Braden Currie

Currie, Paterson win XTERRA Southeast Championship

Complete Results / Video / Photo Gallery

(Pelham, AL) – Braden Currie from Wanaka, New Zealand and Lesley Paterson from Sterling, Scotland won the 10th annual XTERRA Southeast Championship triathlon at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama this morning.

The men’s race came down to a sprint finish between Currie and last year’s champion, Josiah Middaugh from Vail, Colorado.  The two ran stride for stride for the entire six-mile trail run, the final stage of the race, with Currie taking the tape in 2:18:23, just three seconds ahead of Middaugh.

In the women’s race two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson was the sixth pro woman after the one-mile swim in Double Oak Lake, took the lead about a one-third of the way through the 20-mile mountain bike stage, and won comfortably in 2:39:13, more than four-minutes ahead of runner-up Emma Garrard of Park City, Utah.

Today’s race also doubled as the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship race. As such, the top American finishers Middaugh and Garrard were honored as the USAT Elite National Champions.

Here’s what some of the pros had to say about their day:

Braden Currie, who captured his third XTERRA of the year (following back-to-back wins at XTERRA New Zealand and XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in April).

– It’s a real mental game. I’d only ridden the course once so I knew Josiah had that advantage there and probably as well that he’s a lot stronger rider than I am, but I had that break out of the swim so he had to work really hard to catch up from the start (Josiah was 2:15 behind Braden out of the swim).

– I caught Craig Evans on the bike and I asked him when does Josiah normally catch you and he says not until the run, but then I looked back and Josiah was only five meters behind me so sure enough he shot past.

– (Out of the bike to run transition) I tried to go out at the start but Josiah hung on so I figured there was no point in killing myself so I set back

– Josiah is a really strong cyclist, so I knew he’d catch up somewhere.  When he did I let him go passed and followed him around, then ran into a tree and had to catch back up again.  We headed out on the run together.  I sat behind him for the second lap and when he grabbed a drink at that last aid station I ran as fast as I could and it worked.  Look forward to a season of racing him.

– Awesome day, great racing, really competitive.  That course is fun, a mountain bikers ride, really cool.

Josiah Middaugh, runner-up at the last five championship races he’s done (Twice to Ruben Ruzafa at the USA and World Championships last year, to Rom Akerson at XTERRA Costa Rica in March, to Francisco Serrano at the West Championship last month, and to Currie today).

– I was trying to feel it out first lap a little bit and he went out really hard and I thought maybe he might be bluffing. On that first lap I figured out I was a little bit stronger on the climbs, and he was a little bit faster on the flats, so on the second lap I hit every climb as hard as I possibly could but I just couldn’t shake him.  I’d open up a couple steps and he’d come right back.  Congrats to Braden for running really tough, just really mentally tough.  Coming down that last straight I was just trying to hang on to the rope.  At the end of the second lap we hit the pavement and I grabbed some water – not to drink but to wake myself up – and he took off.  I wasn’t giving up, though.  I was pumping my arms, giving everything I had.

– We were both trying to soften each other up a little bit on the run. We would put in these half moves, tons of bursts, but not really full on, it was just to see if the other guy would fall off.

– I can’t remember a race this close before.  I liked it.  It was a little tactical.  We attacked each other probably a dozen times on the run.  I was attacking on the hills but there weren’t enough of those.

Chris Ganter

Chris Ganter (matches career-best 3rd place finish he also achieved at West Champs last month)

– Got out of the water around Josiah and Olly.  Olly was a lot smoother on the terrain so I stayed with him.  And there are only two places where you can really use your fitness, the jeep trail climb and Johnson’s Mountain, and I used those two spots to move myself up in the race.  Moved through everyone except Craig, Braden, and Josiah.

– I was two minutes down in transition, and really worried about Olly behind me.  I ran hard, had the effort level at pegged. Caught Craig on the second lap on the bridge, gave him a pat and said let’s do this.

– I’m really pleased, my fitness was better today than in Vegas but couldn’t use it because it’s a skill course.

Notes:

Fastest swim: Craig Evans, 19:39 / Sara McLarty, 20:09
Fastest bike: Josiah Middaugh, 1:21:20 / Lesley Paterson, 1:36:09
Fastest run: Braden Currie, 34:11 / Lesley Paterson, 38:32

– Karsten Madsen crashed at mile six, suffering a bad cut on knee and had all kinds of other nicks and scrapes, got back at it and pulled into second place before suffering through three flat tires.  DNF’d.

– Craig Evans led early then stayed with Braden Currie and Josiah Middaugh on the back half of the bike.  Entered T2 in third and held on for fourth.  It’s the seventh time in eight years he’s been top four here, including two runner-ups, and three third-place finishes.

PRO MEN          
Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Braden Currie 28 Wanaka, New Zealand 2:18:23 100
2 Josiah Middaugh 36 Eagle-Vail, Colorado 2:18:26 90
3 Chris Ganter 36 Boise, Idaho 2:24:32 82
4 Craig Evans 37 Hendersonville, Tennessee 2:25:49 75
5 Olly Shaw 23 Rotorua, New Zealand 2:27:14 69
6 Branden Rakita 34 Colorado Springs, Colorado 2:27:58 63
7 Alex Modestou 28 Durham, North Carolina 2:28:37 58
8 Ryan Ignatz 36 Boulder, Colorado 2:29:35 53
9 Brad Zoller 37 Avon, Colorado 2:31:40 49
10 Chris Foster 32 Redondo Beach, CA 2:41:50 45
Also: Will Ross (41)

Lesley Paterson

 

Women’s Quotes:

Lesley Paterson (winner of three straight this year at XTERRA Costa Rica, West Champs, now here.  It’s the third time if four years she has won this race, and she missed last year due to injury).

– Just tried to stay smooth.  I had a couple slips out on the bike early so once I took the lead I just wanted to keep the rubber side down.

– Swim is still tough with the shoulder (she fractured it pre-riding in Costa Rica) and I was a little sore bumping around on the bike, but it has been improving.

– Great to be back and winning races.

– This course is very rooty, twisty, turny … so I tried to recreate that training in San Diego before the race by practicing cornering and all that stuff.  It’s a technically challenging course.

– I love the Southern hospitality here, the people are so sweet and the volunteers were great.

– It was a really tough day out there for the whole field so hope everyone gets through their injuries and tough times and comes out stronger.

Emma Garrard (Runner-up to Paterson for second time this year)

– I flew off on the first slick bridge, twisted my seat around.  Hit a root wrong, twisted my handle bar, smashed my head, roughed up my shoulder.  I crashed like four times today, all before Blood Rock. After that I was fine.

Notes:

– Lesley will now switch focus to chasing her dream of making Great Britain’s Olympic mountain biking team.  She’ll probably not race another XTERRA until Maui, aside perhaps from a European race.

– Suzie Snyder had a bad crash early on and suffered the whole day, audible in a ton of pain, but soldiered through to finish third.

– Catherine Sterling had a XTERRA career day, her first top four.

– Christine Jeffrey was brilliant in her first race of the year, riding in second until Emma and Suzie caught her late.  She came with a bum ankle but still managed a solid fifth place finish.

– Maia Ignatz had one of her best days as a pro, finishing in sixth.

– Hannah Rae Finchamp had a tough day in her pro debut, crashing hard at the very beginning of the bike and eventually had to pull.

– Katie Button was riding strong, much like her Canadian counterpart Madsen in the men’s race, but three flats took her out of contention.

PRO WOMEN        
Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Lesley Paterson 34 San Diego, California (Scotland) 2:39:13 100
2 Emma Garrard 33 Park City, Utah 2:44:10 90
3 Suzie Snyder 33 Fredericksburg, Virginia 2:46:52 82
4 Catherine Sterling 38 Ayer, Massachussetts 2:49:17 75
5 Christine Jeffrey 42 Tucson, Arizona 2:50:51 69
6 Maia Ignatz 34 Boulder, Colorado 2:51:45 63
7 Sara Schuler 34 Boulder, Colorado 2:52:54 58
8 Kara LaPoint 27 Truckee, California 2:53:21 53
9 Jaime Brede 37 Breckenridge, Colorado 2:56:43 49
10 Sara McLarty 32 Clermont, Florida 3:01:14 45
Also: Amelia McCracken (41), Emily Bashton (37), Rebecca Blatt (34), Debby Sullivan (31)

General Notes:

– There are a lot of really tough racers in XTERRA.  The slick bridges and roots, and tough technical course led to a bunch of crashes and the walking wounded were everywhere after the race. Incredibly, it didn’t seem to damper spirits at all, more so served like a badge of honor.  Big thanks to the guys at Pelham Fire for taking such good care of the athletes.

– XTERRA’s trail etiquette was on fine display today.  There were countless numbers of courteous passes (on your left when you can, please, thank you, good jobs, etc…).  Really great displays of sportsmanship all around Oak Mountain State Park today.

– Some good work was put in by Dr. Jay Cofield and his mass communication students from the University of Montevallo, who filmed and editing a highlight video at today’s XTERRA Southeast Championship race at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama that we could load to our Facebook page.  Also a terrific job by XTERRA’s social media team of Briana Rickertsen for updating @xterraoffroad, and showing live coverage through periscope, and Allison Moore for posting pics and updates to Facebook.

– Special thanks to the 2015 XTERRA Southeast Championship sponsors Paul Mitchell, XTERRA Resorts and Shelby County Tourism.  Also Outrigger Resorts, Muscle Milk, Gatorade Endurance, PowerBar, LifeProof, Optic Nerve, Greenlayer, XTERRA Coffee, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, XTERRA Boards, the Shelby County Reporter, and the Utah Sports Commission.

XTERRA U.S. PRO SERIES UPDATE

Having won the first two races Lesley Paterson is the only pro with a perfect score, but this was likely her last race of the Series and if that holds true Emma Garrard is in the best position with two runner-ups and 180 points.  Suzie Snyder is not far behind with her two third-place showings.  In the men’s chase Middaugh is the man right now with 180 points but with today’s win Currie made a bold statement and he is planning on doing the rest of the series.   Pros count their best three scores in the first four, plus what they earn at Nationals on September 19 in Utah regardless of how they do.

Next up: The 17th annual XTERRA East Championship in Richmond, Virginia on June 14.

XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Standings (After 2)
Pros count best 3-of-4 regionals, plus USA Champs
PRO MEN              
Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 90 90 180
2 Chris Ganter, USA 82 82 164
3 Craig Evans, USA 58 75 133
4 Branden Rakita, USA 69 63 132
5 Alex Modestou, USA 49 58 107
6 Brad Zoller, USA 53 49 102
7 Francisco Serrano, MEX 100 DNS 100
8 Braden Currie, NZL DNS 100 100
9 Ryan Ignatz, USA 45 53 98
10 Ben Allen, AUS 75 DNS 75
11 Olly Shaw, NZL DNS 69 69
12 Karsten Madsen, CAN 63 DNF 63
13 Chris Foster, USA DNS 45 45
14 JP Donovan, USA 41 DNS 41
15 Will Ross, USA DNS 41 41
16 James Hadley, GBR 37 DNS 37
17 Jimmy Archer, USA 34 DNS 34
18 Kyle Hughes, USA 31 DNS 31
PRO WOMEN            
Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Lesley Paterson, GBR 100 100 200
2 Emma Garrard, USA 90 90 180
3 Suzie Snyder, USA 82 82 164
4 Kara LaPoint, USA 63 53 116
5 Sara Schuler, USA 58 58 116
6 Maia Ignatz, USA 49 63 112
7 Sara McLarty, USA 41 45 86
8 Debby Sullivan, USA 45 31 76
9 Melanie McQuaid, CAN 75 DNS 75
10 Catherine Sterling, USA DNS 75 75
11 Brittany Webster, CAN 69 DNS 69
12 Christine Jeffrey, CAN DNS 69 69
13 Rebecca Blatt, USA 31 34 65
14 Katie Button, CAN 53 DNF 53
15 Jaime Brede, USA DNS 49 49
16 Amelia McCracken, USA DNS 41 41
17 Emily Bashton, USA DNF 37 37
18 Lauren Thompson, USA 34 DNS 34

DSC_0845
THE AMATEUR RACE

More than 300 triathletes from 40 states and six countries took part in today’s event, which combined a one-mile swim with a 20-mile mountain bike and six-mile trail run.

Daryl Weaver, 42, from Lititz, Pennsylvania ran past 20-year-old Cole Bunn from Bettendorf, Iowa in the last 300-meters to win the overall men’s title in 2:35:27.

“Haven’t had that much fun on a bike course in a long, long time,” said Weaver, who was racing at Oak Mountain for the first time.  “It was an awesome day.  One of the best races I’ve ever had.  I paced myself on the bike, paced myself on the run, and took it easy on the swim.  I was just relaxed.”

Bunn, who was in the lead for 99% of the run and on his way to a big win said when Weaver caught him at the end “I was absolutely spent. I tried to stick with him but he really hammered it in that last 300 yards on the run.”

The future is bright for Bunn, a former amateur XTERRA National Champion in the 15-19 division, who just finished his freshman year racing triathlon at the University of Colorado.

In the women’s race 43-year-old Mimi Stockton from Stevensville, Michigan was four-minutes faster than 41-year-old Mary Rosser from Sterrett, Alabama with a winning time of 2:59:01.

“I spent a lot of time in the pain cave today,” said Stockton, a former XTERRA World Champion.  “I was out all last season with a stress fracture so it feels good to be back racing and to win, even though I hit a tree and might’ve cracked a rib or something … but I’m okay ya know.”

In all, 21 amateur athletes representing 16 states captured USA Triathlon National Championship titles today.  There were two local winners, David Meadows (45-49 division) and Lori Goldweber (50-54 division), both from Birmingham, Alabama.

There was a lot at stake today for amateurs.  The top 15 finishers in each division qualified to race at XTERRA Nationals, Sept. 19 in Ogden, Utah.  50 amateurs punched their ticket to the XTERRA World Championship, and the top 18 finishers in each division qualified to represent Team USA at the 2016 International Triathlon Union Cross Triathlon World Championships, the date and location of which will be announced later this year. Team USA is comprised of the nation’s top multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU World Championships event. Visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa for more on Team USA.

Here’s a look at the 2015 USA Triathlon Off-Road National Champions

USAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONS (WOMEN)    
Division Name Hometown Time
20 – 24 Heather Wilson Temecula, CA 3:42:33
25 – 29 Anna Frey Atlanta, GA 3:56:16
30 – 34 Nicole Valentine Germantown, MD 3:05:13
35 – 39 Melanie Etherton Austin, TX 3:07:29
40 – 44 *Mimi Stockton Stevensville, MI 2:59:01
45 – 49 Margo Pitts Raleigh, NC 3:12:33
50 – 54 Lori Goldweber Birmingham, AL 3:09:51
55 – 59 Stephanie Landy Ballston Spa, NY 3:17:27
60 – 64 Susan Griffin-Kaklikian Castle Rock, CO 3:36:53
65 – 69 Linda Usher Upton, MA 4:38:30
70 – 74 Charlotte Mahan Lenoir City, TN 5:28:39
PRO Emma Garrard Park City, UT 2:44:10
USAT NATIONAL CHAMPIONS (MEN)    
Division Name Hometown Time
15 – 19 Greg Schott Chesterfield, VA 2:35:46
20 – 24 Cole Bunn Bettendorf, IA 2:35:34
25 – 29 Justin McMurrer Lehigh Acres, FL 2:41:07
30 – 34 James Haycraft Charlotte, NC 2:36:52
35 – 39 AJ Petrillo Blue Ridge, GA 2:38:35
40 – 44 *Daryl Weaver Lititz, PA 2:35:27
45 – 49 David Meadows Birmingham, AL 2:39:31
50 – 54 Ali Arasta Asheboro, NC 2:51:08
55 – 59 Bruce Wilson Temecula, CA 2:51:59
60 – 64 Doug Usher Upton, MA 3:52:55
65 – 69 Alan Moore Ada, MI 3:39:01
70 – 74 Ronald Scranton Tijeras, NM 4:26:41
PRO Josiah Middaugh Eagle-Vail, CO 2:18:26

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Southeast Championship was the 15th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1, 2015.

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

XTERRA Portugal Championship on Saturday

The second of 12 stops on the 2015 XTERRA European Tour is taking racers into the heart of Portugal, a small village in the middle of the country named Golega.

The 2nd annual XTERRA Portugal Championship race on Saturday has a strong elite contingent, with 37 pros including the reigning XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa for the men and the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion in the women’s field.

Other big names include Francois Carloni (FRA), Yeray Luxem (BEL), Asa Shaw (GBR), Octavio Vicente, Malta champion Nico Fernandez (FRA), Roger Serrano (ESP), Tahiti Champion Brice Daubord (FRA), Tomas Kubek (CZE), Bor Woestenborghs (NED), Fabien Combaluzier (FRA), Lars van der Eerden (NED), Jan Pyott (SUI), Llewllyn Holmes (GBR), Albert Soley (ESP), Henry Sleight (GBR), and Tim Van Daele (BEL).

Other notable elite women include Helena Erbenova (CZE), Maud Golsteyn (NED), Louise Fox (GBR), Carina Wasle (AUT), Malta winner Brigitta Poor (HUN), Jessica Roberts (GBR), and Sofia Brites.

More than 800 participants will take part in the short and long course tris over the weekend, which includes a huge kids race.

Nico Lebrun, XTERRA’s European Tour technical director, is on-site in Golega to bring us this pre-race report…

“Golega is about 60 miles from Lisboa, the nation’s capital. While only around 4,000 people live here, it’s famous for its horses. They call it the capital of horses, and all signs on the street have horses.

It’s mostly flat around, and they grow a lot of veggies, like corn, onions, oranges, almonds…

The organizer Jaime Rosa and his family are passionate, and do an amazing job as everybody who has raced here can tell you. Jaime painted hundreds of little stones to sign the bike race, work that he started doing over the winter! They created lots of new trails, cut grass, branches, and the whole town is supporting them.

Paul Charbonnier at XTERRA France started the idea of a great wooden ramp for spectators to enjoy on the bike course and Jaime thought it was a nice ideas so he made one too!

Another special touch is the bike racks, which are all made with wooden sticks. It’s wonderful and “green” and takes lots of work to fix all of that, especially for 500 kids racing in the Sunday triathlon. It’s work he does for the future XTERRA athletes, Rosa said.

The host hotel at Lusitano is a beautifull place! When I arrived I put my running shoes on and took to the run course for a loop. The run is flat, yes, but not always fast. There are some tricky spots where you have to almost crawl on the ground to go under trees, and you will have to put your feet in the river, maybe on muddy part due to the plant watering. The best part will be at the 5km mark when you will be in single track with orange trees on both sides. Just grab one, some are dry but I found a perfect one. This is truly the freshest XTERRA aid station ever.

Now I will tell you about the bike course. It starts in the village, on a very nice little cobble street, then through the Church Piazza. It’s completely flat for maybe 5km and they put signs every KM with the distance in miles too! Like in most of XTERRA you have the standard Blue for Bike signs, and in the forest Jaime and his team painted hundreds of little stones in Yellow this year. They also created lots of single track to make the race 95% rideable! They have done so much work from last year, digging and cutting trees, painting stones and putting signs. They must have worked hundreds of hours. I’m proud to be part of this XTERRA Family, where people like Jaime and his team are so passionate, and put so much energy to offer athletes a perfect MTB loop. 38km with 750m of climbing, you will suffer, and hope you are ready, because you will have to fight with your bike up and down. You will get some flat parts to recover, and again… the average athlete will have to push maybe 10 times, but not long 30″ to 2′ like I did this morning! I really need to train more again, Alexandra is right, I’m soft! And finally there is some really fun single down, maybe a little bit scary for people who are not full-on mountain bikers, but walking is okay too. At 25km the climbing ends and heads into some flat grass where you’ll need a lot of energy. It will be hot on Sunday, so hydration will be important. It’s a dry place, so drink lots of water. And at the very end of the bike through town riders jump on the ramp for fun and then it’s done and on to the run.

As for the elite race, on the women’s side we will start the euro tour battle, Brigita Poor who won Malta, will have to fight harder this time because the ITU cross world champ Kathrin Mueller is back. Helena is here too, and with already a lot of race and some big ones in adventure racing in China, she was really disappointed with her performance in Malaysia and I think she wants to show that she is not only doing canoe, orienteering, but still a competitive XTERRA athlete. Carina is really strong this year, and consistent. Also Louise Fox, and from the Organicoach side Morgane Riou who just claimed the tittle of Cross triathlon French champion. She wants to see her level in front of the best Euro XTERRA Girls.

On the men’s side, the king is here, Ruben Ruzafa, who has never failed to win since Ogden 2013! Is he already at 100%? Can Nicolas Fernandez, who won Malta with a big gap on the bike, beat him? That will be interesting. Carloni who was second here last year will be confident, he likes the race and has great memories and energy. Yeray Luxem was also strong here last year then had a flat. He liked the place and the people here too, and for sure he wants to fight hard. Roger Serrano was second in Malta, and this young guy wants to win, and he has the potential. Also Asa Shaw, after a really hard season last year, just won a race in Corsica, so we’ll see.

I will be there, yelling at all those guys, telling them “lucky you I retire ;)”

It’s good to dream a little bit…

Finchamp

Finchamp’s First Race in the Pro Field

Hannah Rae Finchamp has been amazing people with her speed, strength, courage, and humility for a decade … and she just turned 19-years-old.

The five-time XTERRA World Champion from Altadena, California just finished her freshman year at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri where get this – she was on the cycling, track and cross country, and swimming teams all while working extra hours on a double major.

Yesterday she finished her last exam of the semester, Saturday she’ll compete against the pro women for the first time (albeit a long time coming).  And today, she took the time to tell us how she’s doing…

“I am so excited to be a part of the Pro field this season! After racing XTERRA for so long I am thrilled to see the races through a new lens from the Pro’s point of view.  I just finished my last final for school yesterday and it has been a wild ride but I have loved every minute of it. I wanted to gain as much experience as I could and I got everything I wanted and more. This season I competed in over 20 collegiate competitions including mountain biking, cyclocross, road racing, track, cross country, and swimming. In addition, I took overload credit hours, continue to work toward a double major in athletic training and exercise science as well as finishing 165 observation hours in the athletic training field. It might come as a surprise that, yes, I did get to enjoy moving away and meeting new friends as well. I cannot say that this year came without it’s challenges and it was most definitely the biggest juggling act I have ever attempted. My success came down to two factors: joy and desire. I found that when running from one event to the next or fitting in a workout at 5am the most important thing was to remember why I do what I do and to rejoice in the fact that I am capable of doing it. God has blessed me with all these opportunities in front of me and it’s incredible that I have found a place that supports me to pursue whatever my heart desires. All of the people I have encountered at Lindenwood University have helped me make my visions a reality and the facilities there make it easy to complete one event and run across campus to make it on time to the next. Competing this year as a Pro marks the reaching of a goal I have had for a very long time. Since I am pursing NCAA athletics I cannot accept any prize money but what I will gain from racing against these incredible women is far more valuable than any dollar amount.”

Josiah Middaugh

XTERRA U.S. Pro Series in Alabama

The XTERRA Southeast Championship race at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama produces some awesome elite races every year and the 10th edition on Saturday should be no different.

American star Josiah Middaugh has won the last two, but had to come from behind and take it on the run both times. This year he’s got Craig Evans with a gleam in his eye, with nothing more in the world on his mind but to take this race.

“I’ve been trying for a long time, and have been really close,” said Evans. “Last year it was 45 seconds, three years ago it was 47 seconds. I led all of last year until Josiah passed me with six minutes to go and I was so deflated I just started walking. I’ve put a lot into just this race, and nothing else really matters right now.”

To keep it interesting a pair of really fast Kiwi’s – Braden Currie and Olly Shaw from New Zealand – have come to the U.S. to take on the American’s and see where they stand. Currie, in particular, is having an incredible year. He’s already won the defacto adventure racing world title, and followed that with back-to-back crowns at the XTERRA New Zealand and Asia-Pacific Championship titles last month.

“I’m in really good shape,” said Currie. “I’ve had some good races early season and got in some really solid training the last few weeks in California so I’m feeling really good. It’s awesome here, my first time in Alabama. I didn’t know what to expect but it’s beautiful. Really green and lush, and I’m really looking forward to getting out there.”

For Currie each race is a stepping stone to the big picture dream.

“The ultimate goal for me is to win, to try to take out the U.S. Champs, and I’d love to take out Worlds too.  This year I’ve got five months focused on XTERRA and I’m really looking forward to seeing all the different abilities progress.”

First things first, and that’s contending with the champ, Middaugh.

“I’ve raced Josiah before so I know how he races. He’s an incredible mountain biker and real solid runner. I know how I’m going to race against him. Just can’t give him an inch. Push the limits as much as I can.”

Chris Ganter, coming off a career-best third place performance at the West Championship, cannot be overlooked, nor should Branden Rakita, Karsten Madsen, Ryan Ignatz, Brad Zoller, Alex Modestou, or Will Ross.

Bib No. – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Josiah Middaugh – 36, Eagle-Vail, CO
2 – Chris Ganter – 36, Boise, ID
3 – Branden Rakita – 34, Colorado Springs, CO
4 – Karsten Madsen – 23, Guelph, Ontario, CAN
5 – Craig Evans – 37, Hendersonville, TN
6 – Brad Zoller – 37, Avon, CO
7 – Alex Modestou – 28, Durham, NC
8 – Ryan Ignatz – 36, Boulder, CO
9 – Braden Currie – 28, Wanaka, NZL
10 – Will Ross – 26, Anchorage, AK
11 – Olly Shaw – 23, Rotorua, NZL

The event is the second of four regional championship races in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series, and the course combines a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run.

In the women’s race the dream match-up between reigning XTERRA World Champ Flora Duffy and two-time World Champ Lesley Paterson will have to wait for another day.

“I was hoping to get back to Alabama, I love that course and the Southern hospitality.” said Duffy.  “But this year it’s really important for me to be smart about my schedule and manage all my ‘want-to’ races with my ‘must-do’ races wisely.”

Duffy, of course, has had a really busy early season with a split focus on XTERRA and getting to Rio to represent Bermuda for the third time at the Olympics.

For Paterson, she’s thrilled to get back to ‘Bama, where she captured the 2012 and 2013 crowns.

She’ll be up against the speedy Emma Garrard, and a women’s elite field that’s nearly 20 strong.

“I’d love to win one of the U.S. Series races after coming in second at all of them last year,” said Garrard. “I’ll have to keep Lesley in sight on the bike, because I’m confident in my running right now. I feel I’ve done well on flat run courses where it’s high turnover rate, and of course I’ll have to push myself harder than ever before if I’m going to get it done.”

Suzie Snyder is in the field, fresh off a wild month of travel and racing and moving houses.

“Hopefully I’m rested up and ready to go again, but to win, that might take a miracle, to be honest. I’d have to have a big enough lead on the bike to not get caught on the run,” said Snyder. “Regardless, I really like this course because it’s fun, and that distracts your mind from the pain you’re going through. You’ve got to focus on the skills your using, which keeps you fresh throughout the race.”

Christine Jeffrey is back in the mix after anoff-season ankle injury kept her out of the opener in Vegas, and she also loves this place, so much so that she made Alabama her training grounds for a few years.

There’s also a very intriguing new name in the women’s elite field, who is no stranger to the XTERRA Tribe, and that’s Hannah Rae Finchamp.  Even though she’s a freshman in college the NCAA declared she’s eligible to race as an elite, she just can’t take prize money.

Here’s a look at the elite women’s field:

Bib No. – Name – Age, Hometown
31 – Lesley Paterson – 34, San Diego, CA (Scotland)
32 – Emma Garrard – 33, Park City, UT
33 – Suzie Snyder – 33, Fredericksburg, VA
34 – Kara LaPoint – 28, Truckee, CA
35 – Sara Schuler – 34, Boulder, CO
36 – Katie Button – 29, Victoria, B.C., CAN
37 – Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, CO
38 – Debby Sullivan – 33, Rocklin, CA
39 – Sara McLarty – 32, Clermont, FL
40 – Caroline Colonna – 51, Taos, NM
41 – Rebecca Blatt – 35, Lakewood, CO
42 – Emily Bashton – 35, Richmond, VA
43 – Jaime Brede – 37, Breckenridge, CO
44 – Hannah Rae Finchamp – 19, Altadena, CA
45 – Christine Jeffrey – 42, Tucson, AZ
46 – Solana Kline – 32, Bend, OR
47 – Amelia McCracken – 31, Philadelphia, PA
48 – Catherine Sterling – 38, Ayer, MA

EPC Tips Threshold

EPC Tips – Super Threshold Bike Session

This ‘pyramid’ interval session on the bike targets the ‘super-threshold’ zone for getting familiar with efforts over your lactate threshold. The bulk of the main set targets efforts at, and just above, your threshold power. Then you finish with a few short blasts  at your Vo2 Max to Anaerobic Power zones to prepare for (or maintain) the higher intensity efforts. Designed to be done on the trainer, this session can also be easily modified for outdoor riding on both the road or the trail.

WARM-UP:

  • 10:00 spin-up to max cadence
  • 2:00 easy
  • 5:00 build to threshold power
  • 3:00 easy

MAIN SET:

  • 2-3x[1:00/2:00/3:00/2:00/1:00 @ strong effort (100-110% threshold power/zone 4-5), 1:30 easy between each interval]
  • 5:00 bonus rest between each set
  • 1x[0:30/0:45/1:00/0:45/0:30 @ hard effort (120-150% threshold power/zone 5), on a 2:00 interval]

WARM-DOWN:

  • 5:00 @ high cadence (110+ rpm)
  • 5:00 spin-down

Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. Looking for help with your training for 2015? Check out EPC’s Personal CoachingGroup Coaching, and Custom Training Plan options created to fit your needs and budget.

XTERRA-ILHA-BELA-2015_PH

Malagon, Gobbo win XTERRA Brazil

Complete Results / Image Gallery

(Ilhabela, Brazil) – Diogo Malagon and Sabrina Gobbo captured the XTERRA Brazil Championship crowns on Saturday in Ilhabela.

It’s the first-ever XTERRA major win for Malagon, and the second Brazil title in as many years for Gobbo.

The course combined a 1.5km swim with unique mid-race pier jump, a grueling and muddy 24km mountain bike course and 8km trail run.

In the men’s race Malagon came out of the water about 40-seconds behind swim leaders Rodrigo Altafini and Alexandre Manzan then turned it on during the bike posting the fastest split of the day in 1:31:42. His winning time of 2:33:33 was more than one-minute ahead of Frederico Zacharias, and Altafini was able to hold off a hard charging Manzan, who had the fastest run split of the day, to finish in third.

In the women’s race Gobbo, who has been racing XTERRA in Brazil since it all started more than 10 years ago, posted the fastest swim and bike times and had the second-best run split (by two seconds) to take the tape in convincing fashion with a winning time of 3:14:11, more than 15-minutes ahead of Laura Mira Dias. Isabella Ribeiro was third.

Top 7 Men and Women



Pl Name Swim Bike Run Final
1 DIOGO MALAGON 0:21:56 1:31:42 0:38:59 2:33:33
2 FREDERICO CARVALHO ZACHARIAS 0:23:23 1:33:07 0:37:15 2:34:55
3 RODRIGO ALTAFINI 0:21:13 1:32:59 0:41:41 2:37:05
4 ALEXANDRE JOAQUIM FONTES MANZAN 0:21:14 1:39:46 0:36:35 2:38:51
5 CLEVERSON LUIS DEL SECCHI 0:26:49 1:51:46 0:37:10 2:57:25
6 CRISTIAN PEREIRA DA CRUZ 0:27:05 1:48:21 0:44:45 3:01:51
7 WELLINGTON SANTOS CONCEIÇÃO 0:35:38 2:23:30 0:46:07 3:48:09
Pl Name Swim Bike Run Final
1 SABRINA KOESTER GOBBO 0:25:15 1:58:16 0:49:07 3:14:11
2 LAURA MIRA DIAS 0:25:54 2:11:34 0:52:37 3:30:45
3 ISABELLA G RIBEIRO 0:29:18 2:10:26 0:49:05 3:32:07
4 TATIANA SANTOS QUEIROZ 0:27:12 2:29:14 0:57:19 3:58:56
5 LUIZA INES ZANINI 0:34:14 2:34:58 0:57:10 4:08:25
6 RITA CBL VIEIRA 0:35:31 2:39:44 1:04:38 4:22:52
7 BRISA MELCOP 0:25:26 3:03:39 1:09:59 4:41:32


2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Brazil Championship was the 14th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1, 2015.

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

* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers

UP NEXT

May 16 XTERRA Southeast Championship, Pelham, AL, USA#XTERRA Portugal, Golega*

 

hugoPier800

XTERRA Brazil Championship This Sunday

The 11th running of the XTERRA Brazil Championship race takes place Sunday in the same place where the sport got started in South America back in 2005, the island paradise of Ilhabela.

Last year’s champion’s Felipe Moletta and Sabrina Gobbo have returned to defend their crowns, and thousands of amateurs, spectators and locals are ready to literally jump off the pier in anticipation.

“The pier is lined three deep for a raucous mid-swim moment of happiness before launching like a doomed sailor off the plank into a near spring low tide,” is how past champ Dan Hugo described the mid-swim run and jump off a 10-foot pier edge. “Quite a fun swim feature, certainly more enjoyable than the wavy water swallow breathing I was into for the rest of it.”

Former age group XTERRA World Champion turned pro Albert Soley from Spain is in Ilhabela to give Moletta a run for his money, and other contenders include Rodrigo Altafini and Frederico Zacharias. Moletta, who has won the race in two of the last three years and also won the first two races in this year’s XTERRA Brazil Tour, is said to be the clear-cut favorite.

Laura Mira Dias, ranked second in the Brazilian tour, is said to be the toughest human competition for Gobbo in the women’s race but Mother Nature is the most formidable of all foes at this one.

Mike Vine was quoted as saying “It was the hardest of any, ever, and we had decent conditions w/ cooler temps and a dry course that means it easily could’ve been a lot worse. The finishing times tell the story… many took 5, 6, and even 7 hours,” he said.

“Absolutely the toughest XTERRA race I have ever done,” agreed Candy Angle. “I have done my fair share of XTERRA races around the world and cannot imagine any tougher than this one.”

Even two-time winner Conrad Stoltz described it as “more of an adventure than a race.”

As for XTERRA Brazil Race Director Bernardo Fonseca, he says  Ilhabela is “the only place in the world to host over 3,000 people having fun as a family in nature in the right place and with the right people.”

“The energy here is so great. I’ve never been to another country’s race that has such a festive atmosphere.” Vanlandingham noted after her victory in 2013.

ALL-TIME XTERRA BRAZIL CHAMPIONSHIP ELITE WINNERS

Year Man Woman
2014 Felipe Moletta Sabrina Gobbo
2013 Conrad Stoltz Shonny Vanlandingham
2012 Felipe Moletta Shonny Vanlandingham
2011 Ben Allen Carina Wasle
2010 Dan Hugo Shonny Vanlandingham
2009 Rom Akerson Maria Omar
2008 Alexandre Manzan Carla Prada
2007 Mike Vine Candy Angle
2006 Nico Lebrun Candy Angle
2005 Conrad Stoltz Jamie Whitmore
Chris Ganter

Getting to Know Chris Ganter

XTERRA Pro Chris Ganter wasn’t even mentioned in the pre-race hype leading up to the XTERRA West Championship at Lake Las Vegas last month.

Interestingly enough, that may have been a blessing in disguise.

Josiah Middaugh wasn’t listed among the favorites in Richmond the year he won the East Championship in 2008 and he’s been one of the world’s best ever since.  Ruben Ruzafa wasn’t in the media guide the year he won his first XTERRA World Title, and he won two more after that.   Emma Garrard was notably left out of the prognostication for the women’s elite race at the USA Championship two years ago, and she’s been the top American in the sport at every race thereafter.

“It’s good to fly under the radar like that,” explained Middaugh.  “No pressure, no expectations, you can just go out there and perform.”

And that is exactly what Ganter did in Vegas, posting a career-best third-place finish behind only Olympian Francisco Serrano from Mexico and Middaugh, the 10x U.S. National Champ.

While he had a solid season racing in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series in 2014, finishing in the top 10 at all five majors with a season-best 7th place finish at the Mountain Championship, he’d never been at the front and in the mix like he was in the desert last month.

Perhaps the oversight was all he needed to finally breakthrough … or maybe, just maybe, it was the result of a lot of hard work.

We caught up with the 36-year-old from Boise to find out…

XTERRA: Where did you make the biggest improvement in the off-season?
Chris Ganter: I’ve put in some good work across the board.  But the primary focus this “off-season” has been on improving my fitness on the mountain bike.  I was into recreational BMX and mountain biking growing up, so it’s like I’m kind of going back to my roots.  I love it.

XT: Can you tell us about your coach and maybe what you’ve been doing differently?
CG: I’m coached by Paulo Sousa of The Triathlon Squad fame.  I’ve been with him for 18 months (not that I’ve been counting).  You don’t necessarily have to be doing anything vastly different to make improvements. If you look at my results last season, I was steadily improving.  And we’ve continued that trend during the off season.  But without triathlon results, it looks like a big “jump” when you come back to racing.  The most important thing I’m doing is training consistently.  I saw how consistent the performances were in the ITU and I wanted a coach that knew how that’s done.  Luckily, I found a great one and he shares my style work ethic.

XT: Where do you train?
CG: I live and train in Boise, Idaho.  I have hundreds of miles of trails only blocks from our home in the North End.  I’m a little isolated here, so periodically I head down to train with the rest of the squad in Poway, CA.  I find that I get a good boost from training with a strong squad, but being a full-time XTERRA athlete I have to put in a lot of solo time on the dirt.

XT: What brought you to Boise?
CG: Everything about it!  My wife Allis and I agreed that we’d spend a few years in Philly together and then move somewhere West.  It came down to Flagstaff, Bend, and Boise.  When we visited Boise, it was like we already lived here.  And it has just become more and more appealing to us the longer we’ve been here.  Boise’s not for everyone, but it’s for me and I could go on and on about it.

XT: I know you’ve won some of the XTERRA Points Series races in Idaho, you guys have a pretty good XTERRA culture there, huh?
CG: Yes, I’ve pulled off some hard-fought results here locally.  I absolutely love our local XTERRA scene. Great venues with high-quality professional racing.  We have two notable races close to Boise that each attract solid talent:  XTERRA Les Bois, here in Boise, and XTERRA Wild Ride in McCall, ID.  They couldn’t be more different, with Les Bois down here in the desert and McCall held in beautiful mile-high ponderosa forests.

XT: Ever see XTERRA ambassador Allison Moore out on the trails, or our course guy Chris Appleton?
CG: Absolutely!  One of my favorite parts of XTERRA is our ohana.  Allison is a good friend and my wife’s mountain bike teammate.  So we hang out pretty regularly.  I don’t run into Chris all that often, but Boise is a huge small town, so I’m sure I’ve passed him in the supermarket and didn’t even know it.

XT: I know you had a “real” job before going all-in, how long have you been racing full time now?
CG: First off, I love that you put “real” in quotations! One of the issues I see with endurance sports in America is the concept of a “real job”.  Professional triathlon is a “real job” if you choose to make it so.  Just like being a musician, or an artist, or professional ANYTHING. You have to work very hard to make it work for you.  This is one of the biggest things Paulo and my squad mates have taught me.  But yes, to answer your question: I worked for Johnson & Johnson in Global R&D Quality Assurance and loved it!  It was tough juggling a demanding job, some graduate school, and amateur racing.  But I got some solid results along the way.  I was there for 10 years, so I sort-of technically “retired”.  I still consider myself a “J&J’er”!

XT: You grew up on the East Coast, can you tell us about your high school days, what it was like?
CG: I graduated back in 1996 from Upper Perkiomen High, or “Upper Perk”.  It’s an agricultural rural area outside of Philly, and I think we had every character from “Dazed and Confused” at my school.  I played basketball and ran cross-country.  I participated in track, but I didn’t like running around in circles.  It didn’t help that my coach entered me in 4 distance events in every meet.  I was a work horse for the team twice a week.  I felt punished in every meet, lost passion to train hard, and consequently never really excelled in track.  Out of desperation, I showed that I could win the high jump and pole vault in dual meets so I could get out of running four distance events!

XT: You ran cross country at Chaminade University here in our hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii.  How did that happen and what was the experience like?
CG: A big influence on my life has been my childhood best friend’s family.  Her father is a proud Chaminade Alum (pretty random for rural PA, I know) and he suggested out of the blue that I send in an application to this “Chaminade University of Honolulu”.  A typical rural teen, I wanted to transcend my rather humble roots.  So when I got a running scholarship offer, I was gone!  My time in Hawai’i was formative.  I have an affinity for the islands and the culture that will never go away.  It’s hard to describe, but when I’m there I feel like I’m at home… I believe in “mana” for sure.  I left Chaminade for the promise of a Division I running scholarship at Drexel University.  However, in the summer the coach called me and informed me that our team was terminated.  I considered going back to Chaminade, but I decided to keep my education moving forward at Drexel.  It was a painful, but smart decision in the end.

XT: What other races are you doing right now, or near future?
CG: I did a few mountain bike races in the early season.  But I’m focused on the XTERRA US Pro Tour, so I’ll be lining up in Alabama and Virginia these next two months.  I really want to put my efforts into getting better here domestically.  For me, part of being a professional is to commit to “Plan A” without fear of failure.  And if I chase other goals and races, I’m afraid it will detract from the investments I have to put in to just get faster.

XT: When was your very first XTERRA and how did you first hear about it?
CG: Believe it or not, the 2010 XTERRA US Pro Championships in Ogden Utah was my first XTERRA race!  Looking back, it was comical. I was 19th Pro, 34th Overall.  I came straight from Philadelphia, (altitude 15 feet) to a race in the mountains of Utah (over 4,000’).  The experience was “breathtaking”.  But I performed the way you would expect for a flat-lander at altitude.  And I still do, albeit to a lesser extent now that I live at 3,000’ and spend some time much higher.

XT: Most ridiculous thing that’s happened to you during an XTERRA?
CG: Oh that’s easy!  2013 XTERRA Southeast Championships. Coming off a double mechanical in Vegas, I promptly broke my right hand early on the bike in Alabama.  I finished with an all-out sprint for… wait for it…. 9th!  How’s that for “ridiculous”?!

XT: You’ve set a pretty high standard for yourself with that 3rd, did you have to re-adjust your season goals afterwards?  What are your goals?
CG: I’m pretty stoked on that result for sure!  But honestly, the folks who win the race set the standard.  It’s hiding in plain sight.  So I’m focused on the process of getting better every day, and consistently putting together good performances.  I just want to continue to steadily improve through this season. So I don’t really have to adjust my goals too much.  If anything, I think that getting 3rd in the opener allows me to defend a higher position in the overall points series.  It may figure into my risk/reward calculations, but I’ll most likely keep a “push hard, take risks” attitude.

XT: When did you shave the mustache, and wasn’t that kind of your thing?  Was it an aerodynamic decision?
CG: Ha!  I think budgy-smugglers are my thing.  Like I said, I’m old school.  … and they’re also aero.  Very, very aero.

XT: You wrote on your profile form last year that after 10 years you “found where I belong in triathlon” about XTERRA?  Can you explain…
CG: XTERRA is just kind-of me.  I grew up riding my mountain bike. Whether in the forests of Pennsylvania or later on Wa’ahila Ridge by University of Hawai’i (UH).  My friends were nuts, so we’d ride hard twice or sometimes three times a day in the summer.    I ran cross country in Pennsylvania and in Hawai’i, but did not like running on the smooth surfaces.  I surfed (a lot) so I love the ocean and open water. I naturally became a triathlete.  So with XTERRA, being triathlon, in the ocean, in the woods, and based in Hawai’i, it’s a perfect fit for me. I’ve definitely found where I belong in triathlon!

XT: What should people know?
CG: I’m passionate about bringing XTERRA to new people and showing them that XTERRA is more than just triathlon.  There’s a freedom and connection with nature that go with it.  There’s also serious suffering that gets you more in touch with yourself as an athlete and a person.  So, for me, the XTERRA training and racing experiences make me feel more “alive”.   I’m extremely proud to have amazing sponsors including my title sponsor Equal Earth who allow me to share these experience with as many people as possible.

 

Matt-Turner-Defiant-Photography

Dig Deep at the XTERRA Deep South Trail Run

By DJ Quinn

On May 30th another installment of the phenomenon gripping the Southeast arrives: the XTERRA Deep South Trail Run! For the past ten years, race director Tim Schroer and family have been putting on Dirty Spokes races across the Southeast, with races in Alabama, North Carolina, and the lion’s share in Georgia. With about thirty trail and mountain bike races to run this year, you might think Tim and Co. would be overworked and stressed. On the contrary, when asked to describe his race series, and in particular the popular (and series finale) XTERRA Deep South race Tim says, “Overall the series is a blast! We go to some of the best and most scenic venues in the state of Georgia! Each race and venue (trail system) has something unique to offer. The XTERRA Deep South 15K/5K is at Dauset Trails (about 35-40 minutes south of Atlanta). It is a mixture of single track, double track, hills, technical sections (roots and rocks) and overall, sweet Georgia Dirt!”

As mentioned above, the XTERRA Deep South race (and all the Georgia races) are incredibly popular, and are only gaining in popularity. In fact, they are often sold out. When asked why the XTERRA Deep South race is so popular Tim says, “We have a great group of people that attend our events. The runners make these races what they are; they create a fun, family type atmosphere for our events! Whether it’s front, middle, or back of the pack it always seems like everyone is out there cheering, rooting and supporting each other.”

The supportive and friendly atmosphere certainly explains the popularity of the XTERRA Deep South run, and Dirty Spokes races in general. But exactly how did all this start? According to Tim, “Dirty Spokes was established in 2005 by my wife and me. We have 4 daughters, so it’s really a family business. Our family is a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts! My father is the former men’s tennis coach at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (he helps at the races also). Growing up I always worked in his tennis camps. I teach and coach at Mill Creek High School (my full time day job). Learning organizational skills from my father growing up (working for him at his camps), as well as teaching school, the race directing and organizing just fall into place.”

When I asked Tim what he thought about the XTERRA Deep South race compared to the other Dirty Spokes races, Tim said, “It really kicks off summer time! I think the name Deep South is appropriate because it’s hot and humid each year out in the open field but cools just a touch when you hit the woods! The most important factor of course are the participants: they are the same as our other races-good people!”

With so many popular and well-loved races, Dirty Spokes can truly be said to put on some of the best XTERRA races in the country. Just go to the Deep South race and find out for yourself!

Photo Credit: Matt Turner / Defiant Photography