Doing Business with Triathletes

"Economically the event is said to have infused between seven and ten million dollars into the local economy."
– About the Ironman held in 
St. George, Utah for the first time in 2010

What local economy wouldn't want those kinds of dollars?

"After only three years in existence, the Hy-Vee Des Moines ITU Elite Cup has already become one of the most important triathlon events in the world, consistently drawing the fastest athletes in the world to Des Moines, Iowa…"

Des Moines?

Why not the New River Valley?

Handshake 2.0 is a proud sponsor of the New River Valley Triathlon, a sprint triathlon in need of a venue.  We continue to hope that it will exist soon as part of the Virginia Triathlon Series produced by Set Up Events.

As a company, we'd like to do business with triathletes.


USA Triathlon – the sanctioning authority for triathlons including the Olympic Games - has done comprehensive market analyses of the demographics of triathlon including The Mind of the Triathlete (.pdf). Set Up Events, in its Triathlon Sponsorships 2010 Overview (.pdf), highlights key points of those studies:

The Coveted Triathlete Demographic

  • 81% [are] 18-49
  • Largest age groups are 30-39 and 40-44
  • Median age: 41
  • 59.6% male – 39.5% female
  • 98% have attended college
  • 45% have a post-graduate degree
  • 67% are business and community leaders between 30 and 50 years old
  • Average [House-Hold Income] HHI: $174,600
  • Mean [House-Hold Income] HHI: $133,200
  • 93% gave purchasing advice in the past year to an average of 12 people

How many triathletes are there? 

24.8 percent more than last year, according to USA Triathlon.

In the New River Valley triathlete traveling area - North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Georgia and West Virginia - Set Up Events will register over 40,000 entries during the 2010 season.

Welcome, triathletes, to the New River Valley of Virginia! We don't quite have an event yet, but maybe you'd like to train here?  We'd welcome doing business with you.


Added 5/26/10:  According to The Roanoke Times, "The endurance athletes who ran up two mountains in Roanoke's [Virginia] first marathon in 24 years brought with them $350,000 in economic activity, event organizers said…The marathon 'is drawing attention to the world about our valley having this great outdoors'…Organizers said they expect twice as many participants to register for next year's event…'it exposes us to other people outside of the region who will come back to visit or – even better – come live here or open a business here."

New River Valley Triathlon, Virginia

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  1. I think as the cost of large events rise and the economy continues to falter, the demand for local races, will grow and grow! I can’t wait for the race!

  2. Yes, I agree strongly! We have some of the best riding and running right out our back doors here in the NRV. From the National Forest trails at Pandapas Pond, to the country roads off of Ellett Valley and beyond the terrain is varied, and at times quite challenging. This is the perfect location for seriously fun endurance training! Want to find out more about different routes or to ask about training for specific races? If so, contact Blacksburg’s own USA Triathlon Coach, Jim McGehee.

  3. Really appreciated your comment, Kati, on the economics of triathlon, and your ever-present enthusiasm, Jim: “This is the perfect location for seriously fun endurance training!”

    I had to laugh. Yes, the Clay Street Mile is an example. 🙂

  4. Cortney Martin says:

    This region absolutely could support and benefit from a triathlon in the Virginia Triathlon Series. We have a booming population of runners, cyclists, and swimmers and organized triathlon training programs and coaches. Take a quick drive around and you’re guaranteed to see a large number of these athletes out there on the roads and trails. Claytor Lake seems like a natural location (and there are others), but the powers that be will have to be willing to think creatively and take a chance. There is tremendous energy around this idea and the payback in terms of promoting the area, boosting the local economy, and encouraging healthy lifestyles makes it a no-brainer!! Look at the map of Virginia triathlons and notice the huge void in Southwest Virginia. Let’s become a can’t-miss destination triathlon!

  5. Tim Driscoll says:

    One of the few events lacking in the NRV is a good triathlon. We already host well-known races in cycling (Mountains of Misery), MTB (Rowdy Dawg), road running (Blacksburg Classic), and trail running (Brush Mountain Breakdown). It seems like an NRV triathlon would be able to build on this existing excellent local participation. In addition, I’ve seen firsthand how much community support a well-executed local event can garner. Hopefully, local businesses like BRO, Runabout Sports, East Coast Cycling will see the long-term benefit to establishing a triathlon in the NRV!

  6. Thank you so much, Cortney, for such an eloquent statement of hope and vision!

    I, too, have “can’t-miss destination” dreams: New River Valley Triathlon, New River XTERRA, Clay Street Mile… 🙂

  7. Thank you, Tim, for your great list of great sports events already in the NRV. The Blue Ridge Marathon was a new one this year, too!

    People – local businesses, ciy and town officials, community members – have all been VERY supportive.

    RunAbout Sports has listed the New River Valley Triathlon on its home page since 2007! Now THAT is support!

    The challenge is the logistics of procuring a venue. When a venue with water – a pool or open water – says, “We want the New River Valley Triathlon HERE!” – why, we’ll have us a triathlon!

    Thanks again for your interest and support!

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