The 6th annual XTERRA Jersey Devil was held on May 1 at the Citta Scout Camp in Barnegat, NJ in the heart of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The XTERRA Jersey Devil enjoys a great partnership with this top ranked Scout Camp, and all profits from the race go back to supporting the Scout Camp were the race is held.
Race director Bob Horn brings us this story on how the day unfolded...
The Jersey Devil certainly showed his sixth sense this year, it being the 6th annual and all, by treating racers to torrential rain for most of the race. Just when you thought the rain was letting up the Devil would unleash another downpour. Credit to the 130+ XTERRA athletes who came out and braved not only the course but also the extreme conditions.
The race got under way with a slight drizzle as athletes finished the first leg of the race, the roughly ½ mile swim in 59-degree water temps. Unfortunately they were greeted to 49-degree air temps upon exiting the water, not the best conditions for ripping off a wetsuit with cold hands.
The 13-mile bike course was next on the usually very tame trails of the Pine Barrens, but not this year. The drizzle during the swim turned into full on rain minutes into the bike and athletes were now forced to navigate the soaked trails along with slick wooden bridges. Several athletes could be seen showing the scars of not staying upright on the bike due to the wet conditions. One athlete even stated, “you should have had the lifeguards guard the streams after the swim, because I was in the drink after sliding off one of the bridge creek crossing.”
The final leg of the XTERRA Jersey Devil is the “Crown Jewel” of the course, the 3.1-mile trail run. The run navigates through the great network of Citta Scout Camp trails. This year the run was changed a little to take advantage of some new trails the Scouts completed last summer, and those trails did not disappoint. Athletes had to dodge sticker bushes, downed trees, and slick wooden planks to get through the run course and to the finish line. No easy task given they were all now soaked to the bone.
Athletes were all glad to finish and greeted to some nice warm New Jersey PIZZA in the dry dining hall of the Scout Camp. Everyone showed great perserverance and determination in completing the race.
Coming out on top in the tough conditions, FINALLY, after finishing second in several XTERRA races last season, was Matt Alford. Matt finished in a time of 1:26:27, using the fastest run split of the day to pull away from the field, and having the 2nd fastest swim split and 3rd fastest bike split helped too. Rounding out the top 3 men were Iain Banks in 2nd in a time of 1:28:58, and Dillon Shaffer in third at 1:29:35.
The women had a great race as well. Amanda Bayer came out on top for the women. Amanda also used the fasted run split of the women to increase her lead to the finish. Having a top 10 overall swim split and the 2nd fastest bike split of the women also helped her finish 20th overall in 1:40:41. Amanda was closely followed by Courtney Kaup in 2ndin a time of 1:42:20, and Erica Cline in third at 1:44:26.
Complete results can be found at: https://raceforum.com/2016/xterraoa.htm
We look forward to seeing everyone at next years 7th annual XTERRA Jersey Devil, under much drier conditions.