From the Toronto Star
In 2008, Providence bought the World Triathlon Corp., which at the time staged or licenced the rights to 53 Ironman and half-Ironman events a year.
Endurance competitions were booming in the U.S.
In 2007, 800,000 racers participated in triathlons, and despite its modest coverage in the mainstream media, its popularity was on the rise. World Triathlon in 2007 generated more than $500 million in royalty payments from companies to put its Ironman brand name on watches, sunglasses and other items.
By 2009, 1.2 million racers participated in triathlons, and while the sport appealed to many, it was a still considered a gruelling challenge. A 2009 survey reported only 17 per cent of triathletes had finished an Ironman race in the previous year.
So this year, in a move to broaden the sport’s appeal, World Triathlon announced a new 13-race series called 5150. Races in the series would feature a 1.5-km swim, a 40-km bike ride and a 10-km run. (A traditional Ironman triathlon is a 3.8-km swim, 180-km bike race, and a 42-km run.)
Within five years, World Triathlon chief executive Andrew Fertic told The SportsBusiness Journal, the series could have 50 events averaging 2,300 athletes and more than 100,000 total participants.