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Is Ironman triathlon becoming the new sport of the 1 percent?

Posted Mar 13 2012 12:13pm


Yesterday the Active newtwork announced that along with the Tour de France it was putting a dream triathlon camp called " Swim Bike Run with Lance & Friends ," that would let you train and even race with Lance Armstrong and IM triathlon super stars including Craig Alexander, Chrissie Wellington, Dave Scott, and Greg Welch to name a few.

This " Triathlon Dream " camp will be held on the Big Island of Hawaii from May 26th through the 28th with proceeds going to the The Hawaii Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

That's great, and we are very grateful that the companies and triathletes involved are raising money for worthy charity.

But here's the catch. If you want to ride and race with Lance, and some of the sport's best (current and former) Ironman Triathletes you'll have to invest $25,000 for the three day camp.

In other words, the chance to train with Lance, Chrissie and Craig will cost more money for three days than many Americans make in one year.

Or, you could think of it this way. The extended three day weekend on the big Island will cost the triathletes who take part over $8,000 per day.

Wow, and that's not even including the cost of getting to Hawaii. But according the camps web site this does include,  "private transportation direct to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. Bike mechanics will be standing by to unpack and build your bike.  If you don’t want to travel with your bike there will be a limited number of premium Trek road bikes available on a first-requested basis."

Given the fact that it can easily cost as much money to transport a bike to a race as the cost of the airplane ticket, and the fact that an Ironman Charity slot for the upcoming 2012 Memorial Hermann Ironman Texas 70.3 race cost $1,250 USD, we can't help but wonder if Ironman is now the new sport of choice for America's wealthy 1 percent.

According to Bloomberg News : "In a survey of 1,700 U.S. triathletes, 55 percent had a household income of more than $100,000 a year, 90 percent attended college or have a post-graduate degree, 70 percent work full time and 74 percent own their own home."

Now keep in mind that's all triathletes...and not just Ironman triathletes.

With these sorts of stats it might be hard to convince the average American household (who by the way earned $49,445 last year according to USA Today ) that Ironman Triathlon is not the new sport of the 1 percent.

Or you can look at it this way. If Joe or Jane Triathlete wants to attend Lance's dream camp in Hawaii in May he or she will have to spend half of their annual income just to swim, bike, and run for three days...all be it for a good cause.

What do you think? Is Ironman Triathlon the new sport of America's wealthiest 1 percent?

Please let us know in the comments below.

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