BIG SUR, Calif. -

The Big Sur Marathon organization is upping the ante for its half marathon.

Stakes are being raised for the Half Marathon on Monterey Bay, which takes place Nov. 16. The top three male and female U.S. runners finishing the race, and all Americans who qualify for the U.S. Olympic Marathon trials will be awarded a cash bonus.

"The Big Sur International Marathon organization has always tried to balance bringing in the best international runners and helping develop our U.S. runners,” said John Mutty, chair of the Marathon Board of Directors. “The U.S. bonus is another step in those efforts.”

A total guaranteed purse of $20,000 will be awarded to the top eight male and female finishers, the top three male and female Masters (over 40) runners, and this year to the top three U.S. male and female runners, regardless of their overall finish.

A $1,000 bonus will also be awarded to any runner who sets a new course record besting a 1:02:32 (Ian Dobson, 2006) for men and a 1:09:43 (Belainesh Gebre, 2010) for women.

Also new this year is a U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier bonus of $500 for any eligible U.S. runner who runs under the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials “B” standard of 1:05 for men and 1:15 for women for the first time since the eligibility period began in August 1, 2013.

To date, already 74 American men and 94 women have qualified. Race directors expect more than 200 men and women will qualify for the February 2016 Olympic Marathon trials race, to be held in Los Angeles.

For more information or to register, click here.