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What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year?
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Local races, with some exception, seemed to be down about 5-10% in participation here in Minnesota. Just wondering what others saw this year and if you think we will bottom out this year and become stable or continue to decline?
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [Steve-oH!] [ In reply to ]
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One way to answer your question is to look at the athlete rankings on the USA Triathlon page. You can see by age group and sex the number of people that were registered and finished a sanctioned race for each year. There are flaws in this approach as the results could reflect changing preferences by race directors toward sanctioning. Or, a change in the number of sanctioned races.

That said, for my age group (60-64) there was a 2017 reflects a 2nd year of declining numbers. I also looked at the 40-45 age group which tends to be one of the larger groups. This group had a pretty significant drop in numbers from 2016 to 2017....assuming that most of the 2017 races are in the system.

As an anecdotal observation, there was a drop off in the number of triathlons in my region this year. When I look at the 2018 calendar their seem to be a few less.

The trend lines seem negative.
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [lutzman] [ In reply to ]
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Here in NC one of the racing companies cut 3 races off the schedule due to low participation.

I need to see what the other 2 companies have done.

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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [Steve-oH!] [ In reply to ]
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The strong will survive

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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [Steve-oH!] [ In reply to ]
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I've not seen any increase or decrease in the number of triathlons in the Tampa Bay area; although I've observed a shift in participation from one race management company's offerings to those of another race management company. If you branch out a little, there are a few new sprint triathlons in the area around Tampa Bay. Looking at long course in the Central/South Florida region, IM70.3 Miami is now gone, but two new half ironman races have popped up for 2018 (Florida Half @ Jensen Beach and Challenge Daytona). Participation in Clermont triathlons appears to be down but other races seem to be holding steady. In short, I would say it is in flux as the market is still trying to find itself. For related sports in the area, mud runs seem to be in decline, cyclo-cross events are increasing, duathlon is still dying, and extreme events are in a slight uptick (Ultraman Florida, Florida Double Anvil, and the Florida XTreme).
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [Steve-oH!] [ In reply to ]
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think we have to wait until the USAT report for 2017, my guess is down on the men's side but I think women's continues to grow.

Anyone know if there is a report on world participation? I'd be curious if growth is stronger in LatAm or Asia. Is triathlon still growing in Europe?

808 > NYC > PDX
2019: 70.3 Canada, 70.3 WC, IMLou
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [Steve-oH!] [ In reply to ]
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I've seen a wide variety. Some that always sold out - sold out. Some were better, some were worse. Our spring in the North East sucked and I'm sure that caused some declines. One race my son and I normally do was terrible weather and not 1 40+ showed up to race (I guess we get smarter as we age)

That said - September in our region is very over populated with races causing individual declines
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [B.McMaster] [ In reply to ]
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Is lower participation due to a stronger economy? Any correlation there?
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [Steve-oH!] [ In reply to ]
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It was definitely down here in Missouri. I don't keep track of all the triathlons, so I can't quantify it accurately, but I'd guess we're down around 10%.

I do, however, keep track of participation at all the half and full marathons in the state, and we're down for the third year in a row. In fact, the rate of decline is still increasing. Here are the total number of half and full marathon finishers in Missouri:

2012 52,762
2013 55,716
2014 56,787
2015 51,999
2016 47,894
2017 42,000 (there's just one small race to go, and I've included an estimate of 300 finishers for it)

Six half and/or full marathons (of a total of 68) that were held in 2016 didn't return in 2017.

Just this past week, Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis was cancelled for 2018. In the inaugural year of 2011, that race had nearly 18,000 finishers. This year, they had 5,500--and that includes 2,000 for the 5K and 10K that weren't even offered until participation started falling precipitously a few years ago.

In short, the situation is bad compared to a few years ago, and while I keep looking for signs of leveling off, I don't see any.
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [Jim @ LOTO, MO] [ In reply to ]
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Why do you think running is down?

'It never gets easier, you just get crazier.'
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [Steve-oH!] [ In reply to ]
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I think one should differentiate between USA, EU, etc.

While I did not do any research, I'm sure that running as a sport is growing in the Netherlands (and I think across whole of Europe). Marathon and semi-marathon numbers are up. And smaller local races are booming.

For triathlon I'm sure that the short distance (1/8 and 1/4) is growing rapidly in the Netherlands and 70.3/140.6 as well (at least, from what I've heard). As for the whole or Europe, I'm not sure what the tendency is. Except for Challenge Roth, I don't think a lot of races sell out realllllly fast....
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [georged] [ In reply to ]
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georged wrote:
Why do you think running is down?

I think what people are missing is that, other than soccer, nearly all sports are seeing a decline in participation. This is the logical outcome of an aging population that is stagnant in size.
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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GreenPlease wrote:
georged wrote:
Why do you think running is down?


I think what people are missing is that, other than soccer, nearly all sports are seeing a decline in participation. This is the logical outcome of an aging population that is stagnant in size.

and...
perhaps, many in the younger demographics prefer doing their activities via technology (i.e., video games, etc.)


I could break the course record - theoretically, Bishop Pickering - from the movie "Caddyshack"
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [manofthewoods] [ In reply to ]
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I'm 30. eSports is absolutely HUGE amongst people my age and younger and I think people older than me vastly underestimate just how big eSports have (has?) become.
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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GreenPlease wrote:
I'm 30. eSports is absolutely HUGE amongst people my age and younger and I think people older than me vastly underestimate just how big eSports have (has?) become.

eSports = oxymoron
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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GreenPlease wrote:
georged wrote:
Why do you think running is down?


I think what people are missing is that, other than soccer, nearly all sports are seeing a decline in participation. This is the logical outcome of an aging population that is stagnant in size.

And getting fatter, including the younger ones

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

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Lions don't lose sleep worrying about the sheep
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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HuffNPuff wrote:
GreenPlease wrote:
I'm 30. eSports is absolutely HUGE amongst people my age and younger and I think people older than me vastly underestimate just how big eSports have (has?) become.


eSports = oxymoron

What the heck is eSports?

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

Boom Nutrition code 19F4Y3 $5 off 24 pack box | Bionic Runner | PowerCranks | Velotron | Spruzzamist

Lions don't lose sleep worrying about the sheep
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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HuffNPuff wrote:
GreenPlease wrote:
I'm 30. eSports is absolutely HUGE amongst people my age and younger and I think people older than me vastly underestimate just how big eSports have (has?) become.


eSports = oxymoron

It might not be a sport in that there's no physical exertion but the skill/talent/teamwork level involved is off the charts.
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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h2ofun wrote:
HuffNPuff wrote:
GreenPlease wrote:
I'm 30. eSports is absolutely HUGE amongst people my age and younger and I think people older than me vastly underestimate just how big eSports have (has?) become.


eSports = oxymoron


What the heck is eSports?

Competitive video games.
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [h2ofun] [ In reply to ]
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h2ofun wrote:
HuffNPuff wrote:
GreenPlease wrote:
I'm 30. eSports is absolutely HUGE amongst people my age and younger and I think people older than me vastly underestimate just how big eSports have (has?) become.


eSports = oxymoron


What the heck is eSports?

A nonsport for overweight Millennials. From wiki: eSports is a form of competition using video games. Most commonly, eSports take the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players. The most common video game genres associated with eSports are real-time strategy, fighting, first-person shooter, and multiplayer online battle arena.
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [ErickBar] [ In reply to ]
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Is lower participation due to a stronger economy? Any correlation there?


Triathlon draws heavily from what many would consider the upper-middle class, based on average incomes in the sport.

If the economy is doing well then these people should be doing well - better financially and economically with higher consumer confidence. But this is NOT leading to better retail numbers in the tri and bike business! Almost all retailers and manufacturers in the business are down over the last couple of years. Trek CEO John Burke recently said that if you are above being 3.5% DOWN, then you had a good year last year!!

One high ranking industry exec, from one of the leading brands in tri/bike told me recently that, people are simply not replacing and buying new stuff -particularly the big-ticket items like bikes, as frequently as they used to because, they really don't need to - the quality of the mid to high-end stuff is so good.

I concur with the above. I have a 6 year old top-line road bike with full Dura-Ace on it, and it's working/riding amazing. I ride a moderate amount - I always ask myself - do I need something new?

What you see on the bike side of things is the brands pushing "new" categories, like Gravel, or CX, or variations on a theme like disk-brakes, to eek out a few more sales.

In the past, I've seen correlations for endurance sports doing well in DOWN economies (that's NOT the case now), and that was because, in down economies people start to value experiences more than purchasing products.


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [GreenPlease] [ In reply to ]
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I think what people are missing is that, other than soccer, nearly all sports are seeing a decline in participation. This is the logical outcome of an aging population that is stagnant in size.

Yes and no.

Yes there is a general decline in sports participation and physical activity, but the BIGGEST cohort in the population right now in North America, my understanding are millennials! This SHOULD be good news for endurance sports or any sports for that matter, but this is a generation that is VERY unique and different than ANY generation that preceded it. Others above, have noted the influence of things like eGames, and you have to understand this is the first generation to grown up completely and wholly with the internet and digital technology, that is something that they use EVERYDAY in some cases all day!


We, us parents, have taken a WRONG approach to sports with our kids and youth, making it be all ultra-serious, by the time they are 10 years old. Net result - those millennials - by the time they are in their late teens - are not setting records on sports fields, there is a record amount of INACTIVITY among them!


Strange times!


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [HuffNPuff] [ In reply to ]
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HuffNPuff wrote:
h2ofun wrote:
HuffNPuff wrote:
GreenPlease wrote:
I'm 30. eSports is absolutely HUGE amongst people my age and younger and I think people older than me vastly underestimate just how big eSports have (has?) become.


eSports = oxymoron


What the heck is eSports?


A nonsport for overweight Millennials. From wiki: eSports is a form of competition using video games. Most commonly, eSports take the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players. The most common video game genres associated with eSports are real-time strategy, fighting, first-person shooter, and multiplayer online battle arena.

That is what I thought. And we wonder why life length is decreasing.

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

Boom Nutrition code 19F4Y3 $5 off 24 pack box | Bionic Runner | PowerCranks | Velotron | Spruzzamist

Lions don't lose sleep worrying about the sheep
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [Fleck] [ In reply to ]
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Fleck wrote:
I think what people are missing is that, other than soccer, nearly all sports are seeing a decline in participation. This is the logical outcome of an aging population that is stagnant in size.

Yes and no.

Yes there is a general decline in sports participation and physical activity, but the BIGGEST cohort in the population right now in North America, my understanding are millennials! This SHOULD be good news for endurance sports or any sports for that matter, but this is a generation that is VERY unique and different than ANY generation that preceded it. Others above, have noted the influence of things like eGames, and you have to understand this is the first generation to grown up completely and wholly with the internet and digital technology, that is something that they use EVERYDAY in some cases all day!


We, us parents, have taken a WRONG approach to sports with our kids and youth, making it be all ultra-serious, by the time they are 10 years old. Net result - those millennials - by the time they are in their late teens - are not setting records on sports fields, there is a record amount of INACTIVITY among them!


Strange times!

Yep, I clearly see this in my crank length thread. Rather than folks see I am having fun, they are going NUTS taking things WAY too serious!! 99% of sport is just a hobby!!!! NO one is putting food on their table with sports. But boy do some take it as life or death. Get a life!!

Dave Campbell | Facebook | @DaveECampbell | h2ofun@h2ofun.net

Boom Nutrition code 19F4Y3 $5 off 24 pack box | Bionic Runner | PowerCranks | Velotron | Spruzzamist

Lions don't lose sleep worrying about the sheep
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Re: What was Triathlon participation this year....another down year? [Steve-oH!] [ In reply to ]
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Locally here in Ontario - one of the bigger and more mature triathlon marketplaces in North America, my sense is that overall race participation numbers are down. Retail sales numbers at bike/tri shops are down.

My client Multisport Canada, who I do a significant amount of Race Announcing work for, did cut some races, for the 2017 season from their series. On the ones that remained on their schedule, I believe they held steady with their numbers from the previous year - which in the current climate - is a "win".

The really big win, for Multisport Canada was with their featured race, the Barrelman Triathlon in Niagara Falls. This race has bucked current trends and since its start 4 years ago INCREASED it's numbers every year and this year broke through the 1000 participants threshold! The Barrelman, may be the largest non-IRONMAN 1/2 IM distance in North America! To the best of my knowledge - No other independent 1/2 IM distance race has grown in numbers over the same time period as the Barrelman has!


Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog
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