Elite Membership

Elite triathletes and duathletes, also called pros, are those who have taken the sport to the next level. Whether they compete in World Triathlon, IRONMAN, XTERRA, short course duathlon, Powerman or at the Olympic distance, these competitors have dedicated a great portion of their lives to being the best that they can be.

Some elites train and compete full time. Some hold part-time and full-time jobs outside of the sport, using their spare time to train.

USA Triathlon through grants acquired from the United States Olympic Committee supports its Elite athletes, concentrated on the Olympic distance, draft- legal format, through its National Teams Program, which provides the best of the best with training and coaching opportunities and elite clinics. It has also developed a program to identify top junior athletes and get them on the road to pro/elite status.

The main distinction between an elite and amateur athlete is that elite athletes have an elite license issued by USA Triathlon which enables them to compete for prize purses of $5,000 or greater at USA Triathlon sanctioned events.


Athletes wishing to race as an elite triathlete/duathlete or off-road triathlete in any USAT sanctioned event must hold a USAT elite license in their respective category. Elites are approved for elite licenses according to the Elite Triathlon Qualification Criteria and Paratriathlon Elite Qualification Criteria.


Please note USA Triathlon enforces two sets of rules for elites at races offering prize purses of $5,000 or more, World Triathlon drafting rules and USAT non-drafting rules. If an event does not have a pro or elite wave, elites must follow amateur rules. The only time USAT will not enforce World Triathlon drafting rules or USAT non-drafting elite rules at a race offering a prize purse of $5,000 or more is when the race organizers seek and are approved for dispensation from the USA Triathlon Executive Director.