In addition, course record bonuses will be extended to include Permanent Residents and Refugees – in prior years only Canadian Citizens were eligible.
An 'Elite A' and 'Elite B' standard will be introduced with different qualifying times for North American and International athletes. Qualifying as 'Elite A' entitles athletes to apply for accommodation and travel assistance. To meet this status, International male athletes must have run a 2:20 Marathon or a 1:05 Half Marathon (previous standards were 2:30 and 1:10). For International female athletes, the Marathon standard remains at 2:50 but the Half Marathon is now 1:17 (previously 1:20). For North American athletes, the only change is for female Marathon runners who need 3:00 to qualify (previously 2:50). The male Marathon standard remains at 2:30, the Half Marathon at 1:10, and the female Half Marathon at 1:20.
'Elite B' athletes would receive a complimentary entry and some course services. North American male athletes must have run a 2:35 Marathon and 1:15 Half Marathon (previously 2:30 and 1:10). Female athletes qualify with a 3:10 Marathon time or a 1:25 Half Marathon time (previously 2:50 and 1:20). For International athletes, the new male Marathon standard is 2:25 and for the females 3:00 (previously 2:30 and 2:50). The male and female Half Marathon standards remain at 1:10 and 1:20.
North American female Masters (40+) athletes in the Marathon now have a standard of 3:15 (previously 3:00). The female Half Marathon time remains at 1:25 as does the Marathon male at 2:40 and Half Marathon at 1:15.
"We've introduced two levels of Elite Qualification to match other major Marathons," says Jonathan Foweraker, Coordinator, Dairyland Elite Athlete Program. "It allows us to reach out to the local marathon community while ensuring a high quality of international competition."
Course record bonuses, which previously only Canadian Citizens were eligible for, has been extended to Permanent Residents and Refugees who have been domiciled in Canada for at least one year. The course bonuses are $5,000 for the Marathon and $1,000 for the Half Marathon. A Masters course record bonus has also been introduced for the Marathon and Half Marathon, $500 and $250 respectively.
"We want to reward all of those who have made Canada their home. The male Masters Marathon record dates back to 1988 when Tom Howard ran 2:27:36, so this extra incentive might result in this exceptional time being challenged," adds Foweraker.