for
those taking part in the races, but for the community at large," said Mims.
"It is a priority for ING to contribute to the development of the sport -
especially among children - which is the mission of the ING Run for
"I am grateful to the ING New York City Marathon and New York Road Runners
for their commitment to women's running, from their showcasing of the
professional women's marathon start to the 34-year-old Circle of Friends
New York Mini 10K, the world's original women-only road race," said Rhines
of Team Running USA.
In addition to the ING Run for Something Better prize money, ING will also
donate a total of $150,000, equally split between the New York Road Runners
Foundation and the City Parks Foundation, in the names of the top four
women finishers. Both organizations reflect NYRR's and ING's shared
commitment to the sport of running, to youth and to the local community.
The NYRR Foundation carries out the community service mission of New York
Road Runners, establishing and supporting running-based physical education
programs for youth in underserved communities throughout New York City.
City Parks Foundation (CPF), founded in 1989, is the only independent,
non-profit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs
of New York City. CPF works in more than 700 parks citywide with a variety
of free arts, sports and education programs to help citizens support and
use their local parks.
Kiplagat, 31, and Rhines, 30, are both marathon veterans. Kiplagat has been
a top 10 finisher in the ING New York City Marathon the last three years,
with a third place showing in 2003. Rhines, a member of the 2004 U.S.
Olympic marathon team, placed 17th in the ING New York City Marathon 2003.
Davenport, 30, of Guilford, Conn., was slated to make her marathon debut in
last year's ING New York City Marathon, but an ankle injury forced her to
withdraw. She is a two-time Olympian, in 1996 at 5000 meters and in 2004 at