When XTERRA celebrated its 10th year in October of 2005, the founders created the XTERRA HALL OF FAME. This year, on the Friday before the XTERRA World Championship another XTERRA legend will be honored in front of their peers at the night of champions dinner.
NICOLAS LEBRUN (2013)
Nicolas "The Professor" Lebrun was inducted into the XTERRA Hall of Fame at the Night of Champions dinner at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Saturday.
XTERRA first met Lebrun more than a decade ago. He had already made a significant impact on multisport - a World Champion duathlete and two-time World Champion Winter triathlete.
The native of France crossed the Atlantic and landed in Richmond, Virginia for his first XTERRA race in 2001. He finished 3rd behind another, first-timer - Conrad Stoltz in 2nd, and Canada’s Mike Vine in first.
It was the start of something big for him, and for XTERRA….The following year he returned to Richmond and scored his first XTERRA win – interestingly, every time he made the trans-Atlantic crossing, he arrived minus his bike or his luggage, or both…and it became a signature and symbol of “good luck”.
JAMIE WHITMORE (2012)
Jamie “J-Dawg” Whitmore was inducted into the XTERRA Hall of Fame at the Night of Champions dinner at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Saturday.
Whitmore’s XTERRA career was kick-started at the “Crown Jewel” XTERRA Saipan Championship race back in 2002 when she upset the reigning world champ at the time, Anke Erlank.
Over the next six years she won 37 championships in a dozen different countries, including the XTERRA World Championship in 2004. She is still today the most successful female pro the sport has ever known.
Her accomplishments in the sport, however, pale in comparison to her achievements in life. That she is an XTERRA Hall of Fame athlete is undisputed…how she evolved into a Hall of Fame human being – now that’s the stuff of legends.
Before she was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 she had already founded her own charity - Jamie’s Race for Research - which raised funds for Huntington’s Disease. She spoke to church groups, XTERRA Groups, was a coach, a mentor, and a hero to so many.
That was BEFORE cancer. When she got thrust into the fight of her life, a life-or-death battle, her true colors shined through.
Cancer got some good shots in, but she kicked it’s a*! Whitmore powered her way through unrelenting pain, numerous setbacks and rehab and is now cancer free.
And perhaps the most miraculous part of her story is she gave birth to twins boys – Christian and Ryder, in January, 2010, despite doctors warning that radiation therapy meant she’d never have children.
She was told she would never ride or run again either – let alone compete in triathlon.
Not true. Swimming was part of her rehab. And, with the aid of a brace she is biking and adds crutches for running. She returned to XTERRA racing last year at the Pacific Championship in Santa Cruz and Nationals in Utah. This year she competed at the XTERRA Guam Championship, the legendary Leadville 100 MTB race, and reignited her Olympic dream by winning the National Championship Time Trial for C-3 category Paracyclists.
For all that she has accomplished in XTERRA, and in life, we honor Jamie Whitmore as the newest member to the XTERRA Hall of Fame.
SCOTT SCHUMAKER (2011)
Scott is perhaps THE pioneer of XTERRA racing. He could race, and he could write with the best of them.
He was part of the inaugural class of one hundred and twenty three who started the first XTERRA (or AquaTerra as it was then know) in Wailea in 1996 – and he took 4th behind some of the biggest names in the sport - Jimmy Riccitello, Mike Pigg and Ned Overend.
In the first four years of XTERRA, he was a factor in just about every race…and introduced the sport to the triathlon world by writing about his experiences for industry magazines. His race reports were irreverent and often hilarious, introducing technical terms such as “Umpa-lumpa” to the sport. For years, he wrote monthly columns in two leading triathlon magazines, one under a nom de plume…the other under his real name. He made sure that XTERRA became well established in the multisport media.
When his XTERRA racing career came to a close in 2002, managing director, Dave Nicholas likened him to Dan Marino – the all-star quarterback that never won the big one.
Hall of Famers leave their mark on XTERRA but sometimes XTERRA leaves its mark on them. The longest running XTERRA Point Series race XTERRA GatorTerra named a section of their course "Schumaker Hill" after he took a nasty spill that left him with a few scars.
We're proud to introduce you to 2011 XTERRA Hall of Fame Inductee – Scott “Schufly” Schumaker.
SHARI KAIN (2010)
At the first XTERRA (or AquaTerra as it was then known) there were 123 competitors on the start line at Wailea Beach. It was a “who’s who” of triathlon and mountain biking. One of those competitors was a perky, pony-tailed, blonde Team Ritchey rider. She was an accomplished mountain biker – a U.S. champion in both cycling and cyclocross and she was to have a major impact on XTERRA.
It turned out to be one of the most exciting women’s races we have ever seen. Michellie Jones was the first woman out of the water but that lead didn’t last long. She was picked off on the mountain bike by Shari Kain whose expertise on the mountain bike earned her a seven minute lead over Jones by the time she hit T2. But Michellie did not give up easily, and she chipped away at Shari’s lead and pulled along side her only 800 meters from the finish. The two ran together across Wailea Beach and in the final steps of the race Michellie inched away to take the first ever XTERRA World Championship by only 12 seconds.
She returned the following year determined to take the title – only to suffer the wrath of Madam Pele on the bike course and finish 90th overall. 1999 turned out to be Sharoo’s winning year. Who can forget her dancing hula across the finish line in a grass skirt – an act that is immortalized on one of the banners hanging on our tents.
Shari raced XTERRA on and off for many years – in between giving birth to two children – and always brought great professionalism and FUN.
For her contributions to the sport – XTERRA is proud to induct Shari “Sharoo” Kain into the XTERRA Hall of Fame.
MICHAEL TOBIN (2009)
On the eve of the World Championship Michael Tobin became the 5th inductee into the XTERRA Hall of Fame. Tobin won at everything he tried, posting championships in running (and not your usual 5K but running up mountains for a couple hours); duathlon, where he was Powerman Champ twice with 14 international victories; XTERRA with 16 victories and a World Championship ; and adventure racing – where he has won all over the world.
Tobin dominated XTERRA for years. He won Kirkwood in 1997; won 3 of 4 in 1998; and won 9 out of 10 in 1999. To that point, the one prize that eluded Tobin was Maui. He was 4th in 1997 – 3rd in 1998 – 2nd in 1999 and finally won it all in 2000. He’s the last American to win off-road triathlon’s greatest race. For being the first of the dominators in XTERRA – a great athlete, and an even greater man – XTERRA is proud to induct Michael Tobin into the XTERRA Hall of Fame.
JIMMY RICCITELLO (2008)
Flash back to 1996… AquaTerra…the first XTERRA…123 Speedo-clad racers on the start line at dawn on the beach in Wailea, Maui. A who’s who of triathlon and mountain biking showed up to try something completely new…off-road triathlon. And, it turned out that XTERRA with its catch phrase “Your toughest competitor is Mother Nature” was right up Riccitello’s alley. He took the inaugural XTERRA World Championship by more than three minutes over triathlon great Mike Pigg. After the win, he said “Man this race is a bitch, but it’s the true spirit of triathlon – the athlete against the course”. Over seven years Riccitello raced XTERRA all over the U.S., including six more Maui World Championships, and was always the life of the party. Fellow athletes, XTERRA University students, and event staff alike were subjected to his less than politically correct opinions, quick wit, bodily sounds, and practical jokes.
KERSTIN WEULE (2007)
Kerstin Weule, using equally deadly swim, mountain bike and run speed, won more XTERRA races than anyone (until Jamie Whitmore took on the challenge). She won 19 XTERRA titles, including the US. Pro Series in 1999 and 2000, and the 2000 World Championship. Born in Braunlage, Germany in 1966, Weule’s name was synonymous with XTERRA for years. She was 5th at Maui in 1997 after a second in Kirkwood and a third at Big Bear. The winning started in 1998 in Louisiana and she won the next two big races. In her career, Kerstin won at almost every U.S. venue where XTERRA traveled too, including races in the UK and Canada. Her early battles in 97-98 and 99 with Lorraine Barrow and Jody Purcell were wonderful to watch. Weule brought much to XTERRA – an open disposition, the ability to share all that she knew at XTERRA University clinics, a great laugh, her cartwheel at the finish line, & blue painted toenails on raceday. Kerstin retired from XTERRA in 2003.
SCOTT TINLEY (2006)
Scott Tinley was named the second inductee into the XTERRA Hall of Fame. In 1996, Scott competed in XTERRA's inaugural event, known as Aquaterra at the time. That day, he finished in 4th place and went on to finish in the top 10 in both 1997 and '98. But more than just an athlete, Scott was one of the early ambassadors for the sport. Tinley was at the sharp end of getting athletes to Maui. When you look at the high level pro's that came 10 years ago, it is far more impressive than what one, solitary, unusual race with a $5,000 prize list should have attracted. Jimmy Riccitello, Mike Pigg, Wes Hobson, Ray Browning, Pat Brown, Scott Molina, Emilio Desoto, Jeff Devlin, Kenny Glah, Paul Huddle, Michellie Jones, Paula Newby, Sian Welch, Karen Smeyers and more I probably can't remember. A lot of that participation is because of ST. Tinley also campaigned in the Hawaiian Mountain Tour bike race in Hawaii to promote XTERRA and near the end of his career, he helped found and develop the sport of off-road triathlon.
NED OVEREND (2005)
After retiring from mountain biking in 1996 at the age of 40 (he won six national titles and became mountain bikings first world champion in 1990), Overend competed in the first-ever XTERRA in 1996, finishing third. In ‘97 he was second, and in ‘98 and ‘99 he won consecutive World Championships at the ripe young age of 42 & 43. He was also the XTERRA USA Series Champion in 2002. At the 2004 World Championship, at age 50, Overend posted the 9th fastest bike split and placed 21st overall. Midway through the bike course Peter Reid was overheard saying “There’s a 50-year-old in front of me!”
As an XTERRA pro, Ned regularly beat the spandex off guys 10 and 15 years his junior. He was so devastating on the mountain bike that he earned the nicknames of “Deadly Nedly” and “The Lung.” At the end of his XTERRA career, race commentators respectfully called him “The Old Man of the Mountain.”