XTERRA AMERICA TOUR UNDERWAY...
2010 marks the 15th year of XTERRA off-road triathlon racing and the 10th year of the U.S. amateur series known as the XTERRA America Tour. This year there are 65 races in 35 states from coast-to-coast, and a pair of the longest standing points series races kick off the dirt-strewn season in the continental U.S. this Sunday - XTERRA Miami in the far southeast and XTERRA REAL nearly 3,000 miles away on California's west coast.
Also this weekend in the Mariana Islands several pros – notably XTERRA Saipan Champ Sam Gardner, 4x XTERRA European Tour Champ Renata Bucher, and XTERRA U.S. National Champ Shonny Vanlandingham, will take on the tropical challenge of XTERRA Guam.
The entire schedule of events and breakdown on how the series works can be found at xterraplanet.com.
CATCHING UP WITH JEFF CAMPBELL
By Shanelle Naone
We sometimes participate in life’s events without knowing the future implications of it. Such was the case for Jeff Campbell, who at age six won a 10 and under one-mile race that ignited a lifelong passion, commitment, and career in running.
Of course, his father was an accomplished runner in high school and college, so Campbell was prone to inherit the running gene. He competed in his first international race in Ireland at age nine, ran all the way through college and into a 12-year-long pro career that included representing team USA, two Olympic trials, and ultimately competitive trail racing.
Among his accomplishments you’ll find a 2:16 marathon, a 28:31 10,000m, and a 13:59 5K.
Campbell started going off-road as a form of strength training while running for the University of South Alabama, and after his second Olympic trials in 2004 he decided to focus on trails. Last year, he won his division in all four XTERRA Georgia Trail Run Series races he entered which included three 10k’s and a half-marathon.
Campbell later went on to prove how fast he is by placing sixth overall against a very strong field at the XTERRA Trail Run World Champs. He described the trail at Kualoa Ranch as, “One of the hardest races I’ve ever run.” While he came to the islands to compete, Campbell also took the time to vacation as the trip was his first to Hawaii.
So what excites him about the sport of trail running?
“Not knowing what’s going to be out there,” he said. Campbell is excited to see where the sport will go and said he’d like to see it get as big as professional running, noting that the sport is definitely getting bigger, and gaining interest.
Campbell is currently the General Manager of Big Peach Running Company located in Atlanta, Georgia, home to the country’s second largest running community. With so much experience on and off the road, Campbell has a wealth of advice to give young runners who want to pursue a career in running. His general advice is to “develop good habits such as dedication, sleep, eating right, and knowing when not to go out on Friday nights.”
Mar. 27 - XTERRA Guam (Piti)
Mar. 27 - XTERRA Chanoko 21km (Granite Bay, CA)
Mar. 28 - XTERRA Miami (N. Miami, FL)
Mar. 28 - XTERRA REAL (Granite Bay, CA)
Apr. 2 - XTERRA Portugal Beach Run Challenge 4/8km
Apr. 3 - XTERRA Portugal Championship
(Figueira da Foz)
Apr. 10 - XTERRA Rotorua Half-Marathon Trail Run
Apr. 10 - XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Rotorua)
Apr. 10 - XTERRA Bethpage 5k (Bethpage, NY)
Apr. 17 - XTERRA Muleshoe 10/20km Trail Runs (Spicewood, TX)
Apr. 17 - XTERRA Doug Harris Memorial Trail Run 10k (Clemson, SC)
Apr. 18 - XTERRA Redwood Peak 5/15k (Oakland, CA)
Apr. 18 - XTERRA Muleshoe (Spicewood, TX)
Apr. 18 - XTERRA Caloosahatchee (Ft. Myers, FL)
Apr. 24 - XTERRA Fort Yargo (Winder, GA)
Apr. 24 - XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 5k/10k/21k
Apr. 24 - XTERRA Vulture's Knob 11k (Wooster, OH)
Apr. 25 - XTERRA Crystal Cove 5/17k Trail Run (Newport, CA)
Apr. 25 - XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Duathlon (Henderson, NV)
Apr. 25 - XTERRA West Championship
XTERRA SOUTHEAST CHAMPS PRIMER
Those looking for an opportunity to preview the June 13th XTERRA Southeast Championship course under racing conditions can take part in Saturday's Duathlon (8k run/27k mountain bike/2k run) at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama.
The course will traverse the same mountain bike and running trails used in the championship, and is part of the Powerman Alabama multisport weekend. Learn more at team-magic.com.
GARDNER, BUCHER WIN PIC DOUBLE
Sam Gardner of the UK and Renata Bucher of Switzerland won the Pacific Islands Club Double award (given to the man and woman with the fastest combined time in the XTERRA Saipan Championship and the Tagaman road triathlon) for the second straight year on Saturday.
Gardner won the Tagaman (2k swim, 60k bike, 15k run) in 2:59:23, and his combined time in the two races was 5:33:26, just a minute thirty faster than Canada’s Mike Vine (who finished second in both events).
Bucher finished third at Tagaman behind Shonny Vanlandingham and winner Dan Bi Hong from Korea, but still posted the fastest combined times with a 6:22:55. Vanlandingham tallied a 6:30:13.
With the victories the European duo earned their tickets back to the islands (the ultimate pre-season training grounds) and a sweet week-long stay at the lush PIC Resort. Athletes can plan on joining the two in 2011 by following saipansports.com.