Keep Our Pros
WTC in North America has reduced the number of full iron distance races with pro prize purses from 13 to 4 and removed pro prize purses from 11 half iron distance races. Here is why it is bad:
1. This will make it much more difficult for pros to get the exposure they need for sponsorships.
2. It will make the top 20-30 triathletes in the world very profitable and leave the others at a severe disadvantage when trying to compete with them.
3. Having races with smaller prize purses allows new pros to get some recognition and move up the ranks.
4. Having age groupers now being able to say they are an Ironman Champion lessens the accomplishment of any pro being able to say they won an Ironman. Thus making it harder for Pros to get sponsors for winning an Ironman branded race.
5. Less foreign athletes will spend time in the USA in the summer because of the lack of races with prize purses and could spend their summers in Europe instead where all the races kept their prize purses.
6. Pro triathletes at events inspire people to get involved in the sport and bring value/legitimacy to the sport. No other sport in the world allows pros and amateurs to race together on the same course under the same conditions.
Here are some things that will not be happening next year at just one of the races, Ironman Louisville, next year:
1. There were 4 pro panels (one on Wednesday hosted by Sweaty Sheep, one on Thursday at VO2 Multisport, one hosted by Ironman on Friday, and one hosted by Primal Sport Mud on Saturday).
2. Radio show with pro athletes from the Primal Sport Mud expo.
3. Chris McDonald and Kate Bevilaqua were on the morning news (Great Day Live) before the race.
4. Nina Kraft and Chris McDonald were with the Mayor and Louisville Slugger, Chris got a key to the city!
5. The men's finish came down to 17 seconds and was super exciting!
6. Louisville had a it's own pro finish in the Top 4th!
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Here is a potential solution:
I think a good solution is to have 2 IM distance races in each "region" as already defined by IM with both points and money (higher concentration of $ here). The rest can just have money... smaller purses than ones with money and points. That way the people that can and should be focusing on Kona can get their exposure at these big races. And up and coming pros can race against each other for smaller purses. However, if a big name athlete wanted to race for less money in these races, I wouldn't be opposed to that. Its nice to have a couple hot shots in the field to get a guage for where you are but still have a chance to at least break even in prize money... and hopefully get some sponsors to notice you along the way.
Our goal is 10,000 signatures by Kona (October 11, 2014). Once Kona rolls around, we will email the link to several people in Ironman staff to let them know how important it is to all of us! Thanks for your support
Follow our progress by liking "Mike Hermanson - Professional Triathlete" and "Maverick Multisport" on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @mikeshermanson and @Mavmulti.