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© Paul Shanley
UPDATE: Prize money in British triathlon
Posted by: John Levison
Posted on: Thursday 8th May 2014


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UPDATED: With confirmation of the details for XTERRA England under new operators Limelight Sports - and a Pro prize purse of £9,000 - I've updated our Prize Money in British Triathlon listings. By my statistics that makes XTERRA England one of the top ten triathlon events in the UK based upon total prize purse.

The life of a Professional triathlete is a tough one. I regularly hear Age Group athletes talk about the idea of 'living the dream' and turning Pro, but the reality is that financially, the prize money in triathlon is unlikely to change the lives (or even pay the costs), of most athletes basic living and training requirements. Those at the (very) pinnacle of our sport are doing very well indeed, and are earning a not inconsiderable income from the racing performances that the very best deserve - but you don't have to go too far down the performance food-chain at all before simple maths tells you that if you are basing your future income on expected prize money earnings, you are taking a not inconsiderable risk... and the odds really are not stacked in your favour. Take the recent Ironman South Africa race as an example. With a prize purse of $75,000, a very attractive event on the WTC calendar. Great Britain's Jodie Swallow lead the race from the gun until the 35km mark in the marathon, and would finish third, two minutes from leader Simone Brändli after nine hours of racing. That two minutes was the difference between $15,000 and $5,000.

On a world level, that has just been brought into the spotlight again with news that the Rev3 Triathlon Series will no longer offer prize money to professional athletes following its Knoxville race in May.

Tim Don, Hy-Vee Elite Cup 2010 ©Delly Carr/ITU

That said, the purpose of this article is not to discuss the merits of otherwise of professional triathlon (ironically, last week World Champion and Olympic Silver medal winning cyclist Emma Pooley highlights that third place at Challenge Philippines was her biggest ever prize purse in a sport she describes as a "hobby", alongside her cycling career, so the grass in many cases is not greener...).

Instead, I wanted to try and build a picture of prize money opportunities for triathlon (and duathlon) events within Great Britain.

There are actually a significant number of multisport events within our borders that do offer prize money. Now, in most cases we are not talking lottery-winning figures, but certainly more events than perhaps the public (and, even those athletes arguably qualified to win it?), are often aware of.

So, after a lot of searching around, contacting race organisers and speaking to athletes, this is my attempt to collate the following:

British events that offer a (minimum) £1000 cash prize purse

I know there are a considerable number of other events which offer cash prizes which don't meet that threshold (and many thanks to the organisers and sponsors for those), along with plenty of events which offer significant non-financial prizes, but a baseline figure seemed like a reasonable why to try and pull together a complete(ish?) list.

Have I missed any? I'm sure that, despite a significant amount of research and questioning that a few may well have slipped through my fingers. If that sounds like your race - or a race you know of - please do get in touch with the details via [email protected], so that we can update for you so we can attempt to compile the definitive record. Similarly, if you are an event organiser and any details are incorrect, please do get in touch with me.

TriGrandPrix UK 2010 ©SussexSportPhotography.com

Note, for the purposes of this listing I have limited entries to cash prize purses available for finishing position in that race only. For example, if an event is part of a series (e.g. ITU, British Triathlon Super Series, Castle Triathlon Series as examples), than aggregate results from a number of performances within that grouping may make an athlete eligible for a series prize/bonus in addition to the individual race prize. For clarity and consistency, those elements do not form part of this data.

I have collated the race data in two formats:

  • Arranged by highest aggregate prize purse for the event
  • Arranged by date

GB Prize Money Races 2014 - By Prize Purse Size **

Date
Event
Cash Prize Purse (GBP)
First Prize (GBP)
01/06/2014
ITU WTS London ($150k)
£91,000
£11,000
14/09/2014
Challenge Weymouth (EUR 50k)
£41,000
£6,500
03/08/2014
London Triathlon
£16,500
£4,000
14/09/2014
Ironman Wales (USD 25k)
£15,000
£3,000
20/07/2014
Ironman UK (USD 25k)
£15,000
£3,000
10/08/2014
British Triathlon Championships Liverpool
£15,000
£2,100
15/06/2014
Windsor Triathlon (British Elite Standard Champs)
£10,000
£1,500
15/06/2014
Ironman 70.3 UK (USD 15k)
£9,000
£1,800
24/08/2014
XTERRA England Championship
£9,000
£1,355
13/07/2014
The Bastion at Hever Castle
£8,500
£2,500
12/07/2014
Jenson Button Trust Triathlon
£7,000
£1,000
30/03/2014
British Elite Duathlon Champs
£5,000
£1,000
28/09/2014
Hever Castle (The Gauntlet)
£5,000
£1,500
08/06/2014
Blenheim Palace Triathlon
£4,800
£1000
08/06/2014
Bala Middle (see notes)
£4,200
£600
07/09/2014
Bala Standard (see notes)
£4,200
£600
13/07/2014
Shock Absorber Women Only Triathlon
£3,400
£1,000
29/06/2014
Cholmondeley Castle (The Gauntlet)
£2,550
£750
27/07/2014
Castle Howard (The Gauntlet)
£2,550
£750
27/04/2014
Stockton Duathlon Festival (Standard Distance)
£2,000
£500
27/07/2014
Castle Howard (Olympic)
£2,000
£600
28/09/2014
Hever Castle (Olympic)
£2,000
£600
06/09/2014
Roadford Lake Team Triathlon (Team Relay)
£1,575
£300
30/03/2014
Stirling Duathlon (Scottish Champs*)
£1,400
£400
18/05/2014
Strathclyde Park Triathlon (Scottish Standard Champs*)
£1,400
£400
08/06/2014
Knockburn Sprint Triathlon (Scottish Sprint Champs*)
£1,400
£400
17/08/2014
Aberfeldy Middle (British and Scottish Middle Champs*)
£1,400
£400
23/08/2014
Craggy Island Triathlon (Scottish Cross Tri Champs*)
£1,400
£400
06/09/2014
Scottish Aquathlon Champs, Loch Lomond*
£1,400
£400
11/05/2014
Powerman UK (Sprint) - EUR 1,660
£1,365
£165
11/05/2014
Powerman UK (Classic) - EUR 1,660
£1,365
£165
11/05/2014
Powerman UK (Long) - EUR 1,660
£1,365
£165
11/05/2014
ECF Monster Mojo Triathlon
£1,200
£450
17/08/2014
ECF Monster Middle Triathlon
£1,200
£450
06/07/2014
Roadford Lake Middle Distance
£1,050
£300
24/08/2014
Geeaky Freaky Middle Distance
£1,050
£300
29/06/2014
Cholmondeley Castle (Olympic)
£1,000
£300

GB Prize Money Races 2014 - By Date **

Date
Event
Cash Prize Purse (GBP)
First Prize (GBP)
30/03/2014
British Elite Duathlon Champs
£5,000
£1,000
30/03/2014
Stirling Duathlon (Scottish Champs*)
£1,400
£400
27/04/2014
Stockton Duathlon Festival (Standard Distance)
£2,000
£500
11/05/2014
Powerman UK (Classic Distance)
£4,100
£500-£700 TBC
11/05/2014
ECF Monster Mojo Triathlon
£1,200
£450
11/05/2014
Powerman UK (Sprint) - EUR 1,660
£1,365
£165
11/05/2014
Powerman UK (Classic) - EUR 1,660
£1,365
£165
11/05/2014
Powerman UK (Long) - EUR 1,660
£1,365
£165
18/05/2014
Strathclyde Park Triathlon (Scottish Standard Champs*)
£1,400
£400
01/06/2014
ITU WTS London
£91,000
£11,000
08/06/2014
Blenheim Palace Triathlon
£4,800
£1,000
08/06/2014
Bala Middle (see notes)
£4,200
£600
08/06/2014
Knockburn Sprint Triathlon (Scottish Sprint Champs*)
£1,400
£400
15/06/2014
Ironman 70.3 UK
£9,000
£1,800
15/06/2014
Windsor Triathlon (British Elite Standard Champs)
£10,000
'£1,500
29/06/2014
Cholmondeley Castle (The Gauntlet)
£2,550
£750
29/06/2014
Cholmondeley Castle (Olympic)
£1,000
£300
06/07/2014
Roadford Lake Middle Distance
£1,050
£300
12/07/2014
Jenson Button Trust Triathlon
£7,000
£1,000
13/07/2014
The Bastion at Hever Castle
£8,500
£2,500
13/07/2014
Shock Absorber Women Only Triathlon
£3,400
£1,000
20/07/2014
Ironman UK
£15,000
£3,000
27/07/2014
Castle Howard (The Gauntlet)
£2,550
£750
27/07/2014
Castle Howard (Olympic)
£2,000
£600
03/08/2014
London Triathlon
£16,500
£4,000
10/08/2014
British Triathlon Championships Liverpool
£15,000
£2,100
17/08/2014
Aberfeldy Middle (British and Scottish Middle Champs*)
£1,400
£400
17/08/2014
ECF Monster Middle Triathlon
£1,200
£450
23/08/2014
Craggy Island Triathlon (Scottish Off-Road Champs*)
£1,400
£400
24/08/2014 XTERRA England Championship
£9,000
£1,355
24/08/2014
Geeaky Freaky Middle Distance
£1,050
£300
06/09/2014
Scottish Aquathlon Champs, Loch Lomond*
£1,400
£400
06/09/2014
Roadford Lake Team Triathlon (Team Relay)
£1,575
£300
07/09/2014
Bala Standard (see notes)
£4,200
£600
14/09/2014
Challenge Weymouth
£41,000
£6,500
14/09/2014
Ironman Wales
£15,000
£3,000
28/09/2014
Hever Castle (The Gauntlet)
£5,000
£1,500
28/09/2014
Hever Castle (Olympic)
£2,000
£600

** Note to above listings

  • Information is presented in Sterling or Sterling equivalent. IRONMAN (USD) and Challenge (EUR) prize purses are quoted/paid in foreign currency. These have been converted to an approx Sterling value based of market rate at the time of writing (April 2014). As such, these values will fluctuate, but should still provide a realistic estimate baring a major economic shift.
  • For the Bala events, the quoted prizes on the race website are £6,000 (subject to entry numbers). The values shown here are lower than that, reflecting the minimum expected 'cash' element of the overall prize fund, confirmed with the event organiser: "At least 70% of this is cash, again subject to any sponsorship prizes we may have available to give out." Thus, the actual financial amounts come race day may be slightly higher than I have quoted above.
  • At some of the Castle Series events, alongside the prize money quoted, at Hever Castle for example there is also an additional prize incentive (of £1000), in their 'international challenge'. Those amounts are not included in the figures above, as that is a team competition which is limited to the selected country representatives only.
  • The Shock Absorber Women Only Triathlon prize money is, of course, only available to women!
  • While there is no (cash) prize purse at the Functional Fitness Events 'Rubicon' event this year, all entrants have an equal chance of winning a Specialized SHIV bike work £2,600.
  • * Prize money at Scottish Champs is eligible to first three Triathlon Scotland members only.

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Last week I published an article to try to pull...
Posted on: Thu, May 8, 2014 at 09:13
 

 
Have Your Say
Re: Prize money in British triathlon
Posted by nicksinclair
Posted at 11:13:44 2nd May 2014
Reply to this

Shocking really! Even if you won every event there (completely impossible), it's still not a decent salary!