Triathlon IS a Country Club Sport

What form does your procrastinating take? This morning I delayed grading papers by skimming the forum on, where tens of thousands of triathletes gather from around the U.S. and world. Before you report me to my boss, whomever that is, I only read one thread about race fees getting totally out of control.

The discussion got me so fired up that I almost registered on Slowtwitch (I lurk) so I could post, but chose not to tip my toes in that water. So this will probably interest two or three of my regular readers.

The original poster said the NY Olympic Triathlon has increased it fees 40% the last two years and is now $245. He said he feared triathlon may become a country club sport. About two in ten posters sympathized, eight in ten attacked him for not blindly supporting free market capitalism. I didn’t know Milton Friedman has such a tight grip on the triathlon community, but it makes sense since triathletes tend to own the means of production. (My right wing friends have informed me that we have a Marxist president so I’m going to go along to get along and start dropping Marxist terminology throughout my written and oral communication.) The majority’s thesis is that race directors should charge whatever they can get and that a race is not over priced until it’s not sold out.

That’s all well and good, but they are slow on the up-take and have a major blind spot that no one on Slowtwitch has or will point out. Triathlon ALREADY is a country club sport. Take an enthusiast golfer, tennis player, and triathlete and compare annual expenses and I guarantee you the triathlete would be right in the mix. And look at the demographics of each group and again the triathletes will be every bit as homogenous.

Most importantly, they ignore the fact that outrageous entry fees weaken the competitive pool. If they were serious athletes who wanted to throw down with the best (read economically and culturally diverse) athletes, they’d temper their love of free markets and work to make their sport more accessible. As it is they feel much better about themselves placing second or third among other rich white guys with six figure salaries. Good thing I didn’t register because that line would unleash a tidal wave on Slowtwitch.

If you can’t tell, this topic gets me fired up, but I really should get back to the papers.

Carry on comrades.

4 thoughts on “Triathlon IS a Country Club Sport

    • Really? When were you planning on telling me you found bike, wheel, wetsuit, power, gps, shoe, nutrition, and clothing sponsors? And how much is that swanky fitness/swim club of yours a month? And the massage therapist you have on speed dial? And the coach? Physical therapist? Sports psychologist?

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