If you don’t read further than the first lines of this post, I’ll say it up front. Whether you think of yourself as a triathlon enthusiast or not, don’t let 2016 go by without attending one of the Major League Triathlon Series events!
LAYING THE SCENE
Last weekend, I made my way to the Lonestar State with 31 other pro triathletes for first Major League Triathlon (MLT) Series race. The race location – Temple, TX – is an army town sandwiched between Dallas and Austin. Home of Bucee’s – literally the BIGGEST gas station I’ve ever seen. Temple was a bit of a hike to get to – my travel began on Thursday morning at 4am with a drive to Chicago and flight from Midway to Dallas. Lucky for me, I was able to train in Dallas on Thursday and then stay overnight with friends before embarking on the 2hr drive (well…. 3 thanks to construction traffic!) with John O’Neill & Erin Jones, who were also racing there (road trip woohoo!). And Temple itself was actually a cool town - it's right on an army base so it very vibrant with a lot going on! It was a great setting for a weekend of racing.
TAKING A STEP BACK: WHAT IS THE MLT SERIES?
For all of you who haven’t heard of MLT – you need to! MLT is a series of super-sprint relay races. In it’s first year, we have 8 teams, each of which are comprised of 2 men and 2 women, racing in 4 different locations over the season: Temple TX, Sarasota FL, Omaha NE, and last but not least, Portland ME! Check out their website for more details. Future years will have more teams and more races!
MLT - TEMPLE
The Dans, who founded and are organizing MLT, ran into a strong of bad luck in Temple for sure (permit revoked, no pools in the area to use, portable pool wouldn’t work). But we've seen issues like this with even very established races like Ironman Texas this year, and the Dans still managed to put an amazing pro event together despite the situational headwinds.
Everyone I talked to agreed - it was one of the most exciting events we’ve done! Teammates were all over the course cheering on teammates, and there was a sense of bonding/community that is absent as most other races. There was also some incredibly fast racing – exactly what a new pro like me needs to grow and develop! TRS took some great footage of the day - check it out below!
The Dans were also extremely organized and we’re all excited to see the incredible event they will certainly be putting on for age groupers and pros alike in Sarasota this June.
MLT is trying to grow the sport of triathlon and change the current dynamic where pro’s struggle to balance finances and opportunities to gain the experience necessary to grow and develop into top athletes. I couldn’t be more honored to be part of the MLT in its inaugural year and contributing to it’s growth. Curious? Come race the age group race in Sarasota on July 17 (get 10% off entry fee using code "ALEXANDER"), then hang out for an amazing pro race, the chance to hang out and learn from top North American triathletes, and food, frosty beverages, and music! You won’t regret it!