Snowbasin Resort Provides Spectacular Fall Backdrop for Race Fans
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – September 27, 2011- Over 3,000 spectators lined the transition areas and trails holding signs that read “I Love Lance”, “I Love Melanie”, “I Love Nico” and “I Love Caveman” providing the 2011 USA Championship its largest crowd ever. The event will be captured in a one-hour television special that will be broadcast on ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX affiliates across the country providing tremendous exposure to Utah. In addition to the $4 million in media value the 140+ airings will provide to Utah, the event brought an estimated $3 million in economic impact to the state.
It was one of the most anticipated events in XTERRA history, mostly because of the debut of American cycling legend and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong (pictured above). Armstrong was in third place for most of the race, but finished in fifth overall.
There was a lot of hype entering the 2011 USA Championship and Men’s Winner Nicholas Lebrun (pictured below left) didn’t receive much of it, but when it was all said and done, the top off-road triathlete from France proved that the XTERRA USA Championship is a bit different from a Tour de France. Lebrun rallied from a slow swim, to the fastest bike split of the day, and then finished with a strong run to take his second USA title in the last three years.
In the women’s race, three-time XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid (pictured above right) from Canada took top honors. This was Melanie’s fourth win in a row at Snowbasin. “Ogden really put on a show this weekend,” said Melanie. “I always say that Utah has all that Colorado has to offer with the mountains, the altitude, the cowboyness but all wrapped up in a super polite, friendly and mellow package. I love Utah.”
New this year, the XTERRA Trail Run Nationals made its new home at Snowbasin Resort, moving from Bend, Oregon. The event was held on Sunday and brought an additional 200 athletes to compete on the 21-kilometer trail course. Max King dominated the field beating the other runners by nearly four minutes, but more impressive, King won the USC 50k Trail Championship in Bend, OR just 24-hours earlier!
2010 Winter Olympic U.S. cross country ski teammates Morgan Arritola and Liz Stephen showed they are just as fast in running shoes finishing within a minute of each other to capture first and second place in the women’s division.
The XTERRA USA Championship and Trail Run Nationals were hosted by beautiful Snowbasin Resort. The 2002 Olympic venue provided hospitality, a world-class venue and magnificent scenery for athletes and spectators alike. Long-time XTERRA partners, Ogden City and the GOAL Foundation, once again rolled out the red carpet providing hospitality, volunteers, and entertainment with the Harvest Moon Festival that runs in conjunction with the event.