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PTO announces $1million World Championship at Challenge Daytona

$1,000,000. That's the prize purse just announced by the Professional Triathletes Organisation, for the first PTO Middle Distance World Championship.

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PTO announces the triathlon’s first million dollar race…

… and it’s set to take place a week after the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship

Interesting. I think I’ve probably used that word many times over in relation while following the developments and announcements from the Professional Triathletes Organisation over the past 12 months. Well, more ‘interesting’ news today.

Just a week after the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships (Taupo, New Zealand – total Pro prize purse $250,000), at Challenge Daytona they will be holding the ‘PTO Middle Distance World Championship‘, with a total Pro prize purse of $1,000,000).

Lots to consider about this news… but before I do that, below is the full announcement from the Professional Triathletes Organisation.


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CHALLENGENORTHAMERICA, USA TRIATHLON AND THE PROFESSIONAL TRIATHLETES ORGANISATION TO PARTNER AT ICONIC CHALLENGEDAYTONA RACE IN DECEMBER

Event to feature an array of age-group races and a PTO Middle Distance World Championship with a prize purse of $1,000,000

It was announced today that USA Triathlon and the Professional Triathletes Organisation have joined forces with CHALLENGENORTHAMERICA to be part of its iconic CHALLENGEDAYTONA race at Daytona International Speedway on December 4th, 5th and 6th.  The three-day triathlon festival will attract athletes from around the world to compete at the “World Center of Racing®” and will feature an array of different events, including age-grouper sprint and middle-distance events, junior challenges, a Pro-Am relay and will culminate with a PTO Middle Distance World Championship Race with a $1,000,000 prize purse for the world’s top professional triathletes.

PTO / Challenge Daytona / USA Triathlon

William Christy, CEO of CHALLENGENORTHAMERICA shares, “In often a divided world, triathlon has been a unifying force for athletes across the globe. We come together to compete as a family of global athletes. The global pandemic has displaced athletes and cancelled races and now more than ever, our world needs to unite. Our festival allows us to cheer and compete for a shared cause.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our daily lives and routines in dramatic ways. As we adjust and adapt to these changing circumstances, we also know that our entire multisport community is eagerly awaiting the day we can safely and responsibly race again,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “USA Triathlon is proud to support CHALLENGENORTHAMERICA and the PTO by sanctioning a world-class event in December that will showcase the camaraderie of our sport.”

Charles Adamo, PTO Chairman, stated “The PTO is pleased to be able to work with the USA Triathlon and CHALLENGEDAYTONA to support the triathlon community to provide race opportunities for athletes. Since many professional events have been cancelled and some races rescheduled without a professional prize purse, the PTO is committing $1,000,000 of prize money for the PTO Middle Distance World Championship.”

In addition, the PTO Championships on December 6th, the CHALLENGEDAYTONA Festival weekend will include a wide array of events catering to athletes of all ages and abilities. The event weekend is anticipated to host the following events:

  • PTO Middle Distance World Championships
  • Sprint and Middle-Distance Triathlons
  • Junior Challenge kids’ race
  • Pro Am Relay Race
  • 5K/10K run/walk events
  • Relay categories
  • Duathlon and Aquabike events

The top six male and female finishers in each Middle-Distance Triathlon age group will qualify for entry in THECHAMPIONSHIP, to be held in May 2021 at the x-bionic sphere in Samorin, Slovakia.

Zibi Szlufcik, CHALLENGEFAMILY President of the Board, commented, “While there is still uncertainty associated with the effects of the global pandemic, we know that planning, preparation and hope must continue for the triathlon community. Our teams are busy making the necessary preparations for what we all hope will be a tribute to our sport.”

John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.
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