Thanks to a New York Road Runners initiative announced today, any NYRR member who competes in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in distance events from 800 meters to the marathon will receive a $2012 training stipend from NYRR, providing he or she meets the eligibility requirements.
The NYRR 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Training Stipend program is the second phase of the NYRR President's Circle, which was launched three years ago. In the first phase, NYRR members who qualify with fast times have been provided free entry into most NYRR races.
"NYRR's training stipend program is part of more than $100,000 committed this year to the area's best athletes through NYRR member-only prize money, time bonuses, and performance incentives," said Sam Grotewold, NYRR's manager of professional athletes. "The New York City area can be an excellent place for a post-collegiate athlete to live and train, and we're thrilled to support the athletes who have chosen to make New York City and NYRR part of their Olympic dream."
To be eligible for the stipend, an athlete must:
Several athletes, including NYRR 2011 Runner of the Year Caroline LeFrak, have already met the first two requirements by virtue of competing in the U.S Olympic Marathon Trials in January. LeFrak, a New York City native, ran a personal best 2:38:14 in Houston.
"It really means a lot to me and the other local athletes to feel supported by the NYRR," said LeFrak. "I can't think of any other organization that is as fully committed to their local runners."
Michael Cassidy, another top NYRR member, put it this way: "In the economic sense, I am fortunate to have a full-time job. In the athletic sense, I am unfortunate to have a full-time job," he said. "Any time spent working can't be spent training or recovering. The $2012 stipend will allow me to get the most out of my training and racing without feeling guilty about being negligent of my financial responsibilities.
"And besides, it's cool to feel like a professional athlete!"
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg