The PTO has increased the prize purse for December’s PTO 2020 Championship to $1,150,000 promising a cut of the new total for every athlete.

The $150,000 prize money increase gives the world’s top triathletes even more reason to do battle at the inaugural PTO 2020 Championship, set to place at Challenge Daytona in Florida on 6 December. The purse will also be distributed right down to the final finishers, ensuring that none of the 60 athletes due to toe the line will go away empty-handed.

The field is made up of the 40 top-ranked PTO athletes plus 20 wildcards. The prize purse will range from $100,000 for the winner to $4,000 for 20th place, the remainder of the field each receiving $2,500 – helping them avoid being out of pocket regardless of their performance.

This increase of $150,000 is equal to the total prize purse on offer at Ironman regional championship events while the PTO 2020 Championship now boasts nearly twice the purse of the Ironman World Championships in Kona and almost five times that of the Ironman 70.3 worlds.

This serves the dual benefit of making the trip to Daytona financially viable for athletes and also assuring that fans get to see the strongest, deepest field possible do battle.

PTO executive chairman, Charles Adamo, alluded to such a prize purse breakdown during a recent interview on the IMTalk podcast but went into more detail on this official announcement:

“With the entire race season pretty much cancelled and with athletes having practically no earning opportunities and receiving little support from elsewhere, the PTO has decided that anyone who has qualified and races at the PTO 2020 Championship should receive some compensation.

It is a very simple formula-the PTO is the professionals’ organisation and it thrives when they thrive

Charles Adamo

“We had previously committed to paying twenty deep, which was already twice the number of athletes earning prize money than at a typical championship race. With the professionals continuing to receive little support this year, we could not in good conscience ask athletes to travel to the race and then, like too often happens, walk away with nothing but a big travel bill. That is not the way the PTO treats valued partners.

“With many sports, including our own, cancelling events and looking to decrease prize purses or cut payments to athletes, we see this as the time to invest in our PTO Professionals. It is a very simple formula-the PTO is the professionals’ organisation and it thrives when they thrive.”

The news of the revised prize purse breakdown will come as a relief to athletes making the trip from around the world. Indeed, if the athletes and the PTO can manage to navigate the tricky travel restrictions, we should see perhaps the greatest pro field ever assembled. This is thanks to a breadth of athletes accomplished at different distances, the fact there are no conflicting events and, of course, that colossal amount of money on offer.

PTO Championship Wildcards
Just four of the wildcard athletes who could shake up the PTO 2020 Championship. (Photo: PTO)

This guaranteed take-home is just another example of the PTO supporting its members through COVID-19, during which the almost complete cancellation of the race calendar has meant no prize money on offer and little chance to gain exposure for sponsors.

In March, the PTO paid out a $2,500,000 bonus pool, which was originally due to be distributed at the end of the season – upping the original $2,000,000 figure in the process. Meanwhile, the organisation has paid out hundreds of thousands in prize purses for more local events around the world.

These included the Outlaw X and Helvellyn Triathlon in the UK, which attracted top domestic pros including Tim Don and Alistair Brownlee, both of whom will go head-to-head with reigning Challenge Daytona champion and Canadian hour record holder, Lionel Sanders.

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