Perhaps the most special moment at last year’s XTERRA Guam Championship race was the participation of former XTERRA World Champion and cancer survivor Jamie “J-Dawg” Whitmore.
Whitmore won the challenged athletes division, coming across the line in 4:52:09 to the admiration of all. Thanks in large part to United Airlines, Whitmore and husband Courtney Cardenas will be back in Guam this year to inspire and motivate once again.
“I am honored and ecstatic that Jamie and Courtney will be coming back to Guam,” said race director Eric Tydingco.
Whitmore first visited Guam in 2005, and in 2006 won the first official XTERRA event on the island.
“The thing I always remember about Guam are the people. Everyone treats me like family. The clear blue ocean sticks out in my mind too! And I remember the killer run course down a waterfall. It is awesome!” said Whitmore.
Whitmore was inducted into the XTERRA Hall of Fame at the World Championship in Maui this past October.
In her XTERRA career she won 37 championships in a dozen different countries, including Worlds in 2004. She is still today the most successful female pro the sport has ever known.
Her accomplishments in the sport, however, pale in comparison to her achievements in life. That she is an XTERRA Hall of Fame athlete is undisputed…how she evolved into a Hall of Fame human being – now that’s the stuff of legends.
Before she was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 she had already founded her own charity - Jamie’s Race for Research - which raised funds for Huntington’s Disease. She spoke to church groups, XTERRA Groups, was a coach, a mentor, and a hero to so many.
That was before cancer. When she got thrust into the fight of her life, a life-or-death battle, her true colors shined through. While cancer got some good shots in, she powered her way through unrelenting pain, numerous setbacks and rehab, and is now cancer free.
And perhaps the most miraculous part of her story is she gave birth to twins boys – Christian and Ryder, in January, 2010, despite doctors warning that radiation therapy meant she’d never have children.
She was told she would never ride or run again either – let alone compete in triathlon. Not true. She returned to XTERRA racing in 2011 at the Pacific Championship in Santa Cruz and Nationals in Utah.
Last year she competed at the XTERRA Guam, the legendary Leadville 100 MTB race, and reignited her Olympic dream by winning the National Championship Time Trial for C-3 category Paracyclists.