The Run, Rabbit, Run ultramarathon in Steamboat Springs, Colo., introduces the ‘Rabbit Cup’ for 2018. Teams of three runners will compete across 100 miles for the biggest grand prize in ultrarunning yet.
For years, the Run, Rabbit, Run 100- and 50-mile races boasted one of the largest purses in the sport of ultrarunning at $65,000. For 2018, it could be a whole lot more.
With the introduction of a team format dubbed the Rabbit Cup, runners will compete for a piece of the $165,000 total purse.
It takes place on September 14, 2018.
Rabbit Cup: New Team Format
The Rabbit Cup will have teams of three racing to achieve the fastest combined two-person time. That means teams of three get one “throw-out” time for the slowest runner.
Combined time must include one male and one female runner.
But there’s a big barrier to entry. Teams must pay a $10,000 entry fee to enter the Rabbit Cup. The first 10 teams to pony up will be admitted.
These 10 teams will run against the entire field. Teams could be two men and a woman, or two women and a man. Teams of two can also compete but would seemingly be at a disadvantage as both runners’ times would have to count.
Runners on teams do not have to stay together through the event.
Runners entered in the Rabbit Cup are also entered into the main Run, Rabbit, Run field. So they’re also eligible to the individual prize sums.
Organizers hope to allow a more lucrative opportunity for athletes and broaden the fan base and reach of ultrarunning.
It could also give top pros (and their sponsors) a serious incentive to get to Colorado for the race. It puts ultrarunning into a next echelon of prize money approaching professional cycling races and other more mainstream sports.
Rabbit Cup: Team Ultramarathon
The Run, Rabbit, Run winds through Steamboat Springs resort, across 103 miles and 20,200 feet of elevation gain. In the past, as with any ultra, racers competed and placed individually.
The Rabbit Cup not only brings the largest purse the sport has seen, but also a new format for big races. How racing with someone else will change the sport remains to be seen, but it surely will inspire new strategies.
The goal remains the same, finish faster than the others. However because Rabbit Cup participants are solely competing against each other for the $100,000 purse, those prize winners may cross the finish line behind individual winners.
This format is similar to major cycling events, where individual and team winners may differ.
How To Sign Up: Rabbit Cup
The first 10 teams to pony up the $10,000 earn a slot. Once you obtain an entry, owners are allowed to lease, sell, trade, share, and contract it.
Along with Rabbit Cup race entry, slot holders gain three complimentary entries in the Run, Rabbit, Run 100-mile race, plus a three-night, three-room lodging suite, and the first option to participate in the 2019 Rabbit Cup event.
The teams must consist of one male, one female, and up to three runners. In the event that less than 10 slots fill up, registrants will be refunded and no team prize money will be distributed.
For those interested, race organizers are accepting registrants now. For everyone else, mark your calendars and get ready for a new style of ultra.
We did the math, and it looks like the total Rabbit Cup purse will be $103,000, and the Run, Rabbit, Run will be $62,000. Still a total of $165,000.
Rabbit Cup Prize Breakdown
- First place team – $50,000
- Second place team – $20,000
- Third place team – $15,000
- Fourth place team – $10,000
- Fifth place team – $5,000
- Sixth place team – $3,000
Individual Run, Rabbit, Run Prize Breakdown
- First place (male and female) – $12,500
- Second place (male and female) – $7,500
- Third place (male and female) – $5,000
- Fourth place (male and female) – $3,500
- Fifth place (male and female) – $1,500
- Masters premium (over 40) – $1,000
We’ve included the full press release below: