As you can probably tell from my pictures, I'm a bit over 200lbs...245 at the start of the half-iron race to be exact. I enter the Clydesdale category at every race I enter as the chances of placing in my age group are very slim. The point I'm going to make in this post has been heavily debated on Slowtwitch, and probably other Tri forums, more than once.
Since I was going to be at my parents the weekend of the Jetton Park Triathlon, the first triathlon I ever raced, I was dying to know how I could do know that I have a bit of experience. It turns out, I did about 16 minutes better and set a sprint PR. I was very surprised at the category standings this year.
In 2011 I finished 3rd in the Clydesdales with a very slow time of 1:39:42 (in my mind), although not bad considering it was my first race.
This year I did much better with a time of 1:23:35. I managed to beat out the 2nd place guy from last year by 6 minutes however, I finished in 4th.
While I applaud the 1st-3rd place finishers, I'm a little suspicious about the 1:13 time. I realize the category is not the "Fat Man" category and was created for people who are say 6'5" and weigh 205 as they might have trouble keeping the same run pace as someone that is 5'8" and 160. Their body type might not allow them to run quite as fast. However if you're running close to sub 7 miles for a small sprint, signing up for the clydesdale group is kind of a cop-out. Why take the easy way out? Why not challenge yourself and try to get third in your age group? I'm not sure how old the guy is nor did I stick around to see the awards so I have no clue what his body type is. (The food sucked and I was hungry.) Looking at the age group results, he would have finished 2nd in the 25-29, 5th in 30-34 and 3rd in the 35-39.
This guy has every right to sign up as a Clydesdale if he is over 200lbs but, why take the easy way out for an award when you can challenge yourself in your age group? If I finish 1st in the Clydesdales more than once or can run 7 minute miles for a 5k in a tri you better believe I'm signing up for my age group from then on. You can hold me to this.
Last time I checked, you can't qualify for Kona as a Clydesdale.