This is a preview of the 2022 Couples Championship – you can read a full race report on how Non Stanford and Aaron Royle claimed the $100k first prize in Florida.
The Couples Championship offers the biggest triathlon prize so far in 2022 when it takes place early on March 6.
There will be a financial windfall of $100,000 for the winning couple at a race which is backed by Waterfall Bank in Florida – and each couple will earn an appearance fee of $10,000.
We spoke this week to Ben Atkins, the man behind the new format, who told us why it is partly intended as a wake-up call for the sport.
Here is what we know so far:
When is the Couples Championship?
The event is scheduled to start at 0700 local time (Eastern) on Sunday March 6, 2022. If you are in the UK that is noon GMT, or 1300 Central European Time.
It will take place in Fort De Soto Park in Tierra Verde, Florida.
How to watch the race on live stream
The Couples Championship will be streamed live, per organisers, and the plan is that the stream will be a pay-per-view production.
Organisers had been advertising an early bird discount price of $7.99 or £7.99 to watch the race on Facebook Live, but that ended when February turned over to March. The price now is $9.99 or £9.99.
Per the official website, U.S. long-distance star Heather Jackson and Greg Bennett will be on hand to provide commentary for the race broadcast.
Couples Championship format & rules
The hint is in the name of the event – this is where couples race against each other for that jackpot financial prize. The format is as follows:
Partner 1: 0.25mile swim, 10-mile bike, 3.1-mile run
Partner 2: 0.25mile swim, 10-mile bike, 3.1-mile run
As for who is eligible to take part in the event, this was the official designation provided by race organisers on their official website:
To qualify, the pro athletes must be in a relationship for 6 months or longer. Each couple will be officially announced when their invitation is delivered to them.
Who is racing the Couples Championship?
There are some big names from pro triathlon taking part, but the major news as we count down is that the likely pre-race favourites Vincent Luis and Taylor Spivey WILL NOT. We also now have no Josh Amberger and Ashleigh Gentle after Josh was denied entry to the U.S. following a Visa nightmare. Confirmed starters are as follows:
- Jess Broderick & Jason West
- Jaryd Browne & Emma Pallant-Browne
- Mirinda Carfrae & Tim O’Donnell
- Marjolaine Pierre & Clement Mignon
- Paula Findlay & Eric Lagerstrom
- Kirsten Kasper & Matt Sharpe
- Samantha Kingsford & Sam Osborne
- Rachel Klamer & Richard Murray
- Andre Lopes & Rachel Olson
- Vittoria Lopes & Danilo Pimentel
- Jeanni Metzler & Justin Metzler
- Seth Rider & Roksana Slupek
- Aaron Royle & Non Stanford
‘Big Metz’ referenced the event in a recent TRI247 interview, explaining: “That’s a big marketing event for us in the sense that we’re on the Waterfall Bank Racing team and the Couples Championship is presented by Waterfall Bank.
“We’re going to go give it a good crack, but it’s all going to be kind of fun and games. That’s just like a nice way to kick off the year.”
Organisers are now also taking applications to take part in the 2023 event.
As we’ve already said, the sheer level of prize money for the winners raised eyebrows when the event really became a news story last year.
The winning couple will take away a prize of $100,000, with each couple receiving an appearance fee of $10,000.
Meanwhile the official website is also trailing a charity angle. It says $10,000 will be donated for each couple that beats the charity trio of Brooke Bennett, Phil Gaimon and Gwen Jorgensen.