Brian Smith, Rebecca Dussault Win Xterra World Championships at Snowbasin

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on March 11, 2009 10:30 am

It’s become the winter version of the Iron Man.  The celebrated Xterra Winter World Championships at Snowbasin this past weekend was a pure assault on the athletic senses.  Start out with a 10k mountain bike ride, then another 5k on snowshoes, a 5k run, and finishing up with an 8k randonee ski.  Four events, totaling 18 miles, all of them on snow, packed into one race.  "Xterra is not normal," said Trey Garman, Xterra marketing director. "We can’t do anything normal, so we wanted to do a winter tri, but with a twist." 

Twist accomplished.  The race took place under perfect conditions.  The sun was out, and the snow pack at Snowbasin remains the deepest in Utah.  The Xterra World Championships drew a wide range of participants, including 2006 Olympian Rebecca Dussault, who set a women’s course record in capturing first place with a time of 2:26:54.  "There’s something about the struggle that is competition that drives me on, I always correlate it spiritually — it’s like the spiritual life," Dussault said. "It’s grueling and it’s going to break you to that final glory, that eternal crown, that gold medal. And you’re going to have to rely on others and absolutely bury yourself. Athletics has a much deeper meaning to me; it helps us to be more disciplined in our lives."

On the men’s side, Brian Smith, 33 of Gunnison, Colorado, repeated his win from last year, besting the entire men’s field by five minutes, finishing in 2:00:21.  “It feels good to defend the title,” smiled Smith.  “I wanted to be flawless today, and was able to put some gaps on the field in the first climbing section on the bike and from there I just stayed on the gas and pulled away.” 

Two-time Winter Triathlon World Champion Nicolas Lebrun from France finished second, and Jay Henry finished third who echoed the sentiment of the entire field on such a spectacular March snow day.  “The ski was awesome, just beautiful terrain and this was my first time skiing in Utah but I’ll definitely be back. I had a blast,” said Henry, who finished 3rd overall.

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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