Off-road Maui triathlon will be on CBS
The Xterra World Championship, an off-road triathlon held annually on Maui, will be the focus of a one-hour CBS Sports Spectacular television broadcast at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The show will expose the nation to Maui's scenic south shore at a time when freezing temperatures are sweeping across the Mainland.
Filmed at the Maui Prince Hotel in Makena on Oct. 29, the broadcast tracks more than 500 professional and amateur athletes ages 15 to 70 from 24 countries and 36 states as they tackle a one-mile ocean swim, 20-mile mountain-bike ride and seven-mile trail run.
The race itself features a tight finish and sports drama, with the men's championship decided by just 19 seconds while crashes and mechanical problems wreaked havoc on the entire field, particularly leading female contenders.
"The show highlights a guy who had to run the last part of the race barefoot because his shoes cut and blistered his feet, a gal who rode more than half the bike (ride) on her bare rear rim (after flatting four times!), men's 65-plus champion John Stover completing the race despite breaking his wrist early in the bike (ride), and Wendy Minor winning her record sixth age-group title," said CBS producer Ross Schneiderman, in a statement. "In general, I think 'purists' will enjoy it because we show more competition than in previous years."
Triathlon legend Hamish Carter, from New Zealand, winner of the Olympic triathlon gold medal in '04, captured the men's title, while Melanie McQuaid of Canada won her third Xterra World Championship —a feat never before accomplished in race history by male or female.
The top Hawai'i finisher (out of 56) was professional Jeff Sanders from Lahaina, Maui, who placed 43rd overall in 3:13:57. Ingrid Rolles, from Honolulu, was the top local female, placing 12th among women in 3:33:48.
Wendy Minor, 61, from Honolulu, won her age group (60-plus) for an unprecedented sixth time.
The TEAM Unlimited television crew had more than 30 cameras in operation on race day, including cams mounted on motorcycles, mountain bikes and jet watercraft, underwater cameras, and a camera on a helicopter capturing images ranging from the ocean to mountain-bike riders struggling up and zooming down Haleakala.
The voice of the show is cycling journalist and commentator Phil Liggett, an Olympic and Tour de France regular.
Local sponsors of the event and TV show include the Maui Visitors Bureau, Maui Prince Hotel, Hawaiian Airlines and the Hawai'i Tourism Authority.
CBS Sports produced the show in conjunction with TEAM Unlimited, a Honolulu-based television events and marketing company.