Photo: Michael Rauschendorer/Endurapix
First-year pros of the sport share the good, the bad and the ugly.
In 2014, 108 American triathletes “turned pro,” joining the ranks of the more than 2,000 current professional triathletes worldwide (as estimated by USA Triathlon).
After placing in the top percentile of certain triathlon races, athletes are offered an opportunity to take a “pro card,” industry slang for a USA Triathlon Elite License. The designation allows triathletes to race at the highest level of the sport for professional prize purses.
Though pro triathletes have long arrived from varying backgrounds, the 2014 rookie class was particularly diverse, touting young phenoms, collegiate stars and weekend warriors. Some had been racing triathlon for years before earning elite designation; others, mere months. One thing all new pros experienced, however, was a huge shift in training philosophies, resources and expectations.
Though Jason West denies any genetic...