Deep Dive Into 2017 Triathlon Money List

For the 2017 season, I’ve been looking at the results of all Ironman and 70.3 races, the Challenge racing series, the highest level of ITU racing (the “World Triathlon Series” WTS) and a few independent races. With this data, I’ve helped Challenge produce their regular Money List updates. Challenge publishes the current Top 50 athletes on their website on a regular basis and will likely to continue to post updates for the 2018 season. This post has a closer look at the different segments and some overall trends for the 2017 season.

Overview

First, here is an overview of the races that are included in the money lists and a comparison to the 2016 season. The total is shown in US$, for races that paid their prize purse in a different currency the amounts have been converted into US$.

Type Description Total Money Change to 2016 # Races # Athletes
Ironman WTC Ironman-branded races $2.676.750 -1,8% 33 284
70.3 WTC 70.3-branded races $2.363.000 -9,8% 73 397
Challenge Challenge-branded full and half-distance
races (incl. European bonus pool)
$1.083.472 22% 34 240
ITU ITU WTS races (incl. bonus pool) $2.335.000 n/a 10 125
Other SuperLeague Hamilton Island and Jersey,
Bilbao Triathlon, Escape From Alcatraz,
Alpe D’Huez L, Embrun, Island House,
ITU Long Distance World Championships,
XTerra World Championships
$1.225.802 n/a 9 117
Total $9.684.024 159 784

Since preparing the Money Lists for 2016, I have added the ITU World Triathlon Series races and a number of non-branded races that also have a significant prize purse. Because these are new or expanded types, it doesn’t make sense to compare the 2016 numbers to the 2017 season.

Comparing the other types between the 2016 and 2017 seasons, it’s interesting to note that the prize money in Ironman-branded (-1,8%) and 70.3-branded races (-9,8%) has decreased (total WTC money has decreased by 5,7%) while the Challenge prize money has significantly increased by 22% (and is likely to continue to increase in 2018 with the new prize purse of $200.000 for Challenge Roth).

The number of races includes a few single-gender races in the Ironman and 70.3 categories. Also, the first SuperLeague race on Hamilton Island (AU$ 215.000, roughly US$160.000) was a male-only race. While the total number of races is the sum for each of the categories, the total for the number of athletes can’t be easily added up from the categories as there are a lot of athletes that have been able to make money in different types of races.

Overall Money List

The overall list is of course dominated by athletes that have raced well in the “Big Money Races” such as the Ironman or 70.3 World Championships  ($650.000 and $250.000) or big-purse independent races such as SuperLeague ($130.000) or Island House ($500.000) or those that placed well in a number of ITU WTS races and consequently also in the ITU Bonus Pool ($855.000).

With the exception of second place Daniela Ryf (who won both the Ironman and 70.3 Championships), the top spots are dominated by athletes who made the lion-share of their 2017 prize money in ITU races. It is not a surprise that the best-placed athletes are the overall champions (and therefore winners of the first place in the ITU bonus pool). Flora Duffy had a fantastic season (also winning the XTerra Championships and Island House), as did Mario Mola who also placed well in the first SuperLeague race.

Duffy

It’s interesting to note that this year all the Money Lists (overall and broken down into sub-categories as listed below) are topped by female athletes. However, this is not a sign that it’s “easier” for the women to earn a lot of prize money, but that there are currently very dominating females in the different categories.

# Name Gender Total Money Ironman 70.3 Races Challenge ITU Other
1 Duffy, Flora F $295.500 $215.500 $80.000
2 Ryf, Daniela F $240.101 $150.000 $72.500 $17.601
3 Mola, Mario M $221.539 $178.900 $42.639
4 Gomez, Javier M $196.654 $68.000 $122.600 $6.054
5 Murray, Richard M $173.128 $5.000 $70.450 $97.678
6 Zaferes, Katie F $171.900 $98.900 $73.000
7 Sanders, Lionel M $155.000 $75.000 $40.000 $30.000 $10.000
8 Gentle, Ashleigh F $142.200 $122.200 $20.000
9 Blummenfelt, Kristian M $137.049 $14.000 $102.400 $20.649
10 Charles, Lucy F $128.632 $80.000 $3.500 $45.132
11 Lange, Patrick M $126.500 $123.500 $3.000
12 Crowley, Sarah F $118.250 $100.000 $8.250 $10.000
13 Kienle, Sebastian M $117.500 $67.500 $19.000 $15.000 $16.000
14 Lawrence, Holly F $109.000 $74.000 $35.000
15 Kanute, Ben M $106.950 $24.750 $1.000 $81.200
16 Bozzone, Terenzo M $102.146 $28.000 $27.000 $2.146 $45.000
17 Kasper, Kirsten F $100.350 $69.350 $31.000
18 Hewitt, Andrea F $86.150 $74.150 $12.000
19 Brownlee, Jonathan M $82.550 $70.550 $12.000
20 Van Vlerken, Yvonne F $73.388 $10.500 $5.500 $57.388

WTC Races

The first “sub category” of the Money List I want to take a closer look at is the money earned in WTC races (i.e. Ironman-branded and 70.3-branded races). This list is clearly dominated by athletes that did well in the two “biggest money races”, Kona and the 70.3 Championships – the two top spots are occupied by the Kona winners Daniela Ryf and Patrick Lange.

Daniela Ryf

# Name Gender WTC Money Total Money Overall Rank
1 Ryf, Daniela F $222.500 $240.101 2
2 Lange, Patrick M $126.500 $126.500 11
3 Sanders, Lionel M $115.000 $155.000 7
4 Crowley, Sarah F $108.250 $118.250 12
5 Kienle, Sebastian M $86.500 $117.500 13
6 Charles, Lucy F $83.500 $128.632 10
7 Lawrence, Holly F $74.000 $109.000 14
8 Don, Tim M $70.000 $72.000 21
9 Gomez, Javier M $68.000 $196.654 4
10 Cheetham, Susie F $61.000 $61.000 28
11 Sali, Kaisa F $59.750 $67.506 22
12 McNamee, David M $56.000 $59.756 30
13 Bozzone, Terenzo M $55.000 $102.146 16
14 Cunnama, James M $54.500 $56.003 34
15 Seymour, Jeanni F $52.250 $56.006 33
16 Lyles, Elizabeth F $51.250 $51.250 39
17 Jackson, Heather F $49.500 $49.500 40
18 Amberger, Josh M $48.750 $56.750 32
19 Luxford, Annabel F $47.250 $67.245 23
20 Hoffman, Ben M $46.750 $46.750 41

Ironman (outside of Kona)

When looking at a list just for Ironman races, it’s interesting to exclude Kona (as including Kona would skew the rankings towards those that did well there). Without the Kona money, this list is dominated by multiple winners (or at least podium finishers) such as Sarah Crowley (who won the Regional Championships in Cairns and Frankfurt), Sebastian Kienle (winner in Frankfurt and Cozumel) or Susie Cheetham (third in South Africa and winner in Brasil). Fourth place is tied by the other athletes who won a Regional Championship in 2017.

# Name Gender Ironman Total Money Overall Rank
1 Crowley, Sarah F $60.000 $118.250 12
2 Kienle, Sebastian M $45.000 $117.500 13
3 Cheetham, Susie F $38.000 $61.000 28
4 Ryf, Daniela F $30.000 $240.101 2
4 Don, Tim M $30.000 $72.000 21
4 Sali, Kaisa F $30.000 $67.506 22
4 Amberger, Josh M $30.000 $56.750 32
4 Hoffman, Ben M $30.000 $46.750 41
4 Hanson, Matt M $30.000 $41.250 52
4 Robertson, Jodie F $30.000 $36.750 58
11 Joyce, Rachel F $26.250 $31.000 72
12 Piampiano, Sarah F $25.750 $40.250 54
12 Gossage, Lucy F $25.750 $34.734 65
14 Tajsich, Sonja F $23.500 $23.500 105
15 Roberts, Lisa F $23.000 $41.991 49
15 Currie, Braden M $23.000 $36.350 59
17 Cunnama, James M $22.500 $56.003 34
17 McMahon, Brent M $22.500 $25.500 93
19 Lyles, Elizabeth F $21.500 $51.250 39
19 Buckingham, Kyle M $21.500 $25.500 93

70.3 (outside of 70.3 Championships)

Similar to the Ironman list above, leaving out the Championships shows athletes that have raced well across a number of 70.3s in the 2017 season. The list is topped by Holly Lawrence (winner of six 70.3s), Jeanni Seymour (five wins) or Lionel Sanders (four 70.3 wins).

# Name Gender 70.3 Money Total Money Overall Rank
1 Lawrence, Holly F $74.000 $109.000 14
2 Seymour, Jeanni F $46.750 $56.006 33
3 Sanders, Lionel M $40.000 $155.000 7
4 Appleton, Sam M $35.000 $61.995 27
5 Salthouse, Ellie F $27.750 $46.750 41
6 Ryf, Daniela F $27.500 $240.101 2
7 Bozzone, Terenzo M $27.000 $102.146 16
8 Collington, Kevin M $25.250 $32.750 67
9 Don, Tim M $25.000 $72.000 21
10 Wilson, Dan M $23.750 $29.804 74
11 Gomez, Javier M $23.000 $196.654 4
12 Roy, Stephanie F $22.750 $22.750 110
13 Withrow, Kelsey F $22.500 $22.500 112
14 Reed, Tim M $21.250 $26.839 87
15 Butterfield, Tyler M $21.000 $35.000 62
15 Watkinson, Amelia F $21.000 $24.500 101
17 Brownlee, Alistair M $20.000 $41.756 50
18 True, Sarah F $19.750 $45.750 44
18 Pallant, Emma F $19.750 $43.506 48
20 Jackson, Heather F $19.500 $49.500 40

Challenge

The Challenge money list is dominated by athletes who focused their summer racing on the European Challenge races and placing well in the Challenge Bonus Pool (140.000€, about US$ 150.000). Yvonne Van Vlerken won the Bonus Pool by placing third at Challenge Roth, winning Challenge Almere and placing well in five Challenge half-distance races (even if she didn’t win any of them). Joe Skipper and Lukas Kraemer shared the win in the male bonus pool.

# Name Gender Challenge Money Total Money Overall Rank
1 Van Vlerken, Yvonne F $57.388 $73.388 20
2 Siddall, Laura F $48.992 $65.742 25
3 Charles, Lucy F $45.132 $128.632 10
4 Skipper, Joe M $39.064 $40.064 55
5 Kraemer, Lukas M $34.933 $34.933 63
6 Wurtele, Heather F $30.752 $56.002 35
7 Sanders, Lionel M $30.000 $155.000 7
8 Heemeryck, Pieter M $28.882 $38.382 56
9 Goos, Sofie F $27.420 $32.420 69
10 Steger, Thomas M $22.752 $24.002 102
11 Luxford, Annabel F $19.995 $67.245 23
12 Aernouts, Bart M $18.352 $23.352 106
13 Ryf, Daniela F $17.601 $240.101 2
14 Croneborg, Fredrik M $17.586 $19.586 129
15 Allan, Dougal M $17.578 $25.328 95
16 Kienle, Sebastian M $15.000 $117.500 13
17 Raphael, Jan M $14.756 $14.756 151
18 Krivankova, Simona F $12.021 $12.021 186
19 Wurtele, Trevor M $10.676 $15.426 146
20 Phillips, Mike M $10.080 $23.330 107

ITU

As noted above, the ITU Money List is a reflection of the order of athletes in the final WTS rankings, the top athletes are this year’s champions Flora Duffy and Mario Mola.

# Name Gender ITU Money Total Money Overall Rank
1 Duffy, Flora F $215.500 $295.500 1
2 Mola, Mario M $178.900 $221.539 3
3 Gomez, Javier M $122.600 $196.654 4
4 Gentle, Ashleigh F $122.200 $142.200 8
5 Blummenfelt, Kristian M $102.400 $137.049 9
6 Zaferes, Katie F $98.900 $171.900 6
7 Hewitt, Andrea F $74.150 $86.150 18
8 Brownlee, Jonathan M $70.550 $82.550 19
9 Murray, Richard M $70.450 $173.128 5
10 Kasper, Kirsten F $69.350 $100.350 17
11 Alarza, Fernando M $60.450 $60.450 29
12 Luis, Vincent M $59.650 $59.650 31
13 Learmonth, Jessica F $53.950 $53.950 36
14 Bishop, Thomas M $43.600 $43.600 47
15 Brown, Joanna F $41.500 $41.500 51
16 Birtwhistle, Jake M $39.550 $65.753 24
17 Klamer, Rachel F $37.250 $64.250 26
18 Le Corre, Pierre M $35.400 $35.400 61
19 Sissons, Ryan M $33.100 $33.100 66
20 Spivey, Taylor F $30.050 $31.050 71

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