I just raced IMMD. There were no pros. The race was just fine. My day was great. I have no less than 100 Facebook likes on pictures. I have told my training and raceday stories to no less than 100 people. I spent almost $300 on IM gear to remember the day and I've yet to order any of my course pictures. I'll continue to talk to anyone who will listen about what a great day and accomplishment this was for me and my family. I suspect there are 1500 or so other finishers from IMMD who are in the same boat with the same story.
Explain to me again the selfishness and tyranny of all this? Explain to me again about how my sharing of this amazing experience is not good for the sport?
By the way, I've been asked a lot of questions about the race by friends and family. Everything from "Was I scared" to "Did I pee on the bike" to "Was the water cold". You know what nobody has asked me either after the race or during my months of training: "Which pros were at the race?" Hell, I don't even think people realize there's a winner in IM races.
It sounds like you had a great day, and you've engaged a lot of friends and family. You've probably even inspired some to start triathlon. That's all good for the sport.
The selfish part is that you don't care about anyone other than beginners and/or MOP racers. The tyrannical part is your open disdain for those who don't fit in your "category" of participants. You not only don't care about pros & FOP amateurs, you seem to wish that they didn't even exist.
And the reason it's tyrannical is that when the mass majority doesn't care about one segment of a population, it has the power to drive that segment out. I've seen it happen in countless running races when a competitive no-frills race becomes popular with beginners. First it's all good, but then the race becomes more and more focused on the beginners (because that's where the money is), and forgets about the minority of people who race competitively (and actually crowds them out). Soon, there's nothing of the race left for the competitive people. Over, and over and over this has happened in the past 15 years.
Look, there's room enough in triathlon for all "categories" of racers. I've welcomed and encouraged more beginners to the sport than you have "likes" on your facebook IM finisher photo. All I ask is that you respect that there needs to be a place for all levels of competitors. You don't have to care about them. But respect the fact that others do care.
For when you come on a forum and repeatedly advocate that triathlon has no need for pros, you are being selfish, exclusionary, and tyrannical. And that pisses me off, and makes me sometimes wonder why I'm so eager to welcome beginners to sport. Because while overall triathlete numbers continue to grow, that vast majority is crowding out some crucial segments of the population.
I don't think he ever stated that triathlon has no need for pros, just instead that they play a much smaller role in people's decisions regarding events than people on here are giving them credit for. WTC has seemed to identify their business driver as the mop/bop AGer which I would define as the vast majority of those competing. I find it interesting that I keep reading on here about how the pros should be compensated more from the same people who seem to have a problem with new triathletes and get upset about some of the crowded races.
I fail to understand how pros are a crucial segment of the population when no one can articulate a value they bring to the table other than what they do is difficult and maybe generates an article about a race that only other triathletes would read anyway.