By: Brian Metzler
In the early days of triathlon, participation numbers were low, but interest was high among spectators and casual followers. That was largely due to a 1979 Sports Illustrated story by Barry McDermott who chronicled the second edition of the Hawaii Ironman. At the time, SI was riding high during the heyday of American magazine publishing. Their very large readership marveled at the “crazies” who would voluntarily torment themselves for 140.6 miles. So while only 15 souls braved the four-six foot seas off Waikiki in that second Ironman, millions more read about their efforts in the pages of SI. As Scott Tinley later wrote, McDermott had supplied “The Pen that Launched a Thousand Triathlons.”
One man and his company are trying to recapture the attention of American sports fans with the Super League Triathlon. On September 25, the race series will make its debut in the U.S. market during the 34th Malibu Triathlon in Malibu, California, with the 2021 championship finale of its fast, exciting, spectator-friendly format of professional triathlon racing. The Malibu Triathlon will welcome more than 5,000 participants and 10,000 spectators during its late-September event, with an Olympic distance event (1.5 km Swim, 40 km Bike, 10 km Run) on Saturday, Sept. 25, and a Classic-distance event (½-mile Swim, 17-mile Bike, 4-mile Run) on Sunday, Sept. 26. The Super League Triathlon Pro Race will be the newest addition to the Malibu Triathlon, taking place at noon after the Olympic distance race ends on Saturday.
Event organizers recently announced a world class field that includes the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Tokyo Olympic triathlon medalists Flora Duffy, Georgia Taylor-Brown, and Katie Zaferes who will compete in the SLT championship race. They will be joined by their male counterparts, Silver and Bronze Tokyo Olympic triathlon medalists Alex Yee and Hayden Wilde.