Prize Money for Marathons [Too Many Stats and Facts to Count]

Posted on 02 December, 2021 by Paul Ronto

Marathoning can be big money these days! We wanted to see what top marathons were paying top finishers so we collected every stat and fact we could about prize winnings for being fast at 26.2 miles.

The Boston Marathon cash prizes

  • In the past 35 years over $20 million has been given out in prize winnings at the Boston Marathon.
  • The Boston Marathon has the largest prize purse of the Abbott World Marathon Majors (Boston, Chicago, New York, London, Berlin, Tokyo) at $868,500.00.
  • Course record breakers (both in the open division and wheelchair division) receive a $50k bonus. 
  • Master’s Divisions awards (runners 40 and older) will be given to the top 3 finishers of each sex. 
  • Para Athletics Divisions are broken into 3 categories:
    • Visual impairment
    • Lower limb impairment
    • Upper limb impairment
  • The most rewarded Boston runner of all time was four times champion Robert Kipkoech Cheruiyot, a Kenyan runner who has earned a total of $469,000 from the Boston race alone.
  • The Boston Marathon is the highest-paying marathon in North America.
Boston Marathon Prize Money Breakdown
Place Open Division Wheelchair Division Masters Division Para Divisions
1st $150,000 $25,000 $5,000 $1,500
2nd $75,000 $15,000 $2,500 $750
3rd $40,000 $7,500 $1,500 $500
4th $25,000 $4,500    
5th $18,000 $2,500    
6th $13,500 $2,000    
7th $10,500 $1,500    
8th $8,500 $1,250    
9th $7,000 $1,000    
10th $5,500 $750    
         
Totals per category $706,000 $125,000 $18,000 $16,500
         
Grand total $868,500      

Chicago Marathon prize purse

  • The Chicago Marathon holds the current women’s world record time of  2:14:04 set by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei on October 13th, 2019.
Chicago Marathon Prize Money
Open Division (Men/Women)
1st $100,000
2nd $50,000
3rd $25,000
4th $15,000
5th $10,000
American Development Bonuses (Men/Women)
1st $10,000
2nd $7,500
3rd $5,000
4th $2,500
5th $1,000
Wheelchair Division (Men/Women)
1st $5,000
2nd $2,500
3rd $1,500
4th $1,250
5th $1,000
Masters Division (Men/Women)
1st $2,500
2nd $2,000
3rd $1,500
4th $1,000
5th $500
Top Illinois finishers (Men/Women)
1st $2,000
2nd $1,500
3rd $1,000
4th $500
5th $250
   
Total $500,000

Chicago Marathon time bonuses

Chicago Marathon Time Bonuses
Open Division (Men)
Course Record 2:05:37 $50,000
Sub 2:06:00 $40,000
Sub 2:06:30 $30,000
Sub 2:07:00 $20,000
Sub 2:08:00 $10,000
Open Division (Women)
Course Record 2:17:18 $50,000
Sub 2:20:00 $40,000
Sub 2:21:00 $30,000
Sub 2:22:00 $20,000
Sub 2:24:00 $10,000
American Development (Men)
Sub 2:20:00 $2,000
American Development (Women)
Sub 2:42:00 $2,000

New York Marathon prize money

NYC Marathon Open division

  • Only athletes competing in the Professional/Invited athlete group are eligible for prize money
  • The finish order is based on gun time.
  • Prize money is subject to the 1.5% World Athletics “Athlete Levy” which supports the WA anti-doping testing program.
New York City Marathon Prize Money
Open Division (Men/Women)
1st $100,000
2nd $60,000
3rd $40,000
4th $25,000
5th $15,000
6th $10,000
7th $7,500
8th $5,000
9th $2,500
10th $2,000
   
Totals $534,000

NYC Marathon USA division

  • Athletes must be USA citizens, and may not be eligible to represent another national federation in international competition. 
  • Only athletes competing in the Professional/Invited athlete start are eligible for USA Division prize money.
New York City Marathon Prize Money
USA Division
1st $25,000
2nd $15,000
3rd $10,000
4th $5,000
5th $3,000
   
Totals $116,000

NYC Marathon NYRR member division

  • Athletes must be a NYRR (New York Road Runners) member for a minimum of 6 months prior to race day and complete three fully-scored NYRR races during a set time period.
  • NYRR Virtual races do not count towards this three-race requirement. 
  • Only athletes who start in the Professional/Invited athlete start will be eligible for prize money in the NYRR Member Division “Open” category.
New York City Marathon Prize Money
NYRR Member Division
  Open Masters (40+) Teams
1st $5,000 $500 $1,500
2nd $4,000 $250 $1,000
3rd $3,000 $150 $500
4th $2,000 $100  
5th $1,000    
       
Totals $38,000    

NYC Marathon masters division

  • Professional/Invited athletes or “time-trial” runners are eligible for masters prize money. Priority will be given to athletes who start in the Professional/Invited Athlete start with finish order based on Gun Time. If applicable, athletes in the “time-trial” start will be eligible for remaining prize money spots, with finish order based on Net Time.
New York City Marathon Prize Money
Masters Division
1st $3,000
2nd $2,000
3rd $1,000
   
Totals $12,000

NYC Marathon wheelchair division

New York City Marathon Prize Money
Professional Wheelchair Division
1st $25,000
2nd $20,000
3rd $15,000
4th $10,000
5th $5,000
6th $2,500
   
Totals $155,000

NYC Marathon Time Bonuses

Open division

  • $50,000 bonus to any male or female that breaks the existing event record. 
  • This bonus is limited to the race winner only. 
  • The athlete must break, not tie, the record.
New York City Marathon Prize Money
Course Record Time Bonuses - Open Division
Men $50,000 2:05:06 Set by: Geoffrey Mutai (2013)
Women $50,000 2:22:31 Set by: Margaret Okayo (2003)

NYRR Member division

  • Cumulative with NYRR member division prize money and listed above. 
  • Only the highest eligible amount will be awarded.
New York City Marathon Prize Money
NYRR Member Division Time Bonuses
Men Women
Sub-2:18:00 $1,000 Sub-2:41:00 $1,000
Sub-2:19:00 $750 Sub-2:42:00 $750
Sub-2:20:00 $500 Sub-2:43:00 $500

Wheelchair division

New York City Marathon Prize Money
Wheelchair Division Time Bonuses
Men Women
Sub-1:29:22 $7,500 Sub-1:43:04 $7,500

London Marathon

  • Due to Covid-19 and the financial ramifications of the pandemic, the London Marathon has significantly cut the prize money allocations. 

London Marathon Elite division

  • Overall, there is £231,000 on offer for the elite runner’s division.
London Marathon Prize Money
Elite Division (Men/Women)
1st $53,200 £40,000
2nd $29,260 £22,000
3rd $21,280 £16,000
4th $13,965 £10,500

London Marathon time bonuses

  • Any runner below the time of 2:05:00 (men) or 2:18:00 (women) will split a shared pot of £70,000. 
London Marathon Prize Money
Time Bonus (All finishers below the set time will split the prize money)
Men
Sub 2:05:00 $93,100 £70,000
Women
Sub 2:18:00 $93,100 £70,000

London Marathon world record bonus

London Marathon Prize Money
New World Record
Men
Sub 2:01:39 $23,408 £17,600
Women
Sub 2:14:04 $23,408 £17,600

London Marathon wheelchair division

  • There is also £100,260 on offer to placing wheelchair competitors overall.
London Marathon Prize Money
Wheelchair division (Men/Women)
Winner $23,408 £17,600

Berlin Marathon

  • The Berlin Marathon course is flat and fast and currently claims the marathon men’s world record.
    • Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya ran a 2:01:39 on September 16th, 2018.

Overall Berlin Marathon winner prizes

Berlin Marathon Prize Money
Open Division (Men/Women)
1st $22,600 €20,000
2nd $11,300 €10,000
3rd $8,475 €7,500
4th $6,780 €6,000
5th $5,650 €5,000
6th $4,238 €3,750
7th $2,825 €2,500
8th $2,260 €2,000
9th $1,695 €1,500
10th $1,130 €1,000
     
Totals $133,905 €118,500

Berlin Marathon time bonuses

Berlin Marathon Prize Money
Time Bonus
Men
1st Sub 2:02:30 $33,900 €30,000
1st/2nd Sub 2:03:30 $16,950 €15,000
Women
1st Sub 2:17:30 $33,900 €30,000
1st/2nd Sub 2:19:00 $16,950 €15,000

Berlin Marathon world record bonuses

Berlin Marathon Prize Money
New World Record
Men
Sub 2:01:39 $56,500 €50,000
Women
Sub 2:14:04 $56,500 €50,000

Tokyo Marathon

  • The Tokyo Marathon is the newest marathon in the Abbot World Marathon Majors starting in 2007 and is the largest marathon in Asia. 

Tokyo Marathon elite field

Tokyo Marathon Prize Money
Elite Field (Men/Women)
1st $96,800 ¥11,000,000
2nd $35,200 ¥4,000,000
3rd $17,600 ¥2,000,000
4th $8,800 ¥1,000,000
5th $6,600 ¥750,000
6th $4,400 ¥500,000
7th $3,520 ¥400,000
8th $2,640 ¥300,000
9th $1,760 ¥200,000
10th $880 ¥100,000
     
Totals $356,400 ¥40,500,000

Tokyo Marathon record bonuses

  • Record bonuses only go to first place finishers
Tokyo Marathon Prize Money
Record Bonuses (Men/Women)
World Record $264,000 ¥30,000,000
Japanese National Record $44,000 ¥5,000,000
Course Record $26,400 ¥3,000,000
     
Totals $668,800 ¥76,000,000

Tokyo Marathon wheelchair division

Tokyo Marathon Prize Money
Wheelchair Division (Men/Women)
1st $8,800 ¥1,000,000
2nd $4,400 ¥500,000
3rd $2,640 ¥300,000
4th $880 ¥100,000
5th $704 ¥80,000
6th $528 ¥60,000
7th $352 ¥40,000
8th $176 ¥20,000
     
Totals $36,960 ¥4,200,000

Tokyo Marathon wheelchair division record bonuses

Tokyo Marathon Prize Money
Wheelchair Division Record Bonuses (Men/Women)
World Record $8,800 ¥1,000,000
Japanese National Record $4,400 ¥500,000
Course Record $1,760 ¥200,000
     
Totals $29,920 ¥3,400,000

Other marathons with big cash prizes

Seoul International Marathon

  • $80,000 to the male and female winners (required to finish under 2:10:00 and 2:24:00 respectively or prize is cut in half to $40,000).
  • World record bonuses are $500,000 for men and $300,000 for women.
  • Time bonus of $200,000 for sub 2:04:00 (male) and sub 2:18:00 (female) with additional time bonuses whittling down to $5,000 at its lowest. 

Nagoya Women’s Marathon

  • The winner will take home $250,000 making it the current highest prize purse for any marathon in the world. 
  • Nagoya is also the largest women-only marathon in the world. 
  • Any female athlete, who has run under a 2:50:00 marathon is eligible for this race.

Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon

  • $200,000 for first place winners.
  • An additional $100,000 for breaking the marathon world record.
  • In January of 2008, the Dubai Marathon offered the highest prize purses ever with winners receiving $250,000 and a million-dollar offer if they set a world record. 
    • Unfortunately, no runner set the world record that day. 
    • The winner of the 2008 race, Haile Gebrselassie, ran in 2:04:53, which was the second-best world marathon time at the time, and just a few months later at the Berlin Marathon, he did in fact set the world record at the time with a 2:03:59.
  • Since 2019 the winner’s prize was cut in half to $125,000.

Abbott World Marathon Majors

  • $500,000 goes to the men’s and women’s champions based on points earned in qualifying races after a full year of competition.
Abbott World Marathon Majors Qualifying Races
 
Tokyo Marathon
Boston Marathon
Virgin Money London Marathon
BMW BERLIN-MARATHON
Bank of America Chicago Marathon
TCS New York City Marathon
Olympic Marathon
IAAF World Championships Marathon

Other income for marathon runners

  • Appearance fees can stack up and be upwards of $250K for big-name runners. 
  • Shoe sponsor bonuses can be in the range of $50-75K for a major win, like Boston, from an athlete with a major sponsor like Nike. 
  • General sponsors can add unlimited funding for runners and major wins can enhance an athlete’s visibility exponentially. 
  • Speaking engagements are like general sponsors, and if an athlete jumps on opportunities quickly after a win they can see upwards of $40K for an individual engagement. 

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Use of content

  • We are happy to give interviews on the topic at any time. For this purpose or for print-use questions please reach out to Paul Ronto at paul@runrepeat.com.
  • Feel free to use material from this page in any web coverage of the topic, we just ask that you refer, and link back to this source.

References

  • https://www.espn.com/sports/endurance/story/_/id/9156850/endurance-sports-how-much-does-winning-major-marathon-pay
  • https://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/prize-money
  • https://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/para-athletes/para-athletes-divisions
  • https://www.baa.org/races/baa-distance-medley/age-groups
  • http://assets.chicagomarathon.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/1_Media-Information-and-Fast-Facts.pdf
  • https://www.boston.com/news/boston-marathon/2021/09/28/2021-boston-marathon-winners-prize-money/
  • https://en.as.com/en/2021/11/06/other_sports/1636195944_026749.html
  • https://www.nyrr.org/run/prize-money
  • https://citizen.digital/news/amount-of-money-eliud-kipchoge-will-earn-from-berlin-marathon-212254/
  • https://www.bmw-berlin-marathon.com/fileadmin/marathon/0_files/mediaguide_bmw-berlin-marathon-2021.pdf
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marathon
  • https://www.the-sun.com/sport/3778664/london-marathon-prize-money-past-winners/
  • https://lmeldigitalcontent.blob.core.windows.net/$web/VMLM/2020/Media-Guide/Media%20_Guide.pdf
  • https://germanroadraces.de/?post_eng=tokyo-marathon-adds-prize-money-to-attract-top-runners-translated-by-brett-larner-japan-running-news
  • https://www.marathon.tokyo/en/news/detail/news_001545.html
  • https://www.rrmonlineguide.com/events/2606
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_Marathon
  • https://www.marathon.tokyo/en/about/past/2019/press-release/pdf/TMMG2019_Web_72dpi.pdf
Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.