Shannons Free Fallin Into Freedom
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Triathlons & Running

Would you compete as an Athena or Clydesdale?

By May 11, 2017 Triathlons & Running

So I had my first request for a blog post yay!!!  This came from a friend who is doing her very first triathalon in September and she has the option of running in the Athena weight category.  The Athena weight category for her race is greater than 155lbs for women.   Which is interesting because I found a post from Swim Bike Mom that says in the US in 2013 they changed the Athena to >165lbs (women) and the Clydesdale to >220lbs.

Jody on the left, Me on the right. I’m pretty sure I would have qualified for the Athena then, and that is the tiniest I have ever been! August 2015

I have never done any triathlons, unless you count an indoor one that I did at a local health club.  We ran on the treadmill, swam in the pool and biked on the stationary bike, all you triathletes are laughing at me!      I have done adventure races with kayaking, mountain biking and trail running, now those are fun!  There is a local one here called the Bruce Peninsula Multi Sport Race and it is pretty hard core!  I have done it a couple of times and it is a great race to do, with almost as many volunteers as competitors it is super fun to compete in.  In turns out to be a day of fitness and fun.

Storm The Trent May 2015

Back to the Athena thing, I have never had the option to compete in a race in my weight category.  Looking back on it I would not have taken it either.  I have always been heavy and self conscious of my weight.

But that was then and this is now, I think I would definitely sign up in my weight category.  It truly is harder to run the more you weigh, I think its called physics ;-).  I found a post from Healthy Tipping Point on the Athena subject that proposes  the weight classes are there  to  allow larger people who have to work harder (spend more energy) to keep up with smaller or less dense counterparts to compete with people in their own weight category.  So it’s similar to comparing age categories if you look at it that way.

Now I give less of a shit, I suppose you could say because if I thought I could get a placement and stand up on a podium or get a trophy I would proudly run as an Athena!

I asked a couple of friends who do tri’s and they have not seen the Athena/Clydesdale category here at home in a while.  My friend is competing in the CajunMan in Lafayette, Louisiana in the USA and they obviously still have the category.  It looks pretty awesome and I wish her all the best!

It seems that some people are offended by the category, mostly women while men tend to be proud to be a Clydesdale.  I’m sure someone out there can shed more light on the history of the Athena/Clydesdale categories.  Has anyone out there ever competed as an Athena or Clydesdale or would you?

Shannon