Paterson Laguna Beach

The Braveheart Beats the Boys at Inaugural XTERRA Laguna Beach

Two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson took it to the entire field on Sunday at the inaugural XTERRA Laguna Beach off-road triathlon, including the men.

“What an awesome day!” Paterson posted to her Facebook page after the race.  “Amazingly organized, brilliant course and TONS of local friends, Bravehearters, and family there sharing in the love, not to mention getting to race with hubby. First time ever to win overall and beat all the boys….”

The “Scottish Rocket” had the best bike and run splits and a winning time of 2:23:38 that was more than six-minutes faster than runner-up Gavin Klinger. (Full results)

“I came out the swim top ten about three minutes down,” explained Paterson. “I then clawed it all back on the bike up the sandy steep climbs and came in to transition just one-second down! I ran in to the lead after half-mile and never looked back! What was funny on the run was the fact there was a sprint race and thus a 5K turnaround. The marshal saw me and assumed I was doing the sprint race because there was no way I’d be leading the full! I was shouting, no I’m doing the 10k! They gasped! Oh man it was priceless!”

Being able to race alongside her husband Simon, at least momentarily, was also priceless.

“Si was doing a relay, the bike portion, and his swimmer was the same speed as me so we went out on the bike together. He was like….so this is how hard u go…to which I replied, “Yup” then shoved it in a big gear and climbed away from him.”

The fact that Paterson had a strong bike is a good sign as she turns her focus and drive into making the Great Britain Olympic mountain biking team.

“I’m now off to do the next two U.S. Cup mountain bike races in Colorado and Missouri, then Switzerland to do my first world cup!” exclaimed Paterson. “I actually started a go fund me site to help pay for it all because it’s so darn expensive!”

To help Paterson pave her way to the Rio Olympics visit http://www.gofundme.com/patersonic

Ben Collins by N2Photo

Ben Collins to Race XTERRA in Richmond

Photo: Ben Collins by N2Photo

Professional triathlete Ben Collins says he loves an adventure.

“I live by the mantra “do it for the story” which I use as a reason to do things that are likely to fail. A good story never came easy,” he explained.

Prophetic words, especially considering he’ll be racing his first XTERRA as a pro next Sunday (June 14) at the East Championship in Richmond, Virginia – home to the sports most adventurous urban course.

“I’m really looking forward to a challenge at XTERRA,” said Collins, who won the LifeTime Tri Toyota Triple Crown just last October. “I can’t wait to give it a shot, and I know it’s going to be a humbling experience against guys that are way better than me on technical terrain. Jamie Whitmore was giving me some advice after our road race last Sunday and warned me that Richmond will be a really hard introduction to off-road triathlon. Luckily, she also offered to give me some advice on course specifics. It’s pretty cool that a world champion is that willing to share secrets and help the next generation. I hear that’s the culture I’m going to find throughout XTERRA, and I look forward to it.”

Interestingly enough, Collins beginnings as a triathlete featured an XTERRA race not far from its worldwide headquarters on Oahu.

“Back in 2005 I did the XTERRA Mountainman off-road race in Hawaii at Kualoa Ranch. It was one of my first ever triathlons,” said Collins. “I was visiting my uncle and borrowed a 1982 Nashiki with no suspension. Luckily, the course was so wet and rooted that even the top guys were running a good portion of the bike leg, and I wasn’t quite as outgunned as if they’d stayed in the saddle. It was really fun, and I intended to do more off-road triathlon, but then I got sidetracked for a decade racing ITU, non-drafting and the world of on-road triathlon.”

The 31-year-old, originally from Seattle, is currently working on his MBA in entrepreneurship, marketing and analytic management at the University of Chicago. Between studies and the weather, it hasn’t been easy getting ready for XTERRA.

“It’s been a tough spring in Chicago for mountain biking,” said Collins. “Since it got warmer the trails haven’t been dry enough to ride more than a day or two at a time, and I haven’t gotten out to Palos once. Last Sunday I was able to get out on some trails in Chattanooga after racing paracycling nationals as a tandem pilot. Aaron Scheidies and I won the road race on Sunday then borrowed a tandem mountain bike and went out for a spin through the park’s single track system. It was a blast!”

Collins is sure to have a blast on the wildly diverse terrain in Richmond next Sunday n a course that features the city and its jungles, bridges, graveyards, railroads, rapids, ramps, rocks, rivers, flood walls, tunnels, murals, and some really raucous, costumed fans that bbq and party at the toughest sections of the trail.

Here’s a look at the tentative start list for the XTERRA East Champs and who Collins will be up against on June 14:

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
2 – Chris Ganter – 36, Boise, ID
3 – Craig Evans – 37, Hendersonville, TN
4 – Branden Rakita – 34, Colorado Springs, CO
5 – Alex Modestou – 28, Durham, NC
6 – Brad Zoller – 37, Avon, CO
8 – Braden Currie – 28, Wanaka, NZL
9 – Ryan Ignatz – 36, Boulder, CO
11 – Olly Shaw – 23, Rotorua, NZL
12 – Karsten Madsen – 23, Guelph, Ontario, CAN
NR – Ben Collins – 31, Chicago, Illinois
NR – Ian King – 25, Virginia Beach, VA

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
2 – Emma Garrard – 33, Park City, UT
3 – Suzie Snyder – 33, Fredericksburg, VA
4 – Kara LaPoint – 28, Truckee, CA
6 – Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, CO
7 – Sara McLarty – 32, Clermont, FL
8 – Debby Sullivan – 33, Rocklin, CA
10 – Catherine Sterling – 38, Ayer, MA
11 – Brittany Webster – 27, Canmore, Alberta, CAN
12 – Christine Jeffrey – 42, Tucson, AZ
13 – Rebecca Blatt – 35, Lakewood, CO
17 – Emily Bashton – 35, Richmond, VA
NR – Flora Duffy – 27, Devonshire, Bermuda

Rank = Position in XTERRA U.S. Pro Series after two
NR = Not Ranked in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series

Rally Around Knoxville

Rally Around Knoxville

It’s a big day and a big weekend for mountain bikers and XTERRA racers in and around Knoxville, Tennessee.

Foremost, today is the last day to cast a vote to help the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club crew secure a $100,000 trail building grant from Bell.  Go here: http://www.bellhelmets.com/bellbuilt.html and select the urban wilderness gravity trail project scheduled for downtown Knoxville.

Then, this weekend the XTERRA Trail Run and Triathlon series is in full swing with runs on Saturday and the triathlon on Sunday.  The good folks and organizers Ryan and Ani from Dirty Bird Events even got some TV time on their local news to promote the races (watch the segment here).

Plasencia-ViewWeb

XTERRA Spain in Extremedura on Sunday

The third of 12 stops on the XTERRA European Tour will take place Sunday in Extremedura, Spain. We checked in with XTERRA’s managing director Dave Nicholas, who arrived yesterday, to see how thing’s are shaping up…

“The Spanish Province of Extremadura is not well known. XTERRA athletes might recall it was the home of the first ITU Cross Triathlon Championship in 2011 and our athletes had a great weekend. This state sits west in Spain and borders Portugal. Our city of Plasencia is about 2-1/2 hours south of Madrid.

Plasencia is a beautiful, old walled city with lots of history. Nobility started moving here in the 15th century because the weather is temperate, the Jerte River flows though and it had an important location along La Ruta de la Plata (Silver Route). With its wealth came big churches, wide plazas, and grand buildings.

For XTERRA it means a very urban event where the start, finish and transition are all in one place along the river in a long, very green park. The city sits high above the river and in a Hong Kong sort of way, the city has built escalators to help people get from the river to the town. The town itself has neat, small streets with lots of shops, restaurants and bars. Plaza Mayor, or the main square is huge, with a noisy clock tower and a half dozen outdoor restaurants. Just perfect for the traditional late lunch and siesta.

XTERRA European Tour technical director Nico Lebrun was out scouting the bike course this morning and ran across Helena Erbenova and her father. The bike course is a figure-eight with two different loops. The distance is quite long at 38K. The run is equally a bit long at 12K and has a lot of climbing – as does the bike. We will have more tomorrow as we get familiar with the trails.

The river swim will start under a bridge next to town, go about one-kilometer up current, do a U turn and come back to a set of steps built into the river and a short run to a treed and grassy area about 100-meters from the swim exit.

Plasencia has all the makings of a classic XTERRA event and we’re happy to be here. Rego opens Friday at noon, the Open goes at 9:00am and the Championship race starts at 12:30 on Sunday. Three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa is here and looking to extend his win streak to 11-in-a-row.

Shari Kain 1999

XTERRA Like It’s 1999… For Real

The XTERRA TV crew rolled out another episode of must-see TV this week with the posting of the 1999 XTERRA World Championship show (https://vimeo.com/channels/xterra20).

For fans of XTERRA or triathlon in general the show brings back some great memories.  It’s fun just to look at the results from that race let alone see the action in living color.

Ned Overend and Shari Kain took the top spots that year and all kinds of legends took part, like Michael Tobin (2nd), Jimmy Riccitello (3rd), Oliver Bernhard (4th), Kerry Classen (5th), Chris Legh (15th), Michal Pilousek (28th), Greg Welch (24th), Roch Frey (33rd), Andreas Hestler (39th), Scott Shcumaker (43rd), Peter Reid (49th), Taro Shirato (65th).  For the women we had Kerstin Weule (2nd), Jody Mielke (3rd), Uli Blank (4th), Sue Latshaw (5th), Lesley Tomlinson (7th), Danelle Ballangee (10th), Sian Welch (15th), Katrin Tobin (16th), Wendy Ingraham (20th), Raegleigh Tennant (22nd), Kelly Reed (25th), Julie Moss (28th), Heather Fuhr (38th), Lori Bowden (39th), and so many others.

To frame the 1999 show we’ll shine the spotlight on women’s winner Shari Kain, and the XTERRA Hall of Fame tribute written about her by Dave Nicholas back in 2010 …

When we first came up with the XTERRA concept, we thought it should be a contest to determine who was the fastest – the triathlete or the mountain biker. Our roots were in mountain biking, and we’d watched world class mountain bikers at our Hawaii stage race, the Outrigger Hotels Hawaiian Mountain Tour, swim in the ocean and run to keep fitn while they were competing in the event. For a mountain bike triathlon, we figured the triathlete would win the swim; the mountain biker would pass them and lead from the bike and the triathlete would chase down the biker on the run and both would be close at the finish.

One of those competitors was a perky, pony-tailed, blonde from Team Ritchey – whose prestigious roster included world champion Thomas Frishknecht. She was an accomplished mountain biker – a U.S. champion in both cycling and cyclo-cross and she was to have a major impact on XTERRA.

At the first XTERRA (or AquaTerra as it was then known) there were 123 competitors on the start line at Wailea Beach. It was a “who’s who” of triathlon and mountain biking – Ned Overend, Mike Kloser, Paul Newby Fraser, Scott Tinley, Michellie Jones, Mike Pigg, Jimmy Riccitello…just to name a few.

It turned out to be one of the most exciting women’s races we have ever seen. Michellie was first woman out of the water but as suspected, that lead didn’t last long. She was picked off on the mountain bike by Shari Kain whose expertise on the mountain bike earned her a seven minute lead over Jones by the time she hit T2. But Michellie did not give up easily, and she chipped away at Shari’s lead and pulled along side her only 800 meters from the finish. The two ran together across Wailea Beach and in the final steps of the race Michellie inched away to take the first ever XTERRA World Championship by only 12 seconds. Just like we planned it.

That fabulous finish wasn’t Shari’s only contribution to the XTERRA Legend that day. It is said she is responsible for the post-race game of naked touch football that was a hallmark of the early days of XTERRA…sorry – no photographic evidence remains of this event!

She returned the 1997 determined to take the title – only to suffer the wrath of Madam Pele on the bike course and finish 90th overall and things were not much better in 1998. ‘99 turned out to be Sharoo’s winning year. Anyone who was there can never forget her dancing hula across the finish line in a grass skirt – an act that is immortalized on one of the banners hanging on our tents, and in the show broadcast nationwide.

That same year Shari introduced us to her backyard trails in Northern California’s Half Moon Bay. We shared these trails with thousands of you on the XTERRA America Tour. We raced in Shari’s backyard for four years from 1999 to 2002 – and it proved to be a wildly popular venue for XTERRA athletes and crew alike.

Shari raced XTERRA and Mountain Bikes for many years – in between giving birth to two children – Jessica and Jeremy – and always brought great professionalism and FUN. As late as 2002 Shari was 3rd at the Maui World Championship and at the Sea Otter mtb classic in the Spring she attacked the women’s race on the last lap and nearly upset Alison Dunlop and Alison Sydor – the #1 and #2 women in the world at the time. And never forget some great Halloween costumes and impromptu dancing on stage at the Awards Dinners.

We think Shari’s husband, Pete, had much to do with her success in XTERRA. He is an accomplished triathlete – a 7x U.S. National Age Group Champion, 4x World Age Group ITU Champion, 3x Ironman World Championship finisher and was USA Triathlon’s “Triathlete of the Year” in 2002.

More than 10 years ago, Pete and Shari founded their training and racing team and are still today working with athletes of all abilities to achieve their racing goals – and most importantly – to have fun.

1999 Results / 1999 XTERRA World Championship show

Shirin-Ted-Talk-Courtesy-Rick-Gunn

Switching Gears with Shirin Gerami

Shirin Gerami, Iran’s first elite female triathlete, took part in the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship race in Langkawi, Malaysia last month, finishing 12th in the women’s field. She is believed to be the first Iranian to ever race XTERRA.

After the race fellow elite Charlie Epperson from Tennessee, who is studying abroad in Singapore, caught up with Gerami and wrote this profile…

Switching Gears with Shirin Gerami
By Charlie Epperson – rcharlesepperson@aol.com

As I step off the plane in Langkawi, Malaysia I’m immediately greeted by two powerful impressions. First, it is extremely hot.  This is surprising because I live in Singapore only a short flight away.  The second and more lasting memory is the sight of the lush, exotic mountains that seem to roll straight into the sea.

shiz7I’m in Malaysia to compete in the XTERRA Malaysia Championships that also serve as the final race of the XTERRA Asian Tour.  As I make my way to the baggage carousel, I cross paths with two South African elite triathletes, Carla Van Huyssteen and Theo Bilgnaut, who had just arrived after a long haul that began on the Island of Reunion off the coast of South Africa.  Excited to see my bike was already on the baggage carousel, a tug of war ensues with Van Huyssteen (all three of us the same travel case).  In the end, I lose.  It is clearly not my bike.  Ironic that the duo traveled halfway around the world and as luck would have it my bike didn’t make the direct flight from Singapore.

As we part ways, my focus turns to finding the whereabouts of my mountain bike.  After a quick assurance from the airline that my bike will be here by nightfall, I’m whisked away by our driver (courtesy of race organizers).  As we make the short drive from the airport to our resort located on a picturesque point on Langkawi’s east coast, I notice the driver has a list of all incoming racers along with their flight dates, nationality, and other equally valuable intelligence.  Although many athletes might commit to a race in advance, it’s a list such as this that can be the best measure of who you’ll actually see on the starting line come race day.  As I skim the names, it’s the usual suspects except for one athlete, Shirin Gerami.  It’s not that the name is that out of place among the list, it is the nationality- Iran.

Over the years, it’s not uncommon to see some of the biggest names in triathlon visit the off-road circuit for a chance to mix it up.  In 2012, Spain’s Javier Gomez, all-around triathlon wizard, made quick work of the field in the swim on his way to cruising to victory at the XTERRA World Championships held in Maui.   Then there is Flora Duffy.  She spent a year honing her mountain bike skills before returning to the XTERRA circuit to win all but one race and claim her own World Championship title.

Sometimes, of course, we are reminded it is not the biggest names in the sport that have the greatest impact in athletics and society.

So when I heard another ITU racer was joining the field at XTERRA Malaysia, I was curious.  When I was told it is Shirin Gerami of Iran, I thought, who is this Shirin Gerami and who knew Iran had professional triathletes?

I first ran into Shirin (with a big smile on her face) shortly after she returned from her first pre-ride escapade on a rewarding yet very challenging bike course.  Shirin holds the notoriety of being Iran’s first professional female triathlete, however, she still considers herself a novice on a mountain bike and Langkawi was not kind on her first outing.

Raising the bar by increasing female participation- XTERRA Malaysia’s Vision

Historically, women’s participation in triathlons, and more specifically in off-road triathlons, has been low.  XTERRA Malaysia’s managing director, Sean Chee, wanted to do something about this and reached out to Shirin to gauge her interest in competing in her first off-road event on the resort island of Langkawi.   For many reasons, Shirin’s participation in Malaysia made a lot of sense- the country is predominately Muslim and women’s participation rates have traditionally been lower compared to western countries.  (It is worth noting, XTERRA Malaysia was successful in increasing the size of the women’s professional field, so much so they outnumbered the men for the first time.)

In terms of demographics, Muslim women account for roughly 900 million potential participants in athletics.  It is easy to envision how Shirin serves as an ambassador to this community.  Showcasing the health and wellness benefits the sport offers.  Or, it may be the confidence she displays as she competes alongside other professional athletes.  And, then there is the independence the sport has offered her to travel around the world to compete in some truly unique settings.  Each one of these elements has worked to break down some of the long-standing gender barriers.

According to Dave Spence, XTERRA Malaysia technical director and the architect of the brutal Langkwai course stated, “our primary goal was to increase women’s participation and Shirin was a good match to ensure they reached a large segment of the Malaysian female population.”  The latest report from USA Triathlon, the US’s triathlon governing body that publishes an annual report on participation rates in the U.S., lists women’s participation rate in triathlons at roughly 36%.  In general, participation rates for women are even lower in Asia and Middle East regions.

So why is Shirin so important to our sport?

Caviler at heart, Shirin rarely lets a challenge or obstacle go untested.  So, it makes sense to find her at XTERRA Malaysia racing arguably one of the toughest courses on the Asia Pacific circuit.   Born in Iran, Shirin immigrated at a young age with her parents to southern California briefly before settling in England.  Once in London, Shirin was absorbed into an active lifestyle that eventually led her joining a triathlon team at university.

Triathlons and athletics in general have provided Shirin a visible platform to showcase the importance of women’s participation in sports and how it leads to increasing equality across the board.  An important signal came from the government of Iran when they allowed her to represent Iran at the 2013 ITU World Championships in London.  A post race acknowledgement of her efforts and reference to women’s equality by Iran’s government leadership shocked many.  That’s quite a big deal for women in Iran let alone Shirin.  In racing, we would say this is a significant tailwind.

Last month, Shirin spoke at the TED x Kish conference in Iran.  Her subject was not her experience breaking down gender barriers through the sport of triathlon, but how she suffered a lost of faith and questioned humanity for a brief period of her life.  Shirin decided to share a personal moment with the attendees.  The story was on one misadventure as she set out to hike with a small group of friends in Iran.

As Shirin describes it,  “We were young, naive, excited, innocent, full of adventure, clueless… on a journey of a life time.  We wanted to walk from Tehran to the Caspian Sea, through the Alborz Mountains.”  However, this trek would come to test more than just the endurance of Shirin and her companions.  Shirin spoke on how a few days into their hike they were approached by a group of men at night.  This fateful encounter for the youthful adventurers led to being bound, gagged, and ultimately abducted.  Without question a tough moment in her life to share with a crowd.  Like all obstacles placed in her life, Shirin eventually found solace in training and racing that led her to Langkawi.

Although the pre-ride in Langkawi only lasted a few kilometers before Shirin flatted, it offered her a clear understanding of the magnitude of what she had gotten into with this race.  That evening, Shirin joined a group of seasoned off-road professionals over dinner where she began chatting with Australian elite Ironman triathlete Dimity-Lee Duke and shared her concerns about racing her first XTERRA.  According to Shirin, Duke helped calmed her fears by offering, “We all race for different reasons, for different goals, and each race means something different to each athlete.  None of us can compare ourselves to each other…” Shirin modestly shared, “You have no idea how much what she said meant to me that night.”

Shirin reminds all of us that the fear and the struggle are very much real.  Spending a few days around Shirin allowed me to understand that plenty of potential athletes are eagerly waiting to enter our sport- and sometimes it only takes one person to open that door.

Salming

Salming Running & XTERRA Announce Strategic Alliance Agreement

(Honolulu, HI) – XTERRA, producers of the nation’s premier off-road triathlon and trail running series, has named Salming Running the Official Footwear Partner of the XTERRA America Tour and U.S. Championships.

SalmingThe strategic alliance puts the Swedish running company’s North American division in a prime position to connect with XTERRA’s active, national audience of adventure seekers, weekend warriors and competitors via the XTERRA America Tour of more than 100 off-road triathlons and trail runs held across the U.S.

Tom Kiely, XTERRA CEO stated, “It is sometimes funny how things work. Our good friend, Mark Allen, mentioned to me that he tried the Salming running shoes and they were fantastic. So, I reached out to Tor Swenson, CEO – Salming North America, invited him to consider XTERRA and we somewhat quickly agreed to work together. When I read and learned about Salming, I felt that their culture, commitment to runners, and overall character were very much aligned with XTERRA and we could not be happier with the start of a great relationship, which may eventually extend to XTERRA Europe and beyond.”

Swenson commented, “XTERRA is a great brand in trail running and off-road endurance sports and it has a great reputation. With Salming, reputation and commitment are among our highest goals, and that is why we go to great lengths in the areas of research and development, testing, design and production. We are absolutely committed to runners, triathletes and endurance sports and felt that the XTERRA platform is a great fit for our company, especially as we ramp up our activity in North America.”

About Salming

Salming is a Swedish sporting goods company established in 2008 designing, developing and marketing premium products for the Running, Handball, Floorball and Squash markets under its Salming brand. The company has its head-office in Sisjön, Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden and North American headquarters in Raleigh, NC.  In addition to producing first in class products Salming is committed to helping athletes improve and has developed and patented one of the most advance running analysis centers in the world.  Salming RunLab’s are currently located in Gothenburg and Stockholm.

http://www.salmingrunning.com // Contact: David Field, david.field@salming.com

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2015 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 25+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990.  View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com, xterratrailrun.com, xterraeurope.com, and xterraasia.com.

http://www.xterraplanet.com  // Contact: Trey Garman, trey@xterraplanet.com

Ned Overend

Year 3: XTERRA Worlds, Circa 1998

The third edition of the XTERRA World Championship in 1998 is when “Deadly Nedly” truly put his mark on XTERRA.

As a pro mountain biker, Ned Overend achieved legendary status.  He won six national titles and became mountain biking’s first world champion in 1990, the same year he was inducted into the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame.

After retiring from mountain biking in 1996 at the age of 40, Overend competed in the first Aquaterra race, finishing third that day.  In 1997, he finished second.  And in 1998 and ’99, Ned won consecutive XTERRA World Championships at the ripe young age of 42 and 43.

We caught up with Ned to see what he remembered from his ’98 XTERRA World Championship…

“Lets see, honestly some of my memories of those XTERRA worlds can blend together,” said Overend. “As I recall that may have been the first time Wes and Tobin raced in Maui so I had more experience there after finishing 3rd in 96 and 2nd in 97. I was always working on the swim and I think in ‘98 I only lost 2-3 minutes. It was important for me to start the mtn bike leg fast and try to get by as many people as possible before we hit the single track. I knew from previous years that a full suspension bike was an asset and that I had to set up the tires for flat protection with sealant and use higher air pressure to prevent flats. I had tailored my training to be ready for a hot run in soft sand. Running in sand took a different technique, quick turnover, shorter stride and use a wide shoe sole for flotation on the sand. I would drive from Durango south to New Mexico to ride in the heat and then run in some of the sandy desert washes to simulate Makena Beach. I knew I had to come off the bike first with a time cushion on Jimmy, Wes, Pigg and Tobin so I didn’t hold back on the bike leg.”

Not holding back might be an understatement. He posted the fastest bike split by more than five minutes on the likes of Riccitello and Hobson.  That said, it was a solid run that carried him to victory.

“The key for me was to put together a consistent run, which I did that year,” Overend explains. “I remember I had to be careful jumping over the fallen logs because my hamstrings would cramp when I lifted my leg up to step over them.  When you were racing in that heat things can fall apart really fast as we saw when several people (I think maybe Shari Kain) collapsed on the beach within sight of the finish line. I was never sure of the win until I looked back on that last stretch of beach. It was a great feeling!”

In the women’s race (as XTERRA Hall of Famer Scott Schumaker wrote in his post-race report) Sue Latshaw “didn’t have the fastest swim time. Wendy Ingraham controlled that. Latshaw didn’t have the fastest bike split either. That went to last year’s second-place finisher Leslie Tomlinson who cranked out a 1:48:38. Latshaw didn’t even have the fastest run. Germany’s Uli Blank claimed that with a 46:43. Instead, Latshaw had what counted most. She had the fastest women’s time at the finish line.”

1998 also marked the first year of the “Double” – a special prime for those who put together the fastest combined times at Ironman Worlds and XTERRA Worlds (held just a week apart at the time). There were 30 racers who did both that year. Ingraham won the women’s Double by finishing 8th at XTERRA and 10th at IM, while IM winner Peter Reid took it for the men with a sixth place finish in Maui.

See what it all looked like back in 1998 with XTERRA’s flashback to Worlds video series in the buildup to the 20th running of the greatest off-road triathlon ever.

1998 Results / 1998 XTERRA World Championship show

Muddy shoe

Making the Most of a Muddy Situation

Two iconic XTERRA Points Series races scheduled for this weekend have had to change dates due to Mother Nature’s insistence on rain.

XTERRA Lory has moved to June 13 and XTERRA Eureka Springs moved to the weekend of July 25-26.

“After a month of record rainfall, and a forecast for more of the same, we have come to the difficult decision to reschedule the Lake Leatherwood XTERRA Festival to the weekend of July 25 & 26,” explained Eureka Springs race director Kevin Reuhle.

“Safety has to be our first consideration as race directors, for our racers, volunteers and everyone associated with the event. We feel the risk of unsafe race conditions come Saturday and Sunday morning is now unacceptably high and we feel it is prudent to make the call now before you have made the financial commitment to travel here for the weekend. We have been fighting mother nature over the past few weeks in an attempt to keep the trails in racing condition but the rainfall amounts have left the ground saturated and run off has raised the water level at the creek crossings to dangerous levels. NOAA forecast calls for rain every day through the weekend with high probability of severe weather and risk of flash flooding.”

As for XTERRA Lory, the date change sets up an enticing Saturday/Sunday double for all the die-hards in Colorado. Those lucky enough to have secured a spot in the sold-out XTERRA Lory race will now have the chance to race for the Lory/Pagosa Double title at XTERRA Pagosa Springs on Sunday, June 14.