This Is The Year. 2018.

2018 is destined to represent the third boom across the sport of triathlon. A myriad of new industry collaboration and promotional initiatives, including #TimeToTri and our own #IfINeverTri campaigns, have launched in hopes of inspiring new triathletes into the lifestyle.

Growth in this sport comes when communities are engaged, when face-to-face conversations are held, when dreams are shared and when a framework for success is presented. It’s all heavy lifting, and it’s all necessary.

Collectively, our entire industry is focused on lowering the barriers to entry and providing more education for newcomers. Specifically, our new programming and enhancements (inclusive entry fees, more swim clinics, less competitive focus, scholarships, new officiating format, etc.) will now be put to the test.

So far, we’re optimistic. Here are a few interesting metrics to share:

Indoor Triathlons
Simply put, the first round of our 2018 Indoor Triathlon series was incredible! Hosted at 47 clubs across North America, these events attracted 4,200 participants and reached an unprecedented 89% capacity!  A majority, 59%, were female and 55% had zero outdoor tri experience.

Post event surveys concluded that 96% would recommend these events to friends and family, and 91% are interested in completing an outdoor triathlon during the 2018 season. It goes without saying that these events are critical to future growth of our sport. It gives participants, especially first-timers, the encouraging and supporting environment that is conducive to fostering confidence in the outdoor arena.

If you haven’t yet heard, a second round of Indoor Triathlons will be hosted at 25+ locations during the spring months. Click here for full details and to register. Watch for more events to be added for the fall and winter months.

New Triathletes
As of last week, demand from new triathletes has grown by 20% compared to this same point in 2017. The inclusion of non-intimating race experiences, primarily the new Recreational Waves, has been incredibly well-received. Nearly 30% of all series’ registrants have opted-into the Friends & Family, First-Timers’ or Early Bird race experiences (read more here). More compelling is the fact that 60% of all registered, first-time triathletes enlisted in one of these recreational waves. These metrics support the notion that customizing the typical race experience will drive more interest in the sport.

Veterans
While first-timers represent an enormous focus in 2018, we will never lose sight of our loyal, returning athletes, representing 50%+ of our customer base. We remain committed to providing the nation’s best short course race experiences in the heart of so many exciting destinations.

The new 2018 Life Time Tri Championship has renewed a bit of purpose for many of our loyal triathletes. For the first time ever, Life Time Tri is hosting a championship event for 250+ age groupers this summer in New York City. Life Time Tri welcomes nearly 25,000 collective athletes each season, yet fewer than 20% have ever experienced the NYC Tri. The special event allows us to showcase one of the greatest race venues on Earth to an entirely new audience. Have we gotten your attention? We still have two races left in our series that can qualify you for our Championship, South Beach Tri (4/15) and CapTex (5/28), with 350+ qualifying spots in these races combined.

Gender participation remains consistent (39% female), as do age group concentrations. The average age of our veteran athletes has interestingly risen to 42 years (vs. 40 in 2017).  In comparison, our first-timers have also aged a bit, from 32 to 35 years of age. We haven’t yet discovered any anomalies within our veteran demographics, but we will keep a keen eye on forthcoming registrations.

 

As always, we will continue to keep the athletes and their experience at the forefront of what we strive to do for not only the Life Time Tri series, but for the sport as a whole. We are excited to jump into our first race of the season in two months from now (South Beach Tri 4/15) and start this season off with a bang! We hope that you join us this year!