Mr. XTERRA 2016, Marcus Barton
Mr. XTERRA 2016, Marcus Barton
On Saturday night in Ogden, Utah Marcus Barton was named the 2016 Mr. XTERRA award winner.
The perpetual honor is given annually to recognize a member of the XTERRA Tribe that exemplifies the spirit of XTERRA – the challenge, commitment and camaraderie that is the essence of our sport.
It is a prestigious club, filled with men and women who have made XTERRA what it is today, and Marcus is clearly a worthy inductee.
This season he was the first racer to score the max amount of 325 points in the XTERRA America Tour, and he was first in his division at all seven races he competed at during the regular season. He is also the first car you’ll see in the parking lot on race morning, the first man into transition, and the first guy to offer to help zip up your wetsuit.
“He's incredibly deserving of Mr. XTERRA,” said training buddy and XTERRA Pan Am 50-54 division champion Margo Pitts. “He is passionate about XTERRA and shares his love with others, he is caring and helpful, a great leader and planner, and is super detail oriented. I love trying to beat him to transition on race morning but that hasn't happened yet :)”
Indeed, Barton races XTERRA with the same kind of precision he perfected while serving our country in the United States Air Force.
The 46-year-old computer whiz from North Carolina has been racing XTERRA since 2007, and did his first one on a $50 Mongoose he bought at a garage sale. He started to get really fast in 2012 when he won the first of five straight regional championship titles, and has won an impressive 25 races in his division during that stretch.
All that said, Barton didn’t receive the Mr. XTERRA award because he’s fast. He won it because he’s kind, friendly, helpful, and has lured a ton of people into racing XTERRA.
“Marcus is one of those people who always loves racing no matter what the conditions are,” said Caleb Baity, 20-24 Southeast Region Champ. “He is a super fun and energetic person no matter if it is race day or if we are just going out training for the day. He invests lots of time training and will drive hours during the day just to get a single short ride in because it is "similar" to an upcoming race course.”
Baity met Barton when he was leading a “how-to” transition clinic before XTERRA Whitewater last year, and said, “after meeting him at the transition clinic he has been a wonderful mentor helping me progress in every single aspect of the sport and I have come long strides from how I used to be. He is always willing to help anyone in need and give advice where he can.”
And Barton gives out great advice. Someone posted a note to the XTERRA Facebook page earlier this year that asked if “there someone I can talk to for advice on my first-time XTERRA?”
She wanted to know what was the best course for a rookie, with easy travel, and warm water. We immediately forwarded her note to Marcus, and in a matter of minutes he broke down every course in five states, five ways to Sunday for her.
Barton is also a fantastic writer, a gifted story teller, and he recounts races in vivid detail on his blog at speedylizard.com. What makes his XTERRA stories so good is how he tells you how everyone else did, and is so quick to spread the praise around to his fellow athletes. He even started a Facebook group for XTERRA Southeast Region athletes and has been a catalyst for that community, organizing group rides and runs and socials everywhere he goes.
More than just words, Barton is a man of action and integrity. A few years back there was an XTERRA race held in really muddy conditions. While the course wasn’t in great shape before the event, it was pretty worked over after the event. So, even though he lived hours away, he organized a work crew to help repair it, and he gave up a weekend of XTERRA racing to go clean it up.
For all these reasons and many more, it’s our pleasure to welcome Marcus Barton to the club, as this year’s Mr. XTERRA Award Winner.
ALL-TIME MR. AND MRS. XTERRA AWARD WINNERS
2016 – Marcus Barton
2015 – Janet Soule and Cliff Millemann
2014 – Craig Vogstberger
2013 – Brent Bieshaar
2012 – Jay Heller
2011 – Steve Cole
2010 – Casey Fannin
2009 – Brandyn Roark
2008 – Circ and Cindi Toepel
2007 – Will Kelsay
2006 – Courtney Cardenas
2005 – Tom Lyons
2004 – Anthony Snoble and Rick Byman
2003 – Billy Anderson and Barbara Peterson
2002 – Susi Chandler
2001 – Chris Shelley
2000 – Robert Hopper
1999 – Dennis Fox