Many took to social media to express celebration, disappointment.
Yesterday, World Triathlon Corporation unrolled several changes to its Ironman and 70.3 race series, including a redistribution of prize purses and Kona qualification standards for professional triathletes. Beginning in 2015, nine Ironman races and eleven 70.3 events , including those taking place in Louisville, Wisconsin, Lake Tahoe, and Boise, will become age-group only races, and will no longer offer pro points or monetary awards. Instead, those funds will be shifted to create larger and deeper prize purses for professionals at Ironman regional championship races.
Reaction from the pros was swift, with many taking to social media to express their thoughts on the new structure. Reactions ranged from optimism to discontent:
Caroline Gregory (@ckgregory) Ironman will only offer pro races at select 2015 Ironman events. Very few choices for those who want to race late season other than Kona!
Uli Bromme (@ulibromme): Anyone see some discrimination with this towards less than top tier pros?! #nextyearshouldbeinteresting
Patrick Evoe (@patrickevoe): We’ll miss having pro races at north american Ironmans: Wisconsin, Cabo, MontTremblant, Lake Placid, Florida, Louisville, Boulder, LakeTahoe
Beth Gerdes (@IMbethgerdes) besides the many pro issues i have w/ this, I’m concerned for development of USA age groupers into professionals. very few opportunities.
Rachel Sears Cansanta (@Rachel Cansanta) I’m glad I retired from pro racing.
Jimmy Johnsen (@jimmy_johnsen) It just got a little bit harder to earn money, how many races in AUS & Europe will now be a age group race?
Simon Whitfield (@simonwhitfield) @CEOIronman positive changes