XTERRA Bluebonnet

XTERRA Bluebonnet This Weekend

This will be a busy weekend for athletes in Burnet, Texas. The fourth race in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series begins this Saturday and this Sunday is XTERRA Bluebonnet Triathlon of the South Central Region.

The Bluebonnet Trail Run will commence at Reveille Peak Ranch for a 5 and 15-kilometer trail run. Runners will take part in a 5 or 15-kilometer single track race that explores the serene views of the Ranch. Runners will experience the granite-carved hills and the fields of bluebonnets while running on the track. The race begins and ends at the lake on the ranch where runners are welcome to cool off after their run.

The Texas series is still highly competitive at the moment and no one person has a significant lead in series points. With five more races in the series we might have to wait until we get some clarity on who will be the favorite to win the series for each division.

Runners in the 15-kilometer race will be eligible to earn points towards the Texas Series. Points will be awarded after each race to the top runners in each respective age group. Standings will be updated throughout the season, and at the conclusion of the series, each age-group winner will receive a free entry to run at the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship at Ogden, Utah, in September.

XTERRA Bluebonnet will take place on the same ranch as the trail run and will physically test even the most durable athletes. The race begins with an 800 meter two lap swim transitions into a 12.5 mile mountain bike and finishes with a 6-kilometer run.

Points will be rewarded in the triathlon to the top 15 in each age group for each gender division. The top athletes of Southcentral region can qualify for the XTERRA USA Championship at Ogden, Utah, in September.

2015 XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series

9/20/14 XTERRA Terra Firm Trail Run

3/21/15 XTERRA Eco Lonestar Trail Run

3/28/15 XTERRA Camp Eagle Trail Run

4/25/15 XTERRA Bluebonnet Trail Run

5/17/15 XTERRA Rock Dallas Trail Run

6/14/15 XTERRA Muleshoe Trail Run

6/21/15 XTERRA Gator Bait Trail Run

7/12/15 XTERRA Magnolia Hill Trail Run

8/16/15 XTERRA Cameron Park Trail Run

For more information visit xterraplanet.com

View the current Trail Run Texas Point Standings here

Rustman / Gator Terra

Gator Terra: New Home, Same Name

The XTERRA Gator Terra and Rustman off-road triathlons are still on, but the venue has changed from their iconic home in Ruston, Louisiana to their new digs in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.  Long-time race director Fred Phillips explains…

“2015 is a year of change.  The Gator Terra (the oldest mainland XTERRA) and the RustMan (the original Epic distance race) get a new home.  After 17 years in Ruston LA, the Gator and its big brother the RustMan, have packed their bags and moved about 150 miles north to DeGray Lake in Arkadelphia AR.

These two brothers are taking up residence on the Iron Mt Trail System, 20 plus miles of sweet single track trails, constructed to the latest IMBA trail building techniques.  You will have a permanent grin on your face after riding here!  The construction of this trail system started in 2008 with phase one being completed in late 2009, phase 2 being completed in 2012, and phase 3 starting in mid-May this year with a projected completion of August 2015.  Once phase 3 is complete we will be at roughly 26-miles of contiguous trail.

DeGray Lake is located on the eastern edge of the Ouachita (wash-she-ta) Mountains in Southwest Arkansas.  This provides for great trail topography.  The swim uses DeGray Lake, listed by the US Army Corp of Engineers as one of the top 10 cleanest fresh water lakes in America.  The bike course is an 11-mile loop for the Gator Terra and two laps of a 15-mile loop for the Rustman.  The run is one Lap of 3.3 -mile course for the Gator Terra and three Laps of the 3.3 mile course are slated for the Rustman.

This is the only location in the US offering two XTERRA points races on one weekend.   Race one day or race both, your choice!   So for all of you looking to maximize your travel and get your endurance fix this is it.  Yes, we offer the Rustman Double awards to the top finisher Male /Female (cumulative time) for both days.

Bring your friends, we are offering a variety of events.  On Saturday, we will be offering a 1-mile open water swim.  Great for early season training.  In addition to the off road tri on Sunday, we are also hosting the Iron Mt Sprint (Road) Tri so you can bring your road buddies with ya.  After you race for two days, they can drive on the way home!

The race site is easy to get to, located just a couple miles off Exit 78, Interstate 30.  Less than three hours from Memphis and only four hours from Dallas.  This is a resort area so there is plenty of hotel space with just minutes of race site!

Come on over for some good ol’ Southern Arkansas Hospitality!”

EPC Tips - Warm ups

EPC Tips – Warming Up and Warm Downs

With race season rapidly approaching and training sessions shifting into high gear, maximizing your efforts and post-effort recovery, as well as staying healthy and injury free are crucial to continuing to build your fitness and maximizing performance. Warm-up and warming-down are two components to incorporate into your daily training sessions as the intensities increase and racing takes off.

Prior to beginning and upon completion of every workout and/or race, a proper warm-up and warm-down must be performed. These two components of your training program allow you to gain the most out of every individual training session. In addition to the physiological benefits there are also psychological benefits of warming-up and warming-down. During these times you can mentally prepare yourself for the workout ahead by thinking through the work you will be doing, the goals you have for the training session and the target measurements you are seeking. Frequently neglected by the busy and rushed athlete, there is much to be gained from incorporating a proper warm-up and warm-down into all of your training sessions.

Warming Up

A properly performed warm-up consists of gradually raising the intensity of movement from a very slow pace to a faster pace over a specific period of time. The highest pace you reach during your warm-up is typically up to and sometimes just over your anticipated training zones for the session. The early part of the warm-up is perfect for practicing some technique or form drills while the intensity is still low and slow. The gradual increase in intensity allows for improved blood-flow to your working muscles and slowly raises your core temperature to optimal levels. This increase in blood-flow and core-temp allows your body to prepare itself for the work ahead while reducing the chance of injury.

The amount of time the warm-up requires relates to the both the duration and anticipated intensity of your workout or race.

In general, the more intense your workout the longer your warm-up. Also shorter workouts often require longer warm-ups, especially if the intensity will also be high. For a low-intensity endurance workout the warm-up can often be a substantial part of the entire workout. For example, if you are heading out for a three hour aerobic ride your intensity may not exceed that of your “warm-up intensity.” Likewise let’s say you are going to do three 20-minute tempo intervals within that three-hour ride, you might ride the first hour of the ride as your warm-up, gradually raising your heart-rate up near your expected interval-pace heart-rate prior to beginning your specific intervals. As a rule-of-thumb often the longer your workout, the longer your warm-up period, as the warm-up itself can be aerobic training.

The length of your warm-up prior to a race is typically more condensed and more specific. The guideline to follow prior to racing is the shorter the race, the longer and more intense your warm-up. So for a 20k time trial or sprint triathlon your warm-up could be as long or longer than the actual duration of your race! During this time you will also get your heart-rate level very high, right up and possibly a little higher than the effort you will be racing at. On the other hand, prior to an eight hour endurance race your warm-up may only consist of lightly riding around the start area or similar light activity to prior to the start.

Air temperature also plays a role in the length of your warm-up. The hotter it is the shorter your warm-up, and the cooler it is the longer your warm-up will need to be. This correlates directly to your core body temperature and getting it high enough to race well, but not too high to fatigue you. Often before a hot race your warm-up might be less than half the duration than normal. Before a cold race you will definitely want to wear several layers of clothing to help raise your core-temp and in some cases you may want to warm-up indoors or on a stationary training device that allows you to get your core-temp up higher more easily than outside in the elements.

Aside from loosening up your muscles, reducing chances of injury and simply feeling better after warming-up, the warm-up also allows your metabolism to warm-up to ensure that you maximize your fat-burning capabilities allowing for an effective workout or race. If you skip your warm-up and jump right into your main training objective or even perform too short of a warm-up, you can easily cause your metabolism to rely on sugar for fuel to quickly and this high sugar burning emphasis can remain for the entire duration of the workout causing you to not effectively burn fat as well as have you fatigue more quickly. By warming-up gradually you stay in your fat-burning zone and build your aerobic base more effectively, even during a high-intensity training session! So to become an efficient fat-burning, aerobic endurance machine, the proper warm-up is critical to success.

Warming Down

Equally important to the training process is an effective warm-down. The warm-down at the end of your workout or race allows your body to return to a resting state gradually. This process allows for the clearing of byproducts associated with high-intensity energy production, allows blood to return to all of the areas of the body that it was diverted from as your intensity increased, and allows your heart rate to return to a lower state, thereby minimizing cardiac stress and pooling of blood in the lower extremities.

The length of the warm-down corresponds to the intensity of the workout you are just completing. The higher the intensity the longer the warm-down needs to be. As with the warm-up, the warm-down can make up a large duration of longer workout, especially if there were higher-intensity work intervals within the ride. However, the warm-down is rarely as long as the warm-up within the same workout. The warm-down should be long enough to bring the heart-rate down close to the pre-workout heart-rates prior to beginning the workout. Rarely will you get your heart-rate all the way down to pre-workout levels as the body will be in recovery mode after a workout and will be left with a higher post-exercise resting heart-rate due to the “recovering” going on by the body. This is especially true with the higher the intensity training or racing that occurred. The most effective warm-down strategy involves simply slowing down over the course of several minutes, allowing the heart-rate and body-temp to decrease.

A proper warm-down will allow the body time to clear waste products produced during high-intensity energy production as well flushing the working muscles with oxygenated blood to begin the recovery process after intense training sessions.

As you slow down, your muscles will require less and less blood to function and allowing blood to return to other areas of your body. A gradual return to normal blood flow prevents the pooling of blood commonly found after abruptly stopping after a hard training session. This pooling of blood is stressful on the cardiac system as well as causes increased inflammation and muscle stiffness requiring increased recovery time following a workout. By incorporating a warm-down at the end of all your training sessions you will not only feel better but you will be helping your body increase it’s own natural recovery process thereby allowing for a more consistent training program and faster progression.

Emma Garrard

XTERRA West Championship Elites

Thirty-two elites representing 10 states plus Canada, Australia, Mexico and Scotland will toe the start line at the XTERRA West Championship just outside of the Las Vegas strip on Saturday.

Josiah Middaugh is the man to beat in the men’s race. Contenders include long-time XTERRA America Tour stars Craig Evans, Branden Rakita and Ryan Ignatz along with international stand-outs Ben Allen and Francisco Serrano.

Allen, who was 3rd at XTERRA Worlds last year behind Ruzafa and Middaugh, has already won two XTERRA World Tour races this year – in Saipan and Guam – and just finished 5th at last weekend’s XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race in New South Wales, Australia. Serrano is a former Olympian and XTERRA Mexico Champ.

There will be a bunch of new faces in the men’s elite field in Vegas that will be fun to follow with the likes of Kevin Everett, Barret Fishner, James Hadley, Kyle Hughes, and Benjamin Torvik.

There is no clear cut favorite in the women’s elite race which is highlighted by Lesley Paterson, Emma Garrard, Suzie Snyder, and Melanie McQuaid.

Paterson was able to catch Garrard on the run to take the title at XTERRA Costa Rica last month, but will be swimming literally with one-arm while recovering from a fractured shoulder.

Garrard has been the top American in the Pro Series in each of the last two years, and was 2nd to Flora Duffy at last year’s West Championship race.

Snyder is coming off her first big pro win at XTERRA New Zealand two weeks ago, and was fourth last weekend at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs.

McQuaid, a three-time XTERRA World Champ, is always a threat and has several West Championship crowns in her trophy case already.

Sara McLarty adds some intrigue and a super-fast swim split and Sara Schuler (nee Tarkington) could surprise some people  in the front of the mix.

As always, the first race of the Pro Series is fun to watch and a sign of things to come. Follow along on the XTERRA twitter feed @xterraoffroad for elite updates starting at 8am PST on Saturday.

Here’s a look at the start list, numbered by final position in Pro Series last year, then alphabetical and late additions…

No. – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Josiah Middaugh – 36, Eagle-Vail, CO
2 – Craig Evans – 37, Hendersonville, TN
3 – Branden Rakita – 34, Colorado Springs, CO
4 – Chris Ganter – 36, Boise, ID
5 – Ryan Ignatz – 36, Boulder, CO
6 – Alex Modestou – 28, Durham, NC
7 – Brad Zoller – 37, Avon, CO
8 – Karsten Madsen – 23, Guelph, Ontario, CAN
9 – Ben Allen – 30, Wollongong, Australia
10 – Jimmy Archer – 42, Denver, CO
11 – JP Donovan – 28, Incline Village, NV
12 – Kevin Everett – 40, Boise, ID
14 – Barret Fishner – 32, Lillington, NC
15 – James Hadley – 35, Longmont, CO
16 – Kyle Hughes – 28, Escondido, CA
17 – Francisco Serrano – 34, San Pedro, MEX
18 – Benjamin Torvik – 29, Boulder, CO

No. – Name – Age, Hometown
31 – Emma Garrard – 33, Park City, UT
32 – Suzie Snyder – 33, Fredericksburg, VA
33 – Kara LaPoint – 28, Truckee, CA
34 – Sara Schuler – 34, Boulder, CO
35 – Debby Sullivan – 33, Rocklin, CA
36 – Caroline Colonna – 51, Taos, NM
37 – Lesley Paterson – 34, San Diego (Scotland)
38 – Rebecca Blatt – 35, Lakewood, CO
39 – Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, CO
40 – Katie Button – 29, Victoria, B.C., CAN
41 – Emily Bashton – 35, Richmond, VA
42 – Sara McLarty – 32, Clermont, FL
43 – Lauren Thompson – 28, Albuquerque, NM
44 – Brittany Webster – 27, Canmore, Alberta, CAN
45 – Melanie McQuaid – 41, Victoria, B.C., CAN

XTERRA Tahiti

Inaugural XTERRA Tahiti on Saturday

The visually stunning island of Tahiti will host this week’s stop on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour.

Former XTERRA World Champion Nicolas Lebrun, who is now serving as a technical director for XTERRA courses around the world to assure trail quality and help with event management, arrived in Papeete yesterday to hero’s welcome and brings us this report…

“I started my trip in Marseille Monday morning, then Paris, L.A. and 21 hours in planes and two stops later I landed in Papeete, the capital of Tahiti.

Tahiti is a beautiful Island in the South Pacific, part of the 118 islands of French Polynesia divided in 5 groups.  It’s a French oversea collectivity.  South of Hawaii, the climate looks the same, and the feeling, colors, are exactly the same. The culture also looks similar, but here they speak French! Every time I want to speak with somebody, I think I’m in Maui and start in English. It’s hard to adjust after 15 trip to Hawaii.

At the arrival organizers staged a big welcome party for all of us. I was on the same plane with Brice Daubord, who just finished 3rd at XTERRA Malta, Olympian French Triathlete Tony Moulay, a journalist from Canal+ French TV station, and the one-and-only Mark Allen.

It’s my first time in this part of the world, really famous in France as our Paradise, like Hawaii for Americans. Some of these islands are really famous, like Bora Bora and Mo’orea!

First morning I woke up at 5:45 with jet lag and figured I’d go for a run. The organization put us at the Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort in Papava on the Northeastern side of the Island at 6km from the Capital. Running on the black sand, not too hot at this time, was perfect for me to start the trip and stay in shape and take some pics of the place. Dogs and chickens everywhere, ok this is not Hawaii….

The Local TV came to make some footage with our two French athletes, and tonight we have our first press conference.

We can’t really go to the race site, it’s not a typical XTERRA. Athletes will be taken with their bikes to the start and T1 at Mataiea with buses and trucks. After the swim athletes will have to cross the island by climbing to the center and riding down (through a tunnel on top) then keep running down so the whole race is a point to point.

This will be the 7th edition of this race, but the first year it is also an XTERRA. It looks like everything is in order.   Tomorrow, we all go visit Mo’orea!”

XTERRA Reunion

XTERRA Reunion Debuts Sunday

Reunion Island, a French island located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, will host XTERRA for the first time this Sunday.

The men’s race features XTERRA Philippines Champion Bradley Weiss from South Africa, last year’s XTERRA Greece Champion Francois Carloni of France, perennial contender Yeray Luxem from Belgium, multiple World Tour race winner Sam Gardner from the UK, Jan Kubicek from the Czech Republic, and Theo Blignaut from South Africa.

Of particular note is the inclusion of hometown triathlon hero David Hauss, who won the ITU World Cup race at Mooloolaba earlier this year.

”It’s always great and very motivating to see international races in Reunion Island that can attract worldwide athletes,” said Hauss. “We can see that Reunion Island can shine abroad and that even here we can organize prestigious events. It also shows the variety of incredible playground we have. For local athletes it’s a great way to compete against the best racers and also improve their level in a quite recent sport, which will, in few years, increase and develop. You can see trail running and mountain biking are becoming more popular.”

The women’s race features the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion Kathrin Mueller along with two-time XTERRA South Africa Champ Carla Van Huyssteen.

It starts with a 1,500-meter swim in the pristine waters of the west coast lagoon, follows on a hilly 30km mountain bike course through the savannah and sugar cane fields, and finishes with a 10km trail run by the coast.

“It’s a challenging course, an astonishing landscape,” said Yannick Desfarges, the technical director and an XTERRA racer himself who won the 30-34 division and finished 13th overall at XTERRA South Africa earlier this year.

The event offers 18 qualifying spots into XTERRA Worlds for the fastest amateurs and roughly $15,000 USD in prize money to the top six elite men and women.

To learn more visit www.xterrareunion.com, or write to xterrareunion@gmail.com.

Lesley Paterson

Putting “Braveheart” to the Test

Two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson is hoping to turn some hard luck into a winning hand at the XTERRA West Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday.

The “Scottish Rocket” has had a tough go of it recently.

Last year injuries and Lyme disease, a nasty auto-immune disease, kept her out of the line-up until Nationals. She finished third at that race behind Flora Duffy and Barbara Riveros, but then Lyme kicked in again and forced her to miss XTERRA Worlds.

She spent the off-season getting mind and body straight and was strong as ever heading into XTERRA Costa Rica on March 29, then took a tumble pre-riding and fractured her shoulder the day before the race.

“I couldn’t lift my arm above my head so I had to do the whole swim one armed…1500-meters is a long way with one arm! I had to have the other one down by my side,” she explained.

Paterson’s swim split was 33:27, a full 12-minutes slower than Sara McLarty and more than six minutes behind eventual runner-up Emma Garrard. She erased most of that deficit with the fastest bike split of the day then made up the rest with a blistering fast run and won the race.

“I’m a pretty stubborn gal,” Paterson explained to Bob Babbitt in a TV segment on NBC San Diego that aired this week.

“It was unbelievable.  The night before I was crying my eyes out thinking I’m not going to be able to race, to then winning it. It’s testament to the Braveheart spirit to never give up.”

On Saturday, just four weeks since she fractured her shoulder, she’ll give it a go in Vegas despite having to do the swim – again – with just one arm.

Josiah Middaugh

“Beast Mode” Middaugh is Back

America’s best off-roadie, Josiah “Beast Mode” Middaugh, returns to the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series for his 12th year Saturday when the season gets underway at the West Championship race at Lake Las Vegas Resort in Henderson, Nevada.

While that’s great news for the sport, it’s bad news for the competition.

In 10 of the last 11 years Middaugh has finished as the top American in the Pro Series, and the year he didn’t, in 2006, was because he broke his knee-cap in the second race of the year (still managed  to finish fourth at XTERRA Worlds that season).

The 36-year-old father of three from Eagle-Vail, Colorado has been particularly good at the opener in the desert.  He’s won the last two, three of the last six, and finished second (by less than a minute to seven-time World Champ Conrad Stoltz) in the other three.

We caught up with the 10x XTERRA National Champ this week to see what’s new as he enters another year of racing off-road…

XTERRA: How’d the “off-season” go?
Josiah Middaugh: I had a great off season mainly because I remained injury free and was able to put in some consistent training.  I decided not to travel to race this winter with Ingrid working full time and the kids pretty busy with school.

XT: Did you treat this off-season any different than others before?
JM: I stayed close to home this off season and spent a lot of time on the CompuTrainer at Dogma Athletica like I always do, got out on my Felt Fat Bike several times, and traded some long runs for snowshoeing.  I like to keep my fitness at a very high level year round.  If you’re always ready, you never have to get ready.

XT: How’s your coaching/training business going?
JM: Very well. My big brother Yaro and I are in business together and he will be coaching full time starting in June.  We subscribe to a similar philosophy that I describe concisely as evidence-based.  We both have spent our lives pursuing athletics so the experience is there, but our coaching is rooted in science.  I have two degrees in the field with a Masters Degree in Human Movement and I have been coaching and personal training for 15 years with people of all abilities.  This is my 13th year racing professionally and part of the reason I have had consistent performances is the training philosophy that we both have developed.  It has been great to have him to consult with and now collaborate with.   We can be contacted through my website at www.josiahmiddaugh.com.

XT: How’d you feel in the steamy jungles of Costa Rica, where you finished 2nd to Rom Akerson?
JM: I was feeling very fit going into Costa Rica but the environment was 180-degrees from what we had in Colorado so I suffered in the heat along with everyone else.  Rom was in amazing shape and was the deserving champion.

XT: What’s the goal for 2015?
JM: The only thing missing on my XTERRA resume is a world title, so that has to be the ultimate goal.  Of course there is only one world champion each year so that means there are quite a few disappointed folks.  It’s also about the journey and the process, so if I can continue to improve and put it all out there on race day, I am not disappointed if someone else does it better.

XT: Have you figured out the kink in two-time World Champ Ruben Ruzafa’s armor yet?
JM: Honestly I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my competitor’s strengths.  I don’t spend time looking at race results, but rather shuttling kids to after school activities or helping with homework.  I’m sure Ruzafa is doing his thing and will be prepared once again for the season.  He’s a smart guy and has the talent, resources, and time available to put himself in position.  XTERRA is not just a race against other competitors but also a race against the course and anyone can be beaten on any given day.  I used to have the mindset that I wasn’t that talented, but just worked harder or trained smarter than others, but screw that.  I’m as talented as anyone and I love to compete.

XT: What do you think about having some of the top international guys like Kiwi’s Braden Currie and Olly Shaw, Aussie Ben Allen, and South Africa Bradley Weiss coming over to race in the U.S. Series?
JM: I like to see the U.S. Series as competitive as possible and an international pro field does that.  I’m excited to see Braden Currie, Ben Allen, Bradley Weiss, and Olly Shaw dropping in for some of the U.S. races.  I remember when Bryan Rhodes “retired” from XTERRA because every race in the U.S. was so competitive it was like the “damn world championships.”

XT: You’ve been getting stronger and faster every year, is there still room for you to grow?
JM: Of course I can still get faster.  The cool thing about triathlon is that there is always room for improvement, especially with XTERRA since there is even more of a technical skill component.  I have focused most of my training career on increasing the size of my aerobic engine and there is still lots of room for improvement in biomechanics and technical areas.  Many training abilities are cumulative which I recognized early on and many of injuries I had early in my career I viewed as extending the time it would take me to reach my peak.  I’ve had 5 knee surgeries so that means it might take me a little longer than some.  Maybe I will just try to outlast these other guys and eventually it will just be Lesley and I duking it out on crutches.

XT: Anything in particular you like about this opening race in Vegas?
JM: I’m looking forward to racing at Lake Las Vegas.  Even though the course landscape is pretty barren, it is a good fitness course and works for some of us who are just now getting on the dirt.  The bottom line is that I am always looking for a challenge and this course delivers.

XT: What’s your schedule look like this year?
JM: This year I plan to race the US Championship Series with Las Vegas, Alabama, Richmond, Beaver Creek, the Nationals in Ogden, Utah and of course the World Championship in Maui.  I am undecided on the ITU Worlds in Italy and I have a big hole in August, but I may just stay high in the mountains and work on my beard.

Braden Currie

Currie, Duffy win XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship

April 18, 2015 (Callala Beach, NSW) – Braden Currie and Flora Duffy won the men’s and women’s elite titles at the 2nd annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race at Callala Beach in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia this afternoon.

After a wet Friday that soaked pre-riders and runners, the clouds and rain gave way to bright sunshine Saturday morning and near-perfect racing conditions, except of course, for the slick roots and muddy trails that the rain left behind. It turned intermediate routes into technical tracts and clean racing kits into mud-splattered ensembles.

In the men’s race the adverse conditions played right into the strengths of Braden Currie, one of the best adventure racers in the world.

“It was awesome, it was wet, it was muddy, it was actually quite technical because it was so loose but it’s stuff that you don’t get hurt on so you can hit it as hard as you can and if you crash you jump back up and go again,” said Currie.

The 28-year-old from Wanaka came out of the swim about the same time as Conrad Stoltz in 18:06, and trailed Courtney Atkinson and Ben Allen by about one-minute. Atkinson and Allen were up front on the bike early until the course got into some of the twisting tree lines.

“I knew it was going to be some pretty hard racing,” said Currie. “I caught Courtney on some of that single track and Ben sort of got stuck behind him and I made myself a bit of a gap and just extended that lead thru the end of the bike. I knew me and Courtney would have a pretty hard run battle if we were close, so I tried to put everything I could into that bike.”

The strategy paid off, and he posted the fastest bike split of the day in 1:24:03 (Stoltz was 1:24:23) which was more than six-minutes better than Atkinson. The way the two-time Olympian Atkinson can run, it was a necessary cushion.

“I knew when Braden was the first to catch me I was in trouble,” said Atkinson, who moved up from fifth off the bike to second by the finish by posting the fastest run split of the day (35:30) by two minutes. “Pretty cool to win the XTERRA Australian title for the third year in a row and ya know Braden, he’s not the world’s best adventurer for no reason. I came down twice on the bike today on some slippery stuff. It’s a challenge for me. There were times on the bike when I was thinking that I could get off and run faster than this, and much less dangerously. I know overseas they have sloppy, jungle XTERRA’s but this is probably the first time I’ve experienced this level of mud. I ran as quick as I could but the thing with XTERRA is the bike kills your legs. It was a tough day at the muddy office.”

For Stoltz, who was still pretty sick leading into race day, just being able to compete was a win.

“I wouldn’t have imagined a podium today,” said Stoltz, the four-time XTERRA World Champ who had to miss out on XTERRA South Africa in February and last weekend at XTERRA New Zealand due to illness. “Yesterday I didn’t think I was going to race but I woke up this morning feeling much, much better. I was just happy to be out there. Swimming felt alright but when I got out on the bike I felt pretty bad the first half. Every time I tried to push I just felt like there were insects crawling around on my head, it didn’t feel good at all, so I was losing time on Braden and the guys but I said to myself at least I’m participating which is better than watching. From there I just tried to stay steady so I could finish in the prize money but then all of a sudden in the last third of the ride I could see Ben and Courtney, and couldn’t figure out why I was making time on them. I was surprised to get off the bike in second, and on the run I knew I couldn’t push. The moment I started pushing I felt really bad so I tried to keep it steady and was second until just about 2k from the end when Courtney got by.”

“The Caveman” ultimately finished third, just ahead of Olly Shaw and Ben Allen, and had high praise for the guys in front of him.

“Two very honorable athletes in front of me, so no worries losing to those guys,” said Stoltz, who has 51 career titles of his own. “They are both real gentlemen and great athletes. Braden is very, very talented and I would say his biggest asset is his head. He’s very driven and his head is very strong. Plus, he’s a nice guy and down to earth. He’s the real deal.”

Shaw, the 23-year-old from Rotorua who was third last weekend at his hometown race, was thrilled to be in the mix and living the XTERRA lifestyle.

“Pretty happy, it’s an amazing field here. The highlight was catching Courtney on the bike. It’s my first season I’ve been up there and able to compete with these guys, and it’s just awesome,” said Shaw, who was third in New Zealand last weekend and will go on to race at XTERRA Tahiti next weekend. “Living a pretty good life, eh. I love training for it and really lucky to have these great events around the world to race at. The atmosphere is so awesome.”

Ben Allen, fresh off wins at XTERRA Saipan and XTERRA Guam, finished in fifth, with Josh Kenyon in sixth, Brodie Gardner seventh, Jarad Kohler, Kieran McPherson, and Mitchell Ginsberg rounding out the top 10.

TOP 10 MEN

Pos Name, Country Time Swim Bike Run
1 Braden Currie, NZL 2:23:37 0:18:06 1:24:03 0:37:32
2 Courtney Aktinson, AUS 2:26:23 0:17:00 1:30:26 0:35:30
3 Conrad Stoltz, RSA 2:27:12 0:18:06 1:24:23 0:40:31
4 Olly Shaw, NZL 2:27:50 0:19:48 1:25:25 0:38:35
5 Ben Allen, AUS 2:30:54 0:17:19 1:26:51 0:42:22
6 Josh Kenyon, NZL 2:34:08 0:20:31 1:28:47 0:40:43
7 Brodie Gardner, AUS 2:39:25 0:19:45 1:31:54 0:43:09
8 Jarad Kohlar, AUS 2:40:03 0:21:05 1:31:22 0:43:44
9 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:41:45 0:19:23 1:35:53 0:42:05
10 Mitchell Ginsbert, RSA 2:41:53 0:20:12 1:33:04 0:44:05

DUFFY DEFENDS APAC TITLE

Flora Duffy took most of the drama right out of the women’s race right from the start with another dominating performance on her way to her 10th XTERRA Championship win in 11 tries since the start of the 2014 season.

The 27-year-old two-time Olympian from Devonshire, Bermuda had the fastest swim (almost two minutes over Barbara Riveros), the quickest bike (more than two minutes over Riveros) and the second-best run split (less than one-minute behind Riveros) to take the tape in 2:36:40, a full three-minutes in front of Riveros.

Of note, Riveros was also the runner-up to Duffy at last year’s XTERRA World Championship and the pair are amongst the very best on the highly competitive ITU World Triathlon Series.

“It was a tough day out there,” said Duffy.  “I really wanted to defend this title, and it’s a lot harder defending.  I seem to be the favorite no matter what.  I wanted to attack the swim and nail the bike, ride the technical bits as best I could.   I had a few issues out there, though, with a couple mechanicals and a little crash.  It was super muddy.  Then I just tried to run steady, and not push too hard. I’m really happy with how it went.”

Duffy, who was fifth at the ITU WTS race on the Gold Coast here in Australia last week, now heads back to her home-away-from-home in South Africa for next weekend’s ITU race.

“Flora is on fire, she’s very strong.  I knew it.  She’s racing good in ITU as well and I’m super happy for her,” said Riveros, who was in second the whole way but still had her share of misfortune.  “I fell in the mud puddles, didn’t realize it was so deep, and I couldn’t get out of there.  The guy behind was asking if I needed help getting out of there.  But it was great, a beautiful course, and I’m happy to have raced here and qualify for XTERRA Worlds.”

Behind Riveros Jacqui Slack was in third and in control, Suzie Snyder was fourth, and Lizzie Orchard ran her way into fifth.

“Mud!” said Jacqui Slack, as if the one word could describe the whole day.  “Wow, that’s a really tough course.  It’s awesome but you have to keep pedaling all the time, a real power course.  There’s no let up, you can’t rest and in the muddy sections you have to keep pushing all the time.  The competition was amazing here, and it was really close at the end for the third through fifth positions.”

Indeed it was, with just one-minute separating Slack, Snyder, and Orchard.  Carina Wasle finished sixth and covered in mud, Caroline Steffen was seventh in her XTERRA debut, Jessica Simpson placed eight and won the XTERRA Australia title for being the top Aussie, and Renata Bucher and Belinda Hadden rounded out the top 10.

Steffen, of Ironman fame, had a big smile and lots of stories to tell at the finish line.

“It’s awesome.  Lot of fun.  Bit muddy and dirty, but I really enjoyed it,” said Steffen.  “And, I’m happy to be at the finish line in one piece, my coach was so worried.   This is an awesome place, a great event with great organization.   I’ve never run on the beach before.   In Ironman we’re on the road three times longer, and we try to keep a steady heart rate, fast but steady.  Here it’s red-lining the whole time.  My body was screaming, like what are you doing to me.   That was quite painful.  Actually very proud of my performance.  I went off a few times but apparently that’s normal.  And in the forest it’s so green, I actually thought I was in the movie Lord of the Rings and was a bit scared being out there all alone.  There were puddles and mud everywhere, and the sun was coming in through the trees.  To be able to run through the forests was good fun, we don’t get that on the road.  It’s so different.  Swim, bike, and run but just so, so different.  I really enjoyed it.”

Steffen hinted at a possible run for the “Outrigger Double” – an award given to the top amateur and professional athletes with the best combined times at Ironman and XTERRA Worlds.

“Maybe after Kona I’ll go to Maui, why not!” exclaimed Steffen.  “It looks beautiful, and if my performance today was good enough I wouldn’t turn it down.”

TOP 10 WOMEN

Pos Name, Country Time Swim Bike Run
1 Flora Duffy, BER 2:36:40 0:17:24 1:34:27 0:40:26
2 Barbara Riveros, CHI 2:39:47 0:19:15 1:36:41 0:39:31
3 Jacqui Slack, GBR 2:47:06 0:20:19 1:37:37 0:44:46
4 Suzie Snyder, USA 2:47:53 0:20:29 1:39:11 0:43:34
5 Lizzie Orchard, NZL 2:48:08 0:21:25 1:41:13 0:41:07
6 Carina Wasle, AUT 2:52:36 0:22:01 1:40:15 0:45:18
7 Caroline Steffen, SUI 2:56:52 0:19:38 1:48:51 0:43:20
8 Jessica Simpson, AUS 2:57:17 0:21:49 1:44:29 0:46:13
9 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:08:40 0:22:18 1:47:00 0:53:51
10 Belinda Hadden, AUS 3:12:34 22:24 1:55:05 49:15:00

LANG, DAVIS WIN XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC AMATEUR TITLES

Tim Lang and Jennifer Davis were the top amateurs on the day.  Lang finished 7th overall, ahead of several pros and almost three minutes ahead of last weekend overall amateur champion at XTERRA New Zealand Matt Backler.  Davis was the ninth overall female and almost four minutes ahead of amateur runner-up Sophie Bos-Stapley.   All of the age group champions and dozens more of the top performers earned a qualifying spot into the XTERRA World Championship on November 1, 2015 in Kapalua, Maui, and the top Aussies in each division were crowned National Champs.

AGE GROUP CHAMPION MEN

Category First name Last name Finish time
Male 15-19 Tom MONTGOMERY 3:24:53
Male 20-24 Chris MUTTON 3:21:44
Male 25-29 Alex ROBERTS 2:50:51
Male 30-34 Nathan JONES 2:41:11
Male 35-39 Matt BACKLER 2:40:58
Male 40-44 Russell KENNEDY 2:46:34
Male 45-49 Tim LANG 2:37:50
Male 50-54 Chris DIMOS 2:57:11
Male 55-59 John HILL 3:08:17
Male 60-64 Richard JEFFREY 3:09:28
Male 70-74 Ray LICHTWARK 3:30:22

 

AGE GROUP CHAMPION WOMEN

Category First name Last name Finish time
Female 15-19 Matilda TERRY 3:27:07
Female 20-24 Tilly HORMAN 3:54:45
Female 25-29 Jessica EGAN 3:33:16
Female 30-34 Jennifer DAVIS 3:05:58
Female 35-39 Michelle MORRIS 3:28:13
Female 40-44 Katrina SKELLERN 3:20:32
Female 45-49 Sophie BOS-STAPLEY 3:09:35
Female 50-54 Lindy KRONEN 3:32:35
Female 55-59 Jennifer STRACK 3:31:48

 

Results

 

Photo Gallery

 

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.  Presenting sponsors include John Paul Mitchell Systems, the world’s largest privately owned professional salon hair care company, Outrigger Resorts – one of the largest and fastest growing privately-held leisure lodging, retail and hospitality companies in the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions, 220 Triathlon Australia/NZ, and XTERRA Wetsuits & Boards Australia – the official swim sponsor.

 

CURRIE, SNYDER, XTERRA ANZ DOUBLE WIN

Braden Currie and Suzie Snyder won the elite XTERRA ANZ Double titles and Matt Backler and Michelle Morwood won the amateur ANZ titles for posting the fastest combined times at XTERRA New Zealand and the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship.
NEILSON, DUFFY WIN XTERRA WETSUITS SWIM PRIME

Daniel Neilson and Flora Duffy each took home $300 cash from XTERRA Wetsuits Australia for posting the fastest swim splits of the day, 16:58 and 17:24, respectively.

UPDATED XTERRA ASIAN TOUR STANDINGS

Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack remain atop the XTERRA Asian Tour standings with just the finale at XTERRA Malaysia in Langkawi on May 2 remaining.  Allen is counting two wins and a third, while Weiss is counting one win and two seconds so just two points separate the two.  With Malaysia counting double points, it’ll all come down to that one.  The women’s series chase is up for grabs, although Slack has the best odds at this point with a 27-point lead over Carina Wasle.

 

2015 XTERRA Asian Tour Standings (After 4)
Pros count their best three races, Malaysia counts double points
PRO MEN  
Pl Name PHI Saipan Guam AUS MAS Totals
1 Ben Allen, AUS 82 100 100 x69 282
2 Brad Weiss, RSA 100 90 90 x 280
3 Joe Miller, PHI 63 63 63 x 189
4 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN x 82 82 x 164
5 Markus Benesch, AUT x 75 75 x 150
6 Charlie Epperson, USA 69 x 69 x 138
7 Brodie Gardner, AUS 75 x x 58 133
8 Kaon Cho, KOR x 53 58 x 111
9 Braden Currie, NZL x x x 100 100
10 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90 x x x 90
11 Courtney Atkinson, AUS x x x 90 90
12 Conrad Stoltz, RSA x x x 82 82
13 Olly Shaw, NZL x x x 75 75
14 Aleksandr Dorovskikh, RUS x 69 x x 69
15 Joshua Kenyon, NZL x x x 63 63
16 Michal Bucek, SVK 58 x x x 58
17 David Esposito, FRA x 58 x x 58
18 Jarad Kohler, AUS x x x 53 53
19 Kieran McPherson, NZL x x x 49 49
20 Mitchell Ginsberg, RSA x x x 45 45
PRO WOMEN
Pl Name PHI Saipan Guam AUS MAS Totals
1 Jacqui Slack, GBR 90 100 90 x82 280
2 Carina Wasle, AUT x 90 100 63 253
3 Mieko Carey, JPN 75 82 82 x 239
4 Renata Bucher, SUI 69 75 69 x49 213
5 Daz Parker, GBR 63 69 75 x 207
6 Flora Duffy, BER 100 x x 100 200
7 Belinda Hadden, AUS x 63 63 45 171
8 Barbara Riveros, CHI x x x 90 90
9 Dimity-Lee Duke, AUS 82 x x x 82
10 Suzie Snyder, USA x x x 75 75
11 Lizzie Orchard, NZL x x x 69 69
12 Aya Stevens, SVK 58 x x x 58
13 Caroline Steffen, SUI x x x 58 58
14 Jessica Simpson, AUS x x x 53 53

 

XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING RACES

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson / Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship (Ben Allen / Carina Wasle)
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Braden Currie / Suzie Snyder)
18-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+ (Braden Currie / Flora Duffy)
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV, USA#
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti, Mataiea
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion, Saint Gilles les bains
2-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asian Tour Championship, Langkawi+
10-May XTERRA Brazil, Ilhabela, SP
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship, Pelham, AL, USA#
USAT Cross Triathlon National Championship
16-May XTERRA Portugal, Golega*
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship, Plasencia, Extremadura*
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship, Richmond, VA, USA#
20-Jun XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

 

ABOUT TEAM UNLIMITED / XTERRA
TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2014 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 25+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990.  View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at www.xterraasiapacific.com, www.xterraplanet.com and www.xterratrailrun.com.