With XTERRA Beaver Creek 2021 on the horizon, looking back at the battle of the 2010 race reignites the excitement and reminds us of the thrills that are about to unfold. Join us for this year’s challenging course in Avon, CO and register today to secure your spot.
A look back on July 17, 2010 and the first-ever XTERRA Mountain Championship race at Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, CO. Note: It was an XTERRA Cup Series race in ’09, and an XPS event in ’08…but 2010 was it’s first year as the MTN Champs.
XTERRA Europe’s own Nico Lebrun took the men’s title for the second straight year just a week after winning XTERRA France.
“This race is so hard because of the altitude. You can’t breathe and you feel terrible, so you just have to judge how you are doing by where you are against the others. So when I passed Josiah, and then I saw Dan and Seth and Branden Rakita I thought I must be doing o.k.,” said Lebrun after the race.
Rakita, one of 15 pros from Colorado in the race, was Lebrun’s last hurdle. Rakita had the best swim (17:57), was the first rider up the big climb that gained 2,000 feet in five miles straight out of the swim, and held the lead until about mile nine before Lebrun made his move.
PRO MEN TOP 10
In the women’s race Shonny “V” as in Vanlandingham ruled this race in 2010 and five of six years from 2008-2013 (Danelle Kabush won the women’s title in 2011).
Shonny had the body markers put a "41" on her calf before the race, and it was a number (her age) that super strong women nearly half her age barely got a glimpse of all day. She was more than two minutes behind the swim leader Suzie Snyder (pictured below) but absolutely crushed the bike course and finished more than seven minutes ahead of eventual runner-up Sara Tarkington.
Vanlandingham's bike split was 1:22:51. The second-best women’s split was 1:28:18, posted by XTERRA Amazon champ (now XTERRA certified coach) Jenny Smith, who came in third.
“I love high mountain riding,” smiled Vanlandingham after the race as she stood next to her proud father who rode his motorcycle all the way from Texas to take in the event. “I’ve spent the last 12 years in Durango, and the last four weeks riding up in the mountains, so I just felt really good.”
Of note, Snyder, in her first big race as a pro, finished 5th on the day.
PRO WOMEN TOP 10
|10||Brandyn Roark Gray||3:11:33|
Also of note, XTERRA legend Michael Stone, legally blind and racing with a guide - former XTERRA Pro Wes Hobson - continued to inspire the XTERRA Family in his second year of XTERRA racing (now going on his 14th).
Ryan Sutter, the star of the reality TV series Bachelorette, was racing to raise money for First Descents, an organization that provides free outdoor adventure therapy for young adults with cancer.
Dr. Richard Wall, who won the 55-59 XTERRA World Title in 2002, has perhaps the greatest XTERRA story of all-time. Several years ago at XTERRA Saipan, during the race, in a remote stretch of the bike course, he came across a fallen racer who was unconscious and turning blue. He had crashed and his tongue was blocking his airway. “Doc Wall” knew just what to do. He cleared the passage, stabilized the racer, told the next passing racer to get an ambulance, and waited for the medics to arrive. He saved the man’s life.
Wendy Ingraham was there. “Wingnut,” who finished in the top 10 at Ironman Hawaii 10 years in a row, was the first woman to win the Hawaiian Airlines “Double” award in 2001 for having the fastest combined times at IM Hawaii and XTERRA Worlds.