For decades, many marathon races didn’t offer their winners any prize money. However, that has all changed with the evolution of the sports market, and road races promise the most lucrative prize offers for athletes. The prize money helps to attract top runners in the market and contributes to the competitive nature of the sport.

Here are the highest-paying marathons welcoming athletes from across the globe.

Boston Marathon

As one of the oldest road races, the Boston Marathon is another rewarding marathon that awards the winners up to $150,000. Second-place finishers can walk away with up to $75,000 and third-place finishers walk away with $40,000. There are also lucrative prizes for the fourth to the seventh-ranking athlete in the race. Even better, athletics fans can wager on the event with the William Hill New Zealand promo code.

Nagoya Women’s Marathon

Launched in 2012, the Nagoya Women’s Marathon is among the highest-paying marathons for female athletes. In fact, it’s certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest marathon for women and the only female race that features the status of a World Athletics Platinum Label.

Since 2022, the Nagoya Women’s Marathon has offered a large first prize reward of up to $250,000. The race organizers also ensure that every woman who finishes the race goes home with a beautiful and customized pendant designed by the luxury jewelry brand, Tiffany & Co.  

Tokyo Marathon

Another annual marathon hosted in Japan, the Tokyo Marathon is among the six World Marathon majors. This high-grossing athletics event is hosted annually in Tokyo and it’s sponsored by Tokyo Metro. The IAAF Gold Label Marathon welcomes over 300,0000 people, with the winner taking home around $232,700. Additionally, there is a reward for a new course record as well as well-paying wheelchair races.

Chicago Marathon

The popular Chicago Marathon is another high-grossing athletic event that takes place in October every year. This iconic event is sponsored by the Bank of America, with over 500,000 set aside for the first five finishers.

During the last event in October 2023, Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum emerged victorious and walked away with $100,000 for the first-place prize. During this event, the total prize purse stood at $560,000 spread evenly for men’s and women’s events.

BMW Berlin Marathon

The BMW Berlin Marathon details the story of the rise of road running. When the marathon was first launched in October 1974 on a small road near the stadium of SC Charlottenburg in Berlin, it attracted the attention of 286 athletes. However, the number of entrants has significantly improved over the years alongside the prize money.

During the latest 2023 event, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ranked first place and went home with $50,000. Vincent Kipkemoi and Tadese Takele ranked second and third, walking away with $25,500 and $12,500 respectively. On the other hand, Ethiopia’s Tiggs Assefa was crowned the winner of the women’s competition followed by Kenya’s Sheila Chepkirui and Tanzania’s Magdalena Shauri in third place.


Currently, the reigning champions for the five highest-paying marathons in the world are from Kenya and Ethiopia. Despite these African athletes making headlines with their brilliant performances on the world stage, many people are not aware of the amount of cash that these runners walk away with after running. Hopefully, this article has given you enough insights into how much the best marathons around the world are rewarding their winners.