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XTERRA Adds Challenged Athete Division
THIS WEEK:A new challenged athletes division means legitimate regional crowns and national championship races for guys like "One-Arm Willie" Stewart, the XTERRA Scramble Trail Run Series turns "2", and the XTERRA Global Tour gets underway Saturday with XTERRA South Africa and the XTICER in Guam.
2006 SEASON OPENERS:
March 25 –Guam XTICER Off-Road Triathlon(Piti)
March 25 –XTERRA South Africa(Grabouw)
April 1 –XTERRA Saipan(Northern Mariana Islands)
April 2 –REAL Mountain Bike Triathlon(Granite Bay, CA)
April 2 –Florida Off-Road Triathlon(North Miami, FL)
April 8 –XTERRA New Zealand(Rotorua)
CHALLENGED ATHLETE DIVISION:The Nissan Xterra USA Championship Series has revised its rules to put challenged athletes on a level playing field with all other amateur athletes in regards to winning regional championships and qualifying for nationals.
As such, challenged athletes now have the opportunity to win XTERRA Regional Championship jersey's and compete against the best challenged athletes from around the country for the XTERRA National Title.
"It’s a huge step," said accomplished challenged athlete Willie Stewart. "It’s saying, hey we want you guys to race. Everyone goes off at once, there’s no special exemptions, no lucky-you-get-in lottery, and no special course. It’s awesome. And if I don’t make it, too bad."
Stewart believes XTERRA is the first championship race series to include a qualifying challenged athlete division.
"It’s going to be a battle now to get to the USA Championship race. If you’re a challenged athlete, you’re going to have to work for it," said Stewart.
"XTERRA is proud to support the efforts of challenged athletes and the Challenged Athletes Foundation," said TEAM Unlimited CEO Tom Kiely. "Our finest moments are rooted in supporting their efforts and celebrating their achievements. Through the years some of my best XTERRA memories have come from seeing the likes of Bobby McMullen conquer Maui blind, watching Willie Stewart riding our grueling and technical mountain bike courses with one-arm, and following Paul Martin as he dredges through sand and sludge with just one leg."
There is no doubt that Challenged Athletes as a whole are a very competitive and highly motivated group and with this new division, they’ll have to be to win an XTERRA crown.
XTERRA raises money for theChallenged Athletes Foundation through the Paul Mitchell Hair-Cut-a-thons at all of its championship events and through contributions from the XTERRA Foundation.
SERIOUS SCRAMBLIN’:Entering just its second season theXTERRA Scramble Trail Run Seriesboasts 35 races in 18 states, the U.S. territory of Saipan, and the District of Columbia.
New for this year are regional series within the schedule providing more race opportunities within a region, including the 10-race Ohio Valley Series, four-race Southern California, Utah, and Chesapeake Bay Series’, and the three-event Midwest Series. We also feature single events in Knoxville, the Bay area, and Athens, GA.
"Billed as "not-your-typical-10k", XTERRA Scrambles give road runners a new reason to run," said TEAM Unlimited President Janet Clark. "In much the same way we lured triathletes off-road with the popular Nissan Xterra USA Championship Series, scrambles are adventurous running experiences that take runners off the road and into natural environments where Mother Nature will be their greatest competitor."
Off-road runners will have the chance to win Regional Series championships within their age group at the concluding event of each Series and the best runners will be invited to compete at the XTERRA National Championship in Lake Tahoe, Nevada on September 31, 2006.
For more information contact Dev Letendre, XTERRA Scramble Series Manager, at 801-330-4172 email@example.com
XTICER:The tune-up for XTERRA Saipan is just a neighbor island away in Guam this Saturday. The race is in its third year, but for the first time the XTICER Off-Road Triathlon is part of the Nissan Xterra USA Championship Series.
This is great news for athletes from Guam and Saipan, and those traveling from around the U.S. to get a head start on the season. Two points scoring races in two weeks in two magnificent locations.
Headlining the field is four-time U.S. Pro Champion Jamie Whitmore from Somerset, California – the all-time winningest XTERRA athlete.
The course is comprised of a 1-kilometer swim, an 18K mountain bike, and 5K trail run.
SOUTH AFRICA FINALE: The final leg of the grueling Totalsports XTERRA SA Series heads to Grabouw in the form of the XTERRA South Africa Championship.
South Africa’s top triathletes have been competing for the title of XTERRA Champion since December 2005 when the series kicked off in Richard’s Bay, KwaZulu Natal. Athletes chasing the coveted title of XTERRA Series champion needed to participate in at least three of the four events with the Grabouw event compulsory.
Renowned for its A-grade mountain bike leg and challenging trail run, athletes can look forward to experiencing the true spirit of XTERRA at this race in the Western Cape. Lieuwe Boonstra is the hot favorite to take the individual XTERRA Triathlon's men's title, while Michelle Lombardi is considered the top contender for the individual XTERRA Triathlon women’s title.
This will be the first time since the start of the series in December that South African athletes will have the opportunity to test their mettle against their international counterparts. To date, the overseas entries include two athletes from Switzerland, Othmar Bruegger (44) and Sibylle Matter (32), one athlete from Holland, Royce Kortekaas (29), one athlete from Finland, Riika Kelja (37) and one athlete from Germany, Nico Pfitzenmaier (34).
"All these athletes have impressive track records and it will be very interesting to see how South Africa’s best match up to them. This is a great opportunity for South African athletes to showcase their talents against international rivals and I’m confident that this battle will make the event even more exciting," said Dezroy Poole, the event organizer.
Saturday’s race is part of the XTERRA Global Tour, offering qualifying spots into the Nissan Xterra World Championship for the top finishers in each age division. For more contact Jacky McClean atJacky@peridot.co.za.
XTERRA TV:The hour-long 2005 Nissan Xterra USA Championship show continues its run in national syndication with airings in the following markets this weekend:
3/25 Fairbanks, KTVF (NBC) 3:00pm
3/26 Tri Cities, WBR (WB) 3:00pm
3/26 Macon, WGXA (FOX) 12:30pm
3/26 Monterey/Salinas, CA, KCBA (FOX) 3:00pm
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