London Marathon prize money: What Kenyans stand to gain if they win

By Brian Murumba: Friday, April 26th 2019 at 12:36 GMT +3 | Athletics
Eliud Kipchoge won the 2015 event [Courtesy]

In 1989, a young runner called Douglas Wakiihuri became the first Kenyan to win the London Marathon. He had previously starred at events, winning the men's marathon at the IAAF World Championships in Rome, becoming the first Kenyan to win a marathon title at a major championship.

The prize money at the time wasn’t that much since the competition was in the process of finding its feet after its inception eight years before.

It took 15 years for another Kenyan, Evans Rutto to overcome Wakiihuri’s distinction and kick start a sequence of Kenyan victories that has only been broken twice by former champion Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia. 

What is the prize purse for a modern London Marathon?

US Dollars 313,000 (US Dollars 55,000 to male & female champions) equivalent to 5,578,650.00 Kenyan Shillings –Wheelchair prize purse: US Dollars112, 000 (US Dollars 20,000 to male & female champions) equivalent to 2,028,600.00 Kenyan Shillings.


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More than US Dollars 850,000 (US Dollars 125,000 for world record; US Dollars 25,000 for course record)

Wheelchair time & record bonus: US Dollars 10,000 (US Dollars 5,000 for course record)

What did Kenyan winners get last year?

Daniel Wanjiru in a past race [Courtesy]

Daniel Wanjiru and Vivian Cheruiyot were the winners of the men’s and women’s elite races in 2018 respectively and pocketed 39,000 (5,106,258.23Kenyan Shillings) pounds each.

Second place received 22,000 pounds, third got 16,000 pounds, while the fourth took home 10,500 pounds.

What is the prize money this year?

The rules dictate that the same amount of prize money be given to the winners of both elite men’s and women’s races as well as the lower finishers.

Therefore, this year’s prize money isn’t different from last year’s.

The winner of each of the two races will receive 39,000 pounds (5,106,258.23 Kenyan Shillings), while second place will be given 22,000 pounds (2,880,669.81Kenyan Shillings).

Whoever finishes in third receives 16,000 pounds and fourth will get the remainder of the prize money, which will be 10,500 pounds.

There is also an interesting bit where there are other chances to earn money as there is a 70,000-pound (9,162,785.55Kenyan Shilling) kitty that is set to be divided between any runners who accomplish the task of finishing the race in less than 2:05:00 for the men’s elite category and 2:18:00 in the women’s.

There is also a record-breaking delight with a cash prize of 17,000 pounds (2,225,686.69Kenyan Shillings) if one breaks the event’s record which now stands at 2:03:05 for the men and 2:17:42 for the women.

With Kenya’s record of seven wins in 8 London marathon events, Kenyans will be licking their lips and looking to sweep most of the rewards this event has to offer.

The weather

The London sky is expected to be cloudy on Sunday with the temperatures of 15 degrees centigrade, 10 per cent precipitation, 57 per cent humidity and 23km/hr. wind.

Road Closures

According to the Marathon website, a number of road closures will be in place along and around the route of the event starting Saturday. The road closure information has been made public to the residents, spectators and other road users to avoid confusion during one of the busiest weekends in London.

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