Did you hear that?…
That was a collective sigh of relief from the triathlon community.
For quite some time now, the Professional Triathlete’s Organization (PTO) was attempting to purchase WTC and The IRONMAN Group from Wanda Sports.
I have nothing against the PTO. They have good goals for the professional athletes. But I did not want them to command the destiny of IRONMAN races. This is totally selfish on my part, because I was concerned that the PTO would turn the biggest IRONMAN event, the daddy of ’em all, into an annual, professional only media blitz. That’s right, I predicted that if PTO owned Kona, age-groupers like myself would be pushed out.
My concerns may be unfounded, but not far fetched, and I’m not alone in this. Triathlon Taren, in a recent podcast expressed a similar concern of what the PTO might have done to IRONMAN.
The bottom line is that Wanda Sports Group is selling The IRONMAN Group… but not to the PTO. The winning bidder is a family owned business called Advance that, according to a press release published in Endurance Sportswire,
…believes in the long-term strength of its [IRONMAN’s] well-recognized brands and the dedication of its athletes, communities, employees and fans.
We still don’t know what plans Advance has for IRONMAN, so my big, loud sigh of relief may be somewhat temporary.
Can’t Escape Talking About Coronavirus
I’m sure you’re not wondering, but I’m going to tell you anyway. We still don’t know if IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga will be cancelled, rescheduled or left alone. Either way my training continues as though the event will go on. If it does get cancelled, I plan on peaking anyway and having my own event. I get to be the race director, announcer and athlete. That way if I have a complaint I can only blame myself and when I cross the finish line I can say whatever I want about myself.