Athena or Age Grouper?

Today I did this....


I registered for a USAT membership in preparation for Tri season, to avoid paying multiple "one-day" fees at each race. I got excited, so then I wanted to check out the info for my first trialthon of the year. A sprint tri with a pool swim.

Typically, I always sign up as an Athena if that category is offered. My brother thinks that this is using my weight as an excuse with racing, but it's hard to lug the extra weight around (he's technically a Clydesdale, but never registers as one). I was scoping out last years results for this race and discovered some interesting facts. If I register as an Athena, there is a decent chance I could come in first place. If I register in my age group 25-29, I have a decent chance of placing in the top 5.

I've never thought of myself as less of an athlete competing in the Athena category. I just feel like it compares me to other females more similar to myself. A lot of age groupers are super thin and fit, and while I know weight doesn't measure the level of fitness a person has, I feel more on an even playing field with other women my size. 

Do you register as an Athena if your weight allows?

Which group would you register as?

Needless to say, the prospect at placing well in a very small local race has motivated me to seriously plan my training, so Olympic tri plan it is! 





14 comments:

Savannah said...

I register as an Athena when I can - I'm not a tiny thing even when I'm "thin" and I feel like it evens the playing field.

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

I register as an Athena in any race that allows it. I can really appreciate the Athena category and why it was put in place. It's nice that some of us larger runners can have a chance at placing. Either way, good luck!!!

Tanya said...

To be totally honest, I would register in whichever category I have the best chance of getting a medal in. You're going to perform the same come race day no matter what, so I disagree with your brother that it's using your weight as an excuse. And by that same logic, that's why I don't mind smaller races where I have a better chance at taking home some bling - less people in my age group.

And also, placing in a category - age group or Athena - is just one part of racing stats. There's the actual swim, bike, run time, which I'm sure you'll look at and compare to previous races etc. and want to improve upon in the future.

But of course, it's whatever you feel comfortable with. Some folks don't like being "labeled" because of weight.

(Just) Trying is for Little Girls said...

Definitely an Athena whenever it's offered. Wait til you are older and can register as a Masters Athena. That was quite humbling for me, but I did win it last summer!

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Athena, because i'll never get an age group. I did get a 2nd place in the 170+ group last year. What irks me though is people who are really tiny and don't do the age group because they know they won't win it but sign up for the athena group because it's one or the other. hmm I just know someone who did that and she probably took the award from someone who really could have won it fairly. Does this make sense?

LoriV. said...

Definitely Athena.

I have only had to register by age so far.

Carly said...

Athena all the way baby! I feel like I actually have a chance to place in that category and win prizes (I've come in 1st and 2nd at races in this category, so I'm all for it!).

Kovas said...

I registered as a Clydesdale for one of my first triathlons (first OWS), more that it was a smaller group than to be competitive.

lilmeg said...

I can see both sides of the coin.

At 5'1 I wish there was a "short person" category. My legs don't go very far per stride. That said, it makes it even sweeter when I pass someone with long legs.

At the end of the day, I think you should race in the category that will challenge you and allow you to have fun. That's what it is all about! I'd MUCH rather people race Athena than not race at all!

Penny said...

Can someone tell me what Athena means I have never heard this used before. I am just a small country girl.

RockStarTri said...

I registed with the fat guys if I have a chance at HW. Otherwise, AG.

canyoncairns said...

I *should* register as Athena since I consistently qualify but I guess I'm just too ashamed of my weight to admit to it. :( Though I should get the advantage for lugging it all around!

kilax said...

I have never had the opportunity to register as an Athena, but would. I am carrying some extra weight around and it slows me down!

Terri said...

I am hobbit-sized, so I have no choice but to register in my age group. That said, if I were an Athena, I would not hesitate to register as one.

 
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