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FROM merriam-webster -engaged in by persons receiving financial return -participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs So if you are increasing your bank account you're professional.So add up all of the money spent on shoes or clothing, entry fees, transportation to races...If just netting money makes you a pro then yay for me.I've been a pro for 12 years and never broken 15 in the 5K. It's like calling yourself a cancer survivor because you had a small basal cell patch removed from you leg. You can call me what you want but so far this year I have made 2 trips to Europe on someone else’s dime.If you're coming out ahead then you're a professional.If you made 0 in prize money throughout a year, but you buy your own shoes for a few hundred dollars and had to pay some entry fees for a few hundred dollars and paid for a PT appointment to get rid of an injury, then you're not professional.Far from being a real pro, but you can live with somewhere between ,800 and ,400 be self sustaining and devote your time to racing and see some amazing cities, race some big races for free, compete in US championships, meet amazing people and friends and create some amazing memories. Nah, not close but you got to live as close to the dream as possible even if for a little while before continuing onto life in a different way, and were able to get close enough to a level that most wont see or experience. A 140 mpw guy might be able to run 20 miles a day in two hours, certainly not much more.So multiply, say 15 hours per week by the minimum wage and you'll get a better number.
Nike's Oregon Project is a group created by the athletic shoe company Nike in 2001 to promote American long-distance running."It would increase employers' incentives to evade the law, expanding the underground economy.More important, it would increase unemployment: Raise the legal minimum price of labor above the productivity of the least skilled workers and fewer will be hired."That's as important an insight now as it was when it was written in 1987.Plus you need extra time for sleep and recovery people working normal jobs don't.One of the biggest reasons for Bekele's decline was he started to spend more time on his business interests and that took away from the other things that made him such a dominant runner.