Five big events took place around the XTERRA Planet last weekend, highlighted by the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race in Danao, where World Champ Bradley Weiss added another title to his trophy chest, as did the veteran Carina Wasle.
In the Mediterranean, the second of 17 majors on the XTERRA European Tour unfolded in Cyprus, where Roger Serrano and Brigitta Poor both won their second race in as many weeks.
In Myrtle Beach, both the men’s and women’s races were decided by less than 20-seconds. For the men, former Mr. XTERRA award-winner Marcus Barton pushed his younger buddy Caleb Baity to the brink of exhaustion, but youth won out. For the women, it was experience that took the tape as Margo Pitts edged Jessica Lehman in the first XTERRA South Central region race of 2018.
In Denmark, the first-ever XTERRA European Championship Duathlon took place at Rebild National Park where Jens Emil Sloth Nielsen and Janni Spangsberg did the run-bike-run better than everyone else.
Finally, just outside of Austin, Andy Lee and Melanie Etherton – a pair of Texas XTERRA legends – took the tape yet again. Despite threats of severe thunderstorms, the hard rain held off for the Saturday’s race in Pace Bend Park.
“We had cold and drizzly conditions,” said race director Joel Grimmett, “But that didn’t stop our athletes from giving outstanding performances.”
In the men’s race, Lee did it again, just like last month at XTERRA Bluebonnet. That race’s runner up – Kyle Grieser – didn’t compete in XTERRA ATX because he was fighting fires in western Texas.
“This time we watched second and third place finishers Frank Musil and Michael Drackert battle it out with Frank just edging out Mike on the run and beating him by seven seconds.”
Still, as Drackert knows well, every point counts towards a trip to Maui, and even though it’s still early in the season, XTERRA South Central athletes aren’t giving anything away for free. At XTERRA ATX, Lee won easily in 1:41:44. Frank Musil finished in 1:49:03 while Michael Drackert was close behind in 1:49:10.
In the women’s race, Melanie Etherton – like Lee – remains undefeated in the Texas series, and won XTERRA ATX handily in 2:09:01. “Justine Emge mixed up the results and took second overall,” said Grimmett about the elite swimmer and military pilot. “She easily had the fastest swim split of the day coming out of the water in 11:09.”
Emge’s overall time was 2:20:39 with fellow competitive swimmer, Alissa Magrum behind her in 2:22:18. Next up in the XTERRA South Central Series is XTERRA Cameron Park, on June 9th, which will be held in conjunction with the USAT Off-Road National Championship.
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