The world’s best long-distance runners will be in London this weekend for the 2021 Marathon. The event has raised an enormous amount of money for charity over the years, but how much does the winner earn? Here’s a breakdown of the London Marathon 2021 prize money.
Long-distance elites descend on London for 2021 Marathon
The London Marathon 2021 takes place this weekend (Sunday, 3 October) for the first time since 2019.
The 2020 version of the London Marathon was very different, featuring an an elite-only field on a looped course around St James’s Park.
This year the world’s best runners return to the traditional route, which starts in Blackheath and finishes 26.2 miles later at The Mall.
London is part of the World Marathon Majors and marks the start of marathon season after several postponements.
The Boston Marathon (11 October), and Tokyo Marathon (March 2022), are drawing near, but for now all eyes will be on the prize in London.
What is the London Marathon 2021 prize money?
While the London Marathon is a prestigious event, it can also be financially lucrative to those who run a good race.
The event recognises and rewards many winners and record-breakers, with the total prize money for the 2021 London Marathon standing at $313,000.
Only $55,000 is awarded to each of the men’s and women’s winners – a fairly modest sum and much lower than that of the Boston and New York marathons.
However, a number of other bonuses and incentives make up the total purse.
Athletes can earn a number of time bonuses regardless of where they finish in the race, with race organisers incentivising fast times.
Here’s some of the time bonuses:
Sub – 2:02:00 = $150,000
Sub – 2:03:00 = $100,000
Sub – 2:04:00 = $75,000
Sub – 2:05:00 = $50,000
Race winners can also earn $25,000 for a course record (sub-2:02:37), and another $125,000 for a world record (sub-2:01:39).
That means if somebody can break Eliud Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:39 in the race, they stand to earn $400,000+ in bonuses and prize money.
The women’s course record is 2:15:25, set by Paula Radcliffe in 2003.
The race has raised a record-breaking amount of money
Of course, the London Marathon is only partly made up of professional runners.
The rest of the field consists of celebrities and amateurs alike running for various charities and causes.
The London Marathon actually holds the Guinness World Record for being the largest annual fundraising event on the planet.
Since the first race in 1981, runners have raised more than $1.1 billion for various charities across the world.
The event passed the $1 billion mark in 2019.
Hugh Brasher, event director of the Virgin Money London Marathon, said at the time:
“This is a phenomenal achievement and part of what makes the London Marathon unique. No other mass participation event comes anywhere near this kind of fundraising.”