Press and Media Center
Evolution of the XTERRA Trail Run
We see how the XTERRA Trail Run Series is evolving from a collection of fun runs to a legit championship series culminating with prestigious national titles for adventure runners. Plus, the XTERRA USA Championship show is airing in San Diego and Salt Lake City, the Saipan Press Guide is available for download, the Global Tour kicks-off next weekend in Argentina, Melanie McQuaid is honored at the Competitor Endurance Sports Awards, Seth Wealing is honored by Triathlete Magazine, feedback on the Maui show, and Vail Lake Resort in Temecula – home to the XTERRA West Championship on May 20 - is ready for pre-rides.
2/11 – XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run (San Diego, CA)
2/17 – XTERRA Argentina Championship (Cordoba)
3/11 – XTERRA Guam (Piti)
3/17 – XTERRA Saipan Championship – The Crown Jewel (Northern Mariana Islands)
SAIPAN PRESS GUIDE:
A downloadable version of the XTERRA Saipan Press Guide with details on this year’s race, the Saipan Sports Fest and Tagaman triathlon can be found at xterrasaipan.com.
As part of the SoCal Series, the top finishers in each age group running in the 15k will accumulate points towards being crowned regional champion. When the Series is complete, the top five point-scorers in each age group will be invited to compete against each other and top trail runners representing six other U.S. regions for the title of National Champion in Lake Tahoe, Nevada on September 29.
“XTERRA is thrilled with the growth of its Trail Running Series. In only two years, we have doubled in size to more than 30 events and added a national championship race that will recognize some of the best trail runners in the country,” said XTERRA President Janet Clark.
XTERRA grouped their trail runs in key regions, including: Northern and Southern California, Utah, Tennessee, the Midwest and Northeast, Chicago and Georgia. The series format encourages runners to attend several events in their area and offers a legit opportunity to sharpen their off-road skills in a fun and competitive environment.
The concept should sound familiar to XTERRA multisport racers, who have seen the XTERRA U.S. Series blossom from 19 races in 2001 to 54 this year. As further proof of its success, qualified amateur athletes from 42 states traveled to Nevada in pursuit of the XTERRA national title in each of the last two years.
“Our off-road multisport Series in the U.S. has been a tremendous success and we are envisioning even more growth and prosperity for the XTERRA Trail Running Championship Series,” said Clark.
XTERRA star Melanie McQuaid was named the XTERRA Athlete of the Year at the Endurance Sports Awards – “the academy awards of endurance sports” – at Sea World in San Diego last Saturday. Earlier that day more than a million people across the country tuned-in to CBS to watch her win an unprecedented third XTERRA World Championship in Maui.
“I did a 4-1/2 hour ride on Saturday so I missed the coverage,” said McQuaid. “But it was cool to watch it with friends at home. I loved seeing more of the racing this year. It was motivating, I thought of all the things I did wrong that I can rectify to go faster.”
Hard to imagine her going all that much faster last year. In 2006 she finished second at the first XTERRA of the season in Temecula, CA, won the inaugural XTERRA Southeast Championship in Alabama, was second in Richmond and Milwaukee, and then won the XTERRA Mountain Championship in Utah to create a virtual tie with Jamie Whitmore for the XTERRA U.S. Pro Points Series lead. Then, in her first of two major victories in October, she upset Whitmore in Nevada to capture the U.S. Pro Series crown for the first time after three straight years as the runner-up. Then, still peaking, she powered through the Maui course like nobody else and finished more than 8 minutes ahead of runner-up Danelle Kabush.
McQuaid’s dream season also resulted in being named the XTERRA Female Athlete of the Year by Triathlete Magazine (February issue), and a No. 5 world ranking by Inside Triathlon Magazine (Jan/Feb edition).
The Canadian will be back in 2007 and her schedule will include all the XTERRA U.S. Championship races as well as the XTERRA European Tour Championship in Italy. It’s Maui, however, that’s highlighted in BIG BOLD letters.
“The only race that really matters is Maui. I am ALL ABOUT THE FOUR-PEAT!” exclaimed the Champ.
Not to be overlooked, Seth Wealing – the XTERRA U.K., XTERRA USA, and XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Champion – was named the XTERRA Male Athlete of the Year by Triathlete Magazine.
In 2006 Wealing finished second at the first two XTERRA races of the year in California & Alabama, was 7th in Richmond, did not race in Milwaukee because a tree branch went into his leg during a pre-ride. He recovered in time to come in second at the XTERRA Mountain Championship in Utah, and then won his first-ever XTERRA at the United Kingdom Championship. Riding a wave of momentum Wealing won the XTERRA USA Championship, becoming the first American to ever win the race, and the first American since Michael Tobin to win the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series. To top it all off Wealing finished the year with a third-place performance (top American) in his first-ever attempt at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui.
Perhaps the most remarkable part of it all is that Wealing is also a full-time, 40-hour-per-week practicing architect. A pro in two fields.
VAIL LAKE RESORT:
Southern California XTERRA racers can get an early glimpse at the XTERRA West Championship course at Vail Lake Resort in Temecula. For $10 athletes can get admission to the private resort and access to the trails that will be used for the XTERRA Sport and Championship distance races on May 20. Thinking ahead, it’s not too early for athletes to book a campsite or RV hook-up spot for race weekend.
EARLY BIRD SPECIALS:
Athletes will get a break on their registration fees for all XTERRA Regional Championship events and XTERRA Nevada from now until February 28. The early bird price is $99 for individuals and $198 for the GU Relay Team Challenge participants. After Feb. 28, it returns to $115 and $230, respectively. Half-distance XTERRA Sport races are priced at $75 for individuals and $150 for teams.
THE “PURISTS” AGREE:
Before the XTERRA World Championship was broadcast on national TV last Saturday the show’s producer, Ross Schneiderman of CBS, said “I think “purists” will enjoy it because we show more competition than in previous years.”
I think he was right…
“Fantastic! Exciting! Enthralling! That was the best production I have ever seen of a triathlon! I was on the edge of my seat, totally captivated and loving every minute of it. An hour-long show flew by so fast, I wish it could have been two! The cinematography, interviews, music, all of it was phenomenal. You guys really out did yourselves this time!” - Will Kelsay by email.
“WOW! You guys did an awesome job with the coverage of Words. I loved the fact that you covered so much of the bike portion! My Sweat-Vac goes off to both XTERRA and CBS for the great job and I know 07’ is going to be better than ever! I can’t wait to qualify for Worlds!” - Joel Nedeau by email.
“Bravo! The television broadcast of Maui was awesome. I have to say I was very glad to see more racing and less (no) human interest stuff. Thanks for showing a great race on TV.” – jressler, from the XTERRA Community Chat Room
“I agree. The coverage was really good. I like how they just focused on the race. By cutting out the fluff, the producers were able to show more of the drama in the race by showing moments in the race when the lead changed, racer strategies, crashes and mechanicals, and how racers coped with these situations.” – tramos, from the XTERRA Community Chat Room
“The broadcast was VERY well done, from the film editing to the music choice...excellent.
“Another great addition to the broadcast was the smart commentary from Phil Liggett. Anybody who has been following European road racing the last 30+ years knows Phil's unmistakable voice. His dry/wry sense of humor adds so much to the broadcast. Even though I'm an age grouper, in a broadcast I prefer to really see the Pro race. I love to see how it develops in real time. Great job!” – MrXTERRA, from the XTERRA Community Chat Room
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