Friday, December 05, 2008

In which I Find Another Reason to Avoid NA Sports.

I got this email today from Roman, who runs the website, EverymanTri. Seems that Ironman North America has decided to do away with the Clydesdale and Athena divisions.

Now I guess we'll just be those big and tall guys and gals huffing and puffing our way to the finish line.

Yet another reason to not do NA events any more. As if I needed another reason. I've sent them emails about various things from time to time and have never, ever gotten any kind of response. They have become prohibitively expensive, as well.

With regard to the Clydesdale and Athena thing, though, I wonder if this is a trend? Perhaps companies like Athleta will fade away? In the meantime, most of the smaller, mom-and-pop races still have Athena and Clydesdale divisions. I'm going to work on just enjoying a day in the country swimming, biking, and running.

~~~

7 comments:

  1. Well - here's the thing about Athena and Clydesdale. There is no requirement for height/weight ratio. An Athena can be a short and very heavy woman or she can be tall and incredibly lean and fit or anything in between. Same goes for Clydesdale. A guy could be 5' 9" and 220 or he could be 6' 3" and 220 - two entirely different things. And there's no age to that division, right? Kind of muddy.

    So maybe they don't see the value? I don't know - just a guess.

    What did they say was the reason?

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  2. Well that just plain sucks. Period. Not that I'm doing any NAS races.

    I entered age group for B2B because they offer age-grouped Clydesdales (open and masters) and only one group of Athenas (all ages). Highly annoying. But it's not like I'll be competitive anyway, and I think they only had 2 Athena entrants last year.

    I just wish there was a strong advocacy group in place, but that seems to have died out.

    Personally, I believe height isn't relevant - body weight pure and simple is what increases metabolic cost of locomotion. It's not a "fat person" division.

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  3. If there was never a Clydesdale and Athena division I would not have had the courage to even try this sport. This is sad. Off to write an email..

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  4. The Athena/Clydesdale division made a huge difference to me in my first Oly tri. Instead of being in the last wave with my age group I got to go in the first wave and thus have the full four hours to finish. I would have been the last one on the course had I not started in the Athena wave. It just makes a huge difference in how some of us feel. Just rambling.

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  5. This eeerks me sooo much! People just don't get it. The Athena division is a way I can feel good about myself. I have had a few people tell me I shouldn't compete as an Athena because I place in the top three in most races. And although I can understand that argument, I wouldn't place in the top 20 in my age group... so I'd feel horrible about myself and probably wouldn't enter. The opportunity to challenge myself and to compete with the best Athenas is the reason I sign up for big races. I'm 6'1" and 175 lbs. Before I started racing I was hittin' on 200lbs. My frame is large (I was a swimmer!) - and there is absolutely no way I could EVER compete with the best triathletes. What are these people worried about? That they will make more people feel GOOD about themselves? Why, as a society, are we so fixed on things like this? BTW, I'm supporting USAT and the HALFMAX Triathlon next year. It's the Nat'l Championships, going to be in OKC at the Redman... and they WELCOME Athenas and Clydesdales. I encourage everyone that can to unite at OKC and show our strength!

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  6. Oh. And I think I'm going to write an article on this and submit it to Triathlete - even though that magazine is all about the elites, too. Any comments anyone would like to give me for the article, email them to me at faurcaro@isu.edu.

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  7. I have to say I agree with 21st Century mom. I was in a triathlon with an "Athena" who was something like 5'11" and 152 and super fit (and she looks plenty thin too). She came in first in the Athena division, but she would have had a good time even in the regular division. Meanwhile, I know another triathlete who is much shorter and heavier, but at 140 doesn't qualify for the Athena division.

    I think height matters a lot in this division.

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