For the purposes of these lists, prize money is defined monetary awards that are generally available to a broadly defined category of runners. As such, the prize money distribution is generally known to the participants, i.e., private arrangements between a race and a runner are not considered prize money. Monetary awards available to a select few runners based on performance such as bonuses offered by the runner's sponsor are not considered prize money since they are private arrangements and are not available to a broadly defined category of runners. Likewise, appearance money is not considered prize money since these are private arrangements. Non-monetary prizes are not considered prize money; it is generally quite difficult to assign a proper value to a non-monetary award such as an automobile.
Prize money does include both open and age-group awards as well as awards based on nationality, residence (state or local), and club membership. It includes record and time incentive bonuses, provided such awards are not private arrangements. Awards made in non-USA currencies have been converted to US$ at the prevailing exchange rate.
It is often difficult to obtain prize money distributions from prize money races. Often, publications providing race results omit any mention of prize money distributions. Some races prefer to keep a low profile with regards to awarding prize money. With these caveats, the following life-time prize money lists are presented.
Single Year Earnings (US$)
Most Prize Money Awards Lifetime (#)
Award Totals By Year