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How to make a six figure salary as a professional triathlete!

A full financial budget breakdown by pro Canadian triathlete Cody Beals

The ins and outs of making a living as a professional triathlete.

Credit: Julien Heon

In 2019 Cody Beals of Guelph, Ont. looks to try and defend his Ironman Mont Tremblant after breaking the course record on his first attempt at the full Ironman distance. Heading into Mont Tremblant, Beals is winless during the season, but has three second-place finishes at half distance triathlons. Unfortunately Beals was forced to withdraw from Challenge Roth while dealing with an Achilles injury. Midway through the 2019 season, Beals released his 2018 annual financial blog and there were a few points that stand out.

  1. Beals earned $41,750 USD in prize money and won five races in 2018: Ironman Chattanooga, Ironman Mont Tremblant, Eagleman 70.3, Victoria 70.3, and Taiwan 70.3.
  2. His sponsorship earnings exceeded his race prize money. Beals earned $49,393 in sponsorship revenue in 2018. His sponsors include Ventum Bicycles, Stac Performance, Sketchers running shoes, and Martin’s Apple Chips.
  3. After earning only $11,090 CAD in 2014, his revenue has steadily progressed each season.  Recently, Beals’s earnings have taken a large jump from $70,167 CAD in 2017 to $127,950 CAD in 2018.
  4. His triathlon-related expenses in 2018 were $17,711 CAD, with a large chunk of those costs being bike equipment purchases, travel and vehicle expenses, and consulting costs.

American and fellow pro triathlete Brad Williams has written a blog similar to Beals with full breakdowns of incomes and expenditures. In an injury-plagued 2018 he earned $61,318 USD, with more than half of that from coaching, equipment sales, and other unrelated work.

For a professional athlete salary comparison, former Toronto Raptor Kawhi Leonard recently signed with the Los Angeles Clippers for an average annual salary of $34 million USD!

The Challenge Family triathlons has compiled lists of both male and female professional prize money:

For the women, ITU and short course star Katie Zaferes leads in total prize money (USD) with $99,000. With four ITU World Triathlon Series wins thus far this year, Zaferes is the top earner by a substantial margin. She is followed by long-course specialists Lucy Charles-Barclay ($67,413), and Holly Lawrence ($53,000). Also worth noting is there are only 10 female pros that have made more than $30,000 in prize money thus far in 2019.


For the men, having different champions for each ITU World Triathlon Series race this year has led to the prize money being spread out far more than the women. Most of the top male prize earners are long-course triathletes. Sebastian Kienle leads all men with $54,928 USD (including the €30,000 top prize at the Challenge Championship this year). Multi-distance star Javier Gomez made $50,300 and up-and-coming long-course triathlete Rudy Von Berg earned $42,177. Similar to the women, there are only 11 pro male triathletes that have earned more than $30,000 USD this year.