Boston-London Wheelchair Challenge to Attract World's Best Wheelchair Athletes

Contact Info:
T.K. Skenderian (Communications Director)
Boston Athletic Association
185 Dartmouth Street, 6th Floor
Boston MA 02116
04 FEB 2013
An additional US$35,000 in prize money is being offered to elite wheelchair marathon athletes who compete in both the Boston and London Wheelchair Marathons this April.

The prize purse will be awarded to the top three men and women scored according to points awarded for their finishing place in each race. Points will be awarded to the top 10 finishers and the cumulative scores ranked to find the top three men and women overall. The winning athlete will receive US$10,000, with US$5,000 going to second place, and US$2,500 to third.

Josh Cassidy will be one of those looking to do the double in Boston and London. The Canadian won the 2012 Boston Marathon in a world best time of 1:18:25 – breaking a record set by Ernst van Dyk in Boston in 2004 – and also won the London Marathon back in 2010. Van Dyk has won the Boston Marathon a record nine times but has yet to win the London title.

In the women’s Challenge, all eyes will be on Shirley Reilly, who took marathon gold at the London 2012 Paralympics after winning the Boston Marathon in 2012. The US athlete will face stiff competition from five-time Boston winner Wakako Tsuchida of Japan, who also won the London Marathon in 2010.

To be eligible for prize money, athletes must compete in both races. The Challenge prize money is in addition to the US$60,000 awarded by each race to its individual racers. Both Boston and London award US$15,000 to its winners down to US$500 for 10th place.

In the event of a tie for position, the Boston-London Challenge prize money will be added together and divided equally. If, for example, there is a tie between two competitors for first place, the first and second place prize money will be added together and divided by two. The next highest scoring athlete will be awarded the third-place prize money.

Boston-London Wheelchair Challenge Points Structure

1 20
2 15
3 10
4 9
5 8
6 7
7 6
8 5
9 4
10 3

Boston-London Wheelchair Challenge Prize Structure

1 $10,000
2 $5,000
3 $2,500

Event History
The Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division in 1975 when the division’s pioneer, Bob Hall, was first to the finish in under three hours. Through the continued support of principal sponsor John Hancock Financial Services, the Boston Marathon has offered prize money to its open and wheelchair division since 1986.

The Virgin London Marathon is Great Britain’s most high profile wheelchair race. The first London Wheelchair Marathon took place in 1983, and the event has launched the careers of the country’s greatest wheelchair athletes. Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE won the women’s race six times, while four-time Paralympic gold medalist David Weir is aiming for his seventh men’s title this year.

The 117th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 15, 2013. The 33rd Virgin London Marathon will be held six days later on Sunday, April 21, 2013.

About the London Marathon
The first London Marathon was held on March 29, 1981 when 6,255 runners completed the race. Since then it has grown to more than 35,000 starters and finishers, is watched on TV in more than 150 countries worldwide and has more than six million viewers annually in the UK. In 2012 a record 36,705 people finished and £52.8 million was raised for charity. The overall number of finishers from 32 races is now 854,595, and the total raised for charitable causes by London Marathon runners stands at more than £610 million.

The London Marathon Charitable Trust, created in 1981 to raise money for recreational facilities in London, has allocated grants worth more than £50 million to nearly 1,000 projects in the capital. The Trust has also helped save seven playing fields and committed a further £1 million to support community legacy facilities following the London 2012 Olympics.

For more information, contact the Virgin London Marathon Press Office:
Nicola Okey 020 7902 0182 / 07799 661345;

For the Boston Athletic Association:
Marc Davis: 617-778-1633; mobile: 703-439-0751;
Jack Fleming: 617-778-1627;

The 117th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday, April 15, 2013.
The 2013 Virgin London Marathon takes place on Sunday, April 21 2013.

B.A.A. Moment

Boston-London Wheelchair Challenge to Attract World's Best Wheelchair Athletes

The Boston-London Wheelchair Challenge is a new initiative of the Boston Athletic Association and the London Marathon Ltd., organizers of these two world famous marathons. The new competition aims to attract the world’s best elite wheelchair athletes to compete in both races, held just six days apart on April 15 (Boston) and April 21 (London).

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