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Each year 80,000 people run in Standard Chartered sponsored marathons. GROE was created as a vehicle for Standard Chartered to leverage these highly successful marathons, across its network in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 

In doing so, GROE has revolutionised the traditionally individual sport of marathon running by shifting the focus more towards co-operation and collaboration.  Partnership and teamwork, as well as trust, courage and a determination to go the distance are all Standard Chartered core values and will be key factors in determining the winners. 

The emphasis of GROE, launched in October 2004, is very much on rewarding teamwork over a series spanning approximately four months.  It embraces cultures from around the world, and has broadened participation to levels previously unseen in the sport. 

GROE is the world’s only marathon series and team event, and still offers the biggest prize pool in world athletics – US.5 million.

The four GROE marathons – Nairobi, Singapore, Mumbai and Hong Kong – encompass some of the world’s most challenging running environments.

GROE is a truly international event, and as a result GROE is fast becoming known as the World Cup of Marathons.  In the 2006/07 Series, there are 30 official national teams competing for the Nations Challenge, the trophy for which is a specially-commissioned Gold Baton.

As well as featuring elite runners, the Greatest Race broadens participation by giving athletes from non-traditional marathon running nations the opportunity to compete on an international stage.

The 9 carat, 300 gram solid gold trophy has been specially commissioned for GROE and will be awarded to the winners of the Nations Challenge.  The gold relay baton, worth over US0,000, is seen as a perfect symbol of GROE and a fitting trophy for such a prestigious relay series. 

The baton is made of pure gold to represent the standard that winners of the Nations Challenge must reach to secure that first place.  It will be present at all four marathons in the series, where athletes and their coaches will be able to see what is at stake.  The Nations Challenge winners each year will get to keep a replica of the Gold Baton.

GROE is a marathon relay across four Standard Chartered marathons – Nairobi, Singapore, Mumbai and Hong Kong.  Teams consist of four runners, who compete in one marathon each.  Teams are ranked according to the cumulative time that their four athletes record over the series. 

There are various Challenges that teams enter into:

Main Team Challenge – Open to all teams of four people.  Prizes are awarded to the top five.  Any team competing in GROE, including national teams, qualifies to win the Main Team Challenge prize pool.

Women’s Team Challenge – Bonus pool for teams consisting of four female runners, including national teams.  Prizes are awarded to the top five.

Nations Challenge – Open to all national teams endorsed by their National Athletics Association.  Prizes are awarded to the top overall team, as well as the top three in each of seven regions.

Please see end of this document for a summary of the prize structure.

Yes, there are additional prizes on offer to reward those teams who achieve an exceptional performance during the series. 

The Nations Challenge team that records the most improved cumulative time compared to the 2005/06 series wins US5,000.  In addition there is a prize pool of US$20,000 available to teams that break either the overall or the women’s GROE cumulative time record.  Finally, there is a pool of US$20,000 available to teams that are deemed to have deserved a Special Achievement Award.

The individual merits of all teams in the series will be judged on their participation and success against subjective criteria.  Teams might be particularly young, physically impaired or have gone through significant personal barriers to participate.  This award will highlight those teams that have overcome obstacles to still take part, lead the way and complete the series.

The event is open to any group of four people.  The race attracts amateur runners as well as the world’s best marathon athletes from countries all over the world.  This series sees a record 83 teams enter, including 45 professional teams, 30 official national teams and 15 all-women’s teams.  Including the Standard Chartered staff competing in separate Half Marathon Challenges, the total number of entrants for 2006/07 has risen to 590.

Amongst the world class athletes signed up this year are Usisivu Boniface, Simon Bor and Joseph Ngolepus, all sub-2:08 athletes, and for the women, Tegla Loroupe, Elana Meyer and Liu Min. These top names from the world of athletics show the enduring appeal of GROE as a showcase event in the marathon running calendar.

The profile of each of the four marathons has been raised since they were integrated into GROE.  Demonstrating this in 2005/06, 75% of the top 10 places in the four marathons were held by GROE runners.  And already in just two series, GROE runners have broken two of the marathon course records.

And overall participation has grown in each of the four marathons.  For example, there were 50% more runners in the Singapore Marathon in 2005 compared to 2004.  And by Mumbai and Hong Kong in 2006, the number of runners had grown to an extraordinary 28,000 and 31,500 respectively.

As well as being able to enter into the Main Team Challenge if they feel ready to take on the challenge of the full marathon, Standard Chartered staff can enter into a specially-created Half Marathon Staff Team Challenge.  In the 2005/06 series, 57 staff teams took part, a number which has been matched this year for the 2006/07 series.  And if they are feeling fit and ambitious, staff members can also enter the Staff Individual Challenge, whereby they run in each of the four half marathons.  As with the full marathon competition, cumulative times are added together, although there is no prize money at stake – merely pride!

Last series built successfully on the inaugural series in 2004/05.  It featured a record number of teams and course records being set by GROE athletes in both Singapore and Mumbai.  Our aim each year is improve the number and quality of teams taking part. 

The structure is essentially the same as last series but there have been a few small changes.  More money is being offered this year to all-women’s teams, the prize pool available for each regional section of the Nations Challenge has been doubled, and a prize pool has been created for exceptional performances.  The decision was made to remove the Individual Challenge, where athletes ran in all four marathons rather than in one as part of a team [see below for explanation].

Although the Individual Challenge was a worthwhile and entertaining category in its own right, Standard Chartered is focusing on GROE as a team event.   Partnership, which is in line with Standard Chartered’s brand promise, will be one of the key factors in determining the winners.  Other key factors will be trust, courage and responsiveness, all of which are part of Standard Chartered core values.

GROE has truly turned marathon-running on its head by introducing the concept of the relay, and it is obviously through the team challenges that this ethos is best demonstrated. Furthermore, shifting the prize money more towards certain types of team is encouraging an increased number and quality of national and all-women’s teams.

For the 2005/06 series, a new bonus pool was introduced for all-women’s teams in order to
attract more women to take part.  This year has seen an increase in the money available to these teams, and prizes are now on offer to the top five rather than just the top three. 

Prize Money

Prize Pool Summary (USD)

Main Team Challenge
Women’s Challenge (Bonus Pool)

$845,000
$200,000
,045,000

Nations Challenge

$400,000

Performance Awards 

$55,000

Total 

,500,000

Main Team Challenge (USD)

Performance Awards (USD)

1

$400,000

Special Achievement Award

$20,000

2

95,000

Most Improved Team Award

5,000

3

25,000

Bonus for beating the Series Record

$20,000

4

$75,000

Total

$55,000

5

$50,000

 

Total

$845,000

 

 

 

 

Women’s Challenge Bonus Pool (USD)

Nations Challenge
(USD)

1

00,000

Overall winner

$50,000

2

$50,000

3

$25,000

1 in each region

$30,000

4

5,000

2 in each region

5,000

5

0,000

3 in each region

$5,000

Total

$200,000

Total for each region

$50,000

 

 

Total

$400,000

 

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