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Boston-London wheelchair athlete challenge

An additional US$35,000 in prize money is being offered to elite wheelchair marathon athletes who compete in both the Boston and London Wheelchair Marathons this April.

The Boston-London Wheelchair Challenge is a new initiative of the London Marathon Ltd and the Boston Athletic Association, organisers of these two world famous marathons. The new competition aims to attract the world’s best elite wheelchair athletes to compete in both races, held just six days apart on 15 and 21 April.

The prize purse will be awarded to the top three men and women scored according to points awarded for their finishing place in each race. Points will be awarded to the top 10 finishers and the cumulative scores ranked to find the top three men and women overall. The winning athlete will receive US$10,000, with US$5,000 going to second place, and US$2,500 to third.

Josh Cassidy will be one of those looking to do the double in Boston and London. The Canadian won the 2012 Boston Marathon in a world best time of 1:18:25 – breaking a record set by Ernst van Dyk in Boston in 2004 – and also won the London Marathon back in 2010. Van Dyk has won the Boston Marathon a record nine times but has yet to win the London title.

In the women’s Challenge, all eyes will be on Shirley Reilly, who took marathon gold at the London 2012 Paralympics and after winning the Boston Marathon in 2012. The US athlete will face stiff competition from five-time Boston winner Wakako Tsuchida of Japan, who also won the London Marathon in 2010.

To be eligible for prize money, athletes must compete in both races. The Challenge prize money is in addition to the US$60,000 awarded by each race to its individual racers. Both Boston and London award US$15,000 to its winners down to US$500 for 10th place.

In the event of a tie for position, the Boston-London Challenge prize money will be added together and divided equally. If, for example, there is a tie between two competitors for first place, the first and second place prize money will be added together and divided by two. The next highest scoring athlete will be awarded the third-place prize money.

Boston-London Wheelchair Challenge Points Structure

Place/ Points




4/ 9

5 /8

6 /7

7 /6

8/ 5

9 /4

10/ 3


Boston-London Wheelchair Challenge Prize Structure


Place/ Prize Money (USD)

1/ $10,000

2/ $5,000

3/ $2,500


The 117th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday 15 April 2013.

The 2013 Virgin London Marathon takes place on Sunday 21 April 2013.

Event history

The Virgin London Marathon is Great Britain’s most high profile wheelchair race. The first London Wheelchair Marathon took place in 1983, and the event has launched the careers of the country’s greatest wheelchair athletes. Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE won the women’s race six times, while four-time Paralympic gold medalist David Weir is aiming for his seventh men’s title this year.

The Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division in 1975. Through the continued support of principal sponsor John Hancock Financial Services, the Boston Marathon has offered prize money to its open and wheelchair division since 1986.

The 117th Boston Marathon will be held on Monday 15 April 2013. The 33rd Virgin London Marathon will be held six days later on Sunday 21 April 2013.

About the London Marathon

The first London Marathon was held on 29 March 1981 when 6,255 runners completed the race. Since then it has grown to more than 35,000 starters and finishers, is watched on TV in more than 150 countries worldwide and has more than six million viewers annually in the UK. In 2012 a record 36,705 people finished and £52.8 million was raised for charity. The overall number of finishers from 32 races is now 854,595, and the total raised for charitable causes by London Marathon runners stands at more than £610 million.

The London Marathon Charitable Trust, created in 1981 to raise money for recreational facilities in London, has allocated grants worth more than £50 million to nearly 1,000 projects in the capital. The Trust has also helped save seven playing fields and committed a further £1 million to support community legacy facilities following the London 2012 Olympics.

About the Boston Athletic Association

Established in 1887, the Boston Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing athletics events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially running. The BAA’s Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, and the organization manages other local events and supports comprehensive charity, youth and year-round running programmes. Since 1986, the principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon has been John Hancock Financial. The Boston Marathon is part of the World Marathon Majors along with the international marathons in Tokyo, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.


For more information, contact the Virgin London Marathon Press Office