Why so few Black triathletes?

After race glow 1st Triathlon

After race glow 1st Triathlon

This is the who wants to be a millionaire million dollar question?  I’ve heard many sound reasons as to why we are grossly misrepresented in triathlon.

  1. It’s an expensive sport
  2. Lack of access to facilities like swimming pools, lakes etc
  3. no way to train properly in the hood
  4. we are afraid of water

While the above reasons are all valid on some level, In my opinion the reason can be broken down into one simple word……EXPOSURE!

In my case, I had the money, access to many different top notch facilities, and I was not afraid of the water.  However, I had never really heard of a triathlon before.  I consider myself an avid sports aficionado, but the wonderful world of triathlon had escaped my circle of exposure.  As a matter of fact, my circle of friends all who I would considered highly educated African Americans, had never heard of the sport either!!

Now that I’m in the sport it’s hard to believe when I told my friends what I was doing the response was always followed by a question.  “What’s a triathlon again?” Who knows how long I would have meandered along oblivious to the sport had it not been for my good friend who is a black man too exposing me.  My friend was challenged and exposed by a co-worker (who was white) to join him in a triathlon.  This is why you need different types of people in your life. Black, white, Asian, Indian, etc.

My friend who just happen to finish a marathon and was looking for a new challenge, did some research and agreed.  Of course me being his good friend got roped into trying it too.  I believe that once you get a taste of the triathlon lifestyle, it’s hard not get swept away by the excitement and personal fulfillment triathlon brings.

Which brings me full circle in creating this site.  Now get out there and get to exposing!!!!


8 responses to “Why so few Black triathletes?

  1. Maria

    June 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    I am so happy I have found your website. I am a latina and have noticed the same thing about latinos and triathlons. I never see sponsorships being offered but never thought about exposure to the sport. I am currently in a class about research methods and thought it would be interesting to research the lack of people of color in triathlons. Wondering were you got your percentages of participants according to race. Thanks again

    • simbadurio

      June 7, 2014 at 3:09 am

      Hi Maria,

      I’m glad you found my blog enjoyable. I got all my data from the USA triathlon association. I thought I posted the link up to get to the data directly? If not, I will find it and post it for you. I would love to know more about your interest in triathlon and what you found appealing about it?

  2. twoshotreg

    June 23, 2014 at 10:10 pm

    Hi great blog, it good know there are other black triathletes. Here is another blog from some else who I have also been following. I live in th UK and have been doing sprint triathlons for 4 years. In the uk there are also very few black triathletes. I have become very good friends another black triathlete who I met at a race ( I have a picture you can add to this site) . I agree with everything you say in the above post.
    I asked myself the question why do I do triathlons. I thought of many several answers. I decided to keep my answer simple “I do it because I can” whilst it’s not an easy sport to get into. Determination and motivation can get you to the start line.
    Keep up the good work!

  3. Erica Moore

    August 4, 2014 at 11:59 am

    So glad to have found your blog! I think you’re right about exposure. I dreamed secretly about doing a triathlon years ago but never found the resources or support necessary. Since discovering a very active network of Black women in Chicago who compete in triathlons, marathons and bike races, I’ve learned to swim, completed my first sprint distance tri and am registering for several half marathons–with the ultimate goal of Munice 70.3 in 2015! We all just enjoy it so much and yes, I never imagined that there’d be an event like Saturday, where we fielded 8 3-man tri relay teams filled with Black women (and one honorary male member)! Keep it up, I’ll be working my way through your achieves for more inspiration and information!

    • simbadurio

      August 8, 2014 at 7:13 am

      Hi Erica,

      I really enjoyed reading your response to my blog. I would have loved to see you gals compete. Please keep me posted and come back to check in with me and keep me inspired as well.

  4. twoshotreg

    November 13, 2014 at 8:29 am

    It’s offical Max Fennel became the first black pro triathlete.
    We wish him well !

    • simbadurio

      November 13, 2014 at 8:37 am

      Amazing! I most certainly will congratulate him. Thanks for sharing.


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