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The XTERRA-themed Nevada Passage adventure competition announces its list of participants
The XTERRA-themed Nevada Passage adventure competition announces its list of participants, David Benjes takes us on a colorful journey that led to Saturday’s XTERRA Arizona Xtreme race, we check out details from the 16K XTERRA Merrimack Trail Run, and learn more about Stoltz’ victory in South Africa.
4/21 – XTERRA Arizona Xtreme (Mesa, AZ)
4/21 – XTERRA Belly of the Beast Trail Run (Knoxville, TN)
4/28 – XTERRA Ft. Yargo (Winder, GA)
4/28 – XTERRA Gator Terra (Ruston, LA)
4/29 – XTERRA Castaic (Castaic, CA)
5/20 – XTERRA West Championship (Temecula, CA)
The third annual Nevada Passage adventure competition announced its list of contenders this week. Twenty athletes from 13 states and Washington, D.C. have been chosen to compete in the made-for-television event to be held May 7-12 in several locations throughout Nevada.
The lone returnee is Linda Lindsay from last season’s winning accountant team. Her partner from 2006, Nate Simonson, isn’t able to participate because he’s gone off to serve his country as part of the military’s para-rescue program.
In his place steps Tim Menoher, who has long been one of XTERRA’s best amateur athletes.
Tim and Linda will pair up against nine new co-ed teams of pilots, realtors, programmers, physical therapists, attorneys, engineers, physicians and journalists. A new twist for this year’s competition is the selection of one “Wild Card” team composed of two athletes selected from the general public via audition tapes.
The Wild Card team includes Phillip Glenn, who recently won the XTERRA REAL points series race in Granite Bay, California. To that extent, the majority of the new field has extensive XTERRA experience.
Steve Cole from the pilots team has used his airline perks to travel across the U.S. attending XTERRA races for several years now. At 63-years-young GL Brown – a regular at XTERRA Saipan and World Championship races - represents the realtors.
Dave Ruby of the physical therapist team got married, and annually celebrates his anniversary, at XTERRA Worlds in Maui. The journalist squad includes freelancers Lisa Jhung - who raced in the first-ever XTERRA back in 1996, and Brian Metzler - who perpetuated the sport brilliantly as the editor of Adventure Sports Magazine.
Both members of the programmers team – Jackie Ryan and Frank Febbraro – are die-hard XTERRA racers, along with Adam Chase of the attorneys, John Madden of the engineers, and Peter Hanson of the physicians.
This year’s competition will engage athletes in a series of adventure sports and excursions at six outdoor destinations. Events include a 10K desert run in the Valley of Fire State Park May 8, an ATV competition at Amargosa Dunes 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas and a visit to the famed ghost town Rhyolite May 9, back-roads cycling just outside the historic mining town of Tonopah May 10, back-country skiing at Mt. Rose near Reno May 11, and a visit to Carson City to explore the state’s capital May 12.
The past two Nevada Passage shows are online at www.nevadapassage.com, where visitors can watch or download.
The roster of teams lists the athletes by name, age, profession and city of residence, with the woman’s name first:
Linda Lindsay, 42, owner/accountant of a computer hardware and software store from Petaluma, Calif.
Tim Menoher, 36, U.S. Banks e-commerce sales manager from Erlanger, Ky.
Ildiko Lengyel, 29, captain for Jet Blue Airways from Park City, Utah
Steve Cole, 51, DC-9 pilot and captain from Olive Branch, Miss.
Christina Burgos, 38, Realtor specializing in independent sales from Houston, Texas
GL Brown, 63, residential real estate consultant from Grand Rapids, Mich.
Jackie Ryan, 48, software engineer from Birmingham, Ala.
Frank Febbraro, 32, partner and director of technology for Phase2 Technology from Fairfax, Va.
Heather McNamara, 45, physical therapist from Brighton, Mich.
Dave Ruby, 47, post-rehab therapist from La Verne, Calif.
Lisa Jhung, 34, outdoor sports journalist from Boulder, Colo.
Brian Metzler, 38, travel and adventure sports journalist from Boulder, Colo.
Deborah Crandall, 46, business, family and criminal litigation attorney from Washington, D.C.
Adam Chase, 41, tax attorney from Boulder, Colo.
Lauren Kemp, 43, civil engineer from San Diego, Calif.
John Madden, 30, senior engineer of research and development at Evalve, Inc. from Redwood City, Calif.
Caroline Colonna, 43, doctor of Oriental medicine and owner of the Willow Clinic of Traditional Oriental Medicine from Taos, N.M.
Peter Hanson, 41, sports medicine physician from Minneapolis, Minn.
Lisa Bommer, 25, athletic trainer from Chicago.
Phillip Glenn, 30, part time emergency medical technician and real estate professional from Reno, Nev.
Adventure-seekers interested in watching this year’s “The Nevada Passage” on TV can find the syndication schedule at http://www.nevadapassage.com/ beginning in May.
THIS SATURDAY IN MESA, AZ:
Race director David Benjes is going to send a slew of racers out on a point to point swim along a cliff wall, on sweet desert single track trails for mountain biking, and then on an “epic” trail run that offers the most amazing views of the Sonoran Desert. How it came to this point is a pretty interesting story, and here’s David to share it:
A long time ago I went to England to compete in the XTERRA held in the shadow of Dunster Castle along the Bristol Channel (conveniently located next to an amusement park called the Butlins). The morning started with horizontal rain and the surf was loaded with 10' breaks; most all of the athletes were sitting in their cars before the start of the race, mostly because it began hailing just prior to the start. There were about 70 of us toeing the line when the almost in-audable horn blew (because of the strong winds) and we were off.
Now, I normally am a mid-pack finisher but because of the 10' breaks and the 3' swells, no one had the upper hand during the swim. The swim behind us, we headed through the town on our bikes to the trails chosen for this point-to-point bike course. The bike course went through the moors, a lush green countryside, now covered in mud. I had the very unfortunate luck to have busted my chain with no chain tool I found that the moors were quite lovely when taking the time to run through them with your bike rather than speeding through them. I had about 10K to push/coast my bike to go so that's what I did... until I met a competitor with a flat tire and no spare. I had already wasted my spare tube and offered him my back tire in swap so he could at least complete the course riding...
So, now flat and running I came into a sunny transition area (weather cooperated) and cheers for the "Yank". I had no idea that the guy I lent my back tire to had taken the time to tell the story to the announcer (so much for giving him his race back if he took the time to tell a story, eh?) and he conveyed that story on to the crowd.
Now running in my actual running shoes, I made off for the 10K run through the English Countryside and around Dunster Castle. I was met with cheers as I finished the race and a much welcomed pint of the local recovery fluid (a.k.a. Beer).
That night at the awards ceremony I was presented an award for my sportsman like behavior; the award was a bottle of tequila (did I mention I am from Arizona?). Anyway that was the story of the race; I met Andrew Marsh (manager of the XTERRA Points Series) at that event; he was there with his mother and had a chat with me about bringing a points series event to Arizona. Long and short...DCB Extreme Adventures was born out of a dare from Andrew Marsh to have me put on that race. We now promote 30 events that include the 6th running of that very XTERRA Points Series Event I was goated into putting on in 2002.
Thank you Andrew; Yes, it is better than Chemical Engineering.
- David Benjes
P.S. The challenge and camaraderie found at these events far outweighs any other type of event including road triathlons, running races, mountain bike races and road cycling (I know, we promote all types). If you have a friend that is looking for that something extra they aren’t getting from road triathlons, point them in the direction of an off-road triathlon. They will thank you.
XTERRA MERRIMACK RIVER:
Massachusetts residents Paul Low (33) and Kristin Hall (39) took home the top male and female honors in the 16th Annual XTERRA Merrimack 16k Trail Run in Andover, MA on Saturday (4/14) with times of 57-minutes, 44-seconds and 1-hour, 14-minutes respectively.
This is a record fifth consecutive title for Low, with a 2:04 min. victory over CMS (Central Mass. Striders) teammate Kevin Tilton (25); no stranger to competition, both represented the USA in the 2006 World Mountain running championship in Turkey.
Mother Nature didn't go easy on the competitors: Low stated that the "wind was tough, so I'm happy with the way I ran"; he continued, saying that due to the conditions, this was "the second slowest I've ever run in here". At times he felt "clunky -- the River is usually not the first trail race of the year, but with the later date it turned out to be my first time off-road" race of the season.
Despite this, his winning time of 57:44 is still the 10th fastest, now tying co-race-director Dave Dunham (43), with four of the top ten times. Tilton's time was good enough to rank 15th fastest. Chris Mahoney (29) representing Whirlaway took third place in 1:00:20.
Hall, representing the White Mountain Milers, led the largest women's field in five years, taking the victory by 3:47 min. Hall noted that she "loved the downhills...glad I didn't fall into the river!" She enjoyed the "steady stream of guys to run with" and ran an impressive negative split -- hitting the 5-mile-turn in 37:50 and coming back in 36:13. This was doubly impressive on a day when the wind seemed to be in the runners' faces in BOTH directions. Emma Barclay (32) of the Portland Maine Trail Monsters took second place and Robyn Sheedy Bunker (32) of Team Psycho took bronze in 1:19:00.
A field of nearly 250 runners ages 14 to 77 took on the challenge. A special congratulations goes out to Richard Busa, a 77 year-old male running for the Wester Mass. AC. Busa has finished this event seven times since his 70th birthday and remains the only XTERRA Merrimack River finisher in the 70+ category.
Good things come in 3's -- The XTERRA Merrimack River 16k Trail Run was the first of three, newly minted, XTERRA off-road running races in the New England area, and is part of a National Championship Series boasting more than 30 events in eight US regions.
The top 10 runners in each age group earn points at every XTERRA race attended. After the series concludes, those with the most points are crowned New England Champions. In addition, the top 5 in each class are invited to compete against other regional champions at the 2007 XTERRA National Trail Running Championship, held in Lake Tahoe, NV on September 29th.
Proceeds from this race benefited the Thomas Chamberas Runners' Memorial Scholarship Fund, offering financial assistance to young adults who exhibit qualities of Respect, Generosity of Spirit, Love of Running, Sportsmanship and Honor.
SOUTH AFRICA REVIEW:
Two-time XTERRA World Champion Conrad Stoltz obliterated the rest of the field in the final leg of the XTERRA South Africa Championships at the Grabouw Country Club on April 14.
Although Stoltz wasn't first out of the water, he got off to a blistering start and managed to catch up with race leaders in the first 100m of the mountain-bike leg. Known for his excellent mountain-biking skills and speed, Stoltz managed to build on this lead and by the time he reached the transition area, he was already 10 minutes ahead of his closest competitor Dan Hugo. Continuing his clinical performance, he had an amazing run and completed the event in 2hours44mins27sec with Dan Hugo 2nd and Kent Horner 3rd. Top XTERRA athlete, Lieuwe Boonstra, was extremely unlucky as he was unable to shake the flu and was forced to pull out of the race early during the mountain-biking stage.
According to Stoltz, he was nervous about the swimming leg as he'd been training on his own and wasn't sure what to expect with so many top athletes being strong swimmers.
"I was really surprised to catch up with the lead athletes so quickly, as I expected that there was a larger gap between us. I really enjoyed the mountain-bike leg. I started off rather conservatively as I knew that it was a long course that would involve a lot of peddling. The run was hard with a lot of climbing, but I knew I had quite a good lead and just paced myself. I am really happy with my performance and feel confident about my upcoming racing season. The DUESOUTH XTERRA is an amazing event and it is great to see how much it has grown," says Stotlz.
Michelle Lombardi took the honors in the individual women's category. As the swim is not her strongest discipline, she had to make up for lost time on the mountain-biking leg and had to fight hard to eventually catch the Hungarian tri-athlete Eszter Erdélyi towards the end of the mountain-biking leg. Lombardi had a superb run and completed the race in 3hours19mins29secs with Hanlie Booyens in 2nd and Hungarian tri-athlete Eszter Erdélyi 3rd.
According to Lombardi, the DUESOUTH XTERRA SA Championships were amazing. "I was really happy with my swim as I felt relaxed and enjoyed it for a change. The mountain-bike leg was physically taxing, but not that technical. I actually wouldn't have minded if it was more technical as it suits my riding style better and would have allowed me to build on my lead. The run was lovely with beautiful scenery. I am very happy with my performance and felt good all the way," says Lombardi.
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