Like my Athena friends, it's become quite unlikely that I'll ever elect to participate in another NAS race: They have eliminated the Athena and Clydesdale divisions.
I usually make a point of supporting the Athena division in races because I believe in it. Body weight, pure and simple, increases the metabolic cost of locomotion. Athena and Clydesdale divisions simply allow more competitive body-weight groupings of athletes in triathlon and road racing, just as it does in martial arts, weightlifting, wrestling, and other sports in which body weight strongly influences athletic performance. Body weight is a far greater influence on performance than 5 or even 10-year age groupings.
In Beach 2 Battleship iron-distance triathlon that I've entered next year, I've entered as an age-grouper, since they offer age-weight divisions only for men (open Clydesdales and Masters Clydesdales) and only one weight class for women (Athenas all ages). However, they only had two Athena entrants last year.
I just wish there was a strong advocacy group in place for weight-class athletes. However, since naturally few of them make it into the overall awards, they tend to become second-class marginalized participants in triathlon. NAS will find there are few pro triathletes objecting to this decision, I'm sure.
First they came for the Clydesdales and Athenas . . . then for the challenged athletes . . . then for the older age-groupers. . . .