Race organisers and Mountain Runner Event partners, Graham Bird and Tatum Prins, welcome two new sponsors on board for the 2018 instalment of the Merrell Whale of Trail: PSG Rosebank and De Hoop Collection. Thanks to both, the Merrell Whale of Trail has upped their prize money and now offer elites and trails runners a prize pot they simply can’t afford NOT to race for!
“Money management and life management go hand in hand, without balance and exercise your life will fall out of kilter and eventually effect your money-making abilities and also start costing you money in healthcare. These two factors are siblings, and the reason we see value in supporting events like the Whale of Trail that promote outdoor, healthy lifestyles,” she said. “It also helps that it is one of the most beautiful parts of our country and we have many trail runners for clients and colleagues – plus PSG Rosebank’s MD has felt the pain and beauty of the race herself!”
Last year race Mountain Runner Events announced that they would be upping the prize money to R15k in 2017 for the first male and female across the line, a winner-takes-all type of prize. It drew the top runner’s from around the country, who fought for the top podium position over the varying, challenging and beautiful 53km. This year, with the additional support from PSG Rosebank, Mountain Runner Events is ecstatic to increase the prize money pot significantly. The first male and female over the line of the 53km trail race will each take home R25k respectively, while second place finishers will pocket R10k each and third place, R5k each. That’s a total of R80k compared to last year’s R30k! Why increase it so much?
“We want to recognise the hard work and dedication the elite runners put into their sport and understand how hard it is to cover costs of living the dream,” said Race Organiser, Graham Bird.
On top of the increased prize purse, venue hosts De Hoop Collection have announced that they will be adding an additional cash prize, specifically reserved for elites that break the existing course record.
“This year we are excited to play a role in the evolution of the event by offering a special cash prize of R10k for both the first male and female over the line if they break the existing course record,” said William Stephens of De Hoop Collection. “We hope that cash incentive, over and above the prize money, will motivate for a great race up front, as well as show our commitment to supporting the wonderful sport of trail running.”
It’s not all about the elites though, and Mountain Runner Events has decided to offer all finishers a chance to win R10k by automatically entering them into a lucky draw when they cross the finish line! “While we see the value of having elites at our races, the race is about each and every entrant experiencing one of South Africa’s best trails. The lucky draw is just a way of reiterating how important every runner is to us and saying that it’s not just about winning,” said Bird.
An event of this nature wouldn’t be possible without fantastic sponsors. “Merrell, our loyal sponsor for the past four years is a perfect fit, as the brand is all about getting outside and doing what is natural,” said Bird, “while De Hoop Collection have made it their business to understand our events and the needs of our runners and deliver year on year. And to welcome PSG Rosebank on board is a fantastic addition. They understand the financial needs and challenges of all trail runners and get the need to escape the rigours of everyday corporate lives.”
With the new, loaded prize money pot the last question left to ask really is, have you entered?