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Bozzone Racing at XTERRA New Zealand
The seventh running of the XTERRA New Zealand Championship race is just 10 days away on April 18 and once again the event has lured big crowds and big names to Rotorua.
One of triathlon's rising stars Terenzo Bozzone (pictured) from Auckland, NZ, the reigning Ironman 70.3 World Champ, will return to defend his title. The 29-year-old recently finished 2nd in his first-ever full-distance Ironman in Taupo. Bozzone had a stellar 2008 with five wins and two runner-ups to bring his career win total to 18.
Bozzone's main competition should come from local multisport legend Richard Ussher (also from Auckland) who is a 3-time Coast-to-Coast Champion, 1998 Winter Olympian (moguls), and 5th place finisher at Ironman NZ. Also in the mix is last year's runner-up "Cabin" Leishman from Raetihi.
A pair of Olympic gold medalists in Sarah Ulmer and Hamish Carter (who won this race from 2004-2006) will also take part in the festivities. Ulmer will be doing the 11km trail run with her friends and family while Carter will be taking part in the mountain bike race as part of the team.
XTERRA New Zealand annually hosts more than 2,000 athletes in what is considered the world’s largest single day XTERRA off-road triathlon festival with competitors choosing from walking, running, mountain biking as well as the individual and team XTERRA events.
NEW FOR 2009, XTERRA TEAM COMPETITION
The new “MelRad Racing Team”, a collection of 20-some amateurs racing under the wings of Conrad Stoltz and Melanie McQuaid, has inspired XTERRA to create a team competition for the eight XTERRA Cup Series races and National Championship in 2009.
In this first year the team competition will be a no-frills affair with nothing more at stake than bragging rights.
As such, XTERRA is encouraging individuals to join forces as a team with friends and family, other racers in their region, triathlon club, mountain bike group, facebook page, or whatever.
To register a team, the group leader or captain needs to email XTERRA communications director Ann Mickey at email@example.com with the following:
1) name of team (keep it clean!)
Scoring: For scoring purposes, teams must designate four amateur athletes from at least three different divisions (all men, all women, co-ed, it doesn't matter).
Each of the teams four designated racers will be scored on their finishing position in their division with points as follows: 1st (100), 2nd (90), 3rd (82), 4th (75), 5th (69), 6th (63), 7th (58), 8th (53), 9th (49), 10th (45). In addition, each member will receive an additional point for every finisher in their division (for example, Joe Schmo finishes 1st in the 35-39 age group = 100pts, and there were 15 finishers in the 35-39 division so Joe's score is 100 + 15 = 115).
Add together all four team members’ scores and the squad with the most points wins. We’ll announce the results online as soon as possible after the event.
There are no major rules, aside from signing up your team with Ann Mickey at least one week prior to the race in question, and handing Dave Nicholas (or the race director) the names and age groups of your four designated racers prior to the race start. Of course, it would be cool if teams had unique jerseys, shirts, hats, outfits or something that unified the group – but for this first year that won’t be mandatory.
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND MADNESS IN ALABAMA
The XTERRA America Tour will celebrate Memorial Day Weekend at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama (just outside of Birmingham) with the XTERRA Southeast Cup on Sat., May 23rd.
The championship distance race features a 1.5 kilometer swim, 29km mountain bike and 10km trail run. There is $10,000 in prize money, bigger points, and qualifying slots into the XTERRA World Championship in Maui up for grabs.
All the big names in XTERRA like Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz from South Africa, Melanie McQuaid from Canada, Nico Lebrun from France, and Shonny Vanlandingham from the USA will be there battling for their share of the money and fame up for grabs on the sweetest single track in the southeast.
Stoltz, a three-time XTERRA World Champ and two-time Olympian, says Bama has “one of the best XTERRA courses on the whole circuit.” That can be attributed to the Oak Mountain “red trail” - lauded by competitors from all over the world as one of the most fun, technical and scenic mountain bike trails they’ve ever ridden. Mix in a warm water swim at Double Oak Lake and a tree-lined up-and-down trail run and you’ve got a world-class setting for the nation’s leading off-road triathlon.
Plus, there are also relay team, half-distance course, and Duathlon races available, and last year in mid-May it was 71-degrees and sunny on race day. For runners, there’s a 5km walk, 5km and 10km trail runs, and a 21km off-road half-marathon, all to benefit Children’s Hospital of Alabama, on Sunday, May 24.
Competitors are encouraged to support Shelby County and stay in Pelham - only minutes from the park. Choice Hotels offers XTERRA athletes a great discount at a variety of Pelham hotels. Visit www.choicesportstravel.com and provide the XTERRA Special Rate ID: 00224890 to get discounted rates.
“This venue is the model for big XTERRA races,” said XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas. “It’s the perfect spot for a family weekend and with all our competitors camping and hiking and enjoying the atmosphere together – it’ll be a one-of-a-kind experience.”
Easy to get to and from Birmingham (and Atlanta is just two hours away). The course, this community, and this race will not disappoint. Learn more.
MICHELA ROSSI VICTIM OF ITALY EARTHQUAKE
Michela Rossi, a 37-year-old from L'Aquila, Italy, was one of the 283 casualties in the devastating earthquake in central Italy earlier this week, according to her friend and travel companion Roberto Del Sol.
"Michela died on Sunday night, laid under the debris of her house in L'Aquila during the dreadful earthquake which is destroying the region," said Del Sol.
Rossi (pictured) finished 3rd in her age group at the inaugural XTERRA Trail Running World Championship in Hawaii in December, and went on to race in the Honolulu Marathon the following weekend. She had just returned from a half-marathon in Milan.
GARDNER, DIBENS WIN IN GUAM
2008 XTERRA Japan Champ Sam Gardner (pictured above in Marunuma last year) of the United Kingdom took home top honors at XTERRA Guam on Saturday followed by fellow Brit Jim McConnel. In the women's race two-time XTERRA World Champ Julie Dibens edged three-time XTERRA Euro Tour Champ Renata Bucher. All four of those athletes are now on Saipan training for the annual championship race in the Northern Mariana Islands next weekend, April 18.
5K FUN RUN FOR JAMIE IN BOULDER ON APRIL 19TH
As XTERRA superstar Jamie Whitmore continues her battle against Cancer, her friends, family, sponsors and fans continue to find ways to help with the ever-increasing cost of her medical care.
Zeal Optics is hosting the "5k fun run for Jamie" at their Boulder, Colorado office on Sunday, April 19th at 10 a.m. It's just $10 to enter (all of that goes to Jamie) and includes post run food and two raffle tickets for the $1,000 worth of great prizes that were donated for the event. Learn more and register here.
"J-Dawg" continues to be an inspiration to all of those around her. Check out her most recent post and find other ways to help at www.jamiewhitmore.com.
ALSO OF NOTE...
Thirty-four professional athletes are confirmed for the XTERRA West Cup in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 2, including all of the top 7 men and women from the 2008 XTERRA Pro Series, mountain bike turned triathlon legend Steve Larsen (pictured above), 2005 XTERRA World Champ Nicolas Lebrun from France, and Ironman standout Jasper Blake from Canada.
...Brent McMahon, who was 3rd at the 2008 XTERRA World Championship, won the Ironman New Orleans 70.3 last weekend.
...Endorphin Fitness is hosting an XTERRA Skills Camp to prepare races for the XTERRA Atlantic Cup in Richmond, VA on May 9-10. Learn more at www.endorphinfitness.com.
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