Do you have what it takes?

The Novant Health Charlotte Marathon is creating a new opportunity for competitive runners on the local and regional scene. This year, the marathon launched the Elite Athlete program which invites top runners to compete for a cash prize.

The idea came from James Perez, the 2018 Men’s Marathon Champion, who wanted to find a fun way to invest in local athletes who have more advanced running goals. The Elite Athlete program is a new space where these runners can set out to achieve those advanced goals alongside some of the best runners around.

To apply for the program, runners must be able to complete a full or half marathon under the respective qualifying time within a year from July 15, 2019.

 How Fast is Elite Fast? 



I believe a program like this creates a buzz, especially among our faster runners, which generates more positive publicity,” says Tim Rhodes, race director and owner of Run For Your Life. “It’s a new way to inspire athletes to train harder and run faster as the competition gets stronger.

On race day, elite athletes receive complimentary entry into the full or half marathon. They also have access to an exclusive area where they can stretch indoors before the race (and use heated bathrooms!).

We want to attract a competitive field of runners for the marathon and be sure the athletes have a fantastic experience,” says Rhodes.

The program brings in the local community too by asking them to host elite athletes from out of town. “We are looking for local runners to host the athletes during their stay in Charlotte. Imagine the conversation around the dinner table with an elite athlete if you are a family that runs! I think it can be an inspiring opportunity for local runners,” says Rhodes.

Runners interested in applying for the program can start by visiting the Elite Athletes Program page, where they’ll find more detailed race-day information and a link to the application. This is also where community members can sign up to host an athlete.

Comment List

  • george reith 10 / 05 / 2019

    so this is basically for runners probably 30 or younger. if you go back and look at the times not too many runners over 30 ran a 2:35:marathon. this is not physically possible for older runners and the younger runners get all the extra’s? I have ran the marathon the last 6 yrs and if this goes into effect i will not be participating, i think its discriminatory against the older runners. set some times for the older runners also

    • Novant Health Charlotte Marathon 16 / 05 / 2019

      Hey George! Thanks for your comment! We absolutely did not intend for you to feel like we are discriminating against you, or any of our older athletes. Our goal with this program is to create some “buzz” for the race. By offering prize money, we hope to entice gifted runners to participate in our race to create a more competitive race field. Hopefully this clears up any misunderstandings, and we look forward to seeing you in November!

  • Tim Richter 31 / 05 / 2019

    If you’d add a website page listing the course record holder (and time) for each age group you’d probably draw more all around talent. Better yet add it to the front page of this website.

    • Novant Health Charlotte Marathon 24 / 06 / 2019

      Thanks for your comment! We will definitely look into doing that 🙂

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