Inspired by the recent LA Times story of a 400 lb Marathoner, USAT today announced starting with the 2012 season they’ll be supporting a new Super-Clydesdale and Super-Athena competition category. The new category will be open to athletes 320lbs and larger for men, or 280 and larger for women. A Super-Category Nationals will be held in Houston, Texas, three time winner of the Heaviest City in America.
“The demographics are on our side” said a spokesperson, pointing to recent studies by the CDC indicating that the average American male weight has increased by 14% in the last 40 years. “American waistlines are changing, and we need to change with them.”
“Another benefit of the Super-Clydesdale category is that we can effectively extend our season. We’ve found our Super-Clydesdales are comfortable with open-water swim temps that would typically dramatically reduce participation in some of our early-season races.”
Bike manufacturers are already supporting the move. Several have announced new reinforced frames capable of handling the stress and pounding a Super-Clydesdale can dish out. “Obviously, price point will be an issue as our material costs on these frames are higher than the typical model. But, we’re committed to supporting this new category of racing”.
More details on the announcement, and Super-Category qualification standards can be found here.