5 Changes the new commissioner is making to triathlon

The Crank has declared himself the new commissioner of multisport racing around the world and has decided to make five immediate changes.

| September 27, 2017 | NEWS

First on the Crank\'s (I mean \"the new commissioner\'s) list of changes? 40 men and women pros at the Ironman World Championship.

First on the Crank's (I mean "the new commissioner's) list of changes? 40 men and women pros at the Ironman World Championship.

Photo >Kevin Mackinnon

I have just been made the Commissioner of Triathlon! Yep, I now run the sport. I have five changes to make:

  1. Even numbers in Kona. Yep this is the first order of business. The 50 women to Kona had merit, of that there is no doubt, but 50 women in Kona is too many. So, too, is 50 men. I recommend an even 40/40 split of men and women. Will some miss out? Yes, they will, but that’s elite sport.
  2. Cat 1 and 2 Ironman/70.3 Pros. There are too many "professionals" in triathlon. Just because the local Federations blindly sign off on as many licenses as they can doesn’t mean my new commission will. Pros will fall into Cat 1 or Cat 2 categories. A performance structure will be implemented to allow progression or regression. In short, the best athletes get to race the best races, making sure that if you don’t reach a performance level then you don’t race in the big time. Hey, just because I play a mean game of golf doesn’t mean I can play PGA. You have to earn the spot.
  3. Corralling and prize money changes. Following up on the too many pros comment, there are too many races. It is confusing and hurts the pro-aspect of the sport when six pros show up to race. The Ironman world has it’s Grand Slams (regional championships), it’s upper level races and then it’s "satellite" events. We need to see the best racing the best more often in both 70.3 and Ironman races. The days of fewer pros than prize money spots have to go. Run as many age group Ironman races as you can. The pros don’t factor in their decision making. No one goes to watch the pros race. The crowds are there to watch a friend, family member or training partner race. The pros are an add on. Therefore, the transition into a few big pro races is easier than in other sports.
  4. ITU Single day Championships. We will be bringing back the single day championship race. For too long we have not had that air of anticipation. The ITU have a good product, but their point system and the fact that the world title is won via accumulation is not great. We want single day heroics and brilliant stories of chasing the dream and peaking for a day. Not sustained, season-long racing which, while OK, is anti climatic.
  5. Sprint to be the new Olympic distance. Now this is nothing I particularity want, but in order to protect Olympic status we need to be proactive and make this change. You get the feeling that watching athletes ride for an hour is not as tantilizing as watching an hour smash fest. With the current two-hour format I fear for it’s longevity in the Olympic program given the pre-disposition of sports to shorten and speed up the result. Sadly, for many sport fans (not triathlon junkies) Olympic-distance racing is just too long.