At last year’s London Marathon, Switzerland’s Marcel Hug and Manuela Schär set course records in the men’s and women’s wheelchair races respectively.
This year, organizers are setting records before the race has even begun, announcing on Wednesday that the 2022 London Marathon will host the richest wheelchair races in history.
The total prize pot across both races has increased by $57,800 from $141,700 in 2021 to $199,500 in 2022.
Each top-10 finisher in the men’s and women’s races will receive a portion of this total; the winners will receive $35,000 – an increase of $10,000 – while second place will pocket $20,000 and third $15,000.
Additional bonuses will be available for course records and the fastest times set at the Abbott World Marathon Majors Flying 400 – a specified 400-meter time trial section of the course.
“I’ve been racing marathons around the world since 2013,” defending women’s champion Schär said in a press release. “To see what the London Marathon has done, and continues to do, to promote wheelchair racing should be a great example to society.”
She will start the race as favorite, befitting her status as the world’s leading female wheelchair racer since 2018, alongside Australia’s Paralympic champion Madison de Rozario who won the London Marathon in 2018.
Fellow former champions Nikita den Boer of the Netherlands and Tatyana McFadden of the USA will also compete, making for a stacked field.
“The London Marathon has for many years led the way in promoting, supporting and showcasing the very best wheelchair racers in the world,” event director Hugh Brasher said in a press release.
“We’re delighted to be doing this again by making this year’s wheelchair races the richest in history and welcoming the greatest wheelchair athlete field we have ever assembled.”
In the men’s race, Hug will be joined by 2019 champion Daniel Romanchuk of the USA and Britain’s eight-time champion David Weir.
“For the London Marathon to be taking a stand and increasing prize money for wheelchair athletes is really powerful and sets a benchmark for all sports globally,” Weir said in a press release.
“I really appreciate, and forever will, what the London Marathon is doing for the men’s and women’s wheelchair divisions.”
The 2022 London Marathon takes place on October 2.