COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An estimated 2.3 million unique individuals completed a triathlon in 2010, representing 55 percent growth in one year, according to a recent report from the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA). In addition, USA Triathlon annual membership totals reached an all-time high in excess of 140,000 last year, with another 326,000-plus one-day license holders, continuing to demonstrate the sustained growth of multisport participation in the United States.
According to the SGMA, approximately 2,295,000 individuals completed at least one triathlon in 2010, up from 1,481,000 unique participants in 2009. Additionally, an estimated 1,978,000 individuals participated in an on-road triathlon in 2010, while 929,000 athletes competed in an off-road event last year.
The 1.9-million on-road competitors marked a 63.7 percent increase from 2009 (1.2 million participants) and a 147.9 percent increase since 2007 (798,000 participants). Additionally, the 929,000 off-road participants demonstrated 39.5 percent growth since 2009 (666,000 participants) and 92.3 percent growth since 2007 (483,000 participants).
Additionally, the SGMA estimated that there were 1.2 million core on-road triathletes and another 694,000 core off-road participants in 2010. The SGMA defines core participants as athletes that completed two or more events last year.
Further demonstrating the growth of multisport in the U.S. is the continued expansion of USA Triathlon’s annual membership base and the organization’s varied programs. In 2010, USA Triathlon reached a record total of 140,244 annual members.
By comparison, USA Triathlon had 21,341 annual members in 2000 and totaled 58,073 annual members in 2005. The high-water mark from 2010 of 140,244 annual members represents approximately 557 percent growth since 2000 and 141 percent growth since 2005. Additionally, the 140,244 annual members from August 2010 marked 9 percent growth since yearend 2009 (128,653 annual members).
“This data supports what we are fortunate enough to observe on a daily basis at USA Triathlon — more and more people are flocking to our sport annually because of the incredibly healthy lifestyle it promotes and the exciting and rewarding challenge it presents,” said USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach. “We are thrilled to be a part of the consistent and dramatic growth of multisport on a national and worldwide level and we look forward to continuing to help take our sport to new heights in the future.”
In addition to record membership totals, USA Triathlon also reached all-time highs in a number of other programming areas in 2010:
• 37,238 USA Triathlon youth annual members (ages 7-17)
• 3,486 USA Triathlon-sanctioned events
• 326,732 one-day sanctioned event participation licenses
• 1,721 USA Triathlon-certified coaches
• 461 USA Triathlon-certified race directors
• 869 official USA Triathlon clubs