Triathlon, Sport of the wealthy
Contrary to large parts of the rest of the civilized world and Australia, Golf still has a whiff of old fart about it in Germany. It is perceived as expensive, boring and the first address for snobbery and sudo-exclusivity. You hardly see young(-ish) people on the course and never anyone who is can be located near anything that would feature on RedBullTV. Weird then, when I talk to friends from the US for example, where even the crazy MTB DH racers I hang with enjoy a good afternoon shooting 9 holes. What’s also funny is how, mountainbiking or snowboarding or anything similar is perceived as simple sports, for the simple man. These are supposedly sports that transcend the silos of society. If you can smash a berm it does not matter whether your dad’s a plumber or VC investor. Thing is, it sort of does matter and if you go down the rabbit hole of bike equipment, race weekends and tires that wear out after two weekends it suddenly is not the simple man’s sport at all. So when I transitioned from MTB racing to triathlon I thought that it might get cheaper. Not going through 10 to 15 sets of tires per year, no more paying for uplifts and driving to the mountains on the weekends. No more horrendous race fees and new gear all the time. To have some numbers on it, I logged all my triathlon related expenses from the beginning of the year until my Ironman competition on July 29th. When the year started I was fully equipped for long distance triathlon. I had a tri bike, helmet, shoes and jersey and bib shorts. I had running shoes, running gear and all the small things you would need. I had a wetsuit and all the swim toys beginners think they need. So all costs displayed are either „operating costs“ like the Gym and club memberships, or things that can be considered useful, but not strictly necessary, like a powermeter or a new aero helmet.
In total I spent 3152€ on things that are more or less directly connected to triathlon. Details are shown in the sankey diagram below, it will display the value when you hover over each link. The biggest factor by far was bike equipment. A powermeter, new helmet, new jersey and bibs. Nothing really necessary, but I enjoy riding and good looking and well functioning gear makes me happy. Among the more useful costs were my TR and TP subscription, the trainingplan, fees for pool access and club membership. I paid 150 for a gym membership that I never even once used. There’s also 100€ for nutrition, something I want to address with my next post when I’ll talk about how to make your own energy gel.