Top Triathlon Earners

This is an interesting list that USA Triathlon have produced of the top prize money earning triathletes in 2016.

  1. Flora Duffy (BER) $224,125
  2. Gwen Jorgensen (USA) $201,065
  3. Mario Mola (ESP) $187,300
  4. Daniela Ryf (SUI) $179,532
  5. Jan Frodeno (GER) $159,282
  6. Jonathan Brownlee (GBR) $142,513
  7. Sebastian Kienle (GER)) $139,750
  8. Richard Murray (RSA) $128,250
  9. Lionel Sanders (CAN) $110,000
  10. Holly Lawrence (GBR) $110,000

Here’s a couple of things that stand out to me:

·         Male / Female Split. With Flora and Gwen topping the table, it’s clear that equal earnings for male and female triathletes is more than just rhetoric. In fact, sixteen of the published top thirty athletes were female. Compare this to other sports. Whilst Tri is not perfect, it is miles ahead of more “traditional” sports on equality of pay.

·         ITU vs Ironman. Although the top three athletes are regulars on the ITU circuit, they are followed closely by the two World Ironman Champions. The list overall seems to suggest that – at least at the top end – the rewards available in the shorter distance series are pretty similar to those for long distance athletes.

·         Only One Brownlee. Jonathan came in sixth on this list, behind Mario Mola once again! But where is his big brother? Alistair came in 16th, earning $79,500 from races. It’s worth noting that any bonuses earned from national federations for Olympic performances are not included in this list. Neither are any earnings generated by sponsorship – this is purely race prize money. So this reflects Alistair’s injury ravaged year when he won a second Olympic gold medal, but not much else.

·         Holly Who? Great to see Holly Lawrence in the top ten. She had a breakthrough this year with a win at the 70.3 World Championships in Brisbane. She’s not a household name yet, and will probably never reach the mainstream fame of the British Olympic triathletes, but she seems to have found her feet since switching up to longer distances.