Desantis

DeSantis Doubles Down on 16 for 16

XTERRA Warrior Award winner David DeSantis is only four races into his campaign to race 16 XTERRA’s in 16 countries yet he’s already more than three-quarters of the way towards his goal of raising $16,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

As such, he’s doubling his donation target amount to $32,000, and he’s enlisted the help of some friends to get him across the line.

While DeSantis’ cancer was in remission when the dream season started and he was able to knock out XTERRA Philippines, South Africa, Costa Rica, and Malta early, he felt a bump in his side last month and went to the doctors to check it out.

“They discovered some new small tumors and I will need to take a break from competing for treatment and recovery,” said DeSantis. “I have asked friends to fill in for me, so that we can keep the fundraising for CAF on track.”

David’s niece Rachel stepped in this past weekend and on Saturday Alan Moore, a trusted intrepid traveler and XTERRA junkie – will take his place at XTERRA Greece.

“The good news is the First Taunton Group and McLaren Boston are letting my XTERRA friends fill in for me while I do my chemo and to kick things off, during the month of May, any donations made to CAF through our site will be matched by First Taunton Group,” said DeSantis. “Plus, the two companies will donate $500 for each win, $250 for a second place finish and $100 for a third place finish.”

DeSantis says he hopes to be back in time to race the XTERRA Oak Mountain off-road tri on May 21 in Alabama, but if not, “Mr. XTERRA” Cliff Milleman will race for him.

To show your support for DeSantis and the Challenged Athletes Foundation visit his gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/desantis16in2016.

Josiah Middaugh

Middaugh Coaching Corner – XTERRA Racing Tips

XTERRA Racing Tips

Many of you have already raced your first XTERRA of the season or it is right around the corner. We thought this would be a good time to give you a few racing tips.

  1. Keep Fighting
    XTERRA can be grueling. You can get kicked in the face and lose your goggles during the swim, crash or get a flat on the bike, roll your ankle or maybe even slip and crash into a log at full speed on the run. Despite all this you can still do well, and possibly even reach your goal for the race. At the XTERRA World Championships last year Josiah crashed on the bike twice and decided to take a log on with his chest in the run rather than jump over it like everyone else. That didn’t work by the way, but he did win the race. One of the most amazing things about XTERRA is that it is a battle and things rarely go as planned, but you never know what can happen if you don’t stop fighting!
  2. Know the Course
    XTERRA is known for their epic courses that traverse all sorts of challenging terrain. No two courses are the same. Organizers do their very best to mark these courses in a way that is easy to follow so that each racer can focus on the race, but things happen. Someone may do an endo and take out an arrow, or an arrow or course tape may simply fall down despite an organizer’s best efforts. Your job is to know the course. Don’t train for months for a race and then show up on race day with no knowledge of the course and miss a turn. You will either end up disqualified or add a bunch of extra mileage and blow any chance of a good result.
  3. Buy New Goggles
    I can’t believe how many people tell me they were swimming great, but their goggles fogged up and they couldn’t see where they were going. You are riding a $2,000+ mountain bike. Spend $15 dollars so that you can see where you’re going in the swim!
  4. Plan and Scrap, but Don’t Panic
    Know the course, race to your strengths, come up with a plan and rehearse it in your mind so that you are prepared for race day, but be ready to scrap it if things don’t go as planned. Just the process of coming up with your plan allows you to go over many different scenarios that could occur during the race. When something new is thrown at you in the race you will be much more equipped to handle it. Keep the pressure on, but whatever you do don’t panic!
  5. Let ‘em by, but don’t let ‘em go
    Everyone in an XTERRA is out there to perform their very best. If someone comes up behind you on the bike or run, let them go by. Obviously they are going faster than you and may be stronger or just know the course better. Think of it as an opportunity to actually move up yourself. Let them go by and see if you can stick with them. Perhaps they know the course and following them will actually allow you to move up.
  6. Practice your Race
    Practice your race in training with as close to race conditions as possible. This includes gear! Everyone knows not to try anything new on race day, and if not, now you do! But what we often forget is to also make sure our race gear is ready to go. Try on your wetsuit, throw your race wheels on for a ride, wear your race shoes without socks, break out that new speed suit, and adjust your new goggles before race morning!! If you build it into your training it will happen. If not, you’ll probably have some sort of unwelcome surprise race morning.
  7. Fuel Early and Often
    You just finished wailing the water as hard as you could for 20+ minutes in the swim and for some reason you are surprised your legs don’t seem to work right on the bike. Use this time to start fueling for the rest of your race. Do not get half way through the bike and decide it’s time to start fueling only to find your water bottle ejected during that last rocky section leaving you without hydration or nutrition for the entire swim and bike. Remember you want to take in 200-300 calories per hour. The bike is the easiest place to ensure this happens.
  8. No Chafe Lotion is Your Friend
    If you’ve raced already this season you probably found a few spots on your body that just rubbed the wrong way. It may have been your neck from your wetsuit, heel or toes during the run, saddle sores on the bike, your armpits from your tri jersey, or maybe some super odd place you never would have thought could chafe. There’s nothing worse than having to take an extra rest day or two because you can’t sit on your bike or put your shoes on from chafing. Body glide and other no chafe lotions aren’t the key to a great race, but boy does it help, and it might just allow you to walk a little more normal to the post party and maybe even throw down a dance move or two.
  9. Transitions are not a Picnic
    Get in and get out! This does not mean that you race through the transition area so fast you forget your helmet or race belt. You need to practice your transitions and be as efficient and fast as possible. You should know what you need from transition and have it laid out the same way every time so that it becomes automatic and you’re not scrambling to find items. Get rid of anything you do not need. It should not look like a convenience store shelf that you stand in front of reading labels trying to figure out what looks best for the next leg. They are actually free speed. Use it!
  10. Stay Focused
    How many of you have ridden the most technical part of a mountain bike course completely clean only to trip over a rock or root that was in plain view during the run, or been in contact with a group in the swim or bike only to lose them at the very end costing you valuable seconds or even minutes? You lost focus. When you come up with your race plan and preview the course also think about what it will take to stay focused. Everyone is different, but you need to figure out when you often lose time and focus and build in reminders for yourself.
  11. Stay Calm and Swim On
    The swim is usually the leg where triathletes tend to panic. Come up with a strategy for your swim and practice it in open water with others whenever possible. If you are a slower swimmer do not start on the front line. Instead start back and on the outside to avoid the masses at the first buoy. Remember, just because the cannon goes off, doesn’t mean you have to dive in and swim as hard as you can. Stop and count to 3-5 and then dive in. Athletes often get so caught up in the moment that they sprint the first 200 of the swim as hard as they can, forget to breathe and swim the next 400 in panic mode trying to calm themselves down. If this is you, go out hard, but back it off quickly and concentrate on your breathing. If you do feel panic coming on focus on getting a good breath and blowing bubbles at a steady rate. Don’t stop swimming because you will only get run over by everyone else behind you making your panic worse. Stay calm and swim on. Hopping in small local triathlons can be a good place to get some practice if you do not have a group to swim with.
  12. Warm Up
    You need to warm up well for every XTERRA. The more you don’t feel like it, the more you probably need it. Many do all three disciplines for short durations in reverse order, some bike and then swim, others run and then swim and then there are those that do nothing but swing their arms. Get your heart elevated with a few minutes easy and a few short intervals in whichever discipline that gets you ready to do work. At the very least swim for 6-10 minutes with a few short bursts to get you ready for the start. Don’t stand there and swing your arms and expect to have a great race.

Josiah Middaugh is the reigning XTERRA World Champion. He has a master’s degree in kinesiology and has been a certified personal trainer for 15 years (NSCA-CSCS). His brother Yaro also has a master’s degree and has been an active USAT certified coach for a decade. Read past training articles at http://www.xterraplanet.com/training/middaugh-coaching-corner and learn more about their coaching programs atwww.middaughcoaching.com.

Flora Duffy

Exciting Times for the XTERRA Tribe

It’s an exciting time to be part of the XTERRA Tribe right now.

Flora Duffy is literally on top of the world as the No. 1 ranked female in the WTS, and Rio is just a few months away! Josiah Middaugh is the cover boy for this month’s USA Triathlon Magazine. Lesley Paterson is looking like the mega-star she is in a recent Paul Mitchell feature story. Braden Currie capped off a 5-year racing binge with a big win at the Asia-Pacific Championship. Emma Garrard was nominated for the prestigious Utah State of Sport award and Ruben Ruzafa got back to his winning ways at XTERRA Reunion.

And those are the just the top three men and women from XTERRA Worlds last year!

We’re also humbled to follow Dave DeSantis in his incredible 16 in 16 journey to raise funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and Beth Price as she strives to raise awareness for those living with MS.

On the racing scene the XTERRA Pan Am Tour is in Brazil, the European Tour is in Greece, and the Asia-Pacific Tour is in Langkawi … all epic destinations with big turnouts and star-cast pro fields, and that’s just what’s on tap for Saturday.

All the while XTERRA is on TV everywhere. Those in the Denver, Colorado area can watch XTERRA Nationals this Saturday at 12 noon on KMGH and if you’re in or around the Los Angeles, California you can tune-in to XTERRA Worlds Sunday morning at 7am on KABC.

To get a better idea of all the things going on with XTERRA visit www.xterracontent.com. Better yet, unplug and go enjoy XTERRA’s healthy, active, outdoors lifestyle with your family and friends …

 

Live More!

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Last Week in Austin & Myrtle Beach

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

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

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

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

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

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Family Fun at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs

By Lauren Hall

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lizzie-BikeWeb

XTERRA World Tour Triple on Tap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daryl Weaver

This Week on The America Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Braden Currie

Currie, Orchard win XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship

Photo Gallery / Complete Results

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

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

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

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

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

APAC Swim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ELITE MEN

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

Lizzie Orchard

ORCHARD GOES 3-FOR-3 IN 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ELITE WOMEN

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

CURRIE, ORCHARD WIN XTERRA ANZ DOUBLE

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

WILDE, SLATER WIN AMATEUR TITLES

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

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

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

MONTGOMERY, BERNARD WIN XTERRA WETSUITS SWIM PRIME

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

WEISS, ORCHARD LEAD XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC TOUR STANDINGS

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

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

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

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

ABOUT TEAM UNLIMITED

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

ABOUT ELITE ENERGY

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

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

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

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

This Weekend on the XTERRA America Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XTERRA America Tour