So my original plan to get signatures for #KeepOurPros the day of the race at Ironman Louisville and at the awards ceremony didn’t really work out. Not because of lack of interest in the cause, but because I sustained an injury that severely limited my mobility. So it was time to figure out a Plan B:
I started an online petition to collect signatures from people that want to continue seeing professional triathletes at all of the Ironman branded races that will be loosing their pro prize purses in 2015. 9 full distance and 11 half distance races will be loosing their money and professional field. Here is a few reasons why it is bad for the sport:
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.
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.
Several things will be different when IM Louisville rolls around next year in October: No returning champions to be interviewed on the news, no pro panels, no racing down to the final 100 meters of the race to claim the win (McDonald edged out Gerlach by 17 seconds after 140.6 mile journey), no one will care who will win, etc.
Please sign the petition to Keep Our Pros and share it on your facebook page and Twitter handle. Share it to your local triathlon club, cycling club, running club, etc. Spread the word and be sure to hashtag it with #KeepOurPros!
Our goal is 10,000 signatures by Kona, which is October 11, 2014. We have about 6 weeks… so spread the word and sign the petition!