Sam Osbourne

Osborne, Erbenova win XTERRA Sweden

(Hellasgaarden, Sweden) – Sam Osborne from New Zealand and Helena Erbenova from the Czech Republic captured the 2nd annual XTERRA Sweden Championship elite titles in Hellasgaarden on Saturday.

It’s the third win in five weeks for Erbenova, who also won at XTERRA Spain on June 7 and XTERRA Greece on June 20 (in between she finished 3rd at XTERRA Switzerland and was 2nd last week at XTERRA France). With the win Erbenova jumps past Brigitta Poor to take the lead in the XTERRA European Tour points standings.

As for Osborne, an ITU racer from Rotorua, he led from start-to-finish thanks to a race-best 19:35 swim split and the second-best bike split. XTERRA Greece champion Kris Coddens put himself within striking distance after posting the best bike of the day but came up just 16-seconds short in second place. Behind those two Jan Pyott had the best run of the day and finished just eight seconds behind Coddens in third.

In the end it was Osborne taking the tape in 2:31:45, Coddens in 2:32:01, and Pyott in 2:32:09, just 24-seconds difference in the top three. The Kiwi, who finished just 13-seconds behind Braden Currie at XTERRA New Zealand in April, knows all about tight finishes.

XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

“It almost kept raining,” he said. “Cold and windy early gave all of us a gloomy outlook that matched the skies.  Magically, it slowly started warming up and we ended up with really nice weather for the second edition of XTERRA Sweden.

And, that nice weather brought us another new winner.  7 races with 4 new winners plus Ruben Ruzafa.

The water temp was only 18C so it was wetsuits for all.  The 24-year-old New Zealand pro Sam Osborne led the swim and never looked back.  Swede Jonas Djurback followed him in 2d with Jan Pyott and Lars-Erik Fricke about a minute back then another minute to Jan Kubicek and Kris Coddens.

It was a big battle back and forth between Coddens, Pyott and Djerback.  Pyott passed Jonas then Coddens got by both of them.  Coddens got a flat, fixed it but was back to 4th.  Pyott had big problems in the muddy sections and Coddens went back by into second passing both and closing on Sam.

Into transition it was Osborne, Coddens, Djurback, and Pyott.  Djurback pulled out of the race on the run.  On lap one Osborne led comfortably but Pyott got ahead of Coddens.

“After the flat I went so hard on the bike I just did not have my legs” said Coddens.  Still, it was fabulous as Pyott and Coddens were catching Osborne.

“I kept hearing different splits,” Said Osborne. “One time I am 2 minutes up, next time they said nobody is near me and then I heard 40 seconds. I just kept going at as good a pace as I could and hoped for the best.”

Indeed Pyott and Coddens were catching the leader.  They fell short by 16 seconds with Coddens second and Pyott a scant 8 seconds back of the Belgian.  Coddens had the fastest bike, Pyott the fastest run and Sam the fastest swim.  I guess that kind of blows the old saying that you can’t win the race on the swim.  His lead over Coddens coming into T1 after the swim was 2:31 seconds, and his transition time was 37-seconds faster.

Helena Erbenova

For the women Brigitta Poor once again had the quick swim, but conditions today were not in her favor.  This course is sweet single track with short steep climbs and lots of technical sections.  The mud played well into Helena Erbenova’s skills and she took the lead quickly.

Carina Wasle had a good day but could not match the Czech woman’s pace on the bike.

“I have to thank #255″ said Erbenova. “My back wheel fell off out on the trails and this man stopped and fixed it for me.  I owe everything to him today.” There was no #255 in the results so we’ll never know who her angel was, but that is the spirit of XTERRA and we thank him.

The women ended with Erbenova ahead by over a minute. Wasle was feeling much better than last week in France, “Yes, I feel good but I crashed the bike three times” she grinned through a muddy face.  Poor soldiered on, clearly off her game today, but a good 3rd place.

The Euro Tour now has a full 10 days or a bit more off before XTERRA Italy in Scanno.  That will be a welcome relief for some sore and tired bodies.  As for Sam Osborne?

“I really like XTERRA and am working towards Maui.  I wanted to see what the European competition was like and this fit my schedule perfectly,” he said while getting a knee wound treated.

“I feel great but this is what happens when you don’t stay on the bike” he smiled, referring to the injury.

See pics and videos on the XTERRA Sweden Facebook page at:

More Pictures

Pro Results

Pro Men

Pl Name Time Points
1 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:31:45 75
2 Kris Coddens, BEL 2:32:01 67
3 Jan Pyott, SUI 2:32:09 61
4 Lars Erik Fricke, GER 2:38:23 56
5 Jan Kubicek, CZE 2:42:26 51
6 James Walker, GBR 2:55:46 47
7 Christopher Schwab, AUT 3:06:29 43
Pro Women

Pl Name Time Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 2:56:20 75
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 2:57:41 67
3 Brigitta Poor, HUN 3:07:50 61

Complete Results with Splits


XTERRA Sweden was the seventh of 12 races in the XTERRA European Tour, and the fourth of five Silver level events.  Elite athletes count their best four (4) Gold and three (3) Silver finishes.  Elites can compete in as many events as they wish, but will count only their best four Gold and three Silver finishes. How it Works.

Next up: July 26 – XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*

Updated Elite Standings after 7 events:


1 Roger Serrano, ESP 354 67 56 82 67 82 DNS DNS
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 332 47 67 75 61 DNS 82 DNS
3 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 275 DNS 75 100 DNS DNS 100 DNS
4 Kris Coddens, BEL 232 DNS DNS DNS 75 90 DNS 67
5 Albert Soley, ESP 219 43 39 90 47 DNS DNS DNS
6 Jan Pyott, SUI 202 DNS 23 49 DNS 69 DNS 61
7 Arthur Forissier, FRA 175 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 75 DNS
8 Henry Sleight, GBR 165 DNS 25 DNS 33 58 49 DNS
9 Jan Kubicek, CZE 153 39 DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS 51
10 Yeray Luxem, BEL 136 DNS 61 DNS DNS 75 DNF DNS
11 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 122 75 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
12 Xavier Riart, ESP 105 36 DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Tim Van Daele, BEL 103 25 27 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
14 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 92 56 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
15 Veit Hönle, GER 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 37 DNS
16 Bradley Weiss, RSA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS
17 Martial Schmidt, FRA 83 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 34 DNS
18 Tomas Kubek, SVK 82 DNS 43 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS
19 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
20 Malte Plappert, GER 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS
21 James Walker, GBR 68 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS 47
22 Lars Van der Eerden, NED 66 21 DNP DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS
23 Gonzalo Bernal, ESP 63 DNS DNS 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Damien Guillemet, FRA 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS
25 Brice Daubord, FRA 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 60 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNF
27 Ruben Salmeron, ESP 58 DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Rory Downie, GBR 58 33 DNP DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS
29 Damien Derobert, FRA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS
30 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 57 DNS 30 DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS
31 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
32 Lars Erik Fricke, GER 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
33 Jose Borrino, ESP 53 DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS
34 Tomas Jiranek, CZE 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS
35 Clement Briere, FRA 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Hector Guerra, ESP 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Juan Gracia, ESP 45 DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS
38 Florian Luquet, FRA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS
39 Markus Benesch, AUT 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
40 Christopher Schwab, AUT 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43
41 Dominique Fernando, ESP 41 DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS
42 Juan Marti, ESP 37 DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS
43 Marc Pschebizin, GER 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS
44 Grigoris Souvatzoglou, GRE 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS
45 Carlos Martinez, ESP 34 DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS
46 Jens Roth, GER 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS
47 Sergio Espejo, ESP 31 DNS DNS 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS
48 Dr. Felix Schumann, GER 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 DNS
49 Javier Oliver, ESP 28 DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS
50 Sebastian Veith, GER 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS
51 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS
52 Nicolas Corentin, BEL 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS
53 Matt Dewis, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Simone Calamai, ITA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS
55 Rob Woestenborghs, BEL 21 DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
56 Pablo Navarrete, ESP 0 DNS DNS DNP DNS DNS DNS DNS

1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 489 DNS 67 100 75 82 90 75
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 446 75 61 90 67 90 63 x61
3 Louise Fox, GBR 340 51 51 82 56 63 37 DNS
4 Carina Wasle, AUT 228 DNS DNS DNS 61 100 DNF 67
5 Jessica Roberts, GBR 196 47 DNF DNS 51 53 45 DNS
6 Kathrin Mueller, GER 175 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS
7 Morgane Riou, FRA 156 DNS 56 DNS 47 DNS 53 DNS
8 Myriam Guillot, FRA 151 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 82 DNS
9 Karin Hansen, SUI 139 43 47 DNS DNS 49 DNF DNS
10 Maud Golsteyn, NED 136 61 DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS
11 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 136 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS
12 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
13 Ladina Buss, SUI 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS DNS
14 Becci Kaltenmeier, GER 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNS
15 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 56 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Celine Augueux, FRA 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS
17 Sofia Brites, POR 43 DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Deniz Dimaki, GRE 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
19 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS
20 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS


The XTERRA Sweden Championship was the 23rd of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1.

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 (Braden Currie / Lesley Paterson)
16-May XTERRA Portugal (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder)
20-Jun XTERRA Greece (Kris Coddens / Helena Erbenova)
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship (Arthur Forissier / Carina Wasle)
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter (Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady)
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest (Sergio Florian / Laurel Dudley)
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria (Brent McMahon / Zoe Dawson)
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden (Sam Osborne / Helena Erbenova)
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

Bradley Weiss

Weiss, Steyn Take XTERRA Pezula Crowns

Knysna, South Africa ~ Bradley Weiss and Andrea Steyn embraced the Knysna weather on Thursday, 09 July 2015 conquering the Totalsports XTERRA Pezula presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT at the picturesque Conrad Pezula Field Of Dreams (Knysna) in an impressive time of 01 hour 35 minutes 26 seconds and 01 hour 56 minutes 02 seconds respectively.

Weiss was happy to secure his first Totalsports XTERRA Pezula victory. “It’s been a tough week.  I raced XTERRA France on Sunday, arrived in Stellenbosch on Tuesday and headed to Knysna on Wednesday. I love local races. Stuart is almost impossible to beat even when tired. He went out hard on the first run and entered transition first. I took the lead on the first long climb on the mountain bike discipline. The course was super wet and muddy.   Going into the second run I kept waiting for Stuart to catch me. I managed to open the gap on the top of the first climb, but it was only on the last climb that I knew that I had the win. Having PUMA support me out on route was really special. Their support this past year has been incredible. I am just glad that I could give something back”.  Stuart Marais came in second, while Darren Lill finished third.

“This was my first XTERRA”, said a very happy Steyn. “The run is my strongest discipline. My first run was good. I struggled on the first 15km on the mountain bike. I tried to keep Carla in sight, but her technical skills are much better than mine. I thought it was all over. When I entered the second transition I could see all the girls in front of me, this always helps. XTERRA Pezula was tough, extreme, as it should be”. Lise Olivier came in second, while Janine Rawlinson finished third.

Michael Lord claimed victory in the men’s TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Lite presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT completing the course in a deserving time of 57 minutes 24 seconds. “XTERRA Pezula is one of my big races of the year. I am really happy with my third victory,” said Lord. Riaan Shaw came in second, while Jamie Riddle finished third.

Making her XTERRA debut on the day, Cathryn Proctor was the lady to beat in the TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Lite presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT completing the course in 01 hour 12 minutes 02 seconds. “My sons did the XTERRA Kids Race on Wednesday. It looked like so much fun that I just had to enter. I love to mountain bike and I love to run, so entering just made sense”. Famke Allan came in second, while Nina Van Der Berg finished third.

Forming part of the much loved Pick ‘n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, XTERRA Pezula is the ideal event for the entire family.

Check out the XTERRA South Africa Facebook page for some great photos and more info:

For further information visit

Josiah Middaugh

Middaugh Coaching Open for Business

Brothers Josiah and Yaro Middaugh recently announced the launch of their new endurance coaching business, Middaugh Coaching.

Although the business is new, neither is new to coaching. Josiah has been coaching and training athletes of all levels for 15 years while Yaro has been coaching for 10 years. We all know Josiah for his exploits in XTERRA for the last 14+ years. Over that period he was one of the few professional athletes to perform at the highest level as a self-coached athlete. Yaro and Josiah have been able to collaborate to help each other reach their very different goals. Their method is rooted in science and intense personal experience. Both Josiah and Yaro have young families and they are not willing to sacrifice time with them to train. This obviously makes optimizing training that much more important. Time constraints is one thing that most endurance athletes have in common.

This balancing act pushed them to experiment with many different training theories to maximize the training for themselves and their athletes. This naturally led them to block periodization. In block periodization athletes focus on only one or two target components of fitness each week and a block of training usually lasts only three to six weeks allowing for many peaks throughout the year. Concepts such as cumulative training effect and residual training effect guide the organization of training blocks.  This approach is much more effective and realistic for athletes with many races throughout their season.

Block periodization was originally developed for senior elite athletes with several years of training experience. Superior results were achieved with fewer total training hours, risk of over training was reduced, and allowed for multiple peak performances in a calendar year. Coincidentally this approach also works very well for age group athletes with several years of experience and limited time available to train.

The traditional periodization model can still be very effective for the athlete training for just one specific race per season such as a marathon, or for younger, developing and beginning athletes. Middaugh Coaching personalizes their program to meet the needs of each individual athlete. It is never a one size fits all approach and there are different paths that can lead to the same outcome depending on an athlete’s experience and needs.

The launch of Middaugh Coaching will allow Yaro and Josiah to pursue their passion and combine their knowledge to help endurance athletes reach their goals.

To contact Middaugh Coaching visit or email


XTERRA Czech Carrying on Tradition

It‘s been 14 years since XTERRA was introduced in the Czech Republic by former XTERRA Pro Michal Pilousek. These days it’s Michal Pilousek Jr. carrying the torch, and here he brings us a preview on the show he and his Dad are putting together for the XTERRA Tribe in Prachatice on August 8th.

“For the first eight straight years XTERRA had its home in Hluboka nad Vltavou and became one of the “must do“ races on the XTERRA circuit.  In 2010 the race moved to Spindleruv Mlyn, and in 2012 XTERRA Czech found it´s new home in Prachatice, an historical town in the Sumava mountains.

The village and surrounding nature are a spectacular location for XTERRA. Last year we made a weekend festival including a big XTERRA Kids race, relays and also what we called an XTERRA Easy (sprint distance race). There were concerts in the evening, pasta parties and a lot of other things.

New this year, we are making a comprehensive program for competitors. With one wristband athletes will have free entry to the swimming pool, athletic stadium, historical sights, discounts in restaurants and hotels. For those planning their holidays, consider spending more time in the Czech Republic. There are safe, quiet roads, nice people and the prices are very, very cheap so bring your family with you!

On Friday afternoon there is very big (250 competitors) XTERRA Kids duathlon race in the city center. For most of the children it is the first time they can race in a wonderful renaissance city center on closed roads with a full size transition area and finish under the official XTERRA finish arch! This race and all the attractions for children are for free.  If your wife or husband are not so strong to do the big XTERRA Championship they can try our easy version (0,7k swim, 14k bike and 4,5k run). The start of the race is two hours prior to the main event, so they can support you during your race, too!

The main race has two transition areas. The Swim is located on wonderful pond called Kristanovicky Rybnik. It has the highest elevation of any pond in Czech and has very clear water because of the peat bottom. Athletes will swim 2 laps (each 750 meters). The bike sement of the race has two laps, but each is different! The first lap goes from the pond to Prachatice, and you will climb two steep hills and ride a few narrow singletracks with lot of mud. After 18K you will go through the Prachatice main square and start your second lap. It is more technical, but you will have wonderful views and you can enjoy a fast downhill back to the city. Transition 2 is located in the city center on the Great square. The run course is two laps of 5K. First part is on cobbles and tarmac, but middle part is steep and narrow singletrack. The second lap is real test of your confidence and endurance! The finish is a super celebration in the Great square.

XTERRA Czech is not only just a race, there are two pasta parties, and this year we will have something new for you!  Our original race organizer Michal Pilousek is opening his own brewery in the city center called Pivovar Prachatice. They will have original beer from Prachatice and a restaurant. The after party in the brewery is something new in our program and will be unforgettable, for sure!

Join us in Prachatice next month!

Learn more at

BC Course Preview

XTERRA Mountain Champs Course Preview

To learn more about the specific demands of the XTERRA Mountain Championship, just listen to Josiah…

“The XTERRA Mountain Championship in Beaver Creek, Colorado marks a turning point in the XTERRA US championship series with a shift to big mountain races,” explains Middaugh, a 10x U.S. National Champion.  “The consistent theme is long, sustained climbs on the bike and run. Beaver Creek (Mountain Championship), Ogden (US Championship), and Maui (World Championship) all present over 3,000-feet of climbing over a 15-20 mile mountain bike leg and more than 1,200-feet of climbing on the 10k trail run. Both the Mountain Championship and the National Championship have a net elevation gain with the lake at the lowest point and the second transition and the finish line at a higher elevation. This favors the stronger climbers and are considered to be less technical courses.

The race at Beaver Creek begins with a swim in Nottingham Lake at about 7,400-feet above sea level. Even for the Colorado athletes, a high altitude swim needs to be approached differently than a swim at low elevation. Most triathletes at some point have experienced anxiety in the water and lack of oxygen makes that scenario a little more likely. I remember during my first ever XTERRA in Keystone and experiencing for the first time the inability to keep my face in the water. I thought it was the strangest thing. For some reason I could not exhale under water. Anxiety surely plays a role, but in many cases the panic attack may be the result of simply going out too hard. The penalty for going into oxygen debt at altitude is just greater. So get in a good warm-up including some race paced efforts and settle into your steady race pace sooner.

The swim start can be difficult to simulate in training. One example is to swim 5 x 300 meters (or yards) with the first 50-75 sprint and then settle into a 1500-meter race pace. Take full recovery between each repetition. The part that is harder to mimic is the mass of people, the dark water, and all of the dynamics of open water. Take advantage of any open water swims in your area such as the Avon Dunk-N-Dash series ( All of these obstacles can be overcome with some courage and proper mindset.

In all of these big mountain races, the mountain bike is where the magic happens. Although there are many changes in pitch, I recommend settling into your threshold climbing pace early because there is a high price to be paid by overcooking it early. Use your gears by shifting often as the grade changes to keep your power output as steady as possible. I am often asked how hard someone should go on these climbs and I truly believe it becomes self-limiting. If you have done the proper preparation with specific threshold climbing efforts, then your body will know what to do even if your mind is unsure. Be patient early and ramp your perceived effort as the climb continues.

“Beware the fury of the patient man (woman).”—John Dryden, 1678

With so much sustained pedaling, there are few places to hide on the course. It is important to stay alert and stay on the gas. It is easy to fall asleep along the middle section on Village-to-Village, a 5-mile false flat on wide singletrack. So get back into the time trial mode and keep tapping out your own race tempo. This is a place the big strong athletes can really lay down some watts and take back some time lost on some of the steep climbs. Since the largest time portion of the race is on the bike, you need to play all of your cards here and just hope there is something left in the dealer’s deck.

The run immediately begins with more sustained climbing which I actually find as an easier transition since a short stride uphill is closer mechanically to biking uphill than running flat. The main limiter of your run ability will depend on the depth of your fitness. It doesn’t matter how good of a stand-alone runner you are, more important will be how well you run tired. It has more to do with the size of your engine and less to do with your running economy. I like to say that you swim with your arms, bike with your legs, and run with your heart.  I mean this in more ways than one.

The Beaver Creek XTERRA is a true mountain course with high energy demands all around. Compared to flatter courses, nutrition becomes more of a factor as does pacing, and overall endurance.   Patience early is rewarded later. Consider the swim, bike, and run a closed system. Your energy bucket will not be refilled after each event so arrive tapered and well fed. Think of it more as a big sponge that you are gradually squeezing dry. Your goal with nutrition is not to replace everything you lose, but to delay your depletion just long enough to cross the finish line. I like to think of the Mountain Championship as a personal test on a challenging course rather than a race against competitors. We are all in it together and if everyone has their best day, the mountain will decide the finishing order.” – Josiah Middaugh.


XTERRA Mountain Champs Pro Preview

Next Saturday’s (July 18) XTERRA Mountain Championship race may be in Josiah Middaugh’s backyard – and on a course he helped design – but that isn’t stopping some of the sports best off-roader’s from heading up to the Rockies for a crack at the title.

Middaugh, who has won the last two at Beaver Creek Resort and three of the last four (Stoltz won in ’02), heads into the final of four regional events as the leader in the XTERRA U.S. Points Series chase and the undisputed man to beat. That said, he’ll be up against two guys that have beat him already this year.

Costa Rican Rom Akerson, who upset Middaugh to win the XTERRA Costa Rica Championship back in March, is on the start list and so is Kiwi Braden Currie, who won a thriller against Middaugh at the Southeast Championship in May.

The list of contenders doesn’t stop there. Ben Hoffman is up for “a little mid-summer fun” and he’s proven to be as much of a force off-road as on. He was second last year at this race and placed third the two previous years. Brian Smith, another legendary mountain man, is jumping back into the fray as is the famous Chris Legh. Chris Ganter, who is ranked 2nd in the Pro Series, is looking to build on his early-season success, and Branden Rakita, 3rd in the Series, had one of his best-ever races here two years ago when he placed 2nd. Ryan Ignatz is fresh off a 3rd place showing in Richmond last month, Alex Modestou was 5th here last year, and Brad Zoller lives here. Add Chris Foster and Thomas Spannring to the mix and you’ve got a worthy elite field gathered to take on one of the sports toughest challenges.

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 – Braden Currie – 29, Wanaka, NZL
6 – Ryan Ignatz – 36, Boulder, CO
7 – Alex Modestou – 28, Durham, NC
8 – Brad Zoller – 37, Avon, CO
13 – Chris Foster – 32, Redondo Beach, CA
NR – Rom Akerson – 30, Tambor, Costa Rica
NR – Ben Hoffman – 31, Boulder, CO
NR – Chris Legh – 42, Melbourne, Australia
NR – Brian Smith – 39, Gunnison, CO
NR – Thomas Spannring – 39, Longmont, CO

No. = Rank in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series / NR = Not Ranked

The women’s race is just as sweet with the return of reigning XTERRA World Champion Flora Duffy. Although she said she’d never do another XTERRA after suffering to a sixth-place finish at Beaver Creek two years ago – she is a radically different racer now having won 10 of the last 11 XTERRA Championship races she’s entered since the start of 2014 (the lone “loss” was a 2nd-place showing to Kathrin Mueller at XTERRA Germany last year).

Duffy will be reunited with some familiar faces on the U.S. circuit in Emma Garrard and Suzie Snyder. Snyder won the East Championship last month, her second major of the year, and Garrard has finished runner-up in all three regional championships so far this year.

Swim superstar Sara McLarty and Debby Sullivan are also in the mix, alongside a lot of fast riders from Colorado like Maia Ignatz, Sara Schuler, Rebecca Blatt, Jaime Brede and Jennifer Gersbach. Kara LaPoint twisted her ankle really bad in Richmond last month and is questionable to start, as is Solana Kline due to injury.

As the last of four regionals prior to Nationals, the Mountain Championship is a great opportunity for elites to move up in the points standings before the ultimate showdown in Utah on Sept. 19. For amateurs it’s one of only two races left where they can qualify for the 20th edition of XTERRA Worlds, and score big points towards winning their region.

No. – Name – Age, Hometown
2 – Emma Garrard – 33, Park City, UT
3 – Suzie Snyder – 33, Fredericksburg, VA
4 – Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, CO
5 – Kara LaPoint – 28, Truckee, CA
7 – Sara McLarty – 32, Clermont, FL
8 – Debby Sullivan – 33, Rocklin, CA
10 – Sara Schuler – 34, Boulder, CO
11 – Rebecca Blatt – 35, Lakewood, CO
16 – Jaime Brede – 38, Breckenridge, CO
NR – Flora Duffy – 27, Devonshire, Bermuda
NR – Jennifer Gersbach – 35, Durango, CO
NR – Solana Kline – 32, Bend, OR

No. = Rank in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series / NR = Not Ranked

Learn more at

Helena Erbenova

XTERRA Sweden This Saturday

Helena Erbenova is back in Hellasgaarden to defend her XTERRA Sweden Championship crown on Saturday.

The 2nd annual XTERRA Sweden off-road triathlon serves as stop No. 7 on the XTERRA European Tour, and one of the most dream-worthy destination races on the World Tour.

“This has to be one of the most ideal locations on tour,” explained managing director Dave Nicholas. “Only 15 minutes from the old town of Stockholm, inexpensive cabins for athletes to stay in at the park, lots of hotels, shopping and services within minutes, two airports within 30 minutes and simply fabulous cycling and running and a clear, warm lake to swim in.  The bike is a technical but fast marvel.  Everyone loves it – and it provided everything one could ask for.  While no extended hills, there were plenty of short and very steep and technical climbs that challenged everyone.”

Erbenova, an Olympian from the Czech Republic, will have to contend with XTERRA Switzerland Champ Carina Wasle of Austria and current European Tour points leader Brigitta Poor from Hungary. Last year in Sweden Erbenova won big over Wasle, the runner-up, and Poor finished in fourth behind Renata Bucher who is recovering from injury.

In the men’s elite race hometown hero Jonas Djurback, who was fourth last year, is the top returning finisher. Last year’s champ Braden Currie is in the U.S. racing the America Tour, runner-up Dan Hugo retired, and third-place finisher Ben Allen is racing in his native Australian bush.

Djurback is in for a true challenge racing against the likes of Kris Coddens, the XTERRA Greece Champion, and Sam Osborne – a Kiwi who finished runner-up at XTERRA New Zealand in April. He also has Jan Pyott, Jan Kubicek, James Walker, Fabrizio Bartoli, Chris Schwab, and Lars Eric Fricke to deal with.

XTERRA Sweden will be posting live updates to their Facebook page at and on twitter @xterrasweden. In addition, you can find videos showcasing the course on their website at

EPC Tips - Pacing

EPC Tips – Running Off the Bike

Triathlon requires an athlete to be proficient at three sports: swimming, cycling and running. Training the three sports individually is a starting point for most triathletes, but eventually you realize that the sport of triathlon is not simply swimming, biking and running; but rather it is its own sport of swim-bike-run. What’s the difference you ask?

Cycling after swimming hard is far more challenging than simply cycling hard in a bike race. Likewise, running fast after cycling hard for an extended period is whole different experience than simply running a run race. By the time you reach the run in a triathlon you are already fatigued and you must be able to keep it together to finish your race strong on foot!

For this reason you must train the bike-to-run effort before race day.

For the bike to run transition you must go from a seated, quad-dominant, flexed spinal position on the bike to a standing, full spine extension running position that requires heavy hamstring and glute activation. Anyone who’s done a triathlon knows exactly what this feeling is like going from hard cycling to fast running: the stiff back, heavy legs, and lack of bounce as they head out onto the run. Not only is this an unpleasant feeling to work through, but the longer it takes you to find your running stride, the more time you are losing to you competitors on the course!

Training the bike to run transition is critical for triathlon success. Often referred to as “bricks,” these training sessions involve a period of cycling followed by a period of running, and are far more triathlon specific than simply a stand-alone bike or stand-alone run session. Most triathletes include bike-to-run training in their programs, but many miss the key element of getting up to speed off the bike by instead simply heading out for an easy run after their bike rides. There are endless ways of constructing a “brick” session, but the key element of nearly all bike-to-run training sessions should be to quickly go from your bike to the run and get up to run speed immediately. Finding your rhythm and a fast run cadence as quick as possible is what helps you on race day to work through that uncomfortable feeling and find your form and rhythm as fast as possible.

The following “run off the bike” session is a good example of specific triathlon training that will train your neuromuscular system to get your run cadence up immediately off the bike, allowing you to be more successful on race day:

  • Immediately following your bike ride (works best after a tough interval session, see last week’s bike workout for example), transition to your the following 45:00 run…
  • 4x[1:00 fast, 1:00 easy], build the effort with each interval
  • 4x[5:00 race pace, 1:00 walk]
  • 8:00 easy
  • 5:00 walk
Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. XTERRA Athletes, if you’re going to XTERRA USA and/or XTERRA Worlds this year join our XTERRA Championship Training Program that contains all the key training sessions that will have you in peak condition leading up to these two great events.  
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Melanie McQuaid 2003

2003 Maui Show Was One For The Ages

If you could only put one XTERRA show from the 21st century into a time capsule to represent the sport and its people, the 2003 broadcast of the World Championship would be a worthy submission. It had everything – smack talk, carnage, drama, glory, inspiring athletes, and a really good look at a relentless course.

It was the year Eneko Llanos and Melanie McQuaid each won their first of three XTERRA World Championship crowns. It was the start of a very-well chronicled rivalry between McQuaid and Jamie Whitmore. It showed that the greatest racer in the sport is not immune from mechanicals and crashes, and it proved that overcoming all odds is one of our favorite story lines.

One of the athlete profiles was on the amazing Hans Dieben, at “64-years-young”, who suffered so much on the run he said “I saw Elvis, I saw Jesus, I saw Madame Pele … and all three of them, they didn’t like me.”

The other athlete profile was on Blair Barklow, who after a ski crash two years earlier was pronounced clinically dead and lay in a coma for three months. “It’s not just a race, it’s a celebration of life,” he explained.

We also heard a little more from “the Caveman,” who said back then that XTERRA was made for him, and watch him masterfully climb up Heartbreak Hill while Peter Reid and Eneko Llanos struggle behind.

“I had five flats and crashed once, that’s my story,” laughed Stoltz after the race. “I’ve had so much good luck for so long in XTERRA. The first year I came I used old bikes with bad tires and everything always worked out for me, I always had good luck and today, it caught up to me.”           He still finished, crossing the line in 17th place.

Steve Larsen had the fastest bike split, and although he came off the bike in first, he headed out into the run in second behind Llanos, then gave Nico Lebrun a pat on the back when the Frenchman passed him to move into third. Effects of the flu kept Larsen from finishing Ironman the week before, and upon arriving in Maui he was stung by a bee in his left hand. The cartoonish looking inflammation in his hand never fully went away, nor did the lingering effects of his sickness. Despite that he moved from 32nd out of the water to 5th overall.

In a really cool display of sportsmanship Peter Reid – who won Ironman the week before (for the third time) tosses Stoltz a can of air midway through the bike.

For the second straight year the top American was Justin Thomas from Virginia, who finished third. It capped a breakout season where he had five podium finishes and won the XTERRA Canada Championship. Jason Chalker of Australia also capped a great season that included a win at XTERRA Saipan, finishing fourth overall, and Josiah Middaugh finished 6th in his first Maui race as a pro. The whole top 10 was a “who’s-who” of multisport with Reid in 7th, Jimmy Riccitello in 8th, Cam Widoff in 9th, and Michael Tobin in 10th.

For the women, McQuaid put an exclamation point on what had been an impressive few years of racing XTERRA.

“It was a magic day for me,” she said after the race. “I didn’t crash on the bike, which helps, and then I got out on the run and it was about eight billion degrees and I was just thinking holy crap am I hot and I just put my head down and I didn’t think about it. I was just counting to 10…10 steps, 10 steps, 10 steps, and I don’t remember finishing…so I was pretty happy to find out that I won.”

Whitmore finished second, two minutes back, but her day in the Maui sun would come soon. The defending champ Candy Angle placed third, with Aussie Raeleigh Rogers in fourth and Jenny Tobin in 5th.

The sport was also showing more and more signs of its growing international base. That year there were World Tour races in Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Saipan, and the United States.

Fastest swim: Jan Sibbersen (18:25), Candy Angle (20:51)

Fastest bike: Steve Larsen (1:27:47), Melanie McQuaid (1:42:10)

Fastest run: Chris Legh (36:32), Heather Fuhr (42:55)

Watch the 2003 Show / 2003 Results