The PTO’s Beyond Human documentary will follow Lionel Sanders, Heather Jackson and Sebastian Kienle in the lead up to the 2021 Collins Cup.

A long-form documentary to be created by the award-winning Noah Media Group, Beyond Human will focus on the lives of athletes targeting selection for the PTO’s flagship event, the Collins Cup.

The event – set for 22 May – will pit athletes from US, European and International regions against one another in an exciting team-based race format. Beyond Human will tell the stories of one athlete from each team. 

PTO CEO, Sam Renouf, said: “Sport is about caring who wins, loses, succeeds and fails. To care about an athlete, you have to know about their backstory in order to have an emotional connection. Noah will use their proven storytelling expertise to convey the extraordinary stories of our amazing Professional Triathletes to a wider audience”.

Beyond Human – The Athletes

The documentary will help us get to know three of the sport’s most inspiring, intriguing and successful athletes – Lionel Sanders (International), Heather Jackson (USA) and Sebastian Kienle (Europe).

The team at the award-winning Noah Media Group behind the documentary began the filming process with unfiltered access to the athletes’ training and personal lives as they came towards the end of 2020 in the lead up to the PTO 2020 Championship at Challenge Daytona.

Lionel Sanders

Canada’s Lionel Sanders is now a household name for triathlon fans and certainly one of the sport’s most interesting characters. But it’s not always been smooth sailing for this Kona runner up, Canadian hour record holder and fourth-place finisher at the PTO 2020 Championship. 

Lionel Sanders Running
Lionel Sanders’s competitive streak pushes him beyond normal human thresholds. (Photo: PTO)

Having recovered from addiction and overcome incredible darkness through finding triathlon, Sanders is a racer who wears his heart on his sleeve. Always disarmingly frank about his own abilities, Sanders is one of triathlon’s toughest competitors. He embraces the suffer like no-one else and you know whenever he toes the line, he does so with complete commitment to pushing his limits.

Heather Jackson

Heather Jackson’s sporting career began in ice hockey, playing up to collegiate level in the US before moving into triathlon. Jackson’s early success as an age grouper – winning her age group in Hawaii – showed she has what it took to go pro and it wasn’t long before she was one of the most consistent podium-getters out there.

Heather Jackson - PTO
Heather Jackson is without doubt one of the sport’s coolest characters. (Photo: PTO)

With a ready smile, infectious giggle and somewhat shy demeanour in interviews, you could be forgiven for thinking Jackson would be a pushover in races. But with four top 10 Kona finishes, 5 Ironman tiles and 15 70.3 victories, this heavily tattooed star is a true racer once the gun goes off.

Sebastian Kienle

The 2014 Ironman World Champion, Sebastian Kienle is as funny as he is honest, lighting up any interview with self-deprecating humour and sometimes startlingly truthful insights into his own career and the sport he’s loved since childhood.

Sebastian Kienle – PTO
Outrageously tough and self-deprecating – that’s Sebastian Kienle. (Photo: PTO)

An amazingly adaptable athlete, the German has raced to success through the era of the uber bikers and gone on to transform himself into a seriously formidable runner. One of the sport’s hardest workers, his brilliance and has been rewarded with three podium spots in Hawaii in addition to his win along with two 70.3 world titles.

The Collins Cup

The documentary is geared towards creating a buzz around the first edition of the Collins Cup, which is scheduled to take place in on 22 May in Samorin, Slovakia.

The event’s unique format will see 12 one-on-one-on-one races between athletes from the US, Europe and Internationals teams staggered 10 minutes apart.

“Sport is about caring who wins, loses, succeeds and fails”

Sam Renouf, PTO CEO

It’s a format that should create rivalry and drama unlike any other long-course race. Giving athletes a host region to fight for gives the racing a totally new dynamic. With so many tactics at play and team captains picked from the roster of triathlon legends, it’s sure inspire a whole host of storylines.

If the PTO can create a long-course battle not dissimilar from the excitement inspired by World Triathlon’s mixed team relay events, it’ll go down as a classic race and cement the PTO as a serious force in events.

More To Come

Beyond Human could be just the start of Noah Media Group’s partnership with the PTO. The production company, whose sporting documentary credits include Finding Jack Charlton, The Edge and the upcoming Arsène Wenger: Invincible, is gearing up to tell the stories of the world’s best triathletes.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the PTO on what we hope will be the first in a number of standout, global collaborations,” said Noah Media Group CEO, John McKenna.

“We are thrilled to be a part of the PTO’s clear and ambitious vision for the future of triathlon through ‘Beyond Human’ – a documentary showcasing the incredible stories of unique athletes at the pinnacle of the sport. Noah always strives to tell the very best stories – both in competition and away from the sport. ‘Beyond Human’ has all the ingredients to deliver this very top level of documentary.”

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