Recently, I got an interesting email from a reader that prompted an even more intriguing Google hunt and conversation with DadHTP.

Sharon emailed me to say, “While researching some upcoming races I discovered that one had a Clydesdale/Athena category. I had heard of the Clydesdale runner before but Athena? I figured it must be the equivalent for women, and at 5’11”, I knew I must fit the category. I Googled it and was surprised to see the different weight definition for Athena. It said most races put the weight at 150 pounds for Athena, but one even had it at 130 pounds! At 130 pounds, I would be severely underweight. I realize that the point is so you can compare your time with others of similar size, but if based only on weight, how can you compare a 5’ woman at 150 pounds with a 5’11” woman at 150 pounds? I’m curious to know what your opinion is on this category for races.”


If you’re not aware, in most triathlons (and in many running races), there are several different categories by which awards are given.  First, of course, are the overall places – i.e. first woman, first man.  But then, categories can break down in the following way:


  • By gender and age groups
  • By relay team (which are usually not broken down by gender; maybe if it’s a huge race)
  • By gender and novice or experienced racer
  • By gender and military involvement
  • And by Clydesdale/Athena size and age group

As alluded to in Sharon’s email, the Clydesdale/Athena categories are based on weight.  The official USA Triathlon rules state:


The official minimum weight standard for this category is 200 pounds for men, 150 pounds for women, to be monitored by the local race director. The age breakdown will be 39 years of age and under and 40 years of age and over.


Due to my height and frame, I do not qualify for the Athena category, so I’ve never given it much thought.  But Sharon’s email really piqued my interest.  WHY do they have the Clydesdale/Athena categories in the first place?  WHAT is the purpose?  And, if you qualify, SHOULD you enter?


After doing some light digging on triathlon message boards, I noticed that many experienced male triathletes who qualified to race in the Clydesdale category wrote that they would be ‘embarrassed’ to enter the category because they thought it would be ‘cheating’ because they are experienced triathletes.  Even more surprising was how many of the men wrote that the category was for ‘less fit’ guys, despite the fact that the official rules make no assumptions about fitness level.  After all, 200 pounds for a man is a perfectly healthy and fit size for many heights, as is 150 pounds for a woman at many heights.


So – I asked DadHTP.  Dad was really into triathlons in the 1980s and has done hundreds of amateur cycling events.  And he’s 6’4” and 230 pounds – a Clydesdale by definition, through and through.


“I noticed that men especially seem to think that the Clydesdale category is for newbie racers or ‘out of shape’ guys, despite the fact that 200 pounds is perfectly healthy for many heights,” I told him.  “Do you know the actual purpose of the Athena and Clydesdale categories?”


It turns out that, according to Dad’s theory, race officials aren’t making any assumptions about fitness level when it comes to the Athena and Clydesdale categories.  His opinion is that generally speaking, for each sport, having a larger build means you must expend a greater effort to get the same result.  Take running – if all other fitness factors are held constant, a 6’4”, 230-pound guy will struggle to run as fast as a 5’10”, 180-pound competitor, simply because he’s hauling more weight.  This is especially true in cycling when you’re doing a lot of climbing.  When we would ride together, I’d blow past him on hills, despite the fact that I’ve got 5’3.5” legs.  He’d, of course, fly past me on the downhills because he weighed more.


Thinking of what Sharon wrote in her email to me, I pointed out that dividing the category by weight alone isn’t totally fair because it doesn’t account for fitness level, but Dad kind of rolled his eyes and said that life isn’t fair.  Hah. Thanks, Dad.


In conclusion, at least according to DadHTP, the Athena and Clydesdale categories are really designed to even the playing field as much as possible for men and women with larger builds.  It’s not that smaller builds are inherently more athletic or fit; they’re just differentAthena and Clydesdale groupings are just one more way to divide competitors into categories so people are competing against other athletes with similar physical qualities to them (just as they do with gender, age, experience, etc). 


Now, whether the reality of the Athena and Clydesdale categories is what I read about on the message boards (more for introductory novices) or what DadHTP thought it was designed for (to simply even the playing field without making an assumption about fitness level or experience) is up for debate and, I’m sure, variable from race-to-race.  I couldn’t find any official USAT language on the purpose of the categories, so I’m not sure of the official stance (but here’s an interesting NY Times blog entry about the subject).  And whether the cut-offs should be 200 pounds for men and 150 pounds for women is an entirely different discussion! 

For most of my races, the only ‘alternative’ category that I’ve been able to enter was a “My First Tri” category, which was intended for people racing that distance for the first time, people who were super nervous, or people who were getting back into the sport after a long hiatus.  I entered the category not because I thought I would place – I knew that was hopeless!  I entered because I had never raced that distance before and still felt super unconfident in the water; for that race, the waves were organized by category, so I knew I’d be surrounded by other novices in the swim.  It was very comforting to know that no ‘pros’ were going to swim over me in an attempt to pass me!  Racing on an even playing field – even though I knew I wasn’t going to place – made me feel more confident, and I ended up kicking that race’s booty… by my own standards, at least. Smile 


Have you ever entered a race category besides age group?  Would you consider doing it now?



  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats April 13, 2012, 6:11 pm

    This was really interesting! The only groups I’d heard of before we’re age and gender!

  • Sarah April 13, 2012, 6:15 pm

    I totally understand the purpose but could they puh-leeze find a better name?! I’ve seen races where they used the term Clydesdale for women too (at a different weight than men of course). That’s just rude.

    They should label the under 150 lb racers too, just to be fair. That way it’s not set up to suggest “normal” versus “not normal aka Athena”.

    • CaitlinHTP April 13, 2012, 6:20 pm

      I was thinking this when I was writing the post – we should all get funny and ridiculous names based on weight class.

      • Vikki April 13, 2012, 9:12 pm

        Aphrodite? Just thought I’d suggest a name. 🙂

    • Rebecca April 13, 2012, 6:26 pm

      I don’t understand what’s rude about labeling women Clydesdales…? Clydesdales are awesome and gorgeous animals.
      But I do feel like it should be consistent. If you’re going to label women Athena, maybe the guys category should be Apollo or Atlas or something that relates to mythology/gods.

    • Victoria (District Chocoholic) April 13, 2012, 10:06 pm

      Athena is “goddess of wisdom.” I’ll own that, thank you very much.

  • Rebecca April 13, 2012, 6:22 pm

    When I went with my dad to a tri a couple of years ago, they had categories like that. I don’t remember if they were actually Athena and Clydesdale, but I do remember thinking it was interesting. I don’t think it’s meant to be insulting or anything. Some of the guys I saw in the “Clydesdale” category did look overweight (for their height?), but I thought it was cool that they were in a tri. My guess was it was part of a weight-loss thing, at least for some of them, and I thought it was great.

  • Heather April 13, 2012, 6:26 pm

    So if your Dad is 6’4″ and you’re only 5’3″, what is your mom? Like 4’5″? Haha

    • CaitlinHTP April 13, 2012, 7:02 pm

      Hahah my mom and i are the exact same height – i guess my dad’s genes just didnt work out for me!!! BOO.

      • Vikki April 13, 2012, 9:25 pm

        Eh, I’ve never bought the logic that children fall between their parent’s heights. I’ve seen it go wrong too many times.

        • andrea April 14, 2012, 11:08 am

          haha, that’s not how genetics work…or else we’d be getting progressively shorter through the generations!

  • Allison K April 13, 2012, 6:29 pm

    Interesting, I didn’t realize that the weight division for women was so low. I mean, the person who asked the question is right, at 5’11” and 150 pounds, a women would be on the LOW end of the BMI scale (which, I hate to use as comparison, because I think the BMI is total bullshit)but she could technically enter the Athena category.

    As someone, who is FIRMLY in the athena category, even at my physical peak, I appreciate that there is a seperate category, and that I could compete and have the potential to “win” against other women who might have the same physical atributes that I have, I’m never going to win against someone built like an olympic runner.

    • Allison K April 13, 2012, 6:30 pm

      oh, and I agree….with the name of the class. I suppose someome thought the names were better than using “heavyweight” but seriously? Clydesdale?

  • Lara April 13, 2012, 6:36 pm

    I understand that weight makes a difference in running and cycling, but what about height? I’m under 5’2″ so I have pretty short legs; it would be less effort for me to run if I were 5’11” with proportionate legs. You could probably make an argument that an A-cup woman has an advantage over a double-D, or that a “pear” shape has an advantage over an “apple” shape…should those be separate categories as well? It could get quite silly- where does it end? I think there are too many race categories already. I would just divide by gender, and have age groups by decade (20-29, 30-39, etc).

  • Angie April 13, 2012, 6:49 pm

    I have raced Athena a couple of times – my first real tri I was 3rd place Athena in my age group! In that same tri, there were 2 very tall and very fit women in the Athena category who told me that the body markers did not believe them when they said that they were Athenas.

    There is a big difference for me, as a 160 plus pound woman, and many of the 120 pound women in hauling myself around on the bike and run. That said, if I were at what I consider my ideal weight of slightly over150 and in the best possible shape, I might not choose to race in the Athena category.

    I also think that the Athena weight and the Clydesdale weight are not really comparable. I know a lot of women who would be too thin under 150 but a 200 pound man is usually not too thin unless he is really tall.

  • Erin April 13, 2012, 6:59 pm

    Is that your mom in the picture with your dad?!?!?! I am guessing so because it looks just like you!!!!!!

  • Laura is Undeterrable April 13, 2012, 7:09 pm

    I just signed up for my first tri and I chose not to sign up as Athena. I understand that it’s another way to break it up, but I want to compete against everyone! I’ve had a hard time all my life in sports because I’ve chosen activities where smaller, lighter people excel (figure skating, dance, running) but I try not to let my extra inches (height and around the middle) hold me back.

    I’ll admit that I’m hyper sensative about my weight, it would be upsetting to me to register into a “big” category. I don’t want to be singled out because I’m bigger than everyone else. I just want to be an athlete. I don’t want to be the “big athlete.”

    Am I reading too much into this? Probably.

  • Susie April 13, 2012, 7:20 pm

    Omg, I thought that was you in the pic! You are IDENTICAL to your mum! Both pretty of course! 🙂

  • Hillary April 13, 2012, 8:08 pm

    I didn’t even know that these categories EXISTED! I only thought they broke it down by age and gender. This is kind of fascinating!

  • Nicole Dyan April 13, 2012, 8:17 pm

    I love that picture of your parents! No doubt that you are their child!

  • Dana April 13, 2012, 9:01 pm

    I’m 5’10” and at my lowest adult weight I was 160 and people I know were concerned about me because you could see more bones than you’re supposed to.
    I am a little overweight now, and I compete in half marathons and triathlons, but I’ve never put myself in the Athena category. I would definitely be too embarrassed. Since it’s by weight it seems like somehow admitting that you’re “fat” by the triathlon community’s standards, which I don’t like.
    The intention is good, but maybe it should be by BMI or just by height? I don’t know of a good, easy solution, but I’m NOT a fan of the Athena category.

  • Amanda April 13, 2012, 9:01 pm

    In one of the races I entered recently, either a 5k or 10k, I entered as Athena. It did bother me! I am not skinny my any means, but very muscular with a few extra pounds on top 😉 I had never noticed that before until this one race. I felt like one of the “big girls.”

  • Becky Przy April 13, 2012, 9:19 pm

    Great post! I wonder about this a lot. I am 6 feet tall and hover around the 145 lbs range. I enter the Athena category (it’s 145 at the half marathon I do every summer). I love it because I can place and get a medal;-) Last year someone told me I was ‘cheating’ because I am not overweight…but I figure I am carrying the extra height (and weight) so why not enter. I have been overweight in my life and I probably would have entered the category then as well–its not like they are announcing how much you weigh when you cross the finish line;-)

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) April 13, 2012, 10:08 pm

    As a proud Athena racer (I’m 5’8″ with bones denser than lead and old swimmer muscles), I think the category is fine when it’s there, and if it’s not, I’ll still race. Entering it is optional, so it’s not like people are being “shamed” for their size, rather, those who are proud of their height/build/etc declare it with the big old “A” or “C” marking on their calf. In a way, I do it because I like to show that bigger women can race fast, too.

  • Kaitlyn April 13, 2012, 10:46 pm

    Mountain bike races are notorious for these categories-well, clydesdale anyways. It separates those that are fit and competitive but doing it for fun from those who are super fit, super competitive and take it seriously. My experience is that the clydesdale categories don’t fill up at all and most are in it for fun without being left completely behind.

  • Christine @ BookishlyB April 14, 2012, 12:04 am

    I have mixed feelings on categorizing people on their weight- it’s just so touchy. My cousin won a half for the Athena category and joked about being a fatty for the rest of the day (she had had two back to back kids). She joked, but I think maybe the label touched a nerve.

  • Lauren April 14, 2012, 12:06 am

    I didn’t even know there was such a category, but I think it’s pretty interesting! Most of us are just racing for ourselves and for fun, so why not enter a category if you qualify? I’m just over 5’8″ and over 150, I think it’d be neat to compare my times to others with the same build, but maybe everyone feels that way.

  • Elisabeth April 14, 2012, 12:11 am

    Cool picture of the ‘rents – your mom is beautiful! 🙂

  • Emily April 14, 2012, 12:29 am

    Great post and I agree with DadHTP’s theory on why the categories exist. It’s frankly offensive that people would think that the Clyde/Athena categories were established b/c heavier people are not as fit.

    I will be doing my first tri this year, and trust me when I say I will not be breaking any time records, but I CAN complete it even though I am still 40 lbs overweight. Just because I may come in dead last doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be tri-ing.

    As another commenter mentioned, entering in A/C categories are optional and I will be happy to enter as Athena so I can show other larger build women they too can complete a tri.

  • Liz@LastChanceTraining April 14, 2012, 12:44 am

    I’ve only just started getting into tris and wondered what the different categories were. I’m not tall or heavy enough to be an Athena, but what your Dad says makes perfect sense. Plus the fittest woman I know is 6 foot tall and over 150lb and just kicks my butt totally.

  • Alyssa @ Don't Look Down April 14, 2012, 1:17 am

    Swim Bike Mom just wrote a great post on entering into the Athena category and OWNING IT!
    And the USAT just passed a new rule changing the weight standards for Athena/Clydesdale class to 165 lbs for women and 220 lbs for men starting in 2013.
    I’ve never entered in the Athena class because I think I actually have a better chance of placing in my age group (20-24).
    I think the point of these categories are to even the playing field out a bit because honestly <150 might not be optimal racing weight for all females. I don't think any should be embarrassed to enter these classes either.
    And I will say in general I think triathletes are very friendly and helpful especially to beginners so you shouldn't worry too much about other people judging you. I'm convinced NO ONE looks very good in trisuits.

  • Gillian @ That's G April 14, 2012, 3:32 am

    I’m 5’7” and probably 155-160 (I don’t regularly weigh myself) and entered an Athena category in a half marathon a few months ago, thinking I would surely win it. I did, which was cool…until I realized I would have also won my age category (20-24) which would have had WAY more bragging rights.

    I like the idea of these categories, and it’s a cool chance to snag an extra medal, but I definitely think it “means more” to win in your age bracket.

  • Bria April 14, 2012, 7:04 am

    I still think the word “Athena” has a negative connotation. Big and slow, come to mind.

    “Athena, warrior Princess”?

    No thanks.

    I have always weighed more than is typical for my size and height. I usually hover around 150 lbs, and at my 5’6(1/2!) height this means I can vary from sizes 2-8 depending on where my body composition is at due to training.

    Even though I would qualify, don’t ‘spect me to be signin’ up for any Athena categories anytime soon….

    • Kassandra April 23, 2013, 11:05 am

      Xena was the Warrior Princess.

      Athena is Goddess of Wisdom.

  • Sharon April 14, 2012, 8:13 am

    Thanks, Caitlin, for the post! I still have mixed feelings on this category but it’s very interesting to read everyone’s comments and get their perspectives.

  • Sara April 14, 2012, 10:43 am

    When I signed up for my first tri I thought I HAD to sign up for Athena based on my weight (5’8″ over 150) and I didn’t think anything of it. Actually got 2nd place and didn’t even compare it to the age group winners as I wasn’t aware. It wasn’t until I did more tris that I noticed the difference. One thing I thought was really interesting was when my coach (I trained with a group) told me he thought I was cheating by “adding pounds so I could compete in an easier group.” I had to convince him that I wasn’t lying about my weight. Since that conversation, it has bothered me that he implied the Athena category was easier and I did feel ashamed when I competed in the Athena category in another race. Since then, I’ve decided he was wrong–the Athena category is competitive!! I was in a race where us top 3 Athena finishers would have been in the top three of our age group had we competed in that category.

    And, I agree with rest of you the name needs to be changed!!!! Just because people compete in a larger weight class does not automatically classify all of them as overweight (or not athletic). I mean–we just did a tri so we obviously kick a**!

  • Lee April 14, 2012, 11:01 am

    I am 5’7 and weigh around 150 lbs. I would not sign up as an Athena even though I guess I could. I think it would just make me feel self-conscious that I am a “heavier” runner.

  • Alyssa April 14, 2012, 12:14 pm

    Interesting post! Love the old photo of your parents.
    So I picked up a copy of my community colleges newspaper: The Everett Community College “Clipper”. Under the “Crime on Campus” column I found the following listed on March 6: ‘On the second floor in Parks Student Union, “You are beautiful” was found written in woman’s bathroom stall.’
    Thought you’d like to know that it looks like your movement has spread 25 miles north of Seattle 🙂

  • Jamie @ Don't Forget the Cinnamon April 14, 2012, 3:13 pm

    Very interesting post! I’ve never heard of either of these categories before! It seems beneficial to have them as long as entry is by choice and no one is automatically placed in a category based on their weight.

    I wouldn’t qualify for these but I would definitely love to do a first time tri category like you did when I (hopefully soon!) become an official triathlete!

  • AmandaRunsNY April 14, 2012, 5:06 pm

    I definitely fit into the Athena range, as I’m 5’8″ and weigh over 150lbs. But in a road race, I wouldn’t bother entering, because I don’t see any benefit to it. I’m already starting in a corral with people who are around my pace and that’s really all I need. Typically, in my corral (about 11min miles), there are all sorts of shapes and ages. Now, if they actually did different heats for different ages/body types/etc. I might consider it but otherwise what’s the point if you can’t place? Also, even if you can place, if you don’t know who you are racing against (none of the races, I’ve done denote groups except for the very elite – think Kara Groucher – getting bibs with their names on it), than how can you really race to win?

    Also, I haven’t done any triathlons so I can’t comment with true experience, but I imagine that great triathaletes are not those with runner’s physiques. Swimming favors long, broad frames and as swimming is many people’s weak spot in a tri, a great swimmer with a non-runners-physique could very well place due to the time gained in the swim portion. (Case in point, I checked my time for the swim portion of a sprint tri in my area and would have easily placed in the top 10, despite never getting near the top 50th% in NYRR races – and I am an out of shape but formerly very good swimmer.) So the Athena category might not really create a new competitive division for the trained athlete, but instead just allow the taller people to collect two purses – one for the general race and one for the Athena race.

    Finally, I do like the “new tri” category for an open water swim because the open water swims make me super nervous, but again, only if I could start with the new triathletes – and then since I am a swimmer, I might not like that anyway, since even though I don’t want to get kicked or swam over, I also can swim pretty well.

    Sorry for the long comment – in summary, I’m not really sure the new category matters unless there are distinct heats to distinguish between the different classes.

  • Theresa @ActiveEggplant April 14, 2012, 7:01 pm

    I have raced 4 triathlons so far – all in the Athena category. I don’t think the term “Athena” (or Clydesdale) is derogatory at all,nor do I think it connotes that I’m “fat” or “unworthy” of competing against everyone else. For me it boils down to one thing: My physical/athletic abilities have NEVER been similar to other women my age…but my abilities have been similar to women of ANY AGE that are built like me…and THAT is why I race in the Athena division.

    (And for what it’s worth, I’ve never had an “A” on my calf during any of my races, so no one else knew I was racing as an Athena anyway!)

    • Victoria (District Chocoholic) April 15, 2012, 12:44 pm

      That sort of sucks, I like scoping out my competition and making sure I get myself towards the front of the field during the run.

    • Harko Brown July 30, 2012, 8:45 am

      I totally agree Theresa. To run in these divs is a celebration of the super-human physiological dynamicism that some people possess. To even contemplate that a person in that div can run so well gives us all belief that anything is possible in this world.

      C&F runners are inspirational and their qualities need to be promoted for everyone to see and appreciate.

  • Erin June 30, 2012, 1:55 am

    Honestly, the 150-pound cutoff for Athena chaps my hide. NOT because of what the Athena category represents for anyone else, and not because someone might get a “break” because of it, but because of what 150 pounds represents to me.

    In high school, I weighed 122 pounds. By sophomore year, I weighed 105 (on a 5’8″ body). I was anorexic and terribly sick. Years later, well recovered from an eating disorder, I started doing triathlons. I went to the doctor for a prescription refill, and the nurse (herself not a small lady) stopped cold while writing down my weight. “145??? No, I must have read that wrong. It must have been 135. I’ll put 135.” I was crushed, angry, pissed off. I was in darn good shape, proud of how I looked, a strong athlete, in a fabulous relationship, and in no way overweight.

    So then I started not eating again. Dropped down to 130 pounds. I saw photos years later and realized I looked awful. I never knew it at the time, however.

    Anyway, in 2005, I did my first Ironman. I believe at the weigh-in, I was 142 pounds. Eight pounds away from Athena. Was I “big”? Too big? Overweight? I was always conscious in group photos, as I stood next to triathletes with knobby knees and sinewy arms. But I wasn’t; that was the healthiest and strongest I’ll probably ever be.

    150 pounds to me, regardless of weight, makes no sense. A 4’11” woman carrying 160 pounds is not the same as a 6’0″ woman who weighs 160 pounds. Two of my incredibly strong friends (one a multiple Ironwoman, one an ultra runner, swimmer, etc.) weigh over 170 pounds. They’re strong and healthy, and choose not to race Athena. Are they overweight? Should they be in a special category?

    Anyway, still chaps my hide. To be under 140 pounds is really difficult for me, particularly after having a baby and losing all spare time. Knowing I’m only a few pounds away of my own “big” category isn’t a morale booster for me.

    • I run... slower than ie on dial-up March 5, 2015, 1:44 pm

      Thank you so very much for your comment…

  • Harko Brown July 30, 2012, 8:36 am

    Hi, we’re staging filly & clyde divs this year in our Kerikeri Half Marathon (NZ). It is the only one in NZ. Our fb site is if you’d like to enter 🙂 We are lucky to have a couple of sports science leaders to backup our rationale for including these categories. Firstly runners who weigh more than 60-65kg, women, and between 80-90kg for men are definitely disadvantaged physiologically. when you look at the science such runners are actually performing at super-human levels to complete endurance events.

    To say that endurance running at over 60kg (w) and 90kg (m) is unhealthy is not true. many athletes, especially here in sports like rugby, do heaps of distance running. Alot of those players are 100kg or more. Our national rugby team has players who weigh on average 96kg each!

    The staging of C&F categories here is an exciting development that recognises the amazing physiological & psychological achievement of participants.

    We are keen to get some international competition going between the US & NZ, great to read the posts here.

    Harko Brown

  • Kevin November 14, 2012, 1:28 am

    Your dad hit the nail on the head, when it comes to distance events a tall person is at a biomechanical disadvantage compared with a shorter person of equal fitness. The difference is in the fuel economy – think SUV versus Prius!

    At 6′-7″, I would literally have to starve myself to get anywhere near 200 pounds. If being a really tall runner means I get lumped in with some non-tall guys who are just extra beefy, so be it. At least the Clydesdale division lets me test myself against other 4x4s!

  • Avid Runner October 1, 2013, 10:31 am

    Never heard of “Clydesdale” until I just signed up for a 5k and clicked the box because it said “women over 145/men over 200.” I thought I’d get a non-slim fitting shirt (to be fair, the box was right next to the shirt sizes) and I HATE slim fitting shirts…

  • Dawn April 19, 2015, 12:16 pm

    Very interesting! Thanks for the information. I’m looking into registering for my first tri, and strangely, registration is less expensive for the Athena/Clydsdale category. At 5’10, I’m right at the brink of this weight category. Likely, with a year of training and muscle development, I’ll be over 150. Is there a weigh-in before the race? That would be so awkward!

    • Caitlin April 20, 2015, 9:15 am

      I think it’s based on the honor system.

  • Melissa June 15, 2015, 2:43 pm

    My first tri was 2 years ago, 1 year after having spinal fusion surgery. I had been a runner and completed numerous races before then, with the hopes of completing a Tri. Then life happened. So when I finally got some training in and was able to run again, I signed up, and lo and behold I qualified for the Athena category, I figured why not?! I had never done one before and thought it might be advantageous. I have found since then, that there really are not that many women who register under this, and I usually win. Pro’s and con’s – are they not 150 lbs? I’ve passed women on the course and I know they have had to been close. I’m over 5’10 myself so yes part of me felt it might not be fair, but hey, I’m lugging around this huge frame and 157 lbs, it’s a lot of work! I just recently saw a friend post she competed in the “athena a/k/a ‘fat girl’ category’ – and I thought, huh, that’s what everyone thinks of it – including me. I got 1st place and didn’t post a pic of me with my trophy becuase yes, i was the fat girl winner. Mind you my friend is also over 5’9 -BUT her Tri had the athena as 160 and over? Interesting but still, we’re a culture obsessed with numbers, particularly women and weight. Before my surgery I was still the same height, but a smaller 147 – but wore clothes MUCH smaller. I’m softer, that’s all. I never really get far from that dreaded 150 mark. I just am not meant to be ‘normal’ I suppose. Interesting post, sorry I’m late to the responses.

    • Drewleay July 24, 2015, 11:57 pm

      I’m doing my first Olympic tri at Waco this weekend and at 225lbs I have lost 15lbs training over the last few months. I emailed the team there and they were great, though I will have to weigh in to make sure I am officially ‘Clydesdale’, basically they said I can choose so I have because my running really takes a toll.

      I will simply compare my time to my age group and see how I fair. When I lose a bit more weight I will simply slot into age group, but hopefully be faster as I will then be a ‘Gazelle’.

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