Josiah Middaugh

Middaugh, Snyder win XTERRA East Championship

Complete Results / Highlight Video / Photo Gallery

(Richmond, VA) – Josiah Middaugh and Suzie Snyder captured the 17th annual 2015 XTERRA East Championship off-road triathlon pro race titles on a hot and humid day around the James River Park System in Richmond, Virginia this morning.

Both came from behind out of the water, took charge on the bike, and held on during the run.  It’s the second career Richmond win for Middaugh, who last won it all in 2008, and the first-ever win on the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series for Snyder.

The elite race started an hour earlier than the amateur race, right at 7:50am in the warm and shallow waters of the James River.  There was a spot in the middle of the river that had everyone running across water – quite a sight for those watching from underneath the CSX Railway line or across the river on Belle Isle.

Craig Evans led the pro men out of the water on Belle Isle, midway through the swim, followed by Ben Collins, Brad Zoller, Braden Currie, and Branden Rakita.  Those five would post the quickest swim times (roughly 15 minutes) but Middaugh was only about one-minute back and got in the mix on the bike right away.

“This is a really challenging course for me,” said Middaugh, who lives and trains at altitude in Vail, Colorado.  “It’s really different than what I train on all the time so it’s always presented a really good, hard challenge for me.  I won it one year when Conrad (Stoltz) had a flat tire, it was on Father’s Day, but it’s been a while.  I wasn’t able to do much pre-riding but luckily I’ve done this race like nine times or something so I felt like I knew the course, just wasn’t practiced at race speed on it.  So I felt pretty good and surprisingly, I’ve worked on my technical skills a little bit and that’s starting to pay off.  Keeping weight on my feet and getting around those corners.  Today I had no problems, that’s the big thing. I’ve had a lot of mechanicals here in the past but today I made it through the course unscathed.”

Middaugh may have been one of the few racers today who didn’t go down at some point.  Runner-up Braden Currie from New Zealand said it was all he could do to stay on his bike.

“That was a tough day out, I tried to do what I could do and I just didn’t have it,” said Currie, who came in with three straight wins at XTERRA New Zealand, Australia, and the Southeast Champs.  “I’m a bit gutted really. I would have liked to been a lot closer to Josiah.  It’s a bit annoying to fall off so much at the end, but that’s racing.  Haven’t had the best few weeks so I’ll just take it as it is.”

Perhaps nobody in the men’s field could be as annoyed as Olly Shaw, who was in fine form and riding up front with Josiah about a third of the way through the bike before getting a flat that led to a DNF.

“Burped my tire, had a bit of a big crash, then I looked down and my Co2 canister wasn’t there.  It was a bit of a nightmare,” explained Shaw.  “I tried to keep riding with a really flat tire in hopes that someone would be generous enough to hand me something but everyone was focused on racing and it just got flatter and flatter.  I was really having a good race up there with Josiah and Braden and Craig and feeling really good on the bike.  Josiah was really super strong but I was pulling him back on the little descents and things, so pretty gutted to have that happen.”

Middaugh had the best bike split of the day, 1:24:56, to Currie’s 1:28:39 and Evans’ 1:28:49, and had nearly three minutes on Currie heading into the run.

“I wasn’t going to come here but decided on Wednesday I was going to try and strike while the iron was hot and come on out,” said Middaugh, who won the GoPro Mountain Games in his backyard for the eighth straight year last weekend.  “I’ve been racing well so thought maybe I had one more big race in me.”

Middaugh got into Richmond at midnight on Friday, then messed up his bike pre-riding on Saturday and credited Clint Kronenberger from Coqui Cyclery for getting him squared away.

“Great to have some last minute bike support from Clint, put a new shifter on there and did a bunch of other stuff last night,” said Middaugh.

Middaugh didn’t have the fastest run of the day, which went to Ryan Ignatz who shot into third place with a blistering 43:27 run split, but said he went as hard as he could.

“With this heat you never know when you’re going to just totally implode but I felt good at the start of the run so thought I’d run as hard as I could for as long as I could and actually felt pretty good the whole way,” he said.

Chris Ganter finished fourth and Branden Rakita rounded out the top five.

For all involved the course and all its character were the highlights of today’s race.

“The trails are amazing, and I love all the people out there,” said Ignatz.  “Lots of good cheering and great energy at this place.”

Currie was particularly taken with the fanatics at the “Rock Face” section, saying “It’s pretty awesome going through those crowds, it really amps you up.  Coming through the shoot by people with costumes and masks.  I just wanted to stop and hang out with those guys, but you’ve got to keep on punching it which was pretty annoying.  I’d have loved to sit down and have a beer and a BBQ with them.”

Middaugh added that the history around town makes Richmond a really compelling venue to race at.

“Just the setting, right in downtown.  We’ve got Belle Isle that was a POW camp during the civil war. There’s a lot of history here so it’s just very unique.  You don’t often get an XTERRA that has a downtown setting like this but still has really good single track and really good trails.”

Here’s a look at the top 11 elite men from today’s race:

PRO MEN          
Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh 36 Eagle-Vail, Colorado 2:24:53 100
2 Braden Currie 28 Wanaka, New Zealand 2:28:40 90
3 Ryan Ignatz 36 Boulder, Colorado 2:30:21 82
4 Chris Ganter 36 Boise, Idaho 2:31:31 75
5 Branden Rakita 34 Colorado Springs, Colo. 2:32:35 69
6 Alex Modestou 28 Durham, North Carolina 2:34:38 63
7 Karsten Madsen 23 Guelph, Ontario, CAN 2:35:24 58
8 Brad Zoller 37 Avon, Colorado 2:41:31 53
9 Craig Evans 37 Hendersonville, Tenn. 2:41:46 49
10 Ben Collins 31 Chicago, Illinois 2:43:05 45
Also: Ian King (41)

Suzie Snyder

SNYDER WINS SECOND MAJOR OF 2015

Without the seemingly invincible duo of XTERRA World Champs Flora Duffy and Lesley Paterson in the line-up today the spotlight seemed destined to shine on either Emma Garrard or Suzie Snyder.  Those two have finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, at four of the last five regional championship races.

Garrard was coming off a brilliant effort winning last weekend’s Mountain Games in Colorado, while Snyder was still not 100% from her crash at last month’s Southeast Championship that bruised her ribs and strained her shoulder.

The two posted identical swim times and headed out on the bike behind Sara McLarty, Christine Jeffrey, and Catherine Sterling but it was all Snyder after that.  By midway through the first lap in Forest Hill Park (about mile four) she had passed everyone and put two minutes on Garrard.

“I knew the bike course was where I could make my move because I’m so familiar with it,” said Snyder.  “I rode it every week last year for two months. My confidence was good which was key.  I nailed the technical stuff.  I rode everything so clean, for the first time ever, which kept my confidence high and it was so exciting because when your mind is good your body is good.”

Snyder took a big lead into the run and would need almost every minute of it because Garrard was putting out a heroic running effort behind her. Garrard’s 45:36 effort was five minutes faster than Snyder, but still a minute short at the finish line.

“The run was tough,” said Snyder.  “Emma was coming, I knew she was, because that’s what she does.  I was just trying to run smart in the beginning because I knew the heat would take its toll later on.  Towards the middle I had to do everything I could to put it out there and then my legs started cramping so I needed to settle down before I blew it.”

Smart effort and a big win for Snyder, who now has a XTERRA World Tour major (New Zealand) and a U.S Series win to her name this season.

“Second again,” exhaled Garrard, who has been the runner-up at seven straight regionals since the start of last season.  “I made more mistakes on the bike then I should have but nothing really bad. I kept telling myself I could close the gap, but Suzie was riding a lot better than me today.”

A month after posting a career-best fourth-place finish in Alabama Catherine Sterling did one better and finished third today.  Maia Ignatz and Kara LaPoint also had career days in fourth and fifth, respectively.  LaPoint’s podium spot took some grit after twisting her ankle pretty badly on the “Dry Way” about two miles from the finish.

No woman had it worse than Christine Jeffrey, who crashed hard early and dislocated her elbow.  “They finally got it back in joint after a couple tries, very unpleasant,” said Jeffrey from the hospital.

All-in-all an amazing day packed with action and excitement.  The locals here in Richmond are awesome supporters of XTERRA and their leader Nathan Burrell, the James River Park System manager, has done an incredibly job with the trails – getting grants and making every inch of dirt as good as it can get.

Today’s race combined a one-kilometer swim in the James with a 20-mile mountain bike and seven-mile trail run. There was a $15,000 prize purse for elites as the third of five stops in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series.

Here’s a look at the top 10 elite women from today’s race:

PRO WOMEN        
Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Suzie Snyder 33 Reno, Nevada 2:48:58 100
2 Emma Garrard 34 Park City, Utah 2:50:10 90
3 Catherine Sterling 38 Ayer, Massachussetts 2:55:23 82
4 Maia Ignatz 34 Boulder, Colorado 2:56:59 75
5 Kara LaPoint 27 Truckee, California 2:59:38 69
6 Brittany Webster 27 Canmore, Alberta, CAN 3:05:04 63
7 Debby Sullivan 33 Rocklin, California 3:06:17 58
8 Emily Bashton 35 Richmond, Virginia 3:07:40 53
9 Sara McLarty 32 Clermont, Florida 3:21:18 49
10 Rebecca Blatt 35 Lakewood, Colorado 3:33:24 45

MIDDAUGH, GARRARD LEAD XTERRA U.S. PRO SERIES

With today’s victory Middaugh is assured a shot at winning the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series in Ogden, Utah on September 19.  Pros count their best three scores in the first four, plus what they earn at Nationals regardless of how they do.   Currie could put himself in the same position with a second-place or better finish at the Mountain Championship next month.  For the women, Garrard is in the lead, but just by six points over Snyder, which makes next month’s showdown in the Rockies an important one for both.

XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Standings (After 3)
Pros count best 3-of-4 regionals, plus Nationals
PRO MEN              
Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 90 90 100 280
2 Chris Ganter, USA 82 82 75 239
3 Branden Rakita, USA 69 63 69 201
4 Braden Currie, NZL DNS 100 90 190
5 Craig Evans, USA 58 75 49 182
6 Ryan Ignatz, USA 45 53 82 180
7 Alex Modestou, USA 49 58 63 170
8 Brad Zoller, USA 53 49 53 155
9 Karsten Madsen, CAN 63 DNF 58 121
10 Francisco Serrano, MEX 100 DNS DNS 100
11 Ben Allen, AUS 75 DNS DNS 75
12 Olly Shaw, NZL DNS 69 DNF 69
13 Chris Foster, USA DNS 45 DNS 45
14 Ben Collins, USA DNS DNS 45 45
15 JP Donovan, USA 41 DNS DNS 41
16 Will Ross, USA DNS 41 DNS 41
17 Ian King, USA DNS DNS 41 41
18 James Hadley, GBR 37 DNS DNS 37
19 Jimmy Archer, USA 34 DNS DNS 34
20 Kyle Hughes, USA 31 DNS DNS 31
PRO WOMEN            
Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Emma Garrard, USA 90 90 90 270
2 Suzie Snyder, USA 82 82 100 264
3 Lesley Paterson, GBR 100 100 DNS 200
4 Maia Ignatz, USA 49 63 75 187
5 Kara LaPoint, USA 63 53 69 185
6 Catherine Sterling, USA DNS 75 82 157
7 Sara McLarty, USA 41 45 49 135
8 Debby Sullivan, USA 45 31 58 134
9 Brittany Webster, CAN 69 DNS 63 132
10 Sara Schuler, USA 58 58 DNS 116
11 Rebecca Blatt, USA 31 34 45 110
12 Emily Bashton, USA DNF 37 53 90
13 Melanie McQuaid, CAN 75 DNS DNS 75
14 Christine Jeffrey, CAN DNS 69 DNF 69
15 Katie Button, CAN 53 DNF DNS 53
16 Jaime Brede, USA DNS 49 DNS 49
17 Amelia McCracken, USA DNS 41 DNS 41
18 Lauren Thompson, USA 34 DNS DNS 34

Next up: The XTERRA Mountain Championship at Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colorado on July 18.

WEAVER, WILSON WIN AMATEUR TITLES

Daryl Weaver from Lititz, Pennsylvania won his second regional championship in as many months, finishing more than three minutes ahead of Billy Allen of Farmingdale, New York with a winning time of 2:38:51.  Young gun Greg Schott from Chesterfield, Virginia placed third.  In the women’s race Katharine Wilson from North Vancouver, Canada finished seven-minutes in front of Caroline Colonna of Taos, New Mexico with a winning time of 3:03:43.

Today’s race was an important qualifier for both the XTERRA USA and World Championship races. XTERRA’s chief racer correspondent Marcus Barton, who won the 45-49 division title in 2:47:16, will bring us a unique look at the amateur race from a first-person point of view coming soon.

Here’s a look at who won their respective divisions:

XTERRA East Champs (Men)    
Division Name Hometown Time
15 – 19 Greg Schott Chesterfield, VA 2:39:00
20 – 24 Spencer Ralston Hebron, CT 3:04:05
25 – 29 Billy Allen Farmingdale, NY 2:37:03
30 – 34 Michael Welch Bear, DE 2:53:40
35 – 39 Chris Edmonds Birmingham, AL 2:39:29
40 – 44 Daryl Weaver Lititz, PA 2:33:51
45 – 49 Marcus Barton Waxhaw, NC 2:47:16
50 – 54 Ali Arasta Asheboro, NC 2:46:43
55 – 59 Jean-Paul Martin Oakton, VA 2:53:27
60 – 64 Russell Clark Scotia, NY 3:51:08
65 – 69 Charlie Redmond Tenafly, NJ 4:13:08
Clydesdale Paul Flannigan Norfolk, VA 4:11:59
XTERRA East Champs (Women)    
Division Name Hometown Time
25 – 29 Katharine Wilson N. Vancouver, Canada 3:03:43
30 – 34 Emily Witman Ogden, UT 3:14:33
35 – 39 Maria Smit Syosset, NY 4:02:12
40 – 44 Beata Wronska Boynton Beach, FL 3:11:55
45 – 49 Katrina Dowidchuk Wilmington, DE 3:15:26
50 – 54 Caroline Colonna Taos, NM 3:11:35
55 – 59 Elaine Morison Lafayette, CA 5:12:15

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA East Championship was the 18th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1, 2015.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson / Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship (Ben Allen / Carina Wasle)
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Braden Currie / Suzie Snyder)
18-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+ (Braden Currie / Flora Duffy)
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV, USA# (Francisco Serrano / Lesley Paterson)
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti (Brice Daubord / Sarah Backler)
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion (Brad Weiss, Carla Van Huyssteen)
2-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asian Tour Championship (Brad Weiss / Myriam Guillot)
10-May XTERRA Brazil (DIogo Malagon / Sabrina Gobbo)
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship (Braden Currie / Lesley Paterson)
16-May XTERRA Portugal (Ruben Ruzafa, Kathrin Mueller)
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship (Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova)
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship (Josiah Middaugh, Suzie Snyder)
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

The XTERRA East Championship was presented by Paul Mitchell and XTERRA Travel, and sponsored by Muscle Milk, Gatorade Endurance, PowerBar, XTERRA Optic Nerve, LifeProof, Greenlayer, XTERRA Coffee,  XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, Utah Sports Commission, Salming, XTERRA Boards, and Outrigger Resorts.

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA
TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2015 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 35 countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990.  View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterratrailrun.com.

Richmond Trail Runs

Fuentes, Tarquinio win Paul Mitchell XTERRA Richmond Half

Photo Gallery / XTERRA Richmond 21K Results / XTERRA Fugitive 10K Results

Photo Courtesy: Jesse Peters

(Richmond, VA) – Olympic marathon hopeful David Fuentes of Austin, Texas ran away from last year’s winner Bryce Livingston to win the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Richmond Half-Marathon on an incredibly hot morning in and around the James River Park System and Brown’s Island today.

Fuentes, 28, an NCAA All-America cross country runner out of St. Edwards University, posted a winning time of 1:20:28, more than five minutes ahead of Livingston.

“It was hot, rolling, bouldering, and a lot of fun,” said Edwards, who qualified for the Olympic trials in the marathon distance to be held February in Los Angeles.  “This was just my second trail race ever. I’m just trying to have some fun right now.  It’s good to mix it up like this.”

Ellen Tarquinio from Washington D.C. won the women’s race in 1:39:03, just 23-seconds ahead of runner-up Leia Lautzenheiser, a standout from Midlothian High School (class of 2009).

“It was fantastic, an urban adventure for sure with all the scrambling, bouldering, the rivers, and the tunnels were amazing,” said Tarquinio, who was running with a group of four women before taking the lead at about the halfway point.  “I didn’t see the second-place woman until we were on the bridge and then had to pick up the pace a bit.”

Tarquinio

Tarquinio was a rower in college and turned into a trail runner thereafter.  “Love running trails.  This was my first time doing this race and it was awesome.”

Several hundred runners from across the nation took part in today’s runs.  There was also a 10K race, won by Russell Reed of Onemo, VA in 39:28 and Jennifer Place of Southhold, NY in 50:14.

The run courses – both 21K and 10K – featured numerous obstacles, both man-made and natural. Perhaps the most noticeable were the “Mayan Ruins” stair climb, and the water crossings across the James River.  The trails also took runners in and out of lush forest areas and alongside some of the historic buildings in the city of Richmond.  The contrast has earned the event its “urban adventure” description.

The top runners in every age group in today’s 21K race received a free entry into the 2015 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Hawaii this December 6, 2015.

Tomorrow it’s the triathletes turn in Richmond, as the 17th annual XTERRA East Championship pro race gets underway at 7:50am with the amateur race to follow at 8:45am.  Follow the pro race on twitter @xterraoffroad #xterraRVA.

Learn more about the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Series at www.xterratrailrun.com.

Learn more about XTERRA in Richmond at www.xterrarichmond.com.

Totalsports-XTERRA-Pezula-MTB-Discipline

South Africa’s XTERRA Pezula

Multi-sport enthusiasts of all ages are preparing for their annual get together at the picturesque Pezula Field Of Dreams (Knysna) in July (8-9) where they’ll partake in one of South Africa’s most exciting off-road triathlons, the Totalsports XTERRA Pezula presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT.

The Totalsports XTERRA Pezula is the only XTERRA SA event that does not feature a water discipline, but instead follows a run, mountain bike, run format, making the event the perfect introduction to multi-sport racing.

Forming part of the much loved Pick ‘n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, XTERRA Pezula is the ideal event for the entire family. Junior XTERRA Warriors will follow in the footsteps of their heroes by taking part in the Totalsports XTERRA Pezula Kids Race on the Wednesday, the day before the much anticipated Totalsports XTERRA Lite and Totalsports XTERRA.

For further information visit www.stillwatersports.com.

Josiah Middaugh

XTERRA Richmond XVII This Sunday

XTERRA has been racing in Richmond since 1999, and the city has firmly established itself as the sports’ finest urban adventure with a hip city culture that compliments ripping trails and the unpredictable James River.

The course itself annually attracts professional and amateur racers from across the country and around the world to discover the epic trails in the James River Park System – where they are greeted by a raucous bunch of bike and trail fanatics who annually throw a trail party at the trickiest section in Buttermilk Heights known as “Rock Face.” They blast music, BBQ, dress in costumes, scream, shout encouragement, and blast on vuvuzela’s to the delight of riders all day long.

As for the run, it has been best described as the “Fugitive 10K” because of its similarity to some of the chase scenes in the movie The Fugitive including river crossings, rock jumpings, the “Mayan Ruins” stair climb, and train track crossings. There is simply no XTERRA course in the world like the one in Richmond.

A solid pro field is in RVA to take on the challenge highlighted by Josiah Middaugh, who won the 20-24 age group race back in 2002 before turning pro, won it all in ’08, and has finished in the top 3 here five times. Middaugh is fresh off his eighth straight GoPro Games Ultimate Mountain Challenge title in his hometown of Vail, Colorado last weekend (as is women’s XTERRA star Emma Garrard).

Middaugh will be up against Kiwi great Braden Currie, who’s been perfect so far this season. Middaugh and Currie had an epic race at the Southeast Championship last month, going neck-and-neck from the bike all the way through the run and into the finish line. Currie, who took the tape in Alabama, says he expects another close one on Sunday here in Richmond.

“The swim is a bit shorter so Josiah will be out of the water not too far behind, and the ride is so technical that there is only so much time you’re going to make on that ride and not a huge amount of long climbs that Josiah sinks his teeth into and really likes so that’ll play a little bit in my favor, so then it’ll come down to the run. We’ll see, should be a lot of fun,” said Currie.

After Josiah and Braden there are a lot of guys to mention, like Craig Evans who has been in the top 5 here five times and will be competing for the last time as a full-fledged pro.

“I’ve been close a few times here,” said Evans. “I’m excited to race, and I came to fight this weekend.”

Chris Ganter has been hot this year, finishing third at the first two regionals, the tall Canadian Karsten Madsen was riding great in Alabama last month before a crash and a trio of flats took him out of contention, Kiwi Olly Shaw has had some time to comfortable here in the U.S. and the new look courses, Branden Rakita – the consummate professional has lots of experience here, regulars Ryan Ignatz, Brad Zoller, and Alex Modestou are in the mix, plus Ian King in his first pro race and road tri star Ben Collins making his debut in the U.S. Pro Series.

The women’s race will see a new champion emerge as none of the past XTERRA East winners are here. There’s no Flora Duffy (last year’s champ), no Lesley Paterson (2013 Champ), no Melanie McQuaid or Jamie Whitmore (both four-time winners), no Shonny Vanlandingham (2011), no Renata Bucher (2010), nor Jody Mielke, Anke Erlank, or Kerstin Weule.

There is, however, Emma Garrard and Suzie Snyder, both eager to take home their first XTERRA U.S. Pro Series win. A couple fast Canadians – Christine Jeffrey and Brittany Webster – are sure to put them to the test. Five other women in the top 10 of the Series standings will start with Kara LaPoint (4th), Maia Ignatz (6th), Sara McLarty (7th), Debby Sullivan (8th), and Catherine Sterling. For local knowledge look no further than hometown favorite Emily Bashton, who’s been racing in Richmond since 2000, and Rebecca Blatt who got her doctorate in medicine at the University of Virginia.

It’s supposed to be a scorcher on Sunday, with temps in the 90’s and the humidity to go with it, so just to finish will be an accomplishment for all involved. Add in the unpredictable James River, the crazy fan-base in the forest, the one-of-a-kind obstacles and a host of finely-tuned XTERRA elites and you’ve got all the right ingredients for another amazing edition of XTERRA in Richmond. We’ll document the elite race on twitter @xterraoffroad #xterraRVA starting Sunday at 7:40am EST.

Here’s a look at the start lists…

No. – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Josiah Middaugh – 36, Eagle-Vail, CO
2 – Chris Ganter – 36, Boise, ID
3 – Craig Evans – 37, Hendersonville, TN
4 – Branden Rakita – 34, Colorado Springs, CO
5 – Alex Modestou – 28, Durham, NC
6 – Brad Zoller – 37, Avon, CO
8 – Braden Currie – 29, Wanaka, NZL
9 – Ryan Ignatz – 36, Boulder, CO
11 – Olly Shaw – 23, Rotorua, NZL
12 – Karsten Madsen – 23, Guelph, Ontario, CAN
NR – Ben Collins – 31, Chicago, Illinois
NR – Ian King – 25, Virginia Beach, VA

No. – Name – Age, Hometown
2 – Emma Garrard – 33, Park City, UT
3 – Suzie Snyder – 33, Fredericksburg, VA
4 – Kara LaPoint – 28, Truckee, CA
6 – Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, CO
7 – Sara McLarty – 32, Clermont, FL
8 – Debby Sullivan – 33, Rocklin, CA
10 – Catherine Sterling – 38, Ayer, MA
11 – Brittany Webster – 27, Canmore, Alberta, CAN
12 – Christine Jeffrey – 42, Tucson, AZ
13 – Rebecca Blatt – 35, Lakewood, CO
17 – Emily Bashton – 35, Richmond, VA

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

Craig Evans

Family First for Craig Evans

Long-time XTERRA pro Craig Evans went from that “fat guy” coming out of the water 13 years ago to one of the best amateurs in the Southeast to a card-carrying pro to a legit contender in the sports’ biggest races.

Now he just wants to be a Dad.

After a two-year stint where Evans focused full-time on being a professional triathlete he got a job offer he couldn’t refuse to return to the “real world,” make some real money, and spend some real time at home with his wife and kids.

“I’ve been going full time now for two years and it’s hard. Hard to work the family/life balance,” said Evans, one of the most consistent performers in the sport for the last several years. “I’ve come to the realization that my kids are getting older and I’ve missed too many baseball games and gymnastics, and I want to get back to my family.  I’ll still come in and maybe race once a year and throw my hat in the ring, but this is definitely my last full year and Sunday just may be my last race of the year.”

The 37-year-old from Hendersonville, Tennessee says the thought of walking away from a sport he’s dedicated the last decade of his life to won’t be easy.

“I was talking to my wife on the drive over here and actually got pretty emotional and she had to kinda talk me off the ledge,” said Evans. “It all kind of hit me, I was a mess. I’ve made life-long friends here, and will definitely stay in touch. Triathlon will still play an important role in my life just not in the full capacity of me trying to make a living at it.”

Before you feel too bad for Evans, understand that he’s smart and skilled and got a really good job offer.

“A Southeastern regional management position, going back into the making money world so yeah, don’t feel too bad for me,” explained Evans. “I have a sales background, I don’t have a pure fitness background, so I couldn’t go manage a gym or work in a bike shop or something like.”

On Sunday he says he’s pulling out all the stops, taking one last shot at a title.

“A lot of people told me when I first turned professional that there was ‘no way’, ‘don’t do it’, ‘you’re making a huge mistake’ and my goal then was to prove them wrong. I think I did pretty good at that. Now it’s all about my family.”

SC series preview

XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series Preview

By Devin P. Quinn and Summer Quinn
XTERRA Trail Running Interns

Looking for a great trail running experience this summer? Then look no further than the upcoming XTERRA South Carolina trail run series! One of XTERRA’s most brilliant and dedicated race directors, Victoria Seahorn, has organized these two stellar upcoming races in the region– the XTERRA Harbison Half Marathon & 5K on July 12th, and the XTERRA Table Rock 15K and 5K on August 15th. These races are set against the backdrop of some of the state’s best scenery, and Victoria describes the combined atmosphere of XTERRA camaraderie and sweeping natural beauty as “a true XTERRA experience– and a true South Carolina experience.” Perfectly suited to all levels of running experience, the rugged scenic trails of Harbison and Table Rock promise to challenge and reward every runner on race day.

Besides the buoyant spirit present at any XTERRA event, the biggest draw to these races will no doubt be the setting– two of the Southeast’s most vibrant and popular parks. “Harbison State Forest has well packed and well shaded trails that are perfect for a summertime half marathon,”  Victoria notes, also praising Table Rock State Park as “incredibly beautiful and scenic with waterfalls and wildlife.” These XTERRA events are the only races allowed at Table Rock, a testament to XTERRA’s great relationship of trust and partnership with its host parks. Victoria regularly visits both of these parks with her family, and her deep respect for and familiarity with the magnificent venues shines through in her expert planning, as the races wind their way through the parks’ best trails and grandest scenery.

If there’s anybody with the expertise necessary to design a truly amazing race event, it’s Victoria Seahorn. Victoria has plenty of experience as a runner herself, having blazed her way through 30 marathons and many other races. As a mainstay of the nationwide running community, she has enjoyed running in locations across the country, but admits that the parks of South Carolina are undeniably a special place for a runner. Her first race as event director (a marathon in Atlanta, Georgia) was organized as a memorial for a friend who succumbed to breast cancer– 17,000 runners participated. Victoria still remembers directing that first race as “the experience of a lifetime.” Since then, she’s accumulated an impressive résumé of popular events in multiple states, including both road races and trail races. Under her direction, the South Carolina series promises to be an event that will draw runners from across the country.

With a superb race director and breathtaking scenery, the XTERRA South Carolina Series promises to be an event you won’t want to miss. There’s something for everyone, whether you come to compete, take in the natural beauty, or just soak up the fantastic atmosphere of an XTERRA trail race. You’re invited– so come and race with XTERRA South Carolina this summer!

 

 

 

Erbenova Bike Spain

Ruzafa, Erbenova win XTERRA Spain

(Extremedura, Spain) – Three-time and reigning XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa and two-time XTERRA European Tour Champion Helena Erbenova captured the XTERRA Spain Championship crowns for the second straight year this afternoon in Extremedura.

The win is Ruzafa’s 11th in a row since winning the World title in 2013.  For Erbenova, it’s her first win since taking the XTERRA Italy crown last year.

Ruzafa Run Spain

In the men’s race Ruzafa was up to 2nd place by the 5K mark on the bike then took the lead at the 8K mark and never looked back.  The day was very hot at 35 degreesC (95F), but was actually cooler than the predicted 39C (102F).  The story of the day was not Ruzafa’s win, but Albert Soley coming from way back out of the swim to a brilliant second place.

For the women Erbenova took the lead from Hungary’s Brigitta Poor by the 20K mark on the bike and held on for the win.

See video clips from all the action on the XTERRA Spain Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/xterraspain?fref=ts

Top 15 Elite Men

Pro Men
Pl Name Final Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:59:06 100
2 Albert Soley, ESP 3:05:09 90
3 Roger Serrano, ESP 3:06:36 82
4 Francois Carloni, FRA 3:08:57 75
5 Xavier Riart, ESP 3:09:07 69
6 Gonzalo Bernal, ESP 3:17:51 63
7 Ruben Salmeron, ESP 3:18:48 58
8 Jose Borrino, ESP 3:27:58 53
9 Jan Pyott, SUI 3:28:47 49
10 Juan Gracia, ESP 3:28:52 45

Also: Dominique Fernando (41), Juan Marti (37), Carlos Martinez (34), Sergio Espejo (31), Javier Oliver (28), Pablo Navarrete

Top 3 Elite Women

Pl Name Final Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:40:16 100
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 3:54:20 90
3 Louise Fox, GBR 4:12:46 82

XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR UPDATE

XTERRA Spain was the third of 12 races in the XTERRA European Tour.

With his third place finish today Serrano stays atop the leader board with Francois Carloni moving up to 2nd and Ruzafa close behind in third.  In the women’s standings Brigitta Poor also kept the No. 1 spot with Fox and Erbenova close behind.

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.  Today’s race was a Gold event. How it Works.

Next up: June 20 – XTERRA Greece at Lake Plastira

2015 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS

After 3 – As of 6.7.15.  Tentative and subject to change.

Men S S G
Pl Name, NAT MLT POR ESP TOTAL
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 67 56 82 205
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 47 67 75 189
3 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP DNS 75 100 175
4 Albert Soley, ESP 43 39 90 172
5 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 75 47 DNS 122
6 Xavier Riart, ESP 36 DNS 69 105
7 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 56 36 DNS 92
8 Jan Pyott, SUI DNS 23 49 72
9 Gonzalo Bernal, ESP DNS DNS 63 63
10 Brice Daubord, FRA 61 DNS DNS 61
11 Yeray Luxem, BEL DNS 61 DNS 61
12 Ruben Salmeron, ESP DNS DNS 58 58
13 Jose Borrino, ESP DNS DNS 53 53
14 Tim Van Daele, BEL 25 27 DNS 52
15 Clement Briere, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51
16 Hector Guerra, ESP DNS 51 DNS 51
17 Juan Gracia, ESP DNS DNS 45 45
18 Tomas Kubek, SVK DNS 43 DNS 43
19 Dominique Fernando, ESP DNS DNS 41 41
20 Jan Kubicek, CZE 39 DNS DNS 39
21 Juan Marti, ESP DNS DNS 37 37
22 Carlos Martinez, ESP DNS DNS 34 34
23 Rory Downie, GBR 33 DNP DNS 33
24 Jens Roth, GER DNS 33 DNS 33
25 Sergio Espejo, ESP DNS DNS 31 31
26 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 30 DNS DNS 30
27 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR DNS 30 DNS 30
28 Javier Oliver, ESP DNS DNS 28 28
29 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 27 DNS DNS 27
30 Henry Sleight, GBR DNS 25 DNS 25
31 Matt Dewis, GBR 23 DNS DNS 23
32 Lars Van der Eerden, NED 21 DNP DNS 21
33 Rob Woestenborghs, BEL DNS 21 DNS 21
34 Pablo Navarrete, ESP DNS DNS DNP 0
Women
Pl Name, NAT MLT POR ESP TOTAL
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 75 61 90 226
2 Louise Fox, GBR 51 51 82 184
3 Helena Erbenova, CZE DNS 67 100 167
4 Karin Hansen, SUI 43 47 DNS 90
5 Kathrin Mueller, GER DNS 75 DNS 75
6 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 67 DNS DNS 67
7 Maud Golsteyn, NED 61 DNS DNS 61
8 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 56 DNS DNS 56
9 Morgane Riou, FRA DNS 56 DNS 56
10 Jessica Roberts, GBR 47 DNF DNS 47
11 Sofia Brites, POR DNS 43 DNS 43
12 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 DNS DNS 39


2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Spain Championship was the 17th 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.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson / Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship (Ben Allen / Carina Wasle)
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Braden Currie / Suzie Snyder)
18-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship (Braden Currie / Flora Duffy)
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship (Francisco Serrano / Lesley Paterson)
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti (Brice Daubord / Sarah Backler)
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion (Brad Weiss / Carla Van Huyssteen)
2-May XTERRA Asian Tour Championship (Brad Weiss / Myriam Guillot)
10-May XTERRA Brazil (Diogo Malagon / Sabrina Gobbo)
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship (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, 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

Paterson Laguna Beach

The Braveheart Beats the Boys at Inaugural XTERRA Laguna Beach

Two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson took it to the entire field on Sunday at the inaugural XTERRA Laguna Beach off-road triathlon, including the men.

“What an awesome day!” Paterson posted to her Facebook page after the race.  “Amazingly organized, brilliant course and TONS of local friends, Bravehearters, and family there sharing in the love, not to mention getting to race with hubby. First time ever to win overall and beat all the boys….”

The “Scottish Rocket” had the best bike and run splits and a winning time of 2:23:38 that was more than six-minutes faster than runner-up Gavin Klinger. (Full results)

“I came out the swim top ten about three minutes down,” explained Paterson. “I then clawed it all back on the bike up the sandy steep climbs and came in to transition just one-second down! I ran in to the lead after half-mile and never looked back! What was funny on the run was the fact there was a sprint race and thus a 5K turnaround. The marshal saw me and assumed I was doing the sprint race because there was no way I’d be leading the full! I was shouting, no I’m doing the 10k! They gasped! Oh man it was priceless!”

Being able to race alongside her husband Simon, at least momentarily, was also priceless.

“Si was doing a relay, the bike portion, and his swimmer was the same speed as me so we went out on the bike together. He was like….so this is how hard u go…to which I replied, “Yup” then shoved it in a big gear and climbed away from him.”

The fact that Paterson had a strong bike is a good sign as she turns her focus and drive into making the Great Britain Olympic mountain biking team.

“I’m now off to do the next two U.S. Cup mountain bike races in Colorado and Missouri, then Switzerland to do my first world cup!” exclaimed Paterson. “I actually started a go fund me site to help pay for it all because it’s so darn expensive!”

To help Paterson pave her way to the Rio Olympics visit http://www.gofundme.com/patersonic

Ben Collins by N2Photo

Ben Collins to Race XTERRA in Richmond

Photo: Ben Collins by N2Photo

Professional triathlete Ben Collins says he loves an adventure.

“I live by the mantra “do it for the story” which I use as a reason to do things that are likely to fail. A good story never came easy,” he explained.

Prophetic words, especially considering he’ll be racing his first XTERRA as a pro next Sunday (June 14) at the East Championship in Richmond, Virginia – home to the sports most adventurous urban course.

“I’m really looking forward to a challenge at XTERRA,” said Collins, who won the LifeTime Tri Toyota Triple Crown just last October. “I can’t wait to give it a shot, and I know it’s going to be a humbling experience against guys that are way better than me on technical terrain. Jamie Whitmore was giving me some advice after our road race last Sunday and warned me that Richmond will be a really hard introduction to off-road triathlon. Luckily, she also offered to give me some advice on course specifics. It’s pretty cool that a world champion is that willing to share secrets and help the next generation. I hear that’s the culture I’m going to find throughout XTERRA, and I look forward to it.”

Interestingly enough, Collins beginnings as a triathlete featured an XTERRA race not far from its worldwide headquarters on Oahu.

“Back in 2005 I did the XTERRA Mountainman off-road race in Hawaii at Kualoa Ranch. It was one of my first ever triathlons,” said Collins. “I was visiting my uncle and borrowed a 1982 Nashiki with no suspension. Luckily, the course was so wet and rooted that even the top guys were running a good portion of the bike leg, and I wasn’t quite as outgunned as if they’d stayed in the saddle. It was really fun, and I intended to do more off-road triathlon, but then I got sidetracked for a decade racing ITU, non-drafting and the world of on-road triathlon.”

The 31-year-old, originally from Seattle, is currently working on his MBA in entrepreneurship, marketing and analytic management at the University of Chicago. Between studies and the weather, it hasn’t been easy getting ready for XTERRA.

“It’s been a tough spring in Chicago for mountain biking,” said Collins. “Since it got warmer the trails haven’t been dry enough to ride more than a day or two at a time, and I haven’t gotten out to Palos once. Last Sunday I was able to get out on some trails in Chattanooga after racing paracycling nationals as a tandem pilot. Aaron Scheidies and I won the road race on Sunday then borrowed a tandem mountain bike and went out for a spin through the park’s single track system. It was a blast!”

Collins is sure to have a blast on the wildly diverse terrain in Richmond next Sunday n a course that features the city and its jungles, bridges, graveyards, railroads, rapids, ramps, rocks, rivers, flood walls, tunnels, murals, and some really raucous, costumed fans that bbq and party at the toughest sections of the trail.

Here’s a look at the tentative start list for the XTERRA East Champs and who Collins will be up against on June 14:

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
2 – Chris Ganter – 36, Boise, ID
3 – Craig Evans – 37, Hendersonville, TN
4 – Branden Rakita – 34, Colorado Springs, CO
5 – Alex Modestou – 28, Durham, NC
6 – Brad Zoller – 37, Avon, CO
8 – Braden Currie – 28, Wanaka, NZL
9 – Ryan Ignatz – 36, Boulder, CO
11 – Olly Shaw – 23, Rotorua, NZL
12 – Karsten Madsen – 23, Guelph, Ontario, CAN
NR – Ben Collins – 31, Chicago, Illinois
NR – Ian King – 25, Virginia Beach, VA

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
2 – Emma Garrard – 33, Park City, UT
3 – Suzie Snyder – 33, Fredericksburg, VA
4 – Kara LaPoint – 28, Truckee, CA
6 – Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, CO
7 – Sara McLarty – 32, Clermont, FL
8 – Debby Sullivan – 33, Rocklin, CA
10 – Catherine Sterling – 38, Ayer, MA
11 – Brittany Webster – 27, Canmore, Alberta, CAN
12 – Christine Jeffrey – 42, Tucson, AZ
13 – Rebecca Blatt – 35, Lakewood, CO
17 – Emily Bashton – 35, Richmond, VA
NR – Flora Duffy – 27, Devonshire, Bermuda

Rank = Position in XTERRA U.S. Pro Series after two
NR = Not Ranked in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series