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What do you think is the fastest growing sport in America? Well, the answer to that question surprised me. The sport is the TRIATHLON! It's an arduous, demanding sport, but an estimated 300,000 individuals will participate in at least one triathlon this year.

Swimming, cycling and running for long distances present participants with a grueling challenge. Despite this, Ryan and Jamie Danforth of Saratoga Springs became adherents to the sport. In 2005, the couple started a company called PowerTri in their home as a way to acquire triathlon gear and apparel at a reduced cost for their own triathlon training.

What started as a few lines of clothing quickly bloomed into a full-scale Internet retail business that included wetsuits, bicycles, wheels, running shoes, athletic clothing and just about any accessory to swim, bike or run. PowerTri doubled and tripled revenues in each of the first three years with attractive features including free shipping, outstanding expertise and customer service and an international market. Soon, the couple's basement could not contain the inventory.

The Danforths asked David Warden to be a partner in their venture. They decided to continue growing their Internet business and open a retail facility. In May 2009, a gala celebration was held to launch the company's 1,800 square foot facility in Lehi. Jamie told me that local revenues are already matching Internet revenues.

Triathlon had its Olympic debut in Sydney in 2000, which stimulated interest in the sport. I asked Ryan how many triathlon events are held each year in Utah. When he told me that more than 50 triathlon and duathlon events are scheduled this year, it really surprised me. Utah is outpacing the national trend for growth in this sport.

I admire those who decide to participate in a triathlon. It takes tremendous commitment, dedication and, as David Warden added, the right equipment.

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