XTERRA Abruzzo is “Primo” for Active Families

Some of the best off-road triathletes in the world will be heading to Italy for XTERRA Abruzzo on July 30th. But at its heart, this is an event for active families who want to immerse themselves in the food, culture, and beauty of the area.

“The type of family and athlete attention you will get at XTERRA Abruzzo is truly incredible,” said XTERRA managing director, Dave Nicholas. “There are affordable family excursions from Thursday through Saturday offering everything from a relaxed hike to a guided mountain bike ride.”

For athletes competing in XTERRA Abruzzo, guided course previews and a thirty minute massage are included in race registration. Families and companions are welcome to join and will receive discounts on rental bikes and massage packages.

Alternatively, while athletes pre-ride the course, families and friends can hike to the Path of the Heart, Lake San Domenico, and Castrovalva. All hikes are led by a local guide and most include a stop at a local stazzo – or resting spot – for a sampling of food from the region.

Evenings are also family affairs and include music, pasta, and wonderful company.

“We always say, ‘XTERRA is family,'” said Kostas Koumargialis, marketing director, XTERRA Europe. “What race director Massimo Massacesi has done transforms an elite racing experience into an elite racing experience the whole family can enjoy.”

Whether you are an athlete who has spent too much time away from your family or you are simply looking for a unique and affordable way to experience the heart and soul of Italy, XTERRA Abruzzo is a wonderful way to spend a summer weekend with the tribe.

For more information about XTERRA Abruzzo, visit www.xterra-italy.it.

Behind the Scenes With XTERRA Race Director, Todd Jackson

On race day, we have enough to think about without worrying about whether the course is marked, the aid stations are stocked, and the correct permits were obtained. We don’t worry because we know that someone else has already taken care of it.

Often, the job of a race director can be demanding and thankless. After all, it’s more noticeable when the lights don’t turn on than when they do.

To find out what really goes on behind the scenes, we caught up with Todd Jackson and asked him to share the highs and the lows of the job. Todd is the race director of XTERRA Tahoe City and the founder, president, and CEO of Big Blue Adventure, LLC.

Q. Why did you decide to become a race director?
A. To be honest, I didn’t want a real job – I’ve always enjoyed working independently of larger organizations. As a youth, I had the opportunity to volunteer and to work at a variety of sporting events, and one thing led to another.

Also, working for yourself you only have to work half days. You just have to figure out which 12 hours.

Q. What do you love about putting on races/XTERRA events?
A. I love creating an event from scratch. I’m all in, whether it’s designing a course, working on the branding and marketing, and especially seeing the smiles at the finish. Nothing beats knowing we are creating lifelong, positive memories.

Q. What is the hardest thing about putting on a race?
A. Race day is easy compared to all the planning, marketing, and digital media promotions. I’d say that getting the necessary permits might be the most challenging aspect, as the process is administratively time consuming.

Q. How much time do you spend worrying about the weather?
A. None.

I’ve been at this long enough to know that we’re not going to change the weather. Over the twenty years I’ve been doing this, we have had very few cancellations. However, safety comes first. If there is excessive smoke from nearby fires, too much wind, or really bad weather, we work through these situations in a positive and professional manner. 

Q. What’s the worst thing that has happened to you as a race director?
A. Once we had course vandalism at one of our triathlons. In between checking the course marking and the race start, someone moved and remarked our bike course.

The end result was that I was waiting at the transition area for the first athletes to come in from the bike course, and I started to see folks whom I knew wouldn’t normally be in the first group. Next, I saw folks coming to the transition area from different directions.

I knew then that the race was compromised, and for the next several hours I would be doing my absolute best to smile and become the athlete relations sounding board. That was a challenging and disappointing situation.

Q. What’s the best part about being a race director?
A. Even though event production is something I love, I ended up creating a successful business. It brought me to live in Lake Tahoe, which in my opinion, is one nice place to live. I have a family and a lifestyle that is very rewarding on many levels.

Q. What do you wish more people knew about what goes into putting on a race?
A. That in order to do this well you have to have an extremely high IQ and be very good looking.

Forissier, Flipo win XTERRA Switzerland

Complete Results / Gallery

June 24, 2017 : For Immediate Release

Arthur Forissier from France and Michelle Flipo from Mexico captured the 8th annual XTERRA Switzerland Championship in the Vallee de Joux this afternoon.

The win is the second in three years for Forissier on this course and the second in a row for Flipo. Forissier’s win also ended three-time XTERRA World Champ Ruben Ruzafa’s five-race win streak (Ruzafa is now won 28-of-35 XTERRA majors in his career).

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

The weather was unusual but the winners were not.

There were surprises, however, starting from when Nicole Walters came out of the water in front of Flipo.  We know Nicole as a wonderful sportswoman and guide for challenged athletes but I had no idea she could be so quick.  And it did not end with the swim.  She rode equally well and those of us who expected Michelle and Brigitta to catch her never saw it happen.

Nicole held the lead into T2 and out onto the run trails.  Michelle put in a very fast run to catch Nicole on the first lap and pulled away to her second XTERRA Swiss win in two years with a 3+ minute lead.

Farther back Morgane Riou was having an excellent race with a good bike and an excellent run.   As good as her run was, Myriam “the rocket” Guillot-Boisset was having an extraordinary run passing Carina Wasle, Nicole and Morgane to finish second.

“I had no idea of my “XTERRA” shape this morning, so I started with no stress,” said Guillot-Boisset.  “I thought I had a good swim exiting the water, but after seeing my split it really wasn’t.  Still, I was in front of Helena, so a place I’m used to being. I built slowly on the bike, and had no idea of my position, just focusing on my sensation and myself. Starting the run, I was still 7th and thought this is not very good, but I didn’t know most of the girls weren’t too far away, and slowly I started to pass one, two, and get back on the podium.  Finishing second is very good, I’m so happy and now fired up for next week in France with a harder race that will fit me way better.”

Riou came home a superb 3rd, Nicole Walters a very well deserved 4th and Carina Wasle 5th.  Poor Helena Erbenova had a terrible day and struggled to 8th.  Brigitta Poor was 6th and Maud Golsteyn 7th.

“I had a very good swim today,” said Riou.  “In Belgium, I was almost 2′ back of Carina and this time I was with her out of the water, and I was not that far from Brigitta, so that brought me lots of confidence. On the bike, I had Isabelle Klein in the front most of the time but wasn’t able to catch her, but that helped me to push all the time. Starting the run, I never thought I could catch Carina or Brigitta, so passing those girls – who I have never beat in my life – was amazing and when in the last K I passed Nicole to finish on the podium, it was amazing. I’m so happy, today was my best performance ever.”

A refreshed looking Flipo looked entirely different from the mud caked woman we saw at the finish last year.  “I was also surprised we could not catch Nicole.  I passed her on the run and then started feeling like I had a migraine.  Things were getting a bit blurry and this is usually the first sign” she said.  “But it never got too bad and I just held my pace to the end.”

On the men’s side Hannes Wolpert led from the swim with a huge pack behind him.  The first 5K of the mountain bike was a full-on sprint.  At that point Kiwi Sam Osborne led with Ruben Ruzafa closing in, Brad Weiss 3rd and then a gang fight after them.  It was exciting stuff.

There is a small loop of 2K at the far end of the bike course.  It takes about three minutes to get around and return to where it started and by the time they returned Ruzafa had taken the lead.  Sam stayed second just a few feet behind and Brad 3rd.  Then the pack of Francois Carloni, Arthur Serrieres, Tiago Maia, Hannes Wolpert and Anthony Pannier.  The Swiss favorite, Xavier Dafflon, was 6+ minutes back after a horrible swim.  While Dafflon has been the fastest biker over the past two races, this course is too fast and not technical enough for him to make up such a gap.  He did close it to within four-minutes by the end of the bike.  Today Mother Nature’s trails were his biggest competitor.

Weiss punctured his tire on the bike while in the lead and did not finish.

Onto the second bike lap Arthur Forissier was up into 3rd behind Osborne.  Ruben had a solid lead but both Sam and Arthur were within striking distance.

“I had a bad stomach last week,” Ruzafa said.  “I did not get a lot of training between my last event so I was worried about these guys.  I am very happy with 2nd.”

Forissier passed Osborne, then caught Ruzafa to take the lead and the footrace was on.

“I had the perfect race,” said Forissier. “It was tough, though, and on the run every time I looked back Ruben was there and getting closer.”

Indeed, the three-time XTERRA World Champ (pictured above) was not done.  “I thought I would stay close in case he got tired, but he never did,” smiled Ruzafa.

In the end, the gap was just 15-seconds.

“I swam as fast as possible knowing it would be the key today, and totally killed my arms,” exclaimed Forissier.  “I started the bike not afraid to be alone as I knew many athletes would start fast trying to follow Ruben and will pay for that on the second loop, and that is what happened. I was 7th after one loop and 2nd at the end of the bike. On the run, I saw Ruben not going so fast so I started as fast as possible to catch him quick but at the end I really struggled to finish.  I ran out of energy, and my mind took over. I’m so happy to win again here, especially in front of Ruben. If you told me this morning I would beat Ruben I would not have believed you.”

Another Frenchman named Arthur, Arthur Serrieres, also had a great race today.

“I rode really well and came into T2 with Francois and Sam,” said Serrieres.  “I went to leave T2 and had racked my bike the wrong way, so I had to go back and make it right and by that time those guys were gone.”

It didn’t take long for Serrieres to catch and pass into 3rd with Sam Osborne just a half minute behind.  Our Swiss warrior Dafflon was not taking it easy.  Xavier was running hard and pulled his way into 5th overall.  Carloni took 6th with Anthony Pannier an excellent 7th.

It was a fantastic pro field and a fast and furious race with the winners not decided until the last 7K of the run.  The Swiss race is quite unique.  The bike is fast and the strong rider who may not have great technical skills can earn a good result.  It is the kind of course where there is no chance to breathe a bit and save some energy.  It is a sprint from start to finish.

We were supported today by Renata Bucher who served as one of our announcers and did so in English and in German.  Quite a talent as she has such great insights into what is happening.

Our first Gold event is in the books.  A grand success as it was sold out with more than 450 racers and a beautiful day for racing.  We head next to Xonrupt in the Vosges mountains of northern France.  This is the biggest XTERRA in Europe and the longest.  Many of the same players will be there and it will be interesting to see the results because the circuits are so different.  You’ll see it live on XTERRA Europe Facebook next Sunday and read about it Sunday eve.

Pro Men
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Arthur Forissier, FRA 2:10:43 100
2 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:10:58 90
3 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 2:13:02 82
4 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:13:36 75
5 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 2:15:55 69
6 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:16:35 63
7 Anthony Pannier, FRA 2:17:32 58
8 Theo Dupras, FRA 2:19:17 53
9 Tiago Maia, POR 2:19:45 49
10 Clement Briere, FRA 2:20:40 45
11 Rui Dolores, POR 2:21:02 41
12 Hannes Wolpert, GER 2:21:14 37
13 Doug Hall, GBR 2:22:52 34
14 Jan Pyott, SUI 2:24:10 31
15 Tomas Kubek, SVK 2:24:27 28
Also: Xavier Jove Riart, Julien Buffe, Thomas Rusch, Maxim Chane, Jacky Boisset, Philippe Giauque
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Michelle Flipo, MEX 2:31:13 100
2 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 2:34:47 90
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 2:35:26 82
4 Nicole Walters, GBR 2:35:52 75
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 2:37:18 69
6 Brigitta Poor, HUN 2:37:36 63
7 Maud Golsteyn, NED 2:38:59 58
8 Helena Erbenova, CZE 2:40:11 53
9 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 2:40:49 49
10 Ladina Buss, SUI 2:41:28 45
11 Isabelle Klein, LUX 2:41:45 41
12 Angela Niklaus, SUI 2:41:46 37
13 Rebecca Kaltenmeier, GER 2:50:38 34
14 Lydia Hale, NZL 2:52:01 31
15 Sanne Van Paassen, NED 2:57:34 28


Ruben Ruzafa and Brigitta Poor, the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champions, are still the leaders after eight of 14 races on this year’s tour.  In the men’s chase Carloni retains his spot at No. 2, with Xavier Dafflon jumping over Yeray Luxem into the third position, and Rui Dolores making a big leap from the 10-spot to No. 5.

In the women’s chase Poor, Erbenova, and Golsteyn remain in the 1,2,3 spots but Morgane Riou jumped from sixth to fourth position, and Wasle stayed at No. 5.

Next Up:  XTERRA France, July 2

After 8 – 6.24
Men     S S S S S S S G
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 390 DNS DNS 75 75 75 75 DNS 90
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 326 61 47 43 DNS 61 51 DNS 63
3 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 239 DNS DNS 47 DNS 56 67 DNS 69
4 Yeray Luxem, BEL 203 DNS 75 DNS DNS 67 61 DNS DNS
5 Rui Dolores, POR 163 DNS DNS 39 36 47 DNS DNS 41
6 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 156 33 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
7 Arthur Forissier, FRA 151 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
8 Jan Kubicek, CZE 149 DNS DNS DNP 39 DNS 43 67 DNS
9 Jan Pyott, SUI 145 56 DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS 31
10 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 143 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNP DNS 82
11 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS
12 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 128 67 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Thomas Kerner, GER 127 DNS 61 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS
14 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 118 DNS DNS DNS 67 51 DNS DNS DNP
15 Jens Roth, GER 117 DNS DNS 61 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Hannes Wolpert, GER 116 DNF 43 DNP DNS 36 DNP DNS 37
17 Maxim Chane, FRA 113 30 DNS 36 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNP
18 Theo Dupras, FRA 80 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 53
19 Julien Buffe, FRA 79 DNS 56 23 DNS DNS DNP DNS DNP
20 Tiago Maia, POR 79 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNF DNS DNS 49
21 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 75 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
22 Pavel Andreev, RUS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
23 Tomas Kubek, SVK 75 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28
24 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
25 Mark Hamersma, NED 66 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS
26 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Panu Lieto, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
28 Doug Hall, GBR 61 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
29 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 58 DNS DNS DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS
30 Anthony Pannier, FRA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58
31 Peter Lehmann, GER 57 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 30 DNS DNS
32 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Bradley Weiss, RSA 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNF
34 Tim Van Daele, BEL 52 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS
35 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Pavel Jindra, CZE 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
38 Albert Soley, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Pekka Nieminen, FIN 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
40 Clement Briere, FRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
41 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
42 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
43 Samuli Heikkila, FIN 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
45 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS
46 Jonne Tuomas Mustonen, FIN 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS
47 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS
48 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS
49 Alejandro Salmeron Tenorio, ESP 30 DNS DNS DNS DNP 30 DNS DNS DNS
50 Rafael Gomes, POR 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS
51 Octavio Vicente, POR 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS
52 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
53 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Markus Benesch, AUT 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
55 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS
56 Morten Olesen, DEN 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS
WM     S S S S S S S G
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 422 75 75 67 67 75 DNS DNS 63
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 406 67 DNS 75 75 61 75 DNS 53
3 Maud Golsteyn, NED 268 56 DNS 47 DNS 56 51 DNS 58
4 Morgane Riou, FRA 266 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS 61 DNS 82
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 254 51 DNS DNS DNS 67 67 DNS 69
6 Cecila Jessen, SWE 206 39 61 DNS DNS DNS 39 67 DNS
7 Nicole Walters, GBR 136 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
8 Louise Fox, GBR 118 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
9 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 100 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
10 Michelle Flipo, MEX 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
11 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47 DNS DNS DNS
12 Isabelle Klein, LUX 97 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS 41
13 Ladina Buss, SUI 96 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS 45
14 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
15 Kathrin Mueller, GER 89 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
17 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Elina Honkavuori, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
20 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
25 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Sheila Marques, POR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
27 Jessica Roberts, GBR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
28 Angela Niklaus, SUI 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
29 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS
30 Rebecca Kaltenmeier, GER 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
31 Lydia Hale, NZL 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 31
32 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Sanne Van Paassen, NED 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28

XTERRA Switzerland was the eighth of 14 races on the XTERRA European Tour, and 22nd of 40 on the XTERRA World Tour where amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
25-Feb XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
4-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
18-Mar XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
25-Mar XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
1-Apr XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
1-Apr XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
2-Apr XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
8-Apr XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
9-Apr XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
16-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
29-Apr XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
30-Apr XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
6-May XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
13-May XTERRA Brazil # Silver Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
14-May XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
20-May XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
27-May XTERRA Portugal * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Brigitta Poor
10-Jun XTERRA Belgium * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
17-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady
18-Jun XTERRA Finland * Silver Pavel Andreev / Louise Fox
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Arthur Forissier / Michelle Flipo
2-Jul XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
9-Jul XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
15-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
30-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
5-Aug XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
6-Aug XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
13-Aug XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
19-Aug XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
26-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2-Sep XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
3-Sep XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

XTERRA Tsali, Rain or Shine

On Sunday, June 25th, XTERRA heads to Bryson City in western North Carolina.

“The course at XTERRA Tsali is one of the most popular trails in North Carolina,” said race director, David Berger. “It features a lot of rolling hills and scenic views of Lake Fontana. It’s definitely suitable for beginners, but they need to be ready to do some climbing.”

We know it’s going to be an awesome race. The rain expected this weekend may add some muddy fun, and the course will take athletes through the spectacular national forest land in the Tsali Recreation Area.

Berger admitted he is crossing his fingers about the weather. “But the good thing is, if it does rain, the trail can handle it.”

We are crossing our fingers too, but it’s not about the weather. What we at XTERRA would love to see, is the fabulous group of racers you can always find at XTERRA Southeast Region events.

“2017 XTERRA Fort Yargo Champ Marcus Barton will be at the race, and we are hoping that 2016 XTERRA Tsali Champ, Dwayne Dixon will be there as well,” said Berger.

If we are lucky, 2017 XTERRA Myrtle Beach Champ, Caleb Baity, and 2017 XTERRA Blackwater Champ, Yaro Middaugh will also make an appearance.

These Fab Four swap podium spots the way the rest of us pass around energy bars and training tips. And they do so with a great sense of humor and an even better display of sportsmanship.

“We have a close-knit group,” said Middaugh, back in May. “The races have been very competitive, which makes them fun for us.”

For more information and to register for XTERRA Tsali, visit www.goneriding.com.

Stars come out for XTERRA Switzerland

The sixth-annual XTERRA Switzerland Championship Saturday in the Vallee de Joux has attracted an all-star elite field from around the world, highlighted by reigning XTERRA European Tour Champions and current No. 1’s, Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and Brigitta Poor from Hungary.

The race is the eighth of 14 on the season and the first of four Gold races this year. More than 40 elites from 15 countries are on the start list including three of the top four men and five of the top six women in the current XTERRA European Tour standings.

“This is the first Gold race which means more points, bigger prize money, and all the big names,” said XTERRA European Tour director Nicolas Lebrun. “The ogre Ruben Ruzafa will be here looking to win his fifth in a row, but this time he’ll have more than 25 elites chasing him including a bunch of guys with a real shot at beating him across the line.”

Among the contenders is the Swiss rookie Xavier Dafflon, last year’s XTERRA overall amateur world champ, who had a breakout race in Belgium two weeks ago where he finished in second-place less than one-minute behind Ruzafa.

Last year’s runner-up on the XTERRA European Tour, Sam Osborne from New Zealand, will be making his Euro debut on Saturday after a fantastic early season on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour where he is the current No. 1 after wins in Saipan and New Zealand.

“Looking at the Tour ranking, François Carloni from France will love a non-wetsuit swim and can push Ruben on the bike, especially on the first loop, and in this short bike this year he might be able to start the run with the leaders and fight for the podium or minimum a top five. He needs big points to secure his second-place standing,” said Lebrun.

Bradley Weiss from South Africa has proven himself a perennial contender, but will again have to face a strong field.  He was sixth at this race last year, but Lebrun believes he’ll finish in the top five Saturday for sure.

“Arthur Serrières had one good and one bad race this year,” continued Lebrun. “He had a strong 8th place last year here, and is now out of the stress of school exam’s and I expect he will be fast. Like him, a few other athletes will fight for a spot on the top 10.  Xavier Jove will be one of them after his 2nd place in Spain, but the condition will not be good for him.  Like Dafflon, he will not be happy with a non-wetsuit swim.  Young Max Chane will love it, however, and with his 6th place showing in Belgium he is now full of confidence, knowing he can swim ahead and finish the bike with the best. Another Frenchman can be strong here, and he won two years ago, Arthur Forissier.  He finished 5th at Greece against a strong field, so we know he is in good shape.”

Lebrun went on to say he expects the rankings to change a lot after this one.

“It awards bigger points and we’re missing the 3,5,6,7,8,9 ranked men so Dafflon could move up to 3rd, while Riu Dolores, Max Chane, Hannes Wolpert and Jan Pyott could all jump into the top 10. Jan was just married, and here at home in Switzerland I expect he’ll be plenty motivated.”

Elite Men

Rank     Name, Nationality

1             Ruben Ruzafa, ESP

2             Francois Carloni, FRA

4             Xavier Dafflon, SUI

10          Rui Dolores, POR

11           Xavier Jove Riart, ESP

13          Jan Pyott, SUI

14          Maxim Chane, FRA

15          Julien Buffe, FRA

16          Hannes Wolpert, BEL

20          Stephan Radeck, GER

21          Arthur Serrieres , FRA

26          Bradley Weiss, RSA

28          Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER

30          Arthur Forissier, FRA

32          Tomas Kubek, SVK

42          Tiago Maia, POR

43          Guillaume Jeannin, FRA

45          Doug Hall, GBR

47          Theo Dupras, FRA

49          Callum Hughes, GBR

NR         Sam Osborne, NZL

NR         Clèment Brière, FRA

NR         Jacky Boisset, FRA

NR         Maxim Danon,FRA

NR         Anthony Pannier, FRA


The XTERRA European Tour has been all about Brigitta Poor and Helena Erbenova this year.  Poor won at Malta, Cyprus, and Portugal.  Erbenova won at Greece, Spain, and Belgium.

Neither, however, have raced against Michelle Flipo from Mexico, the reigning champion of this event.

“Brigitta was 6th her last year, and Helena wasn’t here in 2016, but finished 3rd two years ago in Switzerland,” said Lebrun.  “Now, Helena won this race in 2014, but even with that she says she is scared of this race, but can’t explain why. If she wins, she will take the lead in the tour as only six points separate these two girls.”

Myriam Boisset-Guillot, who was third last year in an epic sprint with Renata Bucher, also poses a big threat to the women’s field.

“Myriam tries to balance between adventure racing and XTERRA and some 70.3’s, so we will see her XTERRA shape on this race,” said Lebrun. “Maud Golsteyn, who is in third place on the tour, will try to earn some points here to secure her spot.  Morgane Riou and Carina Wasle are 5th and 6th in the Tour ranking. Carina won here two years ago and was second in Portugal and Belgium, she looks in perfect shape and will have lots of confidence.  I see her in top 5. Morgane was 9th last year, and for sure wants to do better after her podium in Belgium.”

And, the Kiwi’s are coming! Lizzie Orchard, the reigning XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Champion, and Lydia Hale, last year’s overall amateur XTERRA World Champion, will add flavor and depth to the women’s field.

“And let’s not forget the local women’s favorite Ladina Buss,” added Lebrun.  “She had a fantastic 5th place last year, she start with also a 5th place this year in Portugal, and I bet she has been focusing on this big event at home ever since.”

Elite Women

Rank     Name, Nationality

1             Brigitta Poor, HUN

2             Helena Erbenova, CZE

3             Maud Golsteyn, NED

5             Carina Wasle, AUT

6             Morgane Riou, FRA

11          Nicole Walkers, GBR

16          Isabelle Klein, LUX

18          Isabelle Ferrer, FRA

19          Ladina Buss, SUI

NR         Michelle Flipo, FRA

NR         Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA

NR         Sanne Van Paassen, NED

NR         Lydia Hale, NZL

NR         Angela Niklaus, SUI

NR         Rebecca Kaltenmeier, GER

NR         Elizabeth Orchard, NZL

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas is on-site in Switzerland and brings us this update from the field…

We returned to the Vallee de Joux for the 6th time and Switzerland for the 8th XTERRA and found 30C and 86F hot weather.  Our marketing director Kostas said it was hotter here than in Greece!

The bike will not be the same as last year, as race organisers didn’t had permission from some parts of the loop. It will still be two laps of the bike and two for the run.  The run remain the same and includes a narrow, technical climb from the lake to a dairy farm, through the farm and back down to the lake.

Switzerland is not a technical course. This is for both the bike and the run.  The run is among the most beautiful anywhere but basically flat with the exception of that last climb.  Which means you had best bring your finest running legs because you cannot save energy here.  It is a full sprint for 4K with the climb and descent the last K.

This year is a definite contrast to 2016 when there was so much rain the famers could not mow their fields and some of the bike and run went crashing through 1m high grass.  I can report that is not the case this year and had a delightful chat with the grandfather of the run farm – entirely in my horrible French.  We’re hoping this great weather continues but this is central Europe and things change quickly.  The prediction is for continued warm weather but with a 40% chance of rain on race day.  Believe me, after the past few years I will take 40% anytime.


XTERRA Tisvilde Trail Run is Legendary

Legend has it that anyone who is sick must come to Helene Spring in Tisvilde, Denmark on Sankt Hans – or Midsummer’s Eve – which is celebrated on June 23rd.

We think the legend should include an extra day. That way you can also run the XTERRA Tisvilde Trail Run on June 24th.

Both 5K and 10K courses are offered so you can choose your distance through the beautiful Tisvilde Hegn, which is the oldest plantation in Denmark. It is now designated as a Natura 2000 area, due to its rare habitat-types, animals, and important birdlife.

The Tisvilde Hegn was planted in the early 1800’s to prevent the nearby sand dunes from overtaking the farms and fields surrounding Tisvilde. The course will also take you along sandy trails that hug the North Sea.


Tisvilde is easy to get to and is only 45 minutes from Copenhagen by car and about one and a half hours by train. This charming lake district town is full of history from St. Helene’s tomb to the Tibirke Church, which pre-dates Christianity.

For more information and to register for the XTERRA Tisvilde Trail Run and Triathlon, visit www.xterranordic.com.

XTERRA Pan Am Champ Lewis Ryan

Last year, Lewis Ryan traveled to the XTERRA Pan Am Championship in Utah from his hometown of Rotorua, New Zealand. As the 15-19 age group winner, Ryan is still very young, but he uses his youth to his advantage and fearlessly takes on the trails.

We caught up with Ryan and learned about his poker prowess, his penchant for “lollies,” and his pre-race warm up in a “wagon.”

Q. What do you remember from last year’s Pan Am Championship in Snowbasin? 
A. I was blown away by the amazing landscape as soon as I arrived, a few days before the race. Snowbasin is such an iconic location, and that course has to be one of the hardest in the world.

I can vividly remember looking up after every switchback on that brutal mountain bike climb just thinking, “We can’t be going any higher!” But somehow that mountain kept growing taller, the closer I got to the summit.

Then, as if you haven’t battled hard enough, the wall to start the run course is soul crushing. It’s the kind of soul crushing you learn to love in XTERRA though, because it’s an extra special feeling of accomplishment when you do cross the finish line.

Q. How did you prepare for the race?
A. I definitely had a new pre-race warmup, that’s for sure. As a Kiwi, we are normally pretty underground and don’t usually have the most ideal equipment. So on a freezing cold Utah morning, it was a bit classic to find myself relaxing inside seven-time and reigning XTERRA Age Group World Champ, Barb Peterson’s kitted out “sportsmobile.” She had the furnace cranking! It’s the type of wagon you only find in the US, and it was a pretty cool way to get ready for the race.

Q. When did you take the lead?
A. After a solid swim, I knew I wasn’t going to be far behind the overall amateur leader. I pushed the first part of the bike particularly hard. I think I took the lead on the lower slopes of the first climb, and fortunately, I managed to hold onto it.

Q. What was the hardest part of the race?
A. More than anything, Snowbasin really challenges you mentally. There were so many times when I had elements of doubt sneak into my mind about what pace I was setting. I raced the course blind, so I had no idea how far along I was. On a course with so much climbing, it’s hard to find balance between raw speed and blowing up.

Q. Did anything or anyone inspire you during the race?
A. We had a solid group of Kiwis together in Utah, so if anything inspired me to dig deeper, it was having all the lads out there with me, trying to do the Silver Fern proud.

Q. How did you celebrate your victory?
A. The house we were staying in was massive, and for whatever reason, it had a poker room. So the Kiwi lads and I binged on as many lollies (candy) as the local market could provide and played some low-key poker.

Q. How did you do in poker?
A. It’s fair to say, the older boys had their revenge that night. Cam Paul managed to con me out of a dollar.

Q. Who are your heroes?
A. Oh, there are so many great athletes. I can’t really put anyone ahead of anyone else. But a few of the greats include fellow Kiwi and 2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific 70-74 age group champ, Ry Lichtwark, Barb Peterson, and seven-time XTERRA World Champ Conrad Stoltz. Of course, my dad is in there too.

Q. Do you have a strict training diet – besides the lollies? 
A. I’ve recently partnered with Dr. Paul Laursen from Plews & Prof to help transition me to a high-fat, low-carb diet. But I do love breakfast cereal from time to time.

Q. What are your racing plans for 2017?
A. I kicked off my season with XTERRA Rotorua, where I was runner up in the 14-24 age group. I’ve never raced local, so it was nice to have a genuine crack at it. I’m also going to XTERRA Switzerland this weekend, and then XTERRA France before I head back to North America. I’m excited to get back to Utah for the XTERRA Pan Am Championship. That course is one of my favorites.

Learn more about Lewis Ryan in the following interview:

XTERRA athlete profile by Reyn Okimoto, Shidler College of Business, class of 2017

Pan Am Champ Steve Croucher on XTERRA French River

XTERRA French River in Oxford, Massachusetts is quickly becoming a staple event on the east coast XTERRA circuit. Not only does the race offer traditional XTERRA and sprint distances, but athletes can also enter a “paddle-tri” or a duathlon this Saturday, June 24.

“XTERRA French River packs nearly everything you could ask for in off-road racing in a sprint-sized package,”said 2015 XTERRA French River Champ and 2016 XTERRA Pan Am Champ, Steve Croucher.

Having found varied success at this race in the past, one thing is absolutely certain – this is anyone’s race for the taking. XTERRA French River will test your mental strength, your capacity to burn some big matches, and your general spirit – if it doesn’t break you! An event with everything to offer, this is quickly becoming a can’t-miss-XTERRA-legend.” 

Croucher expects the water to be warm enough to shed the wet suit, but weather in Massachusetts can be unpredictable in June. He also recommends bringing a second set of running shoes to the beach for the short run to T1 if you have sensitive feet.

“The 12 mile bike course could stand alone and operate as a solo mountain bike race,” Croucher said. “It’s got it all: steep, punchy climbs; fast flowy, single track; and double track sections to hammer on. You will encounter loose shale, hard packed dirt, gnarly roots, and piney, loamy sections. While not as technical as XTERRA Way Over Yonder, XTERRA French River attracts cyclists and beginner triathletes of all abilities because of this bike course. This is a spot-on layout by MRA race staff.” 

“After the ride, runners head back out onto the trails on a challenging run course measuring at three and a half miles for short course, and five and a half miles for the long course race,” said race director, Alex Rogozenski. “You will cross a river, you will go up rocky hills, you will go down rocky hills, you might go through mud, you will traverse over typical New England rooty sections, and you will have the time of your life.”

“If you were looking for just a bit more single track bliss following the bike, this run course will deliver,” added Croucher. “There’s a river crossing in the first mile, a big gut-busting climb up the ridge line, and a spectator-friendly sprint to the finish.  You won’t forget these 5 miles even if you try.” 

Watch Steve Croucher’s 2015 XTERRA French River post-victory interview on www.dirtwire.tv.

For more information and to register for XTERRA French River, visit www.mramultisport.com.

XTERRA Ambassador Eric Barton’s Favorite Workouts

We all know that great performances don’t just happen. They are earned through months, or even years, of training.

It’s obvious that great athletes prioritize their workouts, make squeaky clean lifestyle choices, and commit to their training plans. But specifically, what do they do that puts them on the podium?

Eric Barton, XTERRA Ambassador and XTERRA Big Elk 21K Champ admits that he trained specifically for the half marathon distance. He’s been running competitively for over eight years, including high school and college, so he has the confidence and endurance to carry him through.

I spent the last month specifically training for the XTERRA Big Elk 21K,” said Barton. “The first two weeks I just had my mileage up around 55 miles, the third week around 65 miles and a 50 mile week before the race. There were also two workouts that really hurt, but made me realize I was ready.”

Workout #1

  • 1 Mile warm-up + drills
  • 2 mile tempo run at sub-six minute pace (5:55/ 5:58)
  • 8 x 1000 at 5:36/mile pace with a 2:30 recovery jog between each
  • (Barton’s times were: 3:22, 3:21, 3:20, 3:20, 3:19, 3:17, 3:18, 3:15)
  • 1 mile tempo at sub-six minute race pace (5:35)
  • 1.5 mile cool-down

Total =10.5 miles for the day

Workout #2

  • 1 Mile Warm-up
  • 3 x 2-mile repeats at sub-six minute pace (11:56, 11:40, 11:30)
  • 1 Mile cool down

Total = 8 miles for the day

Learn more about XTERRA’s Couch to Trail training program at  www.XTERRAplanet.com.


Photo Courtesy of Danielle Vennard