Many took to social media to express celebration, disappointment.

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:

Blake Becker (@Blakebecker) I am very saddened and disappointed that ‪@IronmanTri has eliminated the professional race at Ironman Wisconsin. No words can express this…

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!

TJ Tollakson (@tollakson): I’m impressed with the well thought out and progressive changes for ‪@IronmanTri . Thanks ‪@CEOIronman

Chris McDonald (@bigsexymcdonald): ‪@tollakson ‪@IronmanTri Sorry TJ, Disagree on this one. Kona swim start is great. Prize money “redistribution” is a step back in my mind.

Balazs Csoke (@csokebalazs): took a nap, woke up and  realized Sunday was my last finish at ‪#imlp [Ironman Lake Placid] happy that my hometown race is a championship race

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

Doug MacLean (@dmactri) I think I like the new ‪@IronmanTri prize purse structure. Makes pro Ironman racing more PRO. ‪#stepUpOrGetLeftOut

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

Heather & Trevor Wurtele (@TeamWurtele) .‪@ASKPROS It’s a good move for ensuring bigger and more competitive pro fields. Hope sponsors are willing to expand bonus structures though.

What are your thoughts on the new pro prize purse structure? Tweet us at @TriathleteMag or share on our Facebook page.