Deep Dive Into 2019 Triathlon Money List

As in past years, Challenge Family and I have been working together on their Money List that is updated and sent out almost every week during the season. They also post the current Top 50 athletes on their website. I process the race results for them, including all Ironman and 70.3 races, the Challenge racing series, the highest level of ITU racing (the “World Triathlon Series” WTS) and a couple of independent races. This post has a closer look at the different segments and some overall trends for the 2019 season. (If there’s a segment missing that you’re particularly interested, please let me know and I’ll amend this post.)

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$, for races that paid their prize purse in a different currency the amounts have been converted into US$.

Type Description Total Money Change to
2018
# Races
(2018)
# Athletes
(2018)
Ironman WTC Ironman-branded races $2.467.000 -5,9% 32 (35) 277 (295)
70.3 WTC 70.3-branded races $2.152.750 -4,1% 71 (71) 400 (385)
Challenge Challenge-branded full and half-distance
races (incl. Bonus Pool)
$ 909.586 -18,5% 27 (29) 208 (196)
ITU ITU WTS races (incl. Bonus Pool) $2.185.000 +/- 0% 9 (9) 115 (102)
SuperLeague SuperLeague Professional Events (incl. Bonus Pool) $ 904.800 n/a 4 58
Other Port of Tauranga, ITU Long Distance Worlds, Alpe D’Huez L,
Embrun, Tokyo Test Event, Gerardmer XL, XTerra World Championships, Noosa Triathlon, Laguna Phuket Triathlon
$ 624.877 n/a 9 (12) 163 (183)
Total $9.244.013 n/a 151 (156) 769 (764)

A couple of observations:

  • The decline in prize money paid out by WTC has continued in 2019. The number of full distances races has gone down and the prize purse shrank by almost 6%. Compared to 2015 the prize money in Ironman races has gone down from more than $2.9 million, a reduction of $454.000 or more than 15% in just four years.
  • For 70.3s the number of races has stayed the same but the purses went down by more than 4% compared to last year. In 2015 there were fewer races but they paid out more than $2.4 million, a reduction of 11%.
  • Challenge money has also come down this year. The bulk of the reduction comes from their flagship race in Roth which had a one-year increase of their purse to $200.000 (supplied by the PTO in 2018) and is now back at the old level of €62.000.
  • The number of races and the prize purse in the “World Triathlon Series” has stayed the same between 2018 and 2019.
  • SuperLeague is offering a significant amount of prize money, therefore I have broken them out as a separate category for the first time this year. (They used to be listed in the “other” category.) Roughly half of their prize money is paid out based on the overall ranking in the Championship Series.
  • The races in the “Other” category are changing from year to year, therefore you can’t really compare the numbers for this category and the total money from year to year.

If you want to check out the 2018 lists, you can find them in my post “Deep Dive Into 2018 Triathlon Money List“.

Overall Money List

The overall list is dominated by athletes that have raced well in the “Big Money Races” like Kona, but with the introduction of the SuperLeague prize pool there are now better earning opportunities for the short course athletes. The 2019 list is topped by Katie Zaferes and Vincent Luis, the 2019 World Champions who have also won the SuperLeague Series. The Kona winners are in fourth and fifth place, they have been passed by Lucy Charles who has also raced well in the big Challenge races.

Most of the “additional” money from SuperLeague is concentrated on a select few athletes and the money to make it into the Top 20 has only  gone up slightly: Last year  Kirsten Kasper was 20th with $73,250, this year that amount would have been good enough for 24th place.

Katie Lausanne

Photo: Katie Zaferes pushing the pace on the big leg at the WTS Grand Final in Lausanne. Credit: Tommy Zaferes

# Name Nation Sex Total Ironman 70.3 Challenge WTS SuperLeague Other
1 Katie Zaferes USA F $347,500 $197,500 $150,000
2 Vincent Luis FRA M $289,200 $143,200 $146,000
3 Lucy Charles-Barclay GBR F $170,472 $90,000 $10,500 $69,972
4 Jan Frodeno GER M $158,000 $150,000 $8,000
5 Anne Haug GER F $138,000 $135,000 $3,000
6 Mario Mola ESP M $130,300 $127,300 $3,000
7 Rachel Klamer NED F $129,150 $44,150 $85,000
8 Jessica Learmonth GBR F $119,400 $119,400
9 Henri Schoeman ZAF M $115,467 $42,700 $66,200 $6,567
10 Javier Gomez ESP M $114,300 $5,000 $21,000 $78,300 $10,000
11 Sebastian Kienle GER M $102,428 $55,000 $9,000 $38,428
12 Georgia Taylor-Brown GBR F $102,200 $102,200
13 Sarah Crowley AUS F $101,783 $75,000 $15,000 $8,030 $3,753
14 Taylor Spivey USA F $101,450 $72,150 $29,300
15 Cassandre Beaugrand FRA F $100,850 $33,850 $67,000
16 Daniela Ryf SUI F $100,818 $38,000 $58,000 $4,818
17 Kristian Blummenfelt NOR M $92,700 $24,000 $51,700 $17,000
18 Gustav Iden NOR M $92,600 $45,000 $41,600 $6,000
19 Radka Kahlefeldt CZE F $91,227 $29,500 $60,334 $1,393
20 Holly Lawrence GBR F $87,000 $87,000

WTC Races

The first “subcategory” 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”, especially Kona. As in previous years the two top spots are occupied by the Kona winners Jan Frodeno and Anne Haug. Most of the athletes on this list have made the bulk of their 2019 prize money in WTC races. Notable exceptions are Lucy Charles and Sebastian Kienle who have also made money in Challenge races and Gustav Iden who has also raced short course.

Frodo Frankfurt

Photo: Jan Frodeno on the run through the heat in Frankfurt. Credit: Ingo Kutsche

# Name Nation Sex WTC Money IM 70.3 Total Share
1 Frodeno, Jan GER M $158.000 $150.000 $8.000 $158.000 100%
2 Haug, Anne GER F $138.000 $135.000 $3.000 $138.000 100%
3 Charles-Barclay, Lucy GBR F $100.500 $90.000 $10.500 $170.472 59%
4 Ryf, Daniela SUI F $96.000 $38.000 $58.000 $100.818 95%
5 Crowley, Sarah AUS F $90.000 $75.000 $15.000 $101.783 88%
6 Lawrence, Holly GBR F $87.000 $87.000 $87.000 100%
7 O’Donnell, Timothy USA M $69.500 $64.500 $5.000 $69.500 100%
8 Hoffman, Ben USA M $68.500 $62.500 $6.000 $70.000 98%
9 Von Berg, Rodolphe USA M $67.000 $67.000 $76.177 88%
10 Kienle, Sebastian GER M $64.000 $55.000 $9.000 $102.428 62%
11 Lester, Carrie AUS F $63.750 $59.500 $4.250 $66.044 97%
12 Jackson, Heather USA F $53.750 $37.000 $16.750 $53.750 100%
13 Currie, Braden NZL M $51.000 $48.000 $3.000 $54.420 94%
14 Moench, Skye USA F $46.750 $30.000 $16.750 $46.750 100%
15 Adam, Teresa NZL F $46.000 $46.000 $46.342 99%
16 Iden, Gustav NOR M $45.000 $45.000 $92.600 49%
17 Brownlee, Alistair GBR M $43.750 $18.000 $25.750 $43.750 100%
18 Skipper, Joe GBR M $42.500 $42.500 $42.500 100%
19 Sodaro, Chelsea USA F $40.750 $40.750 $40.750 100%
20 Nilsson, Patrik SWE M $38.000 $30.000 $8.000 $38.000 100%

Ironman (outside of Kona)

When looking at a list just for Ironman races, it’s interesting to exclude Kona (as including Kona skews 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 this year’s leader Carrie Lester, winner in France, Mont Tremblant and Cozumel.

Carrie France

Photo: Carrie Lester celebrates her win at IM France. Credit: Getty Images for Ironman

# Name Nation Sex IM Money Total Share
1 Lester, Carrie AUS F $47.000 $66.044 71%
2 Adam, Teresa NZL F $46.000 $46.342 99%
3 Hoffman, Ben USA M $40.000 $70.000 57%
4 Ryf, Daniela SUI F $38.000 $100.818 38%
5 Crowley, Sarah AUS F $35.000 $101.783 34%
6 Currie, Braden NZL M $34.000 $54.420 62%
7 Frodeno, Jan GER M $30.000 $158.000 19%
7 Charles-Barclay, Lucy GBR F $30.000 $170.472 18%
7 Moench, Skye USA F $30.000 $46.750 64%
7 Nilsson, Patrik SWE M $30.000 $38.000 79%
11 McCauley, Jocelyn USA F $27.000 $33.000 82%
12 Skipper, Joe GBR M $26.500 $42.500 62%
13 Russell, Matthew USA M $22.500 $27.438 82%
14 Butterfield, Tyler BMU M $21.500 $34.500 62%
15 Piampiano, Sarah USA F $20.500 $37.250 55%
15 Starykowicz, Andrew USA M $20.500 $37.881 54%
15 Weiss, Michael AUT M $20.500 $31.500 65%
18 Van Berkel, Tim AUS M $18.250 $32.000 57%
18 Frades Larralde, Gurutze ESP F $18.250 $19.450 94%
20 Jackson, Heather USA F $18.000 $53.750 33%
20 Brownlee, Alistair GBR M $18.000 $43.750 41%
20 Plese, David SLO M $18.000 $18.000 100%

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 2019 season. Most of the athletes in this list are focused on racing 70.3s. It is topped by Holly Lawrence, winner of four 2019 Regional 70.3 Championships in Dubai, St. George, Vietnam and Elsinore, and Rudolphe Von Berg, winner of three 2019 Regional Championships in St.George, Elsinore and Buenos Aires.

Holly Elsinore

Photo: Holly Lawrence on the run at 70.3 Elsinore. Credit: Getty Images for Ironman

# Name Nation Sex 70.3 Money Total Share
1 Lawrence, Holly GBR F $67.000 $87.000 77%
2 Von Berg, Rodolphe USA M $52.000 $76.177 68%
3 Sodaro, Chelsea USA F $30.750 $40.750 75%
4 Carfrae, Mirinda AUS F $29.000 $31.250 93%
5 Hering, Jacalyn USA F $24.500 $24.500 100%
6 Reed, Tim AUS M $24.250 $30.250 80%
7 Kahlefeldt, Radka CZE F $23.000 $91.227 25%
8 Laundry, Jackson CAN M $21.500 $22.819 94%
9 Pallant, Emma GBR F $21.000 $45.954 46%
10 Findlay, Paula CAN F $20.000 $25.000 80%
11 Salthouse, Ellie AUS F $19.000 $26.868 71%
12 Appleton, Sam AUS M $18.000 $26.000 69%
13 Oliveira, Pamella BRA F $17.500 $21.500 81%
14 Moench, Skye USA F $16.750 $46.750 36%
14 Piampiano, Sarah USA F $16.750 $37.250 45%
14 Jackson, Heather USA F $16.750 $53.750 31%
17 Sanders, Lionel CAN M $16.000 $27.000 59%
18 Crowley, Sarah AUS F $15.000 $101.783 15%
18 Gomez, Javier ESP M $15.000 $114.300 13%
20 Starykowicz, Andrew USA M $14.750 $37.881 39%

Challenge

Usually athletes leading the Challenge money list are focused on placing well in the Challenge Bonus Pool ($ 150.000 total). But this year’s Pool winners Pieter Heemeryck and Radka Kahlefeldt are “only” in second and third place, and the overall Challenge Money List is topped by Lucy Charles who won both of the best-paying Challenge races, Challenge Samorin and Challenge Roth.

Lucy Roth

Photo: Lucy Charles smiling on Solarer Berg. Credit: Challenge Roth

# Name Nation Sex Challenge Money Total Share
1 Charles-Barclay, Lucy GBR F $69.972 $170.472 41%
2 Heemeryck, Pieter BEL M $67.282 $72.782 92%
3 Kahlefeldt, Radka CZE F $60.334 $91.227 66%
4 Bleymehl, Daniela GER F $40.631 $54.631 74%
5 McKenna, Steven AUS M $38.883 $40.883 95%
6 Kienle, Sebastian GER M $38.428 $102.428 38%
7 Dreitz, Andreas GER M $32.834 $42.584 77%
8 Roberts, Lisa USA F $28.595 $33.845 84%
9 Dapena Gonzalez, Pablo ESP M $26.652 $48.152 55%
10 Pallant, Emma GBR F $17.454 $45.954 38%
11 Guillaume, Romain FRA M $12.100 $23.654 51%
12 Curridori, Elisabetta ITA F $10.324 $11.012 94%
13 Von Berg, Rodolphe USA M $9.177 $76.177 12%
14 Wild, Ruedi SUI M $9.063 $26.313 34%
15 Trautman, Matt ZAF M $8.489 $13.489 63%
16 Van Vlerken, Yvonne NED F $8.383 $8.383 100%
17 Ippach, Anja GER F $8.259 $14.509 57%
18 Angert, Florian GER M $8.145 $19.895 41%
19 Crowley, Sarah AUS F $8.030 $101.783 8%
19 Jerzyk, Agnieszka POL F $8.030 $14.780 54%
19 Clavel, Maurice GER M $8.030 $15.030 53%
19 Svensson, Jesper SWE M $8.030 $9.280 87%

WTS

The WTS Money List is a reflection of the order of athletes in the final WTS rankings, the top athletes are this year’s champions Katie Zaferes and Vincent Luis. Most of these athletes are focused on shorter distances, earning additional money in other short course races such as SuperLeague. The exceptions are Javier Gomez, Kristian Blummenfelt and Gustav Iden who have also earned some money in longer races.

Katie ITU

Photo: Katie Zaferes winning the World Triathlon Series. Credit: Wagner Araujo | ITU Media

# Name Nation Sex WTS Money Total Share
1 Zaferes, Katie USA F $197.500 $347.500 57%
2 Luis, Vincent FRA M $143.200 $289.200 50%
3 Mola, Mario ESP M $127.300 $130.300 98%
4 Learmonth, Jessica GBR F $119.400 $119.400 100%
5 Taylor-Brown, Georgia GBR F $102.200 $102.200 100%
6 Gomez, Javier ESP M $78.300 $114.300 69%
7 Spivey, Taylor USA F $69.350 $101.450 68%
8 Alarza, Fernando ESP M $65.750 $65.750 100%
9 Birtwhistle, Jake AUS M $59.450 $72.308 82%
10 Rappaport, Summer USA F $56.250 $77.150 73%
11 Blummenfelt, Kristian NOR M $51.700 $92.700 56%
12 Stanford, Non GBR F $48.200 $51.600 93%
13 Van Riel, Marten BEL M $43.150 $56.650 76%
13 Klamer, Rachel NED F $43.150 $129.150 33%
15 Schoeman, Henri ZAF M $40.800 $115.467 35%
16 Geens, Jelle BEL M $36.350 $37.350 97%
17 Iden, Gustav NOR M $35.600 $92.600 38%
18 Brownlee, Jonathan GBR M $33.300 $83.700 40%
19 Beaugrand, Cassandre FRA F $32.850 $100.850 33%
20 Bergere, Leo FRA M $31.050 $45.150 69%

SuperLeague

This year’s SuperLeague rankings have been won by the dominating short-course athletes of the 2019 season, Katie Zaferes and Vincent Luis. With the big purse for the overall rankings, this list is quite top-heavy: Katie and Vincent have been earning around $150.000 from SuperLeague, but the earnings come down quickly – tenth place Ben Kanute has earned less than $20.000. However, it should be noted that SuperLeague also pays for travel and accommodations, so being invited to race a SuperLeague event is a monetary no-risk proposition for the athletes. This is quite different from other big races such as Kona where eleventh place is a good result but you fly home empty-handed and just with large expenses.

Katie Malta

Photo: Katie Zaferes dives into one of the swim legs during SuperLeague Malta. Credit: Tommy Zaferes

# Name Nation Sex SuperLeague Total Share
1 Zaferes, Katie USA F $150.000 $347.500 43%
2 Luis, Vincent FRA M $146.000 $289.200 50%
3 Klamer, Rachel NED F $85.000 $129.150 66%
4 Beaugrand, Cassandre FRA F $67.000 $100.850 66%
5 Schoeman, Henri ZAF M $66.200 $115.467 57%
6 Brownlee, Jonathan GBR M $45.500 $83.700 54%
7 Wilde, Hayden NZL M $35.000 $70.050 50%
8 Spivey, Taylor USA F $29.300 $101.450 29%
9 Mislawchuk, Tyler CAN M $27.000 $65.850 41%
10 Kanute, Ben USA M $19.800 $39.700 50%
11 Takahashi, Yuko JPN F $18.600 $35.300 53%
12 Le Corre, Pierre FRA M $18.500 $31.450 59%
13 Blummenfelt, Kristian NOR M $17.000 $92.700 18%
14 Rappaport, Summer USA F $16.000 $77.150 21%
15 Bergere, Leo FRA M $14.100 $45.150 31%
16 Periault, Leonie FRA F $13.000 $24.950 52%
17 Gentle, Ashleigh AUS F $12.800 $44.858 29%
18 Kasper, Kirsten USA F $12.000 $14.200 85%
19 Murray, Richard ZAF M $11.700 $22.700 52%
20 Schomburg, Jonas GER M $8.900 $27.400 32%
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