Login required to started new threads

Login required to post replies

Cost of tri (let's start over)
Quote | Reply
our resident provocateur, publiusvalerius, originated a thread that had - if you looked way down deep - a valid and timely premise: that for many our sport has gotten out of reach financially.

that thread spawned a number of offshoots, but the OP himself wrote at some point along the way something to the effect of: we are now having a discussion.

if the discussion is that there are unavoidable, systemic, required costs that attach to anyone who wants to race triathlon, and that these costs push people away, i have no quarrel with that. further, i agree with that, and have a number of articles in publishing queue on this topic.

i am eager to hear what you all have to say.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Hi Dan,

Yes, it has for me to a point. I am still swimming, biking and running every week, but not racing anymore and I think a big part of that is the cost of races. And I would consider our household salary to be 'decent' (way above average for the population).

Cheers,
Laurent
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
When you can buy a whole triathlon package from Nytro.com for $2500 with a good bike and just about everything else you'll need, the price of the sport is not getting out of hand.

When you can race once a month for $70 a race, the price of the sport is not getting out of hand.

Expensive yes, but so is hockey, artistic skating, etc...

If you want something cheap, buy a basketball. It takes a lot of skill and teamwork to play that game. People that can play basketball well are amazing. Those that can't play it well but have fun doing it for hours on end will have friends and something to do for life
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Diabolo] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Here's the issue I have with race fees. So I've heard that local races need to lower the price. But that's sorta like telling them to take 25% off a race that is already struggling. So then is that RD actually doing any better? If they get 30 more people but break even, what's the point in that? And I feel like that's sorta the answer to getting people back in it. But then it's like big bad WTC sorta just gets a pass because well they are best at business and it wouldn't make any sense for them to discount.

So my question is, and I've seen plenty of small race series deals. Like 5 races for $300, etc. And I get that the tri market certainly seems to be out pricing itself.

So econ majors, how is it suppose to work so that smaller racers get more racers + make some bank so that they can continue. Discounting a discounted price seems to be like "ooook" type of answer.

-USAT L2 coach, M.S. Exercise Physiology
https://www.instagram.com/alloutmultisport
http://www.aomultisport.com
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Life is expensive. Triathlon is cheap.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
our resident provocateur, publiusvalerius, originated a thread ....

where did that thread go?
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [sjn] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
it's right here.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm not sure I should even answer this as I haven't done a race in over five years, but that is probably more a direct result of the costs of races than any other factor. I bike and run consistently year round, but quit swimming when I stopped doing races. I haven't bought a new tri bike since 2006 and keep riding my old 9-speed bike. I am somewhat interested in buying a "newer" model USED bike (I'm talking used P2 level - $1500 or less) and getting back into swimming so I can do another race as I miss the commitment required to train at the level necessary to finish a 70.3. I find it difficult though to justify the expense of registering for a race in our area as the prices are crazy. If I wanted to do a full distance Ironman, I would likely have to budget a couple thousand dollars as the cost of the race (~$700), plus travel and hotel for a few days would easily reach that level. The most realistic option for me is to keep my old bike and just do shorter, local races, but the vast majority of these are sprints and I just don't want to pay $75 to do an hour long workout. I'm not sure what discussion you are looking for as I don't have any answers to the rising costs associated with our sport, but I'm content to keep rocking my old school 9 speed bike and training on my own without ever racing.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Dan - I'm new to the sport in the past few years but have gone all in. I started with a 10 year old road bike ($150 if someone had to buy one), clip-on aero bars ($25), wetsuit from Craigslist ($50), goggles ($15), and some tri shorts ($40). I stole my dad's clipless pedals and tossed some lock laces onto a pair of mountain bike shoes. I already had running shoes. It cost me around $100 or so b/c I already had the old bike. I don't remember the cost of my first sprint race, but it couldn't have been more than $60. Overall, I don't think cost was a barrier at all and I never once felt like people were judging me for my cheap equipment. In fact, I never felt anything but welcomed. I don't know if it's b/c I'm in the Midwest, but the triathletes I've met are some of the nicest and most down to earth people I've had the pleasure to meet.

My biggest concern before signing up for my first was the swim, and I've been swimming all my life (never competitively). I love the sport so much and have run into the same objection every time...THE SWIM. If it was about money or equipment I could overcome it with all the gear I've accumulated in the past few years, but the swim is a tough one. I've offered to get people to the pool but that requires a membership (there's a monetary objection) and have offered to help with open water but have yet to have anyone take me up on my offers to help. I've even offered to pay entry fees to our local races and yet to have a single taker, and it always comes down to the swim.

Overall, I don't think it's necessarily a money issue...it's the swim. It scares people!
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Stating the obvious perhaps, the future of any activity or sport depends on the addition of new participants, and currently the buy-in for just a single race to test out the sport is probably in the $100 range, assuming one has or borrows a bicycle, owns a pair of running shoes and goggles, and pays for a local race entry fee and travel to the race. This doesn't include the reality that most people that want to try it have to have a place to swim for at least a little while, and that typically also has a cost associated since most that would enter a first-time race would want to think they might finish.

So let's say $150 invested, and A LOT of time beforehand. That's a lot more than the couch-to-5K crowd is paying for a first race.

Once hooked, then there is swim club membership of some kind, a cheap road bike with clip ons $500+, cycling shoes $50-100, and some decent kit for $100 or so.

At the least, once one decides to commit at least at some level, they are probably in for at least $650 + a pool option (>$300/yr?). Certainly not as much as a good surfboard or SUP, or a kayak, or a set of golf clubs, but much more than running shoes.

But all things considered, $1000 + a few $75 races per year isn't enormous, but it's cost prohibitive for some.

I think the problem comes when the novice becomes convinced that participation requires marginal gains type equipment choices. Those that are committed can choose to make that step, but it's certainly not required to participate. Most 5K racers are not racing to win, but to beat their last best time. Why someone can't do that in triathlon with a mountain bike with slicks is something I don't understand.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm not sure I agree, but it depends on the context. If we are talking about WTC Ironman racing, then that becomes a pretty steep price when one considers the entry fee, minimum hotel stays, etc. Oftentimes, with meals and hotels and entry fee, a single race can easily hit $3000. However, in many parts of the country, like SW Ohio, there is a vibrant local race scene. One can do many races without even needing a hotel if you're willing to get up early and drive to the race. If you stick to independent HIMs, Olys, and sprints, one can do a lot of racing for the price of one WTC IM entry fee...a whole season most likely. And gear is up to the person. I raced 3 seasons on a road bike I already had before I bought my first tri bike. So I think that the notion that triathlon is out of reach of many is really not true; unless we are talking about expensive long course events, and then I can definitely see that argument.

___________________________________________________
Taco cat spelled backwards is....taco cat.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Diabolo] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"I am still swimming, biking and running every week, but not racing anymore and I think a big part of that is the cost of races."

that's interesting. the cost of equipment is high, the cost of racing is relatively low. is it because racing is a sunk cost, disposable, intangible, whereas if you buy a bike you still have it after every use? rather than a single-use purchase?

that argues for people buying music but not going to concerts: renewable resource versus one-time use.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Sorry but this premise is complete bs. There are many--myself included--who make choices that make the sport expensive but the fact is you could get barebones equipment for under $1000 and do an entire race series With 5-6 for a few hundred bucks. It's the next level of obsession that becomes costly. If you just want to train and race with even decent equipment, the sport is very affordable. Chasing marginal gains is where it gets expensive.

The P5x is not representative of a "need" any more than a $800 IM is. There is plenty of Triathlon to be done on cheaper equipment at cheaper races.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [DFW_Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
i agree with you. except for the mandatory costs. i am concerned about $15 one-day insurance; non-refundable/transferable entries; excessive registration fees that aren't disclosed until the last part of a 20-minute registration process; stuff like that.

and there are solutions for all of that.

otherwise, i agree with you. i spend very little on race entries, because i consider it kind of a point of principle. i think if you look at the results of the poll, readers feel the same. 90 percent of slowtwitchers feel that $150 is the ceiling for an oly distance, and half slowtwitchers feel that the ceiling is under $100.

should a well-run, safe, shorter-distance race cost more than $100 or $125?

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [B_Doughtie] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I think the problem is not with local RDs, they price how they can (to survive). I think the problem lies with councils, police, etc, who are charging outstanding amounts for permits, etc. We're already paying tax, why do we have to pay for these public resources another time still?
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [DFW_Tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I think that some of the posts/threads on this board suggest that you have to have certain things to do well, and that it is these things that can easily make triathlon cost prohibitive.

Threads suggesting you have to have things like power meters, one of the superbikes, etc etc. I've been doing tris for 13 years or so now. Am yet to buy a power meter, although I did buy a wahoo kickr earlier this year (last time I made a purchase over $1000 for tris was in 2014 and before that 2010, excluding travel to races overseas and other associated costs) in order to make indoor training more enjoyable and measurable. But there have been plenty of threads on here suggesting a power meter is a must.

I've recently been tossing up replacing my 2009 Specialized Transition Comp for a p5, but I have been wondering if it is really worth it in the end.

I've probably done my best tri swim in what was then Orca's bottom of the range wetsuit back in the mid 2000s.

I guess it is this idea that you 'must' have certain items of equipment in order to make or help make yourself faster, with those items being prohibitively expensive that grinds some people's gears.

For the obsessive, what are the cheapest bits of "free speed" you can get?

I was pretty impressed at being able to buy an 11 speed ultegra Giant Propel for just over $2000NZ in 2014. So, some companies are able to offer great deals for a good bike.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Bought my bikes a long time ago. And I'm paying already a lot of money for my kids to do sport (training and racing). So on top of this all, I can't afford to race myself anymore (or at least justify it).

To be honest, I would still race if I were still living in Switzerland (yeah I know, it's supposed to be one of the most expensive countries in the world). Local races there are still inexpensive (because town councils and police don't make RDs pay, they instead for the most part support them). I moved to Australia 5 years ago, and here races cost quite a bit more. So does sport in general.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I have no idea what it "should" cost. I expect RDs to make money when they sell me a product. But, at least in DFW, race series can be bought for probably $50-60/race average for a sprint and slightly more for Olys. Early sign up is slightly more expensive. When you don't plan, sprint races get above $100 which is a bit much for a sprint especially given what I consider to be mostly low quality venues around here. I used to sign up early only to get injured or have something else come up in my schedule and have to cancel. Now I just sign up later when I know I can do the race but will do fewer races due to cost. But that is my choice and there are other options available for those who want to save money
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I agree and disagree. I tend to think it depends on what type of racing.

I tend to think that IM is expensive to attend, enter and to race. What I see however is the immense commitment that it requires as being the biggest deterrent amongst those in my club. They just don’t have the time with work and family commitments to devote so much training for a single weekend event. They have to do this with their spouses blessing and that is also a big ask of the family. Many more commit to 70.3 racing as it is significantly less demanding.

However, what I do see is a boom in non-WTC racing. My club and the clubs in the region are all booming. There has been a deliberate fostering of an involvement culture from little little kids all the way through to multi-world champions. There isn’t the pressure to buy expensive kit or expensive bikes. Many of us have at some time competed on MTB’s and lots do compete just on banger road bikes – it really doesn’t matter. Kids are competing on just whatever they happen to have and many don’t even use trisuits etc. At club level, the club for a long time has been able to cover club costs so to go racing there has been no charge and up until this year there has been no charge for club membership. We have an interclub series of racing which is about $10 to race at each of the clubs venues but you also get prizes and a BBQ. Also, many of the competitive younger athletes are now pursuiting sprint, draft, ITU racing. Actually within the club ITU racing is booming for Australian races and in support for the world championship events that are hosted in Australia.

My opinion is that triathlon is expensive if people want it to be expensive or if the focus is on outright performance. Shift the focus back to family involvement, fun and participation, likewise also a culture to a positive and supportive environment where everybody backs, encourages and supports every other and things will change. Some will still look for that edge and some will just be out there having a great time at minimal cost.

Have to also remember that ST does not remotely reflect the thinking process of what is going on at grass roots level.


Edit: What does a great club with cost effective fun look like? This is a neighboring club who are growing rapidly and doing things really really well. Its worth scrolling through their pics to see how things are done with their Friday night racing and like all of the clubs in this area, there are no/few super expensive bits of kit. Triathlon isnt necessarily about WTC, big dollar racing, or top of the line equipment to be competitive.
https://www.facebook.com/cowratriathlonclub
Last edited by: Slunnie: Dec 5, 16 19:44
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slunnie] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slunnie wrote:
Have to also remember that ST does not remotely reflect the thinking process of what is going on at grass roots level.

Also worth considering that asking people who are already IN the sport whether cost is a barrier to entry or whether the sport is broadly perceived to be cost-prohibitive is probably not very useful.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
it's right here.

there was a 6 page thread I was reading earlier today that seems to have vanished...not just locked, but disappeared
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
My first Olympic Distance tri cost me about $700. I already had a second hand road bike, so went out and bought a $300 wetsuit, an Orca tri-suit, and some half-decent running shoes. Race entry was $75. I enjoyed it and wanted to do another.

The cost of moving from complete to compete - being in that first third of the field and setting personal bests - that's a slightly more difficult route. Even with second hand equipment you are looking at several thousand. And I think that's where the problem is.

If the standard is entry, then for those not entering a WTC event it's quite a reasonable sport, compared to any other. If the standard is competitiveness, then it starts to add up.

'It never gets easier, you just get crazier.'
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
32nd year of Triathlon, closing in on 300 finishes....Started in 1984

I Race on a 1999 Alum P3 I bought used for $2,100 in 2001...no planning on replacing it. It still works (and looks decent also...) that's a 17 year old bike.

I have a used Zipp disk I bought in 2002 (Hamish Carter borrowed it and used in once from the guy I bought it from). I run that in the back and a Hed 3 in front that I won for answering a triathlon trivia question at Lifetime Minneapolis Triathlon in 2003 or so....for once my knowledge concerning the history of the sport paid off

Is this bike, with these wheels fast?...I assume so, I don't really know, perhaps the techies on this board can fill me in...I have always taken my times and results seriously while competing in local sprints, I am not bad in the minor leagues but nothing to write home about...

I haven't raced Ironman or WTC events since 2001....I race local, all season. I now do 4-5 sprints each year focusing on maxing my performance at every race but will key on 1 or 2 to really go for it....

I can afford more, no problem, I just cant stomach it...I only want a bike that will make me faster and I am not sure a new bike would actually be quicker...I am afraid if I bought a used bike (to get a good value) I worry could not replicate the position I am in that seems to work for me on the P3 alum....perhaps I am overly concerned but I don't want to risk it...so I dont. May next bike will be to upgrade to a better used Mt bike. I might race on this P3 another 12 years...no shit.

I have purposely avoided the Lifetime Triathlons here because they are to expensive, and to much of a hassle....I could easily afford them but I am not going to pay over $100 for a sprint when I have cheaper options locally. I don't want to encourage this kind of expensive race options so I don't do expensive races.....or WTC.

I want the local scene to do well so I can race close to home.....We still have plenty of options here in Minneapolis but we are going to lose some races this year although we still have enough reasonable priced events $70-90 for a sprint and most are not USAT sanctioned.....I have only been a USAT member about 1 year of the last 10...I paid a one day at a few events over those years but as I said, most local events aren't USAT sanctioned so I dont join...

I am concerned about the drop in participation which I commented on in other threads...
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
 

Races are not that expensive I dont think in reality. My kids pay 50-70 for a swim meet. Ill pay 130 for running a race ( Victoria marathon) and the Whistler grand fondo is 250 dollars. a total of 450 dollars....to pay 450-700 for all three doesn't seem out of line for a triathlon of comparable quality and esteem. If I just want a racing experience and not the deluxe WTC or ITU experience there are grassroots options available to me for less money. ( there used to be more untill WTC purchased them) I think an issue with race fees though is you have nothing tangible to show for it after you have paid except a medal. It is a cost that hurts more...but is the point of the whole thing. If RD could make it more of an 'experience' or family fun event etc etc

Equipment can be expensive if you shoose to go for the bling. But you get something for the expenditure that you can touch and use over and over. Eqipment on a per use cost is pretty low. Even the most expensive running shoes are less than pennies per KM. five hours per week on a nice bike...it makes it more enjoyable. Swimming in a lake is free. A pool has costs no doubt about it. At my pool an annual pass is about half the cost of an IM race.

i dont think that it is the costs that are causing shrinking numbers. I believe it is a natural ebb and flow. I dont know if it is just my n=1 but I have noticed that running races seem to be declining as well as interest in them. The running club in my area is not getting younger. We have a try a tri at our pool each summer and the interest there is lagging.

Im 50. people I know still talk about seeing Julie Moss and how they were inspired to one day do an IM....what moment in triathlon do 20 year olds have that wriggle into their brains and will sit there for 20 years before they decide to go for it? I came out of the running boom in the 80's I can still think of my friends talking about Carlos Lopes, alberto salazar, Rob decastella. seb coe.....so from highschool I was addicted to endurance sport and the culture of it. So maybe it is a cultural thing also...too many shiny thnigs out there to attract attention. When I was kid it was ABC wide world of sports for all your interesting sport exposure.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
"I am still swimming, biking and running every week, but not racing anymore and I think a big part of that is the cost of races."

that's interesting. the cost of equipment is high, the cost of racing is relatively low. is it because racing is a sunk cost, disposable, intangible, whereas if you buy a bike you still have it after every use? rather than a single-use purchase?

that argues for people buying music but not going to concerts: renewable resource versus one-time use.


$800+ for an IM versus $10 for a local club race, i can see why people limit how many bigger events they.
Last edited by: TriguyBlue: Dec 5, 16 19:17
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Toefuzz] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Toefuzz wrote:
Dan - I'm new to the sport in the past few years but have gone all in. I started with a 10 year old road bike ($150 if someone had to buy one), clip-on aero bars ($25), wetsuit from Craigslist ($50), goggles ($15), and some tri shorts ($40). I stole my dad's clipless pedals and tossed some lock laces onto a pair of mountain bike shoes. I already had running shoes. It cost me around $100 or so b/c I already had the old bike. I don't remember the cost of my first sprint race, but it couldn't have been more than $60. Overall, I don't think cost was a barrier at all and I never once felt like people were judging me for my cheap equipment. In fact, I never felt anything but welcomed. I don't know if it's b/c I'm in the Midwest, but the triathletes I've met are some of the nicest and most down to earth people I've had the pleasure to meet.

My biggest concern before signing up for my first was the swim, and I've been swimming all my life (never competitively). I love the sport so much and have run into the same objection every time...THE SWIM. If it was about money or equipment I could overcome it with all the gear I've accumulated in the past few years, but the swim is a tough one. I've offered to get people to the pool but that requires a membership (there's a monetary objection) and have offered to help with open water but have yet to have anyone take me up on my offers to help. I've even offered to pay entry fees to our local races and yet to have a single taker, and it always comes down to the swim.

Overall, I don't think it's necessarily a money issue...it's the swim. It scares people!

TF - I love your low cost approach b/c it is same as mine. Regarding swim cost, at my local Gold's Gym (1 mile from my house), a 1-yr membership is billed at $30/mon. I find it hard to believe that $30/mon is too much for anyone, given how much people spend on their fancy phones, TVs, cars, etc. Now the actual act of learning to swim, that is a diff matter. Many people just don't have the desire and motivation to spend several months learning to swim decently. But anyone can learn to swim decently if they want it badly enough. You just gotta have the hunger and drive. No one wins Kona just on hunger and drive, but they can be the best triathlete they can be.


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [spot] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
spot wrote:
I'm not sure I agree, but it depends on the context. If we are talking about WTC Ironman racing, then that becomes a pretty steep price when one considers the entry fee, minimum hotel stays, etc. Oftentimes, with meals and hotels and entry fee, a single race can easily hit $3000. However, in many parts of the country, like SW Ohio, there is a vibrant local race scene. One can do many races without even needing a hotel if you're willing to get up early and drive to the race. If you stick to independent HIMs, Olys, and sprints, one can do a lot of racing for the price of one WTC IM entry fee...a whole season most likely. And gear is up to the person. I raced 3 seasons on a road bike I already had before I bought my first tri bike. So I think that the notion that triathlon is out of reach of many is really not true; unless we are talking about expensive long course events, and then I can definitely see that argument.

SW Ohio racing FTW!
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [B_Doughtie] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
B_Doughtie wrote:
Here's the issue I have with race fees. So I've heard that local races need to lower the price. But that's sorta like telling them to take 25% off a race that is already struggling. So then is that RD actually doing any better? If they get 30 more people but break even, what's the point in that? And I feel like that's sorta the answer to getting people back in it. But then it's like big bad WTC sorta just gets a pass because well they are best at business and it wouldn't make any sense for them to discount.

So my question is, and I've seen plenty of small race series deals. Like 5 races for $300, etc. And I get that the tri market certainly seems to be out pricing itself.

So econ majors, how is it suppose to work so that smaller racers get more racers + make some bank so that they can continue. Discounting a discounted price seems to be like "ooook" type of answer.

That's actually an interesting concept.

A subscription model of sorts.

Hell, every other area of our lives has moved in that direction. Predictable, recurring revenue for the organizers and potentially more cost friendly pricing as a result. That's really the only way it works. Since we are talking about lowering prices and all.

"One Line Robert"
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [spot] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm where spot is. Started Tris in 2003 and they I had high quality sprints and olys for 45-55 bucks that were hella competitive. I have been screwed out of a couple cancelled races as well recently so that also has a neg factor. My town of 16K also only has like two or 3 local runs and 0 bikes or tris and traveling starts to take a toll for every single race since I work every single saturday til 5pm so I need a hotel as opposed to a tent to make sleep worthwhile after a 2-4 drive.

I am weird in that I look for out of the way races in small towns bc that seems to be the best bang for the buck (what I learned in) but they are becoming few and far between. Minneapolis is the close race scene and their stuff seems stupid expensive for the hassle involved with traveling their in the wee hours or paying for a hotel decently close as camping is out.

In the end I understand the movement to IM and a half or two a year just bc those costs are the same for a sprint for me so might as well "make it worth it" even though I don't agree with that statement myself.

http://adambeston.blogspot.com
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
our resident provocateur, publiusvalerius, originated a thread that had - if you looked way down deep - a valid and timely premise: that for many our sport has gotten out of reach financially.

that thread spawned a number of offshoots, but the OP himself wrote at some point along the way something to the effect of: we are now having a discussion.

if the discussion is that there are unavoidable, systemic, required costs that attach to anyone who wants to race triathlon, and that these costs push people away, i have no quarrel with that. further, i agree with that, and have a number of articles in publishing queue on this topic.

i am eager to hear what you all have to say.


I replied with a rather lengthy response to the original thread which I'm not sure why has disappeared.....don't feel like doing a full repeat. Short version is I don't think triathlon is different than any other sport. You don't have to spend a lot to participate, especially in shorter Sprint and OLY distance racing, which is what I assume the distances the vast majority of newbies do when they start out in the sport. It's like any other sport.....you want to play golf on TPC type courses the cost will be significantly higher than playing on a local public course.....doesn't mean you cant enjoy the sport. You want to do a few WTC 70.3s and 140.6s every year, sure, it will be expensive. Around here (Phila/NJ, there are numerous local Sprint races for under $100. I may be missing something here with triathlon but golf, tennis, bowling, (who knows what else) have been also declining. Demographics change, priorities change.....it's not cost. Anyone here stopped participating totally in the sport because of cost increases?
Last edited by: gphin305: Dec 5, 16 19:46
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
our resident provocateur, publiusvalerius, originated a thread that had - if you looked way down deep - a valid and timely premise: that for many our sport has gotten out of reach financially.

that thread spawned a number of offshoots, but the OP himself wrote at some point along the way something to the effect of: we are now having a discussion.

if the discussion is that there are unavoidable, systemic, required costs that attach to anyone who wants to race triathlon, and that these costs push people away, i have no quarrel with that. further, i agree with that, and have a number of articles in publishing queue on this topic.

i am eager to hear what you all have to say.

As a preface i am a competitive cyclist, not a triathlete, but occasionally do a tri or two after the road season is over with friends. Here are a few thoughts:

We are all susceptible to marketing, we all fall for it, thinking that without the best equipment we cannot compete. I regularly feel this way, thinking if i only had a different setup i could have won that sprint. Ahhhh, if only i had a better TT setup i could have made up those 12 seconds. There is some truth to these thoughts, you probably could make up 12 seconds in a TT and probably find some extra time to gain that last 3 meters in a sprint. But, in the end the fittest guys always win plain and simple. We allow ourselves to embrace the marketing as an excuse for our poor performance, " i failed to KQ because i did not have the right setup," or " i lost the stage race because he had a better TT bike." I think the discussions on equipment prices are often emblematic of peoples desire to excuse their poor performance or simple lack of genetic talent.

Now the actual issue i see in Tri is the fairly high race entry fee combine with no prize money. In road racing i can race 30-35 times a year and essentially race for free with prize money often going 8-12 deep in most races. Podium a nice stage race and you can cover the entire trip costs for the whole family. This would be huge in my opinion as it would offset some costs for racers in tri and it makes things a lot more fun.

I am not going to compare entry fees in tri to road racing as the requirements are different and expenses are surely much higher in triathlon, but 3 times more expensive at the local level and 10x more expensive at the national/IM brand level? The local sprint i do every year with a few friends is 80 bucks for early registration + active fee + 1 time USAT membership = 100 dollars for 55 minutes of racing. It is just not worth the money, in fact i skipped the triathlon this year since i could enter 4 cross races with that same money and got a nice prize payout!

I think one issue that is driving costs up is decreased turnout in local races, often from serious triathletes. We have a few very good triathletes who occasionally ride with our road team and they almost never race any local races, its all about 3-4 big branded races each year and that is it. In fact these guys will not even go out to TT's, cross races, and heaven forbid a road race since it might mess up their training plan. Our team has been trying to reach out to the triathlon community to race the local TT's, cross races etc but it seems a lot of people are racing less frequently. I think this actually segues into the next point quite well: growing elitism. Triathlon has an income gap in essence, the middle of the road triathlete is gone and the marketers love this. The market has clearly decline in total members present, but the top group has increased and willing to spend even more money. To a company like Cervelo why not make a bike that will directly feed into this frenzy? I don't blame them, this bike will probably sell quite well. Same thing is going on with specialized trying to push the VIAS disc, the problem is most roadies don't buy into the marketing right away, sometimes to their detriment (aero frames can't climb etc). \

In the end the market will sort itself out

http://riseabovecyclingpodcast.podbean.com/
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [TriguyBlue] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
It very much depends on where you live as well. In the Midwest there are organizations like HFP Racing, or Champ, who have quality events for a low cost. They're pretty much unbeatable in terms of quality for the price. Plus you can race sprint to 70.3 locally.

If you live in SoCal you're out of luck; there are not that many events; all the unbranded 70.3 events have disappeared and there are only sprint and olympics remaining. Entry fees are usually $125 or more + fees + parking for an olympic. So for 140.6 there's only WTC, and the same for 70.3. Oceanside is now $325 when registration opens, and I think Santa Rosa is similar. Superfrog has some crazy entry fee ($500+?). Luckily St George is much better priced at $225 but it takes a 5h drive. In any case there's only one player and that player is WTC.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I only raced one triathlon this season because of cost (paid for two - only raced one). I understand that other sports are expensive, too, but for the sports that comprise triathlon, it really is much cheaper to just run or swim.

Swim
$50 USMS annual membership
$50 per open water race x 6 for full season of racing = $300
$30 x 2 for two meets = $60
$30 goggles
$10 swim caps
$30 grab-bag suit off SwimOutlet.com
$0 for wetsuit since these are prohibited at open water races and meets

So let's say that's around $500 for hours of competition. That includes gear of the same quality as everyone else - I don't bother to buy a tech suit because really, who cares about a few tenths. In open water swimming, it's always very low-key - wetsuits prohibited. I like that no one has an advantage over anyone else in that way.

Running is even cheaper. Buy some decent shoes and go out for a run. No gym membership required if you've got a place to run. I don't, so I pay for my gym membership, which includes a pool and my Masters membership ($7 extra per month). I would have to pay for this anyway for triathlon training.

Anyway, I just can't justify $700 or whatever it is for an IM. I really struggle to pay more than $100 for an Olympic distance race. I absolutely hate the $15 day-fee and wouldn't balk as much if it were $10. I don't like feeling that to be competitive in my age group, I have to upgrade my gear (which I did, and it helped, which kind of made me feel worse). I can't handle having to miss a race due to injury and eating the $150 or whatever I paid to race (did that once this year because the parking situation was so bad I turned around and went home). I got injured late in the season and missed a few swim and run races - 30 bucks, who cares.

As for swimming being a barrier for some people, I'm sorry, but swimming is part of triathlon. These folks should learn how to swim. I convinced my husband to do a triathlon last year in which he came very close to being rescued by a kayaker because he panicked. Now he can swim 1,000 yards without a problem and actually enjoys the sport because he took the time to learn. I would never sign up for a race that has a downstream swim where you can just float in your wetsuit and call it a day.

I would come back to triathlon if USAT lowered the day-fee, Active.com eliminated their stupid fees, and Olympic distance races were < $100. Race deferrals would also help. The gear ridiculousness I can deal with.

Anyway, just my take.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Diabolo] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
i qualified for aquathlon worlds. for team kit and registration it is $600, so we can pay usat to fly out there. i turned it down, and signed up for a local usat certified college aquathlon, that was $25.... and i think at a just equal level of competition as worlds would have been, cause these kids are up and budding xc runners/swimmers,etc.

when you sign up for a race... you see an advertised price... by the time you actually register, price is probably 25% more than advertised (processing fee, usat membership). it deteriorates the soul after a while. the full price should be advertised up front.

the tri club here in SD is doing something right in terms of pricing. $75 a year, and about 10 chip timed sprint races a year, with all post race perks as normal (food..... minus finisher medal and t shirt). participation is not that high though, because everyone is sucked into the mental realm of ironman being the only legitimate type of racing, so many dont show up for the race because they are busy doing a long ride or whatever.

so this gentrified sport of ironman, nationals, worlds keeps real potential athletes out, because of the costs which favor someone in a white collar desk position of the bourgeois class.

im only surviving in this sport because i use to have a decent job. i got hit by a car which insurance got me a decent tri bike to use. the race costs are getting to me though. the club races are real fun... i think you should contact them or other tri clubs should follow the model
.... we do have an advantage here though. you really dont need a pool membership. open water is bearable all year.


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
Last edited by: synthetic: Dec 5, 16 19:50
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I dont think cost of triathlon is the main driver of the sports current numbers decline.

I am trying to do research on millenials and figure out "what do they do" there are a lot of answers, lots of different personas. They congregate in cities where triathlon training is probably more difficult, they have a passion for old fashioned hobbies such as bowling or sewing or crafts, they spend a tun of time watching TV on small screens, there is a subset whose hobby is posting on social media and another subset who look at the social media addictively but dont post much. The more motivated are entrepreneurial computer saavy brogrammers or power women, and there is a large segment who are under employed, and there is a segment who are mismatched between their skills and societies needs for gainful employment. All of these personas dont seem to fit with triathlon.

Back to cost, in any sport - I dont care which - you can spend a tun or a little. I just bought a second hunting rifle and I am surprised at the range of cost for guns, and how much people spend on that hobby even though I associate guns typically with a pretty low end socioeconomic NRA right wing wack-job crowd. Gun nuts spend $50-$100 every time they shoot at a range. Triathlon is a bigger time commitment especially when people feel the need to do half and full distance. I have never been more than an 8 hour a week athlete and all I do are sprints and olympics that are local. I think the biggest barrier to triathlon is time commitment.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [endosch2] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
another note it would be good to investigate the german triathlon machine... its producing good athletes from a young age. also mexico is starting to produce... and their races are pretty dirt cheap. what we pay in dollars for a race here they pay in pesos.


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I haven't raced since 2011 until last summer my soccer friends wanted to do a tri as a bucket list item. We found a local sprint, and signed up for a relay. I think each share was about $60. Really they wanted to do it but for the swimmer who swam 750 yards for $60, crazy. They are one and done, due to the cost.

Even if you have all the equipment, think of the stuff you need to spend money on: pool membership, new running shoes, USAT membership, coach if you want one, races often folks do 4-10 per year, plus some CX or running races on the off season. PT for injuries, copays for ortho visits.

I think looking back without race fees it was at least $2500/year + consumables, + race fees, +race travel.

Doing an IM added easily $3-5K to the year expenses.

We now have 3 kids in college and my husband is back in school, budget has a new definition to our family. I did sign up for an Oly AB next August with the discounted early registration option.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [B_Doughtie] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
B_Doughtie wrote:
So econ majors, how is it suppose to work so that smaller racers get more racers + make some bank so that they can continue.

Minor here, but it doesn't take a degree or even much of a brain to figure out that this is about winners and losers in a market economy and the winner is WTC IRONMAN and the loser is everyone else. As consumers, well, many of us will simply be priced out of the sport as WTC continues its march around the globe, and the influx of new participants will all but dry up due to the rising cost of entry.

The invisible hand isn't all bad, though, right? There are winners here. We get something after all...we get WTC's fantastic product, which for reasons I won't go into, is so good on balance that we'll pony up even with escalating prices; we'll let Active.com ram it in us on the back end of reach transaction; we'll tolerate the most ridiculous, consumer-unfriendly (non-)refund policies; we'll pay for the piss poor joke of a solution that is the registration insurance program (another profit center); we'll buy the shit Finisher Pix albums (that for some unknown reason never deliver a clean side shot from the drive side). I could go on. Even with all this nonsense and the proliferation of 70.3 and IRONMAN supply, the demand was still pent up -- at least until very recently, WTC literally could not provide enough product or charge high enough prices or dick us hard enough in so many ancillary ways in order to bring consumer demand in line with supply as they rapidly scaled their business towards an equilibrium. It's fashionable these days to denounce WTC and tout principles and all that, but I don't believe you people and I don't believe the polls, because I can see plain as day that the people have spoken with their wallets and the people choose WTC IRONMAN. We tattoo their trademark on our goddamn bodies, for crying out loud.

On the flip side, what we lose/are losing/will lose is smaller races and alternative multi-sport racing options more or less entirely. WTC marches around and effectively bullies or buys out the competition. If a race director won't sell, then they just hold a race in the same place or on the same weekend (or threaten to) or use their clout and promises of halo munificence to convince a municipality to back them. What choice does a race director have, facing dwindling numbers and an aggressive, unstoppable Goliath, but to sell out or shutter? The only thing saving independent racing is the shorter distances, because WTC doesn't dabble in grocery store margins. Costs don't scale linearly with distance, but revenue does. The IRONMAN product is almost a Giffen good -- IMNYC redux would have sold out in less than day, even though it was by all accounts a terrible race.

Anyways, with this loss in race options, we also lose the most viable platform to bring new athletes/participants into the sport. We lose affordability. We lose the right to express our principles because there isn't a tradeoff to be made on the lower end of the economic totem poll. It's a simple thing for WTC, really, at least domestically. Price x unique participants x average races per participant minus (largely fixed) costs. They do not give a single fuck about this sport or its growth or your hopes and dreams. This is a business, and you're part of an equation.

The free market giveth and the free market taketh away. Hope you like your tattoo.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [PubliusValerius] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Your points may be valid but they seem to focus on long course racing? Does WTC really have any effect on sprint and oly participation....and getting new people into the sport....or more participation from people currently only doing 2-3 events per year?
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Have not read all the responses on this thread. My first half IM was the Green Mtn Steelman half IM (the third tri in my life). I did it with a set of goggles, running shoes, a 10 speed bike with Columbus SLX tubing, no clipless pedals, no aero stuff, a big massive bell V1 Pro mushroom helmet. This was a crazy tough course. Kenny Souza won in 4:16. Huddle was second in 4:19. I was back in 4:54 (33 min no wetsuit swim, 2:43 bike, 1:33 run crazy hot)

http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...Steel-Man__P4451446/

Yes, entry fees have gone up, but you can do the sport with the EXACT same minimalistic gear as we did and you can post a reasonably fast time if you are young and have a big engine (I was 20 for that triathlon). And I was only 41st overall in this race. Lots of fast people on 10 speeds, speedos and racing flats and goggles.

All in, my gear barely cost $400 (1986 dollars, so call it $1200 today). Can easily be done.

Now the price of entry fees is another story. And my son and all his friends, their first tris in the last 5 years...10 speed, jammer bathing suits, goggles, helmet, running shoes....DONE and local entry fees for $50.

This sport is only expensive if you choose to make it expensive (I do cause I can afford it now, but I am inherently cheap and generally buy two tiers down form the top tier hardware and go for second hand if I have the choice).




Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
our resident provocateur, publiusvalerius, originated a thread that had - if you looked way down deep - a valid and timely premise: that for many our sport has gotten out of reach financially.

that thread spawned a number of offshoots, but the OP himself wrote at some point along the way something to the effect of: we are now having a discussion.

if the discussion is that there are unavoidable, systemic, required costs that attach to anyone who wants to race triathlon, and that these costs push people away, i have no quarrel with that. further, i agree with that, and have a number of articles in publishing queue on this topic.

i am eager to hear what you all have to say.

I think Ironman fees are too high, that the fact they essentially force everyone into 3-4 day stays is ridiculous, and that Active registration fees are usurious. I also think the cost of some bikes have gotten out of touch with reality. With that said, my 2 cents is that cost probably keeps some out of the sport, but no more or less than a lot of other hobbies that require a lot of equipment or resources. Most who are interested in tri start at local sprints or olys, often times on borrowed equipment (my experience). The barrier to entry isn't THAT high. Obviously "Ironmans", coaching, super bikes, powermeters, etc get very expensive, but the fact of the matter is that people love to spend money on hobbies. Tri is much cheaper than a boat as an example. Ive said it before but IMHO the recent slide in participation we've seen is mainly just a minor bubble in participation deflating. Pretty much anyone who might be interested in tri did a few in the last decade because they were exposed to it through friends, coworkers, family, etc. This sport isn't for everyone/most though, and a lot of those who tried tri in the last decade aren't active anymore after getting their ironman medal and moving on to focusing on either just running or biking. Essentially the sport borrowed a bit from future demand. The universe of people excited about biking, running, & SWIMMING, who can make enough free time to train, and have some disposable resources is small and likely always will be. Not what the tri industry likely wants to hear, but that's my view!
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
This study on millennials and running races that does not bode well for getting them to ever do Triathlons with our current entry fees.....

Here is a quote"

"What races do they like?

Millennials are into more than just fun runs! In fact, 75% rated an event being timed as one of their top interests and their #1 interest was distance: half-marathons were the top pick, followed closely by 5ks and 10ks. And while 84% are interested in participating in a well-known event, they’ll only do so for a reasonable price: $26-$50 is the sweet spot, even for a marathon, only 9% were willing to break $100."


full article here.....

https://www.chronotrack.com/...als-race-promotions/
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [PubliusValerius] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
WTC isn't the only option and they certainly don't even remotely control the sport despite running major events. In Aus WTC have been retracting and other events have filled the space left. I do wonder if the writing is on the wall for WTC in some respects, but Triathlon itself is still quite strong.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'don't like to know where people are finding $75 races.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Steve-oH!] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"This study on millennials and running races that does not bode well for getting them to ever do Triathlons"

but that never was the age where we got our athletes. triathlon has always been a sport where folks begin late and stay later. average age for men is 41, women 38 or 39 i think. that 41 year old male mean age has, coincidentally, been the case as long as i remember.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Sidenote - I find that swimming is actually the more expensive component out of the 3 s/b/r...

Swim:
- membership at local pool is $65 / month which makes $780/year
- consumables are swim shorts and goggles
- everything combined it's about $1000/year

Bike:
- $400/year in replacement components including tires

Run:
- 3 pairs of shoes (2 road, one trail) --> $500
- some running specific clothing --> $100

So about $2000 lets me train and swim, bike, run without doing any races and not including nutrition. Assuming no accidents or dramatic mechanical failure with my bike, the biking is in fact the lowest cost of all 3. So that shows that triathlon is more than just the biking - at least for me it is.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [PubliusValerius] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
PubliusValerius wrote:
Minor here, but it doesn't take a degree or even much of a brain to figure out that this is about winners and losers in a market economy and the winner is WTC IRONMAN and the loser is everyone else. As consumers, well, many of us will simply be priced out of the sport as WTC continues its march around the globe, and the influx of new participants will all but dry up due to the rising cost of entry.
Piling on here, but what I've seen is a significant number of folks passing up racing at the local $50-$100 sprints and olys in order to get in a WTC IM. I've heard some say words to the effect, "I'm not going to that sprint any more. It used to only cost $40 and now it's $50!" Then they shell out a couple of grand for a WTC IM along with the travel expenses. The local (relatively inexpensive) races are struggling. Without any science based study on my part, it sure seems like this will eventually have an impact on participation in WTC events.


"Human existence is based upon two pillars: Compassion and knowledge. Compassion without knowledge is ineffective; Knowledge without compassion is inhuman." Victor Weisskopf.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Rumpled] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
We can find them here in Minneapolis....I could name 7-8 within 3 hours....$75-$85 for a sprint with no USAT one day fee...
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
"This study on millennials and running races that does not bode well for getting them to ever do Triathlons"

but that never was the age where we got our athletes. triathlon has always been a sport where folks begin late and stay later. average age for men is 41, women 38 or 39 i think. that 41 year old male mean age has, coincidentally, been the case as long as i remember.


Do you have some data on that Dan....seems like back in the 80's and 90's 25-29, 30-34 were the largest/large AG?

...and I just get this feeling that Millennials arent going to join with us later in life as much as the preceding generations....and I hope I am wrong....
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [kells] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
kells wrote:
I only raced one triathlon this season because of cost (paid for two - only raced one). I understand that other sports are expensive, too, but for the sports that comprise triathlon, it really is much cheaper to just run or swim.

Swim
$50 USMS annual membership
$50 per open water race x 6 for full season of racing = $300
$30 x 2 for two meets = $60
$30 goggles
$10 swim caps

$30 grab-bag suit off SwimOutlet.com
$0 for wetsuit since these are prohibited at open water races and meets

So let's say that's around $500 for hours of competition. That includes gear of the same quality as everyone else - I don't bother to buy a tech suit because really, who cares about a few tenths. In open water swimming, it's always very low-key - wetsuits prohibited. I like that no one has an advantage over anyone else in that way.

Running is even cheaper. Buy some decent shoes and go out for a run. No gym membership required if you've got a place to run. I don't, so I pay for my gym membership, which includes a pool and my Masters membership ($7 extra per month). I would have to pay for this anyway for triathlon training.

Anyway, I just can't justify $700 or whatever it is for an IM. I really struggle to pay more than $100 for an Olympic distance race. I absolutely hate the $15 day-fee and wouldn't balk as much if it were $10. I don't like feeling that to be competitive in my age group, I have to upgrade my gear (which I did, and it helped, which kind of made me feel worse). I can't handle having to miss a race due to injury and eating the $150 or whatever I paid to race (did that once this year because the parking situation was so bad I turned around and went home). I got injured late in the season and missed a few swim and run races - 30 bucks, who cares.

As for swimming being a barrier for some people, I'm sorry, but swimming is part of triathlon. These folks should learn how to swim. I convinced my husband to do a triathlon last year in which he came very close to being rescued by a kayaker because he panicked. Now he can swim 1,000 yards without a problem and actually enjoys the sport because he took the time to learn. I would never sign up for a race that has a downstream swim where you can just float in your wetsuit and call it a day.

I would come back to triathlon if USAT lowered the day-fee, Active.com eliminated their stupid fees, and Olympic distance races were < $100. Race deferrals would also help. The gear ridiculousness I can deal with.

Anyway, just my take.

$30 for goggles every year??? Shoot, I've been using same pair of $4.50 Swedes for about 10 yrs, with maintenance of two new bungee straps. And $10 for a swim cap??? What about all your caps from past triathlons, plus if you do the USMS Go The Distance challenge, you get a free cap every year. OTOH, I buy two suits per year at $30/suit so I guess we're about even on the whole. You ought to try those Swedes if you haven't though, best bang for your buck in goggles. :)


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [lschaan] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I see this as three different cost models:

1. The fixed/capital cost - I believe costs are fairly high to enter (bike, gear, wetsuit, shoes, kit, etc) but are generally purchased once and used for multiple years. I see this same barrier for skiing, hockey, and for some real money horses. The biggest variability is in this segment which is why you see $1,100 wetsuits and $15k bikes. But we do have more control over these costs.

2. Ongoing costs - so u have more control over the capital costs but little control over entry fees, license fees, travel costs etc. what I experienced with the level of support at IMAZ and how well it was run, I considered it a value. Again, ski lift costs, lodging, etc are on par with tri costs. This doesn't include monthly req center costs for training.

3. Cost of time - this needs to be factored as well. As a biz owner, I lost $3k in revenue to compete in IMAZ. If I was in my 20's, I could have saved or borrowed for the fixed costs (bike, etc) but would have little time for training or days spent to do an event.

All,of these have to be balanced to determine your willingness to do this sport vs other sports and yes other life choices. Do I need the full NFL package on DirecTV or swimming at the Y? How much do we waste going out that could pay for an entry fee? It boils down to choices.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slunnie] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The sad thing is that WTC set the bar, and others are following their need for greed. I qualified for ITU WC LD and now that the prices have been announced, it's a joke! Have to buy the shitty quality uniform and "parade gear", give them money for "support staff" ( mechanics that anyone who is a competitor will not need, and the usual USAT entourage who add only cost), inflated lodging, meal and travel costs, and other costs to represent your country in a race where the best will not even be there. Such a crock to suck money for their misguided efforts to grow the sport. I think they follow the WTC motto: Grow OUR wallet! Between WTC and ITU they are really killing what's left of our sport.


Slunnie wrote:
WTC isn't the only option and they certainly don't even remotely control the sport despite running major events. In Aus WTC have been retracting and other events have filled the space left. I do wonder if the writing is on the wall for WTC in some respects, but Triathlon itself is still quite strong.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [ggeiger] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The top-end competition is expensive, I agree. When I talk about non-WTC (or ITU as you've mentioned!), I think that grass roots club and interclub racing is something not often mentioned on here, and is something around where I live that is very popular and quite a cheap form of participating in Triathlon. I suspect that the ST'er has a focus more on the top end type of racing, where the vast majority of regular triathletes are mostly club racers who are just out for some fun without the silly expenses and obsessive time commitments.

ggeiger wrote:
The sad thing is that WTC set the bar, and others are following their need for greed. I qualified for ITU WC LD and now that the prices have been announced, it's a joke! Have to buy the shitty quality uniform and "parade gear", give them money for "support staff" ( mechanics that anyone who is a competitor will not need, and the usual USAT entourage who add only cost), inflated lodging, meal and travel costs, and other costs to represent your country in a race where the best will not even be there. Such a crock to suck money for their misguided efforts to grow the sport. I think they follow the WTC motto: Grow OUR wallet! Between WTC and ITU they are really killing what's left of our sport.


Slunnie wrote:
WTC isn't the only option and they certainly don't even remotely control the sport despite running major events. In Aus WTC have been retracting and other events have filled the space left. I do wonder if the writing is on the wall for WTC in some respects, but Triathlon itself is still quite strong.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
our resident provocateur, publiusvalerius, originated a thread that had - if you looked way down deep - a valid and timely premise: that for many our sport has gotten out of reach financially.

that thread spawned a number of offshoots, but the OP himself wrote at some point along the way something to the effect of:we are now having a discussion.


Sorry, but this is kind of a bland start when the OP of "Welcome to triathlon..." was really quite nicely written. I cannot vouch that the rest of the thread followed suit (as I only skimmed the first few pages), but when doesn't a thread go somewhat sour here? There appeared to be some good replies, but now those people seem to be tired and do not wishing to replicate their efforts a second time so soon.

Anyway...

It has been a long time since I competed in a triathlon here in Australia. It has been years in fact, so maybe I am out of touch. I help coach cyclists part-time, it involves focused athletes mainly but we start our sessions right next to a much newer but quite healthy tri-focused group. The bikes in that group range in price, but its clear that people are spending a decent amount of money -- well before they really need to in terms of gains.

The culture of "treat-yourself to the top tier" just seems to be a part of tri and road cycling today.

Though I think there remains a strong interest for select races like Noosa, many people perhaps are finding that the single-sport event, in particular Grand Fondo, is a more manageable goal. At the same time, perhaps its also a more social training atmosphere, with just one sport to worry about.

Basically, triathlon is only part of a competitive marketplace. One where, the sport takes more commitment (time and financially) and possibly doesn't receive the same "wow you did that?" respect it used to enjoy.

[ed] fixed some errors
Last edited by: cerebis: Dec 5, 16 22:39
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [B_Doughtie] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
B_Doughtie wrote:
Here's the issue I have with race fees. So I've heard that local races need to lower the price. But that's sorta like telling them to take 25% off a race that is already struggling. So then is that RD actually doing any better? If they get 30 more people but break even, what's the point in that? And I feel like that's sorta the answer to getting people back in it. But then it's like big bad WTC sorta just gets a pass because well they are best at business and it wouldn't make any sense for them to discount.

So my question is, and I've seen plenty of small race series deals. Like 5 races for $300, etc. And I get that the tri market certainly seems to be out pricing itself.

So econ majors, how is it suppose to work so that smaller racers get more racers + make some bank so that they can continue. Discounting a discounted price seems to be like "ooook" type of answer.

One thing I'd postulate is a variable pricing regime. The more people that sign up for a race the more the price goes down and this would work retroactively for people who have already registered thus incentivizing your "core" athletes to promote your race. It's not a perfect idea but it's the first thing that popped into my head at 2:00am while surfing slowtwitch from the toilet.

This is probably also related to why I'm single.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I liked the sentence "triathlon was .. and became cycling" (ore similar). I'm no triathlete but for cycling I learned a lot from it in efficiency, endurance and free speed. We try to get back our sport from overhyped tv and non sporty rules, good luck to get your sport back from elite expenses ..

___/\___/\___/\___ the surfboard of the Kurpfalz is the road bike .. oSo >> Older, and faster ..
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
it's too damn expensive, if you aren't obsessed with tri it's highly unlikely you will buy in. the consumerism and class divide within the sport turns the working class away. not everybody can spend half their life earnings to buy brand name races, wheels, bikes, power meters, that are absolutely unnecessary in participating in the sport. running has been much more successful, it exemplifies the experience of the sport not which race brand you did, what wheels you have... the entire sport of triathlon is basically owned by a corporation. this is the biggest downfall of the sport. it is infatuated with commodities. we need the working class in the sport, the sport is divisive only the rich can participate if you need evidence just look at the average wage of a triathlete.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [ggeiger] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I don't mean to be a dick, but with as long you've been around triathlon, how could you possibly not know this would be the case before you even attempted to qualify? It doesn't take but a few years in the sport to realize that ITU worlds (especially long course) is a fancy parade designed for athletes to get plenty of facebook love. I commend ITU for padding their checkbook on this race--soaking people who want such an egocentric experience. It helps subsidize the sport the for the rest of us.

If you really think that this race is "killing what's left of our sport," why on earth do you want to do it? Do you realize that if you (and everyone else like you) stopped racing it, the race would go away?

ggeiger wrote:
The sad thing is that WTC set the bar, and others are following their need for greed. I qualified for ITU WC LD and now that the prices have been announced, it's a joke! Have to buy the shitty quality uniform and "parade gear", give them money for "support staff" ( mechanics that anyone who is a competitor will not need, and the usual USAT entourage who add only cost), inflated lodging, meal and travel costs, and other costs to represent your country in a race where the best will not even be there. Such a crock to suck money for their misguided efforts to grow the sport. I think they follow the WTC motto: Grow OUR wallet! Between WTC and ITU they are really killing what's left of our sport.




The Age Group Home on Facebook
Twitter jokes
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [sjn] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
sjn wrote:
Slowman wrote:
it's right here.


there was a 6 page thread I was reading earlier today that seems to have vanished...not just locked, but disappeared

Yeah, maybe next time stick the thread title at the top with DELETED right after? That would save me 10 minutes of looking for what I thought was an interesting thread.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [jstonebarger] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
jstonebarger wrote:
sjn wrote:
Slowman wrote:
it's right here.


there was a 6 page thread I was reading earlier today that seems to have vanished...not just locked, but disappeared


Yeah, maybe next time stick the thread title at the top with DELETED right after? That would save me 10 minutes of looking for what I thought was an interesting thread.
bring the old thread back there were good posts in there
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Something I don't care for is the tiered pricing most local races have for early registration. I hate making long term commitments to a short local race when I might be injured or something more important may come up. Then a week or two before the race I realize everything is good to go but the price is too high. I think more races should offer a base price that stays the same up till a week or two before the race. They could also offer to credit the fee forward to another race in the event things don't work out (with no insurance or penalties).

That being said I agree with closing early registration a week or two early and charging a bit more for race day entries. But at that point most people should know whether they are racing or not.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I feel like I'm one of the cheap triathletes and yet I've dropped a pretty penny on the sport.

Swim: My pool time costs $49/mo. I bought a wetsuit over 10 years ago for $200. I just replaced it with a new one for $200 (Black Friday deal). I have the usual package: suit, cap, goggles, fins, paddles, center snorkel. Maybe $200 for that? Spent over 10+ years, these costs were easily absorbed and less than my dining-out budget. Hell. I dropped $250 on dinner last weekend. Mmmm it was tasty.

Bike: used Specialized Transition Comp (bartered). New 165 cranks and power meter $700. Kurt Kinectic Road Machine $250? Annual TrainerRoad subscription ($?? Can't remember). Netflix subscription. Probably $50/year in clothes. Again, spent over several years I'm still coming in at a little less than dining-out budget.

Run: shoes $300/year. Clothes $250/year - I like the expensive socks. This might cost me more on an annual basis than the bike.

Other stuff: Garmin 920xt $400 (always an early adopter of new release). TrainingPeaks premium. ? Training plans $100ish. I don't even know what some of the stuff costs because it is as ordinary as my utility bills.

Races... it depends. Is it also a vacation?

I think I spend less on triathlon than my friends spend on dining out + movies + cable TV + fashion clothes + date nights + girls night out + pedicures + video games + glossy magazines + all that weird food at the grocery store that comes in pretty boxes. I don't spend money on all that stuff my friends spend money on. So I can afford triathlons. And I might be healthier for it.

I don't know that expense is really the barrier. It is spending priorities as one factor. The other factor is that this sport is gad damned hard - do you realize how much more and harder we exercise than the vast majority of the population who thinks 30 min x 3 times per week is a job well done? We are not normal people. Who outside of triathletes (not talking about pros, but your average working adult) logs 6-12+ hours per week across 3 sports? Just to be a MOP? We are crazy. Crazy is the barrier. And if others are logging 6-12 hours plus per week in their sport then they are crazy too.

I forgot... what's the question again? Expensive? Pftht. I'd rather spend my money on Tri than all that other consumer stuff out there so I can create a calorie deficit that can afford a taco and beer without creating the belly.

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Born a swimmer, borrowed a bike, laced up some runners, and the rest just fell into place for a solid MOP life.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Dan:

Two items; one a relative savings and one an operational cost run-away.

Savings for 'more fit' endurance athlete in the form of medical savings and insurance monthly costs. Staying fit is way more financially smart than NOT. And, the only way to keep motivated is to race. Period.

One operational run-away cost is venue fees. Just insane. One bike course went from $35 to $2,970 in one year and with no notice. Same race, same course, same security-that's extra $- and 4 months before the race. If the race ends up at 300...again the increased curve of registration is amazing 14 days before a race...that ends up between $10-$15 per athlete. That is just one example. All venue fee's across the board look like this. No way any business can absorb this silliness.

So we went from 21 triathlon in 2014 to 4 in 2017. Welcome to the post boom-era.

STIndiana
America Multi-Sport, Inc.
America's Half June 10, 2017
USAT RD Century Club
http://www.americamultisport.com
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [trytri3] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
trytri3 hit all the points here. It is an expensive buy in but that can be managed. The biggest issue, I feel, is the time involved. People just don't want to commit the time (or perceived time) it takes to start doing triathlon. Our attention is diverted in 8000 directions a day, which means booking 2-4 hours for a bike run brick is hard to imagine.
Another issue, at least for me. When I got into distance running about 10 years ago, I went online and found a half training plan in about 30 seconds-for free. I still use that plan to some degree. I got into triathlon 2 years ago and I'm still looking for the right plan without having to invest more money for something that might be what I'm looking for. .
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [rdros] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I have been racing for about 5 years now. I ride in the $1,000ish bike category (it was on sale!) I quite often pass people with much more expensive bikes that I have. The bike does not really matter unless you are at the top of the sport. Seeing people on 10k bikes that are riding at an average of 17mph is really funny. Yes it is possible to do tri on the cheap, but it is still more expensive on the cheap that most other sports. For 2017 it looks like I will be doing both of my races in canada (Rev3 St Andrews and Rev3ish Barrelman) to take advantage of the strong dollar. Registration and lodging are cheaper that for what i would do in a comparable race in the states (even an independent race). I am scraping away trying to save up for the next bike. It still will not be a 'superbike', but I am upgrading to the under 2k category :)
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I really appreciate the intent of this discussion. I hope I can add something meaningful.


I talk to a lot of triathletes one-on-one as customers and friends. Many come to me looking for a new bike. Many are relatively new to the sport or making their first step to a tri bike. These are the less established folks who are incurring the initial costs of participation.

When I ask them what their bike budget is, the most common numbers I hear these days are "$2,000" or "$3,000." I had a guy state "$5,000" the other day. That's the biggest budget I've heard in a long time. That's usually followed by a half-joking, "if my spouse doesn't find out about it." My follow-up to that is if their budget includes pedals, saddle, shoes, and any other parts that might be swapped. That is usually met with hesitance and a bit of a deer in the headlights look. That stuff adds up, but they might not have done the math.

I also ask them about their goals. Two years ago, their goal race was "Ironman something-or-rather". Lately, it seems the responses have leaned towards, "I hope to do 2 or 3 sprints this year, and maybe an Oly or 70.3" next year. That 70.3 is most likely going to be Ironman 70.3 Muncie because it's close and that's the one they've heard about. Toughman Indiana is another option, because it's close and cheap.

The second group of folks are the established triathletes. They've got a bike, maybe a few years old, and all the gear. They are in maintenance mode. I would include myself in this group. They aren't buying new bikes, and seem to be happy with what they have. I thought I had a guy interested in a Dimond a couple months back after he got a nice promotion at work. He decided his old bike was good enough, and took the family on a nice vacation. Most of the folks I talk to in this crowd are less focused on the gear and more focused on the events now. It really seems that the sense of community is a big draw for this group - they enjoy finding events that their friends will do, too. But, those events are fewer and farther between. I know a lot of folks who do one triathlon a year.

If anything, the place I see that second group spending money on gear is not specifically in triathlon. They are buying other bikes and trying different things related to triathlon - whether they decided they wanted a road bike to feel more welcome on the local group rides or are getting on the MTB or a cross bike, they are branching out. I've been fitting a lot of return customers with "new to me" bikes lately (and they are getting killer deals on used bikes). I've talked to a lot of folks that did Ironman events, got completely burned out and are now making sure their couch doesn't fly away.

Those are just some of many subsets of the triathlon community, but just a general observation from a guy who gets a lot of opportunity to observe triathletes in their native habitat. I get the impression people are cutting back or maybe "right sizing."

On a related note, I feel bad for RDs. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Their costs are going up (municipalities and insurance are big ones) and the price has to go up accordingly. Everybody has a point where they say, "Enough is enough. I'm not gonna spend that for a race." As the costs go up for the RDs, that tipping point is reached for more people. My tipping point is $200. I won't pay that for a race anymore. I can do 10 local MTB or cyclocross races for the price of one Ironman. Mix in a sprint tri or XTERRA in there and that's a pretty fun race schedule.

Going back to the bike budgets for a moment, the Premiere Tactical is a healthy dose of honesty, and it's kind of hard to swallow. It's a bit of sticker shock. At first glance I thought, "$5,500 is a lot of money for a bike", but then realized what Dan had put together there and that some of us have certainly spent all of that and a lot more on what started as an "affordable" bike. I'm as guilty as anybody on that one.

Probably not the best analogy, but I think we need to talk in terms of sticker price versus cost of ownership. It's kind of like how car dealers always want to talk about the monthly payment rather than the total cost of ownership. That $300 per month lease payment sounds palatable, until you do the actual math and realize how much it will cost over the life of the lease. And you still don't own the car. But, hey, it's "only" $300 a month. Or how the banks are so willing to pre-approve you for a house you can't afford. The new home buyer is all excited because they can get a $300,000 house with no closing costs and nothing down. Yeah, but do the math on that 30 year mortgage at high interest, add in mortgage insurance, and realize that the monthly payment is more than you can actually afford and you'll be owned by your house before you own it.

Maybe that's the difference between the groups I've described above. There are the newbies, buying that car or house without realizing what it will cost them in the long term, versus the folks that already have learned everything the hard way, refinanced the mortgage or downsized, and are now settled into a more sustainable pattern.

And don't even get me started on what an overuse injury will cost.

Travis Rassat
Vector Cycle Works
Noblesville, IN
BikeFit Instructor | FMS | F.I.S.T. | IBFI
Toughman Triathlon Series Ambassador
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Been in sport since mid 1980's early 30 now 64 and female. Been in 19 IM 5X Kona, on Team USA in Cancun, many many HIM, age group awards etc. Fastest HIM was 5:11, fastest Kona 12:53. Mention this not to gloat but to say I've been at the front end of the race day "experience"
Its been my main lifestyle but last few yrs noticable difference and wondering what or why even pay for it. Seems the only reason my expensive entry is wanted is for the money. There is no race day experience.
Being a woman even when much younger and winning and competitve among the have mostly been an after thought by RD. Can't begin to say how many times awards concluded before or they forgot to announce the women age groups. So tired of going to the RD if can find them, then the timing people to get it straightened out. Then given some left over award. Now it's nearly every event, running races included. That's after the shifty race experience where we start dead last, race course support non existent(no water etc) and nothing but a few bread crumbs left at the post race meal. This happens all the time.
The t shirt pre race and very much post race finisher even if listed size on entry is were all out here's and extra large for your husband. That even happened at Kona.
So why do I want to pay $700 for IM where you're not even given the full time to finish anymore and can be kicked off as early as 2:30 pm if have a flat or problem which one can overcome from or $300 for HIM where just out there on my own.
Still looking for some events but can't find anything different and everything is now so cookie cutter. I can get almost a whole wk of fun for as much as want for IM.
I've decided to bike across US next summer and if I can find any do HIM before and after. Was anticipating doing Timberman after finished up in nearby Portsmouth, NH but they got rid of that too.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [gphin305] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
gphin305 wrote:
Your points may be valid but they seem to focus on long course racing? Does WTC really have any effect on sprint and oly participation....and getting new people into the sport....or more participation from people currently only doing 2-3 events per year?

I think it does. There are a fair number of people in this area that will not race any local races the year they decide to do 140.6. After that race many of them (who were very good) give up the sport.

Also - look at the USAT rankings. It amazes me now many people do 2 or 3 WTC travel races and nothing local when we have a lot of good local races almost every weekend from June into September.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I dabbled in tris for 10 years and then took the sport seriously for 10 years. I have sunk costs in all the equipment: 7k bike/wheels, home gym etc.. I have always had a problem shelling out more than $150 for an Oly or more than $100 for a sprint out of principle, even if I could afford it.

Now though, with kids a bit older (11 and 13) and getting involved in coaching their sports and enjoying some different sports myself (getting back into tennis), I am lacking the time and motivation to train for and race triathlons. I'm still a member of my local tri club and do things to help out there, but I didn't race last summer and have no plans to re-start. I'm running a half marathon next month and do regular 5k running races with my kids, so am staying active, but tris are falling by the wayside. There may be a time and place I get back into the sport, but no plans at this point to race again.

So for me it's not about the cost, but more a change in lifestyle and wanting to do something different after 10 years of fairly intense training and racing.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [eggplantOG] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Agreed. I forget who posted it, but the post about golf's parallel course and the short term gains for manufacturers vs long term accessibility of the sport absolutely nailed the problem.

If nothing else, I hope the poster of that response can paste it back in here or something.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [eggplantOG] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
eggplantOG wrote:
jstonebarger wrote:
sjn wrote:
Slowman wrote:
it's right here.


there was a 6 page thread I was reading earlier today that seems to have vanished...not just locked, but disappeared


Yeah, maybe next time stick the thread title at the top with DELETED right after? That would save me 10 minutes of looking for what I thought was an interesting thread.

bring the old thread back there were good posts in there

There were indeed. I don't understand why it was disappeared.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [ggeiger] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
ggeiger wrote:
The sad thing is that WTC set the bar, and others are following their need for greed. I qualified for ITU WC LD and now that the prices have been announced, it's a joke! Have to buy the shitty quality uniform and "parade gear", give them money for "support staff" ( mechanics that anyone who is a competitor will not need, and the usual USAT entourage who add only cost), inflated lodging, meal and travel costs, and other costs to represent your country in a race where the best will not even be there. Such a crock to suck money for their misguided efforts to grow the sport. I think they follow the WTC motto: Grow OUR wallet! Between WTC and ITU they are really killing what's left of our sport.



Slunnie wrote:
WTC isn't the only option and they certainly don't even remotely control the sport despite running major events. In Aus WTC have been retracting and other events have filled the space left. I do wonder if the writing is on the wall for WTC in some respects, but Triathlon itself is still quite strong.


In 1994 rather then race for Team Canada at ITU worlds in Chicago, it was actually cheaper for me to fly to Austria and do WTC 70.3 World's. I live in Ottawa Canada so 1.5 hour flight to Chicago too. The problem was cost of Team Canada uniform and entry fee. It was substantially more than WTC. And if I wanted to stay anywhere near the race site, well that jacked the entire package past the Austria option. In any case we're comparing two expensive options. I came back from Austria and did my local half IM for $125 the next weekend. Slept in my own bed and was back home just after lunch time. There were barely 100 people in my race, meanwhile Tremblant 70.3 which is 1.75 hours drive away sells out instantly.

Also to Steve-OH's point, in the late 80's and early 90's at least in Ontario, the biggest age groups were 25-29 and 30-34. The biggest age group basically followed me as I move to 35-39, then 40-44, then 45-49. IMC 1991, 25-29 was the largest age group. If I recall correctly entry fee was around $200 (I remember sitting in the hot tub post race and we were saying it was worth the price of 5 races). At the time, I was a lieutenant in the Air Force and was making $27K per year.

I spent money on nothing but triathlon. No movies, no dates, no spending in bars or restaurants, no drinking in pubs (just drank beer with my buddies at house parties). Just work and triathlon. Most of my buddies were in the same boat, but they actually went on dates and did have alcohol in bars. Yeah, sounds like my life sucked but it was actually pretty good. This is definitely sounding like a back in the day post, but I was an anomoly back then too. Most of my friends could not be that extreme.

In any case on the "doer front" vs the "complainer front". I've been putting on free training camps for year. We have a bit of built in competition on some of the 'stages' but the rest if just organized group training (see the footer for the previous stuff).

Slowman....I have an idea....how about an Ultraman style free event at your ranch next spring. Something like 3 days, 10K worth of swimming, multiple bike stages adding up 300-400K and a marathon worth of running spread over Fri-Sun. Come and do all or some and hang around with campers. Aerobic points awarded for whatever you complete, so there could be a "picklist" with some core bike stages and then you can choose to swim more or run more depending on what you are into (along the lines of "what if you could have a multiple choice triathlon".

Meanwhile for those who can't make it they can join "online" for free and do the stages with their buddies at home. Depending on the date we choose, I can try to come out for the physical part or run the virtual part.

"Ultra Camp ST" Swim a lot - Bike a lot - run a lot....lots of smack talk.


In all seriousness, we can sit around and complain till we are blue in the face but do we really need formal events to be triathletes? Can we just not do the sport with our buddies in our own training venues and be a triathlete?


For the first time in 38 years, I did zero racing in formal events but I don't feel like I am "not a triathlete" (even though I could barely walk for most of the year). I just made up my own bike and swim personal events. I'll happily sign up for WTC events when I can do them again, but why does there have to be an "event" to do the sport as a hobby. Can't you just do the components in training.


I'd say slowman is a triathlete and the guy almost never races. Cost of racing is not an issue for him. Cost of gear I assume is not an issue for him, because he's advanced enough in his career (did I call him old....I did) to afford it, but I am CERTAIN, that he'd still be a triathlete riding a 1981 Colnago with Columbus SL tubing a pair of running shoes and goggles. Isn't that all we need to be triathletes?


Dev
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
 Can we just not do the sport with our buddies in our own training venues and be a triathlete?

-----

Yes you can. The problem is then you become a negative stat. You become unaccounted for either in races, membership dues etc.

This is in my opionion what is happening with the youth numbers w USAT. In the past 2-3 years I've seen far more youth only races that weren't USAT sanctioned yet USAT stats show youth numbers are down (all the while have increased in numbers at youth nationals). So then those youth kids who are doing those events and don't get a membership and "omg youth membership is down", when I've seen it actually opposite in that youth numbers are improving overall into the sport (atleast here in US).

-USAT L2 coach, M.S. Exercise Physiology
https://www.instagram.com/alloutmultisport
http://www.aomultisport.com
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
should a well-run, safe, shorter-distance race cost more than $100 or $125?
Where?

In the middle of nowhere, or in a major city? What market? Middle-America, or NorCal, or Mid-Atlantic?

If in/around a major city, road closures and police enforcement—I'd suspect—cost A LOT more for permitting, dealing w/ FOP union minimums, etc. And, I bet the same getting insurance and police presence for a swim in an inner city river, compared with a shallow puddle with nothing else for miles around. ocean swim? Then you need the USCG and local BP, etc. Some costs cannot be avoided w/r/t hosting a race.

What really annoys me: registration fees. active.com, for instance, provides a valuable service. and they ream RD's and competitors alike for the privilege signing up for a race.

no sponsors | no races | nothing to see here
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [B_Doughtie] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
B_Doughtie wrote:
Can we just not do the sport with our buddies in our own training venues and be a triathlete?

-----

Yes you can. The problem is then you become a negative stat. You become unaccounted for either in races, membership dues etc.

This is in my opionion what is happening with the youth numbers w USAT. In the past 2-3 years I've seen far more youth only races that weren't USAT sanctioned yet USAT stats show youth numbers are down (all the while have increased in numbers at youth nationals). So then those youth kids who are doing those events and don't get a membership and "omg youth membership is down", when I've seen it actually opposite in that youth numbers are improving overall into the sport (atleast here in US).

I hear ya....there are almost 2 questions.....

  1. Is the cost of the sport stopping you from doing the sport as a hobby/exerciser?
  2. Is the cost of the sport stopping you from formal competition?


To the former, I would say, the barriers to doing triathlon are limited. Running shoes, goggles a gym membership with a spin bike and a pool and you're done since your training all three sports. Here in communist Canada my gym membership at my city pool+gym network is $496 per year and I can use all of the 25 or so pools in the city and use all of the 20 or so gyms attached to them. So beyond that I need $100 for running shoes, $20 for goggles, and $35 for jammers. All in I can train triathlon for $750 per year. So around $65 per month or say $2.50 per day....Starbucks or Tri training....pick your evil. If I want to up my triathlon experience and get off the spin bike, add in $500 for a used road bike off Ebay, 2 pairs cycling shorts and a helmet....probably another $750 and I'm set. All of this allows me to practice tri as a hobbyist till I am blue in the face.

With the above, I can also do races. I don't need any other equipment over that (see my post further up in this thread about my first half IM in Vermont that Souza and Huddle also did). Now I have to spend some more money. My local sprint-olympic-half IM scene I can do tris for $75 to $200 depending on how early I register.

I really don't think triathlon is expensive if you choose to be cheap. I've been on 6 hour riders eating my peanut butter sandwiches and water and person beside me is eating $20 worth of gels (10-12 gels) and pre bottled Gatorade ($2 per bottle). That ride cost me around $1. The guy beside me $30. Most of my bike tubes have 2-3 patches in them. I am sure the $30 ride guy throws out his tubes as soon as there is one flat. The same guy is driving his car to meet me for the middle 4 hours of the ride. I am saving gas riding to the ride getting 1:45 extra saddle time while he is spending money burning gas from his car. driving to the ride. Why would I drive when I can ride and get fitter and spend less money... That same person is complaining to me about entry fees and pissing money away saying he can't digest "real food". I'm almost tempted to pull out a picture of Greg Lemond riding at 45 kph pulling out a Baguette and Jambon sandwich from his mussette and chowing that down right before the base of Telegraphe and Galibier that he's goin to ride at 5.75 W per kilo. People are constantly pissing money away and then they complain that everything is expensive.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [sjn] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
sjn wrote:
eggplantOG wrote:
jstonebarger wrote:
sjn wrote:
Slowman wrote:
it's right here.


there was a 6 page thread I was reading earlier today that seems to have vanished...not just locked, but disappeared


Yeah, maybe next time stick the thread title at the top with DELETED right after? That would save me 10 minutes of looking for what I thought was an interesting thread.

bring the old thread back there were good posts in there


There were indeed. I don't understand why it was disappeared.

Agreed. I can understand maybe locking it if you want to concentrate responses in this thread, but deleting it is odd, especially when some people had posted significant amounts of discussion. It's disrespectful to them.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"Slowman....I have an idea....how about an Ultraman style free event at your ranch next spring. Something like 3 days, 10K worth of swimming, multiple bike stages adding up 300-400K and a marathon worth of running spread over Fri-Sun. Come and do all or some and hang around with campers. Aerobic points awarded for whatever you complete, so there could be a "picklist" with some core bike stages and then you can choose to swim more or run more depending on what you are into (along the lines of "what if you could have a multiple choice triathlon".

Meanwhile for those who can't make it they can join "online" for free and do the stages with their buddies at home. Depending on the date we choose, I can try to come out for the physical part or run the virtual part."

i have something else in mind. but, what you write here, this is how we used to think. what we used to do. and the sort of behavior we need to resuscitate.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [AlwaysCurious] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
No offense taken. I did 10 races last year and have already signed up for 8 next year. There's an awesome race series just like what's talked about here where Iive in Madison. RaceDay Events also manages the new WI70.3 race, but they do a series that does a bundled price. 6 races (7 last year with an off road one) for $249. It's a no brainer, with no frills, but well done sprint and Oly races. I love them, as they become "practice" races, with most of the perks, including beer, and decent food after, FREE race photos and even finisher's (and top 3 each ag) medals. ( what to do with all these ones I don't want). That's one way a company is making it work, and frankly I don't know how they do it. It sure brings the joy back to the sport and allows one to race. That said, I've always said one needs to do those races to get an ass kicking, as that's what makes you better. Having raced all the biggies, including the ITU LD WC 3 times, I loved it but they have really priced and overmanned these high end events so a small group can afford them. Sure, I shouldn't bitch if I can't afford it, as it's my fault I don't make more, but how can we expect to build the sport when only a small group has the means to race, and have of them are so obligated in making that income that they can't get away as often. IMO the companies like RaceDay Events are keeping this sport alive and making it possible for the masses. I'd love to see these companies profiled by Dan and try to help them out in gaining more traction amongst the other areas that aren't as fortunate to have such great options.


AlwaysCurious wrote:
I don't mean to be a dick, but with as long you've been around triathlon, how could you possibly not know this would be the case before you even attempted to qualify? It doesn't take but a few years in the sport to realize that ITU worlds (especially long course) is a fancy parade designed for athletes to get plenty of facebook love. I commend ITU for padding their checkbook on this race--soaking people who want such an egocentric experience. It helps subsidize the sport the for the rest of us.

If you really think that this race is "killing what's left of our sport," why on earth do you want to do it? Do you realize that if you (and everyone else like you) stopped racing it, the race would go away?

ggeiger wrote:
The sad thing is that WTC set the bar, and others are following their need for greed. I qualified for ITU WC LD and now that the prices have been announced, it's a joke! Have to buy the shitty quality uniform and "parade gear", give them money for "support staff" ( mechanics that anyone who is a competitor will not need, and the usual USAT entourage who add only cost), inflated lodging, meal and travel costs, and other costs to represent your country in a race where the best will not even be there. Such a crock to suck money for their misguided efforts to grow the sport. I think they follow the WTC motto: Grow OUR wallet! Between WTC and ITU they are really killing what's left of our sport.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I had been out of bike racing and triathlons for about 25 years before I got back in this year. My first reaction is that the sport became insanely expensive. The cost of equipment has far exceeded inflation, and is probably growing faster than college tuition and healthcare. Same with race fees.

For example, around 1988, I bought a Pinarello Montello SLX road race bike fully equipped with Dura Ace. It was the absolute state-of-the-art. You could spend a little more money on C Record, but the Dura Ace was by far the best components at that time. The bike was around $2,000 all in. According to the BLS, the equivalent buying power today for that $2K spend would be $4,100. However, an equivalent road bike today is around $10K. This is over a period when global manufacturing costs have generally been declining. So, bikes have more than 2x outpaced inflation and massively outpaced comparable manufacturing costs for other goods.

I can afford it, but a lot fewer can afford it today than could afford it 30 years ago.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
excessive registration fees that aren't disclosed until the last part of a 20-minute registration process; stuff like that.

i seem to remember that the airline industry was forced to stop that practise and had to be more transparant with hidden fees.

http://www.irishtimes.com/...ard-charges-1.609328


Slowman wrote:
i agree with you. except for the mandatory costs. i am concerned about $15 one-day insurance; non-refundable/transferable entries; excessive registration fees that aren't disclosed until the last part of a 20-minute registration process; stuff like that.

and there are solutions for all of that.

otherwise, i agree with you. i spend very little on race entries, because i consider it kind of a point of principle. i think if you look at the results of the poll, readers feel the same. 90 percent of slowtwitchers feel that $150 is the ceiling for an oly distance, and half slowtwitchers feel that the ceiling is under $100.

should a well-run, safe, shorter-distance race cost more than $100 or $125?

http://www.pb3coaching.com
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Kay Serrar] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"I can understand maybe locking it if you want to concentrate responses in this thread, but deleting it is odd"

per your request, the thread is back. but it is locked. i removed it from view because (longtime slowtwitchers will know this is a consistent theme with me) i find it highly offensive to beat up on people who try to come into the sport and made a contribution at their own financial peril.

so i have a short fuse on this. a number of you guys keep confusing this place with reddit.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
SLOgoing wrote:
I feel like I'm one of the cheap triathletes and yet I've dropped a pretty penny on the sport.

Swim: My pool time costs $49/mo. I bought a wetsuit over 10 years ago for $200. I just replaced it with a new one for $200 (Black Friday deal). I have the usual package: suit, cap, goggles, fins, paddles, center snorkel. Maybe $200 for that? Spent over 10+ years, these costs were easily absorbed and less than my dining-out budget. Hell. I dropped $250 on dinner last weekend. Mmmm it was tasty.

Bike: used Specialized Transition Comp (bartered). New 165 cranks and power meter $700. Kurt Kinectic Road Machine $250? Annual TrainerRoad subscription ($?? Can't remember). Netflix subscription. Probably $50/year in clothes. Again, spent over several years I'm still coming in at a little less than dining-out budget.

Run: shoes $300/year. Clothes $250/year - I like the expensive socks. This might cost me more on an annual basis than the bike.

Other stuff: Garmin 920xt $400 (always an early adopter of new release). TrainingPeaks premium. ? Training plans $100ish. I don't even know what some of the stuff costs because it is as ordinary as my utility bills.

Races... it depends. Is it also a vacation?

I think I spend less on triathlon than my friends spend on dining out + movies + cable TV + fashion clothes + date nights + girls night out + pedicures + video games + glossy magazines + all that weird food at the grocery store that comes in pretty boxes. I don't spend money on all that stuff my friends spend money on. So I can afford triathlons. And I might be healthier for it.

I don't know that expense is really the barrier. It is spending priorities as one factor. The other factor is that this sport is gad damned hard - do you realize how much more and harder we exercise than the vast majority of the population who thinks 30 min x 3 times per week is a job well done? We are not normal people. Who outside of triathletes (not talking about pros, but your average working adult) logs 6-12+ hours per week across 3 sports? Just to be a MOP? We are crazy. Crazy is the barrier. And if others are logging 6-12 hours plus per week in their sport then they are crazy too.

I forgot... what's the question again? Expensive? Pftht. I'd rather spend my money on Tri than all that other consumer stuff out there so I can create a calorie deficit that can afford a taco and beer without creating the belly.

"Crazy is the barrier."

This pretty much hits the nail on the head. I started doing tris a few years a go and I didn't give a rat's ass about style, using the latest gear or worshiping the latest triathlete heroes. The only thing I wanted to do was a triathlon. And, what should have become a one-and-done experience has become a lifelong obsession. I've learned how to wrench on my own bikes, build them from the frame up even, and I can find gear deals that would make local police suspicious. I could spend tons of money on gear and parts, but that seems counter to the overall challenge.

What SLOgoing said is the spot on. The sport is losing participants and not replenishing them, also. It's not about money exclusively. There are a ton of pass times, hobbies and preoccupations that cost as much or way more than triathlon. Folks just don't want to do this in it's current state. Maybe it's the obstacle course scene that's siphoning off potential "crazy" newcomers, or maybe there needs to be an actual grassroots effort to make triathlon cool and approachable again.

The cost is a non issue. When my oldest son was in Boy Scouts, there were kids with Walmart camping gear, and kids with 400$ Arc'hteryx backpacks. The kids didn't really give two shits either way, since they were all going off to do the same fun stuff.

Also, I'm up in Paso Robles. Yo!
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
"Slowman....I have an idea....how about an Ultraman style free event at your ranch next spring. Something like 3 days, 10K worth of swimming, multiple bike stages adding up 300-400K and a marathon worth of running spread over Fri-Sun. Come and do all or some and hang around with campers. Aerobic points awarded for whatever you complete, so there could be a "picklist" with some core bike stages and then you can choose to swim more or run more depending on what you are into (along the lines of "what if you could have a multiple choice triathlon".

Meanwhile for those who can't make it they can join "online" for free and do the stages with their buddies at home. Depending on the date we choose, I can try to come out for the physical part or run the virtual part."

i have something else in mind. but, what you write here, this is how we used to think. what we used to do. and the sort of behavior we need to resuscitate.

Dan, actually when you think about it....this is how the first races started. Buddies got together and tested out venue in group training. Then we said, OK.....now if we want to morph this into a race, who do we need to pay at the city to close these roads, get this park accessed. Now which one of you guys can do some artwork and which one of you guys can get T shirts made. OK, anyone know someone at Domino's Pizza so we can get some food after everyone races? OK who knows someone at the local radio station so we can get some free advertising? Then it was like "holy shit" we need people to stand around and give out water and I know none of jokers will do that because you'll all want to actually race. Fine, I'll call the Army Reserve unit and conn the commanding officer to get his troops to do all our slave labor instead of those guys going on parade on Sunday. The Colonel should like this type of community goodwill. OK what's left? Shit, we have to time this thing. OK I can program a computer and I just bought one of those funky laptop things that I can bring onsite. But I need someone to enter the data and a bunch of people to stand around with stop watches to record race numbers and time and someone to enter it? OK who is volunteering for that....oh shit, where do we get race numbers from? OK guys, meet at my kitchen table every Tuesday nite over beers and NHL hockey and we'll sort all this out before spring and get it done.

Now how much do we need to charge to cover our costs for all that.

That's how I put on my first 4 races! It just happened organically. But before that we organically trained together and created our own training events. Then eventually I got to busy doing my MBA at nite school on top of working full time and training and said, "screw it....it's too much work to be a race director too". So I'll just put on low overhead training events.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Lots of interesting observations in this thread. I've been involved with tris for 12 years and I just turned 30. I started out by borrowing my dad's bike and entering a local sprint. The cost was maybe $40-50. I think anyone that really wants to get into the sport for cheap, they still can do so. Anyone can be a triathlon participant and continue to do so for not a lot of money, if they're resourceful. But once one wants to compete in a triathlon those costs escalate. The "necessary stuff" we need is overblown for sure, and the used equipment market is thriving but one isn't going to get a basic competitive tri gear set up for less than $1000 and most will spend way more than that.

I have spent a lot of money on triathlon equipment and races. I've spent even more time dedicated to training. I'm at a point where my priorities are shifting and the costs cannot be justified. I think this is a case for many people, especially those in my age range (yes I'm a "Millennial") that are just starting careers, homes, families, debt, etc and don't have six figure jobs. Anyone wanting to get into the sport assumes it requires expensive equipment, on top of the expensive race fees. Plus what kind of time commitment seems to be flaunted as the norm? How many times on ST do I read people claiming they're putting in 10, 15, 20 hrs of training in. Drinking beer, playing video games or watching netflix is easier. And cheaper. But I think the more typical example for my age range is needing to work more to pay off my debt, spend the weekend fixing my house or spending my time with my friends and family.

I raced twice last year, one local event and one WTC event. The reason I didn't race more was two fold. One was cost, the other was competition. I race to be competitive. Not the t-shirts, medals, "experience" and what not. There are very few local races with any kind of deep competitive field. Part of this is because I'm in Northern Michigan. But even in the whole state there are few locally competitive races. WTC has the competitive fields. I don't have much choice. Thus I have been willing to jump through the b.s. active fees, year in advance sign ups, USAT $15 fees, on top of paying a stupid amount of money to race.

I think of the business model of discount airlines (Spirit, etc) and think if there was a way to apply it to tri. The basic cheap price gets me entry to race. All the extra stuff is an add on charge. T-shirt, finisher medal, post race food, everything. We used to be able to write a check and mail in a registration form and avoid active.com at all costs. Why can't we do that any more?

There used to be a decent road racing scene here that I dabbled in for a couple years. $30-$40 entry. Beer at the finish. Prize money on top of that. None of the races I did exist any more. If that business model failed, continuing triathlon participation seems to be a challenge. I would like to see the sport thrive, I'm just unsure how. Part of the issue is the cost. Part of it is the mentality required.

Ben McMurray
http://www.bnutstrailmix.com "Life is short. B-Nuts." -- Triathlon and Life Anecdotes ---> http://benmcmurray.com/ Northern Michigan Small Farm Venture ---> http://facebook.com/hillvalleymi


Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"Buddies got together and tested out venue in group training. Then we said, OK.....now if we want to morph this into a race, who do we need to pay at the city to close these roads, get this park accessed.... That's how I put on my first 4 races!"

it didn't take you long. your first post was warm. with this you've hit on exactly what i intend to do this season. invite some likeminded friends, no more than 2 dozen, for 1- to 3-day training "events." maybe one of these trial runs becomes a race, with 3000 participants. or not. no matter, that's not the goal.

"But before that we organically trained together and created our own training events."

exactly. as a bonus the "event" will be designed around the geography of the place, rather than artificially constructed to conform to a distance.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Mc B] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"We used to be able to write a check and mail in a registration form...Why can't we do that any more?"

one good reason, one bad reason. the good reason: it saves a lot of costs for the RD. it's CHEAPER for you to enter the race online, because of the entry fee that would be higher if the RD had to actually print race registration forms and have his staff do the data entry.

the bad reason: it's often (not always) just a way for the RD to make money. if it's a large and/or powerful race organization, a deal is often cut with a "full service" registration company to rebate that money back to the RD. the registration company is a punching bag for you guys to spit at and throw arrows into. but really it's the RD you should be complaining to. it takes 3 percent to make the thing go. but you pay 6 percent or more.

and when i poll you, the number-1 registration company you choose is a full service company charging 6 and more percent.

at some point you guys have to take responsibility for your own decisions, and say enough is enough. i've written about this up the ying yang. what if one of you went back to your club, you guys talked it over, and your club made a commitment. what if your club said, "we're not going to race any races that don't absorb the registration fee into the cost of the race." what do you think would happen?

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Mc B] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
the sport can be done ( realtively) on the cheap the problem is those days people are told you cant train proper if you dont have a powermeter , a garmin 620 and the pinical of the sport is an ironman race.

there is way to many BRAIN WASHED TRIATHLETES around .
now we can argue if the problem are the marketing dpeartments of the industry or triathletes itself who feel they need all this gear and its a neccesity rahter than a choice . I guess on this forum the biggest advertiser of tri gear is Bryan D who i belive is not part of the tri industry he is part of triathlon.

Ironically its the most expensive races that do well So i guess its more the "snobyness" of tri thats the problem as the alternatives are out there. but i guess when you stand at the water cooler at work people only think you are cool if you did the ironman race .....

So i guess what the sport needs is to highlight is that it dosnt need to be expensive. A cheap bike it totally fine to start the sport with , that a 2000 $ bike is enough for most advanced athletes, and if you want better be welcome but dont think you need it. you can call yourself an ironman if you do a non branded race. etc etc.

if the sub $2000 tri bike dosnt sell than we are doing someting wrong as the equivilant in wetsuits has a 40 % market share .



Mc B wrote:
Lots of interesting observations in this thread. I've been involved with tris for 12 years and I just turned 30. I started out by borrowing my dad's bike and entering a local sprint. The cost was maybe $40-50. I think anyone that really wants to get into the sport for cheap, they still can do so. Anyone can be a triathlon participant and continue to do so for not a lot of money, if they're resourceful. But once one wants to compete in a triathlon those costs escalate. The "necessary stuff" we need is overblown for sure, and the used equipment market is thriving but one isn't going to get a basic competitive tri gear set up for less than $1000 and most will spend way more than that.

I have spent a lot of money on triathlon equipment and races. I've spent even more time dedicated to training. I'm at a point where my priorities are shifting and the costs cannot be justified. I think this is a case for many people, especially those in my age range (yes I'm a "Millennial") that are just starting careers, homes, families, debt, etc and don't have six figure jobs. Anyone wanting to get into the sport assumes it requires expensive equipment, on top of the expensive race fees. Plus what kind of time commitment seems to be flaunted as the norm? How many times on ST do I read people claiming they're putting in 10, 15, 20 hrs of training in. Drinking beer, playing video games or watching netflix is easier. And cheaper. But I think the more typical example for my age range is needing to work more to pay off my debt, spend the weekend fixing my house or spending my time with my friends and family.

I raced twice last year, one local event and one WTC event. The reason I didn't race more was two fold. One was cost, the other was competition. I race to be competitive. Not the t-shirts, medals, "experience" and what not. There are very few local races with any kind of deep competitive field. Part of this is because I'm in Northern Michigan. But even in the whole state there are few locally competitive races. WTC has the competitive fields. I don't have much choice. Thus I have been willing to jump through the b.s. active fees, year in advance sign ups, USAT $15 fees, on top of paying a stupid amount of money to race.

I think of the business model of discount airlines (Spirit, etc) and think if there was a way to apply it to tri. The basic cheap price gets me entry to race. All the extra stuff is an add on charge. T-shirt, finisher medal, post race food, everything. We used to be able to write a check and mail in a registration form and avoid active.com at all costs. Why can't we do that any more?

There used to be a decent road racing scene here that I dabbled in for a couple years. $30-$40 entry. Beer at the finish. Prize money on top of that. None of the races I did exist any more. If that business model failed, continuing triathlon participation seems to be a challenge. I would like to see the sport thrive, I'm just unsure how. Part of the issue is the cost. Part of it is the mentality required.

http://www.pb3coaching.com
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
The point the comes up for me over and over is that even a used $500.00 bike is still $500.00 dollars. I don't know a lot of people in my life where that is inconsequential money. Good friend of mine is single with no kids and makes 2x what my wife and I make combined,($120,000K) yet he still hems and haws over the costs of bikes.

I saw in the other thread and in this thread a few folks adding up the cost to toe the line at a sprint try and it has been anywhere from $500.00 to $1000.00

Sure you borrowed your dad's/friend's/uncle's bike and had a good time doing one triathlon. You want to do another one but starting looking at bikes and start researching. Tiagra isn't any good you should go at least 105. 105 is good for most people but Ultegra is even better. But, Dura-Ace DI2 is really where it's at. It doesn't seem as if the entry level bike get the respect it deserves. People need to grow into the sport and grow with their love for the training then upgrade. But, yet we've all seen time and time again that upgrading is just a feeling not necessarily a need.

Why did I upgrade bikes, I was exactly the same speed on my new bike as my old bike. But, yet I was compelled for some reason to buy a new bike to move from a mixed group set to full 105. From stock wheels to 30mm Reynolds. From a road bike to a tri bike. From an Orca Wetsuit to a Desoto Wetsuit. From a 910xt to a Fenix. From no power to a stages. From Stages to dual sided power. From this to that.

We are not creating a culture of run what you brung. I feel like people by and large won't participate in a triathlon on a mountain bike or hybrid because they don't feel like they are on equal footing. We need to find a way to bring in more first time racers that aren't quite ready for a full commitment to triathlon. Then as they grow and understand the sport better they can invest in more or better equipment.

My brother wants to do a race(activity) that I've done the past two years. It's a swim/bike/kayak/run. He's balking at YMCA fee's for swimming. I don't see how he'll ever come off the money for a bike or a kayak(lot of speed can be bought in a kayak).

I understand we don't want to water down triathlon to a point it's a glow/color run but if there's not a concerted effort to draw in first timers and newbies then it will continue to shrink.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I still think that swimming is the biggest issue with someone getting into triathlon not cost. Even at the pool swim triathlon I have done people struggle to swim 250-300 yards in a pool. When I first started doing triathlons in the early 80's there were not the choices we have today. Back then if you got tired of running or swimming, you tried a triathlon. There were not the other options, so if you were a runner you sucked it up and learn to at least stay at the top of water and moved slowly forward. Now there are trail races, obstacle races, glow runs, etc.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [nbaffaro] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Good friend of mine is single with no kids and makes 2x what my wife and I make combined,($120,000K) yet he still hems and haws over the costs of bikes. //

Your friend has other problems if he cannot afford triathlon, and the high end at that. Maybe he is just cheap, but making that much with so few dependents(0 it looks like) he should have plenty of disposable income for hobbies. If not, like I said, he has other problems(like too much house, too much car, goes out to eat every night at expensive restaurants, ect. )
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [monty] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
He can afford it easy. My point wasn't that he couldn't it's just that bikes are expensive even to people with a little. money.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Dan,

Just curious, are you going to compare the poll results to actual race fees? (perception vs reality?)
Be interesting to see how they vary by region, branded vs non-branded and distance.

Maybe interesting to see.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I will admit to not reading all the posts in this thread...... but...

as a long time participant in triathlon, first race in 82' - I have heard and thought about this topic often.

For some perspective, I think it important to recall that triathlon today is not what it was 10, 20 30+ years ago - this directly relates to equipment and cost. There have been huge advances in both over time.

Second - while almost everything can be done on the cheap or on the expensive side, triathletes as a whole tend to be more excessive and competative - pushing more twards the desire to do things on the more expensive side.

But lets get to the point - if you are a new(ish) person to the sport the idea of doing triathlon can be very overwhealming - particularly on the cost side - because you meet people, ask questions about what you need and see what they are doing. A newbie quickly gets a picture (without the benefit of knowledge, experience or perspective) like this........


I need -

bike - $2000 (and of course you learn fast one bike is not enough)
swim stuff, pool access, wet suit, lessons - $1500
Gear, clothes, cleates, sneaks, ect - $1000
Computers, traine, tri club, strava membership, power taps, watch, ect - $2000
Coach (???) - $3000
Race entries, travel, food, nutrition stuff - $2000

Again - does the person need this stuff - no not all of it - but everyone around them, the vets, the people who look good and (supposedly) are going fast have all this shit.

So on the surface it can very easily appear to be a $12k proposition to jump into your first year of triathlon. On more than one occassion I have had new people say - shit every time i turn around there is another thing I need and it aint cheap - also don;t loose sight on the fact that while most everything above can be bought second hand for far less - these new people dont really know how to navigate the system to find this stuff cheap - and honestly if you are making 9for example) your first bike purchase ever do you feel comfortable buying on line, from some dude you dont know, and have no real clue about what is a good product, fairly used and priced?

I know each point above can be picked apart - but look at it in the whole, from the new person perspective


http://www.clevetriclub.com

rob reddy
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
It's not the equipment. That's a one time cost. I bought the Shiv in 2012 and have no plans to replace it with something new that might be 10s faster over 40Km.

It's the travel costs, the registration fees for full IMs (and halfs if one is racing more than a few of them), and the FOOD. I eat like an asshole when I'm training. That's expensive. It adds up.

No solution to food. For the other two, racing in local races will eliminate travel costs and the high registration fees.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
It seems to me that we are all focused on "cost" versus "value" which is wholly subjective. This whole forum throws up their hands whenever they think something is expensive based on their personal ruler. I swear, if it were up to ST, we would only have restaurants that serve chipped beef and drive Honda Accords because, darn it, they get the job done. I happen to believe, every once in a while, paying for a great filet is the reason why I work my ass off. And I pair it with a nice bottle of cab. Guess what? I think that was the best "value" because of the experience I just had. Do I do that a lot? No. Was it expensive? Yup. Did I enjoy it? You're damn right I did.

So I paid a shit-ton of money to participate in IMAZ, including entry fee and new wetsuit (which did nothing more than make me feel more secure in the water), new helmet, plane ticket, AirBnB, and bike transport. Guess what? Best use of my money as I had a blast. My wife gets a healthy husband. My kids see that they can succeed even with all of the setbacks. I fulfilled a lifelong dream that I didn't think was possible. Once again, it costs money but the value I got from it was worth every penny.


If you don't think you are getting value for your money then stop doing it. Simple.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm not sure it's just the financial cost that's picking up; there also seems to be more of a time commitment for big races than there used to be, and on top of that, the value (related to but not the same as the cost) "feels" lower.

My entre to the sport was similar to many others: cheap (used) road bike, borrowed wetsuit, and running shoes (which I also rode in - as Augy will never let me forget). I showed up at the Muskoka tri on the Saturday, was flummoxed when I saw people obviously getting ready to race on the Saturday night because I thought the race was on the Sunday, and was horrified to find out that there were two races, and my pals had entered me in the LONG distance one on the Sunday.

That race (Jamie Cleveland won it, and I'm pretty sure Dev P. was there, along with a bunch of other guys on this board) is now a WTC 70.3. It costs a lot more (3x? in 18 years) to enter, you can't show up on the Saturday night (so you're paying more for accommodation, and have to rule out anything else that weekend), and you have to spend more time with "corporate" stuff that never used to be there. The food afterwards isn't as good (or plentiful). There's nothing very distinctive about it in terms of the atmosphere; I spend the whole of the swim swimming around people; the bike course is crowded with people who don't seem to race very much, judging by how well they ride. It's no longer such a fun way to spend a day, nor a race that I particularly want to do.

In contrast, there were some open water swim races I did over the summer which I entered because the weather that day was nice: I entered online on the morning of, rode down to the start, swam two races each day for $75 total, had a great meal with friends afterwards, and had the rest of the day to do other stuff. I'm price-insensitive, but I'm very conscious of value, and when you consider the money AND the time required for a half IM, the sameness of many of the WTC courses and the absence of some of the excitement that used to manifest on the day, it's not as appealing an investment as it used to be. In contrast, I couldn't tell you to within a thousand dollars what Otillo cost me to do - but I would do that race again every time it was offered.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Here's one....

https://runsignup.com/...iescom?remMeAttempt=

davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"


WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.


no idea where you live but where I'm at we have this 5 series sprint. $60 per race. Less if you have a county park pass. Even less if you bough 5 pack early in year. Think I paid like $145

https://www.ccprc.com/1507/Charleston-Sprint-Triathlon


xterra triathlon was $60


International distance local tri is $80


obviously WTC gets crazy expensive.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.

I can think of at least half a dozen $75 sprints and reverse sprints within a 1-2 hour drive of my home in the San Gabriel Valley, and a few more that are less than $100. Tinsel Tri in Hemet, Tinman at CSUSB, Possabilities at Loma Linda, Castaic, etc. Someone just getting into the sport in the LA area could easily put together an entire season of races that are $65-100, and don't even require a USAT fee...

"I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10, and I don't know why!"
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Thanks for the reply. I was thinking about this more and drew another parallel to the ski industry and cost being a barrier to entry. I'm not exactly sure how to apply it to triathlon but maybe others could come up with additional ideas. I have worked part time as a children's downhill ski instructor for 15 years. That is another sport where the lift tickets have increased exponentially. Plus one has the cost of rental equipment, inflated food prices at the hill, travel and lodging. I think the barrier to entry is similar to triathlon and certainly caters to those upper class families.

The programs I see resorts offering to try and cater to the family and first time skier include kids ski free programs, free beginner hill areas, discount "first timer" lessons and rental packages. The resorts in my area have sponsored discount night skiing days as well.

One big difference is a majority of first time skiers are children vs triathlon where I'm not sure what the "typical" first timer is. Previously mentioned it seems to be the 35-45 age is a large portion of first time triathletes. I would think the younger age groups we would want to draw from as well.

There are a limited number of races that offer kids tris or other events for children. If there was a way to tie in a "family entry package" at a triathlon event where the whole family could participate in something I think that could draw increased participation. Dad and Mom pay to race and the kids go do X for free or something. Or even at races with tri, du and regular running races all happening. I don't see many that offer a family rate.

Another thought I had was if there was a first timer friendly tri. Maybe sponsored by a local club or in conjunction with a larger race. Club members could offer the use of their old bikes or older equipment they had lying around and anyone that was interested in trying a tri out would have access to some equipment plus some added guidance. Like an organized mentorship or something. Maybe if a seasoned participant chose to help guide the newbie they got a reduced entry or something.

Just a couple of ideas I had.

Ben McMurray
http://www.bnutstrailmix.com "Life is short. B-Nuts." -- Triathlon and Life Anecdotes ---> http://benmcmurray.com/ Northern Michigan Small Farm Venture ---> http://facebook.com/hillvalleymi


Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [TriTamp] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
TriTamp wrote:
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"


WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.


no idea where you live but where I'm at we have this 5 series sprint. $60 per race. Less if you have a county park pass. Even less if you bough 5 pack early in year. Think I paid like $145

https://www.ccprc.com/1507/Charleston-Sprint-Triathlon


xterra triathlon was $60


International distance local tri is $80


obviously WTC gets crazy expensive.


I live in southern California. I wrote that "even an indoor sprint in costs a hundred"...

It's cool that you have those, but aside from 1 college tri, and the pendleton race, good luck finding any within a couple hundred miles of me that are less than 100.

I think our xterra runs 130

Local olys 150+

Dont get me started on wtc.
Last edited by: davejustdave: Dec 6, 16 9:26
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [SLOgoing] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
SLOgoing wrote:
I don't know that expense is really the barrier. It is spending priorities as one factor. The other factor is that this sport is gad damned hard - do you realize how much more and harder we exercise than the vast majority of the population who thinks 30 min x 3 times per week is a job well done? We are not normal people. Who outside of triathletes (not talking about pros, but your average working adult) logs 6-12+ hours per week across 3 sports? Just to be a MOP? We are crazy. Crazy is the barrier. And if others are logging 6-12 hours plus per week in their sport then they are crazy too.

I forgot... what's the question again? Expensive? Pftht. I'd rather spend my money on Tri than all that other consumer stuff out there so I can create a calorie deficit that can afford a taco and beer without creating the belly.

For those of you that ever tried to convince someone to give Triathlon a try, very rarely does the conversation even get to cost before they're out. For the average person it's not the cost, it's the idea they'd run 5km, never mind doing it after a 20km bike ride the don't think they could get through or a 750m swim they want no part of. Bring up Olympic / 70.3 / 140.6 distances and the reaction is worse.

I suspect there's more people in Triathlon like me than you'd think: in their 30s or 40s, out of shape and over weight, stumble upon either running or biking as a way to loose weight and still have a beer / pizza / taco once in a while. The more I bike / run the more I eat and still loose weight. Only after 2-3 years of that does the idea of a triathlon even seem like a possibility.

I very intentionally don't talk about triathlon to non-triathletes because to most people what we do seems as ridiculous as noodling for cat-fish.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm kinda surprised at how little money people say in the poll they are willing to pay for a well-organized local olympic distance race. Are we to believe that so many of you are not willing to pay $90 for a good local Oly race, but are fine with $700-$800 for an Ironman (I know you all complain about it, but you sure are quick to enter in your credit card info)?

How many well-organized oly's are less than $90? It seems like an almost impossible task for a race director.

I do 2-3 big expensive WTC races per year, but the majority of my racing is local sprints and olympics. They are well organized and run, but no where near the type of infrastructure of an ironman race. Costs are $75 to $100 for sprints (depending on how early you sign up) and $90 to $120 for Olympics. I want our good local race directors to remain financially solvent and keep running great races, so I am totally willing to pay these prices.

I voted for $130 to $150.

-------------
Ed O'Malley
www.VeloVetta.com
VeloVetta is developing AERO cycling shoes with CFD and wind tunnel testing.
Instagram • Facebook
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I don't have any doubt in my mind that the cost of entry (equipment) is a significant barrier, has been for some time, and probably always will be going forward.

Ultimately, I think it's more of a perception "problem" than a real one. At least, I don't know that we've defined the problem yet. Triathlon has an image as an expensive sport, and not much is really being done to counter that. Where running and swimming have tried to really cater to helping the beginner (maybe too much?), tri (and cycling, to an extent) have mostly made it a race to the top.

But is this really a problem? Is the underlying issue of cost that triathlon won't grow? If so, does it need to grow? I've not seen alot of pro-growth argument made in a compelling way. I don't need more people to race against. I just need enough people to race so that races exist. I don't want fewer races and less choice, but I will adapt as needed. I realize this is a fine line to walk, and I'd hate for tri to collapse, but it's a niche hobby. Maybe the model tri will follow is sailboat racing. -J

----------------------------------------------------------------
Life is tough. But it's tougher when you're stupid. -John Wayne
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Location, location, location...
All within a few hours from my home in Billings, MT

Razor City Splash & Dash tri (900 yd pool swim, 25K, 5K) $28
Powell (WY) Aquatic Center tri (500 yd pool swim 13 mile bike, 3 mile run) $25
Bighorn Canyon (Lovell, WY) tri (800m, 18K, 5K) $25
Garden City (Missoula, MT) Olympic distance tri $50, USAT sanctioned
406 Duathlon (Billings, MT) (3 mile, 20 mile, 3 mile) $45
Big Sky State Games sprint tri $55

Now I've cherry picked these races as their the most economical in the area. Montana races have started creeping up in price with a few Olys going for $75+ and sprints at $65+.
The lower priced events are hand timed and results are put on a spreadsheet. You get your race t-shirt and, in my experience, a thank you for the race director for coming to the event. Here in Big Sky country chip timing takes place at races that charge more (see 406 Duathlon & State Games tri). In 2016 I raced 8 tris & 1 du for much less than an Ironman entry. Do I get all the bells and whistles? No, and I really don't care. I'll splurge on one big out of state race, otherwise I buy local.

#swimmingmatters
Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.
The Doctor (#12)

Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Anything that involves the gang of WTC, USAT and active.com is a major rip-off. Given that, I still sign up for some of the races because there aren't many other options these days. I would love to see some better grass-roots races and I would definitely support them. I did manage to find the Bayshore 70.4 in Long Beach for next year, $140 registration at the time and I'm happy to support that race.

Something will have to give soon on this whole WTC fleecing issue, I just hope we don't lose the sport.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Warbird] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Warbird wrote:
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.


I can think of at least half a dozen $75 sprints and reverse sprints within a 1-2 hour drive of my home in the San Gabriel Valley, and a few more that are less than $100. Tinsel Tri in Hemet, Tinman at CSUSB, Possabilities at Loma Linda, Castaic, etc. Someone just getting into the sport in the LA area could easily put together an entire season of races that are $65-100, and don't even require a USAT fee...

There are also numerous (at least 6-7....could be more) local community sprint distance events here in the Philly/South Jersey area that charge $65-75k.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.

http://atcendurance.com/

https://runsignup.com/...ePark/LakeWelchTriDu

http://jimmiejohnsontri.racesonline.com/register
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [TriTamp] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
TriTamp wrote:
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"


WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.


no idea where you live but where I'm at we have this 5 series sprint. $60 per race. Less if you have a county park pass. Even less if you bough 5 pack early in year. Think I paid like $145

https://www.ccprc.com/1507/Charleston-Sprint-Triathlon


xterra triathlon was $60


International distance local tri is $80


obviously WTC gets crazy expensive.

Are you in NC/SC TriTamp? I feel like I've seen some posts about races around the Carolina's from you. I'm asking because I'm in Charlotte and looking at options for 2017. I went big this year...at least for me (2x Ironman, 1x 70.3, lots of local/regional stuff) and would still like to do some races in 2017 but need to find some cheaper options. My wife's family is in Charleston so I already have that sprint series on my radar. Would like to get a 70.3 (or 2) in and am looking at White Lake and Lake Logan. Was looking at Mountains to Mainstreet but it's quite a bit more than the previous 2 mentioned.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Wait. Stuff in SoCal is expensive? When did that happen?






Take a short break from ST and read my blog:
http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [RowToTri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"I voted for $130 to $150."

in the mid-80s, when triathlon was in its first boom, a bud lite triathlon series race, oly distance, cost $65. that was on the high side, but it was a good production. pro field. pro purse. using a typical cost of living calculator, that's $145 today.

so, i think $750 is a bit out of whack (alcatraz). but i also think a well-produced oly distance race costing $125 is not out of whack, and a think $150 for a life time race is not out of whack. of course, i don't know what a life time race costs.

trirock: $170 + $15 one-day + online reg?

i'll be publishing in a couple of days on the corporatization (in the worst sense of the word) of triathlon.

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Mc B] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I am with you on this one. I am a 31 year old married PE teacher. I have a crap ton of student loans, but thankfully not as much as many, and I am looking at buying a house and having kids. If I were single and didn't care about saving for the future like when I started I would travel to IM Texas again and drop the $1300 for an IM and hotel and food. But right now it would be selfish for me to go to Kona if I qualified because it would all be around $5k or so. But I am fine with that. I am hoping that I am still interested in this sport for many years and the time will come when I have more money to use for this sport. But spending a months rent/mortgage do go do an IM then add other races on to that is not in the cards.

I will probably race 5-8 times next year with a few WTC 70.3 races maybe but then the rest will be local races which I am ok with. I think the other issue is just endurance sports in general. I wanted to a Thanksgiving 5k/10k around me but I didn't want to spend $50 for a damn sweatshirt and 36 minutes of running! Someone said this earlier but "life is expensive" we are all just at different points in life where we can pick what part of life we want to be the most expensive.


Mc B wrote:
Lots of interesting observations in this thread. I've been involved with tris for 12 years and I just turned 30. I started out by borrowing my dad's bike and entering a local sprint. The cost was maybe $40-50. I think anyone that really wants to get into the sport for cheap, they still can do so. Anyone can be a triathlon participant and continue to do so for not a lot of money, if they're resourceful. But once one wants to compete in a triathlon those costs escalate. The "necessary stuff" we need is overblown for sure, and the used equipment market is thriving but one isn't going to get a basic competitive tri gear set up for less than $1000 and most will spend way more than that.

I have spent a lot of money on triathlon equipment and races. I've spent even more time dedicated to training. I'm at a point where my priorities are shifting and the costs cannot be justified. I think this is a case for many people, especially those in my age range (yes I'm a "Millennial") that are just starting careers, homes, families, debt, etc and don't have six figure jobs. Anyone wanting to get into the sport assumes it requires expensive equipment, on top of the expensive race fees. Plus what kind of time commitment seems to be flaunted as the norm? How many times on ST do I read people claiming they're putting in 10, 15, 20 hrs of training in. Drinking beer, playing video games or watching netflix is easier. And cheaper. But I think the more typical example for my age range is needing to work more to pay off my debt, spend the weekend fixing my house or spending my time with my friends and family.

I raced twice last year, one local event and one WTC event. The reason I didn't race more was two fold. One was cost, the other was competition. I race to be competitive. Not the t-shirts, medals, "experience" and what not. There are very few local races with any kind of deep competitive field. Part of this is because I'm in Northern Michigan. But even in the whole state there are few locally competitive races. WTC has the competitive fields. I don't have much choice. Thus I have been willing to jump through the b.s. active fees, year in advance sign ups, USAT $15 fees, on top of paying a stupid amount of money to race.

I think of the business model of discount airlines (Spirit, etc) and think if there was a way to apply it to tri. The basic cheap price gets me entry to race. All the extra stuff is an add on charge. T-shirt, finisher medal, post race food, everything. We used to be able to write a check and mail in a registration form and avoid active.com at all costs. Why can't we do that any more?

There used to be a decent road racing scene here that I dabbled in for a couple years. $30-$40 entry. Beer at the finish. Prize money on top of that. None of the races I did exist any more. If that business model failed, continuing triathlon participation seems to be a challenge. I would like to see the sport thrive, I'm just unsure how. Part of the issue is the cost. Part of it is the mentality required.

My Blog - Twitter - Instagram - JonnyO Coaching - ICE Friction - SLF Motion - Own Way Apparel -
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [nbaffaro] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
nbaffaro wrote:
The point the comes up for me over and over is that even a used $500.00 bike is still $500.00 dollars. I don't know a lot of people in my life where that is inconsequential money. Good friend of mine is single with no kids and makes 2x what my wife and I make combined,($120,000K) yet he still hems and haws over the costs of bikes.

I saw in the other thread and in this thread a few folks adding up the cost to toe the line at a sprint try and it has been anywhere from $500.00 to $1000.00

Sure you borrowed your dad's/friend's/uncle's bike and had a good time doing one triathlon. You want to do another one but starting looking at bikes and start researching. Tiagra isn't any good you should go at least 105. 105 is good for most people but Ultegra is even better. But, Dura-Ace DI2 is really where it's at. It doesn't seem as if the entry level bike get the respect it deserves. People need to grow into the sport and grow with their love for the training then upgrade. But, yet we've all seen time and time again that upgrading is just a feeling not necessarily a need.

Why did I upgrade bikes, I was exactly the same speed on my new bike as my old bike. But, yet I was compelled for some reason to buy a new bike to move from a mixed group set to full 105. From stock wheels to 30mm Reynolds. From a road bike to a tri bike. From an Orca Wetsuit to a Desoto Wetsuit. From a 910xt to a Fenix. From no power to a stages. From Stages to dual sided power. From this to that.

We are not creating a culture of run what you brung. I feel like people by and large won't participate in a triathlon on a mountain bike or hybrid because they don't feel like they are on equal footing. We need to find a way to bring in more first time racers that aren't quite ready for a full commitment to triathlon. Then as they grow and understand the sport better they can invest in more or better equipment.

My brother wants to do a race(activity) that I've done the past two years. It's a swim/bike/kayak/run. He's balking at YMCA fee's for swimming. I don't see how he'll ever come off the money for a bike or a kayak(lot of speed can be bought in a kayak).

I understand we don't want to water down triathlon to a point it's a glow/color run but if there's not a concerted effort to draw in first timers and newbies then it will continue to shrink.

Just a general reply to this thread. I posted this in the other thread. All the expensive gear is over blown. You can go sub 8 hours on a 20 year old bike that you can get off eBay. This was the first set up to go sub 8 hours at IM....and yes, I get that this was 96 at the peak of the EPO era but still



Seriously a year 2000 Cervelo P2K and a 15 year old pair of HED Jets and you're rocking to your PB IM race. We all need the fancy superbike as much as we NEED to upgrade our vehicles beyond a Toyota Yaris. Yaris does about 98% of the "workload" that people conduct day to day.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
"I voted for $130 to $150."

in the mid-80s, when triathlon was in its first boom, a bud lite triathlon series race, oly distance, cost $65. that was on the high side, but it was a good production. pro field. pro purse. using a typical cost of living calculator, that's $145 today.

so, i think $750 is a bit out of whack (alcatraz). but i also think a well-produced oly distance race costing $125 is not out of whack, and a think $150 for a life time race is not out of whack. of course, i don't know what a life time race costs.

trirock: $170 + $15 one-day + online reg?

i'll be publishing in a couple of days on the corporatization (in the worst sense of the word) of triathlon.

At least TriRock offers a two race combo (Philly and WashDC) for $275 which I took advantage of last year.
Also in the area, Delmo Sports organizes several events where the OLY distance events cost $109 and Atlantic City 70.3 for $299. And CGI does the NJ State Championships OLY for $139. I feel all three organizers do very good jobs and provide a good value for the money. Sure, I've spent bigger bucks to do KONA, IMAZ and a couple of 70.3s and it was worth the "experience", but I'm still of the opinion that you can enjoy the sport for a reasonable cost......compared to other options. You can choose your events and what you want to spend. Do local or do WTC.....your choice.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [captain-tri] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
captain-tri wrote:
For those of you that ever tried to convince someone to give Triathlon a try, very rarely does the conversation even get to cost before they're out. For the average person it's not the cost, it's the idea they'd run 5km, never mind doing it after a 20km bike ride the don't think they could get through or a 750m swim they want no part of. Bring up Olympic / 70.3 / 140.6 distances and the reaction is worse.

I suspect there's more people in Triathlon like me than you'd think: in their 30s or 40s, out of shape and over weight, stumble upon either running or biking as a way to loose weight and still have a beer / pizza / taco once in a while. The more I bike / run the more I eat and still loose weight. Only after 2-3 years of that does the idea of a triathlon even seem like a possibility.

I very intentionally don't talk about triathlon to non-triathletes because to most people what we do seems as ridiculous as noodling for cat-fish.

This for sure. I do a local pool sprint tri every year that goes by my house - $75 entry fee - and they just had their 37th annual race. Every year I see swimmers WALKING up and down the pool after their first 100 yards so they can finish their 900 yard swim. Then on the bike I see them dismount so they can have a sip from their water bottle and at the turn around they have a snack (like pretzels). Not to mention how many of them are walking their bike up the hills. I've even seen beach cruisers on the course. And lots of walmart bikes. Only on the run do I see the participants actually running their 3.1 miles (except for up the hill). Every year I get comments from folks that I'm one of those crazy triathlete, to which I respond, well, you are a crazy triathlete now too! Congrats of finishing! There are a lot of locals who do this every year as their 1 triathlon and major accomplishment. Its great.

However, how do we extract the athletes of the world and pull them into triathlon? My son is a perfect example (age 20). He's peaked out in his sport of passion - water polo - as a college kid. He won't play after college. He swims a sub 0:50 100y and does 10x100 sets on the 1:10 no problem. He can run a 10k in <45 minutes with no training (the local color fun run thing). He rode hubby's bike and put down some serious power on a quick 20 miler - blew hubby's numbers out of the water (on a dare from Dad).

So, I'm thinking - why doesn't this kid do triathlons? Because cross-fit is cooler. And his friends are doing cross-fit. And it makes him a bad ass to do cross-fit. Mom will foot the bill for the gear - I'm one of those moms. Cost isn't the issue for my kid. Cool-kid factor is the barrier. He's an athlete and doesn't sneeze at daily workouts and pushing to his limits. He just does it in a different sport. (crossing my fingers he listens to mum when I suggest he give tri a try). I've failed as a mother.... I tried.

Hillary Trout
San Luis Obispo, CA

Born a swimmer, borrowed a bike, laced up some runners, and the rest just fell into place for a solid MOP life.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [miketri7] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
miketri7 wrote:
TriTamp wrote:
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"


WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.


no idea where you live but where I'm at we have this 5 series sprint. $60 per race. Less if you have a county park pass. Even less if you bough 5 pack early in year. Think I paid like $145

https://www.ccprc.com/1507/Charleston-Sprint-Triathlon


xterra triathlon was $60


International distance local tri is $80


obviously WTC gets crazy expensive.


Are you in NC/SC TriTamp? I feel like I've seen some posts about races around the Carolina's from you. I'm asking because I'm in Charlotte and looking at options for 2017. I went big this year...at least for me (2x Ironman, 1x 70.3, lots of local/regional stuff) and would still like to do some races in 2017 but need to find some cheaper options. My wife's family is in Charleston so I already have that sprint series on my radar. Would like to get a 70.3 (or 2) in and am looking at White Lake and Lake Logan. Was looking at Mountains to Mainstreet but it's quite a bit more than the previous 2 mentioned.

yes. I'm in mount pleasant. charleston sprint series is good. no frills. just basic. but it's fun. there's TryCharleston (sprint and tri). They previously had a half distance but not anymore. I haven't done the TryCharleston so not sure how good it is but it's literally around the corner from me. There's Kiawah Island Triathlon International distance. That was good. Little more expense. I paid $99 last year with early reg. Now it's like $125 to register. In the future I'm looking at White Lake, Lake Logan. Heard good things about Mountains to Mainstreet although logistics on that one seem poor. If you like off road triathlons I would suggest Xterra Myrtle Beach. It was $60 and I thought the event was very cool even though I'm terrible at mountain biking. Toughman South Carolina is new. Not cheap but less than WTC. $250. Next year is my first IM so I've got my year sort of planned out

Charleston sprint series (I'll probably do at least 3 of those)
TryCharleston International Distance
Rev3 Williamsburg
IM Chattanooga.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
We added racing to our monthly budget, so yeah, it's something that costs enough to be noticed.

My wife and I are both professionals. With no kids and a responsible lifestyle relative to salary, we are fairly comfortable. But I still had to wait for a really good clearance deal to get a tri bike. Of course then there's the money for upgrades, and other equipment (tri suit, watch, bike fitting, etc). Nevermind making the jump from racing on a roadie to a tri bike, hence the aero helmet, a proper fitting saddle, hydration solutions, another bike computer, pedals, etc etc. Then there's the roof racks for the car, a transition bag and so on. Even re-purposing items you already have (cut up yoga mats as transition mats, and a standard duffle as a transition bag, etc) doesn't preclude having to buy some gear.

But those expenses aren't necessarily ongoing, so once you launch, it's about the race fees -- for me, about $100/per race, at Oly and Sprint distance -- but all of the following too:
  • gym membership (pool and treadmill access for Dec-April)
  • swim membership/lessons fees
  • physio (bi-weekly for 6-10 months, sometimes weekly)
  • massage (at least monthly, if not bi-weekly)
  • gear that wears out - socks, HR straps, etc
  • consumable gear like chain lube, tires, tubes, CO2, batteries, etc
  • race & training-specific nutrition
  • gas/hotel/meals for travel races (we budget for two per year, plus three "day trip" races)
  • running shoes (minimum 2 pair per year), not to mention orthotics
  • bike tune-ups

It really adds up. Quite a bit. We can't fool ourselves, this isn't a sport for the poor. Even working on the premise that you buy only what you need (why have a $10000 bike if you're 20 pounds overweight and only race sprints a couple times per summer?) when you need it and get it on sale whenever possible, it adds up.

Someone mentioned hockey and other sports. My multisport related costs related to sustaining a 4 month season (of 5 races) are easily 4x what I pay to play hockey year round, if not more. Even if I attribute some physio and nutrition to hockey. This is fine by me, I've chosen this. But I appreciate what it means, every single race, to shell out the dough not only to start, but to have been able to afford the things required to be able to finish.

(At least with all the damn race shirts I don't have to buy technical shirts for another decade. Ha.)

#RunBikeRun #LearningToSwim
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Warbird] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Warbird wrote:
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.

I can think of at least half a dozen $75 sprints and reverse sprints within a 1-2 hour drive of my home in the San Gabriel Valley, and a few more that are less than $100. Tinsel Tri in Hemet, Tinman at CSUSB, Possabilities at Loma Linda, Castaic, etc. Someone just getting into the sport in the LA area could easily put together an entire season of races that are $65-100, and don't even require a USAT fee...

You listed 4. I'd found the college ones, but beyond that? How much are the bonelli ones these days?

Yeah, we have a few that are 90 if you sign up 9-10 months out, but how many people do that?

The way I got into triathlon was I did one on a whim when in college. Fiesta del sol. I think it was 30 bucks, including a t shirt.

That was something I could afford as a student. I could also afford 50 bucks for an oly now and then once out of school. Since that time, wages have been pretty damn stagnant compared to inflation, and the cost of races has far outstripped inflation.

I can't see a college student, or ANY young person for that matter, working part time being able to afford 120 for a race, let alone a 5000 dollar bike or even a 1500 dollar bike. Not on 11 bucks an hour, yet those young people are the exact ones that the sport needs to be attracting to stay viable.

The age group distribution bears it out. Peolle don't make enough money to get into the sport until they are at least moderatly successful financially wise.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Mc B] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Mc B wrote:
Thanks for the reply. I was thinking about this more and drew another parallel to the ski industry and cost being a barrier to entry. I'm not exactly sure how to apply it to triathlon but maybe others could come up with additional ideas. I have worked part time as a children's downhill ski instructor for 15 years. That is another sport where the lift tickets have increased exponentially. Plus one has the cost of rental equipment, inflated food prices at the hill, travel and lodging. I think the barrier to entry is similar to triathlon and certainly caters to those upper class families.

The programs I see resorts offering to try and cater to the family and first time skier include kids ski free programs, free beginner hill areas, discount "first timer" lessons and rental packages. The resorts in my area have sponsored discount night skiing days as well.

One big difference is a majority of first time skiers are children vs triathlon where I'm not sure what the "typical" first timer is. Previously mentioned it seems to be the 35-45 age is a large portion of first time triathletes. I would think the younger age groups we would want to draw from as well.

There are a limited number of races that offer kids tris or other events for children. If there was a way to tie in a "family entry package" at a triathlon event where the whole family could participate in something I think that could draw increased participation. Dad and Mom pay to race and the kids go do X for free or something. Or even at races with tri, du and regular running races all happening. I don't see many that offer a family rate.

Another thought I had was if there was a first timer friendly tri. Maybe sponsored by a local club or in conjunction with a larger race. Club members could offer the use of their old bikes or older equipment they had lying around and anyone that was interested in trying a tri out would have access to some equipment plus some added guidance. Like an organized mentorship or something. Maybe if a seasoned participant chose to help guide the newbie they got a reduced entry or something.

Just a couple of ideas I had.

I like some of these ideas and the bolded hits home with me. My 8 year old did his first tri this past summer, really liked it and is asking to do more. The options for him to participate are low however with only a few races/year within a 2 hour drive. There is not much being done to encourage young racers and try to turn them into life-long participants. Additionally-the fact that I need to pay $12-15 for a USAT 1 day license for him and it is not comped as an incentive is short-sighted.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
our resident provocateur, publiusvalerius, originated a thread that had - if you looked way down deep - a valid and timely premise: that for many our sport has gotten out of reach financially.

that thread spawned a number of offshoots, but the OP himself wrote at some point along the way something to the effect of: we are now having a discussion.

if the discussion is that there are unavoidable, systemic, required costs that attach to anyone who wants to race triathlon, and that these costs push people away, i have no quarrel with that. further, i agree with that, and have a number of articles in publishing queue on this topic.

i am eager to hear what you all have to say.

Based on the line graph on the front page, one could easily suggest that all we need is an american to survive cancer and win a bike race in Europe 7 times straight again. That line couldn't correlate with the rise and fall of Mr. Armstrong any better. Obviously the situation is not that black and white and is a bit more complicated but the boom in the 2000's was much more about that one guy than the other things that were listed in my opinion.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [andrewnova] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
5 years ago I'd wonder if you had even 1 youth event put on within 4 hour drive.

What part of country do you live in? Almost every major city has some type of youth tri programming these days.

ETA: currently there are 52 registered junior teams that race junior races in US.

-USAT L2 coach, M.S. Exercise Physiology
https://www.instagram.com/alloutmultisport
http://www.aomultisport.com
Last edited by: B_Doughtie: Dec 6, 16 12:03
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [clutchy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
clutchy wrote:
spot wrote:
I'm not sure I agree, but it depends on the context. If we are talking about WTC Ironman racing, then that becomes a pretty steep price when one considers the entry fee, minimum hotel stays, etc. Oftentimes, with meals and hotels and entry fee, a single race can easily hit $3000. However, in many parts of the country, like SW Ohio, there is a vibrant local race scene. One can do many races without even needing a hotel if you're willing to get up early and drive to the race. If you stick to independent HIMs, Olys, and sprints, one can do a lot of racing for the price of one WTC IM entry fee...a whole season most likely. And gear is up to the person. I raced 3 seasons on a road bike I already had before I bought my first tri bike. So I think that the notion that triathlon is out of reach of many is really not true; unless we are talking about expensive long course events, and then I can definitely see that argument.


SW Ohio racing FTW!
True story. We have a summer race series for $15/race, and ALL the cool kids show up. Also, shout out to HFP.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
So the first tri boom peaked in 1988 at 64K according to Dan's front page story. I was 29 then working for peanuts at a weekly newspaper. I did 12 tris that summer (9 in Ohio) in a Speedo on a steel Centurion with Boone DH bars and a disc cover. Because I covered races for Triathlon Today I got a lot of comp entries, but I could have afforded one or two race entries a month without the comps, probably including Chicago USTS, the Muncie Endurathon HIM and the Tri-Fed National Championship at Wilkes-Barre. I had a blast that summer, so I guess I don't really need to worry about participant numbers dropping until they fall below 64K again (from 475K now)?
Last edited by: Mark Lemmon: Dec 6, 16 12:07
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [PubliusValerius] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
PubliusValerius wrote:

Anyways, with this loss in race options, we also lose the most viable platform to bring new athletes/participants into the sport.

I don't think this is true. The shorter-distance independent races you referred to are the most viable platform to bring in new participants. I don't have numbers to back this up by my experience suggests that the overwhelming majority of first-timers do a local sprint or maybe an oly as their first race. Very few start out with a 140.6 or even 70.3, and those who do are often "bucket list" types who want to sat they did an actual Ironman. The real problem is the misguided but prevalent perception that 140.6 (and specifically IM-branded 140.6/Kona) is the only accomplishment in triathlon worth pursuing. Ironman Marketing Department for the win.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Alvin Tostig] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Alvin Tostig wrote:
PubliusValerius wrote:
Minor here, but it doesn't take a degree or even much of a brain to figure out that this is about winners and losers in a market economy and the winner is WTC IRONMAN and the loser is everyone else. As consumers, well, many of us will simply be priced out of the sport as WTC continues its march around the globe, and the influx of new participants will all but dry up due to the rising cost of entry.

Piling on here, but what I've seen is a significant number of folks passing up racing at the local $50-$100 sprints and olys in order to get in a WTC IM. I've heard some say words to the effect, "I'm not going to that sprint any more. It used to only cost $40 and now it's $50!" Then they shell out a couple of grand for a WTC IM along with the travel expenses. The local (relatively inexpensive) races are struggling. Without any science based study on my part, it sure seems like this will eventually have an impact on participation in WTC events.

The anti-WTC arguments completely miss the point at why total participation is declining. Very few people enter the sport with an ironman as their goal or as their first triathlon. They most likely enter a sprint triathlon. Some will then race sprints and Olympics, move up to Ironman 70.3 and then an Ironman and quit. I know several of them. Others will enter the sport, and do local races only for a number of years and then quit the sport. I know a lot more of these people than the former. The sheer difficulty of the sport, and the constant self-imposed pressure to train eventually wears them out and they decide they would rather sleep in. There has always been a steady flow of people into and out of the sport. And the drain that we are experiencing is not the outflow as much as it is a reduction of the inflow. Ten years ago, triathlon was the in-sport to do. Everyone was flocking to it and newbies vastly exceeded the number leaving the sport. The swim was just as much a barrier 10 years ago. The equipment costs were just as daunting. And race entry fees on an inflation adjusted basis weren't much different either (with the exception of USAT/active fees which have vastly outstripped CPI). This all suggests that the problem is that people have moved on to other sports or activities. The internecine warfare regarding WTC and the rest of the sport is as irrelevant as it is counterproductive to learning why fewer people are no longer interested in entering their first sprint triathlon...the gateway to the sport.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.

Cornwall, Ontario
$75CDN for Olympic distance. Equal to about $50 USD. These are inclusive of online reg fees and insurances.

$2200 Prize money to boot!

No we don't sell out 144 spots we reserve (reserved racks) for the Olympic distance. Our Sprint distance does sell out ($700 prize money).

#racelocal

------------------------
Cornwall (Ontario) Triathlon
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
davejustdave wrote:
Warbird wrote:
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.


I can think of at least half a dozen $75 sprints and reverse sprints within a 1-2 hour drive of my home in the San Gabriel Valley, and a few more that are less than $100. Tinsel Tri in Hemet, Tinman at CSUSB, Possabilities at Loma Linda, Castaic, etc. Someone just getting into the sport in the LA area could easily put together an entire season of races that are $65-100, and don't even require a USAT fee...


You listed 4. I'd found the college ones, but beyond that? How much are the bonelli ones these days?

Yeah, we have a few that are 90 if you sign up 9-10 months out, but how many people do that?

Castaic is a 2 race series. There's also Race on the Base in Los Alamitos which is currently $85 but was $75 earlier, Apple Valley (currently $40 for 2017!), Laguna Niguel is currently $85 but was as low as $65

Bonelli Series until the end of December is $265 for the Express distance, and $295 for the Championship for all 3 races.

So there's 10 races within 1-2 hours of LA that are $40-$100 if you register early, and most are still under $100 right up to race day. And except for Bonelli, I don't think any of these require USAT fees. I'm sure if I dig around, I could find even more, but these are just the ones I already knew about...

"I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 10, and I don't know why!"
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [B_Doughtie] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
B_Doughtie wrote:
5 years ago I'd wonder if you had even 1 youth event put on within 4 hour drive.

What part of country do you live in? Almost every major city has some type of youth tri programming these days.

ETA: currently there are 52 registered junior teams that race junior races in US.


I live in Cleveland.

I'm talking about races my child can participate to determine if it's something he would like to pursue more without getting too serious right now. I looked at several of those junior race teams and many seemed to be geared towards teenager/high school kids. A couple of those geared for kids under 11 showed pictures of the kids in nicer kits than I have, which I think gets back into the whole cost/perception equation.

Edit: Just looked at your youth training program and that seems more in line with what I think would help engage young kids. Make triathlon part of a fun & healthy lifestyle.
Last edited by: andrewnova: Dec 6, 16 12:32
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [andrewnova] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Contact Tim Edwards there in Cleveland. He has more of an older group but he may know of other youth specific programs.

-USAT L2 coach, M.S. Exercise Physiology
https://www.instagram.com/alloutmultisport
http://www.aomultisport.com
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
My two cents as a millennial.

I think Slowtwitch is going to give skewed results.

This is my first year in the sport. I'm 29, a graduate student and have 3 kids all under the age of 10. The guys I train with are all over 45 and well-established.

I am probably different than most of my peers in that I don't mind waking up at 4am and putting in 2hours of training before the family wakes up.

Cost. But the added $15/race or $50/year seems disconnected (to me) from the racing. $75-$150 of race entry fees is tough each month--so I only did 3 this past year (edit: 3 sprint distances about $80 each), one of which was paid for by a non-profit I am affiliated.

None of these costs include my pool membership.

This problem isn't only for students. That's a good chunk of disposable income for a lot of people my age, or with 3 kids and college debt.

I generally hate running races, but I did more of those last year because the prices are much cheaper, lower fees and no added costs. Plus I go with people I know.

Team Semper Fi
just your average age grouper . no one special . no scientific knowledge . just having fun.
Last edited by: way2sloow: Dec 6, 16 15:27
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [way2sloow] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
way2sloow wrote:
My two cents as a millennial.

I think Slowtwitch is going to give skewed results.

This is my first year in the sport. I'm 29, a graduate student and have 3 kids all under the age of 10. The guys I train with are all over 45 and well-established.

I am probably different than most of my peers in that I don't mind waking up at 4am and putting in 2hours of training before the family wakes up.

Cost. But the added $15/race or $50/year seems disconnected (to me) from the racing. $75-$150 of race entry fees is tough each month--so I only did 3 this past year (edit: 3 sprint distances about $80 each), one of which was paid for by a non-profit I am affiliated.

None of these costs include my pool membership.

This problem isn't only for students. That's a good chunk of disposable income for a lot of people my age, or with 3 kids and college debt.

I generally hate running races, but I did more of those last year because the prices are much cheaper, lower fees and no added costs. Plus I go with people I know.

You are absolutely right. You are very different than most (not good or bad). Unless you are a trust fund baby, you are not the target market for most people selling things.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I have a reasonable income and can afford to participate in triathlon in the mid market range. I no longer have to look in the couch cushions to be able to buy new tubes.

Even for me, and I'm reasonably sensible with my money, I budget $5k for an IM race as a minimum. No, the race isn't $5k, but if I don't do an IM race, I have an extra $5k in the chequeing account at the end of the year. There's squad memberships, coaching, tires an tubes, gels etc for training, kit, travel, accommodation, food while away, etc. For the X months I build up for an IM, I spend more than enough according to TriSpouse.

People complain about race fees, but I don't care. It it's $500 for an IM or $1000, the difference is only 10% of the overall cost. I can cover +/- 10% and that's not going to stop me doing an IM race. The other 90% is the hard part. Every season there's new kit, a new wetsuit, or a new bike every few years. Amortized over several seasons, that gets included in the $5k to do a race.

If you're a lawyer or fund manager, your budget is probably higher, but the entry fee isn't what keeps you away.

For me, as a retired triathlete, part of the issue was boredom. Even here in NZ it got boring. IMNZ always took the easy option of that awful ride to Reparoa. It would be harder to organize, but going around Lake Taupo would have stirred the pot and made it more interesting. IMNZ was why I started doing Challenge Wanaka. Wanaka is way more interesting. And it's why I did Rotorua 1/2 IM so many times. Hooksie moved from Taupo to Rotorua. Every year the course is a little bit different. He knows to mix it up to keep people interested.

Sure tri now fits into the outdoor sport bubble that's going on but lotsa people have got bored with tri on it's own. They might still be predominantly triatletes, but they are doing fewer tri's and mixing it up with bike races, open water swims and off road events. They still spend the same money on their hobby each year, but spread it around a bit more, to be more interesting and fun.

I'm turned away by the Event organizers. I remember doing IMNZ 98. It was like a family. The organizers made you feel special and part of a group and they treated us like hero's. In 2009 IMNZ (my last IMNZ) felt like WTC was just reaching into my wallet and making a pig of themselves. That turned me off. That helped push me to Challenge.

I've never been able to do short distance stuff. I kept going back to Rotorua half because Hooksie the RD always makes you feel special, loved and while he punishes with his course layouts, he loves the racers. THAT keeps you coming back, but boring annually repetitive cash grabs masquerading as races pushes people away from the sport.

TriDork

"Happiness is a myth. All you can hope for is to get laid once in a while, drunk once in a while and to eat chocolate every day"
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [B.McMaster] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Yea. I know we're not necessarily marketed to, but I was referring to the declining population in my age group and that ST polls will probably not be indicative of my AG.

Team Semper Fi
just your average age grouper . no one special . no scientific knowledge . just having fun.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [way2sloow] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
way2sloow wrote:
Yea. I know we're not necessarily marketed to, but I was referring to the declining population in my age group and that ST polls will probably not be indicative of my AG.

I think you nailed it.

The problem.the industry is missing is that they NEED to be marketing to you, not for your money today, but for your money 5 years from now.

Right now they market to the one and done crowd, which self limits.

If I scaled what I made when I started tris to todays dollars, I couldn't afford to try the sport. Simple as that.

Look at the differential between a starter and top of the line bike in 1996 and a now.

I mean, seventeen thousand for a bike? Really?
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
" the cost of equipment is high,"

It is, but not if you're not buying new stuff.

I haven't done a tri for five years and haven't bought any new equipment since then. In fact I sold most of my stuff on ebay. Now all I have is an 8 yr old Kestrel Talon and a pair of clip on aero bars that sit on the shelf in case I ever decide to do another tri. When I was doing tris, I was buying/selling equipment all the time. But that was part of the hobby. Like Diabolo, I still swim, bike and run (although not much running) but don't feel the need to rush out and purchase the latest gizmo since I'm not racing any more. The cost of entry fees for local races were never much of a problem but we spent $17,000 when my wife did ITU long course in Australia (albeit we spent a month touring OZ and five nights on a scuba live aboard) and going to Kona when she won the lottery wasn't cheap either. Bottom line is that we spent a lot of money on tri. Ironically, my wife is still racing, but only a couple of local sprints a year and now complains about the $80. entry fees. She's also still racing on her old P2K that took her to Oz and Kona and her only purchases might be running shoes or a new tri suit. .

I became a bit of a gear head when doing tris, but for me, that was part of the fun although I spent more money than I had to. Now my mad money is all going into restoring an old Triumph sports car vintage racer.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Life costs money.

Racing tri's IMO is priced right....it's the time comment is what drives people away.

The cost is just a easy excuse.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Beachboy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"Racing tri's IMO is priced right.....The cost is just an easy excuse"

That's not true at all. Lots of people can't afford even the basic equipment to get started, let alone other associated costs. That's why running will always be the great equalizer, whereas triathlon will remain the domain only for those that can afford it. Worldwide, that's actually a small percentage. As I posted earlier, when was the last time you heard of a third world person winning a marathon. Now ask the same thing about an IM.

But I agree the time commitment is also a major reason why people stay away.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [trytri3] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
trytri3 wrote:
It seems to me that we are all focused on "cost" versus "value" which is wholly subjective. This whole forum throws up their hands whenever they think something is expensive based on their personal ruler. I swear, if it were up to ST, we would only have restaurants that serve chipped beef and drive Honda Accords because, darn it, they get the job done. I happen to believe, every once in a while, paying for a great filet is the reason why I work my ass off. And I pair it with a nice bottle of cab. Guess what? I think that was the best "value" because of the experience I just had. Do I do that a lot? No. Was it expensive? Yup. Did I enjoy it? You're damn right I did.

So I paid a shit-ton of money to participate in IMAZ, including entry fee and new wetsuit (which did nothing more than make me feel more secure in the water), new helmet, plane ticket, AirBnB, and bike transport. Guess what? Best use of my money as I had a blast. My wife gets a healthy husband. My kids see that they can succeed even with all of the setbacks. I fulfilled a lifelong dream that I didn't think was possible. Once again, it costs money but the value I got from it was worth every penny.


If you don't think you are getting value for your money then stop doing it. Simple.

I totally agree. If you are into Nascar or F-1 racing, you cannot buy a car anything like what the pros drive. (Well, almost nobody) If you are into aviation, most of the coolest aircraft are not for sale at any price.

But if you are into triathlon or bike racing, you don't have to be a multi-millionaire to ride something exactly like the very best in the world ride. That is pretty cool. Sure, you don't NEED that P-5X, you can be competitive without it. But for those of use who love the racing AND the gear it is awesome that it is as least possible to buy the best bike in the world.

I can't personally justify spending that much, but I still want to upgrade my 2008 P3C sometime soon. You only live once.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Lots of people can't afford food/housing but they have money for pot, cigs and beer......

But for the middle class (world wide) Tri racing in very affordable. It just where the direct their expendable income....Tri, golf, bike racing, horseback riding, scuba diving, etc. All activities for those with expendable income. It has always been that and will continue.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Beachboy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"But for the middle class (world wide) Tri racing in very affordable."

Much of the world doesn't even have a middle class, just lots of poor and a few rich in many societies. Most third world people can not afford what it would cost to purchase equipment. They likely make less than that in a year. I don't know why you're arguing the fact that lots of people can't afford triathlon, even in 1st world countries many people can't afford it. Were you brought up in a bubble?
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [RobAllen] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
RobAllen wrote:
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.


Cornwall, Ontario
$75CDN for Olympic distance. Equal to about $50 USD. These are inclusive of online reg fees and insurances.

$2200 Prize money to boot!

No we don't sell out 144 spots we reserve (reserved racks) for the Olympic distance. Our Sprint distance does sell out ($700 prize money).

#racelocal

Perfect example of a super value local event that caters to all levels of athletes and huge bang for the $$$ and attention to detail in many cases better than a WTC event and you really feel like a 'GUEST' of the local community. Thank You Rob and team. I'll eventually get back there! A race run by a community of athletes for the community. It puts the soul back in sport.

Dev
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
In 2007 I paid $35 for an Olympic triathlon. In 2015 same race was over $100. Ironman in 2009 $400. In 2015 I paid over $700. The cost of goods has not gone up that percent. The cost of other entertainment has not gone up that much nor has the price of a good meal after that entertainment, nor cars, gas, plane tickets, hotels, etc. I used to do several races in a year and use some as training races. It was fun and a good way to keep fluid on transitions and pacing. I could continue this but I would have to fork over three times as much, if not more. No thanks. I'd rather spend that difference on a trip to someplace warm in winter...so I can train and then park my behind on the beach. Easy decision. Now it is one or two key races in summer and maybe one, or this winter, a 5k series that was a good deal, to use as part of my training.

What I notice is that communities or cities are making it more difficult to run a race because goodness, people nearby might be inconvenienced for a few hours. So maybe they are upping their fees. While I realize there may also be cost for police and medical support, the price increases are beyond inflation.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Beachboy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Beachboy wrote:
Life costs money.

Racing tri's IMO is priced right....it's the time comment is what drives people away.

The cost is just a easy excuse.

Lololol. BULLSHOT.

Try digging ditches at minimum wage.

Triathletes as a group, and slowtwitchers as a specific group, are so soft and out of touch it's hilarious. 99.9% of them couldn't hack it at the average blue collar job.

Saying that people who can't afford triathlon just are not tough enough or lack the ability to commit? Hahhahahhahahahahhahahhha

*politics warning*

That kind of ignorance of the average american is the EXACT stuff that lost Hillary the election.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
For an interesting juxtaposition to tri being a relatively middle class sport, check out the viceland doco on the Robertson twins and their lives in Kenya. Check out how poor their accommodation has been.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Sorry if it's been already said, but my biggest expense (beyond IM entry and travel) is food.

The massive amounts of food I eat is ridiculous, and so is the price tag. I'm not buying anything super fancy either, I'm not shopping at Whole Foods. But I do try to eat semi healthy, fruits and veggies are crazy expensive. I make a smoothie once a day and I buy any fruit that is in sale for it. If it tastes like shit I put more peanut butter in it haha. Add in protein powder, add in whatever electrolyte mix you like to use. Cliff bars, gels... you get the point!

Eating healthy is very unfriendly to the wallet. IMO
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [madonebug] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
madonebug wrote:
In 2015 I paid over $700.

So perhaps do 10+ shorter races for the price instead. That's what I always do.

-------------------
Madison photographer Timothy Hughes | Instagram
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
It also depends on sponsorship. If they've been able to find some good money from elsewhere, they can push it down a little. I don't want to pay insane prices for something slathered in ads though.

One other thing that reduces the cost of participation - no prize money. Only six people benefit directly from prizes; for the rest, it's a diversion from their pocket to someone else's.

'It never gets easier, you just get crazier.'
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I've lived in Indonesia and East Timor. Both have an upper class that can afford to buy new Jeeps and Toyotas, and who are now aspiring to challenge themselves and spend money on recreation.

It's the reason that Dalian bought WTC.

(Yes, it feels wrong that people are hungry while others spend multiples of annual income on these things, but poverty in our own countries doesn't stop us doing the same.)

'It never gets easier, you just get crazier.'
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [tridork] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Hooksie is a legend. I forget what I paid for last year's Rotorua, but it was definitely less than $200. For a very well organised race. (No prize money though - Gomez will have to be happy with a plush toy.)

And that included a nice hoodie.

'It never gets easier, you just get crazier.'
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [devashish_paul] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
devashish_paul wrote:
RobAllen wrote:
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.


Cornwall, Ontario
$75CDN for Olympic distance. Equal to about $50 USD. These are inclusive of online reg fees and insurances.

$2200 Prize money to boot!

No we don't sell out 144 spots we reserve (reserved racks) for the Olympic distance. Our Sprint distance does sell out ($700 prize money).

#racelocal

Perfect example of a super value local event that caters to all levels of athletes and huge bang for the $$$ and attention to detail in many cases better than a WTC event and you really feel like a 'GUEST' of the local community. Thank You Rob and team. I'll eventually get back there! A race run by a community of athletes for the community. It puts the soul back in sport.

Dev

I wish we still had races like that in southern Ca.

I think it's the fault of the non triathletes as much of the triathlon community here though
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [georged] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
georged wrote:
Hooksie is a legend. I forget what I paid for last year's Rotorua, but it was definitely less than $200. For a very well organised race. (No prize money though - Gomez will have to be happy with a plush toy.)

And that included a nice hoodie.

Yup, Hooksie is a Legend!

My son was training for Rotorua with me a few years ago. He was hit by a truck a few weeks before the race. I called Hooksie. First he asked if my son was ok, etc etc. Then, before I could even ask, he asked me if I'd like my money and my sons money refunded or just transferred to next year (we transferred).

Race Directors around the world should just do what Hooksie does and the world would be a better place.

Hookise should attack world hunger and he'd have it sorted by the weekend!

TriDork

"Happiness is a myth. All you can hope for is to get laid once in a while, drunk once in a while and to eat chocolate every day"
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
LOL, I hear you, but Speak for yourself......I'm Joe lunch pail. I work construction. I've got a saying "if you need strength training, you need a harder job". The best thing about what I do, even the entry level "ditch digger" make more then then some college boy with a BS degree.

But I could de-rail the topic about how many make the mistake of a going to collage when a simple plumber will out pace their income, and work a lot less. Billing rate for a plumber in my area is $135 an hour, making the base rate around 40-65 per hour. Do the math, making an easy 6 figure career without overtime. Our little company can't fill positions. We've had openings for 2 plus years we can't fill.

This "working class" SOB thinks Tri racing is priced right. People are just becoming fat and lazy. Racing "RBS" is a lot harder then most fat slobs will invest thier time.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
davejustdave wrote:
devashish_paul wrote:
RobAllen wrote:
davejustdave wrote:
I keep seeing people write "75 dollar entries, 60 dollar entries"

WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE 60 DOLLAR RACES?!?!?!?!?

Even an indoor reverse sprint in socal is over a hundred these days.


Cornwall, Ontario
$75CDN for Olympic distance. Equal to about $50 USD. These are inclusive of online reg fees and insurances.

$2200 Prize money to boot!

No we don't sell out 144 spots we reserve (reserved racks) for the Olympic distance. Our Sprint distance does sell out ($700 prize money).

#racelocal


Perfect example of a super value local event that caters to all levels of athletes and huge bang for the $$$ and attention to detail in many cases better than a WTC event and you really feel like a 'GUEST' of the local community. Thank You Rob and team. I'll eventually get back there! A race run by a community of athletes for the community. It puts the soul back in sport.

Dev


I wish we still had races like that in southern Ca.

I think it's the fault of the non triathletes as much of the triathlon community here though

go south of the border....
http://web.asdeporte.com/deporte/triatlon/


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [tridork] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
tridork wrote:

Race Directors around the world should just do what Hooksie does and the world would be a better place.

Truth. Dan, you should interview Hooksie about what he does (run the best race in the world).

'It never gets easier, you just get crazier.'
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Beachboy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Beachboy wrote:
The best thing about what I do, even the entry level "ditch digger" make more then then some college boy with a BS degree.

.


If you are paying your ditch diggers 135 an hour, hell, even 60 an hour, I WANT TO COME WORK FOR YOU! Manual labor in Ca goes for minimum wage. That's what? $11 an hour now? 10? I know I couldn't survive on that, and I'd bet dimes to dollars 99.99 percent of triathletes out there couldn't eithier.

Those people doing that kind of work work harder than anyone else out there just to pay their bills, being scared of hard work and commitment are not the reason they won't do triathlons. Not even close. The cost is. There are way, way, waaaayyyy more people earning that kind of dough than there are making 60-135 an hour, yet triathlon is increasingly moving towards exclusively marketing to the people in that $60+++/hr demographic.

But we wonder why numbers drop? You want growth you have to widen the demo you market to, not increasingly narrower it by continually raising the bar to entry.

Take a look at the census data on income, look at the average household income (55k for a 2 income house IIRC), and compare it to the average triathlete income per USAT (yeah yeah, I know, survey bias, blah blah blah math). They are so disparete it's plain to see this is a richer than average person sport.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Dillon152] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Sorry if it's been already said, but my biggest expense (beyond IM entry and travel) is food.

---

The girth of the average person, Americans and Europeans in particular, tells me that food in not a triathlon barrier.






Take a short break from ST and read my blog:
http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Tri-Banter] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Maybe the girth of the average person is skewed by those who opt in eating cheap meals at McDonald's? Or live a sedatary lifestyle?
I'd think that the majority of the people here have nutritional requirements that go above and beyond the average person. My average food expense is 75% greater when I'm in full training. The cost is not only on the amount of food, but also quality.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Dillon152] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Let's change tactics here:

There are close to zero people in the world who are thinking about getting into triathlon and stop, thinking, "Well, I have all the gear I need to train and race but I'm not going to do a triathlon because of the cost of food." Eating healthy is not that difficult nor expensive. You don't need that much extra food when training for an event like a sprint or an olympic distance tri. You also don't need anything fancy like sports drinks, bars, blocks, or gels (hell, I did an IM on peanut butter sandwiches and course offerings). A vast majority of people, including triathletes (and myself), could go for a calorie deficit. The cost of food is not discouraging people from getting into sport or staying in sport.






Take a short break from ST and read my blog:
http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [spot] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
spot wrote:
I'm not sure I agree, but it depends on the context. If we are talking about WTC Ironman racing, then that becomes a pretty steep price when one considers the entry fee, minimum hotel stays, etc. Oftentimes, with meals and hotels and entry fee, a single race can easily hit $3000. However, in many parts of the country, like SW Ohio, there is a vibrant local race scene. One can do many races without even needing a hotel if you're willing to get up early and drive to the race. If you stick to independent HIMs, Olys, and sprints, one can do a lot of racing for the price of one WTC IM entry fee...a whole season most likely. And gear is up to the person. I raced 3 seasons on a road bike I already had before I bought my first tri bike. So I think that the notion that triathlon is out of reach of many is really not true; unless we are talking about expensive long course events, and then I can definitely see that argument.

I agree with this for the most part. I can do 3+ local races for the price of entry into one 70.3 Ironman branded event. With my wife also being a triathlete race entry is almost always x2 so IM branded races are cost prohibitive.

Chain Tri Team
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I live in NC and races cost the following for early entry:
Sprint 45-60
Olympic 60-70
Half 130-160

I am lucky in that there are a lot of races in NC and several local production companies. I can race all year for the cost of the Raleigh 70.3. 5k's in the area cost 25-35.

The entry fee for the first triathlon I did in 1984 was $25. It was a sprint. Longer races in that time were 35-40. so other cost have gone up way more that entry fees in my area.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
My first tri was in 2011 and it was a ‘Try a tri’ format (200m, 20k,2k). Decided one day to give it a try and enrolled pretty much last minute just for fun. The only thing I bought for that race was a pair of tri shorts and used what I already had. (no googles for swim, single speed commute bike along with bike jersey and helmet, running shoes) I had a blast doing it and it peeked my interest to do more. I did enroll in a 2nd race that same year using the same equipment but did a supper sprint instead. (200m, 15k, 5k). The following year, I invested in a TT, tri suit and some running shoes. Did the same 2 event (super sprint format) for the next 2 years with the intent going long one day but that never materialized. Stopped in 2013 as I was never serious enough and this year finally pick it up again and enrolled in my first HIM.

In my opinion, there is a few things that needs to be mentioned here as far as how I experienced it and also how it was viewed by my friends which till this day I have yet successfully convince one to do a tri with me even if I told then I’ll do any distance they want. I event offer to use my bike too or anything I have but still no bite.

me:

- Triathlon: I view it as ‘one sport’
- Training: it is consider a lifestyle and I try my best to incorporate it in my daily schedule
- Distance: I’ll work my way up to a full
- Events: local races, WTC races, Challenge races, … basically if I race, it is to race against myself and go as hard as I can (when trained properly)
- ST people: we are the tip of the iceberg in the tri community (well that is what I think)

My friend:

- Triathlon: mainly viewed as 3 different sport
- Training: as it is viewed as three separate sport, the mindset is that it will be a lot more difficult to train for all 3 and fit it into their schedule
- Distance: try a tri, super sprint.. sprint, oly, HIM or IM: that would require too much training and usually swim will be a factor
- Events: are considered as ‘event’ and not racing.
- Regular Joe: people that frequent forums have some communality when it comes to their views or curiosity. My friend could care less about forum unless they are interested in a sport/topic.

Basically what I have observed is that triathlon perhaps is not in decline when it comes to short distance as typically anyone can just pick it up and get it done after a few ‘training’ sessions. When it comes to long distance, it is perceived as a ‘burden’ to have to train that hard for 3 sports. Also gear can be a factor for some folks to get into triathlon but like anything in life, it all depend on how much you want to spend. Lots of ways to get you from point A to point B but it is the method that you choose and the ‘quality’ you deem as your requirement that will make you decide if that ‘gear’ will or is worth it or not.

So if I was to generalized all this in today’s world, people sign up to event for the social aspect of it. (I am part of that too) We pay for what it has to offer and somehow justify that x amount is ok. But for a normal people new to the sport, why pay for something where not only might cost a lot more than a single sport event but also requires more dedication. So bottom line, it is all about time management and like anything, time is priceless and cannot be really quantify as a certain $ value.

So for me and how my journey has been, it can be resume in a few words: priorities, time and.. laziness to dedicate myself in all 3 sport (swim in particular). Amount spend on gears is all about the ‘want’ instead of the ‘need’ so should be removed from the equation. Race fee.. well it really depend on what I am looking for when time comes to register.

Cheers!
Minh
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Now this goes in a much better direction than previous posts. I believe that to answer this, we have to segment the triathlon population. For simplicity's sake, let's assume three groups:

1.-Elite. Populated by elite athletes and money is no object kind of guys.
2.-AspirationaI. Competitive people that want to progress and do it better every time.
3.-Finishers. Beginners or people that are only here to finish and enjoy the ride.

Category 1 people are not threatened by cost increases. They either get their material paid by sponsors, this is so relevant for them that they are willing to pay for it, or they prefer it this way for the exclusion factor.

Category 2 is in my understanding the bread and butter for the business. This is the category that may be at risk. A few years ago you could spend 3.000$ and build a bike nearly as good as the best and looking nearly as good as the best. Today you can spend double or triple that quantity, and although you can argue that it is nearly as good as the best, it certainly doesn't look like it. Say you buy a "regular" super bike with "regular" super wheels, how do you look against a beam bike with disc brakes and whale inspired wheels? You look as a dinosaur on the verge of extinction. I am sure conversations like this have gone in some of the leading manufacturers
-Look guys, we have reached the ceiling in terms of relevant performance gains for both bikes and wheels. We have to find new ways to differentiate ourselves from the followers.
-Let's build equipment that we can claim it is as good and in some cases better than the older equipment, albeit marginally, but that looks radically different. That will make everything else look obsolete.
-Great Idea!
-Let's build beam bikes
-Yeah throw disc brakes into them
-What about reversing the handlebars?
-And whale inspired wheels?
The result, a bike that may take you the the finish line one nano-second sooner, costs five times as much and makes everybody not riding it look like Elvis Presley in the middle of a rap-battle.

Category 3 people are not really at risk. Entry level or second hand material has not risen that much and the only factor would be race entry fees.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Tri-Banter] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Quality and healthy food is expensive. One reason Americans are overweight is because unhealthy food gets indirectly subsidies and are the only affordable option for many. Fruit and veggies are expensive.

McDonald's and other variants of greasy food is cheap. When I just graduated from college, I was able to spend just 2-4 dollars / day on food by only eating rice , ground pork, and ketchup. I eat less and healthier now, but spend exponentially more on food.


Tri-Banter wrote:


The girth of the average person, Americans and Europeans in particular, tells me that food in not a triathlon barrier.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [bloodyshogun] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
bloodyshogun wrote:
Quality and healthy food is expensive. One reason Americans are overweight is because unhealthy food gets indirectly subsidies and are the only affordable option for many. Fruit and veggies are expensive.

McDonald's and other variants of greasy food is cheap. When I just graduated from college, I was able to spend just 2-4 dollars / day on food by only eating rice , ground pork, and ketchup. I eat less and healthier now, but spend exponentially more on food.


You could still eat just as cheap if you wanted to. I'm tired of this notion that poor people have to eat McDonalds. For $20 I could feed myself for a couple weeks on rice, beans, burger, whole chickens, flour, etc. No, I'm not gonna have gourmet chow, but I can eat relatively healthy. It just takes the tiniest bit of forethought. It doesn't even take cooking skills. Example...put a chicken in a crockpot on low before you go to work. When you come home, the chicken is perfect and all you have to for a meal is make some rice on the stove. Done. I used to have that meal multiple times a week. On the weekend you can cook up a big batch of pinto beans that will last forever, and go great with some leftover chicken. You do all that and more for less than it takes to eat at McDs.

___________________________________________________
Taco cat spelled backwards is....taco cat.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm no longer racing after 30 years of doing multiple events in a season. Cost, travel, and time away from my young family have all influenced my behavior. It was not a moment of simply deciding to stop, but a slow process of burnout, and the realization the 3-4 hour rides on a Saturday or Sunday morning are a cheaper, hassel free workout, without the rising costs of racing. As for add on costs, I guess I got so used to how expensive a race weekends were with travel, food, lodging that I actually never gave those add ons much thought.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [spot] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm with you on the eating healthy and cheap. People way over think healthy eating. A canister of oatmeal is $3 and lasts a week or 2. I bought an entire bushel of apples 3-weeks ago for $12. That's roughly 60 apples, providing nice and healthy snacks. Before Thanksgiving, turkeys were cheap, I stocked up. A $6 turkey provides 2-weeks worth of lean, quality meat. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are not expensive. The only think keeping people from eating healthy for cheap is themselves.






Take a short break from ST and read my blog:
http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [triguy1956] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
triguy1956 wrote:
I live in NC and races cost the following for early entry:
Sprint 45-60
Olympic 60-70
Half 130-160

I am lucky in that there are a lot of races in NC and several local production companies. I can race all year for the cost of the Raleigh 70.3. 5k's in the area cost 25-35.

The entry fee for the first triathlon I did in 1984 was $25. It was a sprint. Longer races in that time were 35-40. so other cost have gone up way more that entry fees in my area.

I'm not sure how early 'early entry is for you, but those prices are absurdly cheap from what I'm experiencing in tri-crazy Northern California.

Sprints are $100+ typically here, and Olys are $140 range. If you do the early bird signup, I saw $110 for Oly range.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
This is a sample of the pricing structure for an Olympic distance triathlon:


On or Before Saturday, December 31, 2016$70.00On or Before Wednesday, September 06, 2017, 10:30 AM$85.00On-site Registration
$105.00
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
What are the cost comparisons over the last 4 decades? I'd love to see an apples to apples value comparison.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [lightheir] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
lightheir wrote:


I'm not sure how early 'early entry is for you, but those prices are absurdly cheap from what I'm experiencing in tri-crazy Northern California.

Sprints are $100+ typically here, and Olys are $140 range. If you do the early bird signup, I saw $110 for Oly range.

I'm in NC too and that' about right for early bird deal... early being maybe 2 months out in some cases. I signed up for a short course Duathlon in Feb. 2017 on black Friday and it was about $30. I signed up for a Turkey Trot 5K a month out and it was $35.

I think the biggest thing is for there to be more publicity from races and athletes themselves of the local racing scene. There is this idea of Ironman beign the only "real" triathlon out there. I actually read a local new piece on IM canceling the full distance IM NC. The article kept referring to the 140.6 and the 70.3 as "full triathlon" and "half triathlon." It drove me nuts. Come to think of it... I should write a letter to the editor.

On that note, I think we really need to support local races in general. I love the local scene. NC has a great racing scene and it really doesn't get much better than we have it here.

-Nate
Triathlonpal.com
Flaer|Team Kiwami|Nuun Hydration|Honey Stinger
Twitter: @N8deck
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [davejustdave] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
davejustdave wrote:
Beachboy wrote:
The best thing about what I do, even the entry level "ditch digger" make more then then some college boy with a BS degree.

.



If you are paying your ditch diggers 135 an hour, hell, even 60 an hour, I WANT TO COME WORK FOR YOU! Manual labor in Ca goes for minimum wage. That's what? $11 an hour now? 10? I know I couldn't survive on that, and I'd bet dimes to dollars 99.99 percent of triathletes out there couldn't eithier.

Those people doing that kind of work work harder than anyone else out there just to pay their bills, being scared of hard work and commitment are not the reason they won't do triathlons. Not even close. The cost is. There are way, way, waaaayyyy more people earning that kind of dough than there are making 60-135 an hour, yet triathlon is increasingly moving towards exclusively marketing to the people in that $60+++/hr demographic.

But we wonder why numbers drop? You want growth you have to widen the demo you market to, not increasingly narrower it by continually raising the bar to entry.

Take a look at the census data on income, look at the average household income (55k for a 2 income house IIRC), and compare it to the average triathlete income per USAT (yeah yeah, I know, survey bias, blah blah blah math). They are so disparete it's plain to see this is a richer than average person sport.


$10 races would still be too much for minimum wage earners. Basically races target the people that can pay, and if you get past a certain threshold, a $100, $200 or $1000 entry really isn't going to kill your race. People over say $100/hour, just want a good event. $10/hour people will never enter. No use chasing that demographic.

It would be nice if everyone could afford to race, but that's more an issue of income rather than race entry fees. That's not nice, but it's reality.

TriDork

"Happiness is a myth. All you can hope for is to get laid once in a while, drunk once in a while and to eat chocolate every day"
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Affordable equipment and affordable races are out there. Don't be lemmings, do some small local races etc...and not worry about the bragging rights and the Oooo wow's you get from doing Ironman races. If short races aren't challenging enough for you you aren't going hard enough. A sprint is damn hard if youre full gas.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I just finished my first season of tri, which was spread out over two years due to a significant injury during a race. My wife and I make a combined income that far exceeds that of the average American household. But, the sport is still very costly for us. I had been thinking about tri for years, particularly as my run training and racing had gotten a bit stale. I didn't for several different reasons - didn't have room (physically or financially) for a bike, swim intimidation, the introduction of children to my family, and a work-life balance that made the whole thing seem daunting.

Well, I changed jobs, and my job now gives me time to train during the work day. So, one barrier was removed. I had started looking at bikes online and concluded that it would take me several months of budgeting and saving before I could spring for an entry level bike at a cost of roughly $1,000. I decided to go to the local tri shop to check them out and get a feel for my frame size, primarily so I could start scouring Craigslist for a used bike. The shop happened to have a used road bike in my size, and it would cost me only $450. I ended up making the purchase. A discounted gym membership through work, only being a mile from my office, removed another barrier. I didn't want to spring for a coach, and found some free beginner plans.

All the above is to illustrate that, for an upper-middle class guy, cost of equipment was very much an issue. That's because there are a lot of other expenses in life (retirement savings, college savings, mortgage, daycare, car debt, student loans). About a year ago, my wife and I decided to make a major change in how we handle our finances. We now have no debt (other than our house), are maxing out IRAs, investing for our kids' college, etc. That has freed up some cash. But, the expense of triathlon is still an issue. When I race, we typically travel (in-state), spring for a hotel, gas, meals, etc. That's on top of the race fee itself. Oh, and now I have a coach, so that's another monthly expense. Can we afford it? Yes. Does it limit the number of races I do in a year? Absolutely.

Excluding bikes (yes, I now have two) and cost of races, I spend about $160/month on triathlon. That's not a huge number, but for those families that were like mine, with bills to pay, savings to account for, etc., that's tough. Factor in the equipment and races, and it is a huge barrier to new entrants.

Attacking this day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
My observation after 6 seasons of tris(qualified for AG Nats 3x and went 2x) is that the quality of the product we're buying has gone down. I've raced many of the same races each year and just feel like the experience has become diluted, i.e. The Value has diminished. The swag, the pre-race vendor displays, etc... used to be more impressive.


"For those who understand, no explanation is necessary. For those who don't understand, no explanation is possible."
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Dudaddy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Dudaddy wrote:
Affordable equipment and affordable races are out there. Don't be lemmings, do some small local races etc...and not worry about the bragging rights and the Oooo wow's you get from doing Ironman races. If short races aren't challenging enough for you you aren't going hard enough. A sprint is damn hard if youre full gas.

Good call. Triathlons don't have to be expensive if one doesn't care about social media glory. There's a local Oly series around here that's 3 races for $200. RD even allows mail-in entries to avoid the garbage Active processing fees.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I'm so glad someone is talking about this. I will say I took over a local race as the RD a couple years ago and one thing I wanted to do was do something affordable for this reason. To be honest, I don't think people mind paying. We did not get any more athletes due to the cheaper price and we offered a higher cost of race day registration (obviously) and they didn't seem to care they were paying $100 for race day registration for a sprint race. ($50 was the standard payment) We did that so people would sign up early. Not one person complained about it. Personally, I choose races due to the price. Haven't done IM since 2010 due to price. That one is getting out of hand. Its like saving up to go on a family vacation. Also, some local races I see they have over 20 sponsors trying to charge me over $80 for a sprint race. That's crazy. This needs to be addressed.And I think it is being addressed as local races keep dropping in popularity. I do not think the extra fees are that bad as long as it's the one-day USAT. Maybe a small >$5 fee for website but that's it. The greedy RD or company that is in it for the $$ and not the fun is the problem.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Sasquatch] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
i gave you one comparison earlier up in this thread. a pretty hefty fee, at the top of the price scale, for an oly distance race in 1985 was the bud lite tri series fee of $65. that's $145. today. so, i think our forum readers have it about right. the largest single category of readers feel that $100-$125 is the right price for a well-run event of this length, esp considering the reg and insurance fees tacked onto that.

the second largest slice of readers are saying $70 to $95 and i think that's also reasonable in many parts of the country where costs of living are lower.

the old USTS races were really well produced. they had prize purses, traveling pros, race expos. they were ahead of their time. but that's the range. i think an average price in today's dollars of $110 to $145 for a really well run race, that being the price all in (reg fee + insurance) is about commensurate with what the market charged throughout triathlon's history.

there should also be oly races that cost $65 or $75, but i don't expect these to be top-flite operations (more grass roots).

Dan Empfield
aka Slowman
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Having to register 9 months in advance( or even 12 months to get the HITS super discount) is tough as we get older and are not sure what kind of condition our bodies are going to be in one year from now.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Diabolo] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Diabolo wrote:
Hi Dan,

Yes, it has for me to a point. I am still swimming, biking and running every week, but not racing anymore and I think a big part of that is the cost of races. And I would consider our household salary to be 'decent' (way above average for the population).

Cheers,
Laurent

+1

training the same as ever, but one race a year at best, can't justify the cost of racing given family financial obligations.
It's not only tri, paid $45 for a 5k run recently, which was my only race for this year.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Slowman wrote:
"I am still swimming, biking and running every week, but not racing anymore and I think a big part of that is the cost of races."

that's interesting. the cost of equipment is high, the cost of racing is relatively low. is it because racing is a sunk cost, disposable, intangible, whereas if you buy a bike you still have it after every use? rather than a single-use purchase?

that argues for people buying music but not going to concerts: renewable resource versus one-time use.

I wanted to take the family to a Jack Johnson concert at Red Rocks, but even if the tickets hadn't sold out in ten minutes, it would have cost nearly $1000. So yes, I only buy music, don't go to concerts anymore either.. except for (cheap) local bands that I like to support.

equipment is a sunk cost. I can still enjoy using the equipment without incurring further costs by paying race fees. Building my Cervelo ten years ago from a frame and ebay parts cost less than $600.

These two graphs, plus the rapidly increasing cost of living (college, healthcare, housing, race fees also in here) explain why I no longer have disposable income.



Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [endosch2] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
endosch2 wrote:
I am trying to do research on millenials and figure out "what do they do" there are a lot of answers, lots of different personas.

here's the answer to what millenials do:






I need to be asleep to go fast in any sport these days. Even old dogs have good dreams.
G-man
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Triathlon is a very different sport that when I started.
My 1st tri was in 1987- I was a good runner who swam and rode a bit that summer. That propelled me to a 5th overall in my 1st triathlon. Racine 1987.
I rode a Schwinn Super Sport that I took from my older brother. Drop bars, Suntour cyclone, stock wheels.
In 1988 I did a bunch of races. Even then, I only upgrade to a decent steel road bike- much less than 2k. I put Profile aero bars on it- I had a set of lower spoke count tubulars with bladed spokes, but they were ghetto- broke spokes almost every race and beat up my bike with the broken spokes- so I often rode my training wheels.
It was cheap enough to race where I sometimes even raced twice per weekend- entry fee cost was not a factor (and I was a broke post-college student).
Really only the top pros had better gear than me. But it was usually because they were sponsored by a shop that was trying to sell the exact same gear. I do recall that the fastest guys were showing up with Hed Discs, and Roval front wheels- but nothing crazier than that. At that time 2k would get you the fastest bike and wheel setup available.

Now you have to enter races in advance, entry fees are many hundreds of dollars, bikes can go 10-15k- and they are not only for fast sponsored riders.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Travis R] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Travis R wrote:

Probably not the best analogy, but I think we need to talk in terms of sticker price versus cost of ownership. It's kind of like how car dealers always want to talk about the monthly payment rather than the total cost of ownership. That $300 per month lease payment sounds palatable, until you do the actual math and realize how much it will cost over the life of the lease. And you still don't own the car. But, hey, it's "only" $300 a month. Or how the banks are so willing to pre-approve you for a house you can't afford. The new home buyer is all excited because they can get a $300,000 house with no closing costs and nothing down. Yeah, but do the math on that 30 year mortgage at high interest, add in mortgage insurance, and realize that the monthly payment is more than you can actually afford and you'll be owned by your house before you own it.

Maybe that's the difference between the groups I've described above. There are the newbies, buying that car or house without realizing what it will cost them in the long term, versus the folks that already have learned everything the hard way, refinanced the mortgage or downsized, and are now settled into a more sustainable pattern.

And don't even get me started on what an overuse injury will cost.


This!
Now factor in you buy a disk-brake frame where you have to buy wheel sets on top (no more hand-downs or Craigslist near term). The original thread was going of that premise.....

And if you are a nebie and want new equipment, where do you get a $2.5K start-up package that fits you if you do not live close to those mega retailers like Nytro etc....? Fly there?

If you are on shoestring budget (handed down equipment), you won't race WTC or buy a disc-brake Tri-bike.
Hence, cost is still prohibitive in gaining entry to "bragging rights" social media hero status.

For some of us Oldtimers, who think about retirement and family, many of my friends have had to make a choice:
Buy a new (road) bike that they can use any weekend OR selfishly race a couple WTC races..... easy choice, if you are smart.

I see a benefit having a new bike that get's me out there training and experiencing new things.

Would I want to do another cookie-cutter catered IM event? Not really, even if it were in China.
Last edited by: windschatten: Dec 8, 16 22:48
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
No offense, and as I am closer to your age then some I got to tell you:

Unless you live in an enclave, this is no where near where/how Triathlon is positioned in major markets nowadays.

Plenty of newcomers will aim for a full brand name Ironman race asap, as this is the only one you can get some creed on your resume = farcebook. Largely thanks to all the marketing hype about long course racing being the only form of 'real' Triathlon.

I have a couple of 20-somethings in my training group that have done/are training for a WTC event only....and those who have finished, barely stick out on social media.
These are excellent athletes, some collegiate national level. They have the drive, still hard time to keep them motivated to stay in the sport that is so expensive to compete in (if you do not have a trust fund) and that is loosing it's 'uniqueness' rapidly.

So it is one and done once posted on Facebook, just like your bungee jump when you were 12.



HuffNPuff wrote:


The anti-WTC arguments completely miss the point at why total participation is declining. Very few people enter the sport with an ironman as their goal or as their first triathlon. They most likely enter a sprint triathlon. Some will then race sprints and Olympics, move up to Ironman 70.3 and then an Ironman and quit. I know several of them. Others will enter the sport, and do local races only for a number of years and then quit the sport. I know a lot more of these people than the former. The sheer difficulty of the sport, and the constant self-imposed pressure to train eventually wears them out and they decide they would rather sleep in. There has always been a steady flow of people into and out of the sport. And the drain that we are experiencing is not the outflow as much as it is a reduction of the inflow. Ten years ago, triathlon was the in-sport to do. Everyone was flocking to it and newbies vastly exceeded the number leaving the sport. The swim was just as much a barrier 10 years ago. The equipment costs were just as daunting. And race entry fees on an inflation adjusted basis weren't much different either (with the exception of USAT/active fees which have vastly outstripped CPI). This all suggests that the problem is that people have moved on to other sports or activities. The internecine warfare regarding WTC and the rest of the sport is as irrelevant as it is counterproductive to learning why fewer people are no longer interested in entering their first sprint triathlon...the gateway to the sport.
Last edited by: windschatten: Dec 8, 16 23:09
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [windschatten] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
No offense taken. I only know a few 20 something triathletes; and facebook is not their motivation; but I don't doubt that it is for others. But then again, I never bungee jumped either, so what do I know!. I am training for IM#11 now and my motivating factors are probably much different than most folks would imagine. I thought triathlon was very expensive when I entered a couple in 1980, but I'm very fortunate that is no longer a barrier. I certainly agree that long course tri is losing prestige and 'uniqueness', but that doesn't concern me since it isn't the reason I train and compete.

windschatten wrote:
No offense, and as I am closer to your age then some I got to tell you:

Unless you live in an enclave, this is no where near where/how Triathlon is positioned in major markets nowadays.

Plenty of newcomers will aim for a full brand name Ironman race asap, as this is the only one you can get some creed on your resume = farcebook. Largely thanks to all the marketing hype about long course racing being the only form of 'real' Triathlon.

I have a couple of 20-somethings in my training group that have done/are training for a WTC event only....and those who have finished, barely stick out on social media.
These are excellent athletes, some collegiate national level. They have the drive, still hard time to keep them motivated to stay in the sport that is so expensive to compete in (if you do not have a trust fund) and that is loosing it's 'uniqueness' rapidly.

So it is one and done once posted on Facebook, just like your bungee jump when you were 12.


HuffNPuff wrote:


The anti-WTC arguments completely miss the point at why total participation is declining. Very few people enter the sport with an ironman as their goal or as their first triathlon. They most likely enter a sprint triathlon. Some will then race sprints and Olympics, move up to Ironman 70.3 and then an Ironman and quit. I know several of them. Others will enter the sport, and do local races only for a number of years and then quit the sport. I know a lot more of these people than the former. The sheer difficulty of the sport, and the constant self-imposed pressure to train eventually wears them out and they decide they would rather sleep in. There has always been a steady flow of people into and out of the sport. And the drain that we are experiencing is not the outflow as much as it is a reduction of the inflow. Ten years ago, triathlon was the in-sport to do. Everyone was flocking to it and newbies vastly exceeded the number leaving the sport. The swim was just as much a barrier 10 years ago. The equipment costs were just as daunting. And race entry fees on an inflation adjusted basis weren't much different either (with the exception of USAT/active fees which have vastly outstripped CPI). This all suggests that the problem is that people have moved on to other sports or activities. The internecine warfare regarding WTC and the rest of the sport is as irrelevant as it is counterproductive to learning why fewer people are no longer interested in entering their first sprint triathlon...the gateway to the sport.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [PubliusValerius] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Agreed.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [gphin305] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
gphin305 wrote:
Your points may be valid but they seem to focus on long course racing? Does WTC really have any effect on sprint and oly participation....and getting new people into the sport....or more participation from people currently only doing 2-3 events per year?

i agree with the point that WTC has been buying up some races to force others out to monopolize on it, but i agree with this point more. for many triathletes, a WTC race is a bucket list or once per year tops event. i've seen sprints and olympic distance races disappear. and the ones here, are a lot more than the $75 many talk about. my local olympic race is $180 (stamford, ct). Rev3 does the quassy race for as much as $40 cheaper an hour away and its on better roads, better run, etc. i did a sprint last year and probably walked 1/2 of the swim because the tide was low. terrible planning. i did an olympic 2 years ago that had minimal volunteers and only a few police on site. intersections were dangerous.

part of the problem is our own head. we think we need to upgrade to the newest and best all the time. but face it, for BOP'ers, what good is spending $4000+ on a tri bike going to do? better off getting a 2nd hand one for under $1000. if you think that $4000+ bike is going to knock substantial time off your race, train harder. that will work better.

but i also agree with all the added crap at the end of the registration. its like Ticketmaster for a concert or a sporting event. somehow you pay $150 for a $100 ticket. many of us waste money on a USAT membership. only sensible if you race 4 times. active is a waste.

refund policies. i get it, races dont want people backing out last minute and not having enough to cover costs, but there has to be a happy medium. transfer..... Rev3 allowed me to transfer no problem when i had a last minute medical issue. it was actually challenge at the time, but the same people. cost me $25, which was fair. now ironman wont let me change races. i signed up for IMAC 70.3 but for personal reasons, decided a few weeks later that IM Maine is better for me. but Ironman wont let me switch and i'm not happy about it. i'm actually at a point where im not even looking forward to the race. i get it, its my fault, but let me out of it and keep a small administrative fee. not like they ordered my medal, shirt or cap yet. i've heard people change from different races before but they wont let me here.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Gskalt] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Gskalt wrote:

refund policies. i get it, races dont want people backing out last minute and not having enough to cover costs, but there has to be a happy medium. transfer..... Rev3 allowed me to transfer no problem when i had a last minute medical issue. it was actually challenge at the time, but the same people. cost me $25, which was fair. now ironman wont let me change races. i signed up for IMAC 70.3 but for personal reasons, decided a few weeks later that IM Maine is better for me. but Ironman wont let me switch and i'm not happy about it. i'm actually at a point where im not even looking forward to the race. i get it, its my fault, but let me out of it and keep a small administrative fee. not like they ordered my medal, shirt or cap yet. i've heard people change from different races before but they wont let me here.

I had a similar issue pop up last year. I was severely injured in a race, about a month before my A race. My doctors told me I couldn't ride, let alone compete, for a year. My A race had a no-transfer, no-refund policy. I reached out to the race director to see if she would let me defer to next (this) year due to my injury. To my surprise, she said yes, and I raced it this year with no problem.

Having the policy in place is good business. Taking issues up on a case by case basis, as the race director did for me, is being a good person. And, it's also good business. The race is TriWaco, and I would recommend it to anyone. Yes, it's a well done race, but they treated me as a person first. Really meant a lot to me.

Attacking this day with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [LundyLund] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
LundyLund wrote:
Gskalt wrote:


refund policies. i get it, races dont want people backing out last minute and not having enough to cover costs, but there has to be a happy medium. transfer..... Rev3 allowed me to transfer no problem when i had a last minute medical issue. it was actually challenge at the time, but the same people. cost me $25, which was fair. now ironman wont let me change races. i signed up for IMAC 70.3 but for personal reasons, decided a few weeks later that IM Maine is better for me. but Ironman wont let me switch and i'm not happy about it. i'm actually at a point where im not even looking forward to the race. i get it, its my fault, but let me out of it and keep a small administrative fee. not like they ordered my medal, shirt or cap yet. i've heard people change from different races before but they wont let me here.


I had a similar issue pop up last year. I was severely injured in a race, about a month before my A race. My doctors told me I couldn't ride, let alone compete, for a year. My A race had a no-transfer, no-refund policy. I reached out to the race director to see if she would let me defer to next (this) year due to my injury. To my surprise, she said yes, and I raced it this year with no problem.

Having the policy in place is good business. Taking issues up on a case by case basis, as the race director did for me, is being a good person. And, it's also good business. The race is TriWaco, and I would recommend it to anyone. Yes, it's a well done race, but they treated me as a person first. Really meant a lot to me.

good to know. i should state the i did not have the insurance policy for the Rev3 race but they allowed it anyway. that's good business. glad to hear TriWaco is cool about it. i've had good experiences with local race directors for me. one local sprint, they screwed up the timing mats, so the run times didnt record... they gave everyone a $25 voucher off the next year's race. IMAC70.3 race director has reached out to me after i got upset about wanting to pull out. i appreciate his time, and how he runs the race under the IM umbrella, but as much as he tells me to the contrary, atlantic city is still a dump and i know i should have thought that through better. it was the only 70.3 race that worked for me timing wish. turns out that the Rev3 Maine one does work out, and when IM picked it up, i got excited to switch, but they wont. when i reached out to them about the lodging, my concerns were that lodging in a clean and safe area were far too expensive, i was told to "suck it up, its one night" and "get a better attitude". i did not think that to be an appropriate response. what's funny is that he continued to try and sell me on atlantic city being a good family venue, but with the level of seedy environment from drugs to prostitution, i dont want my family there. cant sell this as a destination race. my point is, how much is Ironman going to lose if they just applied my registration from one to the other? in the meantime, they get a very happy customer who will say "thank you" a million times over.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [georged] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"I've lived in Indonesia and East Timor. Both have an upper class that can afford to buy new Jeeps and Toyotas, and who are now aspiring to challenge themselves and spend money on recreation."


Well that's nice that Indonesia and many other 3rd world countries have a small elitist upper class that can afford to do triathlon, but when you consider that 50.6% of the population of Indonesia lives under $2 USD per day, it would suggest that the majority could not afford a $15 K bicycle, let alone an entry fee. Proves my point exactly about the sport of running being the great world wide equalizer whereas most people on the planet have no chance of ever doing a triathlon due to the cost..

http://www.indonesia-investments.com/...tors/poverty/item301?
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [eggplantOG] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I stopped cold turkey...I realized how much time and money I didn't have anymore, and my house was in shambles since I never did the chores to fix things. The time I lost in my business due to trips, and training became painfully obvious something had to give.

Chasing the high that used to be great...but what used to be a rush became a disappointment to why I spent all that time and money to get a slower race time, or the same time as last year.

So, it's really my own addiction, and expectations that caused the failure.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [metafizx] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
"I stopped cold turkey.."

Same here. I was doing a race and was asking myself "why are you still doing this". I had a lot of fun with it over the years, but the buzz was gone and I didn't feel buying another new bike would recharge my batteries. It was time to move on. Nobody does these things forever.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
cerveloguy wrote:
"I stopped cold turkey.."

Same here. I was doing a race and was asking myself "why are you still doing this". I had a lot of fun with it over the years, but the buzz was gone and I didn't feel buying another new bike would recharge my batteries. It was time to move on. Nobody does these things forever.

Just curious...what do you do now? And since you stopped, why are you still on ST?
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I still swim and bike regularly. Run a little bit. X-country ski a lot in winter. But don't race. Why am I here? Are you saying if you're not racing any more you're not allowed to be? I'm usually not here nowadays, but lots of posters here aren't currently racing if you haven't noticed.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
HuffNPuff wrote:
No offense taken. I only know a few 20 something triathletes; and facebook is not their motivation; but I don't doubt that it is for others.

Am I the only millennial on ST?

I've reserved my thoughts on this thread thus far, but has anybody seen the Major League Triathlon movement?

I would think that would be far more attractive to my age and younger. Don't get me wrong, IM is cool and all, but even Olympic triathlons are lame to watch on tv, let alone a 8+ hour race.

I think most track/field type events are relatively obscure to most people my age. Hate it or love it, if anything, IM has brought some bit of recognition to the sport. I wouldn't have known about it if it weren't for the brand.

Ask any kid 18-30 what sports are in a biathlon or pentathlon and see what kind of answers you get.

Team Semper Fi
just your average age grouper . no one special . no scientific knowledge . just having fun.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
Hi Dan,

At one point I was an avid triathlete and raced every opportunity that I got... but that was six years ago before I had college debt (I started after my degree when I was 28) and a family to support. Now simple maintenance cost make returning to racing prohibitive even though I already have the bike, most of the equipment, and experience necessary to self coach.
When you take into account a 50 dollar gym membership (to use the pool), cost of maintenance for the bike, and replacing the odds and ends that get worn out that are necessary to train and race (shoes, socks, chains, lube, brake pads, etc.) I simply cannot afford eighty dollars to go to a local race.
In addition to that their are much cheaper options in my area that become much more appealing. Cycling groups do unsanctioned cyclocross races for ten bucks, I can do a local running race for under 30 and all of that comes with post race comradery that I personally find lacking in the tri community in these parts.

Run, work, run, sleep, repeat until fast, injured or insane.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [metafizx] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I understand that fully.

Recognised I was putting training ahead of everything else. Came to me when I started my Masters program and had to decided between run, library work or date night with pregnant wife. After that moment it was a full change in how I viewed it. Training went from being a 2 priority in my life to currently being # 5. Recently just started to train again after 1.5 years away.

Biking on zwift when my kid is napping during the day. Swimming late at night, and running with friends once a week. Racing does not happen yet as have other priorities with my money now besides me.


# 1 family
# 2 work
# 3 school (Masters)
# 4 home/maintence
# 5 triathlon
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
cerveloguy wrote:
I still swim and bike regularly. Run a little bit. X-country ski a lot in winter. But don't race. Why am I here? Are you saying if you're not racing any more you're not allowed to be? I'm usually not here nowadays, but lots of posters here aren't currently racing if you haven't noticed.

Not at all. I'm just curious about what motivates others. I'm 59 and have been racing since I was a kid...over 45 years continuous now. Your comment that you can't do this forever kind of struck me since that is precisely my plan until I am physically unable. You know that mental burn-out gene that so many have...I don't think I have it.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
OK. I get you.


I'm now 65 and quit after my first race in 60-65 AG. It was a local sprint and only five guys were in the AG. I came 2nd and realized I could never beat the 1st place guy and never lose to the guys behind me. :-) So it wasn't a mental burn out gene, but a realization that my best days were long behind me and running for AG is just not a buzz. I had 15 yrs in tri and had fun but felt it was time to move on. I enjoyed the racing, had some success but was never one of these super duper obsessed competitive individuals. I did different recreational sports all my life but was never one of these win at all cost type of guys.

I had a friend in my AG who was one of these guys who was ultra competitive in everything to the point of annoying everyone around him. He had a life of competitive sports but we couldn't even walk our dogs together without him turning it into some kind of a competition. He recently had a serious injury and can't compete any more but has a hard time dealing with it. If that was me I'd just find another absorbing hobby that wasn't as physical but more cerebral and adapt to it. I know people who collect stamps who are as dedicated to their hobby as any AG triathlete. Nothing wrong with that.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [cerveloguy] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I am competitive, but only to a point. The past couple of years, I was not pushing as hard because, as you know, it's hard to compete with the younger guys when you are in the upper age groups. Right now, my mojo is super jacked since I age up to the 60-64 group next month. My current plans are to compete up to about age 66 then I'll have to reassess. But I won't say I will quit. In my 20s, I had planned to 'retire' from racing at age 30. That came and went. I hope to at least be able to hike for many, many years; but if not, I certainly have a shit-pile of deferred interests to take up the slack (I collected stamps as a kid). Meanwhile, my second favorite hobby is travel; which is why I am big on destination races and don't do local ones as much as I used to.

All the best to you.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I am still racing but less than I would if some things were different. I can afford to race as much as I want but am inherently frugal (which is probably why I can afford to race as much as I want). First of all I have no interest in bs ways to extract money and time from me such as requiring me to check in on a Friday for a Sunday IM race. That means I have to travel on Thursday because if one has delayed flight you might not make registration. So now with going home it is a five day trip. Local half ironman and olympic races offer the opportunity to check in and rack you bike the morning of the race so if ironman cannot do the same (at least for halfs) means I will race ironman races less. As far as I am concerned spectating a triathlon is boring so I am not asking my wife to come along. With the on call responsibilities of my job (family doctor in small town) it is a significant issue to make sure things are covered when I am away. I can only do that for so many times a year so family holidays take priority. Second thing is I hate having to register way in advance for races that are basically non-refundable. And the whole thing where races are held in places where the local hotel scene is overwealmed by the race and you have to book your hotel way in advance often non-refundable as well is a hassle. Last thing is the whole thing seems to have gotten way too serious at least at IM races. I don't understand middle of the pack triathletes spending 2-3 grand for aero wheels to go 2-3 mins faster in a half. I just take 3 min off my time and figure out where I would be if I had aero wheels. I had the most fun in the last few years at local low key races. I also had alot of fun at what seemed a low key challenge race this year in Europe. The times on average where fast but it seemed more low key. Somehow they manage to run races year after year with 300-400 entrants. IM Muskoka was a great time because I could drive to it. But they cancelled it because only 900 showed up. 900 seemed like not bad for the first year. The buzz was that a fair number of people avoided the race because they thought it would be too hard. I am not sure what the point is of looking for an easy full ironman.

Perhaps the real revolutionaries are those that keep their promises.
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [len] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
one thing that wasnt mentioned... (tri and run) RD's try to get you to purchase early for some crazy discount like 50%, with outlandish pricing close to race day. this creates quite a stress on the person that they likely wont sign up for others. i had to bail on 5 races last year after breaking a bone in my foot from being hit by a car on my bike


http://www.coupleofathletes.com
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [ericmulk] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
ericmulk wrote:

$30 for goggles every year??? Shoot, I've been using same pair of $4.50 Swedes for about 10 yrs, with maintenance of two new bungee straps. And $10 for a swim cap??? What about all your caps from past triathlons, plus if you do the USMS Go The Distance challenge, you get a free cap every year. OTOH, I buy two suits per year at $30/suit so I guess we're about even on the whole. You ought to try those Swedes if you haven't though, best bang for your buck in goggles. :)

I was thinking the same thing about the cap and goggles! I use either cheapo Sprint style goggles. (Speedo, Nike and Arena all make them.). They are $6-$10 typically and they have a foam gasket that I find more comfortable for long distance races. Usually I buy a clear and mirrored pair each year. I don't think I have ever bought a cap - got them free in HS and college and then started doing tris. And actually, now that I think about it, I haven't paid for goggles in a year or two b/c I won a some gift cards to a local ski/tri shop as my prize at couple of local tris.

My biggest cost for swimming is tech suits. I buy a discounted one every year or two and that sets me back $100-$150. I resisted for years but I do go for records and Natl championship titles, and realized that those suits really do save time in swim meets. I use old ones for open water swims as they are not nearly as uncomfortable once they stretch out so I get a few more years out of them that way. Then when they are too loose to use for ow swims or when they start deteriorating thus becoming indecent, I will put them under a regular training suit and wear during cold outdoor swim training sessions. The legs in the suit help keep me a little warmer as does wearing two suits. I will use them till they totally deteriorate - had a suit that was over 10 years old that I finally had to retire after this summer. Same deal with practice suits - I will only buy them on sale. Often Marshall's or TJ Max will have Speedo or Nike training suits for under $20 in the spring. It is hit or miss but I will stock up when I find them. I tend to go through about 3 a year but only because I swim every day so go through more suits than most. I will wear two old ones together to get a few more months out of them.

-leh
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [leh] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
leh wrote:
ericmulk wrote:


$30 for goggles every year??? Shoot, I've been using same pair of $4.50 Swedes for about 10 yrs, with maintenance of two new bungee straps. And $10 for a swim cap??? What about all your caps from past triathlons, plus if you do the USMS Go The Distance challenge, you get a free cap every year. OTOH, I buy two suits per year at $30/suit so I guess we're about even on the whole. You ought to try those Swedes if you haven't though, best bang for your buck in goggles. :)


I was thinking the same thing about the cap and goggles! I use either cheapo Sprint style goggles. (Speedo, Nike and Arena all make them.). They are $6-$10 typically and they have a foam gasket that I find more comfortable for long distance races. Usually I buy a clear and mirrored pair each year. I don't think I have ever bought a cap - got them free in HS and college and then started doing tris. And actually, now that I think about it, I haven't paid for goggles in a year or two b/c I won a some gift cards to a local ski/tri shop as my prize at couple of local tris.
My biggest cost for swimming is tech suits. I buy a discounted one every year or two and that sets me back $100-$150. I resisted for years but I do go for records and Natl championship titles, and realized that those suits really do save time in swim meets. I use old ones for open water swims as they are not nearly as uncomfortable once they stretch out so I get a few more years out of them that way. Then when they are too loose to use for ow swims or when they start deteriorating thus becoming indecent, I will put them under a regular training suit and wear during cold outdoor swim training sessions. The legs in the suit help keep me a little warmer as does wearing two suits. I will use them till they totally deteriorate - had a suit that was over 10 years old that I finally had to retire after this summer. Same deal with practice suits - I will only buy them on sale. Often Marshall's or TJ Max will have Speedo or Nike training suits for under $20 in the spring. It is hit or miss but I will stock up when I find them. I tend to go through about 3 a year but only because I swim every day so go through more suits than most. I will wear two old ones together to get a few more months out of them. -leh

360 day/yr swimmers think alike although TBH I don't do the 2 old suits thing any more, and buy my suits at my local swim shop (LSS), just to give them some business. The girl who owns it swam for UCLA and competed on the ITU circuit back in '03-05, so I like to give her my patronage.


"Anyone can be who they want to be IF they have the HUNGER and the DRIVE."
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [gphin305] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
gphin305 wrote:
There are also numerous (at least 6-7....could be more) local community sprint distance events here in the Philly/South Jersey area that charge $65-75k.

Unfortunately all of the DQ sprints only have a 1/4 mile swim. The local sprints used to be half OD with a 750m swim. The races that had 750m swims nearly have become extinct in the Philly area. Sunset Sprint was my all-time favorite but their lake became contaminated so they had to move it to Parvin State Park. With the move they decided to drop it to a 1/4 mile swim even though the lake could easily handle a half mile. Thundergust tri, which also used to be held in Parvin State park also had a half mile swim. The problem was that Parvin State Park stopped allowing tris between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Other local races already had the dates before Memorial Day and after Labor Day so both of those races are gone now. I am rarely willing to pay that cheaper $70-$80 fee for a race with a swim that barely takes longer than the transitions.

Wilkes Barre added a sprint 2 years ago with a half mile++ swim and Skylands still has a sprint with a 750m swim but both of those races have very hilly bike rides and cost more than the DQ events. I miss flat/rolling hill courses with a 750m swim. Philly Tri has one if you like racing with tons of others on a crowded course but b/c it is in the city, it is a bit too pricey for me.

This is a big reason why I no longer race as much as I used to. If there were local sprints offered for $75-$90 with a half mile swim I would be racing a lot more than the 4-5 tris I do per year now.

My limit is $100 for a local sprint (unless there is a little prize money that may allow me to get some of the entry fee back). This summer I went through the whole sign up process for a local tri only to find that after the unadvertised active.com (or whatever the company was) fee it went up to $105. That extra $5 was the deciding factor. I could afford another five bucks but chose not to do it b/c it should have been stated up front.

-leh
Quote Reply
Re: Cost of tri (let's start over) [Slowman] [ In reply to ]
Quote | Reply
I began triathlon at the tender age of 59, with a local sprint event featuring a mountain bike course. I dusted off the old MTB, bought a sleeveless wetsuit off of Amazon for $100 plus some goggles, running shoes and tri shorts and for not much more than $300 total I was in the sport. I see folks in sprint tri's riding mountain bikes all the time. There was even a young guy on a mountain bike at the Coeur d'Alene IM 70.3 this summer and he rode very strong. We passed each other a few times, tortoise and hare style, until I took him for good about 40 miles in.

Before this season, I dropped $1,900 into a road bike with clip-on aero bars. I don't feel the need for a tri bike. There will be other HIM races for me, but I will never go the full 140.6 route. I can't see riding / training around town on a tri bike.

I don't pay for coaching but I do pay to be able to pool swim. I live in the Coeur d'Alene area so from September to June you are pretty much swimming in a pool due to water temps.

North Idaho is an area blessed with numerous sprint and olympic distance triathlons that are generally affordable to participate in. I guess I have the money to get stupid crazy investing in triathlon but I don't want to.
Quote Reply