Tayside and Central Scotland

Great Stirling Run marathon winner criticises 'insulting' cash prize

Jennifer Wetton Image copyright Whyler Photos
Image caption Jennifer Wetton said she was "disappointed" that the prize money had been cut from £1,000 to £200

The women's winner of the Great Stirling Run marathon has criticised organisers after the event's £1,000 prize money was "slashed" to £200.

Jennifer Wetton said she only found out about the "insulting" award after completing last month's race.

She said the smaller prize would "definitely have been a consideration" in deciding whether to compete.

Organisers, Great Run, said it was an "oversight" that the information was not made available ahead of the race.

Ms Wetton, who lives in Stirling, told BBC Scotland's John Beattie Programme that she checked the Great Run website the day before the event for information on the prize money.

She said: "It said there was prize money available for British athletes, but it was yet to be confirmed for 2019.

"It would have been nice if they had communicated things properly from the start, so we had all the information before we made the decision to take part."

Ms Wetton explained that she was not a professional athlete but she takes her running seriously and fits training around working full time and looking after her young son.

Her decision to take part in the Stirling marathon - which had a winning cash prize of £1,000 last year - was made in January so she could establish a training schedule.

Non-televised events

She said she opted for her "home" run rather than the London marathon which was on the same day.

It cost her £58 to enter the Stirling marathon while the half marathon event fee was £36.

However, the winners of the two races were awarded the same £200 prize.

Ms Wetton believed a reasonable cash prize goes some way to reflect the time and effort needed to produce "an under-three-hour marathon performance".

She understood that £1,000 was "the going rate" for a marathon prize in Scotland.

Ms Wetton said the Loch Ness Marathon awards £1,500 to the winner, while the Edinburgh Marathon's prize is £1,000 plus a £500 donation to charity.

She said: "While £200 is a reasonable prize if you're running a 10k race, it's lower than a lot of half-marathons.

"But for a marathon it was a little bit insulting to be honest."

Ms Wetton pointed out that on finishing second in a local half marathon earlier this year she was awarded £200.

A Great Run Company spokeswoman said the Stirling prize money was brought in line with its other non-televised events this year.

She said that the website statement that the 2019 prize money was yet to be confirmed "made it clear that we were changing the structure for this year".

The spokeswoman added: "We apologise that this information was not publicly available sooner and it was an oversight on our part that it was not posted on the website before the event."

A Stirling Council spokesman said the prize money was "decided exclusively" by the event organisers and was "not a matter" for the local authority.

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