The Triathlon One O One series, which began this past May in Bradenton, Florida, has been canceled. Their website, www.trioneoone.com shows only the following text:
Billed on its website as "bringing a new brand of world class long-distance racing to the multisport world," the series sought to fill the gap between the Ironman and half-Iron distances. Each race offered a $50,000 prize purse, with $10,000 going to the first place finisher in each gender. The series finale in The Woodlands, Texaspreviously scheduled for Novemberwas offering a $150,000 purse.
No other information on why the series ended was readily available. The site had previously postponed a race in Halifax, originally scheduled for this September. The announcement on the website read:
"IMPORTANT: Triathlon One O One regrets that this year's Triathlon One O One Halifax event has been postponed until August 31st, 2008. The reason for the postponement is due to a recent resignation by our local race management company several days ago."
Whether the series is truly canceled or just on hiatus is still to be determined. The news does raise a few questions, however: Can a series of national long-distance races not under the Ironman umbrella compete with the globally-recognized brand? Are triathletes, both professionals and age-groupers alike, more likely to sign up for a race because of potential prize money or because of other factors that characterize a race?
While the initial Bradenton race was met with good reviews, the problems that plagued Tri One O One may suggest that a national series of races might be better served by starting off small as it cultivates regulars and grows within the triathlon community rather than exploding on the scene before bonking halfway through the season.
The Life Time Fitness Triathlon Series is more a collective of nationally prominent Olympic-distance races than a schedule of races born of one company. But for long-distance tri's, one has few choices outside of Ironman sponsored races. The question remains, does this benefit the sport?