With the largest field ever assembled for the XTERRA World Championship it comes as no surprise that there are a wealth of inspiring competitors with great stories to tell. Here we meet just a few of them…
Steve Fisher (M 50-54) Lahaina, Hawaii – Since last year’s race Steve successfully skied at 104 different western USA/Canada resorts in one season. He traveled from resort to resort living in an extreme sports RV that he built in Maui.
Steve, famous for training and hanging out with his 12-year-old red macaw parrot named Hiilani, is also one of just four guys to have done, and finished, every XTERRA World Championship race since 1996. That’s 16 years and counting for Fisher, fellow Maui racers Gerry Clark and Joe Alueta, and Steve Tarpinian who comes in from New York each October.
Dave and Jodi Ruby (Men’s/Women’s 50-54) from LaVerne, Calif. – After meeting for the first time at an XTERRA event back in 1999 and the swiping of a last name (by Dave) from the results sheet both Dave and Jodi married at the XTERRA World Championship in 2001. They return for this year’s World Championship in Maui on their 11th wedding anniversary.
“The majority of our wedding party whom all competed in 2001 (when we married in Wailea) are all entered and returning this month”.
Dave and Jodi look forward to this year’s race stating “You guys truly make us feel like Ohana”… “We are the most stoked ever as we celebrate yet another wedding anniversary at yet another XTERRA World Championship."
The photo attached stays on our fridge year in year out. It is Dave’s 1999 JTL timing card from San Dimas and pic of Jodi from that same day/race.
“The day our lives began together…at XTERRA.”
Nathaniel Grew (M 75-79) South Woodstock, Vermont – XTERRA has been a big part of Nathaniel’s life in recent years. His first XTERRA race came in 2007 in Costa Rica and later that same year he won his first age group World title.
“In the following years, I pursued the title. In that period, there have been five different World Champions in my division. This year, Ronald Hill and I enter the 75-year-old category, a singular cause for celebrating growing old. He has become a great friend and stronger rival placing above me since 2010.”
“Nat” is excited for this year’s race and says it’s a special race, place, and feeling.
“To be in the oldest age group is special. You receive the same affection as the youngest racer, it’s like a second childhood. Compared to family and work, sport has a before, the moment of truth, and then the race is over. And no matter what happens, after it’s over it’s time to celebrate. XTERRA is the best for that.”
Rob Whittles (M 30-34) Laurel, Maryland – Last July (2011) Rob’s nephew and godson Trevor, who was 5 1/2 months old at the time, had brain surgery to remove a large tumor that covered 25% of his brain. Rob decided to make Trevor proud and become an inspirational figure for his later life when he entered a lottery for the XTERRA World Championship.
This will be Rob’s first XTERRA race but hopes to teach Trevor that “as he gets older that you have to go out and experience life and don't be afraid to take chances”. Trevor has since been cleared from chemo but regularly has MRI’s for checkups. Rob hopes to raise awareness and raise money in Maui for the Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation.