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Discussion: Athena or AG?

Subject: Athena or AG?

By: kristen k.

Written on: Sunday April 01, 2012

Message: Hi all,

Torn betweeen Athena and AG-- 25 y/o female, 150ish at a little under 5'6" so I'm on the border. An upcoming tri starts Athenas at 140, so I'm thinking about it.

I've only done one tri (sprint), but finished second in my age group (out of 5, 8 out of 39 females). I'm pretty competitive at both the swimming (former HS All-American who got burnt out in college) and do okay in the run (23ish 5k is typical). I'm awful at the bike and can't go up hills, which is probably where my weight gets in the way.

Not sure if my age would give me an advantage over some other Athenas-- probably not fair if I'm competing against someone my weight, but twice my age. At the same time, though, I risk going against someone 140 and 5'10"....

Also, do you think the lowering of Athena to 140 will hurt my chances of placing in that group?

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Mitch H.

Written on: Sunday April 01, 2012

Message: Hey Kristen,

Great question, I race as a clydesdale at 42 yrs old. The 40-44 is the most competitive race group for men in sheer numbers at every race I have competed in the last few years. You bring up a great point with the 5'10 person and I am trying to get that way with clydesdale class at 6'4 and 205 (30 lbs to go). If you are getting 2nd in your age group and feel good about it then go that way, if not go athena and try it out.

One other way to try it is to sign up for two races in similar length and in the first go age group and the second go athena. If you have a great first race then stay AG if not then go Athena. Ultimately it comes up with do you want to win some hardware.

On the 140, it is going to open the door for the 140 lb ladies to get on the podium as Athena's. They are thinking the same thing as you too and yes your age is going to help you out as well.

Fair is relative in tri, finishing is the most important and learning to hit the hills strong in my book is more important then winning. The spirit of triathlon isn't about winning but doing something that a lot of other "athletes" won't and supporting each other in doing it!

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Suzanne C.

Written on: Monday April 02, 2012

Message: I am solidly in the Athena category but I haven't raced it since my first 2 races. Mostly because the Athena swim wave usually begins with the Clydesdale swim wave and I can tell you that I have better things to do than get beat up by the one wave full of men over 175 lbs :) Plus, it's usually last. I hate starting last. Like hate it, hate it, hate it. The last point will probably sound weird to most but I am not just out there for the hardware and AG is more competitive than Athena. Don't get me wrong - there are some fast Athena's, but for the most part I was lonely out on the course in those races and I feel like I race better when I am surrounded by people that are similar to my speed. Plus, they make me want to get faster :)

For the most part - you will *probably* have a better shot at podium racing Athena (depends on who shows up). Clearly your call!

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: kristen k.

Written on: Tuesday April 03, 2012

Message: Thanks for the input! I just checked last year's results and there were only five women in the Athena category (as opposed to about 15 in 25-29)-- I think I'm going to go age group for this one at least.

Great suggestion, Mitch! This is the only race where I've seen 140 as the cutoff, but I think I'll do AG anyway and then see how I feel about Athena later in the season. My only concern is that I'm right on the border (fluctuate between 145 and 155) and I'd feel dirty trying to pull some of those weigh-in tricks to get to 152 instead of 148...oh well, we'll see.

Great luck this season!

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: joy t.

Written on: Tuesday April 03, 2012

Message: speaking a s an Athena mysel, I remember when a woman of "substance" meant something else...hhhmmppff

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Clyde W.

Written on: Wednesday April 04, 2012

Message:
Glad you made that choice Kristen and apologies in advance if anyone takes offense, but my view on Clydesdale/Athena is that it is a category designed to make overweight athletes feel better about themselves by doing well in their own arbitrary division - arbitrary in the sense that you can make the weight cut-off wherever you want: 140lbs, 150lbs, 160lbs...

A friend of mine used to weigh 240lbs and was a 6+ hour half ironman racer. He has worked his ass off for the last 12 months, is down to 205lbs and just raced Lonestar 70.3 in 4:44, including a 1:39 half marathon split (he used to run all his half marathons around 2 hours). Why have a category that might give him a prize for a 6 hour 70.3 when he always had the ability to train hard and post a 4:44 time?

I draw a distinction with age group categories because we have no choice about getting older and subsequent deterioration of our bodies. But we do have some choice about how hard we train and how much we weigh.

All this said, these are not strong views, and the whole Clydesdale/Athena thing doesn't bother me much. And if it motivates people to get off the couch and enter races, then I guess from that perspective at least, it's not such a bad thing.

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Dustyn S.

Written on: Wednesday April 04, 2012

Message: <shrug>, I have always race in the clydesdale div and didn't consider it a big deal. I stand 6'4" and played lineman in football, get the picture? My shoulders are broader than some track stars are tall... That said, it is all arbitrary anyways. We aren't the same physically, but I look at triathlon as doing the most with what you have. If you don't like how fast you are, train harder, don't go looking for an easier division. When the weight limit for the bigger folks can be drawn at will, what does it really mean?

It would be nice to see a podium, but in the end you are racing against the clock and it doesn't care what you weight is.

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Kris D.

Written on: Wednesday April 04, 2012

Message: I also think we should give a trophy for 8th place (JK). Thatâs not teaching our kids anything about winning and losing.

Also Clyde doesn't like fat people!!!

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Michael S.

Written on: Wednesday April 04, 2012

Message: kris...you just happend to be the one to hit a sore spot with me.

It is my opiniion that the culture of sports today has created a "wheres mine" attitude with kids in sports. I used to bust my arrs to be good enough for the all stars or qualify for regions or state or nationals and it took hard work and dedication to get there, and it may have not been meant for everyone.

Today we give all the kids a trophy that play, even last place teams. I understand that it promotes good feelings of worth, but last place?? people pick all star teams from a hat to give all the kids an equal share at going to all star games, if you wanna go to the all stars or regionals or nationals work for it, bust you butt, train, get out of the house and do something about it. it just burns my chapps that even my kids lack the drive and desire to push themselves to be better at sports ...after all, that trophy tells em that they did good right? rant rant rant....sorry just my opinion about that subject.

I would go age group, more people means more competition. and a side note i used to get my butt whooped by a clydsdale, and he was even older than me to, chapped my arrs!! (maybe that was too much??!!??)

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Suzanne C.

Written on: Wednesday April 04, 2012

Message: Poor MS - you actually think that people aren't entitled and don't deserve the EXACT same thing as everyone else even though they didn't work as hard? Shame on you.

<Please note sarcasm>

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Ronald F.

Written on: Wednesday April 04, 2012

Message: Whatever feels right do it.
I used to do some training rides with a woman/coach that raced and always won Athena. She was tall and fit enough to out ride and swim most fit guys. I don't know why she went the Athena route but that was her choice.

I have to decide weather to lose 15 pounds train hard again and race AG or put on 20 pounds sit in this chair a bit longer and race clydedale.

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Clyde W.

Written on: Wednesday April 04, 2012

Message:
May as well have some beer and nachos while you think about it Ron!

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Dan W.

Written on: Wednesday April 04, 2012

Message:
If it were me, I'd stick to AG, as the Clydesdale/Athena divisions have always felt like "qualifiers" to me. Some folks are more naturally built for the sport than others, but that's life.

Do the one that makes you happy, though.

Subject: RE: Athena or AG?

By: Kris D.

Written on: Wednesday April 04, 2012

Message: Dan "but that's life."-LOVE IT.

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