What To Expect During the 2019 Tri Season
So, you’re thinking about enrolling in a 2019 Life Time Tri event?
Do it. You won’t regret it.
One year ago, we launched a major initiative to change the face of short-course, non-draft triathlon for the better. The ultimate goal was to stimulate growth in the sport, specifically by making triathlon more accessible to non-traditional participants, more exciting for veterans and by simplifying the entire race experience for all.
With that said, we are pleased to report that it’s working. All of it. Not only did overall event participation grow by 2% across our eight events (to 22,747 registrants), but first-timer participation grew (by 19% YOY) to new levels. We witnessed 5,598 first-timers crossing our finish lines during the 2018 season. Doing the math, first-timers now represent 25% of our audience, and we expect more in 2019.
Recapping of the Past
The biggest drive for our first-timer growth was the introduction of several “non-competitive” race experiences, specifically First-Timer and Friends & Family start options. Of our 22,747 total participants, 4,414 (19%) opted into a non-competitive start group. These race options will return in 2019, along with the typical “competitive” divisions.
Life Time offered 63 Indoor Triathlons across the U.S. and Canada during the 2018 winter and spring seasons, hosting 5,162 collective triathletes – of whom 54% had never completed an outdoor triathlon. In 2019, we’ll expand these efforts by 50%, offering 100 indoor triathlons to a collective 10,000 participants in late January. Registration opens Thursday, November 1. These events provide an excellent entry into triathlon, and act as confidence boosters to the outdoor versions.
While we do focus on newcomers, we’ll never forget about our veteran triathletes. Since 2001, we’ve been honored to support 500,000+ of them working toward their personal best. To support that opportunity, we created a new podium for our age groupers.
Our first Life Time Tri Series Championship race was held in New York City on July 1, featuring 225 incredible amateurs competing for $60,000 in cash and prizes. The 2019 edition (July 21) is on trend to grow by 50%, again with complimentary TriBike Transport bike shipping for on-site registrants.
In line with making the sport simpler, more accessible and more exciting for all, we debuted a new race rules program. The program was a smashing success, primarily due to a stellar team of race officials who proactively conversed with athletes during the entire race weekend, and prevented hundreds of typical penalties through in-race dialogue.
Looking To The Future
While we always aspire for more, we must appreciate the positive trend in our sport, and the impact we’ve made on so many new athletes. Given these findings, we are excited to both continue (as stated above) – and even expand upon (ie. additional swim clinics) – our efforts into the 2019 season. More to come this winter.
After 12+ years in this sport, we continue to believe that short course triathlon still has its place in the endurance universe. We want to inspire and influence the multisport lifestyle for years to come. We’ll do that through continued focus on these four initiatives:
- We will simplify our approach.
- We will increase accessibility to the party.
- We will incorporate convenience into our sport.
- We will rekindle the fun factor.
Are you ready? Today just happens to be November 1, which means registration is finally upon us!
Thank you for being a part of history. We look forward to seeing you at the Start Line in 2019.
– Your Friends at Life Time Tri