How much are the top racers in the obstacle racing world making?
In making this list, we used only official race pay-out information from the 2016 season. We did include TV shows winnings, but only those that had a substantial OCR element.
We did not include any sponsorship, affiliate earnings, or undisclosed payouts. Keep in mind many of these athletes receive podium bonuses from sponsors, along with appearance fees, per diem, coaching fees, and shared sponsorship revenue from TV races. On occasion these combined totals can match or exceed race winnings for an athlete.
We also did not include final points standing payouts from Spartan as they have not yet been officially announced. These payouts normally start around $4-5,000 for 1st and drop $100 or more for each spot going down.
These USD-converted figures are at best rough estimates and should be treated as such.
5. Laura Messner/Beni Gifford
2016 Race Winnings: $51,500+
Biggest Payday: Spartan Team Challenge, $50,000
Laura Messner and Beni Gifford, along with teammates Matt Campione, Lynnae Kettler, and Ian Deyerle, were the inaugural winners on The Spartan Team Challenge. With that title came $250,000, or $50,000 each, as well as a Spartan Pro Team position for Deyerle.
The two Yancy-Camp athletes are in a virtual dead-heat for the 5th spot in our rankings, both earning $1500-2000+ this past year on top of their TV winnings to edge out their Spartan Team Challenge Teammates.
- 9th-BattleFrog Points Series
- 1st-Spartan Sprint, Nashville
- 1st-Spartan Beast, Lake Tahoe, Sunday
- 3x Terrain Mud Run Winner
- 3rd-BattleFrog Dallas
- 3rd-Savage Race Dallas
- 1st-Conquer the Gauntlet
Both Gifford and Messner took substantial steps forward in their goals of racing with the best this year and their race placings, and subsequent winnings, reflect as much.
4. Lindsay Webster
2016 Race Winnings: $60,000+
Biggest Payday: NBC series, $19,900
The world’s top female racer has loads of range. Webster traveled to Sweden this winter, where she won the fast-paced Arena Run in a little over 22 minutes. Fast forward to fall and Webster came up just short in her quest to be the Spartan Race World Champion, coming in 2nd in just under 3 hrs. This would be the only North American Championship she would not win in 2016.
- 1st-NBC series- $19,900
- 1st- BattleFrog Points- $6,000
- 2nd- Spartan World Championship- $10,000
- 1st-OCRWC Short Course- $10,000
- 1st-OCRWC Long Course- $10,000
- 1st- BattleFrog (4 races)- $3,000
- 1st- Arena Run Stockholm- $1,000
3. Hunter Mcintyre
2016 Race Winnings: $68,700+
Biggest Payday: Broken Skull Ranch, $60,000
Editor’s note: Hunter is up to 80,000 in winnings from Broken Skull as of December 13th
Hunter shifted his gaze away from Spartan and toward the television side of things the past couple years, but still managed to show up and take 2nd place in the 2016 NBC points series.
After spending a year filming Esquire’s Boundless, he was invited to CMT’s Broken Skull Ranch. As of now he holds the course record on the final challenge, an OCR-inspired course called the “Skullbuster.” Each episode his mark on the final course is not surpassed will earn him an additional $10,000.
Six episodes in and McIntyre’s mark is yet to be eclipsed, netting him a cool $60,000. For Hunter, Broken Skull is the gift that keeps giving.
- Broken Skull Ranch- $60,000+
- 2nd-Spartan NBC series- $7,700
- 1st- SoCal Spartan Super- $500
- 1st- Arizona Spartan Sprint-$500
2. Jonathon Albon
2016 Race Winnings: $82,400+
Biggest Payday: World’s Toughest Mudder, 50,000
Jon Albon had a busy 2016, racing 24 times in less than 9 months.
Albon had a huge performance at OCRW in Canada, taking 2nd in the short course and winning the team race while repeating as World Champion in the Long Course, his second consecutive year successfully defending the overall title.
He’s a unique racer in that he’s had great success in athletics outside of the OCR racing world- In 2016 he won the Bergen Marathon in 2:26 and did well on the Alpine/Sky running scene, winning the 2016 Skyline Sky Running series.
- 1st- World’s Toughest Mudder Team- $50,000
- 1st- OCRWC Long course- $10,000
- 4th- Spartan Race World Championship- $4,000
- 1st- Spartan European Championships- $3,000
- 2nd- OCRWC Short Course- $4,000
- 1st- BattleFrog League Championship- $10,000/4
- 1st- OCR Team Championship- $1,500/3
- 1st- SkyRunner Extreme Series- $2,100
- 1st-Toughest- Malmo, London, Stockholm, and Oslo- $2,100
- 1st-Toughest Series- $3,200
1. Ryan Atkins
2016 Race Winnings: $99,500+
Biggest Payday: World’s Toughest Mudder, $50,000
The endurance legend showed his range in 2016, winning events ranging from the 3k short course at OCRW all the way up to the 24 hr World’s Toughest Mudder, where he completed 105 miles along with his teammate Jon Albon, and in doing so, earned his share of a $100,000 payout.
Ryan had a duel role with BattleFrog in the first half of 2016, serving as race designer/racer, winning 6 of their events and taking 2nd at a 7th before they shuttered their race series.*
- 1st-World’s Toughest Mudder- $50,000
- 1st- Spartan NBC Series- $16,600
- 2nd- Spartan Race World Championship-$10,000
- 2nd- OCRWC Long Course-$4,000
- 1st- OCRWC Short Course- $10,000
- 1st- North Face Endurance 50-miler- payment n/a
- 2nd-BattleFrog Points Series- $5,000
- 1st-2x BattleFrog Regional Races- $2,000
- 1st- 4x BattleFrog Local Races- $2,000
*Ryan is a 21-time BattleFrog champion. In 2015 a win was worth $2,000.
Other notable individual performances from 2016:
Stefanie Bishop, Trevor Cichosz-
- 1st- World’s Toughest Mudder Individual- $10,000
- 1st- Spartan World Championships- $15,000
- 1st-Spartan World Championships- $15,000
- 1st-European Championships- $3,000
Robert B. Killian- (also won 2016 Best Ranger Competition)
- 2nd- Spartan Race Series- $9,200
- 3rd- Spartan World Championship- $5,000
- 2nd World’s Toughest Mudder Team- $4,000
- 3rd- Spartan World Championships- $5,000
- 2nd- Spartan Race Series- $10,000
Austin Azar– On top of his Spartan and BattleFrog race winnings, had two very nice payouts:
- 1st-BattleFrog Points Champion- $7,000
- 2nd-World’s Toughest Mudder- $4,000
- 1st-Stadium Series- $4,000
All payout info found on the following sites:
Thanks go out to Beni Gifford, Battlefrog indo, and Scott Seefeldt for helping us track down European payout info.
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I’ve been an athlete for 28yrs ( competitive tennis player) and I have a ton of respect for other hard working athletes. What I have never been able to tolerate is athletes who are cocky or ones that cheat to try and beat others. With this being said, Hunter McIntyre is a great athlete, but competitors he comes up against need to knock him down a notch every now and again. Maybe he’s a really nice guy, but he’s too cocky and doesn’t appear real respectful to other athletes who work just as hard as he does.
Ive met Beni, at a Terrain OCR in Flagstaff Arizona. I was 15 at the time, we raced on the same time, so I know for a fact that he won $5,000 on one of the Terrain runs listed. Dudes a beast
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