It might be hard to believe, but the small town of Gallatin, Tennessee holds a piece of off road triathlon history. Gallatin is home to the XTERRA Lock 4 Blast which is tied with Richmond, VA as the second-longest running XTERRA in the continental U.S. (trailing only Ruston). Saturday, June 29, 2013 marks its 15th year of existence.
Something else you might not know is that 10 out of those 14 years, the event has been won by Hendersonville, TN resident and professional triathlete, Craig Evans. Evans competed in his very first off road triathlon at Lock 4 in 2002 on a dare. He didn’t win that year and was even called the “fat guy” as he exited the water, but he said after the race, “I swear I’ll win it next year.” Not only did he win it in 2003, but also every year since!
This year the race is coming full circle with Evans and his business partner, Clifton Duhon, have taken over ownership of XTERRA Lock 4 Blast.
“As an athlete, you don’t really get a behind the scenes look at everything that goes into putting on a race. It’s been a fun challenge for me to see that side of things,” said Evans.
“For me, the most exciting part is owning a piece of history,” said Clifton Duhon. “I got a taste of the off road lifestyle last year as a sponsor of XTERRA and I immediately fell in love with the athletes. It’s exciting to be a part of the lifestyle.”
The course combines an 880-yard swim in Old Hickory Lake, 12-mile mountain bike, consisting of two loops on fast, sweeping single track, and a 4.2 mile run that has been called “one of the best on the American Tour.” When asked if he planned on racing or winning the event again this year, Craig said, “I don’t know. This race definitely holds a special place in my heart, but being co-race director adds new stresses. You’ll just have to show up and see if I’m on the start line.”
One person that will be on the start line is Brent Bieshaar. Brent is doing “XTERRA Across America,” an odyssey to compete in an XTERRA triathlon every week of the 2013 season to raise awareness for the Blazeman Foundation For ALS. ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gherig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. XTERRA Lock 4 will be his 14th race in 15 weeks, and he’ll have eight more races in the final two months of the regular season.
Whether you are racing for fun, racing for your 11th win in a row or racing for a reason, one thing is for sure, XTERRA Lock 4 will be a BLAST!