It is unfortunate more people don’t race the sprint distance triathlon. Although it is a fraction of the distance of the Ironman, it is still a hard race if you do it right. From start to finish your entire body is burning and you are breathless; it’s painful (in a good way). It is for people who love to go fast and who are fast. You don’t have to spend endless hours of your free time to train for the distance, but the type of training you do is hard and fast. To race the sprint distance doesn’t make you any less of an athlete from those who do the endurance events; you are just a different type of athlete.
It is like comparing Usain Bolt to Haile Gebrselassie; they both run and hold world records in their respected distances, but would you ever say that Bolt is less of an athlete to Gebrselassie because he competes at a much shorter distance?
In addition, Gebrselassie has held world records in distances from the 2000 meter up to the marathon distance. I know he is a world-class athlete, but he shows that you can be great in more distances than just one.
If you have ever spent time following the Road Circuit for USATF, it is very impressive to watch these elite athletes compete in the USA Nationals all distances from 5k to the Marathon, collecting points throughout the season to determine a USA Running Circuit Grand Prix Champion. It is very impressive to watch. With that in mind, it makes me wonder why doesn’t USAT create a circuit like this with the Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman and Ironman Distance?
It would be interesting to see how the athletes would perform and if the attitude of "your not good triathlete unless you compete at the Ironman distance".
...just a thought