Triathlons Create Companies

“One might expect that most high-impact companies would be in high-technology industries where technological change has been rapid…The empirical evidence suggests that economies that are more diversified will grow more rapidly than ones that are more specialized.”
Small Business Administration

Diversifying the local economy in Blacksburg, Virginia are two triathlon companies, One-on-One Endurance, founded in 2002 by Jim McGehee, and TriAdventure Multisport Coaching & Fitness founded by Anne Jones Thompson in 2003.  

As we mentioned in Doing Business with Triathletes and A Local Triathlon Economy, swimming, biking, running can be good for business.

Ah, the swimming.  Ask someone about doing a triathlon and the invariable reply is, "I can't swim!" or "I'd die in the swim!" or "I wouldn't want anyone to see me swim!"

Being one who tends to be a leaper rather than a toe-dipper, I decided I was going to do a first sprint triathlon not having had a swim lesson since 1969, having a personal distance record of 6 miles on a hybrid bike, and the fitness to jog one 1/9 mile lap at The Weight Club, then walk the next, for a total of one mile.

I got in the pool with the TriAdventure group, swam up and back, then gasped, almost sobbing with disappointment to Anne Jones Thompson, "I can only do 50s!" "Then do 50s!" she said.  And that's how I got started swimming again.  One 50 at a time.

With the "I wouldn't want anyone to see me swim!" part, sometimes someone else going first helps. Okay, fine.  So, not only can you see me swim, you can see my swimming analyzed by Coach Jim McGehee.  Nice hat, eh? And how about the still with my mouth open?  Great.

Doing a triathlon – swimming, biking, running – can diversify and grow an individual's fitness program.  That sounds just like what triathletes, their spending, and the companies that support them can do for a local economy.


"We want the New River Valley Triathlon HERE!" That's what organizers and sponsors of the New River Valley Triathlon would welcome hearing from a venue with a pool in the New River Valley.  If you're that venue, please contact the New River Valley Triathlon.

You're invited to read more about triathlon on Handshake 2.0.

One-on-One Endurance and Handshake 2.0 are sponsors of the New River Valley Triathlon.

Handshakes with Meals Next Door
The Business of Feelings


  1. Anne, thanks for the shout out. A triathlon in the NRV would be so good for so many reasons… we are one of very few places that DON’T have one. Triathlon continues to be a growing sport all over the world…NRV is missing out. We are ready to train people to finish and have fun…surely one of the Towns/Aquatic Centers/Rec Departments can help with this?

  2. Debbie Palombo says:

    Very nice, Anne. I was the one who predicted your talents in this arena! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ah, I do remember. Your powers of prediction are powerful! Thank you for your faith and belief in me.

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