Editor's Note: Writer and triathlete Michele Wallace recently wrote a brief column asking if the sport of triathlon has jumped the shark for the San Diego News Room? You can read part of that story below. Almost immediately in the comments section readers disagreed. What say you: Has the sport of triathlon jumped the shark?
I’m probably shooting myself in the foot with this one, but I can’t help it. Triathlon has become too main stream and seems to have consumed the fateful corporate Kool-Aid. In the TV world, you may say that triathlon has “jumped the shark.” Let me explain.
When I graduated from college in 1997, I was so thankful to discover triathlon. At this time, the sport of was still a little off the beaten path—to be a triathlete was to be different and dangerous. Triathlon had matured beyond its infancy beginnings and was now a rebellious teenager, eager to mature.
During triathlon’s teenage years, competitors were wide-eyed and naïve. Events were limited and affordable. Races didn’t sell out months in advance, and race-day registration was always available. Wetsuits were the exception rather than the norm, and a bike was a bike (there was no discrimination between a “tri” and “road” bike). Race nutrition was normal food, and everyone stuck around for the post race party. It was a blast!
Slowly but surely, the rest of the world caught on and now triathlons are everywhere. In fact, in today’s triathlon-crazed world, it is unique to be a single-sport athlete. In San Diego especially, everyone is a triathlete and those that aren’t are considered unusual.
You can read the rest of the story HERE.
Here's a excerpt of a comment to this story posted on the San Diego News Room's web site:
"This attitude never fails to surprise or disappoint me. Triathlon struggles for attention against some of the bigger sports. And deserves much, much more because it is a fantastic sport that has honest, competitive but friendly people at its core. The more it is publicised the more people can enjoy that. So it comes at the cost of a few Nike branded finish lines. Big deal.
But people like yourself want these things only for yourself. It's not a sport it's a lifestyle affectation. I tried rock climbing once and found the same closed suspicious attitude and gave it up. Sport is supposed to be fun, not an identity badge to be worn to show you are better than others - whose crime presumably is to like soccer, baseball, football or basketball." Whoring themselves to the corporations as they do so, eh? Nonsense. "