ATHENA & CLYDESDALE U.S.A. TRIATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS WERE COMPETED* NEAR GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN ON JUNE 10, 2018, as they have been in 2015- 2017. The inaugural year for this weight class division as a “stand alone” championship was 2014, when the competition was held in DeGray Lake, Arkansas.
Last year Earned Runs reported on the topic to clarify the weight ranges for male and female weight classes. The posting wasn’t all that clear; it is still confusing!
The COMPETITIVE RULES For the organization USA Triathlon, which “serves as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon, and paratriathlon in the United States”, outlines in Article III General Rules of Conduct and Penalties, Section 3.2b Age Group Competition, Weight Class Division: “In events where a weight class division is offered, the minimum weight shall be 220 pounds for men and 165 for women monitored by the event organizer. The weight class age categories for men and women shall be 39 years of age and under and 40 years of age and over. Participants are not eligible to compete in a weight class division and in an age group division in the same event”.
“Athena” and Clydesdale” as identifiers of weight classes do not appear in the USAT rule book. However, the Championship event in Grand Rapids has always marketed itself with those names. What’s up with that? Possibly because the designation of such an event restricted to a specific weight class with the descriptive terms used in the rule book would be cumbersome and wordy, and not draw persons most interested in this specific competition.
As discussed in the Earned Runs blog 2017 post, the organization USA Track and Field (USATF) rules do not mention weight class at all. Using these names as search terms on the USATF website that helps athletes find contests does not generate results that make sense.
Still race organizers of some events do offer weight class divisions. A quick internet search for example, shows the Hub City 20 mile, half marathon, and 5k events in Crown Point, Indiana on September 9, 2018 provide for separate Athena and Clydesdale registration for the latter 2 races. CARA, the Chicago Area Runners Association, explains on its “Awards and Scoring” webpage, in the section “Runners’ Choice Circuit Awards” that the Clydesdale/Athena categories will be awarded to “Clydesdale A=Males 185-199 pounds, Clydesdale B= Males 200-224 pounds, Clydesdale C = 225+ pounds, Athena A = Females 155-169 pounds, Athena B= Females 170+ pounds”.
The take-away information is that:
Athletes interested in competing in weight category divisions should check the details of any event each year to get accurate information. Race organizers generally wish to be inclusive and to encourage participation in their events. If demand increases, there are likely to be greater efforts made, across the entire running industry, to welcome and award weight class division athletes.
One Clydesdale obstacle course athlete, Josh Mulvihill, makes a case for why running and obstacle course events should include weight divisions in an article “Clydesdales and Athenas - The Next BIG Thing” for obstacleracingmedia.com. He makes sound points and likely speaks for a number of athletes.
A recent article in ACTIVE.com by Karen Buxton, “6 Tips for Athena and Clydesdale Triathletes” had some decent tips for weight class divisions athletes that would seem to be helpful to all competitors new to the event.
Not all runners and fitness enthusiasts love to compete. Changes in perspective and rules that help motivate becoming and staying fit for all who do, taking size into consideration, seems like something to celebrate. Congratulations to the 2018 USA Triathlon weigh class division winners! YAY for you.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*NOTE: below are the results from Sunday’s race:
2018 USA Triathlon Clydesdale & Athena National Championships
600m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Overall Clydesdale: Josh De Jong (Indianapolis, Ind.), 1:06:53
Overall Athena: Laura Crower (Sanford, Mich.), 1:16:46
Clydesdale 39 & Under: Josh De Jong (Indianapolis, Ind.), 1:06:53
Athena 39 & Under: Laura Crower (Sanford, Mich.), 1:16:46
Clydesdale 40-59: Timothy Sondgeroth (Chathan, Ill.), 1:12:50
Athena 40-54: CC Rowe (Austin, Texas), 1:23:24
Clydesdale 60+: Robert Schmidt (Hinckley, Ohio), 1:33:25
Athena 55+: Julie Emery (Menomonee Falls, Wis.), 1:48:59
1500m swim, 40k bike, 10k run
Overall Clydesdale: Bill Tomlinson (Boston, Mass.), 2:24:38
Overall Athena: Alyssa Hinds (Mason, Mich.), 2:48:51
Clydesdale 39 & Under: Bill Tomlinson (Boston, Mass.), 2:24:38
Athena 39 & Under: Alyssa Hinds (Mason, Mich.), 2:48:51
Clydesdale 40-59: Mark Probasco (Stillman Valley, Ill.), 2:32:34
Athena 40-54: Sarah Jackman (Brownsburg, Ind.), 2:56:01
Clydesdale 60+: Brian Van Ee (Grand Rapids, Mich.), 2:55:48
Athena 55+: Rhoda Miel (Ann Arbor, Mich.), 3:14:05
1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run
Overall Clydesdale: Christian Jacobsen (Oxford, Mich.), 4:53:19
Overall Athena: Kristi Mauss (Royal Oak, Mich.), 5:19:51
Clydesdale 39 & Under: Jacob Raber (Caledonia, Mich.), 6:57:18
Athena 39 & Under: Kristi Mauss (Royal Oak, Mich.), 5:19:51
Clydesdale 40-59: Christian Jacobsen (Oxford, Mich.), 4:53:19
Athena 40-54: Leslie Battle (Warwick, R.I.), 5:45:45
Clydesdale 60+: Howard Palay (Waynesville, N.C.), 7:47:39
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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