2012 XTERRA Richmond Preview

Luck Stone, a presenting sponsor of the XTERRA East Championship, has a comprehensive slate of coverage planned for Sunday’s pro race at 8am EST, that can be found at http://www.luckstone.com/xterra-world-tour-2012

Luck Stone AwardOn one screen they’ll bring you live video feeds from eight spots around the course.  On another they’ll showcase a social media (GIS) map of the course with detailed positioning and tweets from strategically positioned spotters and finally, in a first for XTERRA, they are equipping every elite with a GPS tracking device that will allow followers to see their every movement.  The “myathletelive.com” device reports location, speed, distance, and elevation.

Google Chrome seems to be the best browser for viewing, but fans can use any web enabled cell phone or handheld device such as an iPhone or Droid. Just go to the website xterra.luckstone.com, and follow the various links. Home viewers can do the same from their computer.  Our suggestion is to open up multiple browsers and have fun. 

And, for those on-site at Brown’s Island Luck Stone will have four 70-inch big screen TVs broadcasting the coverage. Those on-site are encouraged to share their experiences via twitter with hashtag #xterraRVA (on a related note be sure to find the picture XTERRA Pro Damian Gonzalez posted of Cpl. Todd Love, who is doing the swim as part of the Team X-T.R.E.M.E. relay).

On Sunday, click on the name of the athlete to go directly to the specific URL for that racer.

On that note, here is a little background on my last 12 years here in Richmond.  My second year at this race I passed out unconscious at the finish line, woke up and puked on my shoe sponsor in the medical tent.  Good times!!  Looks like the weather should be worthy of some war stories so enjoy the coverage tomorrow!


What have you done every June since 2001?  Some might have a traditional summer vacation spot or a birthday celebration, but for 3x XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid – it’s crushing it at the XTERRA East Championship in Richmond, Virginia.


Melanie McQuaidSince she emerged on the scene in 2001 the former World Cup mountain biker from Canada has been remarkably consistent, making her way to the podium every June for 11 consecutive years, including wins in 2004, 2008 and 2009 – and six runner-ups.


“I’ll tell you what, I don’t remember actually finishing all of those,” McQuaid said with a smile at the annual media day on Brown’s Island with the city skyline looming in the background.  She was referring to some of the collapses at the line she’s experienced as a result of pushing the envelope in stifling heat.


While McQuaid (pictured in Richmond circa 2002) might not remember it, age grouper David Karasik does – in fact, it’s one of his favorite memories.  “I remember Melanie just melting after finishing in second place in 2007, and then being dragged to the medical tent, loved that.”  To be clear, he loved it because of the effort.


McQuaid’s all-in, do-or-die type of racing has endeared her to fans for more than a decade, and you only have to look back to October for the most recent example when she collapsed with the lead and a hundred yards to go at XTERRA Worlds.


McQuaid was 28 when she made her first trip to the James River, and her success in the first one may have been the spark that ignited her career in XTERRA.

Chek News March 2012

Since I was very sick on the weekend there was little opportunity for me to create the RGTV episode I was planning featuring the XTERRA Vegas course. The only thing more annoying than the constant UM punctuation I tend to use when I speak is sentences punctuated with a barking cough. For this reason, RGTV will not be aired this week.


Luckily I have a feature from Chek news that really tells a story about Victoria, BC. My hometown is an absolute factory for endurance champions from a variety of sports disciplines. The folks at Chek were kind enough to do a feature on me after I won in Oceanside and I really like the story because of how it describes how the other athletes in Victoria are really an inspiration to me.


There is a training camp in Victoria at the end of the month hosted by the Pacific Cycling Center (www.pacificcyclingcenter.ca) I am planning to participate in. If you are looking to do a Granfondo this summer or do the Victoria Grandfondo on July 24th you may want to take part. Houshang Amiri is leading a camp specifically geared towards that event that I think is going to be great training for me and my half Ironman goals as well. Check out his website and maybe we will ride together?

Thanks for all the support, next up is the AVIA Wildflower triathlon in California. Time to get healthy and then get back to work.

Melanie McQuaid crowned first ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion

Meanie McQuaid crowned first ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion
30/04/11 at 9:17 pm from www.triathlon.org
Canadian Melanie McQuaid made an impressive ITU debut and was crowned the first ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion today in Extremadura, Spain.
McQuaid overcame adversity when her bike was lost while traveling to Spain.  She was forced to race on a borrowed bike for today’s championships but didn’t let that stop her from powering to her first ever ITU World Championship, adding to her three Xterra world titles.
American Shonny Vanlandingham was second across the line for silver.  Teammate Emma Garrard took the bronze, completing a North American sweep of the women’s podium.
In all, 25 women from 11 countries tackled the course, set at “The Ring”, an International Innovation Centre for outdoor sports in Extremadura.
McQuaid’s Canadian teammate Christine Jeffrey led the women out of the 1km swim.  She held a significant lead over the favourites, with the fastest swim split by 1 46-second margin.  McQuaid trailed by over two and a half minutes after the swim.
But once on the 20km mountain bike course, McQuaid made her move and surged to the lead.  Garrard followed in second place while Jeffrey dropped to third.  Vanlandingham, who was second last out of the water, sizzled on the bike, recording the fastest bike split as the only woman to bike under an hour.  McQuaid had the second fastest bike split, more than enough to propel her to the lead.
Off the bike and out onto the 6km cross-country run, McQuaid continued to lead the field.  Behind her, Vanlandingham worked her way into the silver medal position with Garrard just behind her in third.
Even a 15-second penalty wasn’t enough to stall McQuaid in her unstoppable march to victory.  The Canadian never looked back enroute to her first career ITU World Championship, stopping the clock at 1 hour, 43 minutes, 2 seconds, a comfortable 23 seconds ahead of Vanlandingham and 41 seconds ahead of Garrard. Continue reading “Melanie McQuaid crowned first ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion”

Mel’s Rad Racing Regional Champs

A long, long time ago (last October in Maui), when the idea came to me to have a group of amateurs racing alongside me on the XTERRA tour, I envisioned a team.   I wanted to have a group of athletes that I can hang out with at races and maybe help to go faster.  I thought about how cool it would be to give the opportunity to amateur athletes to look, feel and behave like professionals without any of the stress or pressure of performance placed on them.  I wondered, if you give this opportunity to amateur athletes with other conflicting pressures and responsibilities, what would happen?   Would they rise up, given their opportunity?  Does just FEELING like a pro make you race like one?  Okay, well maybe they didn’t get 100% pro treatment but I did my best to give them the same equipment, clothing, nutrition and access to training and racing strategy I use and then unleashed them on the series.

Well I believe the answer to that is a resounding YES!!  I did not choose one single person for Mel’s Rad Racing Team based on results.  I confess, some were my athletes that I personally coach so I was well aware of their abilities, but others were chosen solely on whether I thought they would be great ambassadors and representatives of our team. 

So when I discovered that we earned SEVEN regional championships with a team chosen just because they were cool people, do you think I was stoked?  I think that is fanfabutastic!

Now every one of the athletes below is just plain awesome so it is tough to have true standouts in the group.  I am lucky to have Kristoffer Neilsen here in Boulder with me, kicking my butt, as he has at nearly every event he has raced this year which is why he is regional champion.  But there is one woman on this list I want to make particular note of because she is the reason why Regional Championships are so darn incredible and motivating for us as human beings.  You never know what your potential is until you go on a quest to find it.  READ MORE HERE

Continue reading “Mel’s Rad Racing Regional Champs”

Billy-Dee Does Tour de Rock


My friend Bill was invited to ride the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock this year. This event has been hugely successful since its inception in 1998. Some local celebrities, like Bill, and local police officers commit to the ride and the training required to finish it. This year they will ride 1000 kilometers through 27 communities across Vancouver Island between September 22 to October 6th. For months now he has been training the group to ensure they are ready to make the journey and it is very close to “Go” time!

In conjunction with the ride to raise awareness, numerous fundraisers benefitting the Canadian Cancer Foundation are held. The “head shaving” events are hugely popular. This weekend one of these was held at Rider’s Cycles. Bill has been growing his floppy mop of hair to the point of “Flock of Seagulls” since he committed to the Tour and this weekend he was getting a haircut… from some unprofessionals. Ross, always wanting to be helpful, lined up for the opportunity to donate to the cause and to start the cutting.

If you want to get involved or sponsor a rider this is the website:


All the best to Bill and the boys on their journey this year!




Tri As She May, She Won’t Stop

( Note: This story is about Jackie Burt, a wicked soon to be pro I am coaching this season…..melanie)

Gunnison mom balances competitive drive and life with kids

By Brian Metzler
Special to The Denver Post

Jackie Burt, training in Gunnison with daughter Emma, 9, and son Sam, 7, is hoping to take her triathlon career to the next level. (Post / Helen H. Richardson)

Gunnison – Jackie Burt is a stay-at-home mom. Sort of.

Not long after she drops off her children at school, she can often be found at the gym grinding her way through a 90-minute cycling class. Then she might swing by the pool for an hour of swimming. Lately, her typical week has also included alpine skiing, running, weight lifting, skate skiing and even ice hockey.

It’s not that the 34-year-old Gunnison resident doesn’t enjoy a little peace and quiet, but this mom is on a mission.

She’s training like a fiend so she can earn professional status as an off-road triathlete by midsummer and have a chance to shoot for top-10 finishes at the sport’s U.S. and world championships in October.

Most of the events in the Xterra off-road triathlon circuit consist of a roughly 1-mile swim, 25 miles of mountain biking and about 6 miles of running. The pros finish in about 2 1/2 hours. Burt is a reluctant but improving swimmer, an expert mountain biker and a very good runner.

Based on her fierce determination, rapid improvement in recent years and the fact her children – 9-year-old daughter Emma and 7-year-old son Sam – are in school all day for the first time, Burt, who picked up the sport six years ago, appears poised for her best season of racing yet. She also has retained Xterra women’s world champion Melanie McQuaid to coach her this season to make sure no stone is left unturned. Burt’s first race is April 23.

"I’ve always been competitive, and it’s really nice as an old-lady mother to be able to dig that out and use that," she said. "There are challenges, but at the same time, I don’t know how I could survive the balance of motherhood without competition. It’s my very own, and it’s a great way to stay focused in life."

It certainly helps that her husband, Ashley, is a dedicated amateur Xterra triathlete and her biggest supporter, and that they’ve been able to share their love of sports and the outdoors by involving the children in their training and long race weekends. In the summer, the Burts will do running workouts while Emma and Sam ride their mountain bikes on the same trails. In the winter months, the family often goes alpine or cross country skiing together and then returns home to watch a movie on TV as Jackie and Ashley spin on indoor bike trainers.

But with the kids involved in a variety of sports ranging from triathlon to hockey to gymnastics, scheduling can sometimes be tricky. On one occasion last summer, Jackie finished a race near Bailey and then had to scurry to braid Emma’s hair and quickly drive her to Longmont for a gymnastics meet.

"It’s been a fun challenge," said Ashley Burt, 38, who is the president of the Gunnison Bank and Trust and race director for the fourth annual Crested Butte Bank Trails Triathlon on July 30. "I think, more than anything, the kids are growing up in a household where Mom and Dad are athletes who train a lot, and that seems normal to them. And when it strikes your kids as the norm, they don’t really question it, and they actually enjoy it."

Continue reading “Tri As She May, She Won’t Stop”

The Martlet Online – March 16, 2006

UVic alumna Melanie McQuaid is a force of nature on the extreme triathlon circuit. The 32-year-old is investing in the sport’s future as a coach and mentor.

By Jessica Earle

Continue reading “The Martlet Online – March 16, 2006”

LeBrun, McQuaid win titles

The men’s champion breaks through, while the women’s titlist proves her dominance

By Fred Guzman

Special to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Monday, October 24, 2005

MAKENA, Maui >> Under heavily overcast skies, it was a bright afternoon in the lives of two competitors in the off-road Nissan Xterra World Championships yesterday.

For one, Nicolas LeBrun of France, it marked the end of frustrating close calls. For the other, Melanie McQuaid of Canada, it was a signal that she has become the most dominant performer in an extreme sport requiring athletes to compete in a 1,500-meter ocean swim, a 40-kilometer bike ride and a 10-kilometer run.

Continue reading “LeBrun, McQuaid win titles”