To effect a more unified vision in the sport, the ITU and Ironman held ‘the first of many meetings to come’ at Ironman’s Headquarters in Tampa, Florida. Also in attendance was USAT. The meeting, hosted by Andrew Messick, Ironman CEO, included Gergely Markus (ITU Sport Director), Enrique Quesada (ITU Sport Results Director,) Joyce Donaldson (ITU Technical Committee Member), Barry Siff (President, USAT), Beth Atnip (Ironman Director of Global Technical Operations), Jimmy Riccitello (Ironman Technical Director), Steve MeckFessel (Ironman Managing Director of Global Operations) and Paula Newby Fraser (Ironman International Relations).
“ITU and Ironman have so much to learn from one another,” said ITU President and IOC Member Marisol Casado. “It benefits triathlon as a whole when we work together to create safe and enjoyable environments for our great sport.”
The main focus was to discuss elite and age-group rules including drafting zones, penalties, swim temperatures, officiating, and elite athlete issues, with the idea of proposing standardized adjustments to be potentially approved for as early as 2015. This first meeting was seen as ‘a step toward cooperative initiatives beginning with the coordination of triathlon rules. The goal is to eventually provide a consistent standard at events of varying distances throughout the world.’
The ITU is hoping to facilitate and support National Federations and event organizers in creating best practices for the safety and consistency of all events.
“We are committed to having ongoing dialog with the ITU and our National Federation partners – so that together we can streamline rules and ensure we are providing triathletes from around the globe consistency at races as well as the best race experience possible. This is the first of many meetings to come,” added Ironman CEO Andrew Messick.