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UK triathlon market grew 14 per cent in 2014

That’s according to the Triathlon Industry Association’s third annual UK survey.

Conducted in the first quarter of this year, detailed responses were received from over 4,300 triathletes.

Key findings of the report include:

• Revenue generated was £363 million in 2014.

• The 14 per cent uplift in 2014 builds upon the previous year’s rise of 12 per cent.

• With a population of 130,000 active racing triathletes, the average total spend per person was calculated as £2,790.

• Five category areas were ahead of the total UK market growth figure of 2014: wetsuits, bikes, club memberships, sports nutrition and multisport accessories.

• Bikes took the largest share (23 per cent) of the total tri market in 2014. Bike frames, wheels, parts, bike and tri accessories, and servicing and bike fit came in as the second largest ‘revenue bucket’, followed by triathlon events, travel and accommodation combined.

• In terms of newcomers to the sport, the majority of triathletes (54 per cent) came from a running background.

• Road cycling (23 per cent) has also started to build a role as an area from which athletes migrate into multisport.

• Compared to an overall average of 28 per cent of triathletes, 33 per cent of new starters in 2014 were women.

Gary Roethenbaugh, managing director of MultiSport Research, the author of the report for the TIA, says: “Overall, triathlon has maintained a strong footing in the face of competition from the likes of obstacle racing and other mass participation events.

“Once hooked on the sport, triathletes continue to demonstrate a constant desire to improve.

“This in turn drives innovation within the industry – with triathletes keen to invest training time and money to build on that all-important race-day performance.”

Nick Rusling, chairman of the TIA, says: “Triathlon can be seen by runners and other athletes as a solo sport.

“Yet one of triathlon’s virtues is its community of athletes and the sense of community provides a real welcome to new participants.”

The TIA comprises event organisers, equipment manufacturers, tour operators, retailers, distributors and media.

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