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”

In Her Words: Melanie McQuaid On Rivalry

This report filed August 25, 2005 on http://www.insidetri.com

(Jamie Whitmore and Melanie McQuaid have waged a seesaw war over the past three years of Xterra – Whitmore capturing the world championship on the strength of her run in 2004 and McQuaid using her vicious bike skills to take the world title in 2003. Who will prevail in Maui, at the 2005 world championships on October 23rd? Here, Melanie writes about how a strong rivalry can force competitors to improve beyond perceived limits.)

A rivalry exists when one strives to obtain something simultaneously with another – something which only one can possess. In sport, there can be only one winner, which is why sport inspires some of the greatest rivalries in history. A great rivalry is something quite special. It allows competing athletes to create a history in the sport beyond themselves. It allows their actions, their efforts, and their heart to be permanently recorded with the spirit of sportsmanship and competitiveness. I can think of some great rivalries which will forever be linked with that sport: Armstrong v. Ullrich (cycling); Evert v. Navratilova (tennis); Allan v. Scott (triathlon). The story of their competition remains vivid beyond the victories, and I feel proud that within the sport of Xterra for the last three years I have participated in my own rivalry, McQuaid vs. Whitmore. Having close competition can be one of the greatest ways to explore your own ability as an athlete, and it can make even your losses become some of the best races of your career.

Continue reading “In Her Words: Melanie McQuaid On Rivalry”

Problems At The Season Opener

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H.L. Mencken

I’m flying back from the Sea Otter Classic reflecting on one of the worst races of my career, trying to evaluate objectively without being overly emotional about this experience. I didn’t really want to go and do this race, knowing that I was sick, on antibiotics, and generally not feeling great. My decision was to go anyway and see if it came around. It didn’t, and now that the race is over I have to try and take something away from this experience that is positive. When you don’t go well it is tough to pull the good stuff out of your races, but I think it is important to always learn something from bad performances. I made some decisions over the past few weeks that were likely wrong, but now that they have been made, how to move forward and go on to the next challenge….

Continue reading “Problems At The Season Opener”