Is Triathlon The New Marathon?

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In a recent article on, Mike May of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association called the sport of triathlon the “new marathon.” The sport continues to grow and is appealing to a broader audience across the world. Although the article does a great job of showcasing the growth, it also refers to the sport several times as “triathalon.” Perhaps as the sport continues to expand people will learn to spell, and pronounce, the name correctly.

At 27, Neil Pokorny is climbing the corporate ladder. A successful regional sales manager for a global automaker, he is driven by competition. But, as he got busier at work, his competitive spirit in his old sports — swimming and rowing — took a back seat.

He made it to the gym regularly, he says, but he didn’t have a real fitness goal.

“One day I just decided I wanted to get back into shape, and I signed up for a triathlon that was six months away,” Pokorny says.

Pokorny’s story is not uncommon. He’s part of a fast-moving trend towards the sport of triathlon, which, according to Mike May of the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, is becoming the “new marathon.” According to May’s data, the sport has grown more than 50 percent just in the last two years.

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