Do you know how expletive deleted expensive a full distance triathlon is to enter?
No, neither did I when, at the end of 2014, I finally decided that one was within my physical reach.
What ever excuse they come up with for the charges they make, most full distance triathlons are over £250 to enter and many are over £300: well over £300!
No wonder the triathlon world is full of middle aged management types. You have to be on a certain wage to afford it. And everyone seems OK with that.
It is all to do with a company called Ironman. Oh yes, the name of the full triathlon is also the name of a company. And like all companies they are only in it to make money.
And as Reggie Upper Management is happy to pay through the nose, Ironman don’t disappoint them.
This keeps everyone happy: Ironman make decent profits and attract the audiences that can attract the sponsors and Reggie Upper Management is happy because as you have to be rich and fit to win a full distance triathlon it cuts down on the competition.
As my mate Paul mused, only Polo is less diverse than Triathlon!
So following a short discussion, about why this is the case, on the Triathlon group on Linkedin, I realised that nothing was going to change and that if I was going to do a full distance triathlon I either had to dig deep (financially as well as mentally) or search around for the odd one or two races within my budget.
With some great suggestions about more value-for-money races ringing in my ears I set about finding some more financially achievable races, around or even under the £200 mark.
Since that search and considering my views about value and the state of my bank balance, this has rather become the point of this blog.
Not only am I writing this blog to plot my story, but hopefully, if I succeed, it will be a tale of how to do a full distance triathlon in a way that many more of us can afford. Not only in money but also in time, because a balance in lifestyle is what is important to me.
I am self-employed, so if I am not working I am not earning. Also I don’t want to leave my family for large swathes of time – that is not what I am doing it for. In fact I want to make sure that my family are there on the day. It is something I discovered in Lisbon: if my loved ones are not at the end of the race, what is the point in starting it?
Anyhow, Back to the Race
So ultimately I chose the Ch’Triman in Gravelines near Dunkirk in Northern France. At €180 it meant that I could bring the family over and make a weekend of it for the same price as just the entry to the UK Ironman.
It also seemed quite friendly and having been run for 7 years, by the local Triathlon League and clubs of the region, I have confidence that, as it is being run by the sport and not for the sport by an outside company, it will be well organised and competitor friendly.
I also found others of note – the Hardman in Killarny, the Midnight Man in Kent and the Enduroman in the New Forest (for which the last run lap is in the opposite direction so everyone knows to give you that last hurrah – brilliant!), so if, after this year, I get the bug, I can do lots more triathlons and still remain non-ferous!
The Ch’triman takes place on 05 July. Say hello if you have already entered or if you are thinking of doing so (although the price has gone up to €220 since New Year) More information is at http://www.chtriman.com/