Just when you think you're tough enough


A new format brings change to Triathlon

Sebastian Kienle battled for top spot in the Ironman European Championships. (Getty Images)
Sebastian Kienle battled for top spot in the Ironman European Championships. (Getty Images)

A new change in triathlon will be happening, bringing a more exciting format.

The Collins Cup promises to be a first-of-its-kind triathlon that will have teams from the USA, Europe and the rest of the world squaring off against each other in a long-distance race. It’s the brainchild of Charles Adamo, an American age-group triathlete living in England, who was brought in as the Pro Triathlon Organization’s (PTO) first CEO.

Adamo encouraged a group of 15 pro triathletes, including Ironman world champions Mirinda Carfrae and Sebastian Kienle, to become more of an inspirational organization than one that advocates for change in the sport.

“If there are things they wanted to change, then I encouraged them to do their own race. The next step was to figure out a race format that would be compelling in terms of drama—something long-distance races struggle with,” Adamo said.

Adamo, an avid golf fan was inspired by the success of the Ryder Cup, which pits the best golfers from the United States against the best from Europe in a match play format.

The Collins Cup format will have three teams of 12 athletes (USA, Europe and the “Internationals”) and will essentially be 12 individual races between three athletes. One athlete from each team will go off at 10-minute intervals and will score points for their team based on how they finish in their three-person race.

The expected distance is 3K swim, 120K bike, 25K run. Athletes will wear a microphone on the bike and run, and their conversations with their team captains will be part of the broadcast. Metrics like heart rate, speed and power output will also be incorporated into the broadcast.

“This race format allows for big incentives and promotion,” says pro triathlete and PTO board member Angela Naeth.

Adamo specified that all 36 athletes competing would be part of the largest prize purses in the sport. The promise of big prize money is based entirely on the event’s ability to attract TV broadcasters and thus non-endemic sponsors—two things that triathlon has struggled to do in the past. The next question beckons, will it work?

Read more at Triathlon Competitor.