Press and Media Center
The 12th annual XTERRA World Championship has the Maui Prince Hotel Buzzing with Excitement
THIS WEEK: The 12th annual XTERRA World Championship is just three days away and the Maui Prince Hotel is buzzing with excitement. In this edition we’ll meet the XTERRA race announcers, see what new 2008 initiatives were announced at the XTERRA Partners Conference today, preview the TV coverage, and see what's on the tube this weekend.
Sat., Oct. 27 – XTERRA Makena Beach Trail Run (Maui Prince Hotel - Makena, Maui)
Sun., Oct. 28 – XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Maui Prince Hotel - Makena, Maui)
WATCH IT ON THE WEB: This year the XTERRA World Championship will be streaming live on the internet at xterraplanet.com. The race coverage featuring real time video and up-to-the-moment text updates will begin just before the 9 a.m. Hawaii time swim start (12 noon PST, 3pm EST, 9pm in Europe, 5am in Sydney, Australia, 8am in New Zealand, 4pm in Brazil).
PRESS GUIDE: A PDF version of the XTERRA World Championship press guide, complete with a schedule of events, course description, global tour information, athlete profiles, facts, figures, and past results, is available for download at:
MEET THE ANNOUNCERS: As energetic as the athletes themselves, race announcers Whit Raymond, Greg Welch and Kalei Waiwaiole will bring the XTERRA World Championship to life on Sunday.
Armed with wireless microphones the trio can be heard detailing the days action from the moment body marking opens at 6:30 a.m. until the last finisher crosses nearly 10 hours later.
The announcers’ team is filled with insight gleaned from years of experience both on the course and behind the mic, and they are as entertaining as informative.
Whit Raymond was the voice of the inaugural XTERRA event (then dubbed “AquaTerra”) back in 1996. His booming voice and impromptu dances are a tradition, and athletes will tell you that hearing Whit announce their name as they cross the finish line is about the sweetest sound on earth.
You can also hear Whit’s voice on more than a dozen of XTERRA’s nationally syndicated TV shows, at all the championship races on the XTERRA America Tour, at Ironman gigs in Japan, Singapore, and China – and of course…in Kona. His string of 15 consecutive years as the play-by-play man at the Ironman World Championship has made him one of the most recognizable figures in triathlon.
Speaking of recognizable, he may be short in stature but Greg Welch is HUGE in the multisport world. “Welchy” has a resume that includes a World Long Distance Championship (1996), Ironman World Championship (1994), World Duathlon Championship (1993), and World Triathlon Championship (1990). He won dozens of big name races and is in the Triathlete and Ironman Hall of Fame, but most importantly – he’s a world-class person.
When he’s behind the mic Greg’s Aussie accent and outrageous sense of humor can stir up even the most sedated crowd. He also has a few XTERRA World Champ races in his back pocket (finished 24th in last attempt back in ’99 and had the fastest run on several occasions despite jumping in the Ocean on his way to the finish) so can speak eloquently and with authority on the challenges athletes endure on the course.
The third and newest member of the team is Kalei “ooooYeeeahh!” Waiwaiole. Born in Hawaii but schooled in Tennessee, Kalei has a rare Midwestern-Hawaiian flavor that is delightful and edgy at the same time. She’s been announcing at Hawaii triathlons since her first gig at the Na Wahine Sprint Triathlon in ’98 and says she’s still in awe to be around inspirational athletes like the ones she meets at XTERRA.
This year the whole world will get to see Kalei as she guides them through the live streaming broadcast of the race on xterraplanet.com.
NEW IN 2008: Today at the XTERRA Partner’s Conference a number of new initiatives were discussed including the inaugural XTERRA Winter World Championship, the Breeder's Choice XTERRA K9 Challenge, XTERRA Gear's future plans with 20 Degrees North, and the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship.
“Winter Worlds” is a first-of-its-kind, uniquely XTERRA multisport race combining the four disciplines of randonnee skiing, mountain biking, running and snowshoeing to be held at the site of the 2002 Olympic downhill competitions at Snowbasin Resort on March 7-9, 2008.
“The XTERRA Winter Championship is another example of how we are using sports to help build the state’s image and economy,” said Jeff Robbins, president & CEO of the Utah Sports Commission – which helped to bring the event to Utah.
Relative to the competitors racing here in Maui - a special “Fire and Ice” award will be presented to the men’s and women’s pro and amateur racers with the fastest combined times in the XTERRA World Championship on Sunday and the XTERRA Winter World Championship in Utah.
The Breeder’s Choice XTERRA K9 Challenge is a race against the clock for teams of dogs and their owners on a spectator-friendly trail run/obstacle course that features a 40-meter speed leg, tunnels dogs have to crawl through, box jumps, speed step-overs, and teeter-totter crossings.
Central Garden & Pet Company’s ultra premium dog food and treat brand, Breeder’s Choice, is the lead sponsor of the event and the K9 Challenge will take place at each of the championship stops on the 2008 XTERRA America Tour.
“Dogs have always had a special relationship with their care takers and more and more people are including their dogs in their everyday family activities,” said Jim Heim, President of the Pet Division of Central Garden & Pet. “This is a totally unique event that encourages people and their dogs to be active, interact with one another and have fun. The beauty of the K9 Challenge is that anyone can participate. It’s not breed specific or limited to highly trained or specialized dogs.”
In addition to the competition, Central and TEAM Unlimited will work together to create exclusive XTERRA K9 Challenge products made especially for active dogs.
20 Degrees North is the new license holder for XTERRA Gear branded performance and lifestyle footwear, apparel, and accessories. The new line will include footwear created by two ex-Nike designers who have also developed products for Puma and Steve & Barry's, including the award-winning Marbury I shoe.
The first products for running, trail running and outdoor training are launching in January at the Outdoor Retailer show.
“XTERRA performance footwear is technically designed to react much like a four-wheel drive rally car. Our unique bottom construction allows for optimal traction, balance and comfort, cushioning, and weight,” said Greg Niel, CEO of 20 Degrees North. “With the onset of the new XTERRA Trail Run Global Series, we have access to the ultimate testing laboratory for trail running.”
Also in 2008 XTERRA is taking trail runs to the extreme with the half-marathon distance “Xduro”. More than a dozen endurance runs across the U.S. and several more around the globe will ready runners for the ultimate Hawaiian experience – the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship at Kualoa Ranch on the island of Oahu.
The inaugural World Championship is scheduled for December 7, 2008, a week before the Honolulu Marathon.
“After 12 years of producing trail runs alongside our XTERRA off-road triathlons we’ve learned that our audience wants a bigger challenge than a 10k,” said TEAM Unlimited CEO Tom Kiely. “What the market told us was to create a series of half-marathons that have a physical challenge parallel to that of a road marathon, but with Mother Nature along for the ride.”
A special edited video presentation from the XTERRA Partners Conference featuring more details on all of the above announcements will be available on demand at xterraplanet.com by tomorrow.
THE SHOW: Just as the international field of athletes stretches out on the shoreline prior to the 9am swim start on Sunday a record number of television cameramen will be positioning themselves all around the course to capture the race action for a one-hour edited sports special to air across the U.S. via national syndication starting in January of 2008.
The TEAM Unlimited television crew has more than 30 cameras in operation on raceday, including point-of-view cams mounted on motorcycles, mountain bikes and jet skis, under-water cameras, and of course the camera on top of the helicopter hovering high above the action. Be it land, air, or sea, the TEAM TV crew will have it covered. To see when it’s on in your area, check out the TV section at xterraplanet.com. Copies of the show will also be available for purchase by late January at xterragear.com.
VIDEO AND PHOTOS: Race footage in beta format and still photography will be made available to all outlets interested. Make arrangements in advance by replying to this email with your request.
XTERRA MAUI INSIGHT FROM THE PROS: We gathered four of the sport's leading pro athletes - Conrad Stoltz, Melanie McQuaid, Josiah Middaugh, and Jamie Whitmore - and asked them a series of training, racing, nutrition, and technical questions specific to the XTERRA World Championship. Their collective advice is insightful, colorful, and sometimes hilarious and we've spliced it all together in a series of six short videos broken down by topic that you can watch on the XTERRA YouTube Channel.
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