The Sports Backers and the Collegiate Running Association announced today that the first-ever Collegiate Running Association 10K Road Race National Championships will be held at the 2014 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K presented by MARTIN’S on Saturday, March 29.
“The Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K is thrilled to be host to the Collegiate Running Association 10K Road Race National Championships,” said Bobby Ukrop, president and chief executive officer of Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods, the event’s title sponsor. “We think this is a great opportunity to add a unique championship event to what already is considered one of the top road races of any distance in the entire country.”
The only requirement for those interested in competing in a Collegiate Running Association national championship— for road racing, trail racing or mountain racing— is that the participant must be currently enrolled in at least one college course at any level, freeing runners from various restrictions such as maintaining a full-time status and competing only during a four or five year window. These eligibility requirements provide the first opportunity for a true national championship that transcends college divisions to exist.
“Our hope is that both social and elite college runners will want to compete in the Collegiate Running Association 10K Road Race National Championship,” said Steve Taylor, founder and cross country and track and field coach at the University of Richmond. “Ideally, social running clubs will point to our championship events as their destination races, where they can participate in a huge community event and celebrate after, while the elite athletes can come in order to determine the only true national champions in all of collegiate sports and also earn prize money in the process.”
Top finishers in these national championships will earn prize money. A new NCAA rule that took effect in August 2013 allows current Division I student-athletes to accept prize money equal to the necessary expenses for competing in the sport through an entire calendar year — so long as they are able to present receipts for the expenses to a compliance officer upon request. Postgraduates and students without remaining collegiate eligibility don’t have limitations on the amount of money they can accept.
The prize money structure is as follows (men and women):
“The success of the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K is based on widespread community support,” said Jon Lugbill, executive director of the Sports Backers. “The Collegiate Running Association 10K Road Race National Championship is an exciting addition to the event and one that our community will embrace in 2014 and, hopefully, many years to come.”
The Collegiate Running Association 10K Road Race National Championship will be the first of two collegiate championships to be held in Richmond in the spring. The 2014 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, a test event for the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, will take place May 2-4.
Registration for the 2014 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K is now open at www.sportsbackers.org. The entry fee is $30 through Tuesday, December 31. The event will accept the first 40,000 entries.