Over the past few years professional triathletes, especially in the US have found a lot to complain about. There’s been the cutting of almost all pro races under the half distance, the realignment of prize money in Ironman and half Ironman races and the frustrating argument that professional triathletes are of little or no value to the sport. This was one of the main reasons I packed my bags and moved across the Atlantic to base myself in France this year.
Over my short time in triathlon it has astounded me to see how many pros are willing to complain about what is happening, yet do nothing to help themselves. There are far too many of us willing to sacrifice our own income and identity to race events in which pros aren’t valued at all. Not to mention our lack of initiative in building our own brand and giving back to the triathlon community. Fortunately Major League Triathlon is looking at addressing these issues in 2016 and we should be doing more to make sure it’s a success.
The goal of MLT is to host four race weekends with a festival like atmosphere and the goal of catering to the needs of everyone; pro athletes, amateur athletes and supporters. This is not a new concept to endurance sport but what they are promising is to take care of professional athletes that are willing to take care of themselves and their sport. Not only are MLT adding enjoyable potential races to a pro triathlete’s schedule, they are addressing the issues we have been facing for the last couple of years. Next to no pro races under the half distance? Here are four. Next to no prize money under the half distance? Here is a more than generous prize purse. A lack of race brands caring about pro triathletes? We are going to work with you to promote yourself and work with the community to promote our sport. If you need more to get you interested you should probably turn in your pro license.
From what I’ve seen on social media thus far, either no one knows what is going on with MLT, or no one gives a shit. I’ve gathered from some comments and articles that people are less than optimistic about the success of MLT. Yes we’ve seen similar attempts in the past, but to give up on a series that is trying to help us all before it even starts is a prime example of why a lot of race directors don’t care about their pro athletes. Why should they care about us when we don’t care about ourselves?
Here’s an easy way for us to start..
Like their facebook page and invite your triathlete friends to like it..
Follow their twitter handle and give them some love.
I’m calling everyone to get off your ass and do a better job showing interest, promoting and spreading the word of race brands that are willing to address some of the problems we have been complaining about.