This has been waffling around upstairs for a bit. And, there have been some forum posts about it, etc. It's my general commentary and thoughts about pro race series, etc. It really carries no weight in the grand scheme of things. I'm just one person putting down ideas and thoughts. I've blogged before about the fact that Rev3 did a great job with pros and more of us should support the series. And, I've put down thoughts about the KPR. So, here I go again.
It sucks that Rev3 cut their pro fields for 2014 after the conclusion of the 2013 series at Knoxville 2014. That's $500k (minimum) gone from pro racing. Or seen another way, it's probably about 60-100 money positions gone from the pro ranks. "It didn't work for us" is what was said. And others have surmised that "It's all on the pros for not supporting Rev enough." It's probably more than that, but to use a cliche it is what it is. At the end of last season, beginning of this, a couple of us put together a proposal for Rev3 to re-vamp the series and make Quassy what we considered a 'true' championship race. Modeled after Hy-Vee every pro who qualified and finished would have been paid. The expense to Rev3 the same. I guess we know now why that proposal wasn't answered.
To shift to IM racing. The 'value' of pros has been volleyed about. From people who say we have no value whatsoever to those who simply say a sport like triathlon 'deserves' a pro field and everything in between. I can tell you, it is hard to be a pro in this sport. I think that it can be difficult to be really good at most jobs/professions. But, I do think that some re-vamping of prize money, championship qualifying, and points, can help us. A few thoughts, based on my experience as a pro who has finished in, just out of, and way out of the money in my 10 year pro career.
- I do not 'fault' IM for NOT having prize money at IM Maryland. They saved a race series. That is good. There, I said it no prize money at IM Maryland does NOT bother me. I don't think that the acquisition of this race and the fact that this race does not have prize money should set a precedent of no prize money at IMs. IM events that currently have prize money should maintain their prize money.
- I think that we should have equal spots for men and women at ALL championship and non-championship events. This is a change from my previous point of view. It has more to do with the fact that if prize money depth is the same, the field depth should be the same. If we want to pay a certain %age of each field, then let's change up the ## of athletes racing.
- I think that we can separate out IM/70.3 events into 2 basic categories. a) Those that qualify an athlete for a world championship, and b) those that do not count towards world championship qualifying.
- All events would have prize money and points. Category a) events would have deeper prize money and maybe more points like the Regional Championships now. Category b) events would have prize money as well (like P-500 or lower $ P-2000) but their points would not count towards WC qualifying. The point value for each event would/could be the same as they are now, the main difference is in what the points are used for.
- Events would have field limits and entry is be based on points if an event hits the field limit. This is kind of a page taken from ITU. All events need to have points so that all athletes have a relatively equal chance of getting into the WC qualifying events. But, it allows athletes the chance to essentially pick prize money vs. WC points. If the field limit is hit, then there is a wait list like ITU racing based on points. Because every race has points, no athlete is at a disadvantage for qualifying for any other race (except WC which has only select qualifying races).
- A maximum of 3x140.6 distance events would count towards WC qualifying, and the previous WC would count as it does currently.
This is a structure similar to the ITU. All races have points, but not all races count towards the Olympic Games, for instance. As long as all races had points, it would allow newer pros at least a way of entry towards WC qualifying. It would also allow an athlete who does not anticipate racing WC to select events with that goal in mind. An event that does not have WC points 'MAY' present a better opportunity for a win or a payday than an event that carries those points and maybe a deeper field and prize purse.
Added. Bob Babbitt and Andrew Messick did a podcast, it alludes to some KPR changes. I listened to it after I wrote the above. It is worth a listen for pros, they hit on some good topics. Today (8-May) Challenge announced a new race with $500k prize money, a single race.