Two weeks ago, in honor of Mother’s Day, XTERRA published a story on the amazing Deanna McCurdy whose fighting spirit and unwavering positivity has been a source of inspiration for the XTERRA Tribe and all those affected by Angelman Syndrome.
In the article, McCurdy talked about FAST (the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics) an all-volunteer organization dedicated to finding a cure for Angelman Syndrome.
This week we’re talking about fast once again, as in, can you believe how fast McCurdy, a 43-year-old mother of two, can race XTERRA!
On Saturday at the XTERRA Oak Mountain Championship race in Pelham, Alabama the reigning XTERRA Pan American 40-44 Champ posted the fastest amateur bike (1:46:32) and run (45:36) splits on her way to winning the overall amateur title in a time of 3:01:05, good for 8th overall female and ahead of 10 elite women.
“To be honest I don't know what was more of an accomplishment, winning the race or putting my bike together successfully all by myself,” laughed McCurdy, who had come straight from snow in Colorado to the heat and humidity of Alabama.
Although the win was no surprise to those in the know (she was labeled as the front-runner to win the amateur race before the event even started) McCurdy didn’t realize she had such a big target on her back.
“Well, it was a mixed blessing that I dropped my phone in the toilet the day before the race because as a result I didn’t have internet and never saw the amateur predictions video before the race,” exclaimed McCurdy, who added that the “rice trick” saved the phone.
For McCurdy, being fast is good because it brings attention to Team Miles for Smiles, her own fundraising organization focused on finding a cure for AS, but just being present has its own rewards.
“We all want to gut it out and see what we can do out there, but it’s so much more than that. Foremost, it’s fun, and it’s so great to be surrounded by my favorite XTERRA people and friends. This trip was extra special because I’m from the South, and it’s great to be back here. The people are so polite, even on the trails.”
Several other women made waves at Oak Mountain State Park on Saturday, including Jessie Koltz, the amateur runner-up who posted the fastest swim split of the day among all women, not just amateurs. Her 21:10 swim time in the warm water of Double Oak Lake was 8th fastest on the day behind only six pro men and amateur Andrew Kelsey.
Heather Zimchek-Dunn crushed it to finish third, 17-year-old phenom Heather Horton – the reigning 15-19 XTERRA World Champ – was fourth and Amanda Bayer rounded out the top five.
In the men’s race it was all about Nate Youngs from Oregon, the reigning 35-39 XTERRA Pan American Champion. That was, of course, until Nate passed out on the run due to heat exhaustion. Thanks to the great support by the Pelham Fire Department race medics, Nate is doing fine, but left with nothing to show for his amateur best bike split of 1:32:20.
Instead, Humberto Rivera from Southern California ran away with the crown.
“It was a last-minute decision to come out here and race,” said Rivera, who won the XTERRA Renegade off-road tri in Los Angeles two weeks earlier. “I decked a tree in the first two miles of the bike, and from there I just had to calm myself done. I was happy to be able to do that, and run a smart race.”
Rivera said spectators told him he came off the bike in fourth, and about three miles into the run someone said he was in second, “but I have no idea when I got in front.”
At the bike-to-run transition the top five were Youngs, Karl Stover, David Dornaus, Rivera, then Marcus Barton.
Youngs held the lead through the first lap of the run before pulling, Stover dropped from second to eighth, and Dornaus was passed by Rivera and Barton but held on for third overall on the day. The best drama came down to Barton’s chase for Rivera.
“I almost got him,” said Barton, who finished 22-seconds back in second-place. “I could see him on the long straightaways and people were telling me I was closing the gap but I just couldn’t catch him.”
Barton had got the early jump on Rivera with a swim that was 38-seconds faster, but said “Rivera came flying past me on the long climb on the bike like I was sitting still.”
Michael Dorr posted the second-best run split to move into the fourth spot and Darren Cox rounded out the top five.
All told, 45 amateurs earned a qualifying spot to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.
|15-19||Heather Horton||Draper, UT|
|25-29||Jessie Koltz||Truckee, CA|
|25-29||Amanda Bayer||West Hartford, CT|
|30-34||Heather Zimchek-Dunn||Olympia, WA|
|30-34||Stephanie Brunnemann||Salt Lake City, UT|
|35-39||Sue Finney||Knoxville, TN|
|35-39||Jess White||Easley, SC|
|40-44||Deanna McCurdy||Littleton, CO|
|40-44||Kathy Waite||Lakewood, CO|
|45-49||Angie Childre||Milledgeville, GA|
|45-49||Karen Berube||Marietta, GA|
|50-54||May-li Cuypers||Largo, FL|
|55-59||Stephanie Landy||Ballston Spa, NY|
|55-59||Wendy Ewing||Shalimar, FL|
|60-64||Lucia Colbert||Cordova, TN|
|60-64||Maureen Sanderson||Nashville, TN|
|65-69||Linda Usher||Upton, MA|
|65-69||Beverly Bickell||Fayetteville, AR|
|15-19||Will Stacey||Nashville, TN|
|20-24||Caleb Baity||Huntersville, NC|
|20-24||Joshua Looney||Vinemont, AL|
|25-29||Humberto Rivera||Chula Vista, CA|
|25-29||Donald Davis III||Jacksonville, FL|
|30-34||Brett Tack||Boulder, CO|
|30-34||Tyler Harbin||Madison, AL|
|30-34||Jesper Smith||Pensacola, FL|
|35-39||AJ Petrillo||Blue Ridge, GA|
|35-39||Geoffrey Whitfield||Decatur, GA|
|35-39||Gabriel Piriz||Kent, OH|
|40-44||David Dornaus||Wayland, MA|
|40-44||Michael Dorr||Avon, CO|
|40-44||Patrick Clark||Virginia Beach, VA|
|45-49||Marcus Barton||Waxhaw, NC|
|45-49||Karl Stover||St Louis, MO|
|45-49||Keith Schumann||Williamsburg, VA|
|50-54||Darren Cox||Toano, VA|
|50-54||Andrew Kelsey||Irving, TX|
|50-54||David Ciaverella||Happy Valley, OR|
|55-59||Ali Arasta||Asheboro, NC|
|55-59||Cliff Millemann||Davis, CA|
|60-64||Thomas Monica||Thousand Oaks, CA|
|60-64||Ian Davidson||Clemson, SC|
|65-69||Frank George||Rome, GA|
|65-69||Alan Moore||Ada, MI|
|70-74||Dale Vaughan||Macon, GA|