Photo courtesy PTO
By Kent Gray/Triathlon.kiwi
New Zealand’s long-distance elites can pencil another date into their 2023 diaries with the Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) confirming Milwaukee as the host of the second PTO U.S. Open.
The event will run in conjunction with USA Triathlon’s National Championship event on August 4-5 which should ensure a bumper crowd. More than 7000 participants and 20,000 spectators are pegged to attend making it one of the largest-ever weekends of triathlon in North America.
Thursday’s announcement comes after Singapore was announced as the host of the new PTO Asian Open, to be staged around a Marina Bay Financial District course, for the next three years.
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Dates and venues for the second Canadian Open, the Ryder Cup-style Collins Cup and a new European event are expected soon as the athletes-owned PTO continues to reshape the long-distance landscape.
PTO races are staged over 100km courses (2km swim, 80km bike and 18km run) and the organisation’s athlete and media focus has already become a hit with the world’s best.
Kiwis Braden Currie (17th), Kyle Smith (34th), Jack Moody (62nd), Amelia Watkinson (35th), Rebecca Clarke (40th) and Hannah Berry (nee Wells, 65th) all feature in the PTO rankings. Kiwi short course No.1 Hayden Wilde contested last year’s Collins Cup in Slovakia, finishing second to Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfeld. Currie also represented the International team, also finishing second to Team Europe’s Daniel Baekkegard in his match.
Individually, the Kiwi standout performances in 2022 came from Smith and Clarke who were 9th and 8th in the Canadian Open and U.S. Open’s respectively.
Last year’s PTO U.S. Open, held in Dallas, was part of a three-race PTO Tour that delivered on its goal to take longer distance triathlon to a broader audience, including a global TV and streaming audience of 23.1 million. There were 125 million impressions and 29 million social media video views of PTO’s award-winning, internally produced shoulder content.
Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle and American upstart Collin Chartier won the Dallas titles with Clarke’s eye-catching U.S. Open performance a launch pad to a 17th on debut at the Ironman World Championships and victory in last weekend’s Tauranga Half.
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A specially designed course around Milwaukee, which is adjacent to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Henry Maier Festival Park and Discovery World along the shore of Lake Michigan, has been drawn up for the PTO U.S. Open.
Athletes will swim in the cool waters of Lake Michigan with the bike course traverses down Lincoln Memorial Drive. The run travels out along Lake Michigan on paved trails through the scenic Veterans Park, returning on the shaded Lincoln Memorial Drive.