GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For runners in this year’s 25K Fifth Third River Bank Run there is a new twist putting even more money on the finish line.
“If the first American runner is a man they get an extra thousand dollars, if the first American runner is female across the line, they get an extra thousand dollars,” said Christo Landry, one of the elite runners for Saturday’s race.
And to make it fairer the elite women runners will get an 11 and half minute head start on the elite men runners, the average time between the first man and woman finishing the race in the past.
“Then the men will set out and chase after them,” Landry said.
Christo Landry and Dot McMahan will be out on the course tomorrow trying to be the first to cross the line. Both have been among the first finishers in the past and both feel one gender has an advantage.
“I think it’s a little bit of an advantage for the men because we get to see them out ahead and we can slowly reel them in over the course of the race. The women are kind of running blind you don’t really look behind yourself too much in a race. It is going to be hard for them to tell if we’re closing down,” said Landry.
“I definitely think it’s the men, I mean it’s like being a cat and mouse chase, and I think you definitely want to be the cat and not the mouse,” McMahan said.
What they don’t see eye-to-eye on is who will cross the finish line first, a man or woman.
I think it’s going to be a woman, because it seems like there are a few people looking to chase down the American record on the women’s side as well,” said McMahan.
“Me, obviously,” said Landry.
Time will tell who is right.
In the meantime, both feel like the added twist is a good move for the race.
“I think anytime you can add a little extra to it, however you do it, is a great thing. The fact that now the men have a way to compete not only against the other men in the race but the women as well I think that’s a great added bonus to the race,” said Landry.
“I think it changes the race, it makes it a little different. It’s a different feel than most races we’re usually running with men and now we’re going to be out there running by ourselves,” McMahan said.