High speeds and hijinx at XTERRA

I had a blast covering the XTERRA East Championship off-road triathlon yesterday. The race actually was turned into a duathlon because the high river level made the James unsafe to swim in. Dan Hugo, who I featured in my Sunday column, won the men’s race and Lesley Patterson took home the women’s crown. Make sure you check out T-D photographer Joe Mahoney’s photo gallery at TD.com. He was right there in Reedy Creek as American pro Craig Evans took a header into the water. If you’ve ridden these trails, you probably know the pain Evans was feeling at the time. Click here for my article on yesterday’s race.

And I’d be remiss, in talking about XTERRA, if I didn’t mention the crazy fans that lined Buttermilk Trail in the now-annual ritual of cross dressing, cowbell ringing and other hijinx. This picture was taken long before the area filled up with spectators, but the guy with the Mickey Mouse head gives you a sense of what was to come.





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XTERRA takes over the James this weekend

The XTERRA East Championship is back this weekend for its 15th consecutive year in Richmond. The festivities kick off at 12:30 p.m. today on Brown’s Island, as XTERRA will stream a live HD broadcast of a round-table discussion with the sports biggest stars as they prepare for Sunday’s race. The live link, produced by title sponsor Luck Stone, is here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/xterra-run

Conrad Stoltz crosses the dryway to Belle Isle during a past XTERRA race. Credit: ConradStoltz.com

Conrad Stoltz crosses the dryway to Belle Isle during a past XTERRA race. Credit: ConradStoltz.com

Moderated by Luck Stone’s Courtney Simons, pros in attendance will be a trio of South Africa’s greatest endurance athletes that are in town for the race, ranging from one of the youngest in the pro field – Brad Weiss – to the immensely talented Dan Hugo – along with the sports biggest star – Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz. Stoltz is a two-time Olympian, 6x World Champion, and winner of seven of the last eight races in Richmond. We also have three of the most decorated women in XTERRA with 3-time World Champion, Canadian Melanie McQuaid, another former World Champ, Shonny Vanlandingham, and the current XTERRA USA National Champion Suzie Snyder.

Luck Stone, a presenting sponsor of the XTERRA East Championship, will also provide comprehensive coverage of the pro race on Sunday that includes live HD video, GPS tracking of the pros, and a social media (GIS) map with highlighted tweets from spotters along the course. There will be four streaming channels of live HD video starting at 8 a.m.  on Sunday, June 9, at xterra.luckstone.com.

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Luck Stone brings Xterra worlds to the masses

In June, Luck Stone, the presenting sponsor of the Xterra off-road triathlon here in Richmond, rolled out a whole new way for fans to experience the races. I detailed the tech-savvy approach in my column for the T-D.

Richmond Xterra winner Conrad Stoltz.

Now the company is taking its tech skills to Xterra worlds in Hawaii this Sunday. According to a joint press release, the same spectator experience Richmonders were the first to enjoy in June will be available to fans in Hawaii and all over the world via a special website — www.xterralive.com. If you’re a triathlete or Xterra fan, you need to check this out.

Luck Stone is working to enrich the XTERRA experience by creating an interactive social media map. Spectators are encouraged to utilize the hashtag #XTERRAMAUI to link up on Twitter, share their experience and generate excitement through picture-sharing, geo-tagging and reporting.

 A second feature is a GPS device worn by the elite athletes that tracks their location, distance, and speed. Like the camera footage, this information will also be available to view online at www.xterralive.com.

 A third feature includes cameras operating at different vantage points throughout the course streaming live video feed onto the web, enabling viewers to watch the race and cheer on the athletes in real time. Live video feeds will be displayed on several large monitors at the World Championship at the Ritz Carlton in Maui.

 According to Luck Stone associates, Trevor Blanning and John Blackmore, who introduced the three-part technology package to XTERRA, the package has had a worldwide reach and has been viewed by thousands and thousands in more than 35 countries. Friends and fans are now able to experience XTERRA competitions worldwide, and in real-time, through the lens of athletes and spectators alike. To learn more about Luck Stone and XTERRA, visit www.luckstone.com and www.xterraplanet.com. You can participate during the competition on Twitter using the hashtag #XTERRAMAUI and also follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Luck.Stone.XTERRA or www.xterralive.com

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