2016 NAPLES HALF-MARATHON OFFERS SUPPORT PROGRAM TO USA OLYMPIC TRAILS QUALIFIERS
By David Monti
(c) 2015 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
(Used with permission)
(27-Mar) -- Organizers 2016 Naples Daily News Half-Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, January 17, in Naples, Fla., are offering a special support program to
American athletes who have qualified for the 2016 USA Olympic Marathon Trials to be held in Los Angeles on February 13. Longtime race director,
Perry Silverman, said he saw an opportunity to provide a reliable tune-up race for American athletes looking to test their fitness before attempting to
qualify for Rio.
"With a fast, flat course combined with generally optimum southwest Florida weather conditions, this legendary race will be a perfect tune-up for those male
and female athletes who are looking for a race and city that will roll out the red carpet for them," explained Silverman in an e-mail to Race Results
The host club, Gulf Coast Runners, has over 1000 active members, Silverman said. Members will throw open their homes for a maximum of 25 male and 25 female
qualifiers who will receive complimentary housing for both Friday and Saturday nights before the race. In addition, each qualifier will receive a $100
stipend to defray travel costs, an elite entry, and the race's entire $10,000 prize money purse will be set aside for American athletes, only.
"Naples-on-the-Gulf being a close-knit coastal community we have many upper-middle income families who welcome out of town elite athletes into their
beautiful homes for race weekend," Silverman continued. "This has become a wonderful tradition that returning athletes have grown to love."
The Naples course is completely flat and runs through the residential neighborhoods of one of Florida's wealthiest and most beautiful communities.
The course records are 62:42 (Cleophas Ngetich, Kenya, 2015) and 69:59 (Belainesh Gebre, Ethiopia, 2011).
Athletes looking to reserve a spot should contact Silverman, directly, at PSilvrman@aol.com, or by calling 678-777-5622.
(From the March/April 2016 edition of NER – all photos by Ben Kimball) Wide, peaceful …