July 14, 2012 (Beaver Creek Resort - Avon, CO) Since she started racing XTERRA in 2004 Danelle Kabush has won XTERRA’s in Canada, had two kids, finished 2nd at the XTERRA World Championships twice (top five four times) but until today had never made it to the top step of the podium at a major XTERRA in the U.S.
“It’s very satisfying,” said Kabush, who earned a doctorate degree in sports psychology. “It’s always a tough course going uphill all day but it’s so scenic and beautiful I really enjoyed myself. I had a really fun battle with Sara out there on the bike, congrats to her and everyone else who raced. The volunteers were awesome, and so was the crowd with so many cheers all along the course. It’s fun to be back here after three years away.”
The race started with Suzie Snyder out front, followed by Melanie McQuaid and Sara Tarkington. Kabush was fourth out of the water, got close to Tarkington early and played cat-and-mouse with her the rest of the day.
Up ahead McQuaid, who was second here last year, worked her way to the front and was riding strong until picking up what she thinks was a nail in her back tire on the first real downhill of the day. It turned out to be a game changer, requiring several stops, two tube changes, and a ton of time. McQuaid ended up riding into T2 on a flat and in fifth place, which was also where she finished.
Meanwhile, Kabush and Tarkington traded leads several times until the last descent where Kabush pulled away.
“Sara was really strong on the flats, and it wasn’t until the last descent I took the lead and got a bit of a gap. I saw here coming in as I was headed out so probably had about 30 seconds at transition,” said Kabush, who took part in the Mountain Champs for the first time since she finished 2nd back in 2009.
1 Danelle Kabush 36 Calgary, Canada 2:29:35 100
2 Sara Tarkington 31 Boulder, Colorado 2:32:28 90
3 Suzie Snyder 30 Fredericksburg, Virginia 2:35:19 82
4 Renata Bucher 34 Lucerne, Switzerland 2:36:36 75
5 Melanie McQuaid 38 Victoria, B.C., Canada 2:37:27 69
6 Tamara Donelson 36 Edwards, Colorado 2:40:16 63
7 Heather Holmes 31 Pocatello, Idaho 2:45:06 58
8 Kim Baugh 33 Colorado Springs, Colorado 2:45:51 53
9 Caroline Colonna 46 Taos, New Mexico 2:51:33 49
10 Jennifer Gersbach 33 Durango, Colorado 2:52:14 45