Only the very best in triathlon have been invited to join the inaugural Super League Triathlon, a new race league that debuts with its men’s race on March 17th, 18th and 19th on Hamilton Island. Trizone caught up with Super League Triathlon co-founder Christ McCormack to discuss the new fixture on the triathlon calendar.
Only the best pros get an invite
“It’s about the best of the best coming together. It’s going to be super-fast, with high end money, and huge TV coverage. It’s going to have everything,” said McCormack (Macca) excitedly. He’s secured contracts with only the very highest ranking professionals, both men and women, to race in his brand new league. Needless to say, the Brownlee brothers are among the exclusive athlete list.
“Super League Triathlon will be exciting, dynamic racing and great viewing for all sports fans,” said Alistair Brownlee, elaborating on the specifics of the new event. “There’s a bit of chatter from the younger guys about the heat, the shorter distances, and a few of them fancy themselves for the win. While the formats are new and innovative, they’ve still got to swim, bike and run and they have to remember that their weaknesses will still be highlighted. It’ll be a lot of fun.”
Macca created the league to generate entertainment around the sport, as well as add more value for the athletes. “I meet some of these incredible athletes and just think it’s a tragedy they’re chasing prize money instead of having security and sponsorship and a reputation,” he noted.
The way Macca sees it, not enough people know about triathlon and very few have ever even seen a race on TV. He’s bringing media attention to a race that’s highly concentrated with only the very best professional triathletes in the world. “I need a Federer, a Nadal or a Tiger Woods. The Brownlees are almost there, but we need just the best racing the best in a more exciting arena,” he said.
Creating stars to motivate the youth
Macca’s vision isn’t just about turning professionals into stars but also to motivate young kids to join the sport. “Kids look at stars and champions, not age groupers or group participation events,” he explained. “I’m hoping this type of racing will spark even more developments in youth races.”
He plans to bring back the drama of the sport, and share that drama with viewers. “IRONMAN is a group participation sport, it’s not about the pros,” he continued. “And ITU is federation-funded and revolves around Olympic qualification.” And so Macca created Super League Triathlon, a new league about the very best of endurance sport in an exhilarating, elimination-style format.
Never-before seen triathlon format to wow audiences
Super League Triathlon has five unique race formats. Each event includes a 300m Swim, 6km Bike and 2m Run with different sequences and repetitions of each leg across the different races. The races are named for drama too, with the titles ‘Triple Mix’, ‘Equalizer’, ‘Eliminator’, ‘Sprint Pursuit’ and ‘Enduro.’
“Our race formats are a game-changer and we’re going to find out who is truly the greatest multi-sport athlete on the planet. We’ve seen it so often over the years with the Brownlees and Gomez dominating in short course and in long course we see a relatively similar story unfold race after race,” said McCormack.
Macca is eager to promote the entertainment side of the event to gain more media coverage and the biggest sponsors from China at the Australian debut: “We’ll highlight the rivalries, the personality clashes and intensity of a closed-league, big prize money series. For triathlon and sports fans we’ll be taking them deeper into the inner sanctum than ever before.”
Where are all the women?
Super League Triathlon’s debut is conspicuously devoid of female participants, but never fear! All the top pro women have signed their letters of intent to participate, although several top pros are currently pregnant and thus unable to race.
“The top pro women have signed LOI’s and we’re definitely doing a women’s event,” said Macca. “But, I’m committed to our vision of making this the best of the best, and if the best are pregnant, we don’t want to compromise our vision.”
“It’s important to not come out with everything at once, it’s a lot to stomach anyway,” he said. “I’m selling entertainment. The pretty girl from down south might be nice, but I need the best. I need it to be the champions league.”
“An introduction to the women’s series when it’s ready will be exhilarating. We’d love to grow a sport where the women’s racing is more exciting.”
When is round two?
Hamilton Island will offer a taste of Super League Triathlon, featuring just three of the five Super League Triathlon formats that will be on show at future events. In the future, McCormack says there will be events in undisclosed locations in Asia and the Middle East for men and women, plus a Youth League between a lot of international schools.
For the cities unable to offer the deluxe commitments Super League Triathlon has promised athletes; flights, accommodation, massage, Chiropractor, Physiotherapy, Super League Triathlon also offer cities the option to host qualifying races that filter into the exclusive Super League races.
“We want pros to be excited about these races and possibility of meeting the biggest sponsors in China,” said McCormack. “These companies could change professional triathlon.”
Chris McCormack’s vision for Super League Triathlon isn’t just to promote these ultra-exclusive races and qualification events around the world. He also wants to see more people enjoy and participating in a sport, motivated by these special events. “Like golf, you should be able to try a triathlon every weekend,” he said. “This isn’t about me, I’ve co-created this because I believe in this sport and I believe in the athletes.”