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Don't Miss the XTERRA World Championship on CBS This Saturday
XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP THIS SATURDAY, FEB. 3 @ 1pm EST (12 noon CDT, 11am MDT, 10am PST, 8am HST)
XTERRA goes national with the hour-long CBS Sports Spectacular presentation of the World Championship. We’ll preview the show and talk to one competitor who is about to get his 15 minutes of fame for the gutsy performance he turned in. Plus, a look ahead to the first XTERRA Trail Run of 2007.
"At Maui what can go wrong usually does. It's THE race where being lucky is better than being good," – KENT ROBISON, 4-time XTERRA World Champion.
WHAT YOU’LL SEE:
A compelling look at some of the best athletes in the world caught in a struggle against Mother Nature and their own physical limits.
Narrated by world-renowned cycling journalist and commentator Phil Liggett and filmed on location in Makena, Maui, the show tracks professional and amateur competitors in their quest for off-road multisports greatest prize – the XTERRA World Title. More than 500 participants ages 15-to-70 representing 24 countries and 36 U.S. states took part in the challenge, which combined a one-mile ocean swim with a 20-mile mountain bike and 7-mile trail run.
The race itself was perhaps the most compelling in the 11-year history of the sport, with the men’s championship decided by just 19 seconds while crashes and mechanical problems wreaked havoc on the entire field – particularly the leading female contenders.
“The show highlights a guy who had to run the last part of the race barefoot because his shoes cut and blistered his feet, a gal who rode more than half the bike on her bare rear rim (after flatting 4 times!), men’s 65+ champion John Stover completing the race despite breaking his wrist early in the bike, and Wendy Minor winning her record 6th age group title,” said CBS Producer Ross Schneiderman. “In general, I think “purists” will enjoy it because we show more competition than in previous years.”
Triathlon legend Hamish Carter from New Zealand – winner of the Olympic triathlon gold medal in ’04 – captured the men’s title while Melanie McQuaid of Canada won her third XTERRA World Championship – a feat never before accomplished in race history by male or female.
The TEAM Unlimited television crew had more than 30 cameras in operation on raceday, including point-of-view cams mounted on motorcycles, mountain bikes and jet skis, under-water cameras, and a camera on top of a helicopter hovering high above the action capturing images ranging from the crystal clear waters of the Pacific to mountain bike riders struggling up and zooming down the sharp lava rock laden trails of Haleakala. It's the seventh year in a row for the show on CBS, and 11th straight year of TV coverage. CBS Sports produced the show in conjunction with TEAM Unlimited, the Honolulu-based television events and marketing company that owns XTERRA. Since 1990, TEAM TV has created more than 250 shows resulting in two national Emmy nominations, three regional Emmy’s, and 30 Telly Awards for production excellence.
ONE OF 500:
The race in Maui twists and turns, and sometimes breaks, differently for everyone. Meet John Stover, a 65-year-young veterinarian from Michigan who had one incredibly arduous day out on the course.
XT: Hamish Carter, arguably the world’s greatest triathlete, called the Maui course "the hardest, meanest course" he's ever done. Would you agree?
JS: Well it's definitely mean! So many things can happen on the bike and most of them are not good. Even if everything goes well it's really tough. Just riding up the volcano on a road bike (if there was a road) would be hard, but with the lava rock and uneven terrain it's nearly impossible.
XT: How did it happen, and how far into the bike did you break your wrist?
JS: I was 2 or 3 miles into the bike climbing one of the steep hills; nearly to the top I hit a rock and started to fall over. I couldn't get unclipped from my pedals. Normally I would just roll on my side but here with the jagged rock, I put out my hand to break the fall. I'm a veterinarian, have seen plenty of broken bones, and knew immediately my wrist was broken.
XT: After it happened, what were you thinking?
JS: I usually have a good swim. With the surf and all, I had a pretty good feeling I was in front. That wrist was going to hurt whether I quit or kept going. I knew I would stay in the race until someone passed me. Also knew the bike would be the toughest part.
XT: Did you see the show last year when men's pro champion Nicolas Lebrun broke his elbow on the run about a mile before the finish? If so, did that come to mind when you broke your wrist?
JS: No, but knew if I could get to the run where I could hold the wrist steady things would improve. The uphills on the bike were nasty with only one good grip on the handlebars and shifting gears was quite a challenge. But the downhills were just plain dreadful. I felt every bump and they were endless. Fell several times just because I couldn't control the bike. Never experienced childbirth, but I was definitely laboring and with pain!
XT: Where does your accomplishment - not just winning the World Title but doing so under such extreme circumstances - rank on your athletic list of achievements?
JS: Well this is a World title; so that speaks for itself. Very few athletes get through this thing without something physical or mechanical going wrong and if that's not enough, there's always the mental challenge. So yea, it feels great!
XT: Will you come back and defend your crown?
JS: Would like to. You are only as good as your next race and this one was a blast. Not able to describe it in one word but falls somewhere in the dictionary between Awful and Awesome. The whole experience is just unforgettable.
XT: What will you say to encourage people to try an XTERRA after they see you in this show?
JS: O.K. this one is the World championship, it should be tough to challenge the best but there are many shorter, tamer XTERRA races around. These are fun. They are just Extreme Play. You never get too old to play; You get old when you stop playing!
XT: Any thoughts on the whole deal you'd like to share?
JS: XTERRA is where triathlon was 15 or 20 years ago - lots of fun, people are laid back, always willing to help fellow competitors, The competition is there and the variety is the spice of life.
Yea, final thought - Like to thank my Old Timers Disease for getting me through. By the time my wrist (and legs too) could get the message to my brain--------I had already forgot it!
2/11 – XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run (Los Angeles, CA)
2/17 – XTERRA Argentina Championship (Cordoba)
3/11 – XTERRA Guam (Piti)
3/17 – XTERRA Saipan Championship – The Crown Jewel (Northern Mariana Islands)
Take your mark -- because at 8:00 AM on Sunday, February 11th, the 2007 XTERRA TRAIL RUN CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES kicks off in San Diego. The Series is comprised of more than 30 events nationwide, with six of them in Southern California.
The XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run is a 5k or 15k off-road adventure that will have your feet dancing over a symphony of rocks and roots, your heart pounding from the humbling elevation and your breath singing as you inhale the all-encompassing organic beauty.
The race is held at Mission Trails Regional Park – only 10 miles from Downtown San Diego. With nearly 5,800 acres of rugged hills, valleys and open terrain, the course boasts both fire road and single-track trails that are sure to take your breath away. The 15k trek jets up both North and South Fortuna Mountain (including the infamous ‘1000 steps’) and the 5k option takes competitors through the East Fortuna grasslands and by the Old Mission Dam.
A portion of the race proceeds will go towards trail maintenance at Mission Trails Regional Park, which suffered a devastating fire in 2003.
Because this race is part of the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series, competitors in the 15k have the opportunity to accumulate points towards being crowned regional champion. When the Series is complete, the top five point-scorers in each age group are invited to compete against each other and top trail runners representing six other U.S. regions for the National Championship in Lake Tahoe, Nevada on September 29. For further info including the course map and registration facts, check out www.trailrace.com.
In addition to the World Championship, Reno, Nevada residents will also get the chance to see their hometown race – the XTERRA USA Championship – at 4pm on KOLO. On Sunday, the USA race is on at 12:30pm in Baton Rouge, LA (WBXH) and 5pm in Hartford, CT (WTNH).
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