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Last Week in Austin & Myrtle Beach

Last weekend on the XTERRA America Tour Kyle Grieser and Alissa Magrum took home the titles at the XTERRA ATX off-road triathlon in Austin, Texas.

Grieser, a long-time legend in Race Revolutions events, edged Chris Ellis-Ferrara by just 22-seconds to take the tape in 1:49:27. Magrum, who is a relentless proponent for Colin’s Hope – the children’s drowning prevention non-profit she runs – finished nearly seven-minutes ahead Keri Rimiel. Find full results here.

ATX was the second of five races in the XTERRA Texas Series. Next up is XTERRA Muleshoe in Spicewood on June 11.

Over in Myrtle Beach, South Caroline our favorite field reporter Marcus Barton was making his way through some of the new trails on offer to a third-place finish.

Daryl Weaver and Sophie Evans won the race, but for the real story, pictures, maps, quotes from other racers, and a dose of inspiration you’ve got to click this link through to Marcus’ story about the day: https://speedylizard.com/2016/04/28/hulk-got-some-upgrades-xterra-myrtle-beach/

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Family Fun at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs

By Lauren Hall

Tough races like the XTERRA Asia-Pacific off-road triathlons and trail runs that took place last weekend in New South Wales, Australia take a lot of time, money, sweat, and tears to get ready for, and not many people commit to such a challenge … let alone a whole family.

While feeling accomplished at the end of the race is something we all look forward to, being able to share the joy of racing with the ones we love makes the experience all that much sweeter.

Just ask Jenny Hart, who finished 3rd in her division in Saturday’s tri then got to watch her boys Hamish, Lachlan, and Ethan (ages 10-to-14) finish first, third, and fifth overall in the 5-kilometer trail run the next day.

Although she says there are a lot of inspiring people in this world, Jenny sees her boys as her greatest inspiration.

“They inspire me to go out there and try, for age is just a number,” she said.

In return, Jenny hopes that by participating in these races she will show her boys that “anything can be achieved when you put your mind to it.”

She seems to have made an impact because since she started doing triathlons, her boys have competed in events where there are options to do so. Her two older ones have developed a love for triathlons, and hopes to one-day race at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui. Jenny said she loves watching her boys race, and “it’s fantastic to have them at the finish line too.”

Jenny is a primary school teacher that works with a number of schools in her area to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes for her students in K-2 in more socioeconomic disadvantaged small schools.

She heard about XTERRA from her friends that raced pro at last year’s XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, and when she won the prize drawing of a free entry while participating at Elite Energy’s Husky Long Course tri she decided to jump in feet first and do the championship race.

“XTERRA races seem to becoming a lot more popular with more people signing up for these races,” she said. “I thought it would be fun to do and something a bit different.”

In order to get ready for their family XTERRA race outing, Jenny continued her normal triathlon training while adding some mountain bikes rides in the mix. Her boys attending swim practice with a club team and have been also mixing in mountain bike rides with their mom. Jenny said that 12-year-old son’s cross country training has played an important part in Hamish’s training. Going into the race, they had no expectations. Jenny stated she “just wanted to go out there and have fun.”

One thing that worried her entering the race was the 30km mountain bike course. She worried the course might be too technical to start doing at her age. Jenny went for it anyways, and ended up finishing the XTERRA race with a time of 3:48:14 coming in 3rd in her 50-54 age group.

“Determination and perseverance are qualities that that can be transferred across all facets of our lives.”

Jenny hopes that through competing in the XTERRA Asia Pacific Championship triathlon race as she turns 50 will inspire not only her family, but others to have fun with life and do what makes them happy.

Through traveling as a family, they have made friends from all over the world and seen many beautiful new places. Jenny and her family encourages you and yours to take on the XTERRA race challenge so you too can be exposed to “the world of possibilities.”

Lizzie-BikeWeb

XTERRA World Tour Triple on Tap

The XTERRA European, Asia-Pacific, and Pan-American Tours are all in action next weekend, May 7, with championship races in Greece, Malaysia, and Brazil.

In Greece they’ll celebrate the second of 12 races on this year’s XTERRA European Tour at an exciting new location that has XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas chomping at the bit.

“Next week will be the 4th running of XTERRA Greece and we are in for big changes,” he said. “The first races were at the middle of Greece, in the mountains at Lake Plastira.  This year, we are changing to a suburb of Athens and the site of the 2004 Olympic triathlon in Vouliagmeni. This is where so many XTERRA legends performed on the big stage. Remember Hamish Carter won gold in Athens, then won XTERRA Worlds a couple years later. Hamish still plays a big role for XTERRA in New Zealand, goes to all the races and is the ultimate ambassador for the sport over there.”

Other XTERRA legends that raced in the Olympics that year included Olivier Marceau (who was in the lead group off the bike and finished 8th), World Champs Conrad Stoltz, Eneko Llanos, and Julie Dibens, Canadian great Brent McMahon, XTERRA Mexico race director Javier Rosas, and a dozen more that would try their hand at off-road racing at one point or another like Bevan Docherty, Tim Don, Ivan Rana, Victor Plata, Tyler Butterfield, Susan Williams, and Samantha McGlone.

The swim and transition areas will be the exact same as the Olympic triathlons, but as this is XTERRA, the bike and run will be in the hills above the city.

“After several meetings with the Mayor we were able to secure the necessary permits,” said Nicholas.  “I took a look at the prospective area with Kostas Kourmargialis, the race director, after last year’s event and it is stunning.  Nico Lebrun went to Athens later in the year and he and Kostas have come up with a gem of a course that is in the shadow of the Parthenon and less than half an hour from the Athens airport. Tunnels will take athletes under the very busy street that runs along the ocean, and racers can expect lots of climbing and descending. You know if it is a Lebrun course it will be a fair challenge between technical and power.”

XTERRA Greece is sold out for this year, so those dreaming of racing in the Athenian Riviera best have secured their spot on the start list already or start looking forward to next year.

“This kind of venue is perfect for XTERRA travel.  An international airport nearby, lots of hotels from 5 star to B&B’s and a location that gives you full access to all the wonders of Athens,” said Nicholas.

A heavy pro field is assembling for the race featuring all of Europe’s best including Ruben Ruzafa, Roger Serrano, Francois Carloni, Kris Coddens, Jan Pyott, Brice Daubord, and Arthur Forissier in the men’s race and Helena Erbenova, Brigitta Poor, Louise Fox, and Renata Bucher in the women’s race. All told there are some 26 elites representing 13 countries racing. We’ll talk more about the pro race next week.

Meanwhile in Langkawi organizers of XTERRA Malaysia are setting up for a grand Asia-Pacific Tour finale that will pit the reigning XTERRA Asian Tour Champ Brad Weiss with his friendly rival Ben Allen who wants it back. Benny got the better of Bradley in Australia last weekend but Bradley took the title at this race in Langkawi last year.

The women’s race will be equally compelling with 2016 APAC Tour starlet Lizzie Orchard going for her fourth win in a row, but up against last year’s winner Myriam Guillot-Boisset (who won XTERRA Costa Rica last month) plus Carina Wasle and Jacqui Slack.

Of note, XTERRA Malaysia counts double points so gives all who race a good shot at moving high up in the standings if they have a solid race. That means guys like Takahiro Ogasawara, Brodie Gardner, and Olly Shaw will be shooting for the stars.

Learn more about the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour finale here.

In Brazil, the beautiful island of Ilhabela will host the third stop on the new XTERRA Pan America Tour.

XTERRA Brazil has long been one of the most unique and cherished events on the World Tour and will once again attract an international field of XTERRA Warriors for the experience.

We’ll have more info on all three races next week.

Daryl Weaver

This Week on The America Tour

Some of XTERRA’s fastest and most famous amateurs are in Arkansas this weekend for the XTERRA Gator Terra off-road tri which is doubling as the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship.

On the line are national titles, valuable points for amateurs racing for a regional title and the Maui spot that goes with it, plus the right to race for Team USA at the 2017 ITU Cross Tri World Championships to be held next August in Pentincton, Canada.

Among the heavy hitters on the start list is reigning USAT and XTERRA National Champ Daryl Weaver (pictured), fresh off a win at XTERRA Myrtle Beach last week. Weaver has a remarkable streak going, having won his division at 28 of the 29 regular season XTERRA races he’s entered, and the overall at most of those.

For the women the amazing Mimi Stockton looks to defend her overall women’s amateur USAT National Title that would go nicely with her three XTERRA World Titles in the 40-44 division.

Others coming back to defend their USAT crowns include Ron Scranton (70-74), Doug Usher (60-64), Stephanie Landy (55-59), Susan Griffin-Kaklikian (60-64), and Linda Usher (65-69).

The entire start list reads like a who-who in XTERRA racing lore with names like 15-time regional champ Steve Cole, 14-time regional champ Beverly Enslow, 11x regional champ Kyle Grieser, and stalwarts like David Rakita, Peter Lilley, Marc Hawley, May-li Cuypers, Paula Maresh, Mike Carter, Brett Edgerle, Karen Robertson, Kristen Wade, Bill Blankenship, Marcus Barton, and on and on.

One thing is for sure, Team USA will be in good hands next year!

Over in Winder, Georgia the XTERRA Fort Yargo off-road tri takes to the trails in the natural refuge of the state park on Saturday where one of the only remaining forts for early settlers can be found.

On Sunday, further up the coast, the devil is loose in Barnegat, New Jersey – home to the XTERRA Jersey Devil off-road tri that we previewed earlier this month.

Find your way on the XTERRA America Tour by visiting www.xterraplanet.com.

Braden Currie

Currie, Orchard win XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship

Photo Gallery / Complete Results

(Jervis Bay, NSW) – Braden Currie and Lizzie Orchard captured the 3rd annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race on an unseasonably cool and windy day at Callala Beach in New South Wales, Australia this afternoon.

It’s the ninth XTERRA win of Currie’s career and for the second year in a row he won XTERRA New Zealand and the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship races on back-to-back weekends.

“For me it’s the end of five years of solid racing, and I’m just so stoked to finish on a good race,” said Currie.  “You know that feeling of being smooth and consistent the whole race and finishing with a good result, when you race professionally it doesn’t get much sweeter than that.”

For everyone, the day started with an eye-opening walk down the beach to find big waves, red weed, white caps, wicked wind, crazy currents, and downright blustery conditions at Callala Beach.  It was so rough getting in-and-out of the water race officials changed the swim course from two-laps with a beach-run in the middle to just one-lap that went with the current.

Even the pros had a hard time sighting buoys and swimming in straight lines.

APAC Swim

XTERRA’s surf-life saving guru Ben Allen used the rough sea conditions to his advantage and led everyone out of the water, followed close behind by Courtney Atkinson.  Impressively, Braden Currie and Sam Osborne came out together less than one-minute behind those two and quickly caught and passed Atkinson and joined a line of three with Allen into the Aussie bush.

“It was a challenging, tough course,” said Currie.  “That swim was amazing.  Probably good for us Kiwis because we can’t swim like Courtney can.  It was so rough he couldn’t see where he was going so we could just follow his feet and keep in close contact with him.  I knew coming out of the water it was going to be a good day if we were that close to him.”

By the midway point on the bike it was a three-man race with Currie and Allen trading leads and Osborne never far behind.

“That bike was absolutely unreal, Braden was drilling it,” said Osborne, who also finished 2nd behind Currie at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend.  “I was looking at that back wheel of his and just thinking don’t let it go, that’s my ticket to the front.  He was going so fast.”

Allen hit the run in second but Osborne wasn’t far behind, and moved into second somewhere around the 3K mark.

“The swim was alright,” said Allen, who finished in third and top Aussie to win the XTERRA Australia title.  “Towards the end of that run the legs were cramping up, I think the effort of laying it down on the bike with Braden caught up with me. I just tried to hang on as long as I could to Sam.  Full credit to Braden, he’s a phenomenal athlete, and Sammy too.”

Brad Weiss and Olly Shaw were fourth and fifth out of T2, but Atkinson in sixth posted the fastest run of the day (35:16) to leap-frog past both of them for fourth.

“It’s one of those bike courses where you warm up on it and you think it’s not so bad but then when you start riding it hard every single little step-up and hill kills your legs,” said Atkinson.  “These guys make it look easy, riding around in the mud.  It’s a bloody fun day.  I come out here to have a lot of fun, and try my hardest to keep the deficit as best I can but today Braden and these boys were absolutely flying and caught me very early on.  I wasn’t even in the race so I really want to know what happened up in the front.”

Up front Currie was showing what kind of a fast, tough athlete he is.  Remember he was the runner-up to Josiah Middaugh at XTERRA Worlds last year, and in doing that he became the only other guy along with Middaugh to upset Ruben Ruzafa in two years of racing off-road.  No doubt the Kiwi is looking forward to another crack at the Spaniard and American.

For Bradley Weiss, who held on to 5th by just eight seconds over Shaw, it was a disappointing day.

“I lost too much time on the swim,” said the South African who won the first four races he did this year. “I saw when I was running up to transition that Braden and Sam were together, and knew that Ben and Courtney were together in front of them, and there is a lot of drafting chances on this course and I ended up all by myself.  I caught Courtney eventually, but he’s become a much better mountain biker through the years so it wasn’t easy.  I’m disappointed in 5th, but the guys up ahead definitely deserved it today.”

After the race Atkinson, a two-time Olympian, told the crowd … “I’d like to congratulate everyone out here today.  It’s difficult for me, and for all the on-road triathletes that gave it their first shot off-road today I want to congratulate them.  It’s fun, but it’s a challenge.  I think we’ll continue to get people crossing over and tying this.  People tick off Ironman, tick off Olympic distance and all the rest of them, this is your next challenge.”

For Ben Allen, who worked so hard to help XTERRA establish roots in Australia, seeing the big field of international racers and the great vibe in Callala today made him choke-up a little.

“I’m absolutely stoked XTERRA is here, it’s been a dream come true for me to get XTERRA on the forefront of triathlon within Australia and this event, this day is just awesome,” he said.

ELITE MEN

Pl Name (Bib #) Time Swim Bike Run
1 Braden CURRIE (1) 2:11:46 0:16:57 1:15:49 0:35:31
2 Sam OSBORNE (12) 2:13:38 0:16:57 1:18:05 0:35:14
3 Ben ALLEN (4) 2:14:47 0:16:06 1:17:56 0:37:12
4 Courtney ATKINSON (2) 2:16:30 0:16:12 1:22:06 0:34:38
5 Bradley WEISS (15) 2:17:04 0:18:06 1:18:16 0:36:55
6 Olly SHAW (3) 2:17:12 0:18:45 1:18:16 0:36:13
7 Aiden DUNSTER (8) 2:23:10 0:18:39 1:20:16 0:40:12
8 Kieran MCPHERSON (6) 2:24:03 0:18:31 1:21:58 0:39:32
9 Brodie GARDNER (5) 2:25:06 0:18:35 1:23:43 0:38:39
10 Cameron PAUL (13) 2:25:35 0:18:43 1:21:54 0:41:02
Also: Alex Roberts, Noah Wright, Jason Hsieh, Barry Lee, Kaon Cho

Lizzie Orchard

ORCHARD GOES 3-FOR-3 IN 2016

Lizzie Orchard isn’t a surprise winner anymore.  Last year she finished an amazing 5th in a stacked field at the XTERRA World Championship.  To start this season she won her first XTERRA major in the Philippines, and just last weekend she won the XTERRA New Zealand Championship.  Today, she solidified all those results with her third win of the year to take a commanding lead in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour standings.

“I can’t believe it. I’m still me, it’s just me,” smiled Orchard, an XTERRA Tribe favorite for her big smile and friendly demeanor.  “I really like the hot races, and it wasn’t that hot today so I’m very pleased to have a good go today.”

From the very beginning of today’s women’s elite race it looked like the title belonged to Jacqui Slack, who lives and trains with her fiancée Benny Allen just up the road in Wollongong for much of the year.

Slack had the best swim of the day by more than one-minute, and took a minute lead on to the run.  Behind her Renata Bucher (who had the fastest bike split of the day, 1:32:20), Lizzie Orchard, and Carina Wasle started chasing.

“There were three or four of us within 40 seconds or so,” said Orchard.  “With the long beach section of the run we could all see each other.  It was a technical run, and Carina was about 50-meters behind me the whole way.”

After passing Bucher on the sand early in the run, it took Orchard and Wasle until about the 7K mark to catch up to Slack.

“We slowly, sloooowly caught Jacqui,” said Orchard, who had the fastest run of the day (41:14) to take the tape in 2:36:42, just 27-seconds ahead of Wasle (who won at XTERRA Reunion last weekend).

Slack came in third, gutted not to have won it.

“I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to win a race so much,” said Slack.  “I did everything I could do, I had the best race I could’ve had, the other girls were just stronger today.  I held them off as long as I could but they just had that bit on me at the end.  They’re both great runners and great athletes, and raced really well.”

Bucher held off a hard-charging Jessica Simpson on the run by just two seconds to finish in fourth, with Simpson taking home the XTERRA Australia title for the second year in a row as the top Aussie.

“I’m super proud of Lizzie,” said Bucher, who recruited her to be on her Aloha Racing Team. “She’s an amazing athlete, and a great person as well.  She smiles all the time, and really has a great Aloha spirit.”

ELITE WOMEN

Pl Name (Bib #) Time Swim Bike Run
1 Elizabeth ORCHARD (32) 2:36:42 0:20:01 1:31:34 0:40:41
2 Carina WASLE (33) 2:37:09 0:20:55 1:30:34 0:40:54
3 Jacqui SLACK (31) 2:37:40 0:18:37 1:31:33 0:43:16
4 Renata BUCHER (35) 2:41:05 0:22:24 1:28:23 0:45:32
5 Jessica SIMPSON (34) 2:41:07 0:19:46 1:33:31 0:43:19
6 Catherine STERLING (39) 2:45:45 0:19:03 1:38:04 0:43:14
7 Sarah BACKLER (36) 2:47:06 0:22:26 1:35:54 0:44:03
8 Penny HOSKEN (37) 2:51:26 0:20:45 1:38:24 0:47:04
9 Holly KHAN (38) 2:58:40 0:22:14 1:41:15 0:49:29

CURRIE, ORCHARD WIN XTERRA ANZ DOUBLE

Braden Currie and Lizzie Orchard won the elite XTERRA ANZ Double titles and Hayden  Wilde and Josie Sinclair won the amateur ANZ titles for posting the fastest combined times at XTERRA New Zealand and the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship.

WILDE, SLATER WIN AMATEUR TITLES

Hayden Wilde, the 18-year-old phenom from Whakatane, New Zealand who won the 15-19 division XTERRA World Championship last year, captured the overall men’s amateur title in Callala while Penny Slater was the fastest female amateur on the day.

Here’s a look at all the 2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Age Group Champions:

WOMEN
Division Name Hometown Time
15-19 Brooke Crossland Erowal Bay, NSW 3:40:35
20-24 Penny Slater Wamboin, NSW 3:04:01
30-34 Becky Mates Willoughby, NSW 3:19:12
35-39 Virginie Bernard France 2:57:57
40-44 Megan Arthur Hamilton, New Zealand 3:13:03
45-49 Catherine Ballantyne Sydney, NSW 3:07:28
50-54 Jenny Henville Loftus, NSW 3:25:46
55-59 Josie Sinclair Auckland, New Zealand 3:14:06
65-69 Lynne Pattle Auckland, New Zealand 3:38:32
MEN
Division Name Hometown Time
15-19 Hayden Wilde Whakatane, New Zealand 2:21:55
20-24 Taylor Charlton Manly West, QLD 2:35:19
25-29 Tim Fitzpatrick Echuca, VIC 2:39:36
30-34 Nicholas Moore Gold Coast, QLD 2:34:41
35-39 Matt Backler Taurange, New Zealand 2:26:49
40-44 Tod Horton Burleigh Heads, QLD 2:41:13
45-49 Simon Manson North Curl, NSW 2:33:27
50-54 Peter Walker Chatswood, NSW 2:48:51
55-59 Andrew Rutty Figtree, NSW 2:55:40
60-64 Richard Jeffrey Bingie, NSW 2:56:10
65-69 Alan Pattle Auckland, New Zealand 3:25:41
70-74 Ry Lichtwark Rotorua, New Zealand 3:30:45

MONTGOMERY, BERNARD WIN XTERRA WETSUITS SWIM PRIME

Tom Montgomery and Virginie Bernard each took home a brand new wetsuit from XTERRA Wetsuits Australia for posting the fastest amateur swim splits of the day, 15:29 and 20:59, respectively.

WEISS, ORCHARD LEAD XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC TOUR STANDINGS

After five of the six races in the 2015-2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Bradley Weiss and Lizzie Orchard sit atop the elite standings.

Just one race remains, an important one that counts double points at XTERRA Malaysia in Langkawi on May 7.  Both Weiss and Orchard, and host of other pros, will be at the tour finale in Malaysia to chase the crown.

PL NAME JPN PHI SAI NZL AUS TOT
1 Bradley Weiss, RSA DNS 100 DNS 82 69 251
2 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 82 75 90 DNS DNS 247
3 Brodie Gardner, AUS DNS 82 100 DNS 49 231
4 Braden Currie, NZL DNS DNS DNS 100 100 200
5 Sam Osborne, NZL DNS DNS DNS 90 90 180
6 Kaon Cho, KOR 53 DNS 75 49 x28 177
7 Courtney Atkinson, AUS 100 DNS DNS DNS 75 175
8 Ben Allen, AUS DNS 90 DNS DNS 82 172
9 Charlie Epperson, USA 75 69 DNS DNS DNS 144
10 Olly Shaw, NZL DNS DNS DNS 75 63 138
11 Joe Miller, PHI DNS 53 82 DNS DNS 135
12 Kieran McPherson, NZL DNS DNS DNS 69 53 122
13 Cameron Oneal, USA 63 58 DNS DNS DNS 121
14 Cameron Paul, NZL DNS DNS DNS 63 45 108
15 Alex Roberts, NZL DNS DNS DNS 58 41 99
16 Jason Hsieh , HKG 58 DNS DNS DNS 34 92
17 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
18 Barry Lee, MAS DNS 49 DNS DNS 31 80
19 Taro Shirato, JPN 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69
20 Michal Bucek, SVK DNS 63 DNS DNS DNS 63
21 Aiden Dunster, NZL DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 58
22 Lachlan Davey, NZL DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS 53
23 Kiley Momohara, NZL DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS 45
24 Noah Wright, USA DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 37
PL NAME JPN PHI SAI NZL AUS TOT
1 Lizzie Orchard, NZL x90 100 DNS 100 100 300
2 Mieko Carey, USA 100 82 90 DNS DNS 272
3 Carina Wasle, AUT DNS DNS 100 DNS 90 190
4 Jacqui Slack, GBR DNS 90 DNS DNS 82 172
5 Renata Bucher, SUI DNS DNS 82 DNS 75 157
6 Sarah Backler, NZL DNS DNS DNS 90 58 148
7 Rachel Challis, NZL DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS 82
8 Belinda Hadden, AUS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS 75
9 Mary Gray, NZL DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS 75
10 Jessica Simpson, AUS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 69
11 Catherine Sterling, USA DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 63
12 Penny Hosken, AUS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 53
13 Holly Khan, AUS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 49

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, the Forestry Corporation of NSW, and XTERRA Wetsuits & Boards Australia – the official swim sponsor.

ABOUT TEAM UNLIMITED

TEAM Unlimited, founded in 1988, is the Hawaii-based television, events, and marketing company that brought off-road triathlon and trail running to the world under the brand name XTERRA.  From a one-off race held on the most remote island chain in the world XTERRA evolved into an endurance sports lifestyle with worldwide appeal. Over the past 20 years XTERRA transcended its status as ‘just a race’ to become a bona-fide way of life for thousands of intrepid athletes as well as an emerging brand in the outdoor industry.  In 2016 XTERRA will offer more than 200 off-road triathlons and trail running events in 30+ countries worldwide and produce 10 adventure television shows for international distribution.  Online at xterraplanet.com / xterracontent.com.

ABOUT ELITE ENERGY

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race is produced by TEAM Unlimited LLC in conjunction with Elite Energy Events.  Elite Energy is a sports and athlete management-marketing firm, dedicated to lifestyle sports development, creating new standards in competition, format, equipment and competitor satisfaction. Established in 1999, Elite Energy manages mass participation sporting, music and entertainment events where their company has produced many of Australia’s leading multisport events. Elite Energy is one of Australia’s premier event management specialists.  Their mission is to “make events memorable”. Quality is a vital component in the development of their events and their goal is to satisfy the needs of sponsors, competitors, the triathlon industry and the public in a safe, healthy and memorable atmosphere.  Mark “Emo” Emerton, the founder and CEO of Elite Energy, served as the logistics manager for the Triathlon, Marathon, Race Walks, and Road Cycling events of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.  Learn more atwww.EliteEnergy.com.au

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship was the 11th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT LOCATION or WINNERS
7-Feb XTERRA Philippines Brad Weiss/Lizzie Orchard
21-Feb XTERRA South Africa Brad Weiss/Flora Duffy
5-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Olly Shaw/Mary Gray
12-Mar XTERRA Saipan Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle
20-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Karl Shaw/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Josiah Middaugh/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Roger Serrano/Brigitta Poor
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
17-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa/Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
7-May XTERRA Malaysia Langkawi
7-May XTERRA Brazil Ilhabela, São Paulo
7-May XTERRA Greece Vouliagmeni
14-May XTERRA Tahiti Papeete
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park Pelham, Shelby County, AL, USA
21-May XTERRA Portugal Golega
11-Jun XTERRA Belgium Namur
25-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Vallee de Joux
25-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Milton, Ontario, Canada
3-Jul XTERRA France Xonrupt
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Victoria, B.C., Canada
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, CO, USA
23-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound Ontario, Canada
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Lago Di Scanno
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Barahona
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
14-Aug XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
20-Aug XTERRA Germany – XTERRA European Championship Zittau
27-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
27-Aug XTERRA Korea Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City
3-Sep  XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
4-Sep XTERRA Quebec Quebec City, Quebec
11-Sep XTERRA Woolastook New Brunswick, Canada
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
Myrtle Beach

This Weekend on the XTERRA America Tour

The Southeast and South Central Regions of the XTERRA America Tour are in action this weekend with XTERRA ATX in Austin, Texas and XTERRA Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

Pace Bend Park, located in far western Travis County in the Hill Country of central Texas, takes center stage on Saturday. The entire park is on a peninsula jutting into Lake Travis, with steep bluffs on one side offering spectacular views and gentle grassy slopes descending to the water on the other side.

The trails at Pace Bend Park include limestone ledges, challenging rock gardens, some steep climbs, technical drop offs with “plenty of smooth trail in between to help you recover before reaching the next obstacle,” said race director Joel Grimmett of Race Revolutions.

“It all starts with an 800-meter swim in the waters of Lake Travis, continues with 13 miles of 90 percent classic Texas Hill country single track, and finishes with a mostly flat 6K run weaving along the lakeshore. At the finish line racers will find some cold post-race beer provided by NXNW Restaurant and Brewery, Austin.”

ATX is the second of five races in the XTERRA Texas Off-Road Triathlon Series, and those who win their regional title at the end of it all earn a qualifying spot to the XTERRA World Championship in Maui.

On Sunday the America Tour heads to XTERRA Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to a family-oriented and beginner-friendly experience.

Starting with a one of a kind swim start, beginning with a boat ride to the starting line, competitors will swim 1000-meters in the Intercoastal Waterway and find themselves running up a boat ramp into transition 1. The bike portion will surprise many, with a challenging and technical course that will engage racers over two laps to cover 14 miles. The bike is a hidden gem among our coastal geography! The run continues to change things up, with a flat and fast five miles. The route is still on dirt, and is a traditional out and back style which is closed to traffic. Drawing beginners and experienced racers alike, the XTERRA Tri and Myrtle Beach is a race like none other.

The defending men’s champ Marcus Barton will return to defend his title and says he’s got his work cut out for him in this early-season test.

“Gonna be tough as there are some fast boys showing up like Daryl Weaver and newcomer Dwayne Dixon who’s an experienced road triathlete,” said Barton.

“When I first rode the trails there I went in with low expectations, thinking “What could they have built at the beach?” Boy was I surprised. These guys and gals have done an outstanding job building some pretty awesome trails.  Last year the run was a flat, out and back on a gravel road. This year, they’ve built more trail so the run is 95% trail. As for the swim, it’s a straight shot up an intercostal waterway, so plenty of room to spread out and no fighting over buoys.”

You can read all about Barton’s experience at last year’s race here: https://speedylizard.com/2015/05/07/root-beer-swimming-and-big-green-guys-xterra-myrtle-beach/

XTERRA America Tour

Ruzafa Reunion

Ruzafa, Wasle win XTERRA Reunion

Three-time XTERRA World Champion Rubun Ruzafa from Spain and Carina Wasle from Austria captured the 2nd annual XTERRA Reunion off-road triathlon on Sunday.

Ruzafa has now won 15 of his last 16 XTERRA majors and is 19-of-23 for his career.

Francois Carloni and Yeray Luxem finished 2nd and 3rd, and the “Caveman” Conrad Stoltz finished 9th in his first race since retiring.

“To me, “Retirement” does not mean “stay on the couch forever”, it means “train for fun and race for fun” – which meant I finished 20 minutes (9th place) behind winner Ruben Ruzafa,” posted Stoltz to his Facebook page. “Much fun was had. Stunning course, magical island and people.”

In the women’s race Wasle and South African Carla Van Huyssteen went back-and-forth all day until the Austrian pulled away at the end.

XTERRA REUNION PHOTOS // RESULTS

power-fairly-consistent

Middaugh Coaching Corner – Interval Training

For years interval training has been considered the most potent form of training for an endurance athlete. Thanks to early running legends such as Paavo Nurmi, the flying Finn, and Emil Zatopek, the Czechoslovakian locomotive.  They weren’t the first to implement interval training, but their straightforward approaches shaped modern distance running. Put simply, in order to race fast, you need to train fast.

In modern times, interval training is a fundamental way to train endurance performance. I overheard my 10 year-old telling his brother, “the best way to get faster is to do intervals, that’s what my gym teacher said.”  For the general public, any intervals will do, but for the highly trained endurance athlete we need to get a little more scientific.

The basic premise of interval training is that you are able to swim, bike, or run at a higher intensity if your training is intermittent versus continuous. A 5k runner, for example, could head out the door and cover 3.1 miles as fast as possible a couple times a week, but would have a hard time holding their goal pace for much more than one mile. Instead, if the training was broken into half mile intervals, a race-pace could be achieved with every 800 meter bout as long as recovery was adequate.  With each repeated bout there is a cumulative effect, up to a certain point, to stimulate adaptation. Beyond a certain point, maladaptation can occur.

Types of Intervals

In an effort to simplify we will focus our discussion on the most potent type of intervals known as VO2 max intervals. VO2 max is defined as an individual’s highest rate of oxygen consumption (milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute). A common misconception is that interval training is strictly anaerobic. These types of intervals do have a big anaerobic component, but by definition have you operating near your peak oxygen consumption, which is the key.  Most athletes can work at VO2 max for only about 5 to 9 minutes, so intervals at VO2 max need to be shorter than that.  If the interval is too short, then the anaerobic contribution is big, but there is not enough time to actually get to VO2 max. Personally I like 2-3 minutes ON with about equal recovery.

Pacing Strategy

Pacing is critical. Suppose you are running those 800 meter bouts and you start out by sprinting the first 200 meters and then have a gradual slow-down for the next 600 meters.  Your average pace might be on target, but you have failed to reach VO2 max since you started with this huge anaerobic effort and then settled into a pace slower than your VO2 max intensity.

There is something called a slow-component to VO2 max.  This means that for any pace above lactate threshold, you will eventually reach VO2 max if the exercise is continued. So you do want to go fast, but to spend the most amount of time near VO2 max, you want a pace you can sustain for 2-3 minutes. If performed correctly your oxygen consumption will approach VO2 max about half-way through each hard effort.  So if your workout is 6 x 2.5 minutes, you might in reality only spend a total of 7.5 minutes at VO2 max, which is fine.  If performed poorly you may only spend a few seconds of each interval at VO2 max or none at all.

poor-pacing.jpg

Poor pacing strategy with high power output at the start of each bout and power dropping on each bout. Also note the furthest distance achieved on the first effort.

better-pacing.jpg

Better pacing strategy here. In this case, power within each bout was very consistent, but there was still a drop off in power for the last 3 bouts.

power-fairly-consistent

Power fairly consistent throughout hard efforts.   Notice peak heart rate is not achieved until the 6th bout. Different athletes, different software.

Work:Rest Ratios

An ideal range for work portion is about 1.5 to 4 minutes. We like the 2-3 minute range the best with a few exceptions. Work to rest ratios are usually around 1:1.  The rest interval can be adjusted to increase or decrease the intensity of the workout. If you are having a hard time keeping pace, try adding 30 seconds rest. If you are completing the workout with energy to spare, try 30 seconds less rest the next time out.

How Intense?

Pace or power are your best guides for this type of training. Heart rate lags so far behind that it is not the best indicator and you don’t want to try to spike your heart rate to start each effort.

If you have power on the bike, I like to use 110% FTP for 3 minute bouts, and 115% FTP for 2 minute bouts.  To find Functional Threshold power on the bike go here (http://middaughcoaching.com/heart-rate-and-power-training-zones/).

For running, a 5k race pace or slightly faster will get you there. A 15 minute 5k runner can just use their 5k pace, but a 25 minute 5k runner might need to increase the pace slightly. If you use our spreadsheet, then use your pace for the top of zone 4, beginning of zone 5. (http://middaughcoaching.com/running-heart-rate-and-pace-training-zones/)

If you are performing intervals uphill and don’t have power or pace to guide you, try this approach. Warm up to the base of consistent climb.   On your first bout, hold back a fraction and note your distance at 1 minute and 2 minutes. Make a mark in the dirt.  Recover on the downhill and repeat the same section of the hill attempting to at least reach the same finishing mark or go slightly further. Try to do this without going any further for that first minute.

How Much?

I mentioned earlier that this is the most potent form of training. So your goal is to be able to maintain the quality for the entire workout. For most people this means 15-21 minutes of total hard work.  So that is 8-10 bouts of 2 minutes, or 5-7 bouts of 3 minutes. Keep it simple.   Shoot for a very similar intensity every time and if you start to slow down you have done too much.

How Often?

A little bit can go a long way. I try to space out this type of training more than any other.  For most people that means two quality sessions per week with one on the bike and one on the run.   Training becomes more polarized during a VO2 max cycle with recovery and endurance workouts separating VO2 max bouts.  Total training volume is reduced and avoid excessively long workouts during this time.

Soon Ripe, Soon Rotten

With this type of training, most people will plateau in about 6 weeks.  I like to sprinkle in this type of training as key races are approaching and save heavy blocks of VO2 max interval training for the most important races of the season.

Jacqui Slack

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Saturday in New South Wales

The raucous sounds of native Cockatoo’s and laughing Kookaburra’s fill the air around Callala Beach in New South Wales, Australia – home to the third annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race on Saturday.

The weather has been perfect in the days leading up to the main event with lots of sunshine and bright blue skies, although threats of rain fill the forecast for Friday and as we’ve learned from previous years, rain soaked trails turn the forest roots here into slippery rails and intermediate routs into technical tracts.

Braden Currie thrived in those conditions last year, posting the fastest bike split of the day and crossing the line nearly three minutes ahead of the speedy Courtney Atkinson. He’d like nothing more than a repeat of that performance to end a grueling schedule full of racing on a high note.

“Think I’ve race nine times in the last 13 weeks,” said Currie, who after finishing second at XTERRA Worlds last year, did his best to make the New Zealand Olympic team for triathlon thus never did have an off-season. “It’s been a lot of time on the road, traveling and training. I’ve had heaps of good learnings though, and think there is great cross over to it and it will benefit me in XTERRA.”

Courtney Atkinson was also chasing an Olympic spot in hopes of representing Australia for the third time.  It didn’t work out, but said he’s happy to be back in the bush and have the chance to win a fourth straight XTERRA Australia title.

“Got back off-road last weekend and had a win, and had so much fun racing on the mountain bike again,” said Atkinson, who won the Queensland Cross Tri on Saturday. “There’s a great international field coming to Callala Beach for this one, and it’s good for off-road tri.”

Among that great international field is Bradley Weiss from South Africa, last year’s XTERRA Asian Tour Champion and winner of XTERRA South Africa and XTERRA Philippines already this year.

“So great to be back in New South Wales,” said Weiss, who finished 4th here two years ago in the inaugural event behind fellow countryman Dan Hugo, Atkinson, and Currie.   “Should be a really fast and furious race out there on Saturday. I’m looking forward to going against these guys.  I’ve been very focused on this particular race, not just the prize purse but the prestige that comes with the event. I’m going to be giving it my all out there. I feel like I’m in really good shape at the moment, it’s just going to take some execution on my part to get it right.”

Weiss said he also looked forward to reigniting the friendly rivalry with Asia-Pacific Tour nemesis Ben Allen. Those two have gone back-and-forth for years now in the regional races, flip-flopping places between first and second.

“The field toeing the line this weekend is no joke,” said Allen, who won the Australian Cross Tri National Championship earlier this year. “Braden won New Zealand. Brad won the Philippines and has had some time now in this part of the world. It’s great to see the guys are traveling all the way out to these destination races in the Asia-Pacific area to take the sport to the next level. I’m sure the quality and depth of the field will make it one heck of a race.”

Others of note include Kiwi Sam Osborne, who was second to Currie at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend and won XTERRA Sweden last year; Olly Shaw who won the XTERRA Motatapu off-road tri earlier this year; Brodie Gardner who won XTERRA Saipan in March, and the best off-roaders from Malaysia (Barry Lee), Hong Kong (Jason Hsieh), and Korea (Kaon Cho).

WOMEN’S ELITE RACE UP FOR GRABS

Reigning XTERRA Asian Tour Champion Jacqui Slack has finished third at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in each of the last two years.  In 2014 she was 3rd behind XTERRA World Champions Flora Duffy and Nicky Samuels.  Last year she was third behind Duffy and two-time Maui runner-up Barbara Riveros.

Since all three of those speedsters are now focused on the Rio Olympics and not on the start list for Saturday’s race, Slack is hoping that, well, she can pick up the slack.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Slack, who had eight podium finishes last year.   “They’re not here and it’s wide open.  It’s going to be a really good race for that number one spot, and it’s such a huge race, huge prize money, Asia-Pacific title on the line. All the girls here are pretty similar and anyone could take it, so I think it makes it pretty exciting.”

Slack is also happy to come into this race fully charged and ready to go for the first time in three years.

“I’ve got three, four months of really solid training in me and I can’t wait to get out there and see what’s going to happen on the day. We’re all super close and have our own strengths and weaknesses, so it’ll come down to who’s the strongest at the finish.”

Indeed, the women’s field is full of familiar faces and top-level pros that have each gotten the better of one-another at a myriad of championship races through the years.

Renata Bucher is the most decorated of the bunch with 33 big XTERRA wins spanning 14 countries over her illustrious 13-year career.   Just last year she won the ETU European Cross Tri Championship and was second to only two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson at the XTERRA European Champs.

Lizzie Orchard might be the most improved, and has run down victories at XTERRA Philippines and XTERRA New Zealand just last weekend.

“I’m looking forward to Saturday, and really determined to see a Koala,” joked Orchard.

Carina Wasle from Austria is coming off a win of her own at XTERRA Reunion last weekend, and she took home the XTERRA Saipan title earlier this year. Kiwi Sarah Backler, who won the XTERRA Tahiti title last year, finished just 27-seconds behind Orchard at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend. American Catherine Sterling is a fantastic swimmer and should hit the trails right alongside Jacqui Slack and those two could take off together.

There’s also Aussie Cross Tri National Champ Penny Hosken in the field, the reigning XTERRA Australia Champion Jessica Simpson, and a newcomer to the sport named Holly Khan.

There’s one thing for certain … this race is anybody’s to win.

XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC ELITE START LIST

Name (Alphabetical) – Age, Hometown
Ben Allen – 31, North Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Courtney Atkinson – 36, Mermaid Waters, Queensland, Australia
Kaon Cho – 33, Jeju, South Korea
Braden Currie – 29, Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand
Aiden Dunster – 25, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Brodie Gardner – 29, Marcoola, QLD, Australia
Jason Hsieh – 31, Tai Po, Hong Kong
Barry Lee – 23, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kieran McPherson – 24, Matamata, New Zealand
Sam Osborne – 25, Rotorua, New Zealand
Cameron Paul – 25, Taupo, New Zealand
Alex Roberts – 26, Taupo, New Zealand
Olly Shaw – 24, Rotorua, New Zealand
Robert Skillman – 32, Tarlo, NSW, Australia
Bradley Weiss – 27, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Noah Wright – 41, Austin, Texas, USA

Name (Alphabetical) – Age, Hometown
Sarah Backler – 33, Tauranga, New Zealand
Renata Bucher – 38, Lucerne, Switzerland
Penny Hosken – 28, Ringwood North, VIC, Australia
Holly Khan – 30, Cooranbong, NSW, Australia
Elizabeth Orchard – 30, Auckland, New Zealand
Jessica Simpson – 27, East Corrimal, NSW, Australia
Jacqui Slack – 32, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, GBR
Catherine Sterling – 38, Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
Carina Wasle – 31, Kundl, Austria

XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC COURSE OVERVIEW

XTERRA managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas has high praise for the venue set to host the 3rd annual XTERRA’s Asia-Pacific Championship race.

“The area is gorgeous, and we’ll be racing and riding through the Nowra State Forest,” explained Nicholas. “All in all it will be a total Australian experience. They call it bush – and it is. Not a lot of total elevation change, but some steep, short stuff and it’s quite sandy in places that will require some tough pedaling.”

The bike and run trails are native bush, undulating and fast. There are some sandy trails, even miles from the coast, and it’s also rooty in spots. The trails get narrow, winding thru trees.

“The run course is going to have nearly a mile of sand/beach running and it will be tough,” said Nicholas.

Even locals marvel at the soft, white sand that stretches for miles. “Better than Kailua Beach sand,” exclaimed XTERRA President Janet Clark, a Canberra-native who lives near the famous Kailua Beach in Hawaii.

Of note, the ocean temperatures measured at 20 degrees on their visit, which would make it a wetsuit-legal race.

“It’s also worth noting the ocean should be fairly flat, with no surf to speak of during the race,” said Nicholas.

No surf, but plenty of wildlife.

“Birds squawking and yodeling everywhere – sulfur crested cockatoos, parrots, kookaburras, it is a cacophony of a racket. We named one of the run trails “Squawking bird” as a result,” said Nicholas. “The range of colors and sounds is unbelievable, and the huge white gum trees (currently in flower) are spectacular.”

Of course there is no doubt visitors will be eager to experience the Kangaroo culture.

“The Kangaroos are the same color as the tree trunks and it’s hard to see them until they move,” said Nicholas. “On the golf course you can see a dozen at a time and walk right up to them.

Swim Distance: 1.5-kilometers (0.93 miles)
Location: Callala Beach at the end of Callala Beach Road.  A long, white sand beach facing the mouth of Jervis Bay. The Bay is renowned for its white sand beaches and clear turquoise water. Jervis Bay is sheltered from most open ocean swells. Full course athletes will swim two laps of a 750-meter triangular course with a short beach sprint between laps.

Swim to Bike Run (T1) – A notable 670-meter run from beach to T1.  There is even a shoe transition set-up for it.

Mountain Bike Distance: 30 Kilometers (18 miles)
Location: Nowra State Forest, Private Land. The bike course follows jeep trails from the RSL and crosses Forest Road to access some great single track which are portions of Superbowl and Butterfly trails. There will be short technical sections, flat twisty blasts, some short, sharp climbs, a couple of short twisty downhills and a great wha-hoo downhill.

Trail Run Distance: 10 Kilometers (6.2 miles)

Location: Race courses will be a combination of beach, jeep trail and single track – starting and finishing at the RSL. This year’s course replaces the second long-stretch of sand with some undulating forest terrain.

XTERRA ANZ DOUBLE PARTICIPANTS

Dozens of racers are taking on the XTERRA ANZ Double, which  recognizes the pro and age group male and female racers who post the fastest combined times at the XTERRA New Zealand and XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship races.

Here’s a look at the times of those who raced at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend and are on the start list for Saturday’s race in Australia:

First Last Division NZ Time
Braden Currie PRO M 2:05:42
Sam Osborne PRO M 2:07:23
Bradley Weiss PRO M 2:11:33
Olly Shaw PRO M 2:11:50
Hayden Wilde PRO M 2:15:32
Kieran McPherson PRO M 2:17:27
Cameron Paul PRO M 2:20:03
Matt Backler 35-39M 2:21:42
Alex Roberts PRO M 2:28:08
Lewis Ryan 15-19M 2:29:13
simon manson 45-49M 2:32:20
Lizzie Orchard PRO F 2:39:10
Sarah Backler PRO F 2:39:37
Kaon Cho PRO M 2:53:20
Josie Sinclair 55-59F 3:09:38
Peter Hepworth 45-49M 3:12:06
Catherine Ballantyne 45-49F 3:16:56
Nola Urquhart 50-54F 3:51:38