220 Triathlon


From the beaches of San Diego in the mid-Seventies to an Olympic debut as recently as 2000, for a sport in its relative infancy the label “pale, male and stale” is as chafing as budgie-smugglers on an Ironman bike leg. Naturally, triathlon couldn’t retain the tag of ‘world’s fastest growing sport’ forever, but the fact its biggest market, the US, has seen numbers flatlining for the past six years suggests not enough is being done to encourage wider participation and dispel an elitist image.

And that’s not just for commercial gain but because, as those to whom it has brought so much fulfilment know, it’s the right thing to do. In a changing, polarised and increasingly sedentary world, whose inhabitants could benefit like never before from a bit of swim, bike and run, there’s an argument to say tri is stagnating.

According to the most recent figures from the Triathlon Industry Association, only around 2% of triathletes are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic and the male-female ratio remains consistent at a 70-30 split. Whether stats are needed here is somewhat moot. From the amateur to pro ranks, a glance around the briefing tent suggests triathlon largely exists within its own bubble, and while instinct might be to jump to the defensive, perhaps we’d be better served reflecting whether multisport can realistically improve its appeal and, if so, how?

If impetus was required, the

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220 Triathlon1 min letti
15 Of The Best UK Solo Adventures …for Triathletes
We seem to have been inundated with TV that has ‘Great British’ in the title of late. There’s the Great British Bake-Off, Menu, Sewing Bee, Pottery Throw-Down… and, to be honest, although we’ll happily watch cakes or cooking all day long (pottery is
220 Triathlon3 min letti
Race Calendar
11 BEDFORD DUATHLON (various distances). Thurleigh Airfield. active trainingworld.co.uk 18 GREAT NOTLEY SPRING DUATHLON (4km R/20km B/4km R). Great Notley, Essex. born2tri.com 25 TORBAY TRIATHLON SPRING (various dists). Paignton, South Devon. sport
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Essential Kit
Comfort is key for all levels, so consider pads, grippers and material quality. Full-length zippers are also handy for mid-race toilet stops. £130 Performs very well on both the bike and run thanks to top-quality fabrics. Issue 378 2xu.com £179