Which Us Marathon Provides The Most Money To The Winner

When it comes to marathons in the United States, there are plenty of races to choose from. From the iconic Boston Marathon to the fast-paced Chicago Marathon, each race offers its own unique experience for both elite runners and recreational participants. However, for many professional runners, the allure of a marathon lies not only in the challenge but also in the potential financial rewards that come with winning.

As an avid runner myself, I’ve always been curious about which US marathon provides the most money to the winner. So, I decided to dig deep into the details and share my findings with you.

The New York City Marathon: A Financial Powerhouse

When it comes to prize money, the New York City Marathon stands head and shoulders above the rest. With a total prize purse of over $800,000, the NYC Marathon offers one of the largest payouts in professional running. The winners of the men’s and women’s races each take home a whopping $100,000 check, which is a significant incentive for elite athletes to give it their all on race day.

Not only does the NYC Marathon offer generous prize money, but it also provides a range of additional financial incentives. For example, if a runner breaks the course record, they will receive a bonus of $25,000. Additionally, there are time bonuses available for runners who finish the race under a certain time, further increasing the potential earnings for the top competitors.

The Boston Marathon: A Historic Race with Competitive Prizes

The Boston Marathon is not only one of the oldest marathons in the world but also one of the most prestigious. While it may not offer prize money on the same scale as the NYC Marathon, the Boston Marathon still provides significant financial incentives for its winners.

In recent years, the prize money for the Boston Marathon has totaled around $150,000. This includes a $25,000 cash prize for both the male and female winners. In addition to the cash prize, the winners also receive a unique olive wreath, a trophy, and a medal.

While the prize money may be less than other major marathons, the historical significance and challenging course of the Boston Marathon make it a highly sought-after race for elite runners. The honor and recognition that come with winning the Boston Marathon often outweigh the financial rewards.

The Chicago Marathon: A Lucrative Race for Elite Runners

The Chicago Marathon is known for its flat and fast course, making it a prime location for elite runners to chase personal best times and potentially big paydays. With a prize purse of around $250,000, the winners of the Chicago Marathon take home a substantial cash prize of $100,000 each.

In addition to the prize money, the Chicago Marathon also offers incentive bonuses for runners who break the course record. This further adds to the potential earnings for the top competitors, making the race even more enticing for elite athletes.


While each US marathon offers its own unique experience and financial rewards for winners, it is clear that the New York City Marathon stands out as the marathon that provides the most money to the winner. With a prize purse of over $800,000, including a $100,000 check for the top male and female finishers, the NYC Marathon is a financial powerhouse in the running world.

However, it’s important to note that for many runners, the financial rewards are not the sole motivation for participating in these iconic races. The sense of accomplishment, the thrill of pushing one’s limits, and the opportunity to be part of a historic event are often just as enticing as the prize money.

So, whether you’re a professional runner aiming for the big payday or a recreational participant looking to challenge yourself, there is no shortage of enticing marathons to choose from in the United States. Each race offers its own unique blend of competition, camaraderie, and personal growth. Ultimately, it’s the experience and memories made along the way that truly make these races special.