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The 2020 non-triathlon season is coming to a close in an interesting way—with the sport’s top names heading to Daytona, Florida for the PTO Championships, where there is a whopping $1.15 million on the line. For many of these professional triathletes it represents the first, last, and only opportunity to earn a healthy paycheck in 2020. So despite the COVID-19 pandemic, they’re traveling to the Florida’s east coast from around the world for a shot at prize money and the thrill of competition.
Thanks to the power of social media, we’re getting a glimpse of the feelings (nervousness, uneasiness, and excitement) that these pros are experiencing in the biggest and one of the most-anticipated races of the year. Here some of our favorite Instagram posts, and check back as we continue to report on the PTO Championship from Challenge Daytona.
Some pros shared a peek at some of their final training sessions before heading to Florida. Both Lionel Sanders and Heather Jackson wrapped things up in Tucson, while Ironman world champion Anne Haug finished her training in chilly Germany.
Many highlighted the fact that it’s a strange time of year to be peaking for a championship race. Rudy Von Berg finished up a long ride on snow-filled roads, while Carrie Lester did one of her last hard efforts on Thanksgiving.
Rudy Von Berg
Traveling right now is super strange, especially if you’re traveling from overseas—which is the case with Michelle Vesterby. Rachel McBride shared the reality of how hard the racing decision was. Do you stay home and forfeit a guaranteed paycheck, or compete with the current risk of the pandemic?
The Professional Triathlon Organisation has promised to give pro athletes a voice in the sport. Part of that includes provided media hits before the race.
British brothers Alistair Brownlee and Jonathan Brownlee traveled from the UK to compete against the world’s best. Alistair has recently moved to long-course but still hopes to compete in Tokyo next summer, while Jonathan has already been named to Great Britain’s 2021 Olympic team.
Far and away the most pre-race social media comes straight from the iconic Daytona International Speedway, where the pros will swim, bike, and run on Sunday.
Sarah Anne Crowley
Part of the promise from the PTO is that fans will be able to easily watch the race. Here’s how to watch the PTO Championship from Daytona, Florida.