Last year, Peter Abraham, writing for RunBlogRun noted that the Oxy Performance Classic, now the HOKA ONE ONE MIddle Distance Classic, could become one of the best meets in America. Over the past three years, the performances and the duels have captured fans of middle distance running.
HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic set for fast times, high profile, increased prize money
INDIANAPOLIS — American athletes running at the 2015 HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic will compete in a meet with elevated visibility and a more than threefold increase in prize money during the critical 2015 World Championship season, USATF announced Wednesday.
Set for Thursday, May 14, at Occidental College in Los Angeles, the HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic annually brings together hundreds of the country’s top middle-distance runners early in the competitive season, providing an opportunity to post World Championship and Olympic-qualifying times.
With HOKA ONE ONE coming on board as title sponsor in 2015, the meet will be elevated to become part of the USATF Championship Series and will be webcast live on USATF.org. Formerly a USATF high performance developmental event, the meet has seen virtually every top American middle-distance runner compete in the last two years, including Olympic or World Championships medal winners Leo Manzano, Galen Rupp, Jenny Simpson, Matt Centrowitz, Brenda Martinez, Shannon Rowbury and Nick Symmonds, in addition to stars such as Molly Huddle, Mary Cain and Will Leer.
“This meet has earned a reputation for outstanding opportunities and fast times,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “Thanks to HOKA ONE ONE’s sponsorship, we are able to elevate it to USATF Championship Series status and provide more prize money as well. This model is one that we hope to expand to other events that have been part of USATF’s Domestic Competitive Opportunities program, to continue supporting athletes across a range of disciplines.”
“We are very proud and excited to partner with USATF and are looking forward to May 14,” said HOKA ONE ONE president Jim Van Dine. “This meet has consistently brought together many elite performers and has seen outstanding performances. Our sponsorship will allow for additional prize money, adding further stimulus to the competition and allowing athletes to post qualifying times for World Championships and the Olympics.”
Athletes contest men’s and women’s races over 800 meters, 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters and the 3,000m steeplechase. USATF provides pacesetters for each race and travel and lodging for all USATF Tier athletes. Prize money stipends of $2,000 for first, $1,000 for second and $500 for third to supplement USATF’s direct athlete support.
The HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic is part of a 2015 competitive year that will see USATF provide more than $1.5 million in prize money to American athletes at USATF events, including the USATF Indoor and Outdoor Championships, USATF Marathon Championships, .US National 12K, and to the overall winners of the USATF Running Circuit.
For more information on the HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic, visit http://www.usatf.org/MiddleDistanceClassic.aspx