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."

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PR: World champion McQuaid to continue riding Orbea in 2006

by IT Interactive

This report filed November 30, 2005

Two-time Xterra world champion Melanie McQuaid has confirmed that she will be riding Orbea bikes in 2006, as she seeks to be the first person ever to repeat as champion.

"In 2005 I was fortunate enough to be one of the first to race the Alma, and my results speak to the quality of that bike. It is a privilege that I will continue to ride Orbea in 2006. Orbea offers an amazing line of road, time trial and mountain bikes that set a quality standard that no one else even comes close to, and the roster of athletes that choose to ride them is equally impressive.I am excited to be part of what is sure to be the ultimate multisport program next season."

McQuaid was a terror on the Xterra circuit in 2005, with wins at Xterra West and Mountain championships, plus close seconds in Xterra East, Midwest and USA championships. She rode the Scandium hardtail Scape for most of the year, switching to Orbea’s all-carbon Alma for the world championship race in Maui, where she scorched the bike course in a convincing win.

Orbea’s managing director for North America, Tony Karklins, is thrilled about McQuaid’s results this year and excited to have her riding Orbea again in 2006. "Melanie has become the face of Xterra with her consistent high level of achievement over the past three years, and Orbea is proud to be a part of her team going forward. She’s a leader and a winner, and those are qualities that we strive for everyday."

Melanie will be racing the Alma again next year in Xterra events. She also has plans to race the Orbea Ordu in a few non-drafting triathlons, when her off-road schedule permits.

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.

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Claiming Silver Medal at the 2004 World Champs

The skies above Maui have opened up today, a storm announcing the arrival of winter and the beginning of the off season for me. I have just completed the World Xterra Championship, the biggest race of the season attracting the best and the brightest from around the world. In a close race and an exciting finish, I ended up second to Jamie Whitmore. My bid to retain the title became a strong second place with about two kilometers to go, and although I am obviously disappointed in not winning, I must congratulate Jamie for putting together a great race. As a result, I am totally focused on how I can be better as an athlete, how I can improve on this great, but not perfect season, and what I need to do to climb back to the top of the World Championship podium. But that can wait, because now is the time for me to go home and chill out with friends and be "normal" for awhile, before plotting next seasons course…. Continue reading “Claiming Silver Medal at the 2004 World Champs”

Looking Forward to the 2004 World Championships!

While I spend the last few days here in Victoria preparing to leave for Hawaii, I can’t help but become very philosophical on WHY we do what we do, and what positive effect our actions and choices have on others. It is hard to stay focussed on "winning" things when the achievement is truly fleeting. I feel that only when you manage to inspire someone else, and they carry on to inspire the next person, that your achievement may have lasting value… Continue reading “Looking Forward to the 2004 World Championships!”

Big Bear Becomes Battle Of The Sexes

Despite the title of this report, the West Championships Xterra was again a battle between Jamie Whitmore and I, but a very unfriendly non-gentleman decided to put himself between us during the bike segment of the race, and then personally attack me after the race, so this story has a bit of spice. Jamie won the Big Bear Xterra this year again, and as much as I freaking HATE second, I did do well having had a solid race winning the bike prime and putting up a fight until about the last 3.5 miles of the race, so I feel like things are right on track for the last two races of the season. This was a good race, so read on to get the story….

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June 13, 2004 – McQuick Continues Winning Way

Melanie’s Personal Score: 1 triathlon – 1 Victory!

Always nice to kick off the season with a win, and although I was concerned that this one was going to be hard going, the legs came around in the crunch and carried me in for a solid winning race!

This race is cool because it is right in the middle of a metropolitan area, Richmond, Virginia, so lots of spectators and lots and lots of participants… like 2000 for all the events on the weekend. It is really quite cool…….

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