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XTERRA Makes its Debut in Nebraska and XPS Weekend Roundup
Ed Oliver and Kaelly Simpson won the XTERRA B.O.L.T. (Branched Oak Lake) off-road triathlon in Raymond, Nebraska on Saturday – the first-ever XTERRA in the state. Race director Jared Carlson brings us this report:
Nebraska's first off-road triathlon was welcomed with a spectacular greeting. "It was 4am and somebody started banging on the garage door with a sledgehammer and then proceeded to come into my bedroom and flick the lights on and off. As I woke from my slumber, I realized there wasn't someone playing games with me, it was just a severe thunderstorm wreaking havoc on Nebraska" said Carlson.
Apprehension levels were high as the storm raged on through the morning creating a muddy wonderland for over a hundred brave souls.
Around 7am the heavens opened up and cleared as if to grant permission to continue on with the masochistic festivities. Part of the aftermath of the storm shut down interstate I-80 with an accident which left 30 of the would be competitors at a stand still for over an hour. The couple inches of rain caused not only changes in most participants pre-race routines, but also caused some re-routing of the course.
Despite all the opposition, when the air horn blared the athletes charged into the water creating a virtual washing machine for spectators to watch. The athletes then swam the 1000 meter two lap course to try and gain good position before having to traverse the 14.3 mile mountain bike course and 4.5 mile trail run. Muddy mayhem then ensued taking its toll on everyone daring to answer its challenge. One of the casualties of the course, was the bike of XTERRA pro Brandon Jessop. After breaking a spoke and messing up his derailleur instead of calling it quits on the course, he began to carry his bike. According to Jessop, he was just having too much fun to not be able to finish the race.
Carol Niemann made a fake wincing expression every time the announcer yelled out her age, to which she always received an enormous response from the crowd. Being 64 years young just sent a message to all of the spectators, that you're only as old as you want to be. Kaelly Simpson after breaking her arm earlier this season, decided to buy a mountain bike the week before the race to see if off-road triathlons were everything she hoped they were. She wasn't disappointed as she won the overall women's race and collected over $200 in gift certificates to Cycle Works bike shop.
It was stories like these that abounded and left an impression to all that participated that XTERRA embodies the spirit of strength. The strength to adapt and overcome any obstacles that are put in your way....even if they happen to be in Nebraska. Full Results.
GRIESER, SHONNY V WIN CAMP EAGLE
Long-time XTERRA amateur standout Kyle Grieser held off America’s fastest XTERRA female, Shonny Vanlandingham, by 28 seconds to win the overall at the Pure Austin Fitness XTERRA Camp Eagle off-road triathlon on Sunday in Rock Springs, Texas.
“Race was epic, an adventure for sure,” said Shonny V (pictured below). “ Kyle and I were together with a half mile to go, and at the fourth water crossing I fell in … and he didn't. That’s where he gapped me and won by 30 seconds. Darn Boys.”
The 40-year-young part-time Texan went on to say that “swimming in the spring fed Nueces River was refreshing. Midway we climbed ladders up the damn and continued the swim and exited to climb 100 ft of stairs. The bike course was technical, the last section being down a ravine.”
“The real competition started after the race, when the twin 100 ft water slides saw some serious battles.” Full Results.
SHONNY V IN AUSTIN THIS WEEKEND
Shonny Vanlandingham, a former Div. I basketball star at East Texas State University, is racing at XTERRA Austin on Sunday and here is her preview:
“There is a combination $1000 prize purse for the top 3 men and women for XTERRA Camp Eagle and XTERRA Austin this weekend. XTERRA Austin is actually a wetsuit swim in a cold natural spring fed river. That will feel good since it’s 100 degrees down here. The bike is a challenging ride with lots of rocks hops and wheelie drops (if you have the nerve). There is a Mr. or Ms. Clean award for who ride the most technical sections. These Texans know how to ride. And, Oh yeah, my sponsor, Kona Brew, will provide suds for the race. Nice!”
VINE, TOBIN WIN XTERRA PORTLAND
XTERRA Pros Mike Vine and Jenny Tobin (pictured here courtesy Brian Conaghan Photography) won the overall titles at XTERRA Portland in Forest Grove, Oregon on Saturday while Matt Berg and Sheri Foster won the amateur crowns.
Vine finished nearly four minutes ahead of Branden Rakita (Berg was 3rd overall), followed by Will Kelsay and Jeff Smith. See Full Results here.
SCOTT, ENSLOW WIN AGAIN IN INDIANA
Chris Scott and Beverly Enslow (pictured) won their second XTERRA Dino off-road triathlon in as many weeks on Saturday, this time in Logansport, Indiana (last week was Versailles). See full results.
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