Press and Media Center
U.S. National Snowshoe Championship to be held in conjunction with the inaugural XTERRA Winter World Championship
THIS WEEK: News that the 2008 U.S. National Snowshoe Championship will be held in conjunction with the inaugural XTERRA Winter World Championship at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah, race reports from last weekend’s flurry of events, previews to races ahead, and this weekend’s XTERRA TV schedule.
7/21 – XTERRA Hammerman (Anchorage, AK)
7/21 – XTERRA Rock in the Woods Trail Run (St. Louis, MO)
7/22 – XTERRA Wild Horse Creek (Bozeman, MT)
7/28 – XTERRA DINO New Castle (New Castle, IN)
7/28 – XTERRA Sundance Trail Run (Salt Lake City, UT)
7/29 – XTERRA Sky High (Grafton, NY)
7/29 – XTERRA First Coast (Jacksonville, FL)
7/29 – Crested Butte Bank XTERRA (Crested Butte, CO)
SNOWSHOE NATIONALS: The United States Snowshoe Association (USSSA) announced this week that Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah has been selected as the host site for the 2008 U.S. National Snowshoe Championship on March 8, 2008.
Held in conjunction with the inaugural XTERRA Winter World Championship festival weekend being produced by TEAM Unlimited on March 8-9, the USSSA Nationals are expected to attract more than 200 qualified and recreational runners.
“We are extremely excited about this announcement as TEAM Unlimited has extensive event production experience and Snowbasin is an awesome site with amazing facilities,” said Mark Elmore, the Sports Director for the USSSA. “We’re looking forward to an outstanding National event that will bring unprecedented recognition and participation to snowshoeing.”
Snowbasin, a Sun Valley Resort, is well known as the home of the breathtaking and technically intimidating men’s and women’s downhill, super G and combined competitions for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. Located in the spectacular Wasatch-Cache National Forest only 43 miles from downtown Salt Lake City and 17 miles from the adventure capital of Ogden, it is easy to access and has a wide and plentiful range of accommodations in nearby Ogden. On March 8, racers can expect plenty of snow and great temperatures.
“We’re thrilled that the USSSA Board of Regional Athletic Delegates awarded Snowbasin host site honors for the 2008 National Championship of Snowshoeing,” said TEAM Unlimited President Janet Clark. “We look forward to welcoming snowshoe racers from around the U.S. and the world into our XTERRA family, and plan on providing them with a world-class, unforgettable experience that goes above and beyond just the race itself.”
There will be several USSSA National Titles up for grabs including the boys & girls junior national 5k, senior women’s national 10k, and senior men’s national 10k. In order for athletes to be eligible to compete in the Junior or Senior National Championship events they must first qualify at one of more than twenty Regional Qualifier events the USSSA is coordinating across the U.S. beginning in January of 2008.
In addition to the aforementioned invite-only snowshoe races; a citizens 5k, kid’s kilo, and 4 x 2.5k team relay races will also be available to all-comers.
As part of the weekend-long winter festival there will be a myriad of activities, parties, and race offerings for all to enjoy. The main event, the XTERRA Winter World Championship, is a first-of-its-kind, uniquely XTERRA multisport race combining the four disciplines of randonnee skiing, mountain biking, running and snowshoeing.
Other complementing endurance competitions include an XTERRA Snowboard Scramble (Dash for Cash) where riders climb up the mountain with their board on their back then strap-in and race back down. The first racers to cross the finish line are rewarded with cold hard cash prizes. There’s also an XTERRA Randonnee combining alpine skiing with an uphill ingredient. Using sticky wax, climbing skins, or special x-country skis riders will climb their way up the Wasatch range then race back down multiple times.
A host of fun activities for kids will find its way on the schedule with lighthearted and inspiring races ranging from winter tubing to running to snowman building fun.
Event organizer TEAM Unlimited will produce a half-hour TV show highlighting the XTERRA Winter World Championship (including coverage of the USSSA Nationals) for distribution to ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, major cable stations and resort networks throughout the country via national syndication.
The 2007 Nationals held in Maple Grove, Minnesota in March attracted nearly 200 runners from more than 20 states across the U.S. Previous host sites included Bolton Valley, Vermont (2006), Anchorage, Alaska (2005), Squaw Creek, California (2004), Salt Lake City, Utah (2003), Travis City, Michigan (2002), and the inaugural U.S. National Snowshoe Championship was held in Plattsburgh, New York in 2001.
XTERRA Pro Josiah Middaugh from Vail, Colorado claimed the 2002 and 2003 USSSA National Title’s and fellow XTERRA stand-out Greg Krause won it all in 2004. Greg Hexum from Duluth, MN has won the last two men’s championships while Nikki Kimball of Bozeman, Montana has won four of the last seven women’s title’s including last year’s.
The USSSA is devoted to promoting outdoor winter safety in conjunction with recreational snowshoeing. THE USSSA also serves as the lead governing body for the sport of Snowshoe Racing in the USA.
TEAM Unlimited, a television events and marketing company, has produced more than 265 television shows resulting in three regional Emmy’s and 35 Telly Awards for production excellence. TEAM also owns and produces XTERRA events around the world with more than 100 races in 16 countries in 2007.
The XTERRA Winter World Championship is presented by the Utah Sports Commission, Greater Ogden Athletic Legacy Foundation, Snowbasin, Paul Mitchell, and XTERRA Gear.
For more information regarding the USSSA contact:
Mark Elmore, USSSA Sports Director, at 518-643-8806 or email email@example.com
For more information on XTERRA and the Winter World Championship contact:
Trey Garman, Marketing Director, at 808-792-2603 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
XTERRA VASHON ISLAND REVIEW: Post Race Story By Scott Muir, XTERRA Rep…With some beautiful, warm summer weather on the Puget Sound XTERRA Vashon Island had a big turnout on a fast and fun course. 109 athletes finished the race from seven states, Alberta and British Columbia. If you wanted that family weekend away it was great camping, the Strawberry Festival, a local 5 or 10k on Saturday morning and XTERRA on Sunday!
The only salt-water swim on the West Coast in the XTERRA Series started this event followed by a two-lap bike on tight, jungly single track. Some great logs and roots to keep you focused and a steep drop right into the bike loop/finish with a cheering crowd kept the energy up all day. The run took off for one loop on more winding single track and finished right back to the seaside park.
Kelly Hovland of Portland, OR took top honors for the Women with a 1:43.26 and David Cloninger of Bend, OR held the top spot, at 1:28.39, in a tight men’s field that had the top ten within 10 minutes of him.
Yvonne Kraus of Seattle took third in her age group and made a huge splash with the debut of the XTERRA Green Team. Attending athletes donated enough bike gear, parts and frames to overfill her car! This was a great start to a program that will recycle all the bike parts, teach kids how to build and repair their bike and give them the bike they built.
“XTERRA athletes cleaned out their garages for this event!” exclaimed Kraus. “When I arrived an hour before the race the donations had already piled up at the registration table, and the two boxes I brought were immediately at capacity as soon as I set them down. By the end of the race I were worried about our ability to load it all in my car! When it was all done, our car was packed to the roof, the Thule roofbox was jam-packed, and I had to wrestle to get my own front tire to fit in! Together we collected numerous tires, tubes, new clothing and bike socks, seats, numerous components such as clipless pedals, cables, and cranks, bike shoes, lights, many water bottles and stickers, a steel roadbike frame, and a wonderful kids' BMX bike! A special thanks to all who participated.”
Check the Planet for more information on how you can help out with the stream restoration project scheduled for Incline Village in September.
XTERRA HAMMERMAN PREVIEW: This Saturday’s XTERRA Hammerman at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska is drawing near for its 7th year. The race has enjoyed the same course every year since its inception with a gorgeous .5 mile swim in Little Campbell Lake, where swimmers during the summer share space with Loons, fishing Eagles and swimming moose! A short, but demandingly hilly, 11-mile bike leg will leave everyone looking for fresh legs at the transition to the run. Then a run course that will continue to "hammer" the legs of each participant with 3.1 miles of nothing but up and down. Speed and power win out on this course where short, steep and fast are the best words to describe it.
This year is already looking like another full field. As of this writing, we have competitors making the trip from Colorado, Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas and Wyoming to take on another strong Alaskan contingent. This is always a great race, and with the addition last year of a duathlon run at the same time, it adds a whole new component for those not so fond of the water.
XTERRA LOCK 4 BLAST REVIEW: By Jen Trapp, XTERRA Rep…In its ninth year, we believe the XTERRA Lock 4 Blast to be the 3rd longest running XTERRA in the world. Not surprisingly Andrew Marsh, Manager of the XTERRA Point Series, has been to all but two of them! There are many memories of that first XTERRA back in 1999 - some we can tell, some we must keep to ourselves!
The day started out with a half-mile swim in Old Hickory Lake - and just like the past 4 years, it was XTERRA Pro Craig Evans coming out of the water first in 10:40. Nipping at his heels were solo athletes Bruce Gennari (41, Brentwood TN) and Omar Fraser (27, Birmingham AL) in 11:03 and 11:54. On the women's side it was Cheryl Stine (40, Bloomington IN) beating XTERRA PRO Jamie Whitmore out of the water in 12:47. Jamie finished in 13:05 and Patricia Smith (32, Maryville TN) rounded out the top 3 in 14:59.
Next up - 12 miles of fun, fast single track - I'm telling you, this course is awesome! It is broken out into 2 loops and each time you have to come down near transition and get some cheering on from the crowd to push you back out for the second loop! First into transition was Craig Evans at 1:09:47. For the solo men it was a race between Casey Fannin (48, Birmingham AL) and Bruce Gennari - Casey used the second fastest bike split of the day (1:03:42) to jump to second place and enter transition at 1:16:17. Bruce was close behind in 1:17:26.
Jamie Whitmore used the bike section to show why she is a pro. She came into transition at 1:19:50 - with a 1:06:45 bike split - and that put her almost 8 minutes ahead of the next lady. Patricia Smith was next in at 1:27:40 - she had the second fastest bike split for the ladies in 1:12:41. The next two slots were close as Lucia Colbert (49, Cordova TN) and Cheryl Stine raced into transition in 1:32:58 and 1:33:26. It was Jackie Ryan (49, Birmingham AL) however that had the 3rd fastest bike split for the women in 1:16:06.
The run is set up like the bike - fun, fast, windy single track and a 2-looper so you can come back through transition, see everyone (even those who are already done way ahead of you - ugh!) and head back out. With the fastest swim, bike, and run split (27:19) Craig Evans finished up with a 1:37:06 and stole the show yet again. By the time he finished the entire race - only 4 solo athletes and 2 teams were done with the bike portion of the race! The relay teams worked hard to track Evans down but only served to push him that much harder.
It was again Bruce and Casey racing through the run course trying to outdo each other. Bruce had the faster swim, Casey had the faster bike, who would come out on top? With a run split of 29:13 and a finishing time of 1:46:39, it was Bruce Gennari taking second place. Casey had a 30:41 run split and finished up right behind him in 1:46:58. Third place for the amateurs went to Jeff Richards (37, Atlanta GA) in 1:49:23.
The fastest female split went to Tina Eakin (36, Redstone Arsenal AL) - 30:10 and beating out Jamie Whitmore's split of 30:30. But, Jamie did take the overall spot with 1:50:20. Second place, and first amateur went to Patricia Smith in 1:59:05 - she also had the 3rd fastest run split in 31:25. Tina Eakin finished next in 2:05:41 and Lucia Colbert rounded out the top 3 amateur ladies in 2:09:43.
Let's not forget that this was Audie Smith's 50th XTERRA event - his first one being here in 2000 during the America Tour. With his wife and 2 of his daughters helping out at aide stations, he finished up the day in 2:36:40. Congrats Audie - we look forward to your next 50!
After a slew of prizes and give-aways - we're talking Gatorade chuggin' contests, best injury (I think we saw some guy's butt), and of course "Who has Feet?" sock give-away - the day wound down, the athletes went home, and the crew sat around a cooler, drinking a nice cold Pacifico and laughing about the fun and excitement of the weekend.
Check out pix from the weekend at www.jarrettgazaphotography.photoherald.com/
XTERRA IRON CREEK REVIEW: By Circ Toepel, XTERRA Rep…Fresh cut single track winding through meadows of tall grass. All right, some of it wasn’t quite single track yet but it was still really cool to be slicing through the grass among the cows at 6000’. Lest you think it was all fun and games, there was Mount Rose, rising up above and ready to suck the oxygen out of even the best riders. Temperatures in the low 90’s and a redesigned bike course this year made for another awesome adventure at Iron Creek Lake outside of Spearfish SD.
Spencer Powlison was the lone pro at Iron Creek and he made the most of it by winning with a time of 1:58:53. He was first off the bike and never stopped hammering on the run. Jim Meyer used his local knowledge to be the first amateur in at 2:04:45. Jim knows this course better than anyone as he is also a co-director and in charge of timing…hmmmm. Stephen White rounded out the top 3 a minute back.
The women’s race unfolded in usual fashion with Becky Batizy coming in with the top males into T1. The bike allowed Jill Sorenson to show her stuff by building an insurmountable lead and finishing in 2:25:15. Louisa Jenkins took 2nd place by having the fastest run of the 2-lap course around the lake. Julie Bruckman overcame me cheering for her as “Kim” all day and finished in 3rd place with a time of 2:30:59.
Not only is this one of the most spectacular XTERRA courses, it is one of the finest camping sites anywhere and many competitors chose to spend the whole weekend. There are small cabins available as well as tent and RV sites but it is rustic camping only, with running water available at pumps scattered here and there. Because of this great location there were about 400 spectators on hand to cheer all the racers.
Many competitors were gathered in the lake after finishing to cool off and cheer on the remaining racers as they passed by on the run. The campground provided a great BBQ after the race while the awards of local honey and mustard were given.
XTERRA EX2 REVIEW: By Jen Trapp, XTERRA Rep… With 266 XTERRA athletes toeing the start line at Rocky Gap State Park in Flintstone, Maryland on Sunday, this was the second largest XTERRA Points Race ever! You add in the duathletes and the teams, and this was a huge day!
The temperature on race morning was nice and cool – but we knew it would get hotter as the day wore on – thankfully the cloud coverage and winds kept it pretty nice this year. With all the athletes checked in and waiting in the two corrals, it was time to go. For this two-lap swim athletes had to swim out and around the peninsula that transition was on, run across it a few hundred yards, and then do it all over. First out with over a minute lead was Derek Oskutis (20, Annapolis, MD). He completed the .75 miles swim in 18:08 – oh yeah, he’s a Navy guy, that explains it! In 19:55, 19:56, and 19:57 – the next 3 guys to enter transition were Eric Sorenson (38, Falls Church VA), Damian Walsh (32, Arlington VA) and Dan Laroque (32, Midlothian VA).
For the women, it was Lelia Glass (18, Potomac MD) who was first out in 19:13 – that would put her 2nd overall! Next up were Alicia Markey (28, Newark DE) and Andrea Fuchs (23, Bethesda, MD) in 21:06 and 21:12.
Next up – the 14 miles of rocky, hilly, fun single track. Two loops again and you had to come in through transition in between loops and get your split time. Best time of the day went to Roger Masse (48, Bethesda MD) in 1:02:57. Then it was XTERRA Pro and our favorite Speedo wearing, Pink mohawked athlete around – Will Kelsay with a 1:03:27. Third fastest was Erik Scott (37, State College PA) who had a 1:04:07. It was Kate Lucas (39, Richmond VA) who shined on the mountain bike with a 1:22:56 – smokin’! She was followed by Denelle Grant (32, Charlottesville VA) and Kristina Adams (34, Glenwood MD) who posted splits of 1:24:01 and 1:26:07.
The 5-mile-run took you on much of the same trail that the bike was on – but once you got to the top of the monster climb – you cut down and had some gnarly rock climbing, boulder hopping, and ankle twisting fun! Erik Scott and Will Kelsay were smoking with 35:06 and 35:07 splits. Damian Walsh was close behind with a 35:32. Kristina Adams blew the ladies away with a run split of 45:45 – wow! Sara Hanson (20, Blacksburg VA) and Kimberly Williams (27, Lancaster PA) were sprinting through it as well with a 49:03 and 49:14 split.
As far as who took the tape? It was Will Kelsay taking the overall individual title in 2:01:39 – he was beat by a relay team though! First amateur and 2nd overall was Eric Sorenson in 2:03:28 and rounding out the men’s top three was Erik Scott in 2:03:40 – it was a sprint to the finish!
Kate Lucas smoked the course and took the Ladies title in 2:38:27 – and she was 44th overall. Denelle Grant was second in 2:40:51 and the final podium spot went to 2:42:01. Nice job to all!
Thanks to Rocky Gap State Park for such a gorgeous venue – this place is incredible! Thanks also to Jim Harman and his whole EX2 Adventures crew for putting on an amazing show! To all the athletes, spectators, family, and friends – thanks and we’ll see ya’ at the next one!
Check out the Photos by Will Ramos Photography – www.waramos.com.
XTERRA KNYSNA: Lieuwe Boonstra made an amazing comeback to the South African XTERRA circuit after being forced to pull out of the SA Championships earlier this year due to illness. Boonstra won the first of three races in the SA Series Thursday, July 12 at the magnificent PEZULA Private Estate in Knysna.
"The mountain-bike route was just awesome with a couple of muddy spots thanks to previous night's rain. The end of the route was quite technical and ended up being an absolute crowd pleaser. I am definitely going to try to compete in all three remaining XTERRAs. Even though I really enjoy racing overseas, nothing beats the support received from family members and friends when racing on the local circuit," says Boonstra, who completed the race in 1:32:46 to take the individual men's category. Jan Schutte came in second with a time of 1:38:22, while Martin Dreyer finished third with a time of 1:41:41.
Michelle Lombardi was once again in top form as she stormed across the finish line in 1:50:53 securing her the top spot in the individual women's category. Lombardi did, however, have serious competition in the mountain-biking leg, in the form of Yolande de Villiers, who overtook her on the 15km mark.
"I knew I had to go as fast as possible on the first run, because it was so short. I really enjoyed the mountain-biking leg as it was technical, which is always in my favor. Even though Yolande de Villiers overtook me close to the end of this leg, I could still see her in the distance and was hoping to overtake her on the run, which I managed.”
Yolande De Villiers came in second with a time of 1:53:41, while Jeannie Bomford finished third with a time of 1:56:45.
The second leg of the SA Series will take place on November 17 at Buffelspoort Dam (Gauteng), while the third leg will take place February 10, 2008 at Shongweni Dam (Durban). The South African XTERRA finals will take place in April 2008 and form part of the XTERRA Global Tour.
For more information visit www.duesouth.co.za.
CRESTED BUTTE PREVIEW: Media members and racers interested in getting a sneak peak at the Crested Butte Bank XTERRA mountain bike course are invited to join XTERRA ambassador Roger Villmow for a pre-ride on Friday, July 27th at 12 noon. For more information and details email Roger at email@example.com.
XTERRA TORN SHIRT REVIEW: By Todd Scott…Nearly 200 triathletes from across the North Central Region came to Brighton, Michigan for one of the largest races in the XTERRA America Tour. Still, it was the local Ann Arbor athletes’ day to shine.
Under warm sunny skies, the first wave began the half-mile swim around Bishop Lake. Starting in the second wave, Brighton’s own Marybeth Hall swam through the pack and set the bar for the fastest swim split of the day, nearly a minute quicker than the fastest male competitor.
But the bike portion belonged to Jim James from Ann Arbor. Jim absolutely flew threw the singletrack while Ohio’s Brandon Jessop and fellow Ann Arborite Arcadio Ramirez tried to minimize their losses. And among the women, Marne Smiley (from Ann Arbor of course!) posted the fastest bike split despite feeling under the weather.
No matter how much time one puts in the bank during this race, it always comes down to the run. The 6-mile Torn Shirt run is hilly and ever-challenging – one of the toughest on the XTERRA circuit. If you dehydrate on the bike, you cramp on this run. This run is tough even if you don’t swim or bike beforehand!
Yaro Middaugh from East Jordan topped the field with a 42 ½ minute run split, but no one was fast enough to catch James or Smiley. James finished atop the podium with in 2:02:48 with Jessop and Middaugh rounding out the top three.
In the women’s division, Smiley crossed the line in 2:32:22 with Lori Whitmore and Lisa Chaps in second and third, respectively.
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