Countdown to Utah – Meet Christy Williams

Christy Williams is the picture of health. Tall, blond, and lean, she looks as fit as anyone on the trails at XTERRA Beaver Creek. 

You would never guess that 15 years ago, she was in a wheelchair, unable to walk up the stairs, much less swim 1500 meters, climb hills on her mountain bike, and run a 10k through the woods.

Williams has ankylosing spondylitis (AS), an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the spine, as well as all of the connective tissue in the body, including joints, kidneys, eyes, and even the heart. The outcome for many AS patients is complete spinal fusion, or ankylosis.

Williams became sick shortly after the birth of her first child when she was only 24 years old.

“I was frozen in my body two days after the birth of my daughter,” said Williams. “I could barely move, I couldn’t eat, and I had a fever that wouldn’t go away.”

Eventually, her body degenerated to the point where she couldn’t walk, and her husband had to carry her up the stairs in their home. Outside the house, she used a wheelchair.

It took a long time to diagnose Williams because despite her symptoms, her blood work was normal. After finally diagnosing Williams with AS, doctors tried many different drugs – each for three to six month periods – to see which one would work.

Six years after getting sick, Williams was being treated with Methotrexate – a form of chemotherapy that suppresses the immune system – when a new drug called Remicade was being used in clinical trials.

Biologics, like Remicade, are not a chemical but a protein. Williams goes into the hospital every four weeks for a three-hour IV treatment that brings her to near remission. However, she still suffers from chronic fatigue, low blood pressure, and a very weak immune system.

Ironically, another way to fight AS is to exercise. So Williams walks the delicate balance of moving her joints and connective tissue but avoiding overtraining, which can further tax her weak immune system.

“My doctor is always telling me, ‘Do not crash your bike. Do not get sick. Do not get a cut.’ I’m tested for TB on a regular basis, because my body can’t really fight infection.”

Still, Williams views Remicade and triathlon as the best gifts for getting healthy.

“Signing up for races, putting something on the calendar, it gets you motivated right?” said Williams. “When you have a disease, if you are having a bad day and your body is revolting, you still realize, ‘No I gotta go, because if I don’t move, I’ll feel worse.'”

Williams admits that she is both blessed and cursed by the genetic lottery.

“I have some athletic gifts and I also have this huge weight on my back. I see it as a welcome challenge – who is going to win? Am I going to let the disease be stronger than me or am I going to be stronger than the disease? That’s the competition in my mind.”

In 2011, when Remicade showed promise, Williams was still in a wheelchair. But she made a goal of competing in an Ironman triathlon.

“I used triathlon because growing up as an athlete, I knew how to use my body,” said Williams. “I knew I could rehab myself back because I knew how to start small and get strong.”

It took Williams four years, but in 2015, she competed in Ironman Boulder.

Shortly afterwards, Williams met the founder of The 2xtreme Foundation, John Davis – also a challenged athlete.

“We were both working out with the same tri group, and John was swimming with Susan, who is an Olympic bronze medal winner, my coach, and a good friend,” explained Williams. “Then, at the wall, I could tell he was in a lot of pain. I asked if he was OK and he explained that he has motor neuron disease. I said, ‘Hey, I have a chronic disease too!’ We kind of had a little moment there.”

Williams explained that she met Davis at a crucial point.

“I was feeling really lonely at the time,” she said. “The road is long, the diagnosis is hard to accept, and the treatment is tough. I remember praying – please send me one person who knows what I’m going through. Then I met John.”

As a way of paying it forward, Williams wants to let others with chronic diseases know that they aren’t alone. She also wants to shatter some of the stereotypes surrounding challenged athletes.

“It’s easy to think a physically challenged athlete looks a certain way and I want to say – No – there are so many people who suffer from degenerative diseases that you don’t see,” said Williams. “The other end of the stereotype is that because you’re a challenged athlete, you should only be a finisher. A participant. No. You can also be fast.”

Williams acknowledges that she is passionate about her sport because she is working on borrowed time. That’s why she has been driving so hard. Last month, she won the physically challenged division of XTERRA Beaver Creek and she is going on to race at the XTERRA Pan Am Championships in Utah next month.

“Right now, my symptoms are under control but I’m still degenerating. My spine is fusing and there are things going on that aren’t going to stop. I am taking advantage of the time I’m given because of this medicine, but my doctor reminds me that the medicine could stop working at any time.”

Williams credits the trails and the healing power of nature with keeping her spirits up.

“The fear of regret, the fear of not having lived the life I wanted for myself and my family is what drives me,” said Williams. “When the medicine stops working and I’m back in that dark place again, I want to be able to say, ‘I wore it out. I did it all. I have no regrets. I took that time I had and I crushed it.’ Then I can rest a little bit at peace knowing I didn’t pass anything up.”



XTERRA Couch to Trail – Tires Part 2

By Mimi Stockton

Tubes or Tubeless?
The tube vs. tubeless debate is very common in mountain biking circles. Avid mountain bikers are as passionate about their tire system as they are about their trails. After all, it’s the tires that keep the adventure rolling and the rider upright. Once wielded solely by elite racers, tubeless tires are gaining popularity with more and more riders. Car tires made the evolution to tubeless eons ago, so it’s not surprising to see the same shift happening in the bike world. 

In a nutshell, in order to have a tire without a tube, you need the tire’s bead to lock onto the rim. You also need the tire, rim and seated valve stem to be absolutely airtight. A special sealant is key to making it all work.  

While both systems are reliable and have their own sets of advantages, it may really come down to a rider’s preferences and peace of mind. 

Let’s talk tubes first. This well-known system is based on having a separate inner tube within the tire that inflates with air and dictates the performance characteristics of the tire. Some advantages of tubes are that they are easy to repair in the field, can be carried in a tool kit, and are inexpensive to replace. Tube tires are lightweight, but when coupled with tubes, they become heavier.  

The downside of using tubes is that sharp objects can easily puncture them. Additionally, when running lower tire pressure, they can “pinch flat” – a kind of snake-bite rupture caused by air pressure building up in one area of the tube. This is common in off-road biking.

Repairing a ruptured tube is relatively easy, but takes practice and skill to be quick and efficient. A patch kit/spare tube and some basic mechanical skill are necessary for these repairs on the trail. Furthermore, the tube tire set-up does weigh more than a tubeless set-up.  If you’re trying to shave some weight off your bike, this is a fairly easy place to do it.  

Tubeless Tires
First, it’s important to understand what a tubeless set-up is and how it differs from using a tube tire and tube. Tubeless mountain bike tires require a compatible, deeper hooked rim, allowing for the bead of the tire to seal, eliminating the need for a tube.  Also, the side walls are stiffer, thicker and heavier than conventional tubed tires. 

Furthermore, a valve stem is necessary for the tubeless rim and most riders choose to add a liquid seam sealant of some kind to avoid air loss and to protect against punctures.  Mounting tubeless tires is more difficult than tubed tires.  The biggest challenge is getting the tire bead to seat on the rim correctly—the seal has to be airtight. The process requires you to carefully add sealant, then pump in a lot of air in a hurry!  This usually means using a compressor or CO2 cartridge.  And removing tubeless tires can be more difficult (and messy, thanks to the sealant) because the stiff bead designed to grip the lip on the rim can be hard to get off. 

However, it’s not hard to get the hang of mounting and removing a tubeless tire. It just takes a little practice.  Riding on tubeless tires is also more expensive. Expect to pay anywhere from $400-$1,000 to convert a bike to tubeless. And, perhaps most important is the fact that flats in a tubeless tire are a bear to fix on the trail (hello sealant!).  In comparison, tube tires are a relatively simple fix.  You can however, put in a tube in a tubeless tire during a ride (or even a race), so it’s always crucial to carry one with you.  

There are numerous benefits to going the tubeless route. Tubeless tires are somewhat more durable. They are slightly heavier than normal tires, but lighter overall when you consider no need for a tube.  But the two main advantages that tubeless tires offer are:

1 They eliminate pinch flats 

2 They allow the rider to run a lower psi

There is no doubt you will get fewer flats with a tubeless system.  A tire deforms when you hit a hard object like a rock. With a big impact and a tubed tire, that rock and your rim can squeeze together forcefully enough to tear a tube. Whether you call it a “pinch flat” or a “snake bite” (a pair of pinch holes), you’ve got a flat to fix. 

If you switch to tubeless tires you’ll never have to fix a “pinch flat” again. Also, thanks to the sealant put in during mounting, tubeless tires suffer far fewer puncture flats. Tubeless riders who discover a tire riddled with shiny spots after a ride can smile knowing that their sealant fixed all those thorn pricks on the fly. 

You can also ride with less air in your tires. What’s so great about that? Less air equals better traction!  Decreasing air pressure in the tire increases the surface area of the tread in contact with the ground, resulting in better grip, or traction, of the tire.  Riders can run with up to 15 percent less air pressure in tubeless tires, providing terrific traction in the most demanding conditions.

You might find that eliminating the tube also gives you a better feel for the trail, especially while cornering. Running a lower psi helps maintain your bike’s momentum, too, because tires are able to conform to obstacles, rather than bounce off of them. That also allows a tire to absorb small bumps and trail debris, giving you a smoother, more comfortable ride. Using lower tire pressure is the easiest way to allow the tire to deform over irregularities in the trail instead of forcing the wheel upward. When using tubes, there is friction between the tube and tire, and this friction has to be overcome to allow the tire to deform. By getting rid of the tube you get rid of that friction and reduce the energy needed to deform the tire, thus resulting in a faster bike!

So You Want to Convert? 

Option 1:  Get tubeless-ready wheels and tires

Look for a tubeless designation like “UST” (Universal System Tubeless), the original standard. You’ll also see similar, though different, terminology like “tubeless ready” or “tubeless compatible” from some brands.

UST-designated rims and tires are considered slightly easier to mount, in part because of how well the tire bead locks onto the rim. They typically require less sealant, too, because they are inherently more airtight. UST components are a little heavier, though, which is one reason why alternative tubeless-compatible systems are gaining popularity.  Your current wheels or tires might already be tubeless ready, so double-check before assuming that they’re not. Most top-end bikes come with tubeless-ready tires and rims.

Getting new rims and tires is the most expensive way to upgrade, but it also offers the easiest installation and the most reliable bead-to-rim seal. You’ll need sealant and perhaps some valve stems to do the installation, but that should be the extent of your additional expenses.

Option 2:  Convert your current tires and wheels to tubeless

Almost any combination of wheels and tires can be transformed using a tubeless conversion kit. The setup ranges from simple to challenging, because air can find more places to leak in non-tubeless-ready components. 

Conversion kits cost between $50-$70, though you can cut that cost by purchasing components individually. At a minimum, you need sealant, rim tape and a valve. Kits will not give you the lightest set-up, and getting the tire bead seated and holding air usually cannot be done with a floor pump. For that you’ll need an air compressor or a visit to your local bike shop. Some rims convert more easily than others, as do some tires. If you decide to go this route, it is crucial to do some research before you buy.  

When the Rubber Hits the Trail

A tubeless set-up offers several advantages to the hardcore enthusiast, but might not be worth the extra cost or hassle for the beginner mountain biker.  With that said, if you rode and raced your first XTERRA season with tubes and plan to be involved in XTERRA down the road, then I definitely recommend at least considering going tubeless. In my humble opinion, the pros of tubeless tires definitely outweigh the cons.  I haven’t used a tube in 8 years!

The XTERRA Couch to XTERRA training series is presented by SheriAnne Little, Jeffrey Kline, and four-time XTERRA age group world champion Mimi Stockton of PRS Fit.  Their new 12-week “Couch-to-XTERRA” training program is designed to do just that, get aspiring athletes off the couch, into training, and to the start line of an XTERRA.  

Read past training articles from PRS Fit at and learn more about their coaching programs at

Joe Gray’s Tips for the Trail

Joe Gray has emerged as the face of American trail running. The reigning XTERRA Trail Run World Champ and World Mountain Running Champion recently graced the cover of Trail Runner Magazine, a worthy honor for his efforts in leading Team USA to their first-ever Gold medal in Bulgaria at the World Mountain Running Championships last year.

This summer, Gray will travel to Europe to compete before shifting his focus to prepare for XTERRA Worlds on Oahu, December 3rd.  While running in Hawaii is high on his list, Gray also enjoys running trails in Norway, Switzerland, and his home state of Colorado.

We recently caught up with Joe and asked him to share a few of the secrets to his success.

On Hills:
The best way to make hills easier is to familiarize yourself with the terrain similar to the course you plan to challenge yourself on.

If you don’t have big hills, getting outdoors is still better than a treadmill as you can develop the stability muscles necessary for trail running. “Nature’s Gym” will always provide you with what you need for trail races!

On Staying Relaxed:
Again, familiarizing yourself with the terrain you plan to challenge is key. If you are not used to extremely technical terrain, then you probably should avoid it for a race. Your level of comfort will be increased with intermittent exposure to the types of terrain you seek to race on.

Always check out the course ahead of time so that you know what you are getting yourself into. Nothing worse than toeing the line and finding out there is a long section of ridge line running when you are afraid of heights. So be smart and be prepared! 

On Shoes:
Many times we are faced with courses with differing levels of terrain, sometimes muddy, sometimes, rocky, and sometimes cinder-like ATV roads.

It’s important to make sure you test your shoe on the terrain on which you plan to race. Doing a workout or two with the shoe you plan to use will help you find out if its the perfect shoe for you.

Jumping into a brand new pair for a trail race can be a nightmare as you may get a surprise blister. Or perhaps you find that you needed a shoe with a rock plate for rocky terrain courses.

For me, I look for a shoe that is comfortable around the toe box. A shoe that allows the toes to splay is very important as this will allow the toes to provide added power output on the uphills as you dig into the terrain. It also allows for better toe grip on muddy courses, like Hawaii.

Wychera, Buss Win XTERRA Canmore

Ladina Buss and Dominik Wychera captured the championship titles at XTERRA Canmore on August 6th in Canmore, Alberta.

Ladina Buss, the Swiss pro triathlete, finished in 2:49:48 for 14th place overall. Austrian elite, Dominik Wychera, surprised himself with the win, crossing the line in 2:21:01, just over a minute ahead of runner up Jean-Philippe Thibodeau. Seventeen-year old Canadian phenom, Tate Haugan was third in 2:25:08.

“I wanted to race XTERRA Canmore as training for Penticton ITU World Cross Triathlon,” said Wychera. “It was my first XTERRA podium, and it became a win.”

Haugan finished the 1500 meter swim first, followed by Thibodeau, Aidan Nugent, and Wychera.

“I knew that it will be a fight between the four of us,” said Wychera, “So I went out of T1 on my bike and gave it all out. I was two and a half minutes back and I wanted to catch up to the guys in front as fast as possible. I overtook Aidan in the beginning of the first lap but didn’t catch Jean-Philippe until the second. I managed to get a gap between him and me and came into T2 in second place  The run was tricky – again two laps – and I closed the gap on the first 2k and kept running fast for safety. Jean-Philippe managed to overtake Tate too, but the gap to me was too big. Aidan had a solid run, but was too far back off the bike to reach the podium.”

Wychera had the fastest bike split of the day by about two minutes and also had the quickest run time. “Young Gun” Tate Haugan was like an underwater missile, coming out of the water three seconds ahead of Thibodeau, who is known for his skill in the water. 

In the women’s division, the Swiss pro, Ladina Buss broke the tape in 2:48:48, about eight minutes ahead of runner up, Penny Slater, who finished in 2:57:13. Susanne McArthur was third in 3:02:23.

Slater and McArthur had identical swim splits with Buss coming out of the water almost two minutes back. Buss went on to crush it on the 26k bike course, completing the two-laps in 1:32:15, about six minutes faster than Slater and 13 minutes quicker than McArthur.

McArthur ran strong, finishing the 10k in 52:48, less than a minute slower than Buss’ split. Slater ran 55:23, which was good enough for second place.

The guys from Grizzly Mountain Events did a great job,” said Wychera, “And I think especially the bike course is one of the best from the world tour- so much fun.”

And to the best of our knowledge, no one needed to bust out the bear spray.

View the complete results at

XTERRA Lake Tahoe – August 19th

On August 19th, XTERRA Lake Tahoe brings classic XTERRA to California. With its traditional-length course and some of the best scenery in the world, this is an adventure you won’t want to miss.

The race begins in Lake Tahoe, one of the purest and deepest lakes in North America. The bike starts up a gradual climb on Tunnel Creek and then pops out onto the epic Flume Trail, which skirts the mountainside overlooking Lake Tahoe. Riders continue on past Marlette Lake and down a rocky and fast Tahoe Rim Trail.

“Both the Duathlon and the Sprint will complete the 22 mile bike course with approximately 4000 feet of climbing,” said race director Todd Jackson.  “The 10K trail running course is relatively flat, fast and scenic with tall pines, aspens, and creek crossings.”

XTERRA Lake Tahoe will also host a Sprint, consisting of a 750m swim, a 22 mile bike, and a 3 mile run. The XTERRA Lake Tahoe Duathlon is comprised of a 3 mile run, a 22 mile bike, and another 3 mile run.

The XTERRA Lake Tahoe 5k and 10k Trail Runs occur on the same day as triathlon and duathlon.  The course starts and finishes at the Village Green in Incline Village, NV, which is a large, open, grassy community field.

From the starting area, the course heads north and onto Lake Tahoe’s amazing trail system. Athletes will run one lap for the 5K or two for the 10K. The second lap starts right back in the venue creating a fun viewing area to cheer on the 10K participants.

There will also be short, kids races for ages 4-12.

To register for XTERRA Lake Tahoe off-road triathlon, duathlon, and trail run, visit

Trail Warrior Stephayne Gibson

Ambassador Stephayne Gibson is a regular in the Texas Trail Run Series. This season she ran XTERRA Pedernales Trail Run, XTERRA Muleshoe, and XTERRA ATX,  XTERRA Magnolia Hill, and will be at XTERRA Cameron Park. She will also be at XTERRA Trail Run Nationals in Utah.  Gibson is the reigning Texas Regional Champ for 2016 and placed 5th in her age group at Nationals. 

“And I also love XTERRA Jurassic. Any time you get dinosaur tracks, that’s just a bonus.”

As ebullient as Gibson is about trail running, you would think she has always been a runner. But this isn’t the case. In fact, this makes her laugh. “No, I have definitely not always been a runner.”

Gibson has always been an athlete though, playing both softball and volleyball from elementary school up through college.

Then, life took its toll – kids, career, and injuries left the then 32-year old Gibson 60 pounds overweight and needing a knee replacement.

“Like every mom, all my attention went to my kids,” she says. “And that’s great, but then I woke up ten years later and I didn’t like where I was.”

As a way to avoid surgery, her doctor suggested that she start trail running very slowly on soft surfaces in order to strengthen the muscles around her knee.

“I was a softball player!” says Gibson. “I was used to running 90 feet. I thought, there’s no way I’m going to be a trail runner. I hate running.”

Gibson also hated the idea of knee surgery.

“I realized I like hiking and I don’t want a knee replacement. So I started hiking faster. Then, bit by bit, I started running. I’m not fast, but I loved being out in nature and challenging myself. It was therapeutic.”

Additionally, Gibson wanted to be a role model for the kids she coached in softball.

“I always said I would never become that coach who looked like she never threw a ball,” says Gibson. “But that’s what I looked like. And I didn’t want to be that way anymore.”

As Gibson lost her preconceived ideas about running, she also lost the weight and gained confidence. She began with small steps. First Gibson started hiking longer. Then she began running 30 seconds at a time.

“When I could run three or four minutes at a time I thought maybe, maybe I can run a 5k,” says Gibson. “I set a goal, I did a nine-week training program, and I did the 5k. My next challenge was the half marathon and then a full marathon. As I learned to love the challenge, I started pushing myself further and faster.”

Today, Gibson also runs 50k and 50-mile races during the XTERRA off season. She is a full-time personal trainer, and she is helping people like herself believe that they too can exceed their expectations. She can also be found at most XTERRA Texas Series weekends – volunteering on Friday and Saturday for the triathlons and then racing on Sunday. 

“I work with people who think it’s too late and that they just have to accept their body as it is,” says Gibson. “I say, ‘You don’t have to accept this anymore. Let’s go out and do something.'”

Gibson believes what holds most of us back from trying something new or challenging ourselves is fear.

“Clients always ask, ‘What if I fail?’ My first response is ‘What if you fly? What if this becomes your passion and brings you joy and turns out to be exactly what you need?'”

In addition to coaching adults, Gibson also initiated a kids’ running club, which is now a fixture in eight Texas elementary schools as an after-school program. The club meets for an hour and includes 25 minutes of running time. The students can choose to be part of the 5k club or a 10k club depending on their ability and how far they want to go. Gibson helps the kids come up with a short-term goal, which they try to meet in five weeks. They also come up with a long-term goal, which they try to accomplish at the end of the school year.

“It’s so cool to watch these kids set a goal because we live in a society where everything is immediate. Like I want that and I want that right now. We teach kids how to set daily goals that lead to bigger goals. It doesn’t matter if they want to run one mile or 50 miles. We care about helping them achieve the goals they set for themselves.”

As she helps and coaches others, Gibson seems to improve as well. In 2016, she was the XTERRA Regional Champ in her age group.

In my second season running XTERRA races, I set my sights on being Regional Champion. For two seasons, I was in a pretty competitive age group and missed my goal by 5 and 10 points those years. Finally, I did it in 2016.”

This year, Gibson is an XTERRA Ambassador.

“I’m loving every minute of it,” she said. “I love XTERRA and I love to help people get across those finish lines.”  

Today, Gibson acknowledges that she is in a good place.

“I feel stronger than I’ve ever been – physically and mentally. I know there are things we struggle with and things we push through. But at the same time, you have to like yourself and be happy where you are. And I’m much more happy where I am now and where my family is. We do things together all the time. We go hiking and biking and kayaking.”

This November, Gibson is celebrating her 45th birthday by running a 50k – something she never would have believed a decade ago.

“Back when I started – needing a new knee and carrying 60 extra pounds – I knew that drive was in there and I just had to just go find it,” says Gibson. “And I did. I found it on the trails.”

Gray, Veltri Win XTERRA Castle Rock 20k

Caroline Veltri and reigning XTERRA Trail Run World Champ, Joe Gray won the XTERRA Castle Rock 20k on Sunday, August 6th at Philip S. Miller Park.

The course showcased the newly constructed trails in Phillip S. Miller Park and the single and double track trails that surround Castle Rock, Colorado. The course was designed by Peter Maksimow, also known as “The Prez.” Maksimow is an elite mountain, trail and ultra runner and member of the silver medal-winning US team at the 2015 World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships.

Caroline Veltri cruised to an easy win in the women’s division, finishing in 1:40:47, about six minutes ahead of runner up Kelly Devlin. Kevyn Stokes was third in 1:50:49. All three women ran the challenging 20k course at sub-nine-minute pace. Veltri ran at 8:08 pace.

Joe Gray expertly navigated the trails, finishing the two-loop course in 1:19:10 and averaging 6:24 pace. Additionally, he ran negative splits, with the second lap about a minute faster than the first. This is typical of Gray’s relaxed, confident style and top-notch endurance.

“XTERRA Castle Rock was great,” said Gray, after the race, “And Arnold sure knows how to put on a superb event. This is what running and racing is all about – community. There’s nothing like getting on the trails for some miles as you challenge yourself and encourage others in the running community to reach their goals as well.

Gray will be heading to Europe to continue his racing season. “Some of my favorite trails are in Switzerland and Norway,” he said. “When I’m back I’m going to shift focus to train for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championships in Oahu. Right now, my training and health are great and I’m looking forward to Europe.”

Also racing last weekend were reigning XTERRA Age Group World Champs Jo May and Doug Beagle. At XTERRA Castle Rock, both Jo and Doug won their age groups, and Jo ran 27 minutes faster in the 20k than she did last year. They are also XTERRA Colorado Series Regional Champions, despite that they live in Texas.

“We are both healthy and having fun racing,” said Beagle. May added that they will both be at the XTERRA Trail Run National and World Championships later this year.

View complete results at

Watch highlights of the race:

XTERRA Cameron Park Caps Off Texas Season

XTERRA Cameron Park Off-Road Triathlon and Duathlon on August 12th, and the Trail Run on August 13th will be the final races of the 2016-2017 Texas Series. The series consists of five triathlons and six trail runs. 

“XTERRA Cameron Park is one of our most physically demanding courses in the Texas series,” said race director Joel Grimmett. “Racers navigate rocks, roots, limestone ledges, tight twisty turns, short power climbs, narrow bridges and fast descents.  Add in the summer heat and this race is challenging to even our toughest athletes.”

According to Bike Magazine, “There is nothing else like this anywhere in the country.”

Grimmett added that he receives a lot of support from The Waco Bike Club and The Waco Striders Running Club who organize our volunteers, help mark and teardown the course, and pre-ride the trails each morning.  

A USAT Certified Race Director and XTERRA Regional Event Director, Grimmett has been an accomplished mountain bike and road racer for over twenty years. He has competed in events such as the Trans Alp Challenge, La Ruta de los Conquistadores, the Leadville 100, Trans Andes Challenge, and won the two-man division of the 24-hrs of Adrenaline at the National Championships in 2001.

Prior to working as a race promoter, Grimmett devoted over 20 years to working with at risk youth, and from 2001-2010, he was the executive director of a non-profit therapeutic program for at risk boys ages 13-17.

“For me, the highlight of the season was seeing so many new racers and finally building a solid group of dedicated volunteers,” said Grimmett.  The most notable triathlete of the year was definitely Kyle.  He’s such a gifted athlete and seems to get better and better each year, and he’s a super nice guy!  On the trail running side, I was really impressed by Emma Kosiak.  She’s new to XTERRA this year and is super fast.” 


The XTERRA 2017-2018 Texas Season opens on April 22nd, 2018 with XTERRA ATX Off-Road Triathlon and Trail Run. Next season will also include XTERRA Bluebonnet.

“I was very disappointed to lose the venue for 2017,” said Grimmett,  “But I can’t wait to bring it back in a new location.”

You can register for XTERRA Cameron Park Off-Road Triathlon and Trail Run at


Middaugh, Snyder win XTERRA Mexico

Reigning XTERRA Pan America Tour Champions Josiah Middaugh and Suzie Snyder captured the 10th XTERRA Mexico Championship elite titles on a muddy day in Tapalpa, Jalisco with winning times of 2:25:28 and 3:00:07, respectively.

The victory is the fourth of the year for Middaugh and the fifth for Snyder, and the second XTERRA Mexico win for both of them.

“It was wet,” exclaimed Middaugh, the 2015 XTERRA World Champion.  “The mud wasn’t as sticky as it was in Maui last year, but big thunderstorms yesterday and this morning sure did make it pretty ugly.”

Middaugh had a strong swim, coming out of the water just about 30-seconds behind Francisco Serrano and Branden Rakita, and made his way to the front of the race on the first big climb roughly four miles into the bike.

“I just kept the pedal to the metal from there,” he said.  “Paco was riding really strong, and XTERRA Argentina champ Gonzalo Tellechea was climbing really well.  I didn’t drop anybody, that’s for sure, but on the second climb I was able to build a little lead and I came into T2 with about 1:30 on Serrano.”

In the end Middaugh finished nearly three-minutes ahead of his long-time rival and home country hero Serrano, the former Olympian from Mexico while Kiwi Kieran McPherson turned in the fastest run split of the day to finish in third.

“After last year with the appendix fiasco and some of the bad luck I’ve had, I was really happy to just be healthy, have my bike stay operational the whole time, and get through this thing unscathed,” said Middaugh.  “This event was really well run and has a really cool atmosphere.  The triathletes that come from all over Mexico, and especially Guadalajara, clearly don’t mind getting dirty and having fun.  It was a tough day but they all finished with big smiles.”

Tellechea finished fourth and Leonardo Saucedo Mata fifth, with Tour leading Branden Rakita and Brian Smith sixth and seventh.


Two years ago before the race here in Mexico Suzie Snyder crashed hard, crushed her pelvis, and wasn’t sure what was in store for her racing career.

Two years later the American is as fast as ever and on track to defend her XTERRA Pan America Tour title for the second year in a row having won five of seven races so far, with two runner-ups (to Barbara Riveros at XTERRA Chile and Lesley Paterson at XTERRA Beaver Creek).

“Highlight of the day was staying up right and not crashing,” said Snyder.  “Ever since I broke myself on this course I’ve been cautious.  It was so slippery out there today and the ground is hard underneath that slop so it freaks me out.  Riding it clean was really important for me today and I was able to do that.”

Snyder got out of the water in front of former Olympian Fabiola Corona from Mexico, but ‘stumbled all over herself’ in transition so Corona took the lead out on to the bike.  Just one-mile or so into the bike Snyder pulled away and that was that.  She had the fastest bike of the day by far and finished more than seven-minutes ahead of Corona in second.

“It was a good win, and a hard, hard day,” said Snyder.  “The whole course was so muddy.  You could hear the mud grinding in your chain, splattering in your eyes all the time.  There were super sketchy muddy downhills, that were actually kind of fun.  The second big climb was horrendous and wet and soft.  Off the bike I didn’t know what my lead was, but as I came around the lake I looked back and felt like I had a decent lead but my legs had nothing.  I tried to find a rhythm but it was hard because I felt totally bonked with no energy.”

Corona, a four-time XTERRA Mexico Champ, was solid in second followed by Morgane Riou in third, Kara LaPoint in fourth, and Annie Bergen in fifth.

Elite Results

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:25:28 100
2 Francisco Serrano, MEX 2:28:18 90
3 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:30:12 82
4 Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG 2:31:07 75
5 Saucedo Mata Leonardo, MEX 2:32:51 69
6 Branden Rakita, USA 2:33:59 63
7 Brian Smith, USA 2:38:57 58
8 Cedric Wane, TAH 2:40:22 53
9 Julien Buffe, FRA 2:45:55 49
10 Rosas Sierra Esteban, MEX 2:50:08 45
11 Ramirez Lopez, MEX 2:51:44 41
12 Pereda Charles Joaquin, MEX 2:54:03 37
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 3:00:07 100
2 Fabiola Corona, MEX 3:07:43 90
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 3:08:56 82
4 Kara LaPoint, USA 3:11:40 75
5 Annie Bergen, CAN 3:21:09 69
6 Dunia Gomez, MEX 3:22:24 63
7 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 3:23:54 58
8 Caroline Colonna, USA 3:33:31 53
2017 (Tapalpa) Josiah Middaugh, Suzie Snyder
2016 (Tapalpa) Rom Akerson, Suzie Snyder
2015 (Tapalpa) Josiah Middaugh, Fabiola Corona
2014 (Tapalpa) Irving Perez, Fabiola Corona
2013 (Tapalpa) Leonardo Chacon, Fabiola Corona
2012 (Tapalpa) Francisco Serrano, Renata Bucher
2011 (Tapalpa) Seth Wealing, Shonny Vanlandingham
2010 (Valle de Bravo) Seth Wealing, Fabiola Corona
2009 (Valle de Bravo) Seth Wealing, Shonny Vanlandingham
2006 (Puerto Vallarta) Francisco Serrano, Jamie Whitmore


Branden Rakita finished sixth on the day but still retained the top spot on the Tour with two races remaining.  With the win, however, Middaugh jumped into the second position just 35-points behind.

“Anything can happen,” said Middaugh.  “I know what I have to do, and that is to keep focusing on winning races. I can’t control other people.”

Both Rakita and Middaugh carry on to XTERRA Dominican Republic next weekend before the season finale in Utah on September 16.

In the women’s chase Snyder has a commanding lead, but as Middaugh says, anything can happen.

Next up: August 13 – XTERRA Dominican Republic

After 8 (As of 8.5)
1 Branden Rakita, USA 410 56 47 56 DNS 69 61 58 63
2 Josiah Middaugh, USA 375 DNS DNS 75 DNS 100 DNS 100 100
3 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 282 61 56 61 DNS 37 67 DNS DNS
4 Kieran McPherson, NZL 253 DNS DNS DNS 67 63 DNS 41 82
5 Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG 217 75 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
6 Cedric Wane, TAH 208 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 51 63 53
7 Brian Smith, USA 208 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS 75 58
8 Francisco Serrano, MEX 172 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS 90
9 Karsten Madsen, CAN 165 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 75 DNS DNS
10 Ryan Ignatz, USA 149 DNS DNS 51 DNS 53 DNS 45 DNS
11 Felipe Moletta, BRA 136 DNS 61 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS
12 Julien Buffe, FRA 131 43 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
13 Maximiliano Morales, ARG 118 67 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Chris Ganter, USA 114 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 56 DNS DNS
15 Ian King, USA 108 DNS 27 47 DNS 34 DNS DNP DNS
16 Veit Hoenle, GER 98 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS 49 DNS
17 León Drajer, ESP 94 51 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Micheal Nunez, USA 92 DNS DNS 30 DNS 31 DNS 31 DNS
19 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS
21 Felipe Barraza, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Guiherme Goncalves, BRA 72 DNS DNS 36 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Ben Hoffman, USA 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS
24 Leonardo Mata , MEX 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69
25 Kris Coddens, BEL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Alexandre Manzan, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Mario de Elias, ARG 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS
29 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Andres Darricau, ARG 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Diogo Malagon, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
32 Cody Waite, USA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS
33 Esteban Rosas, MEX 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
34 Greg Schott, USA 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
35 Rodrigo Moreira, BRA 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Daniel Ramirez, MEX 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
37 Federico Venegas, CRC 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
38 Silveira Silva, BRA 39 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Thomas Spannring, USA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS
40 Joaquin Pereda, MEX 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
41 Diego Moya, CHI 36 DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
42 Guilherme Goncalves, BRA 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS
43 Joshua Merrick, USA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS
44 Gaspar Riveros, CHI 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
45 Billy Gordon, PAN 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
46 Anderson Ferreira, BRA 33 DNS DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS
47 Benjamin Munizaga, CHI 30 DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
48 Wellington Conceicao, BRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS
50 Taylor Charlton, AUS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS
51 Andres Zuniga, CRC 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
52 Pericles Andrade, BRA 27 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS
53 Fernando Melo, BRA 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Leonardo Lisboa, BRA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 582 75 67 75 DNS 100 75 90 100
2 Kara LaPoint, USA 437 61 56 67 DNS 58 51 69 75
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 352 67 61 DNS DNS DNS 67 75 82
4 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 279 51 47 56 67 DNP DNS DNS 58
5 Annie Bergen, CAN 246 DNS DNS 61 DNS 31 27 58 69
6 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 235 56 51 DNS 75 53 DNS DNS DNS
7 Lesley Paterson, GBR 190 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS 100 DNS
8 Caroline Colonna, USA 173 DNS DNS 47 DNS 28 DNS 45 53
9 Julie Baker, USA 164 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS 82 DNS
10 Katie Button, CAN 124 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 61 DNS DNS
11 Liz Gruber, USA 120 DNS DNS 51 DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS
12 Maia Ignatz, USA 118 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 43 DNS DNS
13 Emma Garrard, USA 108 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS 63 DNS
14 Fabiola Corona, MEX 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
15 Jessie Koltz, USA 88 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 49 DNF
16 Heather Zimchek-Dunn, USA 83 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 30 53 DNS
17 Barbara Riveros, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Debby Sullivan, USA 74 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 33 DNS DNS
19 Kelli Montgomery, USA 70 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 36 DNS DNS
20 Dunia Gomez, MEX 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
21 Isabella Ribeiro, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Vanessa Cabrini, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Zoe Dawson, CAN 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
24 Fernanda Prieto, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
25 Katharine Carter, CAN 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS DNS
26 Brisa Melcop, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Ladina Buss, SUI 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
28 Anne Usher, USA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS


XTERRA Mexico was the eighth of 10 stops on the XTERRA Pan America Tour and the 28th of 40 races where amateur athletes could qualify for XTERRA Worlds.

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