Elite triathletes and duathletes, also called pros, are those who have taken the sport to the next level. Whether they compete in ITU, 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 athlete qualification criteria.



Please note USA Triathlon enforces two sets of rules for elites at races offering prize purses of $5,000 or more, ITU 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 ITU 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.


Letter from the Commissioner of Officials

Dear Elite Athlete,

All the officials in the USA Triathlon National Officials Program are committed to the ideal of fairness in competition and serving our sport. Our officials are central to USA Triathlons goal of ensuring equitable competitive opportunities for our athletes, the integrity of our sport, and welcoming new participants at all levels and from all communities.

In elite rules events, those that have more than $5000.00 in prize money, we send our most skilled and experienced officials. As elite athletes, you are held to the highest standards of behavior. Your officials are held to the same high standard. Officiating is a key component of providing you a race environment where each of you have the best opportunity to achieve athletic excellence. We want to ensure you have a clear understanding of the rules and enforcement process.

As important members of our multisport community, we ask you to familiarize yourself with the rules, always attend the pre-race meeting, listen closely, and ask questions until you are completely confident that you thoroughly understand what is going to be enforced, and what the officials are looking for on the course. 

At the end of the day, we ask our officials and elite athletes to share a commitment to excellence, demonstrate professionalism, and mutual respect. We trust our certified officials to officiate and our elite athletes to compete at a level of integrity that is beyond reproach.

The future is full of opportunities and possibilities! I wish the best of luck and success to all of you!


Deb Wilson 
USA Triathlon Commissioner of Officials