Sponsors want to sell products to these people, locals want to date them. Businesses are built around the sport, products are launched into the world through it.
People pay gobs of money to participate in the three disciplines of triathlon and its surrounding fitness enhancing activities and its lifestyle.
Athletes simply must get the right equipment to get from point A to B then to C then to D faster. People travel from all over the world to participate in some fashion in this very special club called triathlon.
Why do we do this?
Is it for the fitness? Could it be the food? Perhaps the friends? I've told many people that every Ironman race I have completed - I retired around mile 23. Done. I'm always sure in that moment that I'll never do one again. Then, after a few more miles, I make it to the last 500 meters and I'm already thinking about the next one. There is something that makes me want to walk the last few feet. Not to slow my time down, but to make the moment last - just a bit longer.
After you've participated in triathlon events around the world, your perspective begins to change. When I did my first Ironman Canada, I was nervous, and not sure what the hills would be like, how it would feel, etc. I still am nervous, but the nerves are different.
Every day we're alive is a smaller fraction of our total life. Every race we do is mathematically a smaller part of our total time existence on earth -- yet it seems to be a much bigger part of everything. Why is triathlon so special to us? I would love to hear from you - send me your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org