By Kelly O’Mara, Triathlete Magazine
It’s always exciting when the mainstream media covers our sport, especially when triathlon makes it into a paper as big as The New York Times. It’s also always a little entertaining to see what they get right….and wrong. By now, you’ve probably read The New York Times’story on triathlon participation decline and the industry’s efforts to now attract more (and younger) athletes by eliminating barriers and making the sport cheaper.
In general, yes, the story got the broad strokes right: We know triathlon participation declined over the last five or six years after a period of massive growth in the 2000s. We also know there were a number of reasons for this, some having to do with market shifts and some, yes, having to do with a perception of triathlon as too hard and too expensive. The sport, in general, as outlined in the NYT, is now trying to change that perception and attract more diverse and younger athletes.
But, USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris, said the one big thing they missed: It’s already happening. Triathlon participation is already starting to go back up. “We’re now seeing that trend change,” said Harris.
So, in general, yes, the mainstream media got our triathlon basics right. However, we do have a few triathlete-y specifics (and one big one) we’d like to nitpick.
Read the rest HERE
From 303’s perspective, the local races appear to be doing well aside from the now discontinued IRONMAN Boulder. Last weekend’s 70.3 had about 2,500 people register. The Harvest Moon (same distance) coming up in a month is sold out. The sport seems level but at each race there is a healthy show of hands when people are asked to identify themselves as newbies. Many races include duathlons, aqua bikes, relays and SUP options to cast the biggest net on endurance athletes interests.