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Should The Term "Age Grouper" Die?

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Look for a new “Salty Triathlete” from Kelly O’Mara every month in Triathlete magazine.

 

By Kelly O'Mara (triathlete.com)

 

“Have any age-groupers come through?” I asked the spectators on the side of the Ironman 70.3 World Championship course in Australia in 2016.

“Eh, any what?”

“Age-groupers?”

“Who?”

“Has everyone so far been a professional?”

“Oh, aye, yeah, no amateurs yet, mate.”  ...

 

It turns out “age-groupers” is not a universal term for those athletes who don’t make a living exercising. And maybe it shouldn’t be a term, period.

Runners are just runners. Some of them are faster than others. Some of them make money; most don’t. There isn’t a world championship for the pseudo-elite runners, the best of the runners who aren’t quite good enough to be the best. Cyclists have categories. Start at the bottom, Cat 4 or 5 (for women or men, respectively), and you’re forced to move up when you get too good. Yet triathletes can stay age-groupers forever.

I asked triathlon oracle Bob Babbitt where the term came from—why do we call triathletes “age-groupers” anyway?   READ MORE



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