Monday, July 20, 2015

Triathlon costs

Related to my previous post refuting the “running is the cheapest sport” myth, I started trying to calculate the costs of training for triathlons and gave up. I buy bottom-tier gear and am still out hundreds of dollars. You can see why this is a VERY white, upper-middle-class sport and why I exclaim to others that I saw one or two POC at the last race among hundreds of participants.

Things I already had:
Sneakers for bike: $25 from Payless
Socks: $20 paid with a gift card
Vibram Five Fingers for run: $50 (if on sale) to $120, replace every 6 months
Sports bra: $65 each by Enell
Runderwear: $20 per pair
Road ID (emergency ID ankle band): $20 paid with gift certificate
Hydration pack: $25 on Amazon
Sport swimsuit: $85 by Speedo
Goggles: $15 by Speedo
Swim cap: $5
Weight lifting gloves, suitable for biking: $15
Saddle (bike seat): $200 (won in a raffle)

Extra stuff I had to buy:
Bicycle: $350 (gift from family)
[A low-end road bike runs $500-700. I happened to know someone who built me a usable one from scratch.]
Bike stand: $25 (gift from family)
Bike lock: $10
Bike rack: $40 (gift from family)
Spare tubes: $7 each
Repair kit: $15
Padded bike shorts: $50 (paid with gift card)
Helmet: $19
Tri shirt: $40
Bicycle fitting: $75
Bike maintenance intro course: $30
Bike maint. advanced course: $55
Energy chews: $2-3 per training/race
Race registration fees (for shortest/sprint distance): $70-120

Pool membership (next city over): $19/mo
Swim conditioning classes: $69/mo (8 classes)
Local rec center membership: $60/year

It is VERY difficult for me to afford this sport. It’s unfortunate that fitness costs are so prohibitive to so many people. I wonder what the field would look like if more people could afford to come.

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