Triathlon continues to grow

USA Triathlon, the governing body of triathlon in the United States, announced on Aug. 12 that its total membership recently surpassed 125,000. Even in this Great Recession, USA Triathlon’s membership increased 14.2% since the end of 2008 when membership stood at 107,231. Additionally, the organization anticipates that it will surpass 3,100 sanctioned events in 2009, about 11% more than last year’s total of about 2,800. Skip Gilbert, USA Triathlon’s CEO offered this bit of philosophy to explain the continued growth of the sport: “The state of the economy has many Americans not only reevaluating their careers, but also their health, relationships and other areas of their lives.” But maybe triathletes aren’t impacted by the downturn simply because they didn’t have much dough to begin with. Citing a study conducted by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, The Wall Street Journal reported recently that off-road triathletes came in dead last of 93 sports in participants’ average household income ($53,719). On-raod triathletes were only five spots higher at $62,375. Snorkelers were found to be the richest of athletes, with a household income of $92,373.

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