General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Most Competitive Age Group? Rss Feed  
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2007-07-22 8:51 AM

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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: Most Competitive Age Group?
So what's the most competitive AG in your area? Here in West Michigan, it is 35-39 hands down. Guessing this is the same in most locations as a lot of us got into the sport riding the wave of rising popularity. Good example: in the "tweener" distance race I did yesterday, finished 16 out of 61 in my age group, 59 out of 431 overall. If I'd been competing with the younger crowd, I'd have finished 8th in the 30-34 gang or 5th with the 25-29 year olds. Would have been 7th with the 40-44 year olds, but know that the studs in my current AG will be following me up over the next few years.....


2007-07-22 9:03 AM
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Extreme Veteran
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Connecticut
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
Hey there - Yep in Connecticut, Male Age 35 - 39 which I am in. 40 - 45 is also very tough. There are two guys in my AG who live by me who always finish 1st and 2nd overall. I am always somewhere between 5th and 10th. One can only hope they break down before me 8-)
2007-07-22 9:15 AM
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Master
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Atlanta, Ga
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
It's not even debateable. Male 35-39. In sheer numbers and ability. I ran a sprint last year, 600 people. Finished 6th in my AG (m35-39) out of 60 or so others.. but the worst part is.. I would have placed in ANY other age group that day.
If you want to break it out to what's the most competative AG by sex, then I would say that Female 30-34 is their toughest by numbers, but F35-39 is their toughest by quality. That's just me guessing though.
2007-07-22 9:20 AM
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Elite
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Spring, TX
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
Why do the men get so much better in their late 30's as opposed to those of us in our late 20's?

I've speculated that due to the high startup cost of this sport, most people don't start until they are in their late 20's or early 30's and so reach their peak when they are a little older and have had time to train.

I'm in the 25-29 age group, and as I look at the competitors 30-40 years old, I realize how far I need to go if I plan on continuing to compete.
2007-07-22 9:54 AM
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2007-07-22 10:06 AM
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Champion
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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
35-39. At IMAZ there were 499 men in that age group.


2007-07-22 10:09 AM
in reply to: #895713

Champion
10625
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Tacoma, Washington
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
The OA winner is often in the 20-29 division, but it's also often the 40-44. And even when the winner is a younger buck, the most tightly packed top places are in the 40-44.
2007-07-22 10:21 AM
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Champion
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Placitas, New Mexico
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
M40-44 and M45-49 are probably most "competitive" in that the gap between first-third-fifth-tenth in the AG is pretty small.  Some of these guys show up in top-10 overall.   Don't know so much about the women. 
2007-07-22 11:33 AM
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Extreme Veteran
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Connecticut
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?

I think Orbea Man raises a very good point about the cost of the sport and why men in there late 30's improve. When I raced in my early 20's I couldn't even afford clip on pedals and shoes and raised on a second hand cannondale.

I have another theory and this is my opinion only on why men in there late 30's are so prevalent and do so well. Most of us get married say at 30 and have children and concentarte on our careers. Put on 30 lbs wake up when we hit mid 30's and go enough is enough and hit the sport with a vengeance. Certainly my case. Having dropped 25lbs this year. I have also found my endurance on the bike is soooooooo much better than in my early 20's. Only deteriation I have noticed is my running isn't as fast but I can run longer.

Very interesting thread this one 8-

 

 

2007-07-22 12:32 PM
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Veteran
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Lexington, KY
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
I agree with the M 35-39 response. As a M 30-34 racer, we are often also very competitive, but the next older guys often edge us out of the top spots. Some of the younger racers are faster as individuals, but they have smaller numbers so the spread of times between the top 3 finishers is often far wider.

Not that any of this matters for a front-MOPer like me, except for the occaisional fluke!
2007-07-22 1:34 PM
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Master
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Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
I have to disagree with you about West Michigan, Bill. In both my tri's this year, I would have placed higher in any other age group than mine, 40-44. At Muskegon Block 58, the winner was Tom Linck, who has won all three races I've been in, and the Masters winner was Jeff Haney: both from my group. It may just be splittin' hairs, but you sure don't have anything to look forward to when you move up.


2007-07-22 2:27 PM
in reply to: #895713

Regular
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Austin, TX
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?

I'm in the M 20-24 group now, and there aren't a lot of competitors by number. However, the guys that do race in the division tend to be pretty strong. I will say that the guys in this group tend to be very strong in one leg, but still need to develop the other 2 legs to get to the overall podium.

Do you all feel that the sport is getting more popular than in the past? I've been seeing quite a few high school age kids racing, and some of them are actually really fast on the sprint/oly level. Many of them are apart of tri teams in high school/college, and it seems like more schools are supporting teams than when I was in school...

2007-07-22 9:39 PM
in reply to: #895713

Expert
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Minnesota
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
In 2006, 3 of the top 10 in the Tri-Minnesota series were under 30. In 2005 2 of the top 10 were under 30.

At the level of the age grouper, 30+ is certainly the most competative. In that 20-29 age group. There are some extremely fast racers, most of the time the fastest. However, there are so few of them.

Money, family, stability are all reasons that the 20-29 age group isn't as competative as, say, the 40-45 age group.

I am one of those weirdos that thinks males 21-45 should all be grouped together in an "open" category due to the fact that individuals in this range have relatively equal physical ability. Go deeper than 3 places with awards, but group these individuals together.
2007-07-22 11:23 PM
in reply to: #895713

Expert
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Austin, TX
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
It's funny. Everyone I seem to talk to seems to think their AG is the most competitive.

I personally haven't seen a lot of consistency. There are tris that I've won AG (30-34) but would have been 4th in 35-39. There have been others where I've been 3-4 in my AG, but would have won the 35-39 outright. I think somewhere in the mid-30s seems to be the endurance peak for men, but I also think it depends on when people get started.
2007-07-23 12:50 AM
in reply to: #895713

Veteran
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Ontario
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?

I am in 20-24.  I would say the most competitors and toughest group would be the 35-40, and 40-45, both in tris and run races.

That being said, I am in the smallest AG, and even if I come MOP overall, I am dead last in my AG.  I think it is because only really serious athletes compete at my age, and older groups have a more broad group. 

 

For example, out of 450 in my last race, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th were all 20-24m, meanwhile there was only about 10 people in that group overall.

 

I think it is odd though that it is such an older crowd out there.  I just don't think younger people are dedicated enough to put in the training time required by this sport.  I don't think the costs are much more than hockey or basketball when you look at cost per year. 

2007-07-23 7:19 AM
in reply to: #895713

Expert
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Muncie, IN
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
I'm not sure I would tag any group the most competitive. I do race in the 35-39AG. I like it because it's usually one of the biggest groups. In the sprint race I did in Muncie a guy in the 20-24AG won it. I was the top 35-39 AG in 19th overall. I got beat though mostly by people in the higher age groups. In the HIM race 2 of the top 3 were in their mid 40s. It's hard to say what the most competitive group is.


2007-07-23 7:52 AM
in reply to: #895713

Champion
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Fountain Hills, AZ
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
Oh, I think it's very easy to establish that men 35-39 is the most competetive, just look at the results of any Ironman. This weekend at Lake Placid, my coach finished 3rd for men 25-29. Had he been in 35-39 he would have been 8th. That's the difference between Kona qualifying and not. At IMAZ, I was the 7th AG'er to finish and was 4th in my AG, so in the top seven, 4 of us were 35-39. At IM Austria, 12 men 35-39 went under 9:30 vs. 8 in 25-29. The only excpetion I could find was IMCDL, where the 25-29 field was the fatsest.
2007-07-23 8:01 AM
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Pro
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Wisconsin near the Twin Cities metro
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
2007-07-23 9:47 AM
in reply to: #895713

Veteran
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Independence, KY
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
I can't wait until I get older and faster
2007-07-23 9:52 AM
in reply to: #895713

Pro
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Texas
Subject: RE: Most Competitive Age Group?
Here it's usually 30-34M followed closely by 35-39M. I figure in about 30 years, enough of these guys will have died off that I might actually get a medal.
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