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Q&A with new XTERRA Pro Shonny Vanlandingham
THIS WEEK: Q&A with Shonny Vanlandingham who’s joining the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series, Biker’s Edge goes the distance for racers at the upcoming XTERRA Mountain Champs in Ogden, Jenny Smith tops 3x XTERRA World Champ Melanie McQuaid while Josiah Middaugh bests Seth Wealing at Crested Butte, previews to the upcoming races, a look back at last weekend’s races, and the XTERRA TV broadcast schedule for Aug. 3-5.
8/5 – XTERRA Appalachia (Indiana, PA)
8/5 – XTERRA Panther Creek (Morristown, TN)
8/5 – XTERRA Camp Eagle (Rocksprings, TX)
8/5 – XTERRA Snow Valley (Running Springs, CA)
8/5 – XTERRA XTREME Trail Run (Chicago, IL)
8/11 – XTERRA Rock in the Woods Trail Run (St. Louis, MO)
8/12 – XTERRA Boordy Vineyards Trail Run (Baltimore, MD)
8/12 – XTERRA Stoaked (Hanover, NH)
8/12 – XTERRA Iron Will (Jonesboro, AR)
8/17 – XTERRA Golden Spike 12k Trail Run (Ogden, UT)
8/18 – XTERRA Pain Terrain Trail Run (Blue Springs, MO)
8/18 – XTERRA DINO Logansport (Logansport, IN)
8/18 – XTERRA Denmark (Arhus, Jutland)
8/18 – XTERRA MOUNTAIN CHAMPIONSHIP (Ogden/Snowbasin, UT)
8/19 – XTERRA Mt. Tamalpais Trail Run (Marin, CA)
SHONNY V: Shonny Vanlandingham, one of the best women’s mountain biker’s on the planet, will be racing at the next three XTERRA Championships in Utah, Nevada, and Maui. Shonny V. is a six-time U.S. National Mountain Bike Team Member, a three-time (2004-06) NORBA National Series Cross Country Champion and the 2005 U.S. National Short Track Champ.
She just won the Firecracker 50 and the ’07 USA Cycling marathon cross-country national title that goes with it, and at the TEVA games she not only won the women’s mountain bike race – but she was more than three minutes faster than Floyd Landis.
In XTERRA – she’s a relative newcomer but has three impressive performances under her belt. In her first-ever XTERRA at the World Championship in 2005 she posted the fastest mountain bike split and finished 7th overall. Last year she placed 9th at the USA Champs in Tahoe (5th best bike) and was also 9th at Worlds with the third-best bike split.
We caught up with Shonny this week to ask her about the upcoming Olympics and a little bit about her background…
XT: So what's the deal with the Olympics? Are you assured a spot on the U.S. Team? I read somewhere that you missed a couple races due to illness, are you all better?
SV: I had to miss a couple World Cups in June due to illness. That definitely put me behind in the World Cup points. But this year is about making the 'long team' for the Olympics. USA Cycling federation will choose the top 8 American women to be on that 'long team.' Next year two riders will be chosen from that 'long team' based on results from the spring and early summer World Cups. Those two riders will be on the Olympic team representing the US. The 'long team' hasn't been announced but I am hoping my name will be on it.
XT: When is the Olympic mtb race, how's team USA, and how do you think you'll do?
SV: The race is in August and the USA team is stronger than ever before on both the men and women's side. As a country we are ranked higher than any time in the history of our sport. So it is very competitive and will be a battle to the end to even make the final Olympic team of 2 women and 3 men.
XT: Could you balance an XTERRA schedule (in '08) and at the same time train for the Olympics?
SV: I feel it would be very hard to do the full XTERRA schedule and also be fully focused on the Olympics. The running can take a toll on the cycling legs. And any good XTERRA racer has to be able to put in a good run.
XT: Did you really get your start as a mtb tour guide in Maui?
SV: I was leading gravity tours down Haleakala on Maui. It was 38 miles downhill w/about 400ft of pedaling. Not much training going on there but I did commute 14 miles each way on my bike to and from work.
XT: When was your first race as an amateur and how'd you do? First race as a pro, and how'd you do?
SV: My first race as an amateur was in '97. I placed 2nd. My first NORBA National as a pro was in '99 and I got on the podium in 4th.
XT: We know your XTERRA strength, but what do you need to improve – swim, run or both?
SV: My biking ability has put me in the top 10 at Worlds the last 2 years but I know to be a contender for the win that I must improve my swim AND my run. I was a runner in college so I feel I can tap into that muscle memory. And my Mom signed me up for swimming lessons so hopefully I can improve that too. :-)
XT: What do you like about XTERRA?
SV: I enjoy the challenge of 3 sport disciplines. The family atmosphere makes XTERRA stand out amongst sporting events. XTERRA is very well organized and executed while creating a positive competitive environment.
AND DID YOU KNOW…Shonny earned her degree in nutrition and played NCAA Div. I basketball at East Texas State University…she races for the Luna Chix Pro MTB Team, roasts her own coffee at her second home on the Big Island of Hawaii, likes to ride motorcycles, scuba, surf, eat sushi, listen to country music, and invest in real estate…and in 1993 she was leading bike tours in Maui that eventually spurred her professional racing career.
GO TO BIKER’S EDGE: Biker’s Edge is the official bike shop, presenter of the Saturday night awards celebration, and a huge supporter of the XTERRA Mountain Championship. The shop is located just 15 minutes south of Ogden on I-15, and can handle an athletes’ pre-race prep from bike assembly, repair, and maintenance to the latest products, clothing, and accessories.
Biker’s Edge Owner/Manager Zach Chatelain has rolled out the red carpet for XTERRA racers by offering 10% off everything in the store to those registered, and if you’d like to ship your bike to the shop they’ll put it together for $70 (includes assembly and boxing for return if needed). To take advantage of that deal send Zach an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) telling him where the bike is coming from, date it should arrive, and return address.
Biker’s Edge will be at Amphitheater Park in downtown Ogden on Friday from Noon-to-8pm for last minute adjustments, and you can rest assured that some of the staff will be racing in the main event on Saturday.
Plus, the post-race celebration on Saturday night presented by Biker’s Edge at Amphitheater Park in downtown Ogden promises to be one of the coolest evenings of the summer. Local restaurants including Roosters Brewing Company, Bistro 258, Union Grill, Peddler's, Athenian, Artisan Grill and Rickenbacker's Bistro will serve-up award-winning food at the Taste of Ogden's Historic 25th Street open-air dining extravaganza. Plus, the Pacifico Beer Garden will be in full operational mode, a highlight video with footage from the day's race will play on a big screen TV, and Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers from Louisiana will keep the jammin' music mojo flowing after dark.
With their dedication to cyclists and support for the community, it is no surprise Biker's Edge was chosen as one of the 2007 Top 100 Retailers in the nation by Bicycle Retailer and Cycling News, and ranked as one of the Top Bike Shops of America in Bicycling Magazine.
Be sure to tell them thanks when you see ‘em in Ogden.
CRESTED BUTTE BANK XTERRA REVIEW: By Circ Toepel…Wildflowers, wild single track and seaweed gone wild. Crested Butte hosted their 5th annual event and it was awesome! With a start line at 9000’ you need plenty of red blood cells ready for action. Like many high altitude lakes, the unusually wet spring caused a much higher accumulation of seaweed growing to the surface and more than a few swimmers came out of the 68 degree water with ponytails. Ashley Burt, the race director, worked feverishly right up to the race start to remove as much as possible using aerators and boat propellers. Most competitors took it in stride proclaiming just another XTERRA adventure.
2004-05 XTERRA USA Pro Champion Josiah Middaugh had his cells working overtime as he took the win in under two hours and his 1:06:48 bike spit was more than minutes faster than the rest of the field. Josiah took home $600 worth of prize money and said this was a good tune up for the final three championship races. 2006 XTERRA USA Champ Seth Wealing was first out of the water, but 2nd overall in 2:00:41. Greg Krause, a former amateur national and world champ before turning pro, turned in a great race for the 300 plus spectators by being 2 seconds behind Josiah in the swim and only 6 seconds back from Seth on the bike. His finish time of 2:03:37 gave him the 3rd spot on the podium.
Local resident and rising XTERRA Pro Jennifer Smith overcame a deficit in the swim to win the women’s pro field with a time of 2:17:42. The reigning XTERRA World Champ Melanie McQuaid took 2nd in 2:24:41 and said it was very hard to race at this altitude coming from sea level, “I felt like I was going backwards all day”. Smith's 1:13:54 bike split was right up there with the big boys and Jenny said she is a bit biased but loves this course and the rain it received last week made it even better. First-year XTERRA Pro Sara Tarkington from Boulder rounded out the top 3 in 2:32:49.
The hotly contested women’s amateur race was won by Toni Axelrod from Edwards, Colorado, in 2:37:01. Jill Sorenson finished 2nd in 2:37:37 and Sage Grossi came up from Mesa, Arizona to grab the 3rd spot with a 2:41:36.
The men’s amateur race was won by Daniel Ourada from Durango with a total time of 2:14:14. Luke Jay from Littleton finished in 2nd place at 2:15:50 and Taylor Carrington out of Denver took 3rd in 2:18:15.
THE FINAL RUN OF XTERRA CHICAGO: In the wake of two successful XTERRA Chicago trail runs, the XTERRA X-Country 8k and the XTERRA Renegade 10k, the best of this three-part series is saved for last…
The XTERRA XTREME 12k is set to blast off at 8:00 on Sunday, hitting the limestone paths, switchback trails, challenging hills and an additional two kilometers of extreme dirt trails in Palatine’s beautiful Deer Grove West Forest Preserve. Hopping over logs, dancing through roots, trekking through mud and crossing creeks make this trail race one for the books. We encourage all Chicagoans to come test their lungs and limits in the company of other avid runners and enjoy this last great summer XTERRA adventure.
Forget running in circles around a track, monotonous treadmill workouts, or killing your knees on the pavement! We challenge people to get back to nature, breathe some fresh air and remember just how good it feels to RUN WILD with us in Palatine, Illinois!
Being the last race in the 2007 XTERRA Chicago Series – Regional Champions will be crowned in each age division AND athletes will find out who earned enough points for an invite to the XTERRA National Championship Trail Running Event in Lake Tahoe, NV!
Steve Baugh of Ohio, men’s winner in the first two events, is the favorite to win the series and lock in to a qualifying spot in the national meet in Lake Tahoe.
XTERRA DINO NEW CASTLE REVIEW: By Todd Scott…Intermittent rain the day before did not stop the 130 racers from converging on New Castle Saturday – a noticeable increase from last year’s event.
The swim got underway following last minute gallows humor from the DINO crew: “Keep the buoys on your right and your body near the surface.” Swimmers quickly spread out along the half-mile course. Cheryl Stine of Bloomington led everyone out of the water to the loud cheers from the spectators.
The 10-mile bike course was in very good condition despite the occasional greasy turn. Not many riders were wearing telltale mud smears on their jerseys indicating that most kept the rubber side down. Standout Brandon Jessop of Madera, Ohio was the first to complete the course followed very closely by a focused Ted Ramos of Berwyn, Illinois. In the women’s field, Stine extended her lead with a solid split just over an hour.
Jessop continued his winning ways by adding a couple minutes to his lead over Ramos on the 4-mile run. Forty-six year old Jack Powless (a 2-year cancer survivor) took third and proved speed isn’t just for the young.
Among the women, Stine maintained her lead and won overall, while Gabriela Baranoiva of Zion, Illinois and Beverly Enslow of Metamora, Illinois finished second and third respectively.
XTERRA CAMP EAGLE PREVIEW: This Sunday’s race at Camp Eagle in Rocksprings, Texas (near San Antonio) is a family event, unlike any other venue.
Camp Eagle (host to Texas largest mountain bike festival and Texas largest 24 hour adventure race) provides an opportunity for family and friends to not only watch you compete, but to take part in the adventure.
Guests may enjoy rock climbing, rappelling, hiking, biking trails, a river water park- swimming, kayaking, fishing, Blobbing, climbing the Water Iceberg, Water Trampoline, dual Water Zipline, or lounging in our Big Family Tubes. Camp Eagle is at the headwaters of the Nueces River -- 1.2 million gallons of crystal clear water are literally pumping out of the rock at the edge of our property.
The race itself combines a 1k swim with a 10-mile mountain bike and 4-mile trail run.
XTERRA SUNDANCE REVIEW: Saturday’s XTERRA Sundance 10k Trail Run was the 3rd of 4 events in the Utah Series with the grand finale' taking place on August 17th in Ogden, UT.
The crisp mountain air and backdrop of gorgeous Mt. Timpanogos was surely a treat for the competitors. The course began and finished at 6,100 ft. above sea level – so the altitude was definitely a straining factor as they weaved through twists and turns on the single track.
Karl Jarvis (28) of Provo didn't seem to mind as he smoked the field with a convincing win in 38 minutes. Speed runs in the family, because his wife Sara Jarvis (26) took second place in the women's race with a time of 48 minutes.
Following Karl Jarvis was Michael Raemisch (38) in a time of 41 minutes who also won the first XTERRA Trail Run of the season. Dave Elger (53) of Mountain Green took home the bronze. The top female runner was Rachel Cieslewicz (27) of Salt Lake City in 45 minutes. She was followed by Jarvis, then Jennifer Hughes (28) in 55 minutes.
Full results found at: www.runnercard.com
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