USA Triathlon Membership Survey

The 2016 USA Triathlon (USAT) Membership Survey was designed to gain a better understanding of the demographics, participation patterns and purchasing trends of USA Triathlon annual members. The survey results will assist USA Triathlon in the evaluation of programs so that USA Triathlon can best support its members. This survey assesses the preferences and opinions of those who contributed to the 2016 USA Triathlon Membership Survey. The last official Membership Survey was completed in 2009 (see the Mind of the Triathlete below).

The Mind of the Triathlete – 2009 Study

A study initiated by USA Triathlon and conducted by the TribeGroup in early 2009 revealed exciting new data on the demographics and spending habits of multisport athletes in the United States.

The Mind of the Triathlete study – which was conducted in October and November of 2008 – is the first of its kind to offer in-depth exploration of the social, emotional, demographic and lifestyle aspects of the people who participate in multisport. It provides a deep analysis and segmentation of the triathlete across new participants and long time veterans. More than 15,000 triathletes gave an average of 20 minutes describing their experiences, lifestyle, habits and backgrounds.

Download the Executive Summary of the study.

Download the full study, which includes more than 70 pages of analysis and charts, as well as additional cross tabs, in PDF format

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Key Findings
The study grouped participants into seven distinct segments according to similarities in their demographics, psychographics and involvement in the sport. On average, triathletes are from high socio-economic backgrounds with median incomes of $126,000, however, their motivators and mindset are different, creating a significant opportunity for the triathlon community to serve them better and in more targeted ways. Unlike many consumers, they are spending cautiously but on average intend to spend as much in 2009 as they did in 2008. In fact, 45 percent would rather spend discretionary income on triathlon with three of seven segments exceeding 65 percent and one nearly 80 percent.

General Participation
Older athletes do more races 95% participate for the personal challenge 87% participate to stay in shape On average, they participated in 4.2 triathlons during the previous 12 months 86% plan to do longer races in the future Sprint triathlon remains the most popular, with those events attracting participation of more than three quarters of respondents

What Distances?
78% participate in Sprint (approx. 500 meter swim, 12 mile bike, 5k run) 58% participate in Olympic (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run) 39% participate in Half Ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) 17% participate in Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) 15% participate in Short duathlon (approx. 5k run, 30k bike, 5k run) 4% participate in Long duathlon (approx. 10k run, 70k bike, 10k run)

What Other Type of Events?
69% participate in 10K 64% participate in 5K 54% participate in marathon 31% participate in off-road triathlon 16% participate in winter triathlon

Age and Gender
Average age: 38 

59.6% Male 39.5% Female

7% are Under 25 12.8% are 25-29
15.7% are 30-34
19.9% are 35-39
17.3% are 40-44
12.1% are 45-49
7.5% are 50-54
3.5% are 55-59
1.6% are 60-64
0.6% are 65-69
0.3% are 70+

63% are married
11% are in committed relationship
21% are single
5% are widowed, divorced or separated
44% have children living at home

49% report white-collar jobs
19% report professional jobs such as doctor, lawyer or accountant
12% are students or education workers
12% are blue or gray collar workers
6% are government or military

Average income: $126,000

12.9% have incomes under $50K 14.5% have incomes $50-74,999
16% have incomes $75-$99,999
23.4% have incomes $100-$149,999
12.1% have incomes $150-$199,999
8.4% have incomes $200-$299,999
5.5% have incomes over $300K

Spending (discretionary income)
50% of dollars spent on bikes and bike equipment
17% of dollars spent on race entry fees
8% of dollars on fitness clothing
11% of dollars on athletic shoes

$2,274 spent on bikes in past 12 months $564 spent on race fees in past 12 months
$524 spent on bike equipment
$370 spent on training, running and athletic footwear
$277 spent on nutritional supplements

Race and Ethnicity
88.2% are Caucasian/White
3.2% are Hispanic
2.1% are Asian
1.5% are Multi-racial
0.5% are African-American
1.1% are other