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Meet the XTERRA Age Group World Champs
Ruben Ruzafa and Julie Dibens grabbed the headlines for winning the pro divisions of the XTERRA World Championship on Oct. 26, but there were also 24 amateur athletes that won world titles that day. The U.S. boasted the most champs with 12, followed by Austria with three, the United Kingdom and Germany with two, and one each from France, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia, and Canada. Here's more on this year's age group XTERRA World Champions:
15-19 - Julian Langer (Vienna, Austria) 3:01:35 – This Austrian high school student earned his spot in Maui by qualifying at XTERRA Austria back in August. He came out of the water in 147th place, but after posting the 27th fastest bike overall and having the fastest run in his age group, the young gun finished 36th overall and 9th among amateurs.
20-24 - Francois Carloni (Saint Raphael, France) 2:54:26 – By watching the race, one might have thought Francois Carloni was racing in the pro division since they were his closest competition. Back home he's a car salesman, but in Maui he was a multisport machine. Carloni was in 34th place after the swim, then had the 13th fastest bike and was in the mix with triathlon’s best athletes in only his second XTERRA ever. “I’m usually a good mountain biker, but I don’t run very well” he said. However, with such a strong lead after the bike, Carloni was able to hold on during the run to finish as the top amateur and place 20th overall.
25-29 - Peter Hawkins (London, United Kingdom) 2:58:24 – Coming out of the race with one of the day's most memorable stories (he was almost hit by a charging stampede of deer), Peter Hawkins emerged from the trails unhurt and finished 5th among amateurs (30th overall).
30-34 - James Walsh (Carlsbad, CA) 2:55:17 – James Walsh had an unbelievable race at this year’s XTERRA World Championship. After three years of racing and training, he accomplished his goal of being crowned an XTERRA World Champion and was 2nd overall in the amateur division (top American). Walsh was out of the water in 131st and from there blew past the competition with his age group’s fastest bike and run times. He finished nearly 10 minutes ahead of last year’s 30-34 champ Alexander Eiler.
35-39 - Patrick Harvey (Auckland, New Zealand) 2:59:46 – This software company owner qualified for Maui at the XTERRA New Zealand event. Having solid races in all three legs, Harvey finished the XTERRA World Championship in a strong 33rd place overall and was almost 4 minutes faster than this division’s reigning champ Laurent Beuzeboc. “I had a good day. Last year I had two flat tires, so I was very happy with the way today went” he said after the race.
40-44 - Dirk Pauling (Rupperswil, Switzerland) 2:56:24 – With his age group’s fastest swim time, Dirk Pauling was off to a good start in securing his first XTERRA World Championship title. The cement plant engineer has raced in Maui two other times placing 4th and 2nd, so he was thrilled to finally be able to stand on top of the podium. “This is a mean event, but I like it now since after my third time I know the course and know where to turn” he said. Pauling finished 25th overall and 3rd in the amateur division.
45-49 - Tom Lyons (Reno, NV) 3:13:51 – Tom Lyons won his unprecedented 7th XTERRA World Championship title this year in Maui, breaking the previous record of six titles he shared with Honolulu's Wendy Minor. This year Lyons had his age group’s fastest bike split, the key to many of his wins. Lyons also won the XTERRA USA Championship for the 7th time and his regional championship for the 8th time this year, making him unquestionable the best big-race amateur in XTERRA history.
50-54 - Franz Pretzl (Teublitz, Germany) 3:23:00 – Qualifying at the XTERRA Czech Championship, Franz Pretzl easily won his 2008 XTERRA World Champion title by having the his age group’s fastest bike time and its 2nd fastest run. A Harbor Terminal Policeman, Pretzl said “I had a good, smooth race. I am very happy with my finish.”
55-59 - Randy Beckner (Helena, MT) 3:26: 32 – Just weeks after being crowned a 2008 XTERRA National Champion in Lake Tahoe, Randy Beckner made his way to Maui to see if he could take home double titles at the XTERRA World Championship. This restaurant owner proved dominance in his age group by finishing with the fastest time in all three legs of the competition to come in more than 22 minutes ahead of the runner-up.
60-64 - Bruce Wacker (Colorado Springs, CO) 4:02:08 – Bruce Wacker was seen all over the 2008 XTERRA circuit qualifying for XTERRA Worlds at multiple events such as the XTERRA Southeast, Mountain, and Brazil Championships. He was also crowned a 2008 XTERRA National Champion in Lake Tahoe, and although retired still flies and works on his own airplane. “This was my first time in Maui, and it was a very tough race. I will definitely know what I need to do for next year” Wacker said after the race.
65-69 - Peter Wood (La Jolla, CA) 4:09:11 – This was Peter Wood’s 5th XTERRA World Championship title. Coming out of the water second in his age group, the 65-year old kicked it into gear to have the fastest bike and run splits of the day in his category. Wood crossed the finish line more than 20 minutes ahead of his nearest competitor.
70+ Manfred Klittich (Eschborn, Germany) 5:18:25 – Competing as the oldest athlete at the XTERRA World Championship, 71-year old Manfred Klittich was able to cross the finish line more than 30 minutes ahead of runner-up and this year’s XTERRA USA Champion Nathaniel Grew. Klittich, who also competed in the Ironman World Championship just two weeks earlier, had the fastest bike and run splits in his age group. “This was a fun race. I’m not sure I was up to my top performance after the Ironman, but I had a good race today” he said.
Physically Challenged - David Kyle (Athens, AL) 4:59:04 – David Kyle, who has multiple sclerosis, won the men’s physically challenged division in just under 5 hours. Kyle had the fastest bike and run times in his division to cross the finish line five minutes ahead of his competition.
15-19 - Charlotte McShane (Mount Taylor, Australia) 3:35:01 – This 18-year old high school student came to Maui to race in her first XTERRA World Championship with father Frank and brother Stephen, 16. All three competitors had a great day of racing, but it was Charlotte who went home with the title of XTERRA World Champion. Not only did she have the fastest swim and run splits in her age group, she was the 10th woman overall out of the water, 13th fastest female runner of the day and took 2nd place overall among amateur women. She commented that the course was “tough but very fun” and joked about wanting to do it again the next day.
20-24 - Erin Kummer (Boulder, CO) 3:36:31 – Already a 2008 XTERRA National Champion, Erin Kummer came to Maui with her sights set on a world title. Leaving the water in 1st place in her age group and 17th woman, Kummer was off to a great start and never looked back. She had her age group’s fastest splits in all three legs and won her division by nearly 30 minutes and placed 3rd overall amateur.
25-29 - Emma Smith (London, United Kingdom) 3:40:25 – This UK lawyer had a wide range of emotions when she crossed the finish line at this year’s event. She had the fastest bike time in her age group and finished seven minutes ahead of her closest competitor, but Smith had some rough luck on the run course. “Unfortunately I hit a tree while running in the spooky forest section and broke my nose” she said. Able to battle through the pain, she finished 22nd overall among women.
30-34 - Dominique Angerer (Elsbethen, Austria) 3:44:43 – After qualifying at the XTERRA Czech Championship, Dominique Angerer was on her way to competing in this year’s XTERRA World Championship. However, a bit of bad luck struck, and her luggage was lost on the way over to Maui including all her racing gear. “I did not get my bike equipment until Saturday night, so I wasn’t even sure until that moment that I was going to be able to race” she said. Luckily everything arrived, and she was able to come in 21st overall for the women and take 1st place in her division.
35-39 - Sarah McMahan (Incline Village, NV) 3:45:04 – This mother of 2-year old twins claimed the title of 2008 XTERRA World Championship just weeks after she was crowned XTERRA National Champion in Lake Tahoe. McMahan had the fastest bike split for her age group and was even able to beat her husband Ross by more than 3 minutes. “I had a great race today. My husband had two flat tires, and I saw him trying to fix one of them while I was running my bike in. I felt badly for him but instead of helping him, I just said oh well and left him in the dust” she said at the awards ceremony that night. Good thing she did because she ended up winning her division by less than a minute margin.
40-44 - Keri Grosse (Leavenworth, WA) 3:34:04 – Not only did Keri Grosse out-race every woman in her age group to win the XTERRA World Champion title, she came in 15th for the women overall and had the fastest time of the day for the women’s amateur division. This physical therapist and mother qualified for Maui at the XTERRA Mountain Championship but was also crowned an XTERRA National Champion a few weeks before her trip to Hawaii. She had the fastest run split for her division, and with solid swim and bike segments, Grosse was able to edge out 18-year old Charlotte McShane for fastest amateur woman by less than a minute.
45-49 - Ulrike Striednig (Klagenfurt, Austria) 3:53:56 – This financial controller qualified for her Maui spot at XTERRA Italy in June. Edging out women’s 45-49 division reigning champion Meiling Yee by just 12 seconds, Ulrike Striednig was able to run her way to XTERRA victory. Behind after the swim and bike legs of the race, Striednig kicked it into high gear and was able to take 1st with the fastest run in her division, 16th fastest overall for the women. “I can’t swim very well, so that part of the course was tough. The bike course was also very challenging, so winning was very exciting” she said.
50-54 - Beverly Enslow (Metamora, IL) 3:55:47 – This is the third time XTERRA has named Beverly Enslow a World Champion. Winning the 45-49 division in 2002 and taking the 50-54 division last year as well, Enslow has proven herself as a tough competitor. She also won her division at this year’s XTERRA National Championship at the beginning of October and officially qualified for Worlds at the XTERRA West Championship. In Maui, she had the fastest run and bike splits for her division and was able to triumph over long-time XTERRA athlete Barbara Peterson by more than 6 minutes. “I race 22-24 times a year, and I was pleased with the way this race started out. I had a good mountain bike and tried to keep a steady pace. I held back a little so I had something left for the run. Wow, that was tough” she said.
55-59 - Beverly Watson (Priddis, Alberta, Canada) 4:19:39 – Beverly Watson claimed her XTERRA World Champion title by putting up the fastest times in her division’s swim and run legs to finish less than two minutes ahead of her nearest competitor. She is currently working on getting her commercial pilot’s license, is a world champion skydiver and is an avid mountain climber, which she claims is a main factor in her training. “Cindi (Toepel – 2nd place in this division) is a really strong competitor, so I was excited when I saw her ahead of me and was able to take over the lead” Watson commented.
60+ Kathy Frank (Bend, OR) 5:51:52 – Qualifying at the XTERRA West Championship, Kathy Frank can now brag that she is an XTERRA World Champion. A nurse in Bend, Oregon, Kathy was the only woman in her division able to complete this event. “The course was hard. I had a good swim but felt very slow on the bike. It is just an honor to be an XTERRA World Champion” she beamed after receiving her award.
Physically Challenged - Megan Fisher (Missoula, MT) 5:09:47 – This 25-year old below knee amputee was the first female challenged athlete to ever race at the XTERRA World Championship. Megan works as a certified athletic trainer but is currently in school at the University of Montana to be an orthopedic surgeon. She lost her leg in a car accident at the age of 19 and started racing just 11 months afterward; her goal is to be a professional athlete. Just three years ago, Megan was told she would never walk again, and after finishing one of triathlon’s most grueling events, she is an inspiration to all.
REGISTRATION FOR XTERRA TRAIL RUN WORLDS IN THE HEART OF WAIKIKI DEC. 5-6
While the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship race will immerse participants in an authentic old-time Hawaii experience at Kualoa Ranch, racers will also get the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of Waikiki as registration, packet pick-up and XTERRA University clinics will be held at the Waikiki Beachwalk on Lewers Street from 12-9pm on Friday, Dec. 5 and 10a-6pm on Saturday, Dec. 6.
The main event, an adventurous off-road half-marathon, has attracted some of the top runners from around the U.S. as well as some international standouts. Max King, who won XTERRA Trail Run Nationals in Bend, OR in late September, is currently America's frontrunner to be the first-ever XTERRA Trail Run World Champ come December 7.
NEW VIDEOS AT XTERRA.TV
Highlights from the XTERRA World Championship in Maui are available now at XTERRA.TV. Other recently posted videos include tributes to XTERRA Warrior Jamie Whitmore, Hall of Fame inductee Jimmy Riccitello, and highlight clips from the '08 Global Tour, XTERRA USA Championship, and XTERRA Trail Run Nationals.
CNN HIGHLIGHTS NEW XTERRA TRAIL RUNNING SHOES
The new XTERRA Trail Running shoe and its designers Ashley Brown and T.J. Gray were featured in an exclusive piece written by Maggie Overfelt for CNNMoney.com. You can read the full article here.
XTERRA SPONSORS, ATHLETES RALLY FOR J-DAWG IN MAUI
Jeff Robbins of the Utah Sports Commission, Julie Solwold from Paul Mitchell, and Eric Lee from Zorrel led the charge in fundraising efforts for Jamie Whitmore at the XTERRA World Championship last month. While XTERRA's all-time winningest athlete wasn't able to race for the title in Maui because she's in a much bigger battle with cancer at the moment, that didn't stop her from making her presence felt. This was the first chance for many of "J-Dawg's" friends from around the world to embrace their fellow racer, and they did so in droves by wearing J-Dawg Crew tee shirts, getting their head shaved to raise money for Jamie at the Paul Mitchell Cut-a-thon, and giving her a standing ovation at the pre-race dinner. Jamie was seen around the world as a color commentator for the live coverage on XTERRA.TV, and husband Courtney Cardenas won them both return tickets on Hawaiian Airlines by winning the costume contest at the Halloween Party with an impressive Michael Jackson imitation (complete with dance moves).
Media can keep up with Jamie at www.jamiewhitmore.com.
MASON, HUSH WIN BATTLE AT BIG CREEK TRAIL RUN
Nealy 300 runners ranging in age from 11 to 68 lined up at the start line of the XTERRA Battle at Big Creek 3.5 and 7-mile trail runs in Roswell, Georgia on Saturday.
In the 7-mile race Greg Mason, 28, posted the fastest time of the day in 52:58 to edge out 38-year old runner-up Jeff Campbell by just under a minute. Stefanie Hush, 20, won the women’s race in 1:08:04 leading over her closest competitor Cristine Schulz, 36, who came in at 1:15:32.
Drew Griffin, 33, won the men’s 3.5-mile event with his time of 30:27 with Andrew Whetten, just 15, taking second place in 31:49. Lauren Sutterfield, 27, blew away her competition in the women’s race crossing the finish line in 34:35, more than 8 minutes ahead of 46-year old Jill Sechrest.
The XTERRA Battle at Big Creek is just one of the three races added to the XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series for the 2008-09 season. “This was the toughest run any of us has ever done, but it was also one of the most fun” said Rochelle Doyle who ran the race with her family.
The next opportunity for runners to compete in the Georgia Trail Run Series is the XTERRA Thrill in the Hills 21km Trail Run on February 28 in Winder.
Complete race results are attached and more information can be found online at www.xterratrailrun.com.
XTERRA TOPANGA TURKEY TROT UP NEXT...
Just two days after a holiday of family and feasting, SoCal runners can hit the trails to burn off those Thanksgiving meals at the XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot Trail Runs on November 29th.
Taking place at Trippet Ranch in Los Angeles' Topanga State Park, runners will be able to choose from three courses including 5km, 10km and 15km distances. Topanga State Park is located within the cliffs and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains, and with 36 miles of trails, the park is considered the world's largest wildlife area within a major city's limits.
Significant elevation gains in each of the races will challenge athletes as they navigate their way through the wild canyons, open grasslands, and variety of geologic formations. Training runs are available for both beginner and advanced runners throughout the month and are open to everyone.
The XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot will be the second race in the 2008-09 XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series. After a sold out race at the XTERRA Point Mugu Trail Run at the end of September, runners are eager to get back on the XTERRA trails to earn points toward their series totals for their chance to be crowned an XTERRA SoCal Regional Champion and win free entry to next year's XTERRA Trail Running National Championship in Bend, Oregon.
Coming up on December 7, 2008, runners also have the opportunity to run in the inaugural XTERRA Trail Running World Championship at Kualoa Ranch on the beautiful Hawaiian island of Oahu. No qualification is necessary for this historic event, and all are welcome. For more information, visit www.xterratrailrun.com or call 877-XTERRA-1.
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