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The holiday economics of triathlon

Recently a friend sent me one of those fun email forwards that lists funny, disturbing and sadly true reasons to knowing that you are a triathlete.

There was one I could have added to the list, however.

You know you're a triathlete when ... your Christmas list to Santa is dominated by requests for training gear and gadgets.

Sure, I don't need a fancy Garmin watch to train for, and hit, my goals for the Buffalo Marathon, the Muskoka 70.3 race and the other events in between. But if holiday gifts are at least in part about want and desire, than the $400 watch goes on my list.

Of course, I'm pretty sure Santa is feeling an economic pinch this year, too.

But apparently, while the U.S. has been in a recession since last December, the sport of triathlon has been doing rather well.

An article posted on RunnersWeb.com notes that triathlons seem to be recession-proof. At least for now. Membership in the national organization, USA Triathlon has grown and so too has the number of races held during the year.

As triathlon becomes more popular, the number of races increases. That means less travel, and fewer expenses, to participate. Heck, think of Western New York. Off the top of my head, there are five races you can get to with a same-day drive (not even counting ones in Canada) and if you're happen to concentrate on running, you can run a 5K pretty much every weekend, even through the winter months.

While I balk at the use of the term "luxury sport" in the article, there is something to be said for the investment in triathlon. You do have to fork over some money for gear, but you don't have to get crazy. And I'm guessing that there are others, like myself, who see the sport as an investment in your health -- physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. As my one friend said, "I started doing triathlons because it was cheaper than therapy."

While Santa is busy getting ready to deliver toys to all the good triathlon girls and boys, those who get cash for the holidays may want to wait until February to spend it, if they like to try out new kicks.

Under Amrour recently announced the launch of a line of running shoes. The six-shoe line will be unveiled Jan. 31.

So perhaps at least the shoe companies won't need an economic bailout anytime soon.

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