TriEqual released a statement today in response to what they believe are inequitable start times for the professional women’s field at the 70.3 World Championships to be held in Zell am See, Austria this weekend. According to their mandate the TriEqual collective is dedicated to fairness, progress, and equality in the sport of triathlon. They argue that the current start times will not result in a fair race course for professional women. The pro women are set to start three minutes after the pro men with the first age group wave (M35-39) ten minutes later. In this scenario, strong female swimmers will catch pro men, and also pro women will be overtaken by the fastest age group men on the bike. The TriEqual board insists that the professional women deserve the same fair and unobstructed course that is available to the professional men.
Jodie Swallow, one of the favorites in the women’s race, said: “This is really worrying not least about the fact the races fairness comes into question but also because the pro women have asked for such considerations so many times. This is not a new concept – there are so many solid examples where the male age group race has affected the pro women’s race. In fact it seems it just doesn’t matter that much to race organizers. “
Over the last several months numerous requests for change have been made by TriEqual via the Fair Starts initiative, including an open letter, signed by many prominent pro men and women. Further requests have come from multiple elite athletes and coaches on social media and in personal blogs. TriEqual directors have also expressed their concerns to Ironman via private email but have not received a satisfying response.
TriEqual respectfully urges male athletes to conduct their race in a manner that minimizes impact on the professional women.
TriEqual announced their Fair Starts Protocol earlier this year, building on its platform for fairness in triathlon to encompass promoting start protocols that allow women to race without routine interference from other competitors.
from press release