Friday, June 18, 2010

To Clydesdale or not...

(Photo by Sonya Etchison/

With the Bigfoot Triathlon coming up in a few weeks, I started thinking more about race strategy. No, I'm not expecting to compete seriously or place, but I do want it to be as pleasant an experience as possible.

Since I weighed 208 pounds 2 weeks ago, I can still probably qualify as a Clydesdale, should I want to change my registration. Since I'm not racing to win, it doesn't really matter the division I'm in, or does it?

My thought is that the Clydesdale division, which starts separately from the age-groupers, might be less crowded and therefore, more mellow, especially during the swim. Since I haven't really done any swim training, I know that I will struggle on the first leg and it might be easier if there are less people around.

What are your thoughts? To Clydesdale or not...


  1. go clyde ... just for the mellower swim start

  2. Definitely Clydesdale! Every time there is an Athena division, I register for it. Even though I only qualify by 1 pound. Gotta take what you can get!

  3. Clyde - for the mellower swim.

  4. Question: What maketh the assumption that the swim start will be mellower? Less people in the wave?

  5. Less people was the original assumption, perhaps incorrect. Here's a private response I got:

    "So while I encourage anybody who qualifies to go Clydesdale, I want to warn you that the swim won't necessarily be easier. They typically dump all the Clydesdales into one wave so there is likely to be a similar number of people -- this might be worth checking out with the race director, though. More importantly -- Clydesdales, from my experience, typically aren't the best swimmers, are bigger than most swimmers, and are more aggressive -- especially in the water -- than age group swimmers. The first 100-200m are typically chaos. I've been swam over multiple times and the regular hits and slaps you get in any swim come with a bit more "beef" behind them."

    Anyway, I sent an email to the race director seeing if it was even possible to make the switch. The other aspect is that, even though I don't see myself as particularly competitive, it might be nice to see how I stack up against other big guys rather than a 145 pound 40 year old neo-pro.

  6. I saw it's a coin toss- either way have fun and race hard! Cheers!

  7. With all due respect to Jeff, TMB, Pete, and Jeri, I may take a different view in that I wouldn't count on it being a foregone conclusion that the clyde division is more mellower. I've raced both AG and Clyde and I found no difference. There is definitely a chance that there will be a crew of 20 something y.o. muscled guys who qualify clyde via the weight of their muscle mass who will be racing like 20 something y.o. muscled guys do - for keeps. That will make the swim start just as tough.

    I'd go with your gut, and what makes you feel the most comfortable since you can't control the outside factors.

  8. I would do whatever you feel more comfortable doing

  9. I like BBD comment. I second it. The man is like the bible of tri-blogging. ;)

  10. +1 on what BDD said - go where you feel most comfortable.

  11. As an often clyde, the swim isn't always mellower. I go for whichever wave is earlier realizing most of the time clydes are last with relays, etc. You always want to be off the course before the heat of the day if you can.

  12. Before you consider my opinion, know that I'm not a triathlete and had to google what-the-heck a clydesdale is. But now that I'm an expert, I say go with your gut. Apparently, in some cases, some guys would have placed higher if that had NOT run as a clydesdale (not sure what you call that).

  13. Ok, not liking what i read about being swam over, hit or slapped during the swim. Something I did not know happened!

    As far as your decision goes, I would do whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. From what i have heard, you can take your time on the swim and then make up your time elsewhere.

    Thank you for the very informative post!


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