Ultramarathons have never had big financial rewards. A trophy, a T-shirt and maybe some free trainers is considered a good haul – but is that about to change?
Would you be more likely to set a personal best in your next race if someone offered you £100? How about £1,000? Or even £5,000? The people behind the Ultra Gobi, a 400km single-stage desert race in China, are hoping to find out whether money can make a difference by announcing a $10,000 prize for anyone who breaks the 71-hour course record.
“In 2017, Dan Lawson laid down an incredible gauntlet in the Gobi” says Pavel Toropov, the race director. “This unparalleled prize is a tribute to that performance and an incentive for the best endurance athletes in the world to challenge it.”