I recently counted the number of swim hats I own : 8. Most bearing some sort of race name (no, I didn’t buy them so I had one to match every outfit).
In my “triathlon wardrobe” I have five pairs of goggles. One: trusted “iloveyou” goggles that have been tied back together after they broke because I can’t replace them, two: leaky and actually made for a child (cheaper – no VAT), three: leaky and painful (actually £15 – very disappointed), four: free at TCR show and too big, five: BRAND NEW actually work newiloveyou googles.
I’ve got various tyres ad inner tubes. Mainly because when I get a puncture I tend to repair the old one but then buy a new tube to replace it as well (paranoia. I hate punctures) and I can’t bear to throw away tryes, even if they’re worn to pieces (I can’t bear to throw things away full stop.)
I’ve also got a huge selection of race tshirts. All in Medium (read: huge). I now have nightware for every night.
Hanging around my flat I’ve got various dangly shinies. Not because I won, but cos I was there. And I’ve got some lumps of “first AG” glass. Not because I was good, but cos everyone else my age was busy at the pub. It is nice to get a little reminder/ornament, but honestly I’d really rather the race had been cheaper. I suppose when bought in bulk and divided between all the entrants these little treats don’t add to entry price that much. I expect most goes on insurance. Or on fueling the club for the next year..
Despite this collection, I am still swimming in the first swimming costume I ever had (I’ve had two “bargain” ones since… but as a result have learnt that if it doesn’t say ‘Speedo‘ it won’t last..Maru or Zoggs might do the job too but Adiddas don’t make costumes for a reason) I only have one pair of actual cycling shorts (£20 at the TCR show.. cheaper than the usual £50 odd because I skimped on the chamois.. ) my cycling jersey was bought off a friend who is much skinnier than me, my wetsuit is second hand and probably has more holes in it than my kitchen sieve. That, and I’m in the market for a bike I can only afford if I pay it off bit by bit..
What would be most helpful, I think, would be if we could all club together. I think a mass garage sale would be a damn good idea. The only issue, I suppose, would be that we’ve all got 100 caps, goggles and Tshirts…
Whatever way you look at it, triathlon is an expensive sport. What the more penny starved of us need to do is work out ways of making it less so.
I think next season I will pick my races more carefully. Time trials have done me the world of good at £8 a go and running races are similar.
In the past I have often been guilty of buying the cheap, only to have to replace it later. For example, my Adiddas swimming costume still needs replacing with a new Speedo one I refuse to pay for.. hence my 2yr old costume is still working hard. The Adiddas one was cheap because nobody buys them, because they go translucent. Lesson learnt.
The same with my nasty green and white trisuit which was a great deal, but I really didn’t want one that would go see-through in the wet, even if it was only the white panels.
Looking to the more expensive, I know full well I could have shopped around some more when I bought my road bike, too. But she has, and still is, serving me very well.
I don’t need to buy a new tube every time I puncture either, my repair skills are actually not so bad these days and should really be trusted
I could also do well from buying fewer coffees, making more packed lunches, and buying more of my food from the fanstastic local markets that are right on more doorstep, and a lot cheaper.
If one day I want to do particular races on an appropriate bike, next seasons training discipline had better be transferred over to my spending, too. Not much fun, all this, is it? (Except it totally is, it’s just a whole different type of fun.)