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XTERRA Across America
Brent Bieshaar's odyssey to compete in an XTERRA triathlon every week of the 2013 season
Imagine if this was your race schedule (see below) … an XTERRA America Tour event EVERY weekend for the entire season. That amounts to 23 races in a span of 24 weekends.
Brent Bieshaar (pictured) is striving to become the first athlete to complete such an amazing feat. He will enter the XTERRA Miami on March 17, and will follow that with an XTERRA race every weekend until the XTERRA Buffalo Creek on August 24. The only break is on Memorial Day weekend, when no races are scheduled.
After that regular season is completed, he plans to focus on the XTERRA USA Championship in September, then the XTERRA World Championship in October.
All told, Bieshaar has an unprecedented 25 races in 18 states on his docket for 2013. The 48-year-old father of two from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, is the two-time 45-49 division XTERRA Mountain Region champ.
“It’s going to be a wild ride,” said Bieshaar, who was ultimately pushed into the odyssey on a dare from his brother.
“I kept talking about doing this in terms of a bucket list item, saying ‘someday’. Well, I said someday one too many times for my brother, who challenged me by replying that “I had the talking part down.”
And that was all it took to turn a dream into an actual plan.
“I can use frequent flier points for most of the flights. My Summit status with Frontier Airlines will enable the bike to fly for free. I figure I can do the whole season using just five vacation days. Some weekends there are several races to choose from, and some there’s just one – so that’s where I’ll go.”
Bieshaar will use the attention garnered by his expedition to help raise awareness for the Blazeman Foundation - a family-run non-profit named after the late Jon Blais. Blais’ courageous battle against Lou Gehrig’s disease inspired a generation of triathletes when he became the first person with ALS to finish the Ironman World Championship in 2005.
“I selected the Blazeman Foundation and the war on ALS for a number of reasons, chief among them is my friend and former high school teammate Don Young who has been diagnosed with ALS. His positive outlook and determination to make the most of his time has made quite an impression on me,” said Bieshaar, who had a special kit made with “War on ALS” emblazoned on the back along with the foundation saying “So Others May Live.”
Interestingly, this is only Bieshaar’s third year of triathlon. He did his first race at XTERRA Indian Peaks in 2010, got the bug and discovered Cody Waite’s EPC endurance coaching and racing team shortly after.
“I love the trails and being off the road. I like that the challenge is different at every race, and I love the EPC group. I’ve been training with them year round. They are so encouraging and you always have someone to train with,” said Bieshaar.
Bieshaar also has the support of his wife Paula, and sons Ryan, 26, and Danny, 23.
“They love that I’m doing this and are planning on attending a few races. My wife, who is a trail ultra-marathoner, has always been extremely supportive. She is helping me out with the blog and facebook posts as I go and is really behind the Blazeman Foundation as well.”
Bieshaar’s journey is the latest example of an XTERRA athlete putting the “Live More” lifestyle to the test. Through the years, XTERRA has encouraged and marveled at other adventurous souls:
There was the pioneer Dennis Fox, who after finishing his tour of duty in 1999 spent his last Army paycheck on entry fees to all the stops on the XTERRA America Tour. He lived his dream that year - going to all 11 races from coast-to-coast, including the world championship in Maui.
We fondly remember the summer of 2007 when Will Kelsay embarked on a 12-race, 12,000-mile XTERRA journey in a beat-up RV. He was on the road for 83 straight days (would’ve been longer but Will went broke, and so did the RV).
Most recently we’ve been celebrating the unbridled enthusiasm of young Aussie pro Ben Allen and his girlfriend Jacqui Slack as they traveled to more than a dozen XTERRA’s around the world in pursuit of their passion.
Now add Bieshaar to the list of the ambitious few who push the envelope of possibilities and capture our imagination.
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