Gwen generated all this interest doing what the majority of triathletes are doing - short course! Sprint and Olympic races are the typical gateway into our sport and the easiest (and most financially practical) distances to sustain over the long haul. True, many find their way happily and successfully to the Half or Full Iron distance events, but sprint and Olympic distance races continue to be triathlon's natural home base.
At RTB we have energetic groups of both short course and long course athletes. They reported racing short course 187 times in 2016. This only slightly outnumbered our long course entries - 167 reported 70.3 or Ironman entries. 78 of our members raced long course this year, 77 raced short course, and 39 well-rounded team members race both. In our community, our short course and long course numbers are pretty Even-Steven.
If you're wondering if Raise the Bar reflects the national averages, it seems we're not even close! Nationally, In 2015, 78% of triathletes did Sprints, 58% Olympic, 39% Half Iron and 17% Ironman. These numbers are based on USAT Annual members and one-day licenses at USAT Sanctioned events.
USAT is getting ready to do a post-Olympic marketing campaign - the aim of which is to bring newbies into triathlon pipeline with sprint-distance first. We're looking forward to piggybacking with this effort to reach out to people in the Pacific Northwest. Without new growth, a lot of living things can go sideways - and triathlon is no different. We hope you'll encourage your friends to consider trying triathlon!
Have you found or have been forwarded this blog and haven't put a toe into the waters and roads of triathlon yet? Well, let us wholeheartedly welcome you to a sport that embraces every ability; where the Olympic athletes and complete novices routinely cross the exact same finish lines. A sport where every body type shows up on race day and where each effort is equally rewarded with a medal, a meal, and a memory. Here, even the uncoordinated kids who couldn't play a ball sport (present company most definitely included) find satisfaction and success in doing 3 sports we all loved as children, that simply challenge you to just keep moving forward!
Submitted by Patty Swedberg
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