This week has been very bittersweet for me. Ironman Louisville will be running its last pro race in just a few hours from now. And, because of that, it will be the last time I participate in my race… my hometown race. The decision by WTC to cut the prize money from half of the full distance triathlons they host in the USA has literally hit home!
Over the course of the week, I was on 3 different pro panels. Every time someone in the audience asked the question what we thought of the decision. Of course, all the pros thought it was a horrible decision for several reason. But here are just a few:
1. New pros will have a harder time getting recognition from sponsors (and therefore money).
2. Foreign professional triathletes used to come to the USA for the summer because of the abundance of races to choose from. With that not being the case anymore, these pros may stay in Europe for the summer.
3. More traveling costs to get to races since only one might be within driving distance now.
I started thinking about how we (as pros) could come together and make a movement against WTC. Something needed to be done, because if we just sit back and take it, WTC will keep throwing their weight around. I had an idea to use social media to start a movement that will hopefully spill over from IM Louisville into IM Wisconsin, IM Lake Tahoe, and IM Florida:
Myself and two of my teammates will have a petition to sign at this event at Makers Mark located at 4th Street Live right by the IM Louisville finish line. (For some reason, I can’t insert a hyperlink, so copy and paste this to your browser: https://www.facebook.com/events/266504916873694/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming)
We will also be going around at the awards ceremony collecting signatures. We will then publicly deliver the petition to Ironman with your signatures… age groupers, spectators, pros, family, friends, anyone that feels the need to keep the pros at EVERY Ironman race to help keep the race special. What other sport out there can you participate in right along side some of the best athletes in the world… none!
Also, I would challenge you that if you don’t agree with the decision by WTC to cut the races with pro prize purse, don’t sign up for WTC races. Choose other ones like Challenge Family. Every time you sign up for a race by WTC you are casting a vote… a vote that agrees with what they are doing.