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Analysis

Deep Dive Into the 2022 Triathlon Money List

After 2020 saw a big dip in Professional triathlon racing and overall prize money, things have improved in 2021. The overall money has continued to increase in 2022, especially with the further increase in Pro prize money and two Ironman World Championships this season. This post looks at the overall trends and which athletes have been making good money in different categories.

If you want to check out the 2021 lists, you can find them in my post “Deep Dive Into 2021 Triathlon Money List“.

Money List – Overview

First, here is an overview of the races that are included in the money lists and comparisons to the 2022 and 2019 seasons. (I include 2019 as the last full season before the Corona pandemic disrupted racing.) The totals are shown in US$, for races that paid their prize purse in a different currency the amounts have been converted into US$.

Type Description Total Money
2022
Change
to 2019
Total Money
2021
Total Money
2019
# Pro Events
(2019)
Ironman WTC Ironman-branded races $ 3.338.400 + 35% $ 1.448.250 $ 2.467.000 27 (32)
70.3 WTC 70.3-branded races $ 1.566.100 – 27% $ 1.246.750 $ 2.152.750 42 (71)
PTO PTO races (incl. Bonus Pool) $ 5.563.000 + 45%* $ 3.690.503 (2020:
$ 3.846.316* )
4
(2020: 15*)
Challenge Challenge- and Clash-branded full and half-distance
races (incl. Bonus Pool)
$ 811.920 – 11% $ 843.516 $ 909.586 20 (27)
WTCS World Triathlon Championship Series (incl. Bonus Pool) $ 1.930.000 – 12% $ 1.650.000 $ 2.185.000 8 (9)
SuperLeague SuperLeague Professional Events $ 987.000 + 9% $ 814.500 $ 904.800 6 (4)
Other Independent Races (e.g Embrun, XTerra
World Championships, Alpe D’Huez)
$ 791.545 n/a $ 406.769 $ 624.877 24 (9)
Total $ 15.011.165   + 62% $ 10.580.288 $ 9.244.013
131 (152)

* comparisons for PTO are to 2020 (the first year they have been active), numbers not included in the 2019 totals

Some observations:

  • Ironman prize money is up compared to 2019 by 35%, but that is mostly due to two World Championship events in 2022, each paying US$ 750.000. Still, the average purse per event has gone up from 77k in 2019 to 124k in 2022.
  • Prize money for 70.3s is still down (-27%), mainly because of the reduced number of Pro events. The average purse has slightly increased from 30k to 37k per event.
  • As in previous years, PTO money continues to increase significantly (+57% compared to 2020). While in 2020 they also supported smaller, existing events to be able to provide a Pro prize purse, they are now focused on their own events and the yearly bonus. Each PTO event pays more than one million US$.
    (Note: An earlier version of this post showed a slightly higher total for the PTO – they have notified me of a small error that has now been corrected.)
  • Challenge money is also slightly down (-11%), and they have fewer events on their calendar. The average Challenge race pays just over 40k per event.
  • WTCS numbers are slightly down because there was one fewer event than in 2019. Not including their bonus payment of 750k, the average WTCS event pays 166k.
  • SuperLeague is another well-paying short-course series – they have slightly increased their money over 2019, paying 137k per event plus a series bonus. They also have “Arena Games” events and series with additional money (not included here).
  • The number of independent races that are included has increased significantly. Some of it has to do with events getting more visibility, but there are also a number of events that have increased their prize money to be included in the PTO World Rankings (minimum of US$ 10k prize purse), so this can also be partially attributed to the PTO.

Overall Money List

Kristian Blummenfelt is the overall leader in the 2022 Triathlon Money List, earning almost 500.000 US $ – more than twice the #1 from last year’s list. (Daniela Ryf made 244.000 in 2021.) Even though Daniela was able to increase her earnings this year to 335.00, she’s not even the top female athlete in 2022: Ashleigh Gentle earned just over 350.000 US$.

With the increased money from the PTO and more big events on the calendar, there were 33 athletes who were able to make more than $100.000 this year, compared to 23 in 2021 and 16 in 2019. There was a total of 762 athletes who were able to earn prize money in 2022, up from 647 athletes in 2021.

Kristian Blummenfelt Race 09

Photo: Kristian claims the #1 spot after the Collins Cup, provided by the PTO.

# Name Nation Sex Total Ironman 70.3 PTO Challenge WTCS SuperLeague Other
1 Kristian Blummenfelt NOR M $491,700 $170,000 $50,000 $260,000 $11,700
2 Gustav Iden NOR M $416,755 $125,000 $270,000 $18,255 $3,500
3 Ashleigh Gentle AUS F $351,368 $14,000 $325,000 $12,368
4 Daniela Ryf SUI F $335,000 $153,000 $2,000 $180,000
5 Anne Haug GER F $293,788 $90,000 $2,250 $180,000 $21,538
6 Magnus Elbaek Ditlev DEN M $293,038 $34,000 $18,000 $210,000 $31,038
7 Chelsea Sodaro USA F $278,250 $140,000 $3,250 $135,000
8 Georgia Taylor-Brown GBR F $273,000 $143,000 $130,000
9 Taylor Knibb USA F $270,600 $57,500 $140,000 $73,100
10 Hayden Wilde NZL M $255,000 $20,000 $105,000 $130,000
11 Sam Laidlow FRA M $250,000 $78,000 $172,000
12 Flora Duffy BMU F $227,400 $10,000 $60,000 $157,400
13 Paula Findlay CAN F $222,000 $41,000 $181,000
14 Laura Philipp GER F $216,500 $50,000 $6,500 $160,000
15 Lionel Sanders CAN M $207,750 $65,000 $10,750 $132,000
16 Lucy Charles-Barclay GBR F $198,250 $65,000 $12,000 $110,000 $11,250
17 Katrina Matthews GBR F $185,000 $65,000 $7,000 $113,000
18 Max Neumann AUS M $182,658 $57,500 $4,000 $120,000 $1,158
19 Sam Long USA M $169,410 $4,000 $10,000 $115,000 $40,410
20 Taylor Spivey USA F $162,200 $61,200 $101,000
21 Skye Moench USA F $158,000 $71,000 $1,000 $86,000
22 Patrick Lange GER M $152,519 $26,000 $115,000 $11,519
23 Leo Bergere FRA M $151,100 $3,000 $148,100
24 Collin Chartier USA M $148,500 $20,500 $128,000
25 Holly Lawrence GBR F $145,000 $20,000 $125,000
26 Matthew Hauser AUS M $140,400 $44,400 $96,000
27 Alex Yee GBR M $135,900 $125,900 $10,000
28 Braden Currie NZL M $125,877 $60,000 $63,000 $2,877
29 Daniel Baekkegard DEN M $122,000 $24,000 $14,000 $84,000
30 Matt Hanson USA M $120,056 $42,000 $12,500 $59,000 $6,556
31 Aaron Royle AUS M $115,259 $7,000 $104,000 $4,259
32 Jocelyn McCauley USA F $104,000 $21,000 $83,000
33 Sophie Coldwell GBR F $103,700 $32,700 $71,000
34 Lisa Norden SWE F $97,034 $45,000 $51,000 $1,034
35 Fenella Langridge GBR F $94,567 $31,000 $18,000 $45,567
36 Joe Skipper GBR M $92,500 $57,500 $35,000
37 Jackie Hering USA F $92,000 $22,000 $64,000 $6,000
38 Florian Angert GER M $91,034 $28,500 $1,500 $51,000 $1,034 $9,000
39 Beth Potter GBR F $87,400 $49,400 $38,000
40 Cassandre Beaugrand FRA F $86,800 $55,300 $31,500

PTO Events

For Ashleigh Gentle, 2022 was a breakthrough season on the longer distances. Winning both the Canadian and US Opens, she is the top PTO earner. All of the athletes in the table below made a significant part of their 2022 earnings from the PTO – the lowest is Kona Champion Chelsea Sodaro with “only” 49%. There were 206 athletes who earned PTO money in 2022.

Ashleigh Gentle US Open 2022 12

Photo: Ashleigh running to her second win on the PTO Tour in Dallas, provided by the PTO.

# Name Gender PTO Total Share
1 Ashleigh Gentle F $ 325.000 $ 351.368 92%
2 Gustav Iden M $ 270.000 $ 416.755 65%
3 Kristian Blummenfelt M $ 260.000 $ 491.700 53%
4 Magnus Elbaek Ditlev M $ 210.000 $ 293.038 72%
5 Paula Findlay F $ 181.000 $ 222.000 82%
6 Daniela Ryf F $ 180.000 $ 335.000 54%
6 Anne Haug F $ 180.000 $ 293.788 61%
8 Sam Laidlow M $ 172.000 $ 250.000 69%
9 Laura Philipp F $ 160.000 $ 216.500 74%
10 Taylor Knibb F $ 140.000 $ 270.600 52%
11 Chelsea Sodaro F $ 135.000 $ 278.250 49%
12 Lionel Sanders M $ 132.000 $ 207.750 64%
13 Collin Chartier M $ 128.000 $ 148.500 86%
14 Holly Lawrence F $ 125.000 $ 145.000 86%
15 Max Neumann M $ 120.000 $ 182.658 66%
16 Sam Long M $ 115.000 $ 169.410 68%
16 Patrick Lange M $ 115.000 $ 152.519 75%
18 Katrina Matthews F $ 113.000 $ 185.000 61%
19 Lucy Charles-Barclay F $ 110.000 $ 198.250 55%
20 Aaron Royle M $ 104.000 $ 115.259 90%
21 Skye Moench F $ 86.000 $ 158.000 54%
22 Daniel Baekkegard M $ 84.000 $ 122.000 69%
23 Jocelyn McCauley F $ 83.000 $ 104.000 80%
24 Ellie Salthouse F $ 66.000 $ 76.000 87%
25 Jackie Hering F $ 64.000 $ 92.000 70%

WTC Races

Kristian Blummenfelt was the most consistent racer on the longer distances. Winning two World Championship titles (both in St. George) and a third place in Kona was good enough to be the top earner from WTC races. He is followed by the other Ironman World Champions of this year, Daniela Ryf (St. George), Chelsea Sodaro (Kona) and Gustav Iden (Kona) – these four are also the only athletes at over 100k from WTC. All in all, there were 497 athletes who earned prize money from WTC in 2022. Almost all of the top earners also made significant money from other sources, almost always more than half.

Blummenfelt 703 Worlds

Photo: Kristian celebrating his win at 70.3 Worlds in St. George, provided by Ironman.

# Name Gender IM 70.3 WTC Total Share
1 Kristian Blummenfelt M $ 170.000 $ 50.000 $ 220.000 $ 491.700 45%
2 Daniela Ryf F $ 153.000 $ 2.000 $ 155.000 $ 335.000 46%
3 Chelsea Sodaro F $ 140.000 $ 3.250 $ 143.250 $ 278.250 51%
4 Gustav Iden M $ 125.000 $ 125.000 $ 416.755 30%
5 Anne Haug F $ 90.000 $ 2.250 $ 92.250 $ 293.788 31%
6 Sam Laidlow M $ 78.000 $ 78.000 $ 250.000 31%
7 Lucy Charles-Barclay F $ 65.000 $ 12.000 $ 77.000 $ 198.250 39%
8 Lionel Sanders M $ 65.000 $ 10.750 $ 75.750 $ 207.750 36%
9 Katrina Matthews F $ 65.000 $ 7.000 $ 72.000 $ 185.000 39%
9 Skye Moench F $ 71.000 $ 1.000 $ 72.000 $ 158.000 46%
11 Max Neumann M $ 57.500 $ 4.000 $ 61.500 $ 182.658 34%
12 Braden Currie M $ 60.000 $ 60.000 $ 125.877 48%
12 Sarah Crowley F $ 55.000 $ 5.000 $ 60.000 $ 74.930 80%
14 Taylor Knibb F $ 57.500 $ 57.500 $ 270.600 21%
14 Joe Skipper M $ 57.500 $ 57.500 $ 92.500 62%
16 Laura Philipp F $ 50.000 $ 6.500 $ 56.500 $ 216.500 26%
17 Matt Hanson M $ 42.000 $ 12.500 $ 54.500 $ 120.056 45%
18 Magnus Elbaek Ditlev M $ 34.000 $ 18.000 $ 52.000 $ 293.038 18%
19 Daniela Bleymehl F $ 49.000 $ 2.750 $ 51.750 $ 62.792 82%
20 Lisa Norden F $ 45.000 $ 45.000 $ 97.034 46%
21 Emma Pallant-Browne F $ 44.000 $ 44.000 $ 83.212 53%
22 Ruth Astle F $ 39.000 $ 4.750 $ 43.750 $ 60.750 72%
23 Paula Findlay F $ 41.000 $ 41.000 $ 222.000 18%
24 Cody Beals M $ 34.000 $ 5.750 $ 39.750 $ 47.750 83%
25 Leon Chevalier M $ 34.500 $ 3.750 $ 38.250 $ 62.578 61%

Challenge

The top money earners on the Challenge side are typically athletes who focus on the Challenge Family “World Bonus”. This year, Fenella Langridge was the winner on the female side, and she also made enough money in her other Challenge races to become the top money earner. Similar to the WTC side, almost all of the top earners also make significant money from other race organizers. In total, there were 189 athletes who finished in the money ranks in 2022 Challenge and Clash races.

Challenge Roth  pbh2022 Simon Fischer

Photo: Fenella leading on the bike leg at Challenge Roth, provided by Challenge Roth

# Name Gender Challenge Total Share
1 Fenella Langridge F $ 45.567 $ 94.567 48%
2 Sara Perez Sala F $ 44.755 $ 64.755 69%
3 Sam Long M $ 40.410 $ 169.410 24%
4 Magnus Elbaek Ditlev M $ 31.038 $ 293.038 11%
5 Niek Heldoorn M $ 25.627 $ 61.417 42%
6 Lucy Byram F $ 22.648 $ 34.398 66%
7 Anne Haug F $ 21.538 $ 293.788 7%
8 Gustav Iden M $ 18.255 $ 416.755 4%
9 Lucy Buckingham F $ 17.278 $ 23.528 73%
10 Emma Pallant-Browne F $ 15.212 $ 83.212 18%
11 Vincent Luis M $ 15.000 $ 78.000 19%
11 Angelica Olmo F $ 15.000 $ 15.000 100%
13 Thomas Steger M $ 12.778 $ 29.871 43%
14 Jason West M $ 12.500 $ 78.000 16%
15 Ashleigh Gentle F $ 12.368 $ 351.368 4%
16 Patrick Lange M $ 11.519 $ 152.519 8%
17 Richard Varga M $ 10.953 $ 12.953 85%
18 Joao Pereira M $ 10.000 $ 10.000 100%
19 Reinaldo Colucci M $ 9.909 $ 24.409 41%
20 Thomas Bishop M $ 9.104 $ 19.104 48%

Short Course

As in previous years, the top earner of “short course money” had to be successful in both major events, the World Triathlon Series WTCS and SuperLeague. World Champions Flora Duffy and Leo Bergere did not race any SuperLeague events and were overtaken in this money list by SuperLeague winners Georgia Taylor-Brown and Hayden Wilde. In total, 114 athletes made money in these short-course events, most of which made the majority of their money on these distances.

GTB wtcs cagliari

Photo: “GTB” pops a bottle of champagne after her win at WTCS Cagliari 2022, provided by World Triathlon.

# Name Gender WTCS SuperLeague Short Course Total Share
1 Georgia Taylor-Brown F $ 143.000 $ 130.000 $ 273.000 $ 273.000 100%
2 Hayden Wilde M $ 105.000 $ 130.000 $ 235.000 $ 255.000 92%
3 Taylor Spivey F $ 61.200 $ 101.000 $ 162.200 $ 162.200 100%
4 Flora Duffy F $ 157.400 $ 157.400 $ 227.400 69%
5 Leo Bergere M $ 148.100 $ 148.100 $ 151.100 98%
6 Matthew Hauser M $ 44.400 $ 96.000 $ 140.400 $ 140.400 100%
7 Alex Yee M $ 125.900 $ 10.000 $ 135.900 $ 135.900 100%
8 Sophie Coldwell F $ 32.700 $ 71.000 $ 103.700 $ 103.700 100%
9 Beth Potter F $ 49.400 $ 38.000 $ 87.400 $ 87.400 100%
10 Cassandre Beaugrand F $ 55.300 $ 31.500 $ 86.800 $ 86.800 100%
11 Taylor Knibb F $ 73.100 $ 73.100 $ 270.600 27%
12 Vasco Vilaca M $ 26.100 $ 46.000 $ 72.100 $ 72.100 100%
13 Jonathan Brownlee M $ 12.000 $ 54.000 $ 66.000 $ 66.000 100%
14 Jelle Geens M $ 60.700 $ 60.700 $ 60.700 100%
15 Miriam Casillas Garcia F $ 25.700 $ 27.500 $ 53.200 $ 53.200 100%
16 Vincent Luis M $ 51.000 $ 51.000 $ 78.000 65%
17 Verena Steinhauser F $ 15.700 $ 24.000 $ 39.700 $ 39.700 100%
18 Kenji Nener M $ 11.100 $ 27.500 $ 38.600 $ 38.600 100%
19 Laura Lindemann F $ 27.100 $ 8.000 $ 35.100 $ 35.100 100%
20 Emma Lombardi F $ 32.200 $ 32.200 $ 32.200 100%

Deep Dive Into the 2021 Triathlon Money List

After 2020 saw a big dip in Professional triathlon racing and overall prize money, things have improved in 2021. Especially the second half of the year has seen big events and big purses. But things are not yet back to the pre-Corona 2019 numbers, for example prize money paid by WTC in Ironman and 70.3 3 events is still down by about 40% compared to 2019. This post looks at the overall trends and which athletes have been making good money in different categories.

If you want to check out the 2020 lists, you can find them in my post “Deep Dive Into 2020 Triathlon Money List“.

Money List – Overview

First, here is an overview of the races that are included in the money lists and comparisons to the 2020 and 2019 seasons. The totals are shown in US$, for races that paid their prize purse in a different currency the amounts have been converted into US$.

The big exception to overall lower numbers is the addition of the PTO. As when they have entered the scene in 2020, they are the biggest provider of “official prize money” in 2021 triathlon. With their plans of adding more big-paying races to the calendar, this will likely continue in 2022. An interesting question: Will this lead to increased purses by other race providers as well? For example, Ironman has increased the money for the Ironman World Championships for the first time since 2013, now paying an additional $100.000 and paying the Top 15 (instead of Top 10). 

Type Description Total Money
2021
Change
to 2019
Total Money
2020
Total Money
2019
# Events
(2019)
Ironman WTC Ironman-branded races $ 1.448.250 -41% $ 200.000 $ 2.467.000 18 (32)
70.3 WTC 70.3-branded races $ 1.246.750 -42% $ 233.900 $ 2.152.750 29 (71)
PTO PTO-supported races (incl. Bonus Pool) $ 4.170.503 8%* $ 3.846.316   11 (15*)
Challenge Challenge-branded full and half-distance
races
(incl. Bonus Pool)
$ 843.516 -7% $ 16.614 $ 909.586 19 (27)
ITU ITU World Triathlon Championship Series
(incl. Bonus Pool)
$ 1.650.000 -24% $ 250.000 $ 2.185.000 7 (9)
SuperLeague SuperLeague Professional Events $ 814.500 -10% $ 50.000 $ 904.800 5 (4)
Other Independent Races (e.g Embrun, XTerra
World Championships, Alpe D’Huez)
$ 406.769   $ 15.822 $ 624.877 10 (9)
Total   $ 10.580.288 14% $ 4.612.652 $ 9.244.013 99 (152)

* comparisons for PTO are to 2020 (the first year they have been active)

Overall Money List

Daniela Ryf has won five races this season and finished second in the PTO World Rankings. While she wasn’t able to secure another World title at 70.3 Worlds, she still was making good money in all her other events, just edging out Gustav Iden and Lucy Charles-Barclay as the top money winner. There was a total of 23 athletes who were able to make more than $100.000 this year, compared to 16 in 2019. There was a total of 647 athletes who were able to earn prize money in 2021. 

Dani CollinsCup
Photo: Daniela on the bike leg at the Collins Cup, provided by the PTO

# Name Gender Total PTO WTC Challenge Short Course Other
1 Ryf, Daniela F $ 244.000 $ 180.000 $ 64.000      
2 Iden, Gustav M $ 242.700 $ 170.000 $ 65.000   $ 7.700  
3 Charles-Barclay, Lucy F $ 239.655 $ 162.455 $ 64.000 $ 4.500 $ 8.700  
4 Knibb, Taylor F $ 221.900 $ 91.000 $ 23.000   $ 107.900  
5 Sanders, Lionel M $ 215.000 $ 160.000 $ 50.500 $ 4.500    
6 Frodeno, Jan M $ 190.859 $ 180.000   $ 10.859    
7 Haug, Anne F $ 186.853 $ 130.000 $ 3.000 $ 53.853    
8 Long, Sam M $ 186.500 $ 130.000 $ 56.500      
9 Lange, Patrick M $ 180.994 $ 105.000 $ 25.000 $ 50.994    
10 Blummenfelt, Kristian M $ 175.100 $ 8.000 $ 12.000 $ 15.000 $ 140.100  
11 Duffy, Flora F $ 170.000       $ 150.000 $ 20.000
12 Yee, Alex M $ 162.600       $ 162.600  
13 Skipper, Joe M $ 150.682 $ 100.682 $ 50.000      
14 Learmonth, Jessica F $ 130.700       $ 130.700  
15 Wilde, Hayden M $ 130.500       $ 110.500 $ 20.000
16 Moench, Skye F $ 130.150 $ 77.000 $ 51.250 $ 1.900    
17 Pallant-Browne, Emma F $ 129.500 $ 95.000 $ 31.000     $ 3.500
18 Taylor-Brown, Georgia F $ 124.900       $ 124.900  
19 Philipp, Laura F $ 120.500 $ 80.000 $ 40.500      
20 Baekkegard, Daniel M $ 117.500 $ 85.000 $ 32.500      
21 Matthews, Katrina F $ 113.400 $ 70.000 $ 42.000 $ 1.400    
22 Metzler, Jeanni F $ 112.250 $ 70.000 $ 42.250      
23 Luis, Vincent M $ 102.500   $ 5.000   $ 97.500  
24 Lester, Carrie F $ 96.723 $ 52.000 $ 21.600     $ 23.123
25 Van Riel, Marten M $ 95.800       $ 95.800  

PTO Races

For all of 2021, Daniela Ryf and Jan Frodeno were either first or second in the PTO World Rankings, securing big paydays at the Collins Cup and in the PTO Bonus at the end of 2021. The PTO have paid money to 257 athletes in 2021. 

Frodo

Photo: Jan waiting for the start of his Collins Cup match, provided by the PTO

# Name Gender PTO Total Share
1 Ryf, Daniela F $ 180.000 $ 244.000 74%
1 Frodeno, Jan M $ 180.000 $ 190.859 94%
3 Iden, Gustav M $ 170.000 $ 242.700 70%
4 Charles-Barclay, Lucy F $ 162.455 $ 239.655 68%
5 Sanders, Lionel M $ 160.000 $ 215.000 74%
6 Haug, Anne F $ 130.000 $ 186.853 70%
6 Long, Sam M $ 130.000 $ 186.500 70%
8 Lange, Patrick M $ 105.000 $ 180.994 58%
9 Skipper, Joe M $ 100.682 $ 150.682 67%
10 Pallant-Browne, Emma F $ 95.000 $ 129.500 73%
11 Knibb, Taylor F $ 91.000 $ 221.900 41%
12 Adam, Teresa F $ 88.000 $ 90.658 97%
13 Baekkegard, Daniel M $ 85.000 $ 117.500 72%
14 Philipp, Laura F $ 80.000 $ 120.500 66%
14 Findlay, Paula F $ 80.000 $ 88.500 90%
16 Moench, Skye F $ 77.000 $ 130.150 59%
17 Lawrence, Holly F $ 75.000 $ 95.750 78%
18 Kanute, Ben M $ 72.000 $ 92.975 77%
19 Matthews, Katrina F $ 70.000 $ 113.400 62%
19 Metzler, Jeanni F $ 70.000 $ 112.250 62%

WTC Races

The biggest 2021 money race by WTC was the 70.3 World Championships, and the male winner Gustav Iden tops the list of WTC money, closely followed by female winner Lucy Charles-Barclay. Daniela Ryf is also close to the top with two Ironman-distance wins. All in all, there were 401 athletes who earned prize money from WTC.

Gustav StG

Photo: Gustav raising the St. George winner’s banner, provided by Ironman

# Name Gender IM 70.3 WTC Total Share
1 Iden, Gustav M $ 15.000 $ 50.000 $ 65.000 $ 242.700 27%
2 Charles-Barclay, Lucy F   $ 64.000 $ 64.000 $ 239.655 27%
2 Ryf, Daniela F $ 40.000 $ 24.000 $ 64.000 $ 244.000 26%
4 Long, Sam M $ 15.000 $ 41.500 $ 56.500 $ 186.500 30%
5 Moench, Skye F $ 33.000 $ 18.250 $ 51.250 $ 130.150 39%
6 Sanders, Lionel M $ 27.000 $ 23.500 $ 50.500 $ 215.000 23%
7 Skipper, Joe M $ 50.000   $ 50.000 $ 150.682 33%
8 Metzler, Jeanni F   $ 42.250 $ 42.250 $ 112.250 38%
9 Matthews, Katrina F $ 30.000 $ 12.000 $ 42.000 $ 113.400 37%
10 Philipp, Laura F $ 37.000 $ 3.500 $ 40.500 $ 120.500 34%
11 Jackson, Heather F $ 31.500 $ 7.500 $ 39.000 $ 58.200 67%
12 Baekkegard, Daniel M $ 9.000 $ 23.500 $ 32.500 $ 117.500 28%
13 Pallant-Browne, Emma F   $ 31.000 $ 31.000 $ 129.500 24%
14 van Berkel, Jan M $ 30.000   $ 30.000 $ 38.000 79%
15 Lange, Patrick M $ 25.000   $ 25.000 $ 180.994 14%
15 Nilsson, Patrik M $ 25.000   $ 25.000 $ 25.000 100%
17 Wurf, Cameron M $ 22.000 $ 2.000 $ 24.000 $ 33.825 71%
18 Svenningsson, Rasmus M $ 22.000 $ 1.500 $ 23.500 $ 38.500 61%
19 Knibb, Taylor F   $ 23.000 $ 23.000 $ 221.900 10%
19 Hogenhaug, Kristian M $ 23.000   $ 23.000 $ 61.750 37%

Ironman

Just looking at the Ironman-distance, with two wins (UK, Chattanooga), a second (Switzerland), a third (Lake Placid) and a 6th place (Tulsa) Joe Skipper is the top earner.

Joe UK

Photo: Joe on the bike at IM UK, provided by Ironman

# Name Gender IM Total Share
1 Skipper, Joe M $ 50.000 $ 150.682 33%
2 Ryf, Daniela F $ 40.000 $ 244.000 16%
3 Philipp, Laura F $ 37.000 $ 120.500 31%
4 Moench, Skye F $ 33.000 $ 130.150 25%
5 Jackson, Heather F $ 31.500 $ 58.200 54%
6 Matthews, Katrina F $ 30.000 $ 113.400 26%
6 van Berkel, Jan M $ 30.000 $ 38.000 79%
8 Sanders, Lionel M $ 27.000 $ 215.000 13%
9 Lange, Patrick M $ 25.000 $ 180.994 14%
9 Nilsson, Patrik M $ 25.000 $ 25.000 100%

70.3

By winning 70.3 Elsinore in addition to 70.3 World Championships, Lucy Charles-Barclay was the top money-earner in 70.3 events:

LCB StG

Photo: Lucy celebrating her 70.3 World Championship win, provided by Ironman

# Name Gender 70.3 Total Share
1 Charles-Barclay, Lucy F $ 64.000 $ 239.655 27%
2 Iden, Gustav M $ 50.000 $ 242.700 21%
3 Metzler, Jeanni F $ 42.250 $ 112.250 38%
4 Long, Sam M $ 41.500 $ 186.500 22%
5 Pallant-Browne, Emma F $ 31.000 $ 129.500 24%
6 Ryf, Daniela F $ 24.000 $ 244.000 10%
7 Sanders, Lionel M $ 23.500 $ 215.000 11%
7 Baekkegard, Daniel M $ 23.500 $ 117.500 20%
9 Knibb, Taylor F $ 23.000 $ 221.900 10%
10 Salthouse, Ellie F $ 21.500 $ 68.400 31%

Challenge

The top money earners on the Challenge side are the winners of Challenge Roth. Anne Haug also won Challenge St. Pölten and was 2nd at Challenge Walchsee, securing the top spot in this sub-list. In total, there were 169 athletes who finished in the money ranks in 2021 Challenge races.

Anne Roth

Photo: Anne on the run at Challenge Roth, provided by Challenge Roth

# Name Gender Challenge Total Share
1 Haug, Anne F $ 53.853 $ 186.853 29%
2 Lange, Patrick M $ 50.994 $ 180.994 28%
3 Hall, Lucy F $ 48.353 $ 61.649 78%
4 De Vries, Sarissa F $ 46.954 $ 54.954 85%
5 Elbaek Ditlev, Magnus M $ 44.856 $ 77.606 58%
6 Funk, Frederic M $ 31.036 $ 42.036 74%
7 Spirig, Nicola F $ 25.036 $ 64.136 39%
8 Dapena Gonzalez, Pablo M $ 20.976 $ 28.976 72%
9 Hering, Jackie F $ 18.225 $ 77.725 23%
10 Siddall, Laura F $ 16.919 $ 29.919 57%
11 Steger, Thomas M $ 16.241 $ 29.109 56%
12 Blummenfelt, Kristian M $ 15.000 $ 175.100 9%
13 Hogenhaug, Kristian M $ 13.750 $ 61.750 22%
14 Angert, Florian M $ 12.170 $ 62.170 20%
15 Stimpson, Jodie F $ 12.100 $ 22.100 55%
16 Frommhold, Nils M $ 11.319 $ 21.419 53%
17 Svensson, Jesper M $ 11.000 $ 22.750 48%
17 Genet, Manon F $ 11.000 $ 21.738 51%
19 Frodeno, Jan M $ 10.859 $ 190.859 6%
20 Perez Sala, Sara F $ 10.590 $ 18.590 57%

Short Course

With the Olympics, a lot of attention was on short-course racing. The Olympics themselves do not offer prize money, but the ITU series (now known as World Triathlon Championship Series WTCS) and SuperLeague provided good earning opportunities. Alex Yee was earning well in both event types and tops the short-course money list. In total, 124 athletes made money in these short-course events.

Yee Leeds

Photo: Alex Yee before running away from the other athletes at WTCS Leeds, provided by World Triathlon

# Name Gender WTCS SuperLeague Short Course Total Share
1 Yee, Alex M $ 62.600 $ 100.000 $ 162.600 $ 162.600 100%
2 Duffy, Flora F $ 130.000 $ 20.000 $ 150.000 $ 170.000 88%
3 Blummenfelt, Kristian M $ 120.100 $ 20.000 $ 140.100 $ 175.100 80%
4 Learmonth, Jessica F $ 25.700 $ 105.000 $ 130.700 $ 130.700 100%
5 Taylor-Brown, Georgia F $ 14.900 $ 110.000 $ 124.900 $ 124.900 100%
6 Wilde, Hayden M $ 32.000 $ 78.500 $ 110.500 $ 130.500 85%
7 Knibb, Taylor F $ 107.900   $ 107.900 $ 221.900 49%
8 Luis, Vincent M $ 45.000 $ 52.500 $ 97.500 $ 102.500 95%
9 Van Riel, Marten M $ 83.800 $ 12.000 $ 95.800 $ 95.800 100%
10 Brownlee, Jonathan M $ 9.000 $ 68.500 $ 77.500 $ 78.600 99%
11 Zaferes, Katie F $ 28.000 $ 46.000 $ 74.000 $ 94.000 79%
12 Spivey, Taylor F $ 61.600 $ 11.500 $ 73.100 $ 73.100 100%
13 Kingma, Maya F $ 55.100 $ 3.500 $ 58.600 $ 58.600 100%
14 Coldwell, Sophie F $ 45.900 $ 11.500 $ 57.400 $ 57.400 100%
15 Bergere, Leo M $ 57.000   $ 57.000 $ 57.000 100%
16 Potter, Beth F $ 11.200 $ 32.500 $ 43.700 $ 43.700 100%
17 Periault, Leonie F $ 29.900 $ 11.500 $ 41.400 $ 41.400 100%
18 Vilaca, Vasco M $ 4.400 $ 36.500 $ 40.900 $ 40.900 100%
19 Lindemann, Laura F $ 38.200   $ 38.200 $ 38.200 100%
20 Coninx, Dorian M $ 37.400   $ 37.400 $ 37.400 100%

2021 Kona Pro Qualifying

At the start of July, the qualifying period for Kona 2021 is coming to an end – and what an unusual period it has been! This post looks at some of the differences to qualifying for Kona 2019 (the last “Ironman World Championships”) and the resulting implications for the Kona 2021 Pro field. In each of the following “mini charts” the data for 2019 qualifying is shown on the left while the 2021 data is shown on the right.

Getting Started

Let’s start with a few straightforward data points.

The most obvious difference is the increased length of the qualifying period. In fact, it’s been more than twice as long:

GettingStarted

A lot of races had to be canceled, and even with the longer qualifying period the overall number of qualifying races has gone down considerably:

NumberRaces

Some fine print: Races that split the male and female Pro fields (such as IM Turku and IM Frankfurt) are counted together as one race. Some of the races are still in the future as I’m writing this post (Lake Placid, Turku/Frankfurt, and Copenhagen/Hamburg) but it seems very unlikely there will be any more cancellations or changes.

The decline in Pro slots has not been quite as pronounced as the decline in races:

RaceQualifiers

This graph only shows “Race Qualifiers”, in addition there are “Automatic Qualifiers” (Kona winners from previous years, the current 70.3 champions and the recent Kona podium finishers). For 2021, there are five female and five male AQs (Anne Haug, Lucy Charles-Barclay, Sarah Crowley, Daniela Ryf, Mirinda Carfrae, Jan Frodeno, Sebastian Kienle, Tim O’Donnell, Gustav Iden and Patrick Lange). 

Of course having smaller reduction in slots than the reduction in races is only possible by giving out more slots in some races, which has especially happened towards the end of the qualifying period. In 2019, only a few bigger races gave out more than 2 slots (one for the men, one for the women). In 2021, except for IM New Zealand all races had at least 4 qualifying slots, Ironman Tulsa was even offering a total of 8 slots.

Regional Distribution of Slots

With the problems due to Covid, Ironman obviously wasn’t able to establish new races in exotic locations. They also weren’t able to have races in South America and South Africa, regions where Covid was making it extra hard to have races:

SlotsSAAF

Ironman also had problems getting clearance for races in Europe:

SlotsEurope

The chart looks a bit less dramatic than things actually are for the European races: 6 of 26 slots for Kona 2021 were assigned even before Kona 2019 (Wales, Italy & Barcelona), well before the pandemic hit in early 2020. The remaining 20 slots are from four races in July and August 2021 (Lanzarote, UK, Turku/Frankfurt, Copenhagen/Hamburg), almost eliminating chances for a local backup race.

The number of slots in Australia & New Zealand has stayed the same (16 slots for 2019 and also 2021), so obviously there were more slots at North American races:

Slots_NA

Regional Distribution of Qualifiers

There is always a good deal of “up and down” in the number of Pro qualifiers from each country from year to year, but there are some noticeable differences for a few countries.

First of all, Australian and New Zealand Pros were able to hold on to most of the slots in their “home races”:

AUSNZ_Home

This is clearly a result of the Covid restrictions as no foreigners were able to start in any of the Oceania 2021 races. All of the 4 foreign athletes who were able to grab slots in Oceania races qualified before the worst of the pandemic (Sarah Piampiano and Alistair Brownlee at Ironman Western Australia 2019, Rach McBride and Judith Corachan at IM New Zealand 2020). In addition to the “home slot qualifiers”, Carrie Lester (Cozumel 2019) and Cam Wurf (Italy 2019) were able to qualify in races and Mirinda Carfrae and Sarah Crowley have Automatic Qualifiers slots, leading to the largest number of Oceania Pros in recent years (10 Australians + 6 New Zealanders, compared to a total of 12 Pros last year).

As noted above, qualifying at home has been quite difficult for European athletes, and it’s no surprise to see two European countries with a sizable reduction in their number of qualified Pros:

Pros_GER

Pros_CH

Both countries could add a few more qualifiers in the remaining races (hence the * next to the 2021 number), but even then they will fall well short of the number of Pro qualifiers in 2019. There will be a few more Germans and Swiss on the startline, with Anne Haug, Jan Frodeno, Sebastian Kienle and Patrick Lange the Germans have four automatic qualifiers, while the Swiss have Daniela Ryf as an AQ.

Interestingly there is one significant increase, the British ladies are almost doubling the number of Race qualifiers:

WPRO_UK

In addition there will also be Lucy Charles-Barclay as an automatic qualifier, and with a total of ten female Pros the British are likely the biggest nation in the female Pro field. Even with a certain “luck” in picking good races to qualify, this jump mainly comes down to superb performances (e.g. Kat Matthews managed to have two IM wins in Florida and the UK and a 2nd place to Daniela Ryf at IM Tulsa) from a quality group that has gotten bigger with athletes moving up in distance (e.g. Fenella Langridge, Kat Matthews) or from AG racing (e.g. Ruth Astle, Simone Mitchell). The British men have a bit of catching up to do – with Ali Brownlee injured, Joe Skipper could be the only one racing Kona 2021. In 2019, there were also David McNamee – who can still qualify in Frankfurt – and Will Clarke who moved to coaching.)

It’ll be interesting to see which of these trends are just a statistical blip and which are going to continue when racing is hopefully back to (almost) normal for Kona 2022 qualifying!

Deep Dive Into the 2020 Triathlon Money List

2020 has been a different year in a lot of regards, and of course there has been a huge impact on triathlon racing in general and also for Professional racing. This post has a look at the “raw numbers” on the Prize Money paid in 2020, but with the lower number of races this season a discussion about the limitations of these numbers (and what is not included) is even more important than for other years. I will close with a discussion of some trends that we have seen this year (beyond the simple observation of “lower numbers”) and what we might see in future seasons when racing is “back to normal”.

If you want to check out the 2019 lists, you can find them in my post “Deep Dive Into 2019 Triathlon Money List“.

Money List – Overview

First, here is an overview of the races that are included in the money lists and a comparison to the 2018 season. The total is shown in US$, for races that paid their prize purse in a different currency the amounts have been converted into US$. For some comments on the race types, see the “Limitations” section below.

Type Description Total Money Change to
2019
# Races
(2019)
# Athletes
(2019)
Ironman (1) WTC Ironman-branded races $    200.000 -92% 3 (32) 49 (277)
70.3 WTC 70.3-branded races $    233.900 -89% 9 (71) 130 (400)
PTO (2) PTO-supported races (incl. Bonus Pool) $ 3.846.316 new Category 14 + Bonus 296
Challenge (2) Challenge-branded full and half-distance
races
$      16.614 -98% 1 (26+Bonus) 12 (208)
ITU (3) ITU World Triathlon Series (incl. Bonus Pool) $    250.000 – 89% 1+Bonus (8+Bonus) 101 (115)
SuperLeague (4) SuperLeague Professional Events $      50.000 -95% 1 (4+Bonus) 20 (58)
Other (5) Port of Tauranga, Hell of the West $      15.822 n/a 2 (9) 16 (183)
Total $ 4.612.652 -50% 31 (152)  457 (767)

Limitations

Of course, prize money is only one part of how triathletes can make money in their sport. Especially the top athletes make a lot of money with sponsor payments and appearance money, but most of the sums involved in these areas are confidential. Sometimes, there is talk in the press (and sometimes even some form of acknowledgment), and here are some additional components that have been paid in 2020 but are not included in the table above. (If you’re interested in these aspects, Jordan Blanco has written an excellent post on Witsup.com about “The Economics of Professional Triathlon“.)

  1. Virtual Racing by Ironman
    When Ironman was forced to cancel (aka “reschedule”) most of their 2020 races, they started their new “Virtual Racing” series. They even had some Pros who appeared in the race and who were paid an “appearance fee”. No official numbers have been released, my best guess is that the total sum paid out to Pros is somewhere around $ 100.000 in total.
  2. Challenge Davos
    Challenge Davos had to be stopped during or just after the swim when a thunderstorm moved in that made racing dangerous. However, the intended prize money (€ 19.000 by Challenge and € 21.000 by the PTO) was paid out to all Pro categories competitors.
  3. ITU World Cups
    As in other seasons, I’m only counting the top-tier “World Triathlon Series” races and the money paid out there in the ITU category. However, there are also several second-tier World Cup races where prize money was paid. As there was only one WTS event this year, a lot of the top athletes competed in the World Cups and made some additional money there.
  4. SuperLeague: Rotterdam “Arena Games”
    SuperLeague was also forced to cancel their racing plans. They were able to put together an “Arena Games” event for ten men and ten women, swimming in a pool, riding on smart trainers and running on treadmills. I haven’t been able to find any official prize money breakdown, the 2020 numbers are estimates, probably erring towards the high side.
  5. Zwift Racing
    There have also been races on Zwift geared towards Professional triathletes, again without official information about the total money or breakdown.

Individual Athletes

The following table lists the top 2020 money earners.

# Name Gender Nation TotalMoney WTCMoney PTOMoney ITUMoney OtherMoney
1 Anne Haug F GER $142.503 $142.503
2 Paula Findlay F CAN $115.000 $115.000
3 Gustav Iden M NOR $105.938 $103.338 $2.600
4 Lionel Sanders M CAN $105.000 $105.000
5 Matt Hanson M USA $101.300 $15.250 $86.050
6 Jan Frodeno M GER $100.000 $100.000
7 Daniela Ryf F SUI $100.000 $100.000
8 Holly Lawrence F GBR $98.500 $3.500 $95.000
9 Alistair Brownlee M GBR $96.300 $93.000 $3.300
10 Lucy Charles-Barclay F GBR $90.000 $90.000
11 Sarah Crowley F AUS $88.750 $6.250 $82.500
12 Rudy Von Berg M USA $86.003 $3.500 $82.503
13 Laura Philipp F GER $85.000 $85.000
14 Sebastian Kienle M GER $82.250 $2.250 $80.000
15 Teresa Adam F NZL $73.030 $12.000 $61.030
16 Joe Skipper M GBR $72.500 $12.000 $60.500
17 Skye Moench F USA $65.750 $9.000 $56.750
18 George Goodwin M GBR $62.500 $62.500
19 Ben Hoffman M USA $62.500 $62.500
20 Javier Gomez M ESP $53.503 $52.503 $1.000
21 Carrie Lester F AUS $52.500 $52.500
22 Amelia Watkinson F NZL $51.553 $9.000 $42.553
23 Braden Currie M NZL $48.353 $4.000 $41.030 $3.323
24 Cameron Wurf M AUS $45.000 $45.000
25 Heather Jackson F USA $44.000 $44.000

If you’re only looking at prize money provided by Ironman, the top earners were Katrina Matthews ($18.000) and Matt Hanson ($15.250).

Additional Observations and Trends

Of course, the big changer for the 2020 season has been Covid and the resulting race cancellations. However, there are a few additional trends that are likely going to continue to impact Pro racing even after racing has returned to a more normal level:

  1. With the PTO, a new player has entered the triathlon scene. They have already been the main money provider in the 2020 season, and they have big plans for 2021 as well. With another big-purse event (the Collins Cup with $2 million for the athletes who make the teams) they are likely going to extend their #1 position.
  2. Prize Money provided by WTC has declined from year to year even before Covid. Their Pro racing calendar until early June 2021 has a total of $850.000 – the corresponding number for 2019 was almost $1,5 million. It seems very likely that the decline is going to continue further.
  3. The 2020 dip in Professional racing is not evenly distributed, for example Asia and South America haven’t seen any Pro races in 2020. When Ironman was sold in early 2020 they have stated that they want to continue to offer races in China, but currently there are no Pro races planned and all Chinese races are planned for “TBD”. Hopefully, there will be a good number of races across the globe in 2021.

Pacing in Kona – how to win and how to avoid blowing up

Dan Plews and I have collaborated on a piece for Triathlon Magazine Canada about pacing strategies for the marathon in Kona:

DanMag

The article is now available on the magazine’s website.

Dan is a sports scientist and coach based in New Zealand (endureiq.com) – and he is also phenomenal athlete, setting the Kona age group record in 2018 that includes a 2:50 marathon. Thanks for the interesting exchange of ideas, Dan!

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