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Slowtwitch Forums: Triathlon Forum:
Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category?

 

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ponyboy

Jun 24, 10 12:13

Post #51 of 75 (3141 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [timboricki] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

 
My only complaint about these divisions is I think the weights are too low. Men should be 225 lbs and women should be 175 instead of our local 200 and 150 respectively. However, most women won't enter as Athena anyway due to the stigma of being overweight.

I worked with a woman (fellow trainer) who used to brag all the time that she was 1st in her division all the time - but neglected to follow that by telling people she competed Athena (at 160 lbs and 5'9"). She could finish a 5k in 28-30 minutes and barely break 28kph on a bike but she won every time because there would only be 3 people in her group, and the other two would truly be overweight.

Part of the Slowtwitch Strength Training Association. Picking up something heavier than a bike makes me happy.


GMAN19030

Jun 24, 10 14:47

Post #52 of 75 (3083 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [djciii] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
I really don't understand what the problem is....with the clydesdales out of your age group you have less competition and they aren't taking a podium spot away from you....why does it matter? They are no longer racing against you


You misunderstood. I could care less who I am competing against. It's just that some of the guys who are borderline Clydesdales use it as a crutch and mechanism to place higher in their group. If that's their thing then so be it.


trimdc

Jun 24, 10 15:42

Post #53 of 75 (3058 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [timboricki] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

This topic always stirs up the pot. I'm one of the people that haven't been mentioned, I'm 6'2" and about 205lbs. (at my leanest) and about 9% body fat and compete in my AG (never Clydes). I often place in my AG too. My last race I was 1st in my AG and 7th OA. Now, should the skinny, super fast people in my AG be mad that I didn't race as a Clydes? Because some would certainly be angry if I did race as a Clydes and placed because I am barely over the weight limit. But really who cares? Those people would bitch about anything to make themselves feel better.

Why do people get angry when there is an athlete just over the weight limit and they place in that class? They didn't make the rules.

I got into triathlon to release some of my competitive energy, so I go out to beat myself. If I place, then great, if not then then oh well. If your someone that will never place in your AG but bitches at someone that places in Clydes/Athena, then train harder so you can place too. If your that jealous then get fatter and compete as a Clydes/Athena.


(This post was edited by trimdc on Jun 24, 10 15:45)


Peanut

Jun 24, 10 15:45

Post #54 of 75 (3057 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [bmcmaster11] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
There should be 1 category. ALL PEOPLE.

There is one winner and a lot of losers. You finish 1'st you win. You don't have the best time you lose. Thats it, but your right about people wanting awards so the groups will continue to expand.


Yes, that should make the battle for Kona and Clearwater spots get really interesting. Talk about rolldown...


karencoutts

Jun 24, 10 15:56

Post #55 of 75 (3048 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [timboricki] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I vote for a midget category. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that height was an advantage in swimming and possibly the other two sports as well? I recall that if you are a "longer boat" that you can swim faster, according to TI principles. I would think that for the Clydesdales who are ultra tall and muscular/lean, that their body type is an advantage for triathlon. One of their strides would cover two of mine!!!

So, as a disadvantaged person (tongue firmly in cheek here), shouldn't I get a "midget" category so I can win as well?

Just a thought.


Barchettaman

Jun 24, 10 16:01

Post #56 of 75 (3044 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [Peanut] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Fat? Who are you calling fat? :-)


-------------------------------
´Get the most aero and light bike you can get. With the aero advantage you can be saving minutes and with the weight advantage you can be saving seconds. In a race against the clock both matter.´

BMANX


TmonT

Jun 24, 10 16:02

Post #57 of 75 (3043 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [timboricki] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

the question is NOT whether or not people would still race without a clyde class.

the question IS - is there any person who DOESN"T race because there is one ??

the answer to the first is maybe. the answer to the second is definately not. therefore, the simple rule of supply and demand holds true. if a bunch of tri-geeks decided they would no longer do races that had a clyde class in it - the clyde class would go away. i am not sure why this is so hard to understand for people.


ironeric2010

Jun 24, 10 16:40

Post #58 of 75 (3017 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [timboricki] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I don't quite see why people get so worked out of shape regarding clydesdales/athena. It's not like it's a secret as to how one might qualify...200 lbs/160 lbs. If you're underweight, start eating, pack on the necessary pounds and see how you do.

I started doing triathlons at 6'4" 240 lbs on a lark, because somebody I knew was doing it and I said what the hell. While I was filling out the form I said "Oh hey look, there's a fatty category for people like me. How nice!"

After I got my ass handed to me and finished almost dead last in the fatty group, I realized that there was a chance I might could have placed given a little work. How exciting. Fast forward 3 seasons, about 35 lbs, and now I'm sitting pretty and have placed in every race I've entered for the last 2 seasons (yes as clydesdale). Is this fair? I think so...I worked my ass off to get into good enough shape, lose about 15% of my body weight, and am now raking in the $5 trinkets that most races pass out. Yay me! I'm signed up for my first AG race in a couple of weeks (same race as my first) and have a fair-to-midling chance of placing in AG. I will probably race most of the sprints as AG. Oly and up, reverting to clydesdale while I'm over 200 lbs. Do I feel guilty about that? Not really...it's in the rules and I'm following them.

Why am I saying this? Because as a first-time heavy triathlete, I was inspired to join the "triathlete lifestyle" because of the thought of placing in a division. Take that away, not sure if I would have gotten started down this road. As triathletes and (hopefully) advocates for this healthier lifestyle, why wouldn't we want to make this sport as accessible to as many people as possible? I've had the privilege and honor of talking several co-workers and associates into doing a sprint tri here and there. One of them has stuck with it and managed to lose 100 lbs. How cool is that?


MasskT

Jun 24, 10 18:50

Post #59 of 75 (2975 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [timboricki] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

When these divisions first started in running races, I swear the female version was called "Filly," not "Athena," in keeping with the horse theme. Does anyone else remember that?

I have no opinion on the existence of these categories--I agree it's kind of silly to try to eliminate the natural advantages of certain body types for certain sports, but I like the points some have made about being drawn into the sport through Clydesdale. But speaking for the women, the weight itself is silly. I'm 5'8" and about 136 lbs, but I've been a pretty fast runner when I've been closer to 150 lbs. 5'8" isn't even that tall for a woman. I've also seen running races that use 140 as the cutoff for Athena, which is utterly ridiculous (Somerville Jingle Bell run, anyone?). If you would like to perpetuate unhealthy body image among women athletes, suggesting that 140 or even 150 lbs is "heavy" regardless of height is a good place to start.


ThisIsTheSea

Jun 24, 10 19:21

Post #60 of 75 (2954 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [FisH2O] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
IMHO, Clydesdale/Athena is just another way to make some people feel good about themselves. Just like my nephews playing baseball but "not keeping score" and "everyone gets to bat". Even my nephews don't see what the point is, we're not fooling anyone.

P.S. I do like the triathlon strict age group better than the UCI categories. Granted, I am winning the mtn bike Sport category this year and plan to move up to Comp when I can, but lets face it, I'm sandbagging in Sport if I can win. I can't imagine the sandbagging that would go on if triathlon had categories.


No, you are not sandbagging. The guy that won the sport overall and beat us by 6min in a 75min race is, I would say, sandbagging.

I always thought the clydesdale/athena divisions were unneccesary too, but then I started thinking about one (of the many) reasons that I like the mtn bike series you allude to (WORS): the divisions! Competing against people of your similar 'situation' is fun. Clydes get to race against other big folks, we sport mtn bikers get to race against other racers with limited training time/families/jobs/whatever. Winning sport doesn't make me feel better about myself, but it sets an attainable goal that is fun to work towards.

Agreed though, it can get carried away by having too many divisions, definitely see your point there.


mmrocker13

Jun 24, 10 19:35

Post #61 of 75 (2941 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [MasskT] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
When these divisions first started in running races, I swear the female version was called "Filly," not "Athena," in keeping with the horse theme. Does anyone else remember that?

I have no opinion on the existence of these categories--I agree it's kind of silly to try to eliminate the natural advantages of certain body types for certain sports, but I like the points some have made about being drawn into the sport through Clydesdale. But speaking for the women, the weight itself is silly. I'm 5'8" and about 136 lbs, but I've been a pretty fast runner when I've been closer to 150 lbs. 5'8" isn't even that tall for a woman. I've also seen running races that use 140 as the cutoff for Athena, which is utterly ridiculous (Somerville Jingle Bell run, anyone?). If you would like to perpetuate unhealthy body image among women athletes, suggesting that 140 or even 150 lbs is "heavy" regardless of height is a good place to start.

I've seen filly before, and always thought it made more sense. "Percheron" might make even BETTER sense, but I doubt anyone would know WTF was up with that ;-)

5'8" is tallish--average height for an adult american male is 5'9.5"; for a female it's 5'4". (Which makes me taller than your average d00d. yay, me.

As of this afternoon, I weighed 135.7... I was a much faster runner when I was lighter (low to mid 120s). OTOH, I am a much faster cyclist when I am heavier.

I've seen several races where athena was 140. That's silly, I think. And no, I've never entered, even when I can qualify.

mmm-mmm-Momo Charms
Handmade beverage charms, jewelry, and miscellanea

http://momocharms.wordpress.com


furiousferret

Jun 24, 10 20:06

Post #62 of 75 (2929 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [mmrocker13] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Personally against it. When I got into the sport I was 5'8" and 200 lbs. I was fat and didn't even qualify for clydes, its basically a division for tall weight lifters or tall fatties. Us short guys have to get down to a decent weight to compete in any sort of division, why do the guys over 6' get a free pass? Height is a plus for swimming, and a minor disadvantage in the other two. Its not like they can't do any other sports, all us short guys have is running and ping pong.

Its not like tall people can't compete in tri's, Jordan Rapp and Matty Reed (sorry BIG Matty Reed) do pretty well.


fulla

Jun 25, 10 2:21

Post #63 of 75 (2890 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [furiousferret] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

on the animal/female theme re clydesdales, perhaps the female version could be 'cow' or whilst swimming 'sea cow' (manatee?)

yes i'm a prick


BigMikeGA

Jun 25, 10 7:48

Post #64 of 75 (2832 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [timboricki] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I have competed both ways. I am 6'4" 215 lbs. I have been under 200 lbs for maybe one day since leaving high school. Physiologically there is a difference in the ability of a large body to dissipate heat. The ratio of surface area to volume is typically worse for a larger athlete. A huge amount of energy gets expended in the process of cooling the body. This is in addition to the obvious penalty that the additional weight causes in both the run & the bike. If my body fat ratio is as low as the guy who weighs 150 I am going to be paying several competition performance penalties.

If you all think Clydesdale is such a crappy idea I suggest that we form a new triathlon race. This will be a handicap event like in horse racing. Pick a weight and everyone will have to carry additional weight in their backpack to reach the appropriate limit. Anyone over the limit is allowed to compete because they are adding penalty points. Who wants in (especially all you lightweights that think we are overweight whiners!)

http://bigmikega.wordpress.com


FisH2O

Jun 25, 10 7:52

Post #65 of 75 (2829 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [Barchettaman] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Are those ginormous paddles?

In Reply To:
Fat? Who are you calling fat? :-)



FisH2O

Jun 25, 10 7:55

Post #66 of 75 (2823 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [ThisIsTheSea] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
In Reply To:
IMHO, Clydesdale/Athena is just another way to make some people feel good about themselves. Just like my nephews playing baseball but "not keeping score" and "everyone gets to bat". Even my nephews don't see what the point is, we're not fooling anyone.

P.S. I do like the triathlon strict age group better than the UCI categories. Granted, I am winning the mtn bike Sport category this year and plan to move up to Comp when I can, but lets face it, I'm sandbagging in Sport if I can win. I can't imagine the sandbagging that would go on if triathlon had categories.


No, you are not sandbagging. The guy that won the sport overall and beat us by 6min in a 75min race is, I would say, sandbagging.

I always thought the clydesdale/athena divisions were unneccesary too, but then I started thinking about one (of the many) reasons that I like the mtn bike series you allude to (WORS): the divisions! Competing against people of your similar 'situation' is fun. Clydes get to race against other big folks, we sport mtn bikers get to race against other racers with limited training time/families/jobs/whatever. Winning sport doesn't make me feel better about myself, but it sets an attainable goal that is fun to work towards.

Agreed though, it can get carried away by having too many divisions, definitely see your point there.

Oh good, now I feel better! I won Sunburst Mtn (AG) by 1 sec! Are you going to the Subaru XT Cup?


klehner

Jun 25, 10 8:32

Post #67 of 75 (2797 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [BigMikeGA] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
I have competed both ways. I am 6'4" 215 lbs. I have been under 200 lbs for maybe one day since leaving high school. Physiologically there is a difference in the ability of a large body to dissipate heat. The ratio of surface area to volume is typically worse for a larger athlete. A huge amount of energy gets expended in the process of cooling the body. This is in addition to the obvious penalty that the additional weight causes in both the run & the bike. If my body fat ratio is as low as the guy who weighs 150 I am going to be paying several competition performance penalties.

If you all think Clydesdale is such a crappy idea I suggest that we form a new triathlon race. This will be a handicap event like in horse racing. Pick a weight and everyone will have to carry additional weight in their backpack to reach the appropriate limit. Anyone over the limit is allowed to compete because they are adding penalty points. Who wants in (especially all you lightweights that think we are overweight whiners!)


You may not be overweight, but you are a whiner. Waah, I can't dissipate heat. Boo-hoo.

Since returning to competition in 2004, I've gotten first in my age group in sprint and Olympic distance races in 17 out of 21 races (and two of those losses were with a pulled hamstring). I would have loved to be able to go to Kona, but you know what? I sweat too much to be able to compete beyond a certain length (Olympic is at my limit). I'm obviously paying a penalty due to a physical limit that really is beyond my control. Should I petition for a category that caters to my limit? No. Instead, I accept that there are some competitions for which I'm not suited, and suck it up and compete where I can.

And at 6', 175lbs, I'm no lightweight.

You want a handicap? How about adding a minute per year for your age under 50? Let's go with that.
----------------------------------
Of course, with your ears stuffed with outrage cotton balls, all you heard was, rahrahra, govt comes to get your guns, rhahrahrah, stamp out your FREEEEEDOM! - slowguy


BigMikeGA

Jun 25, 10 8:37

Post #68 of 75 (2789 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [Just Old Again] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Thats not a whine, thats a fact. I will gladly take your time penalty offer. I compete in the 55-59 age group if I don't clydesdale. Did my 2nd 1/2 iron last year at Augusta and somehow managed 10th in AG. BTW I have only done this 3 years. I usually am giving away 50 pounds to the podium guys

http://bigmikega.wordpress.com


596

Jun 25, 10 8:43

Post #69 of 75 (2783 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [Just Old Again] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I have no problem with the "C" category, except, when the winner of the "C" category places in the top 5 overall. There are a few of these guys, former pro football players that kick ass at 225 pounds. But for 98% of people over 200lbs they can't ever compete with a guy thats naturally 145. This is supposed to be fun.

I've seen a "C" at 6' 10" and skinny as rail. I was 6-3 165 and he made me look fat. I was more of a "C" then he was.
.
.
Paul


klehner

Jun 25, 10 8:44

Post #70 of 75 (2783 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [BigMikeGA] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
Thats not a whine, thats a fact. I will gladly take your time penalty offer. I compete in the 55-59 age group if I don't clydesdale.


Yer gonna have to get a lot older or a lot faster first.

:-)
----------------------------------
Of course, with your ears stuffed with outrage cotton balls, all you heard was, rahrahra, govt comes to get your guns, rhahrahrah, stamp out your FREEEEEDOM! - slowguy


IMDiesel

Jun 25, 10 9:16

Post #71 of 75 (2759 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [timboricki] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

If clydesdale categories are such a good idea, why don't they have them in other non contact sports like figure skating, so if you are an Athena, you can do a double sow kow instead of a triple. Or baseball, he's big so we need to move the fences out or volleyball - the short team gets a lower net...... But the bottom line is triathlon is a sport where anyone can compete, which is a great thing and sometimes there can be novalty events with weight categories but it seems like we take the weight thing too serious. Does anyone know someone who actually gained weight to compete as a clydesdale. That would be counterproductive


NorthShore

Jun 25, 10 10:35

Post #72 of 75 (2728 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [ironeric2010] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

"Why am I saying this? Because as a first-time heavy triathlete, I was inspired to join the "triathlete lifestyle" because of the thought of placing in a division. Take that away, not sure if I would have gotten started down this road. As triathletes and (hopefully) advocates for this healthier lifestyle, why wouldn't we want to make this sport as accessible to as many people as possible? I've had the privilege and honor of talking several co-workers and associates into doing a sprint tri here and there. One of them has stuck with it and managed to lose 100 lbs. How cool is that? "

Great post.

I used to love the fact that I could have someone to race against in the IM Clyde category. I have never got why people were so upset that we exsisted within the sport, unless so many out there are so insecure that they always have to look at others to validate themselves.

The diversity of the individuals who are in the sport is what it allows it to grow. If it is an enviroment where people are welcomed they will become involved in it for a longer period.

Who would you rather have in the sport; the A-type " I am so special I am doing Ironman" bucketlist 40 year old guy who throws around cash to get the best gear, does his IM with his entourage of paid coaches, then hangs up the P4 in the garage and brags about it for the rest of his life or the person who does not fit the mold. Comes in, has to work their butt off but develops a passion for the sport. Three or four years later this person is still competing, volunteering and bringing new people in.

Unless an athlete out there is a pro, triathlon is your hobby. We are recreational athletes, why not smile when someone out there achieves a goal, rather than try to put others down just to elevate your own ego.


it turns out that our OP is only "mostly" dead........ ElGordo


Barchettaman

Jun 25, 10 10:40

Post #73 of 75 (2725 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [FisH2O] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I had cunningly secreted my flip flops just near the exit from the swim, so picked them up on my way to T1.

Makes sense, kind of.
-------------------------------
´Get the most aero and light bike you can get. With the aero advantage you can be saving minutes and with the weight advantage you can be saving seconds. In a race against the clock both matter.´

BMANX


FisH2O

Jun 25, 10 10:47

Post #74 of 75 (2722 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [Barchettaman] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Ah, I thought that red/white thing was a pair of crazy paddles. Now I look, it is some sort of bizarre pagan bunny sculpture. Much better.


Indigodog

Jun 26, 10 1:28

Post #75 of 75 (2670 views)
Re: Why is there a Clydesdale/Athena Category? [timboricki] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Ther is a Clyde/Athena division so that similar people can compete against each other. It's the same reason people are divide by age group. There is also a safety reason at our loacal sprints. They send us out in the second wave so we don't die in the heat of the run!

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Ironman run shoe weight
When you race an Ironman, what weight class do you think is most appropriate for you? A sub-6-ounce shoe is a pure racing flat. A 7.5 - 8oz shoe would be a Saucony Kinvara or Hoka Clifton. A 10-11oz shoe is a lightweight trainer.
5.5-6.0oz
7.5-8.0oz
9.5-11.0oz
12oz+
I never thought about it
I don't do 140.6
I'm boycotting this poll