Yesterday while browsing the small expo for my tri tomorrow I noted the cost of things. I was in need of a tri top (a fitted top that you can swim-bike-run in, FYI) and I saw a few that were marked at half off. Good deal right? Wrong. The top was $85. What-now-what? You want $45 for a top that is no bigger than a tankini? Is it made of gold? Will it make me win my age group? Probably not.

But, guess what? I forked over the cash. My thinking was, I need a top for the race and if I fit this size then I can just buy for less online in the future. But this really got me thinking about the cost of races and merchandise.

If you think about it, the majority of “us” (ie- runners, triathletes, cyclists, swimmers, etc.) fit the demographic that retailers want. We have some disposable cash and have found something that we are willing to spend the funds on regardless how silly it seems to spend $45 on what is essentially the top half of a bathing suit. Or $140 dollars on running shoes. And let’s not get started on the costs of registering for these things coupled with the travel.

So where does this leave us? I mean honestly, would we still sign up for this stuff and purchase all of the accoutrements if they were 20% more, 50% more? Granted, I am a shopper. I like shopping and if I want something I don’t normally worry about finding a better deal if it is specifically what I want.


I probably should. I am assessing what I have spent recently on tri gear and races and it’s adding up. Have any of you made promises to yourselves to pay more attention to costs with regards to this hobby? And can we put a price on feeling good about ourselves and our accomplishments?

Just some Friday food for thought. I’d love to hear about how you budget for these things and whether the cost of an event or item has caused you to put on the brakes.

My 2nd sprint tri is tomorrow. Wish me luck and I do the same for those of you racing and in training.