FFF: Who’s An Athena?

Ancient greek goddess athena cartoon. Ancient greek goddess athena, funny  vector cartoon portrait of female deity of wisdom | CanStock

Athena was the goddess of battle strategy, and wisdom

A running friend mentioned to me recently that at a race, she registered as an Athena because she thought she had a better chance of placing.

Well it turned out that she didn’t but she would have done better just entering by her age.

The Athena division only takes into account your weight. (The male equivalent is Clydesdale.)

Do Sara and Dimity look overweight to you? They often enter races in the Athena division.

So obviously if you are tall, you can fit into this division and not be overweight.

The Athena division is only available in some marathons and triathlons. And many women do not want to be considered an Athena even if they do qualify.

The weight limit for an Athena according to what I’ve read varies from race to race but is usually between 140-160 lbs.

Ok, so if you’re 5 feet tall, you may be overweight but not if you’re 5’10!

The rationale supposedly is that it’s harder to run fast if you are carrying extra pounds.

But shouldn’t it be BMI not just the number on the scale?

What do you think?

1.Should this division be offered?

2. In ALL races or just certain types or distances, if it is offered?

3. If you qualified, would you sign up?

4. Should you have to weigh in before the race (to keep things honest)?

4.Does being overweight give you an unfair disadvantage in a race?

Happy Running! Have you ever run a race as an Athena? Please share!







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14 thoughts on “FFF: Who’s An Athena?

  1. I have actually heard of this before but I’ve never experienced a race ( and I’ve done a lot) where this was an option on the registration ( or perhaps I didn’t look hard enough). On the other hand, I am saddened by the fact they are considering someone 140 Ib to be over weight!


  2. BMI isn’t really a good measurement either. There are a lot of factors that aren’t taken into account in BMI.

    I haven’t “run” across many races that offer it, but I have heard of it. I say if it makes people happy, go for it. But if it just makes you feel bad about yourself, don’t. I wonder how many people are actually glad to have that option? I don’t know. It would be interesting to do some polls!


    • I know Dimity and Sarah do take advantage. I’ve seen it in marathons. It’s most popular in triathlons.

      My point was that if you tall, it works to your advantage. Not us shorter folks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. they always had the Athena division available when I did triathlon races. I have mixed feelings. First, no one actually checks your weight it is self reporting, Second, I have had my ass kicked on a bike and a run by ladies far larger than me. I know someone who does it bc she thinks it helps her place higher.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think women who weigh more are definitely at a disadvantage for racing so I don’t see anything wrong with offering this. I’m not saying you can’t be fast if you weigh more but there’s a reason all of the elites are tiny little things that weigh next to nothing. If I fit into that group, I wouldn’t have any problems registering for it in a race.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t seen this in a while. I think 140 seems too low for the reasons you’ve mentioned. I think the weights are kind of arbitrary. My friend enters occasionally – she’s 5’10” and slim/muscular for the “win.” I think it’s OK to have this class in the race but think there should be some better parameters.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve only seen it for triathlons, not for regular running. I’m 5’10” so I would definitely be in the category (heck, I’d probably even qualify as a Clydesdale lol).

    I don’t really have any feelings about it one way or the other. 140 does seem super low, but again, height matters.

    Liked by 1 person

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