Xterra triathlon comes to Pelham

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Some the fittest athletes in the world descended on Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham Sunday for the Nissan Xterra Southeastern Triathlon Championship.

The race, which challenges competitors with a 1.5 kilometer swim, 29 kilometer mountain bike ride and 10 kilometer run, brought racers from all over the globe.

Competitors came from 32 states and seven countries, with over 300 registered athletes signed up to compete at start time.

&8220;The big thing about this race is that it will give recognition to not just Pelham and Shelby County, but to the entire state of Alabama and it&8217;s great parks system,&8221; Pelham mayor Bobby Hayes said. &8220;For us to be able to bring in an event like this to our area is a tremendous accomplishment for everyone involved.&8221;

&8220;We have a lot of athletes in the southeast and many of them are located close to Birmingham,&8221; managing director of Xterra International Dave Nicholas said. &8220;Those athletes contacted Shelby County about our race and they in turn contacted us.&8221;

Nicholas said that the Oak Mountain course fit well into the Xterra racing schedule.

&8220;This course is what we call a &8216;grand&8217; course,&8221; he said. &8220;It&8217;s one huge lap on the bike, which athletes love because it&8217;s not as boring and traffic doesn&8217;t get backed up. This course has really got everything we could ask for.&8221;

A pair of Canadian athletes took the men&8217;s and women&8217;s professional races.

Brent McMahon of Victoria, British Columbia finished first in the men&8217;s race while Melanie McQuaid, also of Victoria, finished first in the women&8217;s event.

Mark Jacobs of Birmingham took home first place in the men&8217;s sport triathlon in the 45-49-year-old division.

Alison Babrber of Birmingham took finished in first in the women&8217;s sport triarthlon in the 30-34-year-old age group.

Other local finishers included:

XTERRA MEN: Hank Campbell, Birmingham (35 – Pro men); Jason Frey, Birmingham (38 – Men 25-29); Trent Lowery, Birmingham (53 – Men 40-44); David Meadows, Birmingham (72 – Men 35-39); Faris Malki, Birmingham (82 – Men 30-34); Woody Robbins, Pelham (95 – Men 45-49); Andy Laird, Birmingham (101 – Men 30-34); Jerry Ryan, Hoover (105 – Men 50-54); Michael Seibel, Birmingham (106 – Men 45-49); Hardwick Gregg, Helena (111 – Men 50-54); Lawrence Bear, Birmingham (119 – Men 35-39); Nate Ross, Birmingham (127 – Men 35-39); Zac Epperson, Indian Springs (150 – Men 15-19); Josh Beck, Birmingham (154 – Men 30-34); Steve Manston, Hoover (158 – Men 35-39); Michael Hale, Columbiana (167 – Men 35-39); Charles Varallo, Birmingham (176 – Men 40-44); Chris Parsons, Birmingham (183 – Men 45-49); Michael O&8217;Connor, Birmingham (186 – Men 50-54)

XTERRA WOMEN: Jackie Ryan, Birmingham (88 – Women 45-49)

SPORT MEN: James Fisher, Chelsea (3 – Clydesdale); Keith Gomez, Birmingham (4 – Clydesdale); Josh Walsh, Birmingham (4 – Men 25-29); Eric Mullins, Birmingham (3 – Men 30-34); Korey Collins, Birmingham (7 – Men 30-34); Nick Callahan, Birmingham (2 – Men 35-39); Mike Coven, Birmingham (4 – Men 35-39); Mark MacEwen, Birmingham (5 – Men 40-44); Barry King, Birmingham (7 – Men 40-44); Mark Jacobs, Birmingham (1 – Men 45-49); Charles Armstrong, Birmingham (4 – Men 44-49); Jimmy Griffin, Birmingham (2 – Men 50-54)

SPORT WOMEN: Alison Barber, Birmingham (1 – Women 30-34); Kathy Goolsby, Birmingham (2 – Women 45-49)