Share |

Sunday, June 12, 2005 -- Oak Hill, WV
ACE Big Canyon Off-Road Triathlon (iPO Event Id#: 6605)
Story and photos by Jason Black

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
[Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9] [Set 10]
Past Event Coverage: [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004]

Photo by Jason Black
Ready to brave the New River
ACE Adventure Center located in the New River Gorge area of West Virginia played host to the Nissan Xterra Points Series Big Canyon Off-Road Triathlon yet again. The mere presence of The New River Gorge is enough to inspire anyone. ACE is the place to race and raft, and more. With it's spacious outdoor resort grounds and direct acess to the New River, it's no wonder XTERRA and ACE keeps them coming back every year.

The 80 athletes that showed up from around the country to challenge the gorge that day were no different than the average tourist that showed up to enjoy its beauty. But very few of the thousands of people that show up to see it each year, get to see it the way these athletes did.

Photo by Jason Black
Scenic and grueling, the gorge
Swimming in the river for over one-mile, running it's terrain from the bottom to the top and testing themselves on over thirteen miles of premier mountain bike trails. This year's race also featured a hand full of local talent, who came out to play in their back yard. Being able to compete in this type of terrain appeared to be extremely challenging for even the most conditioned triathlete.

In an impressive showing, two men came in under 2.5 hours, Robert Kunz (2:25:31) and Konrad Heller (2:29:20). Not far behind in third place was Justin Riddle (2:31:36). In the women's division the first place spot went to Kristy Mantz (2:49:11) finishing 15 minuets ahead of her closest competitor. Second and third place went to Whitney Johnson (3:05:18) and Ellen Sauter (3:15:01).

Photo by Jason Black
Nearing the finish yet?
Nissan boasts that anyone can do their races. Moms, Dads, CEOs, teachers, surfers, mountain bikers ... just about anyone with a passion for great sports in the outdoors. Yet, athletes who wish to race in the Nissan Xterra USA Championship Series race as an individual in their full-distance XTERRA races to compete for spots to go to the National Championship.

The Nissan Xterra World Championship is the culmination of a national and international series of more than 90 qualifying events. In the United States, more than 50 races pave the way to the World Championship. Events around the world bring athletes from the XTERRA Global Tour to compete at the world level.

Photo by Jason Black
XTERRA Planet-One Planet, One Tribe
For the past nine years, this race has put athletes to the ultimate test of endurance and skill. The Maui course is notorious for its unforgiving terrain and stifling heat. The conditions can turn even the most seasoned pros into a pile of mush. The battle of human potential -vs- Mother Nature draws thousands to this spectacular venue every October. Pro athletes compete for a $125,000 pro purse.

In addition, "The Double" awards $5,000 to the male and female pro athlete with the fastest combined Ironman World Championship and Nissan Xterra World Championship times. Hawaiian Airlines will also award the top male and female a pair of round-trip tickets from the West Coast to Maui.