XTERRA Saipan TV show honored
THIS WEEK: Honors for the XTERRA Saipan TV show, the Nevada Passage XTERRA-type adventure competition opens its doors for all-comers, and Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz gets specific on what’ll take to take on XTERRA South Africa – the first race on the XTERRA Global Tour schedule (March 25).
SAIPAN = MUST SEE TV: The XTERRA Saipan Championship television show was recently awarded a bronze medal in the Sports TV/Cable program category at the *Telly Awards. It's the second time in three years the program has won the award. Matt Gonsalves - the manager of TEAM TV - produced, directed and edited the half-hour sports feature.
“We are very proud of Matt,” said TEAM Unlimited President Janet Clark. “He was able to distill the essence of hundreds of hours of footage into a succinct and powerful production. It turned out to be a great entertainment and promotional vehicle for our clients - the Marianas Visitors Authority – providing them with a fabulous tourism message for Saipan”.
The broadcast tracked competitors locked in a battle with Mother Nature as they navigated a 1.5-kilometer swim, 30k mountain bike, and 10k jungle run in Saipan. It captured breathtaking images from all over the tropical island, and was seen by more than 3 million viewers with broadcasts on Gaora TV in Japan and across the United States through national syndication.
The competition for the Telly Awards this year was 12,000 deep, with entries sent in from the most respected advertising agencies, production companies, and TV cable stations worldwide. Founded in 1978, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, as well as the finest in video and film productions.
In addition to the XTERRA Saipan Championship, two other TEAM TV productions were recognized with Telly awards - the hour-long 2005 Nevada Passage adventure competition show and the half-hour XTERRA Planet from Nevada show.
Over the past 17 years TEAM TV has created more than 230 programs resulting in two national Emmy nominations, three regional Emmy’s, and 30 Telly Awards for production excellence.
NEVADA PASSAGE WIDE OPEN: Last year the inaugural Nevada Passage made-for-TV adventure competition took 10 coed teams - comprised primarily of regular XTERRA athletes - on a six-day, six-stage 1,000-mile journey across the Silver State. It made for great TV. As proof, the hour-long show won two Telly awards for production excellence – one in the sports TV/Cable category and another in the Travel and Tourism category.
It also wet the appetite of adventures across the nation. To quench that thirst, organizers expanded the format this year to include a two-day “Wide Open” event that anybody can come and do.
This May 6-7 in Winnemucca, one-and-all are invited to experience Nevada’s great outdoors by mountain biking on the Bloody Shins Trail, kayaking on the Humboldt River, do some no-trails running up Winnemucca Mountain, and ATV sand drag racing at Winnemucca’s Regional Raceway.
The competitions will include multiple divisions to appeal to all age groups and experience levels. The top three finishers in each event division will win awards and a special trophy will be awarded to the fastest finisher of the three human-powered events.
The biggest event might be the party on Saturday night.
Individuals can register and find out more about the "Wide Open" online at www.nevadapassage.com or by calling 877-751-8880. Winnemucca is in the north central region of Nevada off Interstate 80 (check out the Winnemucca Convention and Visitors Authority online at www.winnemucca.nv.us).
The Nevada Passage Wide Open will be directly followed by the second annual made-for-television competition, The Nevada Passage, which again will bring 20 hand-selected athletes to Nevada for a six-day adventure. It will air in syndication from August 2006 to February 2007.
FIRST UP: On March 25 - a week before the sandy affair in Saipan - XTERRA South Africa signals the start of the XTERRA season. For more about the course and what’ll take for competitors, here’s the scoop from two-time World Champion – reigning XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Champion – and South African native Conrad Stoltz:
Swim: It’s in the Pristine Coca Cola colored lake in Grabouw Forest. The water temperature should be around 19 degrees C. There are two 750m laps with a short run (or rest!) in between, and a real exciting beach start.
Bike: Exquisite singletrack, sandy and rocky jeep track but also some fast forest roads through pine trees and fynbos. Something of everything. Even a narrow wooden bridge or two. Grabouw is undoubtedly one of the best mountain biking courses in the country.
Run: A tough one. 2km easy dirt road to get the legs going, before you plunge through a gorge, ford a river (shallow stream) and climb what seems like to the heavens. At about 4km you get to boulder along a dizzying cliff edge for a few hundred meters- don’t forget to enjoy the view! Climb some more (by now you really are in heaven) before you drop down a long steep hill, finish line in sight. But wait, before you deserve to cross the finish line, masochist Meyer then makes one plod through deep sand amongst a tree graveyard- dead stumps everywhere- pick your footing carefully.
What you’ll need…
Swim: A wetsuit. Practice taking it off. Cover your lower legs with a thin layer of Vaseline or Spray and Cook for easy wetsuit removal and put some in the back of your neck to avoid chafing.
Also need goggles that don’t fog up and if the water is really cold, bring an extra swim cap (you will be provided with an XTERRA SA swim cap).
Bike: In a perfect world…a dual suspension mountain bike. Tubeless tires or Stans Notubes conversion. Large volume, 2.00 or wider, with close tread pattern. Because the surfaces are quite varied- from sand to pine needled single track, to fast, rocky jeep track, it is best to run a moderate tire pressure. If you’re riding tubeless and have good skills, 30 psi will give you good traction and control, but you’ll need to be light and agile to avoid pinch flats. If you’re prone to pinch flats or ride normal tube tires, 40-45 psi is safe, but you’ll compromise traction and control. If you’re somewhere in the middle, go for 34-38psi.
Energy: Depending on the weather, at least one large water bottle with your preferred energy drink. It has been really hot this summer, so be prepared to bring two bottles. A Camelback will work well too. If all else fails, there will be well stocked aid stations along the way.
Gloves: Long fingered gloves are comfortable, protect your hands very well, but are tough to put on over wet hands. I use short fingered gloves for racing. Some people ride without gloves, but whatever you do, don’t crash. Glasses with a light lens. Because of the sharp contrast between the sun reflecting off the white sand, and the dark shadowy patches in the forest, I would use a light to medium shaded lens. Too dark a lens makes riding in the forest a guessing game. I’ll use Oakley M frames with a vented VR 25 lens. If it’ overcast I’ll use clear lenses.
Run: Trail running shoes, or a sturdy running shoe with a firm sole. Lightweight racers will not do the job on this course. It is rocky, it is sandy, and it is BAD. Elastic laces will cut transition times drastically. If you have to wear socks, wear them, if you don’t, you’ll be 20 -40 seconds quicker. Depends on your personal goals.
XTERRA TV: The Nissan Xterra USA Championship show continues its run in national syndication with the following airings this weekend:
Date - Market -Station ,Time
3/11 -Minneapolis, MN -KSTP (ABC) ,3:00pm
3/11 -Cedar Rapids, IA -KCRG (ABC), 2:00pm
3/11 -Salisbury, MD -WMDT (ABC) ,5:00pm
3/11 -Binghamton, NY -WIVT (ABC) ,4:00pm
3/11 -Watertown, NY -WWTI (ABC), 1:30pm
3/12 -Buffalo, NY -WUTV (FOX) ,2:30pm