The best and worse way to describe who I am. And two words that can get me the strangest looks from family around the dinner table—with comments that range from: “Do you really pee on your bike?” to “You need to date more than you train.”
If you are like me and those are the two ways to describe yourself, you probably have also done almost everything to meet someone. I’ve gone as far as making it to the casting call of Married at First Sight and pulled out because it interfered with training and my planned races. Some would say it’s desperate, but I figured I am terrible at finding my match, maybe someone else could do better.
Naturally, a new triathlon dating site was a must-try. Finally, here are people that understand waking up at 4 a.m. to jump in a pool is totally reasonable. TriathlonDating.com launched on June 14, founded by triathlete Joel Larson, who noticed there were a lot of couples in his Arkansas triathlon club. I signed up immediately
The interface was slightly hard to navigate, it was a little rough around the edges. However, maybe that’s what dating needs, not this easily accessible swipe left or right at first glance. I uploaded pictures, answered the questions, put my best foot forward. Along with the standard dating bio, there were plenty of questions more geared towards us as athletes: Favorite ways to spend time when not training for triathlons? What type of wetsuit do you rock? What’s your longest race distance you have completed? Swim pace?
When I first joined, I swear everyone was from overseas. Every person that came up as an 80% or more match was 6,000 miles away. Don’t get me wrong, distance is doable, but that’s not an easy weekend flight. What makes a match? It’s based on a weighted compatibility score that includes your paces, what you’re training for, and then basics like religion, if you want kids, body type. Maybe my problem was trying to match based on how fast I run and how far.
The more I tried to find a match, the more it seemed to be the virtual version of where I live (Washington DC): mostly women. I logged on daily for two weeks, hoping to see someone local. My hopes shrank. I decided that I would make the first move and click on their profile and hit the green heart. Nothing came from these, so yet again, I figured this just another dating site that leads to nothing.
I could even see who had viewed my profile—mostly people from Canada or the UK. Finally, though, there was one person who was pretty local. The options to “flirt” were to click the heart (which is a green button) or be direct and send a message. Naturally, direct is the best way to go, at least for me. I sent this guy that lived about 200 miles away from me a message. Pretty generic at first: What brought you here? Where do you live? What do you do for a living?
The last question was: Are you training for any races this year? Nothing. No response. Ghosted. Again.
There were a few other views of my profile. I decided to reach out and see if anyone on this site was willing to talk and get to know other athletes. If anything, maybe this was an opportunity for a training partner. It does ask you what you are looking for and a training partner is an option—however, most of the people that viewed my profile wanted a relationship.
The logistics of dating are a little abnormal now with COVID. How are you supposed to kiss your date with a face mask on in public if you are interested? Meeting in public is hard, anyway, so online may be the best option.
Since I was one of the first to sign up for the site I have six months to try it out, so I’m going to stick with it and see if I can find my knight in shining armor among the 600 triathletes already signed up. With everything going on and races being canceled, maybe now’s the time. For new people, it’s $9.99/month that you can cancel at any time. For less than the price of, well, basically everything we do in triathlon, it’s definitely worth a test, especially if your area has a high concentration of single triangles. And if it does, send them my way please.