Wednesday, April 2, 2008

To go elite or to go age group, that is the question....

Well I was looking at the results from Last Year's Patriot Half I was an hour and 4 minutes off the overall winner's time. 35 min. of that gap was from the bike split the other 27 coming from the run, and 2 from the swim. Now upon analysis of my training and equipment one must remember, my longest ride pre-Patriot was 48 miles, my monthly long run was 12 miles, and I was swimming 3300yds. 4x a week. Also I did the swim in a $50 surfing wetsuit rode a 23lbs. Road Bike, and had to ...umm...ditch some clif bars and their wonderful overabundance of fiber.... on the run. Anyhoo...the cranium got to working ( on something over than Victorian England.) I train like a beast, I've got better gear, I've steered clear of clif bars for the last 3 months ( shot bloks are a different story, guys at Gu I'm telling you a semi-solid chewable would be um Gu-bers....) Patriot offers an elite, open catagory, which unlike most races you do not need an elite licence to compete in. It qualifies these entrants for the cash prizes, which is a bonus, but the one draw back, if you race as an open competitor you cannot be eligible for prizes for the age group and your time only counts toward the overall. So in essence my poll for this week is do I take a shot at the Patriot Half in the Open Catagoryand potentially a pay day, to see where I rank with New England's elites, or do I continue my reign of terror in the 20-24 Age Group for a bike jersey, nice trophy, and beers from the guys at HEAT? Realistically I have nothing to lose, I'll be competing in my age group at the Griskus, RI 70.3, and the rest of my races. So do I take a gamble or keep the status quo?


Jodi said...

Age Group

I think in order to avoid being a poseur you have to prove yourself BEFORE registering as elite. Start hitting podiums regularly at major races in your age group first.

Just my .02



Bob Almighty said...

Well Jodi here's the sad thing, I tend to podium at most of the races in my area, hell I podiumed in this race last year in my first half Iron,( granted I was almost 45 min. behind the winner and 15 min behind 2nd place.)Although the 20-24 age group isn't really all that tough, but I do understand what you're talking about in walking the walk before talking the talk.
The other thing is most of the elites are racing in RI the following weekend, I'll most likey go as an age grouper ( although it means I have to start last Wave...uggg all those people to pass. Seriously I had a top 20 swim split overall.) But if I have stellar showings at Eagleman (Top 5 in AG) and the Griskus Olympic(Podiumin AG)then I might go open if nothing else to get clear water on the swim.

Speed Racer said...

You can see how you stack up to the elites without being in their same category. You'll place MUCH better in the AG (where you won't realistically get a payday in the elite category). And you're a starving college student who can't afford to be BUYING bike jerseys. Those things are expensive, take all the free ones you can get! Go AG, and if you stack up well to the elites this year, go for a payday next year.

(PS Not to take anything away from your achievements, but the NE field isn't as competitive as other parts of the country. If your times on the nutmeg course for last year are still in the top 10% of CA overall male standings or races that attract a larger field, you can call yourself elite. But if you're thinking national, keep in mind you might be a big fish in a small pond...)

Mr. Satan A. Chilles said...

While not having much experience to base this on, I'd agree with the AG folks here. Free stuff and a trip to the podium? I know which one I'd prefer. Give it a little more time (a few more events) and then go elite just to see what you can do there. And go elite before you hit your 30s, because that after-30 age group is filled with athletic competitiors hitting their peak.