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When this thing hits 88 mph–XTERRA Whitewater

XTERRA Whitewater happened so long ago that we needed Doc and Marty to break out the DeLorean to help me put the race report together.  So I dug through my closet and pulled out my Sony Walkman, some Huey Lewis from the tape box and hit play to help ease my nerves for reentry. Long story short, it was a successful trip and here’s how.


I had promised many folks that I would write it up but between the day job, training schedule, racing and, of course, leaving some time in there for the family, I’ve just let the days and weeks get away from me.  August and September are nothing but blurs. This was compounded by the fact of doing XTERRA Whitewater and XTERRA Panther Creek back-to-back.  My thought was that I’d get it done in the hotel at Panther Creek, but it just didn’t happen.  Enough excuses.  Let’s hear about the trip.

Doc tossed me into the DeLorean and gave me a quick rundown of the clocks.  We set it for July and with a “Great Scott” he sent me on my way.  When I arrived, I realized that I hadn’t traveled back to July of 2014, but instead, July of 2009.  Also, for some reason, I hadn’t re-entered onto my neighborhood street in Waxhaw.  When I peered through the frosted windshield, I realized I was at Anne Springs in Fort Mill.  I stayed out of sight, trying not to let my past self catch a glimpse of me while I watched a race unfolding.  I realized that I had transported to the Fourth of July offroad triathlon that I helped create.


I had teamed up with Recon Fitness Adventures and my good friend Duke Speed to create and the race and I kept planting the seed with him that should be an XTERRA.  I thought it was a great idea of having a race in my own back yard so I set out to help in any way I could.  As that year progressed, we were well on our way of working out the deets with the Whitewater Center in fall of 2009 when Duke ended up moving due to work.  He apologized but I completely understood his reasons and told him if I was in the same boat I wouldn’t hesitate.  There I was standing with a half-completed project making a decision to either step up or back out.  I chose to step up.

Sitting in the board room at the Whitewater Center, we devised what I consider to be one of the most unique and tough races on the circuit.  When attempting to come up with where to do the swim, we came up with the idea of using two different bodies and incorporated both the Catawba River and the manmade features of the Whitewater Center.

xww poster

I hopped back into the DeLorean with the intent to get my original goal accomplished: a race report.  I tried my best to set the clocks and sped down highway 21 trying to get the thing up to 88mph as quickly as possible.  A couple of flashes of light later, I had bolted into the future.  During my drive from Fort Mill out to the Whitewater Center, I realized again, I hadn’t made it back to 2014.  Instead, I had only advanced forward to 2011.

xww goodiebags

For the first two years, I race directed the race at XTERRA Whitewater and had a blast.  I watched as racers came across the finish line with smiles on their face, and although Alba and I were doing everything from spending hours packing goodie bags to running around like crazy on race day to make sure it went smoothly, we were smiling inside.  It was great to give back to our XTERRA family the joy of racing.  At the end of 2011, for various reasons, I turned over the race to the Whitewater Center in they’ve been running it since.

Not wanting to unravel the very fabric of the space time continuum, I threw a few GU Gels and Chomps into the Mr. Fusion (packages and all) to fuel the DeLorean for another attempt to get back to the future.  I set the clocks and took off, finally arriving to July of 2014.  Finally, I can finish the race report.

Since taking it over, the Whitewater Center has made a few changes to the race.  The course has changed slightly since there are more trails out there now, but for the most part, it’s still the same, fun race.  Race Director, Adam Bratton has also thrown in other great improvements which takes it up even another notch.

Race Day

I showed up early to setup for transition, but it wasn’t open yet.  Having some time to kill, I helped out with race preparation.  Just small things like breaking down empty boxes, putting together feather flags, or whatever Adam needed.  As soon as transition opened, I put my race cap back on and started my own prep.




The 1000 meter swim was a two-part swim which started as a triangular course in the Catawba River that has you swimming downstream, right hand turn with long leg upstream, then a right hand and swim back to shore.  Even though you’re swimming upstream in the river, it’s not too bad as the flow that time of morning is very low.  Since Duke Energy controls the dams both upstream and downstream, they’re typically closed off that time of morning.

After a short, 500 meter (or so) run up to the manmade Whitewater Center holding pond, there’s a short 200 meter swim across the pond to the transition area.  The Synergy Syn-Skin definitely helped keep me smooth through the water. Good thing, as my swim skills, not being where they needed to be, I came out of the water in 9th place.


I transitioned quickly and was pretty much textbook, just as I had demonstrated in the clinics I presented and got out of transition in 34 seconds, grabbing the top spot for fastest T1.



The 14 mile mountain bike course can simply be explained with saying it’s a blast.  You get a little bit of everything.  From technical, hand cut, switchbacks to machine-cut flowy, to hard punchy climbs, this trail system has it all.  Most of the trails were built and maintained by the Tarheel Trailblazers before the Whitewater Center was built.  Since it’s creation, the Whitewater Center has taken on maintenance and building responsibility under the careful, crafty and skilled direction of Lee Flythe.  Having both a BMX and mountain biking background, Lee puts together some great trails and features.

I headed out onto Figure 8 and tried to pass as many people as I could as quickly as I could.  By the time I came out of Figure 8, I was in 2nd place.  I saw Peter Lilly at the start of the Point climb.  “He’s got a minute forty on you, Marcus,” Peter exclaimed.  “Thanks, Pete!” I replied.  Throughout the Point Trail, I didn’t see him in the switchbacks.  It wasn’t until we were down by the river that I caught a glimpse of Greg Schott.  Due to a few issues of me running off the trail and almost crashing, I didn’t catch him until Goat Hill.  I passed him on the gas line climb and headed down the old downhill course using my brakes as little as possible.


Even though it had rained the night before and on race day, the Schwalbe Tires hooked up despite the muddy conditions. I managed to keep up a good pace and steady speed with no issues with two exceptions.  On the descent on Weigh Station, I decided to try a different line over the big roots and rocks.  At one point I just knew I was going down, but managed to stay upright.  A similar instance happened in the bottom of Toilet Bowl on a wet, rooty climb.  I had to stop off and almost fell over in the process.  Thankfully I didn’t as it would have been into a patch of poison ivy.

Coming into transition, I sucked down my last bit of GU Roctane Brew and finished the bike with the fastest bike split and in 1st place.  I came into T2 smoothly but ran right past my rack.  I literally skidded to a barefoot stop and had to backtrack to my rack.  Not textbook at all.  I still managed to get out of T2 in 30 seconds, but it was the 3rd fastest.


Running 5 miles after a tough, hard effort on the bike was a chore.  Luckily, the first mile or so of it is flat and on a gravel road, so it allowed me to shake off the bike legs and get into a running rhythm.  I’ve never really liked the East Main trail from a running perspective because of all the switchbacks and punchy climbs.  It’s just darn tough to get into a running rhythm.  On the other hand, it adds to the challenge of the race, so from that perspective, it’s great.


I was expecting to see someone catching me on the run, so I kept my eyes peeled.  The one person I was truly expecting to see was Mr. Speedy Pants himself and good friend, Bjorn Erik Norman.  He did have the blazingly fastest run split of the day, but I had enough of a lead on the bike that I didn’t see him.   I kept the legs turning and finished the race in 1st overall.  It was a surprise to me and was a bit bittersweet to win a race that I created.  I guess with a lot of training and a lot of luck, it can be pulled off.


XTERRA Whitewater
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Date: July 19, 2014
Distances: 1000 meter swim / 14 mile mountain bike / 5 mile trail run
Result: 1st overall
Full Results
Products used: TrySports Tri kit, GU Roctane and GU Brew, Schwalbe Rocket Ron Tire, Schwalbe Thunderburt Tire, Cobb DRT SHC Saddle, Synergy Syn-Skin, ESI Grips, Crank Brothers Candy 11 Pedals, First Endurance Multi-V.

Alba and Sunny braved the rain to bring you guys awesome pics and to cheer on the racers.  I was so happy to have her at the race.  :)

WP_20140719_010  WP_20140719_011


Be a Warrior!


Turkey, turkey, turkey, deer! – XTERRA Panther Creek

As my alarm went off, I literally rolled out of bed, forcing myself awake way earlier than I wanted.  Having went to bed only 3 hours before, due to a late night at work, I stumbled, hunchbacked with eyes half open, into the bathroom.  I had promised my friend, Mike Smith, that I would meet him at his house, about 45 minutes away, for a 4ish hour ride to Panther Creek State Park in Morristown, Tennessee.

My original plan was to beg Mike to let me sleep on the trip up in an effort to get caught up on sleep.  With a pre-ride of the course planned for later that day and a subsequent race the next morning, I needed all the rest I could get.  Armed with coffee and lots of great conversation, the trip was over before I knew it and didn’t feel like I needed the sleep.  We pre-rode the course, went for a quick run and swim.  In the process, we came across 4 wild turkeys along with a half-dozen or so baby turkeys.  They didn’t seem the least bit worried about us and took their time getting off the trail.  It was surreal.  That evening, we met up with good friends, Owen, Sunny, Mia, John, Jheremy, Mark and Rachael to name but a few.

Race morning started off with the usual pre-race routines.  We got to transition early and managed to get some good spots and all setup with time to spare.  We all piled in the water and waited for the pre-race briefing to start the race.  I was a bit nervous with racing back-to-back after last week’s XTERRA Whitewater race as I wasn’t sure if my body had fully recovered.


With a countdown and a blow of the horn, the race was off.  I managed to sprint out with the lead pack of swimmers and ahead of the chaos.  It was one of the cleanest starts I’ve had to date.  The swim was setup in a triangular course of 400 meters of which we had to do two laps.  After the race, we all agreed that, even looking at some GPS watches, that the swim was a little long.


By the time we hit the third buoy to end my swim and head for the shore, I had settled into 8th or 9th place.  I tried my best to not “salute” my recovery stroke like Cheryl, our Masters coach teases me about, but as you can see by the picture below, I allowed the bad habit to show up.


Ah, that’s better.


I finished up the swim in 8th place in 11:49.  Running into transition, I completely goofed up on my T1.  A while back, good friend Charlotte Mahan, gave me a gift of a red transition mat that I could lay on the ground to put my stuff on.  I had used it for the last couple of races, but for this race, I decided to forego it’s use since the transition area was on pavement.  Having the habit of looking for that mat, I ran straight to the rack with the red mat and familiar bike shoes.  I stripped off my Synergy Syn-Skin and dropped my goggles and cap.  As I started to put on the shoes, I realized I was standing at Mike’s rack.  Realizing my mistake before I put the shoes on, I hopped over one rack and completed my transition.  My transition time could have easily been under a minute, but instead, it ended up being 1:03.

I dove into the trail from what I thought was around 5th place or so, having passed a few people in transition.  Within the first quarter of a mile I caught up to the first rider and at about the half-mile point the next rider.  As I finished off the first mile or so, just before crossing the paved road, one of my water bottles ejected like a rocket off into the woods.  I’ve dropped bottles plenty of times and had heard of them “ejecting” but in all my years, I had never witnessed the way this thing took off.  For a split second, I thought about leaving it.  In that same split second, I realized the importance of the fluid intake and I came to a skidding halt.

I laid my bike down at trailside and bounced off the trail like a gazelle trying my best to dodge the poison ivy as I went.  Twenty or so feet off of the trail, I retrieved the getaway bottle and bounced back to my bike.  I’m not sure how much time it wasted, but in a race where every second counts, it was too much.

It took me a while to catch up to the two leaders, who were riding in tandem.  When I passed the second place racer, he confirmed the person in front of him was the leader and I thanked him while picking up the pace a little.  Once in the lead, I tried to keep it fast and smooth.  The roots were slick from the morning’s rain and they all seemed to be off-camber or sideways in the trail.  Every time I hit one, it would kick my bike to one side or the other, but the Schwalbe tires kept the grip on.  I was surprised yet again by the performance of the Thunderburt in wet conditions.  Roots and rocks weren’t the only obstacles.  During the bike leg of the race, I managed to almost get run over by a deer crossing the trail.  This not only happened once, but TWICE.  The weirdest part was, it was on opposite sides of the course and about a half-hour apart.  I guess they were coordinating attacks and trying to do so when my guard was down.  Despite the natural obstacles, both plant and animal, I kept it upright (luckily) and finished the bike at 1:09:12, the fastest split of the day.

T2 was a much smoother transition.  Having made the silly mistake in T1, I really focused on making sure I went to the right rack in T2 while also trying to be as quick as possible.  21 seconds.

At about the first half-mile point, where the run turns from single-track to open fire road, I looked back and didn’t see anyone.  I floated down the fire road along a straightaway, turning back to look once more just before the road turned.  Staring me down and running for me was Josh Schaffer.  We’ve duked it out before at other races and this year, leapfrogging who won between us, so I knew I was within his reach.  I picked up the pace the best I could and tried to widen the gap between the two of us (and anyone else in the chase).  I managed to squeak out a good run (29:47) and maintained the lead for an overall win.  Thanks, Josh for pushing me.  :)


(left to right) Josh Schaffer, Marcus Barton, Erik Nielson

Afterwards a bunch of the XTERRA family piled into a fast food joint for good (bad) food and some great stories with great friends.


XTERRA Panther Creek
Location: Morristown, Tennessee
Date: July 27, 2014
Distances: 800 meter swim / 15.4 mile mountain bike / 4.5 mile trail run
Result: 1st overall
Full Results
Products used: GU Roctane and GU Brew, Schwalbe Rocket Ron Tire, Schwalbe Thunderburt Tire, Cobb DRT SHC Saddle, Synergy Syn-Skin, ESI Grips, Crank Brothers Candy 11 Pedals, First Endurance Multi-V.


Be a Warrior!




Too bushed to write

I had full intentions of writing race report for XTERRA Whitewater, but I was too bushed when I got home from a long day at the office.  I’ll get it posted as soon as I can.

For those of you that haven’t heard, it ended up being a pretty good race.  My training is improving and things luckily fell into place to allow me to finish first overall.  I say luckily, as I am a firm believer that sometimes luck has a lot to do with it, sort of like the fact that I was extremely lucky I kept things upright on some very slick, red clay trails.

I’ll give you the full lowdown in a day or two when I get a bit more time to put together a proper report.  In the meantime, check out the results.

XTERRA Whitewater Finish


XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run Race THIS WEEKEND

It’s not too late to get in on this awesome race, folks. 


XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run Race -  Jul 12th

Next to Last Race for
Carolina Trail Run Series & XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series

(only two races left)

THIS SATURDAY is the XTERRA Whitewater Trail Run! This race is in TWO series: Carolina Trail Run Series and the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series.  The race features trail running events on the beautiful trails of the US National Whitewater Center along the banks of the Catawba River in Charlotte, NC. 

Race distances in Saturday’s race include both 3.5 mile and 7.5 mile options.  These will prove to be fast, fun races on the flowy single track of the Whitewater Center.  The course is slightly different than last year thanks to some AWESOME new trails that the folks out at the Whitewater Center have been working on. 
VITALLY important: If you are competing in the Carolina Trail Run Series, you MUST race 4 of the 5 races to be eligible for series awards.  For more information on the rules/awards, visit the Carolina Trail Run Series website.

For more the XTERRA North Carolina Trail Run Series, your series-end awards will be sent by XTERRA.

For more information including registration, directions, & more, Click Here.

Almost Swept Away – XTERRA RVA

The race in Richmond, Virginia this year was not only the XTERRA East Championship but it was also the 2014 USAT Off-road National Championship.  This doubling up of championships doubled up the competition with new names and familiar ones.  Since it was a sort of special race, Alba even went so far as to shave the side of her noggin to clear a path for one of the XTERRA temporary tattoos along with a splash of red color.


When tackling this great race, you always have to be prepared for change.  Weather this time of year can have vast effects on the trails and since it is a river swim, it can cause the swim to be either a “running swim” or it can make it a treacherous one with strong currents.  Last year, the race was changed to a duathlon since the area had so much rain, you’d have a hard time boating the river, much less swimming it.

Sure enough, this weekend wouldn’t be much different.  Due to the rain leading in, the current in the swim was very strong.  We zig-zagged our way across the river having to really compensate for the strong flow.  There were folks aiming straight for the buoys without compensating and found themselves having to swim more than necessary with a bit of extra effort as they had to turn upstream.  I took an overly compensated swim, staying as far upstream as I could while also aiming upstream when crossing.  It seemed to work well as I hit every one of the buoys on the mark.  I still felt a little sluggish with my swim, however, having to sight more than I’d like, getting me out of form. Swim: 22:17

I transitioned quickly to the bike and headed out (T1: 00:50) The bike course is a two-lapper and with the pros starting their race about 45 minutes ahead of us, I happened to catch up with Shonny Vanlandingham just as she was beginning her second lap.  Darren Cox was also with us and the three of us would play tag for the bulk of our first lap.  There was a TON of traffic to deal with from the previous wave of racers, but we all were polite as the three of us passed as many folks as we could. We were chatting back and forth and Shonny was encouraging folks in front of her.  Very cool.


The locals showed up once again at the slick rock section, whooping and hollerin’, drinking, playing loud music and even cooking meat on a grill.  I’m not quite sure how they got the grill down there, but I am certain they weren’t hungry.


As we came up to the Stairway to Heaven, a section that allows you to ascend from the canal level up to a neighborhood, I was still on Shonny’s tail.  We went up the zig zag ramp, into the switchback rock garden and into the neighborhood.  On the way up, Darren had to step off causing us to pass him.

At the top, there was a feed zone complete with bottle swaps where I grabbed a bottle.  In the process of doing so, I lost track of Shonny for a second, but picked her up ahead.  I jumped up front, Darren right behind and Shonny on his rear.  We had a pretty fun little peloton through the neighborhood as we dove back into singletrack.  We caught up with more traffic and it wasn’t long before I lost track of both of them.

Heading into the second lap, the traffic had thinned out quite a bit.  Matter of fact, diving back into Buttermilk, I found myself alone.  I cleared all the obstacles cleanly with the exception of one root cropping we all had trouble with, even causing me to completely drop my chain.  It took me what felt like an eternity to get it back on.  I continued riding, only coming across the occasional person for most of the lap.  It wasn’t until ascending the Stairway to Heaven again that I started catching up with a lot of other riders still on their first lap. Bike: 1:38:24

Transition pre-race

After another decent transition (T2: 00:51), I headed out on the run which consisted of about 3 miles of flat, non-technical followed by about 3 miles of technical and single track.  I caught a couple of runners early on but continually saw a pack of three runners which looked out of reach.  This sight continued until we dove into single track where it appeared that I was closing the gap.  Sure enough, once we hit the dryway, a section of the James River that we run across during normal water height, I passed the 3 runners.


I scooted across the dryway as quickly as I could, catching a glimpse of the elusive Trey Garmin who tends to pop up on various parts of XTERRA courses with his third eye, a camera that gets some great shots of racers in action  Getting onto Belle Isle, I passed a couple of sprint racers throwing out some encouragement on the way.

Once I made it back to the road, I could see Jim Fisher up ahead, but just a bit out of reach.  I picked up the pace a little just in case someone was coming up from behind and crossed the tape at 2:45:58, for a run time of 43:36.  That put me second in the division and 10th overall amateur.  I was a little disappointed that Darryl “Speedy Gonzalez” Weaver took the top spot, but was very pleased that I had a clean, fast race that was a ton of fun.

Comparing times with some fast boys


I know a lot of you hear me on Facebook and here in my blog talk a lot about my XTERRA family.  Some of you understand, while others think it’s kind of kooky and weird.  Others, once they experience it, finally understand.  I’ve done all sorts of racing such as road triathlons, road biking, road running, trail running, obstacle course racing and many others.  No matter what other things I’ve tried, nothing compares to the camaraderie of XTERRA.

My personal example is prior to the race, I was having all sorts of shifting issues.  Ghost shifting, dropped chains, you name it.  I was fortunate enough to be in the same hotel as Pax Tolosi, mechanic extraordinaire and all around Sherpa for Beta Wronska. We were all going on a preride of the course and I discovered a slight problem.


Pax dropped what he was doing and came over to give me a hand.  We completely recabled my bike (internal routing), changed a chain ring and put on a new rear derailleur, all within MINUTES.  Throughout the race, my bike shifted flawlessly except for one dropped chain which was caused by a stick getting wedged in there.


But don’t just take my word for it, instead listen to this account.  Avery Nelson came into Richmond excited to race and like many racers, he decided to take a preride of the course on Saturday.  Here’s his tale as he explains it:

“At the end of my preride Saturday I cracked a carbon wheel and went to my fellow XTERRA athletes for some last minute help so that I could race on Sunday.  Man am I thankful for social media. Within an hour of posting on the XTERRA Southeast Athletes Facebook Group. I had multiple offers for spare wheels (which unfortunately didn’t match my setup) and a singlespeed loaner.  Things started to look up to where I would at least be able to race.  Not only did Doug Cubbage offer to let me ride his single speed, he also contacted Sean with Coqui Cyclery and asked him to help me out.  By the next morning at 6am there was a brand new Stans wheel built for me (a complete stranger) and loaned to me for the race. Unfortunately the hub didn’t match up and I started to sweat.  About that time, Sean (who I just met 10 minutes ago) offered to let me ride his brand new personal bike.  I was able to race to a 2nd place finish in my age and had the most fun out of any event I have competed in.  I already knew that XTERRA athletes were a tight group, but never did I expect the generosity I received from everyone this weekend.  Thanks to Doug, Sean, and everyone else that reached out to help this weekend. You wouldn’t find these type of people in any other sport!”

I wholeheartedly agree.  This is but only one of many, many stories at any XTERRA race.  I challenge you to find it at any other race.

Even the kids love the misting tent.


2014 USAT Off-Road National Championships / XTERRA East Championships
Location: Richmond, VA
Date: June 15, 2014
Distances: 1350m Swim / 30k mountain bike / 10k trail run
Result: 2nd in division, 10th Overall Amateur
Full Results
Products used: GU Roctane and GU Brew, Schwalbe Rocket Ron Tire, Schwalbe Thunderburt Tire, Cobb DRT SHC Saddle, Synergy Adrenaline Wetsuit, ESI Grips, Crank Brothers Candy 11 Pedals, First Endurance Multi-V.


Come join me THIS Sunday for a preview of the XTERRA Whitewater course and a transition clinic.  Here’s the details.

Be a Warrior!




Eats and Treats at XTERRA RVA

For those of you still on your way up for the XTERRA East Championships in Richmond, Virginia, here’s a few recommendations.  This holds especially true if you’ve never been here before.

There’s lots of places to eat, things to see and places to go.  Here’s a few favorites of ours.  With so many options, this is only a handful of joints.  We’d love to hear your favorites, too, so comment below!!

Great coffee a place to grab some healthy grub:  Elwood Thompson’s

If you’re a Whole Foods or Earth Fare fan, then you’ll love Elwood Thompson’s Local Market.  Plenty of locally grown foods and goods.  They have a great coffee bar where I first witnessed the Clover coffee machine back in 2010 (before Starbucks even knew what it was). More info.



Great Little Cafe: Lucy’s

We stumbled upon Lucy’s looking for lunch and loved this place.  Great atmosphere and decor and the food was delish.  One person on Yelp perfectly described it as, “Atmosphere is relaxing with cool hues, classy yet managing to be casual and unpretentious.”  Alba had the HRT sandwich and I had the special of the day which was mahi mahi on field greens with roasted peppers, red onions and garlic croutons.  More info.



Awesome Mexican food with flare: Casa del Barco

We had dinner here after Craig Evans recommended this joint.  Man, was the food outstanding.  It’s built inside one of the renovated Reynold’s buildings that sat abandoned after closing down in the 60’s.  Very cool decor with raw brick and recovered wood. It’s super close to the race venue as you’ll run right by it on the run course.  You can walk there from the transition area, so no need to even move your car. More info.




Sounds like bad bar food but it’s not: Pearl’s Raw Bar

We at here last night and was a bit afraid when Charlotte Mahan invited us.  Although a “raw bar” stirs visions in my head of some sketchy places back home, this place was far from it.  We crammed as many XTERRA racers as we could get into one booth and had a great time, with great people and great food. I had the salmon with coconut risotto.  Loved it. More info.

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Local’s recommendation for a close microbrew: Legend Brewery

We ate here and enjoyed some of the brews after the guys at Coqui Cyclery recommended it.  The nachos are out of this world, as are their hamburgers.  The view of the RIchmond skyline from the deck is stunning.  We might be hitting up this place after the race on Sunday for some great burgers and beer made on premises.  It’s central Virginia’s oldest and largest microbrewery. More info.

Legend View of Richmond

Well, there’s a couple of recommendations.  Again, if you have some, we’d love to hear them.  Comment below!!!

Lots of Racing and Riding

So many updates, where do I start?

XTERRA Whitewater Clinic and Preride

First and foremost, we had a beautiful day for the XTERRA Whitewater Transition Clinic and Preride.  We had 10 athletes show up of varying levels of skill from all over.  “Representatives” from Charlotte, Greensboro and Myrtle Beach were present and accounted for to name a few.

We started a little late due some “cross pollination” of clinics.  Most of our attendees were intermingled with the Dirt Divas Skills Clinic by mistake.  I just happened to stop by and say high and we discovered the mixup.  After a quick roundup, we got started with the transition clinic. 


We hit the trails to ride the 14 mile mountain bike course that would make up the bike leg of the race.  Whitewater Center Trail Guru, Lee Flythe and crew have been real busy out there building new trails and extending existing ones.  With a new mix of hand cut and machine cut trails recently added, the ride was fun and challenging.  If you missed out, I hope to see you all at the next clinic scheduled for June 22nd (you can RSVP here).  Thanks goes out to USNWC Events Manager and XTERRA Whitewater Race Director Adam Bratton.

I followed up the clinic and pre-ride with a tough EPC Multisport brick workout that damn near kicked my butt.  I barely had enough energy to cut the grass when I got home, but I managed to get it done.  Exhausting but fun, fun day.

XTERRA Knoxville

On the racing front, the inaugural XTERRA Knoxville was held on Saturday with what was reported as some of the best single track out there.  “One of the toughest mountain bike courses I’ve ridden; fun dry but quite treacherous wet.” said Charlie Epperson, XTERRA Pro that came in second overall just behind fellow XTERRA Pro Takahiro Ogasawara (Oga) from Japan.  He continued, “I came into T-2 maybe 4 or 5 minutes down from Oga and a minute back from Josh. I felt great running and was able to make up some ground on Oga but not enough. I’m happy anytime I’m within a few minutes.”  Josh Schaffer came in third overall and was the top amateur at the race.  He also doubled as XTERRA security since he camped at the venue.

On the ladies front, XTERRA Pro, Mieko Carey was second overall out of the water and rode with Charlie for a good portion of the bike leg.  She won the female division with Andrea Ludwig and Lucia Colbert coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively.  Full Results

As with any first-year event, however, it wasn’t without its share of snafus.  Apparently, the trails lacked enough markings to keep everyone on track and racers got off course.  First-year XTERRA racer, Jheremy Zetans came to the rescue.  He saw what was happening and decided to terminate his own race to give a lending hand by directing racers back on course.  Talk about XTERRA spirit!

Charlie went on to provide a small tidbit of advice, “I know a couple of riders and runners got lost today. Always a disheartening experience. I’ve been there. My advice is to take the extra day to arrive early to ride and run and be able to race without that element of uncertainty.”

Oga, Mieko and Charlie

XTERRA East Championships (aka XTERRA RVA)

Speaking of XTERRA Pros Charlie, Oga and Mieko, they will be teaming up in the first ever XTERRA Pro pre-race shoot-out in Richmond.  The pros will be split up into 3-person relay teams on a very short course highlighting aspects of this weekend’s XTERRA East Championship course (Jun 15).  It’ll be fast and furious action with the winners expected to knock it out in 15 minutes.  The teams that have been made up are very interesting to say the least.  You can check out who’s on what teams at the Pro Relay Team Shoot-out webpage.


Even better, not only can you witness this in person, but the title sponsor, Luck Stone, will be broadcasting the event live so you can view online, complete with video and GPS tracking via their website at www.luckstone.com.  If you can break away from what you’re doing, THIS Thursday, at noon (Eastern time), you should definitely check this out.  I plan on being there in person (hopefully), so keep an eye on my Twitter and Facebook feed and I’ll try to give ya another avenue to keep up on the action (and some cool pics).


Be a Warrior!





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