“Tri-ing on a College Budget”

The average income of a triathlete is $50,000, they are likely to have a college degree, and are most likely to be employed in a professional/managerial occupation.

The question could be raised as to whether this is the typical triathlete because the sport attracts that type of individual, or is it because the sport is so expensive and it prevents people from “tri-ing”? I would argue it is a combination of both! Being at the poorer end of the “triathlete demographics”, the more people like me that can afford to enter the sport the less lonely I will feel. Through life experiences, I’ve come up with the following guide: “Tri-ing on a College Budget”:

1. Join a club: Find a triathlon club in your area or at your college and join it, even if the club isn’t very close and you can only occasionally make the meetings. Triathlon clubs are a great source of information as well as a great place to find used equipment. Also, many clubs have club sponsors that offer discounts to members. The money spent joining a club will generally be well spent.

2. Buy a discounted bike: My first inclination is to say “buy a used bike”. However, having a bike with an improper fit will ruin your experience. If the used bike doesn’t fit you, the money you saved initially will be lost when you have to replace it. So either find a previous year model bike at a bike shop that fits, or pay a bike shop (knowledgeable in fitting triathletes) to determine what size bike you need and then find a used bike. Bottom line, the initial bike purchase is the largest purchase and consequently the area you can save the most money on. Just make sure the bike fits! If you follow the advice to join a club, there might be someone in the club who does fittings for triathletes, there also might be someone selling a bike that fits you…

3. Don’t fall for the hype: Triathletes typically have plenty of expendable cash; if you’re reading this you probably don’t. Hopefully there will come a time in your triathlon experience where you can splurge on some of the hyped up products, but now is not the time. Don’t buy Dura-Ace components when Shimano 105 will work. You’d just be spending big money for slight weight savings. Don’t spend $1,500 for a Zipp disc. If you really have to have a disc wheel, buy a wheel cover. Here is what I would buy as the money became available and in the order I would purchase them:

1. Aero bars
2. Clipless pedals
3. Aero wheels

Again, if you’ve joined a club someone in the club might give you a good deal on some of these items. There are also some excellent online sources for triathlon gear, places like Trisports.com where you can find some great prices.

4. Get out and race: There are three disciplines in triathlons, when they are all combined they become expensive to compete in, but individually they aren’t as bad. Plan out your season and mix in a few running races, swim meets, or bike races. Not only will it stretch your budget allowing you to compete more often, but you’ll also be exposed to experts in those individual disciplines.

I have quite a few more ideas I could write about and I’m sure most of you have some you could add to the mix. I spent three years as a college student traveling to hundreds of races. Most of the time I would sleep with my bicycle in a station wagon parked in a Walmart parking lot. I skimped on a lot of luxuries so I could race often. I got passed by quite a few athletes on multi thousand dollar bikes, but I passed a lot more of them. Bottom line is I was able to do it and so can you. Don’t let the expense dictate the demographics!

posted at 08:49:20 on 11/20/06 by Tony Rigdon – Category: General


Tina Ehrhardt wrote:

Awesome Tony–way to go! Yes, some triathletes are serious gearheads!
12/29/06 20:25:55

Run to the Light 5k

Did a 5k this past weekend. My friends Ken and Diane Hood had contacted me a while back about using some of Ultramax’s timing equipment to time a 5k run through Silver Dollar City…

It was to be a fund raiser for “the Caring People” an organization to help single mothers. The unique aspect was that it would run through Silver Dollar City at night under the Christmas lights. It sounded like a lot of fun so I figured that since the Ultramax equipment was going down I ought to go along and join in on the fun.

Being that this was a first year event, some things didn’t go the greatest. Everything worked out in the end, but it was almost a disaster. They had tried to limit it to 500 entrants, but were overwhelmed by the response and ended up with close to 1,000 compeitors. A majority of these entrants had never done a 5k before, so that added to the confusion that registration turned into.

After helping hand out transponders until 9:00pm, we hurriedly setup the finish line and imported all the new competitors. Just when I was thinking I was going to have to skip the run and just help out with timing, we got things looking good, so I dashed over to where the run start was and I headed out on the run.

I don’t have a long report about the race other than I ran decently despite having gone for a 13 mile run the previous morning. My average pace ended up at 6:08 per mile, this despite some major hills we had to run up. After this result, I’m feeling pretty good about the upcoming Turkey Trot I’m doing come Thanksgiving, I’m hopping for something around 5:30 pace!

posted at 12:42:50 on 11/15/06 by Tony Rigdon – Category: General

Productive Morning…

Most mornings aren’t quite this productive for me…

To be honest I didn’t even plan on this morning being as productive as it was. I had really only planned on running early and then taking a longer lunch than normal to go vote and get a swim in. But when I came in at 6am this morning after getting in a 7 mile run, I decided I might as well go ahead and get my swim over and done with. 2,200 yds later it still wasn’t time to leave for work yet so I walked over to the local fire station and voted. By this time my watch read 7:30am so I quickly made my breakfast and headed into work…

posted at 09:32:54 on 11/07/06 by Tony Rigdon – Category: General

2007 Goals…

Seeing that 2006 didn’t quite work out like I had planned, I’m pretty anxious to look ahead to 2007 and put 2006 behind me…

Granted there are still two months left in 2006, but I’m ready to put down “on paper” my goals for 07′.

My primary goal for 2007 is to qualify for and compete in the ITU Long Course Duathlon World Championship being held in Richmond, VA on October 21st. This will be my #1 athletic goal of 07′, along the way however I also hope to accomplish the following:

– Go under 17:00 for a 5k
– Run a 10k under 36:00
– Break 2 hours in an Olympic Distance tri
– Swim 100yds in under a minute

These are all realistic goals for me provided I can stay healthy and focused. Another goal is to keep this site updated; I’ll do a much better job with that. Look for a “Road to Duathlon Worlds” series as I attempt to reach my #1 goal next year.

posted at 12:33:48 on 11/06/06 by Tony Rigdon – Category: General


Tony Rigdon wrote:

I wrote down some of my running goals on paper, but hadn’t actually included it in this post. Thought I would go ahead and add them as a comment:

5k – 16:59 or faster/ 5:28 pace
10k – 36:00 or faster/ 5:48 pace
1/2 marathon – 1:20:00 or faster/ 6:05 pace
Marathon – 2:50 or faster/ 6:27 pace

11/07/06 10:40:14

Website updates…

I have been doing a little work on this site. I know it is hard to tell since I haven’t posted any “latest happenings” in a while. So, I thought I would post something just to let ya know what is going on.

Some of the work I’ve been doing will make it easier to keep things updated. The most recent change I’ve made is making the main page of my website “dynamic”. Previously, if I added an entry to my blog, I would then have to manually open the index.php page and update the “latest happenings” section, copying and pasting the information I had just added to my blog. Now, anytime I add an item, it is dynamically inserted into the “latest happenings” section. Since there is one less step to posting an item, I will do so with greater frequency! Look for a race report real soon about the Pumpkinman Triathlon I competed in out in Las Vegas…

13:10:10 – Tony Rigdon