Ben Allen Guam

Allen, Wasle win XTERRA Guam

(Piti, Guam) – Ben Allen from Australia and Carina Wasle from Austria captured the 11th annual XTERRA Guam Championship race on a soggy, muddy day on the island.

XTERRA Pro Charlie Epperson was on-site (and in the thick of the men’s race, ultimately finishing 5th overall) and brings us this report…

“On Friday night as triathletes enjoyed a pre-race dinner or made some last minute adjustments to their bikes, XTERRA Guam race director Eric Tydingco was struggling with a tough decision.  After avoiding a series of typhoons spinning in the Northern Pacific Ocean the last two weeks, Guam was not spared the rain that set in on Tuesday and never let up.  By 6pm the night before the race, Tydingco made what would ultimately be the best decision for the race- find an alternate course that would allow racers to ride vs hike-a-bike. Tydingco’s team worked quickly to establish an alternate course that would avoid a majority of the rain soaked red dirt that defines most of XTERRA Guam’s bike course.

Saturday morning was no different with rain showers that turned briefly into downpours as athletes warmed up and throughout the swim.  Ben Allen took an early lead in the swim over Bradley Weiss and Jacqui Slack earned first out of the water rights followed by Mieko Carey and Carina Wasle.  Into the bike leg, Allen extended his lead by demonstrating top-notch bike handling skills on a muddy course.  Like most competitors, Allen didn’t have an opportunity to pre-ride the alternate course, but was able to turn the fastest split of the day.

Pro Men    
Pl Name Final Points
1 Ben Allen, AUS 2:26:28 100
2 Brad Weiss, RSA 2:36:42 90
3 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 2:40:17 82
4 Markus Benesch, AUT 2:41:53 75
5 Charlie Epperson, USA 2:44:36 69
6 Joe Miller, PHI 2:55:00 63
7 Kaon Cho, KOR 2:59:32 58

Complete results

In the women’s race, Wasle and Slack rode in tandem after the climb up Nimitz Hill and quickly distanced themselves from Carey and the rest of the women’s field.  As athletes worked their way back to the top of Nimitz, they were greeted with thick foliage and deep puddles that forced riders to dismount or suffer the consequences of a head first mud bath.  At T2, Wasle and Slack were still locked into a duel and it was clear outside of a wrong turn the winner would come from this group.

Pro Women    
Pl Name Final Points
1 Carina Wasle, AUT 2:44:21 100
2 Jacqui Slack, GBR 2:44:51 90
3 Mieko Carey, JPN 2:56:10 82
4 Daz Parker, GBR 3:03:51 75
5 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:09:16 69
6 Belinda Hadden, AUS 3:19:11 63

Allen and Wasle by Takamitsu Usami

Allen and Wasle by Takamitsu Usami

The iconic waterfall run that XTERRA Guam is widely known and surely didn’t disappoint athletes today.  After five days of serious rains, the small pools throughout the course have grown, as well as the amount of water flowing down those picturesque waterfalls.  Allen (2:26:28) finished the race with the fastest swim, bike, and run splits of the day and claimed his 3rd XTERRA Guam title with a 10 minute gap over second place Weiss (2:36:42).

“The weather made for an interesting race, and the crew at Guam made the right call going for the alternate course,” said Allen.  “When the adrenaline is pumping through the body the race flies by. Today I was able to settle into a good rhythm and race my race.

My coach and I have been working hard over the last couple of months and I’m more motivated than ever to continue onto bigger and better things. Guam has been a happy hunting ground for me. My Homestay Cam and Karly Oneal are two of the kindest people and this win is as much there’s as it is mine. Also not to forget my family, friends and sponsors back home in Australia.”

Takahiro Ogasawara (2:40:17) finished a successful campaign in the Marianas by matching his third place performance at XTERRA Saipan.  Austria’s Markus Benesch (2:41:53) took a spill on the slick coral roads and battled to the end with Ogasawara, but was forced to settle for 4th place.

During the run, Wasle and Slack battled from start to finish.  Slack pulled ahead around the first aide station (1.5 mile mark) after Wasle lost a shoe in the quick sand like mud.  Wasle (2:44:21) eventually retrieved her shoe and was able to put some distance on the last road section before claiming heading back to the beach to claim the 2015 XTERRA Guam title with a 30-second margin over Slack (2:44:51).

In the amateur field, it was Dr. Peter Lombard (2:53:48) that took the honor as fastest amateur over Denmark’s Stefan Laursen (2:54:21) by almost 40 seconds.  The current Guam National Road Race Champion, Lombard showed his skills with a phenomenal bike split to once again hold the faster amateur title.  The top amateur in the women’s field was Erin Johnson (3:37:18) from Golden, Colorado.  Johnson, a former Guam resident, returns each year for a chance to earn her spot in Maui.

Thanks to the efforts of Tydingco’s team and a few hardcore triathletes this legendary race notched another successful year!”

With the win Allen takes a slim, two-point lead in the XTERRA Asian Tour standings, while Jacqui Slack extended her stay at the top spot.

The five majors are XTERRA Philippines, XTERRA Saipan, XTERRA Guam, the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship on April 18 in New South Wales, Australia, and XTERRA Malaysia – which will double as the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship race – on May 2 in Langkawi.  (Note: The XTERRA Japan Championship in Hokkaido on August 29 will serve as the first race of the 2016 XTERRA Asian Tour.)

The top 15 amateur, Asian-elite, and professional racers at each event earn points, with double points being offered at the finale in Malaysia.  Racers count their best three scores to determine champions in each division.

The XTERRA Asian Tour will award a prize bonus of $10,000 USD to the top five pro men and women in the final standings ($2,000 for 1st, $1,500-2nd, $800-3rd, $400-4th, $300-5th).

In all, more than $100,000 in prize money for pros will be awarded on the XTERRA Asian Tour.  There are $15,000 USD payouts at the Philippines, Saipan, Guam, and Malaysia races, and $50,000 AUD awarded at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia, plus the 10K bonus to the series’ top performers.

For further details on the 2015 XTERRA Asian Tour visit www.xterraasia.com, and for more on the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship in Malaysia visit www.xterramy.com, supported by Malaysia Major Event.

PRO MEN              
Pl Name PHI Saipan Guam AUS MAS Totals
1 Ben Allen, AUS 82 100 100 282
2 Brad Weiss, RSA 100 90 90 280
3 Joe Miller, PHI 63 63 63 189
4 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN x 82 82 164
5 Markus Benesch, AUT x 75 75 150
6 Charlie Epperson, USA 69 x 69 138
7 Kaon Cho, KOR x 53 58 111
8 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90 x x 90
9 Brodie Gardner, AUS 75 x x 75
10 Aleksandr Dorovskikh, RUS x 69 x 69
11 Michal Bucek, SVK 58 x x 58
12 David Esposito, FRA x 58 x 58
PRO WOMEN            
Pl Name PHI Saipan Guam AUS MAS Totals
1 Jacqui Slack, GBR 90 100 90 280
2 Mieko Carey, JPN 75 82 82 239
3 Renata Bucher, SUI 69 75 69 213
4 Daz Parker, GBR 63 69 75 207
5 Carina Wasle, AUT x 90 100 190
6 Belinda Hadden, AUS x 63 63 126
7 Flora Duffy, BER 100 x x 100
8 Dimity-Lee Duke, AUS 82 x x 82
9 Aya Stevens, SVK 58 x x 58


2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Guam was the eighth of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could 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 Australia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+
XTERRA Australia Championship
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV, USA#
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti, Mataiea
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion, Saint Gilles les bains
2-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asian Tour Championship, Langkawi+
10-May XTERRA Brazil, Ilhabela, SP
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship, Pelham, AL, USA#
USAT Cross Triathlon National Championship
16-May XTERRA Portugal, Golega*
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship, Plasencia, Extremadura*
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship, Richmond, VA, USA#
20-Jun XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

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

Braden Currie

Currie, Snyder win XTERRA New Zealand

Photos / Results

(Blue Lake, Rotorua)- Braden Currie and Suzie Snyder captured the 13th annual Paymark XTERRA New Zealand Championship on a beautiful blue sky day at Blue Lake in Rotorua this afternoon.

Early morning rain and cloud cover made way to bright sunshine by the time the race started at 11am but left behind slick and muddy conditions that made a technical bike course even more so.

In the men’s race Currie led early with the second-fastest swim split of the day, just two-seconds by Sam Osborne, and had the lead on the bike until about halfway when local favorite Olly Shaw from Rotorua came storming past.

“Sam and Olly were just killing it on the single track. It was slick out there and a lot of mud so some real challenging riding,” said Currie.

Shaw, who posted the fastest bike split of the day (1:11:01) had roughly 30-seconds on Currie heading out on to the run but that wasn’t enough.  Currie got past Shaw about three-kilometers into the run and was in cruise control until he caught a glimpse of a hard-charging Osborne towards the end.

“I was really lucky to see Sam because he was flying,” said Currie of Osborne, who had the fastest run of the day (40:40) to finish in second place just 13-seconds behind Currie.  It was the closest finish in recent memory, made all the more dramatic as Osborne collapsed in exhaustion at the line.

“This is the most rewarding win I’ve had in a few years,” said Currie.  “I haven’t been racing here because there has always been an adventure race in China on the same weekend and I’ve wanted to win this one since I started racing XTERRA, so I’m stoked to have got it.  It’s an awesome race. It’s short, it’s fast, and it hurts.”

Shaw held on for third, with Aiden Dunster and Josh Kenyon rounding out the top five.

Conrad Stoltz, the defending champ and XTERRA’s all-time wins’ leader, was a race morning scratch after coming down with a bug on the flight over.

“I was gutted to pull.  My form is good and this event is world-class.  The core of athletes here is incredible and the trails are so challenging and unique. The nature here with the huge tree furns is just amazing,” said Stoltz, who stuck around and helped the announcing team describe the day’s action as it happened.

Pro Men    
Pl Name Final
1 Braden Currie, NZL 2:06:24
2 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:06:37
3 Olly Shaw, NZL 2:07:59
4 Aiden Dunster, NZL 2:15:55
5 Josh Kenyon, NZL 2:16:37
6 Sam Clark, NZL 2:16:50
7 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:18:07
8 Dirk Peters, NZL 2:21:50
9 Cameron Paul, NZL 2:22:04
10 Mitchell Ginsberg, NZL 2:23:17
Suzie Snyder

In the women’s elite race Suzie Snyder’s victory was 12 years in the making.  The XTERRA veteran had lots of big wins as an amateur with a couple XTERRA World Championships and four National titles, but today was her first big win as a pro.

“It feels awesome, and it’s about time. It only took me 12 years,” exclaimed Snyder after the race.

Snyder had the fastest swim of the day and was riding up front alongside Rachel Challis until pulling away about midway through.

“That bike course was a ton of fun but gnarly in the mud,” said Snyder.  “The real problem I had was staying focused because I just wanted to look around, it’s so beautiful out there.  It’s like no place I’ve ever been.  You go from a tropical feel to a Redlands Forest-type scene to jungle action, and it changes all the time so it’s just constant stimulation.”

Snyder’s winning time of 2:32:29 was less than one-minute faster than Lizzie Orchard who had the fastest run split of the day (48:33) to move from fourth off the bike to second at the finish.

Pro Women  
Pl Name Final
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 2:32:29
2 Lizzie Orchard, NZL 2:33:24
3 Rachel Challis, NZL 2:35:16
4 Sarah Backler, NZL 2:37:35
5 Samara Sheppard, NZL 2:39:10

More than two-thousand racers came out to take part in the Paymark XTERRA Rotorua Festival today.

The morning started with a 5.5 km, 11km and 21km runs (and a walk option) then followed with a 26km mountain bike, and then the XTERRA triathlon for individuals and teams.

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA New Zealand was the seventh of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could 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 Australia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+
XTERRA Australia Championship
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV, USA#
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti, Mataiea
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion, Saint Gilles les bains
2-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asian Tour Championship, Langkawi+
10-May XTERRA Brazil, Ilhabela, SP
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship, Pelham, AL, USA#
USAT Cross Triathlon National Championship
16-May XTERRA Portugal, Golega*
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship, Plasencia, Extremadura*
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship, Richmond, VA, USA#
20-Jun XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

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

UP NEXT

April  18
XTERRA Australia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+
paratay

Get the Paraty Started with This XTERRA Brazil Trail Run

Brazil’s night trail running series for 2015 kicks off this weekend in Paraty. On April, 11th XTERRA Brazil will be having a 7-kilometer and 21 kilometer night trail run.

Runners will illuminate the streets with their donned headlamps while running. The top three runners in the night run for male and female will receive trophies. All those who finish within the time limit will receive a survivor medal.

There will be five opportunities for people to experience night running in Brazil this year.

Night Trail Run Schedule

04/11/2015 XTERRA Paraty Night Trail Run 7/21km

05/09/2015 XTERRA Ilhabela Night Trail Run 7/21km

07/11/2015 XTERRA Cerado Night Trail Run 7/21km

08/08/2015 XTERRA Costa Verde 2 Night Trail Run 7/21km

09/12/2015 XTERRA Rota do Sol Night Trail Run 7km

For more information visit xterrabrasil.com.br

BlackMountainGroup

Brown has Sights Set on Another Record at Black Mountain Trail Run

With the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run series having only two races left, Black Mountain is going to be an exciting race this weekend.

“It’s our most urban XTERRA in the SoCal series with a wide range of terrain, from grassy inclines to cinder trails, and even some creek crossings,” said Black Mountain’s Race Director, Daniel Weissauer. “It looks like it’s going to be good racing weather with a high in the 70’s and partly cloudy.”

Darren Brown has dominated the past three races in the SoCal series and is planning on continuing his reign while in San Diego. According to the Weissauer he’s been destroying course records and said not to be surprised if you see Brown in the front again.

For the females, there are three women battling it out for the age group points for the 35-39 division. Mary Colburn is leading and has won every race she has participated in but only has a slim six point lead over Tina Weissauer. Maggie Shearer from Newbury Park is currently in third and is a strong competitor that still has an opportunity to win the division. We will need to stay tuned through May to determine who becomes a division winner and receives a free invitation to the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Snowbasin, Ogden, Utah, in September.

Series Schedule

09/20/2014 XTERRA Aliso Canyon Trail 8/15km

10/12/2014 XTERRA Point Mugu Trail Run 11/18km

11/27/2014 XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot Trail Run 5/10/15km

02/01/2015 XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run 5/15km

02/22/2015 XTERRA Crystal Cove Trail Run 6/15km

03/22/2015 XTERRA Boney Mountain Trail Run 6/21km

04/12/2015 XTERRA Black Mountain Trail Run 6/16km

5/16/2015 XTERRA Malibu Creek Trail Run 6/22km

2015 SoCal Series Standings

Cheyenne Mountain

Colorado Series Returns to Action at Cheyenne Mountain

After a six month wait, XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series has returned with its next race in the series. XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain Trail Run will take place this weekend on April 12, 2015, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain will consist of three different courses. There will be a 24-kilometer race that contestants will be eligible to be rewarded points for the Colorado series, a 12-kilometer race and a 5-kilometer race.

Runners will run in Cheyenne Mountain State Park and experience running at 7,200 feet above sea level. Race Director, Victoria Seahorn said, “The course looks great… the forecast is perfect running weather. With a high of 69 and a low of 39 degrees with clear skies.”

What makes this event even more special is the Colorado Trail Run Series partnering with Colorado Young Leaders. Colorado Young Leaders was founded by Nicole Mahobian, a three-time consecutive winner of XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races Half Marathon. Colorado Young Leaders look for opportunities to provide meaningful service and all of the volunteers at the Colorado Trail Run Series will be teenagers from the organization. You can find more information on the organization at http://www.coloradoyoungleaders.org/

Series Schedule

10/12/14 XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races 42/21/5km

04/12/15 XTERRA Mountain Trail Run 24/12/5km

06/06/15 XTERRA Turkey Track Trail Run 42/21km

07/19/15 XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Run 21/10/5km

2015 Colorado Series Points Standings

XTERRA Jersey Devil

XTERRA Jersey Devil Celebrates Year Five

Sunday April 26 will mark the 5th installment of the XTERRA Jersey Devil.  “I can’t believe it has already been 5 years”, says Race Director, Bob Horn (also a 4X XTERRA Regional Age Group Champion).   Bob says, “the XTERRA Jersey Devil is definitely one of those races that is a labor of love”, and “I hope when athletes come to do the race that shows through on race day.” The race takes place at the beautiful Citta Boy Scout Reservation, in the heart of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.  For most Mid-Atlantic Regional and Northeast Regional athletes it will be the 1st chance to gain some valuable points towards the Regionals Points Series Race, and NEW this year, the 1st chance to lock in a spot for XTERRA Nationals in UTAH, by finishing in the top 15 in their Age Group.

The Citta Scout Reservation is a convenient location for a lot of athletes as it is about 30 miles north of Atlantic City, making it only a few hours from New York City and Philadelphia.  Of course not only is the location convenient, but the Pine Barrens are also a great location for an early season XTERRA race.

The ½ mile swim is in a clean cedar lake.   The shallow lake is just perfect for swimming in come late April, so temps in the lake warm up fast, and average for race day in the high 50s to low 60s, perfect  temps for swimming with a full wetsuit.

The 13 mile mountain bike section will definitely get your legs burning.  Maybe not burning in the normal XTERRA sense, as the course lacks any real climbing, but in the constant churning you’ll be doing, pumping some speed on the fast sandy trails.  Given this year’s snowy winter and wet spring thus far the course will certainly have its wet spots so come prepared to get dirty, which is an XTERRA requirement.

If you haven’t quite gotten the full XTERRA experience at this point in the race don’t worry, the race culminates with the “Crown Jewel” of the course, the 3.2 mile run.  The run course will give you a taste of what the Jersey Devil himself has to endure every day, going through marshy creek areas, classic pine barren alleys, while always keeping a lookout for the occasional sticker bush grabbing you. In what has been described by one athlete as, “I felt like I was back on the high school football field dodging linebackers, there were a lot of trees to dodge in that one section behind the lake. “   Bob says, “ I always enjoy hearing the comments from athletes about the run course, it feels like I’ve made the XTERRA name proud.”

Learn more and register at www.xterrajerseydevil.com.

Trailhead

For Trailheads, by a Trailhead

Lisa Jhung, one of the original racers at the inaugural XTERRA World Championship in Maui back in 1996, turned her passion for multisport into a career as a journalist covering the industry for the last two decades. Last week she set a PR of sorts, publishing her first book about the sport she loves the most – trail running.

Trailhead CoverWe caught up with her to talk about her new book, Trailhead

XTERRA: Congrats Lisa, thousands of articles but first book, right?
Lisa Jhung: Yes! Thousands (maybe hundreds) of articles, but this is my first book.

XT: When did the love for trail start?
LJ: I fell in love with running on the beach and on the bluff trails of Del Mar (San Diego), CA, toward the end of high school, and then all around campus at U.C. Santa Barbara. I was a volleyball team walk-on. I started running on the beach in Del Mar to train for the timed mile we had to do at try outs. When I quit late in my freshman year, I really got into running. After college, I lived in—and ran trails around—San Francisco, Mill Valley, Tahoe, and now Boulder.  I sometimes ran on roads, but have always opted for sand, dirt, grass, snow. I’m an XTERRA gal, after all. :)”

XT: What was your favorite part of writing the book?
LJ: Since the book is illustrated, I loved the creative process of thinking visually and coming up with conceptual/fun ways to get a point across. I’d write, draw, doodle, write…And I’d go on runs to mull over chapters, paragraphs, illustrations or whatever. A few miles on a trail always helps me make decisions and clear my mind.

XT: What was the hardest part of writing the book?
LJ: The hardest part about writing the book is dedicating the time. I wrote it all in about a year, but was freelancing for magazines—juggling shoe reviews, profiles, etc.—with deadlines the whole time. And I have two little boys, so life is busy even when I’m not working on a book!

XT: Tell us again how you got to Maui in ‘96 for the first XTERRA (AquaTerra) and what you remember from that race.
LJ: I saw the Aquaterra advertised in the back of a magazine (Competitor, I think) after a run in Marin one day. I was just out of college, and an Olympic-distance road triathlete at the time. It sounded like a good excuse to go to Hawaii, so I roped in a college roommate and we made the trip together. I bought my first mountain bike shorts when I got to Maui, and raced on a steel frame, no-shock clunker. I ate it pretty hard (still have the scars) on the first descent … twice. I had to ride to get to the next aid station, and then thought, “What else am I going to do today? Might as well make it through this course.” I chucked my bike into the TA and have never been happier to head out of T2 on foot!”

XT: Are you coming back for the 20th edition on November 1?
LJ: I hope to come back for the 20th. My mountain biking hasn’t gotten a whole lot better, but I’d love to return to the XTERRA family and celebrate continuing to love the off-road world.

From the preview…

Trailhead is a witty, fun guide to all things trail running. Veteran trail runner, triathlete, and adventure racer Lisa Jhung offers this illustrated pocket guide to all runners curious about running off road or wanting to run farther into the backcountry. She offers authoritative advice on everything from how to find good trails to run, how to choose the best shoes and clothing, how to carry enough water, and how to stay safe from wildlife and weather.”

Order yours at http://www.velopress.com/books/trailhead/
Follow Lisa here: https://www.facebook.com/TrailheadBook?fref=ts

XTERRA Tiger

Edmonds, Grant win XTERRA Tiger

Chris Edmonds and Christine Grant won the XTERRA Tiger off-road tri in Auburn, Alabama on Saturday and our intrepid correspondent Marcus Barton tells us how it happened…

“Are you an Auburn fan or Alabama fan? Well, regardless of whether you yell “War Eagle!” or “Roll Tide!”, you can race an XTERRA near both of these colleges and their names reflect their alma maters. XTERRA Tiger takes place near Auburn whereas XTERRA Tide takes place near Tuscaloosa.

XTERRA Tiger is one of the earliest races on the circuit and in the southeast. Many come from all over to test the waters of how their training is progressing and to get that racing bug again. Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina were well-represented. With it being an early season race, the water temps are low and usually wetsuit legal. As the racers lined up in the water, the temp was still dropping from the day before. At breakfast it was 63, but at race start, it was 56.”

Read more

Rotorua Swim

A Baker’s Dozen in Rotorua

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour rolls into Rotorua on Saturday for the 13th year of racing around the famous Blue Lake.

In the elite men’s race Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz returns to defend his crown following one of his all-time favorite XTERRA experiences in Rotorua last year.

“What a phenomenal course and venue!” exclaimed the four-time XTERRA World Champ on his blog after edging Ben Allen to win it with 40-seconds to spare last year.  “Beautiful blue lake called “Blue Lake” surrounded by green mountains covered with dense tree fern growth 20ft tall … some of the very best and unique single track I’ve ever ridden. This is the adventure and adrenaline I’ve been looking for!”

Stoltz will once again have stiff competition awaiting, this time in the form of Kiwi adventure racing star Braden Currie from Wanaka – who will be making his Rotorua debut – and the 23-year-old hometown hero Olly Shaw from Rotorua who was third last year.

“For me to beat or even contend with both Braden and Conrad I will have to have an awesome day in all three disciplines and use my home course knowledge to my advantage,” noted Shaw, who’s been racing at XTERRA New Zealand since he was 15-years-old.

“As a young elite athlete these are the guys you look up to in the sport so it would be awesome to be racing alongside them. Braden is at the top of his game at the moment and Conrad has more pedigree, knowledge and experience than any other XTERRA athlete so I know it is going to be a tough race but I’m looking forward to the challenge!”

Shaw traveled all around the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour last year with stops in Motatapu, Saipan, Guam, and Australia but insists the Rotorua route is the most special of all.

“The course in Rotorua is a dream XTERRA course,” he says.  “A beautiful fresh water swim in the Blue Lake, surrounded by thick green bush on all sides, followed by both a physically and technically challenging mountain bike taking in some of the best tracks and views the world-class Whakarewarewa Forest has to offer. Then top that all off with a two-lap run around the Blue Lake that is both fast and hard, with an atmosphere that is hard to match anywhere. To make it even better the temperature at this time of year in New Zealand always makes for close, fast racing so Saturday will be exciting!”

In the women’s race American stand-out Suzie Snyder is fulfilling a bucket-list dream to toe the start line in Rotorua and will be up against a host of strong local elites like Sarah Backler, Lizzie Orchard, and Rachel Challis.

“I’ve been working really hard this off-season and I’m feeling good about my fitness going into the year so I’m really excited about the season,” said Snyder, the 2012 XTERRA U.S. National Champ.  “I’m really excited to be here, it’s been in my list for about five years now since bumping into Jay Shelgren at Worlds in 2010.”

Shelgren is an XTERRA amateur racer from New York who lives in New Zealand now and has been taking Snyder around to show her the trails.

For Backler, a 32-year-old industrial designer and creator of beautiful porcelain objects from nearby Tauranga, XTERRA was a passion brought on by her husband that has turned into more than just a hobby.

“I watched my husband get hooked by XTERRA in 2010, and decided that if he was going to continue I didn’t want to be a supporter and should give it a go,” explained Backler.  “2011 was my ‘taster’ at XTERRA Rotorua, AND 2012 was the chance to do it a little better and the trend has continued ever since.”

Indeed it has. In 2012 she won the amateur title at Rotorua then went to Maui and won the 30-34 XTERRA World Championship crown.  Turning pro was the logical “next challenge.”

Last year Backler finished third at XTERRA New Zealand behind ITU star Barbara Riveros and many-time XTERRA champ Jacqui Slack, neither of whom are on the start list this year.  As for being one of the favorites to win it, Backler humbly defers…

“It’s always hard to know who will be lining up on race day and what form they are in as there aren’t a lot of other XTERRA races in NZ. It hasn’t really been a scenario that I’ve given a lot of thought to as there are others I know who are very capable of that position. What I do know is if I can have the race I’ve been training for, leave nothing in the tank and enjoy it I’ll be very satisfied and happy with a job well done.”

Speaking of well done, organizer Frank Clark and his team from First Tier Sports Productions have been putting on a first tier event since 2003.  The Paymark XTERRA Rotorua Festival is one of the single biggest multisport events in the world, with more than 2,000 racers taking part in a variety of challenges including a 5.5 km, 11km or 21km walk or run, a 26km mountain bike as well as a team or individual triathlon.

“At XTERRA we want everyone to “Live More” so that means getting out there and giving it a go, whether it be doing the 11km trail walk or racing on an XTERRA team.  We have events for everyone, including a Kids Zone,” said Clark, a racer himself who went head-to-head against the likes of Conrad Stoltz in France back in the 90’s.

More information can be found at www.xterra.co.nz and follow along on race day, April 11, on their Facebook page atfacebook.com/pages/Paymark-XTERRA-Rotorua-Festival.