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“Kahuna Dave” Nicholas previews the pro race at the upcoming XTERRA Mountain Championship
THIS WEEK: “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas previews the pro race at the upcoming XTERRA Mountain Championship, TEAM Unlimited celebrates its 19th anniversary, a cool course preview for the XTERRA UK Championship, Will Kelsay turned 26 and won XTERRA Snow Valley, and the 2007 Nevada Passage show makes its debut this weekend highlighted by a 2:30pm airing on Sunday in Los Angeles (on KABC).
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)
THE PRO RACE IN OGDEN: The return of Peter Reid will have to wait as word came down today that he’s out four weeks with a stress fracture and won’t make it to Utah. That will not damper what promises to be exciting and ultra-competitive races in both the men’s and women’s pro divisions. Dave “Kahuna” Nicholas - the managing director of the XTERRA Global Tour, has seen more XTERRA races than anyone on the planet, and here’s how he’s stacking the field:
Three races into the season; and while Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz seems unbeatable, the women's race is anything but certain. The Pro Series counts the best 3 of the first 4 events + the finals at Lake Tahoe, NV. With Jamie Whitmore at 290 (two firsts and a second) and Melanie McQuaid at 280 (two seconds and a first) the 4th race has huge implications. If Jamie wins (and Melanie comes in 2d) then she’ll be up 300 to 280 and could win the Series with a 3rd place finish in Tahoe even if Melanie wins there. Now, if Melanie wins then the two would be tied at 290 and go into Tahoe even. Either way, one of these two gals is going to gain some momentum going into the finals.
The next tier keeps the same tension. Candy Angle counts two thirds and a fourth and Jen Smith two fourths and a third - but Jen is coming off beating Candy at Richmond and Melanie at Crested Butte. There is something here that demands us to watch this women's race carefully.
Throw in Dara Marks Marino coming back after a nice 4th in Temecula in her very first XTERRA and we know she can ride as she posted the 2nd quickest bike. Sara Tarkington, a former U-23 triathlon US Champ, is making her first appearance in a major pro race after winning XTERRA Buffalo Creek and finishing 3rd behind Smith and McQuaid at the Crested Butte Bank point series race this year. She'll be playing at longer distances and against a strong pro field in Utah so we'll see if her solid performances can continue. Shonny Vanlandingham makes her return to XTERRA earlier than ever and we all have seen what she can do at the World Champs (Best bike split in ‘05 and third-best last year) and wonder if she has been in the pool. She simply cannot afford to give up 7-8 minutes on the swim and win.
If we ignore the Caveman and his stunning dominance, we do have an excellent race behind him with Mike Vine, Josiah Middaugh, and Andrew Noble all within 26 points and a resurgent Seth Wealing coming off a brilliant 2nd at Richmond. The 2006 USA Champ may have a lot to say over the next two races. Noble has had a great season with the exception of Richmond where a mechanical dropped him from 3rd to 9th. Vine has a couple seconds and remember he won at Ogden last year, beating Stoltz. Middaugh is notorious for late season form and he lives at altitude and Ogden's 6,000+ feet won't bother him at all. And the way the points work, a mechanical for Stoltz could put any of these 4 within striking distance at Tahoe.
XTERRA MOUNTAIN CHAMPIONSHIP PRO START LIST - as of 8.8.07
Race # is determined by rank in U.S. Pro Series.
# - Men - Age, Hometown
1 - Conrad Stoltz - 33, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2 - Mike Vine - 34, Victoria, B.C., Canada
3 - Josiah Middaugh - 28, Vail, Colorado
4 - Andrew Noble - 41, Gold Coast, Australia
5 - Seth Wealing - 28, Boulder, Colorado
6 - Craig Evans - 29, Nashville, Tennessee
7 - Jimmy Archer - 34, Boulder, Colorado
8 - Brian Smith - 31, Gunnison, Colorado
9 - Tyler Johnson - 27, Chester, Connecticut
10 - Cody Waite - 28, Denver, Colorado
11 - Will Kelsay - 25, Boulder, Colorado
12 - Mark Leishman - 27, Palmerston North, New Zealand
14 - Ryan Ignatz - 28, Boulder, Colorado
15 - Brian Astell - 26, Gualala, California
16 - Luke Way - 25, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
17 - Greg Krause - 30, Littleton, Colorado
18 - Ryan DeCook - 26, Rochester, Michigan
20 - Spencer Powlison - 24, Boulder, Colorado
21 - Andrew Biglow - 36, Boulder, Colorado
# - Women - Age, Hometown
61 - Jamie Whitmore - 31, Somerset, California
62 - Melanie McQuaid - 34, Victoria, B.C., Canada
63 - Candy Angle - 37, Weymouth, Massachusetts
64 - Jennifer Smith - 34, Westport, New Zealand
65 - Amber Monforte - 29, Reno, Nevada
66 - Dara Marks Marino - 31, Flagstaff, Arizona
67 - Jari Kirkland - 31, Crested Butte, Colorado
68 - Sara Tarkington - 26, Boulder, Colorado
69 - Shonny Vanlandingham - 38, Durango, Colorado
70 - Kristy Lanier - 38, Marlinton, West Virginia
TEAM TURNS 19: Today, August 8, 2007, is the 19th anniversary of the founding of TEAM Unlimited (8/8/1988). To celebrate, here’s an anniversary tale written by Monica Bridle…
Conceived, born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii -- TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii based company that has no qualms with spreading its wings. Acting as a modern-day Magellan, this company circumnavigates the globe to impart the social, mental and physical benefits of getting active outdoors.
The origins of TEAM (Television, Events and Marketing) came about in 1988, when founder and CEO Tom Kiely was asked to amplify television exposure for the Hawaiian Islands. He responded by generating and filming an ocean sport competition, the Hawaiian International Ocean Challenge – a fun to watch, action-packed event that simultaneously highlighted the gorgeous Hawaiian landscapes. The result was phenomenal – the audience, the athletes and the sponsors all wanted more…
Looking at the big picture, the industry of active outdoor recreation is a substantial market - annually contributing $275 billion to the U.S. economy. As Americans battle the inactivity crisis and childhood obesity, the benefits of the outdoor industry are becoming ever more important. With more than 159 million Americans (two thirds of the population) participating in outdoor activities each year, savvy businesses are jumping in to find their niche in this evolving empire. TEAM Unlimited is cutting its piece of this economic pie and intends on feeding the trend of health and wellness to as many people that will swallow it.
T is for Television: To date, TEAM has created more than 265 television programs, with topics ranging from surfing the infamous “Jaws” and base-jumping from extreme heights to the Brazilian martial art of Capoeira and sand skiing. It also sits as the largest producer of Hawaii television shows -- more than 200 episodes that stream close to 7,500 hours of action in the islands. The programs are seen across the country through syndication on networks including: CBS Sports, NBC, ABC, FOX, ESPN and Outdoor Life Network. In 2006 alone, the programs reached upwards of 30 million viewers! The industry is taking note to TEAM TV as well; accolades include 2 national Emmy Award nominations, 3 regional Emmy Awards and 35 Telly Awards. Now, TEAM is in the process of creating its own television network – so stay tuned!
E is for Events: The success of the Hawaii made-for-television event was a catalyst for TEAM Unlimited to create XTERRA – now the fastest-growing event brand in the world. Today, this action-packed, off-road version of the triathlon (swim, mountain bike, trail run) has more than 100 events in 16 countries and is still growing. The events culminate at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui, Hawaii each October. International competitors can earn their place in Maui by competing in a championship event in: Argentina, Saipan, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Denmark, Brazil, Japan, Austria, Germany, Costa Rica and France. These races attract many of the finest athletes in the world; the professionals compete for some of the richest pro-purses in multisport – overall about a half-million dollars in prize money is awarded.
Expanding on this summer sport phenomenon, starting this winter, TEAM will produce the XTERRA Winter World Championship, with events including: randonnee skiing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, trail running, and a snowboard scramble.
The XTERRA Trail Run Series is an offshoot from the multisport and boasts nearly 40 races across the US, with distances ranging from 5 to 18 kilometers. These fun off-road trail races are a “one-size-fits-all” event for any age and skill level of runner.
And M is for Marketing: Back in 1997, TEAM first transported its Hawaii model of ‘sports fueling tourism’ abroad when it created Action Sports New Zealand. This consisted of four one-hour television shows featuring athletic endeavors in New Zealand, including: white water rafting, rugby, glacier walking, and less common ones like “skreeing”, “caving” and “heli-skiing”.
The success of Action Sports New Zealand proved that the fusion of adventure and destination advertising was a winning combination, financially and beyond. TEAM Unlimited holds a fervent conviction that outdoor-adventures universally benefit participants and spectators alike.
To illustrate, XTERRA Saipan, the “Crown Jewel of XTERRA”, attracts competitors from countries including: Japan, China, Europe, Korea, New Zealand and Russia. Participants receive undeniable health benefits from racing and the event enables them to visit this diamond-in-the-rough country. At the same time, this weekend affair raises tourism dollars for Saipan while increasing its visibility as a destination for adventures the whole family can enjoy.
Another event that TEAM created and films with the purpose of destination marketing is The Nevada Passage. This is a week-long competition venturing to the far corners of the Silver State to do activities such as: jet ski, mountain bike and run, race autocross, compete in a rodeo, race handcars and shoot for the land speed record on custom-made bikes. Ten teams of people, paired by occupation, are chosen for this one of a kind adventure.
As more and more shows are created and viewed, the opportunities for TEAM proliferate.
Destination bureaus and tourism agencies are constantly seeking new avenues to spotlight their destination. After seeing a show such as XTERRA Saipan, many have been intrigued and solicit TEAM to take the action sports model to them.
By marketing the principle of “LIVE MORE” in Hawaii and across the globe, TEAM does a great service of inspiring people to better themselves. Aptly named, TEAM Unlimited is just that – the TEAM “ohana” is a group of passionate people who see no limits. Forever seeking new opportunities, partnerships and adventures, TEAM Unlimited continues to take pride in spreading its vision of health and happiness with Aloha to the world.
XTERRA SNOW VALLEY REVIEW: By Scott Muir…This years XTERRA Snow Valley race attracted over 200 entrants for a clear, warm day in the dry mountain air. Mother Nature had a little fun with the course as the drought had lake levels down at least 15 feet but Race Director Josh Morey made it work by shortening the swim to 2.5 laps totaling about 500 yards.
The 11-mile bike course is a rarity with the swim venue being 400’ above T2 so you get more downhill than up on this ride. Loose sand and rocks make for a little tricky riding but overall it was a smooth fast course with a few steep grinds, and nothing flat. The run was amazing being completely off-road, cross-country up and down the ski hills.
Racing was great as the short swim had the field out battling on the bike quickly. Will Kelsay was fourth out of the swim and was quick to take the lead on the ride. Trevor Glavin was hard on his wheel the whole ride and followed him right into T2. Ben Travis was third off the bike and reeled in Trevor but was unable to catch Will on the run. Will finished in 1:33.03 with Ben at 1:35.10 and Trevor at 1:36.56.
Marie-Helene Trembla from La Jolla took the women’s race in 2:01.06 with Meiling Yee and Linda Lindsay rounding out the top three.
XTERRA UK COURSE PREVIEW: The gang at TRI247.com sent Sam Gardner and Julie Dibens (who both placed second at XTERRA Saipan back in March) on a course reconnaissance mission to preview the XTERRA UK Championship set for September 16 in the Neath Valley of Wales. What they came back with is a very detailed (GPS and photos) description of what racers can look forward to next month. To check it out, visit www.tri247.com/article_2283.html
XTERRA FIRST COAST REVIEW: By Gary Harris…As the sun rose over the Atlantic you could feel the excitement for this years 6th running of the XTERRA First Coast. Donned with true Jacksonville style; XTERRA First Coast’s Atlantic swim, fast trails and warm climate brings competitors from all over the country.
“It’s an awesome race and a great weekend at the beach all wrapped up into one. You can’t beat it!” says Atlanta resident and 2006 Regional Champion Annie Stevenson.
Bruce Gennari was first out of the water with an impressive 10:26 and followed closely by a pack of hungry Floridians. As the day progressed the heat kicked into the 90’s and the first one to break the finish line covered in cob webs was Birmingham Alabama resident Casey Fannin. Fannin beat his 06’ time by more than 15 minutes for the big win coming in at a smashing 1:34:58.
“Man it’s HOT, but I love this course, it’s so fast” said Fannin as he picked the webs from his skin. Coming in just 31 seconds behind was Scott Ewing from Destin Florida; “I could see Casey, I just couldn’t catch him.”
Bruce lost the lead on lap one of the bike due to an equipment malfunction. “My bars gave way and I went right over, nothing I could do but fix it and watch Casey ride right by.”
On the women’s side Brook Pace from Tallahassee took the lead from the very beginning finishing the swim in 13:05 and an overall 1:53:35 with Carey Smith from Tampa coming in second.
WINE NOT RUN?: Boordy Vineyards in Hydes, Maryland will be abuzz with excitement on the eve of August 12th as an expected sell-out field of 600 runners hit the trails for the 2007 XTERRA Boordy Vineyards 5k Trail Run. This fun-run begins at 6:00 PM and takes competitors of all skill levels through rows of carefully tended vines and charming 19th century farm buildings.
There's no whining allowed, but there is wine! Post race, participants can toast to their success by sampling a host of Boordy Wines and quenching their pallet with delicious fruits, breads and cheeses. The sweet sounds of a bluegrass concert by Jericho Bridge will fill the air as competitors and spectators alike mingle under the stars. And the best part is that the proceeds from the event benefit Long Green Valley Conservancy and St. Joseph's Medical Center's Heart Institute – Maryland's largest open-heart surgery and all-digital cardiac catherization program.
This trail run marks the kick-off race for the XTERRA Chesapeake Bay Trail Running Series with three events in the Baltimore area. At each XTERRA event, the top 10 runners in each age division earn points. When the series concludes, regional champions will be crowned. In addition, because the Chesapeake Bay Series is under the umbrella of the national XTERRA Trail Run Series, with 40 races from coast to coast, the top five point scorers secure and invitation to the XTERRA National Championship Trail Running event.
EVENT #2 25-Aug XTERRA River Valley Ranch Trail Run
XTERRA IRON WILL PREVIEW: This Sunday the beautiful Craighead Forest Park in Jonesboro, Arkansas will host the Iron Will - allowing participants to experience Crowley’s Ridge nature first hand.
The race features a half-mile swim, a 10.6 mile mountain bike course littered with rocks, roots, and steep hills, and a mere three miles of trail to lead racers back to the start/finish area.
The top finishers of the Triple Crown series will be crowned following the completion of the XTERRA Iron Will. Those triathletes who competed in XTERRA Eureka Springs, XTERRA Dawg Dayz, and XTERRA Iron Will will have their times compiled and the top female and male finishers will be awarded.
© 2013 TEAM Unlimited LLC