Miles and Points Sprint

The Boston Marathon Prize Money Controversy, A Charter Airline That Went the Extra Mile, and More

2017 Boston Marathon Registration
Written by Charlie

Read some stories from all around that include the resolution of the Boston Marathon prize money controversy (did you know that was a thing?), how a charter airline when the extra mile, the busiest airline routes in the world and more!

Here are some of the stories that have been piling up over the week that I had read and thought were worth sharing. Hopefully you enjoy them!

Stories and Posts From the Web

The Boston Marathon Prize Money Controversy

Link: Runner’s World Article About the Issue

Ok, let me first sum up what happened and then give you the posts about it. 🙂 The Boston Marathon, like other World Marathon Majors and other large marathons, has a starting system based on waves. The elite women (who are given invites or accepted into the Boston elite women’s start based on their best marathon time or equivalent race) start of 28 minutes before the first wave of the main marathon start.

The Elite Women’s Start

Giving the elite a start like that allows their to be the attention to the elite women that they deserve. It lets them have the road to themselves without having the main race interfere and crowd things up (there are many men that would finish in front of or around these elite women if they all started at the same time).

The Weather Changed Things

This year, thanks to the weather changing some race strategies up, there were 3 women from the first wave of the main race start that actually placed in the top 15 women overall – even though they did not have the qualifying times to start with elite women. One of them placed 5th by time! That is awesome to see a “non-elite” woman have a breakout race like this that would allow her to claim such a spot.

The Prize Money Issue

The issue started with many when it came to the prize money. The BAA had a policy that runners acknowledged that only the women in the elite women’s start would be eligible for prize money. A chief reason for that is because it is not fair to have a racer in the elite women’s start to not know that she is racing against someone 28 minutes behind her.

For example, Jessica Chichester, the non-elite woman who placed 5th among women, had a time of 2:45:23 (getting 5th place means a $15K award if she had started with the elite women). The woman, Nicole Dimercurio,  who placed 6th (but who had placed 5th with the elite women) had a time of 2:45:52. That meant she finished just 29 seconds behind the 5th place woman. Yet, she never knew that 5th place was that close because Jessica started with the main pack!

The Controversy

I know, there are a lot of people that would say it shouldn’t matter the starting wave but imagine this – an elite woman could enter in the main wave without using her elite qualifying time and then “race” the elite women using the men in Wave 1 as her pacers and the elite women would never know she was there!

Anyway, a Buzzfeed author wrote an article (personally, I thought the article was way off base with the author seeming to want to make it a sexist issue without understanding marathons – but I say this knowing I am a guy so… 🙂 ) that condemned the BAA for the whole issue with the final leaderboard and the not awarding of the prize money to the people who came in the places identified by the leaderboard.

But, a woman author wrote a great piece for Runner’s World after the BAA decided it would give the prize money to the women who were not in the elite pack. Make sure you reader her article because it is spot on with giving the whole, correct perspective about this race and the start times.

Anyway, I guess this could have been its own post but I thought I would include it in a roundup with my thoughts instead. 🙂

A Charter Airline that Went the Extra Mile

Again, I like to highlight when there is kindness in the sky since people seem to always find the negative incidents that occur and focus on them.

This one concerns a family that lost their son in the Parkland shooting. The family could not find a commercial flight from NYC to get down to be with the son so instead went ahead and booked with Talon Air, a charter company. The fare for flying down was $18,000 but the family didn’t realize they would be on the hook for the empty return flight as well bringing the total to over $36,000.

The mother tried to get the company to refund that return half but was only able to get $2,000 back. After posting it to Facebook, the owner of Talon Air reached out to her and tried to refund the entire $36,000. The mother refused, only taking the $18,000 and the airline donated the other $18,000 to a memorial fund in her son’s name.

Read the whole story here.

Why You Don’t Remember Pain from Running Marathons

A good read for why you and I are ready to sign up for marathons again the week after a race that puts us in a lot of pain! 🙂

Read the report here.

The World’s 20 Busiest Airline Routes

Definitely an interesting read to see all of these routes! The busiest route is Kuala Lumpur to Singapore with over 30,000 flights during the 12 month survey! I know I once flew one of the quietest routes – Auckland to Santiago!

Read the story here

United Airlines Hires a Former White House Press Secretary

Hmm, not sure if United really thought this one through! Yes, it helps to have a communications professional as your chief communications director but what does it say to everyone that this person was a professional, political spin artist? 🙂

Read the story here

Did you see any interesting stories this week? Leave them in the comments!

Featured image by Marcio Jose Bastos Silva courtesy of Shutterstock

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I’m surprised that family couldn’t find three seats between NYC and FLL/MIA… there are tons of flights on this route daily

    • I know – that was something I found odd with the story as well. I kind of assumed it had to do with the sense of urgency to get there and not finding anything within the following couple of hours. I can’t imagine what is going through a family’s minds in moments like that.