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A salute to the 2007 XTERRA Regional Champions
THIS WEEK: A salute to the 2007 XTERRA Regional Champions, previews for XTERRA Germany, XTERRA UK, and the XTERRA Dot Trail Trot, a race report from the last points series race of the year at XTERRA Onteora, word on Hawaiian Airline’s bike waiver program, and this weekend’s XTERRA TV listings.
9/8 – XTERRA Germany (Titisee)
9/8 – XTERRA Costa Rica
9/8 – XTERRA Dot Trail Trot (Kansas City, KS)
9/16 – XTERRA UK Championship (Neath Valley, Wales)
9/16 – XTERRA Golden Gate Park Trail Run (San Francisco, CA)
9/29 – XTERRA Nevada (Incline Village, NV)
9/29 - XTERRA National Trail Running Championships (Incline Village, NV)
9/30 – XTERRA USA Championship (Incline Village, NV)
XTERRA REGIONAL CHAMPS:
The XTERRA America Tour’s 53-race regular season that stretched across the continental United States and into Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan has come to a close, and as such it’s time to recognize the regional champs. PDF listing all 163 athletes that won their region. Each will receive a commemorative XTERRA Regional Champion technical racing jersey and an invite to race for the national title in Lake Tahoe later this month.
Reno, Nevada native Tom Lyons highlights the list of 2007 XTERRA Regional Champions as the only seven-time winner. Lyons, a former “Mr. XTERRA”, also has five XTERRA national and world championship titles to his credit.
Steve Cole (Olive Branch, MS), Casey Fannin (Birmingham, AL), Kent Robison (Reno, NV), Barbara Peterson (Berkeley, CA), and Beverly Enslow (Peoria, IL) won their region for the sixth time and those with five titles include Hans Dieben (Chula Vista, CA), Jim James (Ann Arbor, MI), Kyle Grieser (Cottonwood Shores, TX), Libby Harrow (Vero Beach, FL), Cindi Toepel (Littleton, CO), and Katherine Frank (Bend, OR).
XTERRA GERMANY PREVIEW: Germany’s own former Ironman Hawaii World Champion Faris Al-Sultan is trading in his road bike for one with knobby tires to take on XTERRA Germany in the mystic Black Forest this Saturday. Al-Sultan will be facing XTERRA experts like Ronnie Dietz (the current XTERRA European Tour leader), XTERRA New Zealand Champion Tim Wilding, XTERRA Warrior award-winner Nico Pfitzenmaier, and others like Lars Fricke, Christopher Mauch, Michael Gohner, Andrea Bocherer, Clemens Coenen, Till Schramm, and Sebastian Kienle.
On the women’s side Swiss star Sibylle Matter will take on recent XTERRA Austria winner Anna Baylis-Scheiderbauer, XTERRA South Africa Champ Michelle Lombardi, and hopefuls Anja Ippach and Katrin Hill.
XTERRA Germany is the fourth of five races in the European Tour, and we’ll get a full race report from XTERRA’s managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas next week.
XTERRA UK PREVIEW: The 2nd annual XTERRA UK Championship in the beautiful Neath Valley of South Wales is just two weeks away. Reigning XTERRA USA Champion Seth Wealing is returning to the trails in Afan Forest Park to defend his UK title. Wealing’s win here last year was the first championship victory of his career. He’ll face stiff competition from former XTERRA World Champion Nicolas Lebrun, current XTERRA European Tour leader Ronnie Dietz, and local star Sam Gardner, as well as a cast of other hopefuls including Jim Thijs (BEL), Lieuwe Boonstra (RSA), Felix Schumann (GER), Jim McConnel (UK), Knut Hohler (Ger), and Andy Blow (UK).
In the women’s pro race XTERRA Italy and Denmark Champ Eszter Erdelyi from Hungary will face off against XTERRA Guam winner Julie Dibens from the UK and XTERRA South Africa champ Michelle Lombardi.
The course, as brilliantly previewed by Gardner here (http://www.tri247.com/article_2283.html) features a new bike course with huge climbs, natural and man-made single track, and some wild descents. One section aptly named “impossible climb” has riders shouldering their bikes for a 400m rocky ascent.
The competition looks hot with many athletes hoping to gain their qualifying slots to the XTERRA World Championship in Maui. It’s also the last of five races in the XTERRA European Tour and will determine the 2007 champions.
RUNNING THE DOT: This Saturday Wyandotte County Lake, a hidden gem in Kansas City, will host the 3rd annual XTERRA Dot Trail Trot – a 5k and 10k trail running adventure.
The XTERRA Dot Trail Trot is the last of the XTERRA Midwest 3-race points series. After the race Series champions will be crowned and the top five overall series finishers for the 10k events in each age group qualify to participate at the XTERRA National Championships in Lake Tahoe, Nevada – making it worth the effort to “RUN WILD”.
Those who swiftly navigate through the course will be on point to getting medals and prizes from the North Face.
Wyandotte County Lake is a perfect venue with the 400-acre lake surrounded by 1,500-acres of hillside oak-hickory woodlands and lakeside sycamores area with an array of wildlife. Miles and miles of trails have been carved into the wooded landscape. One athlete said with conviction, “there is nothing better than an early morning run in the woods here at the lake.”
XTERRA ONTEORA REVIEW: By Andrew Marsh, XTERRA Point Series Manager…You didn’t have to check the calendar to know that summer and the XTERRA Point Series was coming to a close – Mother Nature made that call. While much of the rest of the country was sweltering in triple digits – turning leafs and frost on the pre-dawn transition grass was a certain indication that fall was on the way to the Catskill Mountains in Livingston Manor, New York on Sunday.
Going into the last race of the season Ray Hanley (43, Simsbury, CT) was sitting 3rd in the NE 40-44M AG. Ahead of him in the standings were Jerry Brescia and Tad Norton – tied for 1st place. Norton enjoyed a weekend at home with the family – leaving it up to Ray and Jerry to determine his fate. Ray knew that an AG division win would lock all three into a three-way first place tie forcing the XPS tie-breaking rules to proclaim him Champion. Jerry knew that an Onteora victory would give him sole ownership of the title. For either there was only one way to secure a spot on stage at the Tahoe Night of Champions banquet and the coveted 2007 Regional Champion jersey – WIN!
Brescia was in 3rd following the Swim. Hanley departed T1 seven spots down in tenth. Brescia had taken the OA lead early in the bike. Hanley was sitting fourth as he rounded the turn around. A combination of attrition, superior speed, and luck would quickly come into play for Ray. Chris Robin’s early departure handed Ray third = attrition. Ray passed Halstead via the best bike split of the day, a 1:07:26, to move into second = speed. With less then a one half mile to go – a rear flat almost took him out of contention = luck.
Looking like he had the day locked up - Brescia posted the second quickest bike, 1:07:31, to maintain his two minute swim lead over Hanley.
As any experienced XTERRA athlete will tell you – luck can play a heavy roll or take a heavy toll. For Jerry Brescia it was the latter. A self guided tour off the well-marked run course used up every second and more of his two minute lead. Ray Hanley burst from the weeds and took the tape in 1:50:59 surprised to learn that he had won the race and the NE 40-44 M Regional Championship. Jerry Brescia rerouted himself back into competition finishing up in 1:51:50 – understandably frustrated.
Combining the quickest T1, Bike, T2, and Run splits Andrea McGuire almost caught husband Phike enroute to the women’s title in 2:10:00.
FLYIN’ HAWAIIAN: As a sponsor of the XTERRA World Championship, Hawaiian Airlines is
Hawaiian Airlines will then automatically insert the bike waiver into an athletes’ travel record, and special discounts on airfare will also be offered.
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