XTERRA Lory June 17th

XTERRA Lory, in Bellevue, Colorado is one of those races adored by both beginners and experts. The two-lap, 12.2 mile bike course flows over rolling terrain and the challenging 4.8 mile run will get your adrenaline pumping, even if you’ve been racing for years. The half mile swim in the clear waters of Horsetooth Resevoir (Eltuk Bay) is one of the most scenic swims in the state of Colorado with steep canyon walls on either side.

Oh and did we mention the 25-foot Slip n’ Slide waiting to cool you off at the finish line?

Last year Brad Zoller was the XTERRA Lory Champ in 1:38:15. He was followed by 2016 XTERRA Pan Am Champs Nelson Hegg in 1:40:17 and Garren Watkins 1:41:09.

Elite racer Elizabeth Gruber was the 2016 women’s champ in 1:52:06. Megan Riepma and Jennifer Razee fought hard for second, finishing in 1:54:35 and 1:54:56, respectively.

This year, Elizabeth Gruber and Nelson Hegg will be racing again for the honor to be the first on the Slip n’ Slide. Mr. XTERRA 2014, Craig Vogtsberger, will also be racing in the physically challenged category.

Watch a preview of XTERRA Lory and learn more at www.withoutlimits.co.

Photo Courtesy of Adam Hodges

XTERRA’s First Blind Athlete – Amy Dixon

In 1996, then twenty-two year old Amy Dixon knew something was wrong when the wine she was pouring for her customers ended up on the table instead of their glasses. “I was mortified,” she said. “I was a sommelier and I couldn’t properly pour wine.” 

When her mother visited her, she gasped when she saw the bruises that covered Dixon’s legs. I told my mom I was just clumsy and she said, “Amy, no one has that many bruises. No one is that clumsy.”

Soon afterward, Dixon experienced flashes of light like the kind you get when you stare too long at the sun. After seeing a handful of specialists, she was diagnosed with uveitis, an autoimmune condition of the eye that causes inflammation and destroys eye tissue.

“My doctor asked how many fingers he was holding up and I had to tell him that I couldn’t even see his arm. It was like a curtain dropped.”

Soon after, Dixon lost 70% of her vision. The first line of defense was steroids, which caused her to gain more than 60 pounds but put her in remission.

In 2008, her sight got worse, and Dixon lost most of her remaining sight. For the next five years, she struggled with her uveitis and developed glaucoma. Dixon endured 19 surgeries as well as chemotherapy to suppress her immune system, but her vision continued to decline. 

“I have about two percent of usable vision now,” Dixon explains. “It’s sort of like looking through a keyhole in a door. If you are right in front of me and I am making eye contact, I can only see your right eye and your nose. If you are ten feet away from me, I can see your whole face. If you are across a room, maybe I can see your whole body.”

In 2013, Dixon began swimming as a way to feel better. “I was sick of feeling sick. I figured I would be safe in a pool – 25 yards is 25 yards and there’s a black line I can follow.”

Later, Dixon began sneaking into her YMCA’s spinning room, where she tied her guide dog to a stationary bike and started pedaling.

“Someone caught me one day,” she said. They were like, ‘Oh hey, there’s a spin class here in an hour,’ and I told them I was too slow and too fat. But they pressured me into it. Soon after, I started running on a treadmill, which I tied myself to with a Theraband.”

A friend on social media pointed out that maybe she should enter a triathlon, since apparently, that was what she was training for. “Oh my god, it was crazy,” said Dixon. “I couldn’t afford a tandem bike for my guide and me. But I went to a triathlon expo where someone offered me one from his garage. It was this 35-year old, 60 pound steel bike that dropped chain several times, but I was so, so grateful to have it.”

She did so well in her first triathlon that she was invited to the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s paratriathlete development camp. It wasn’t long until she was competing on the world ITU Paratriathlon circuit on the USA team.

It looked as though Dixon would be an obvious choice to compete in the 2016 Paralympics Games in Rio. She was ranked 6th in the world and took first in many races, but the complicated process behind the selection committee meant that she was left behind while the team went to Brazil. 

Dixon was devastated and turned to her sport psychologist and friend Simon Marshall and two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson, who encouraged her to set a new goal. Through a Braveheart Coaching Camp she attended as a guest speaker, she met two-time XTERRA World Championship qualifier Christy Fritts.

“I said, ‘Hey Christy, I’m looking for a guide for the ITU Aquathlon World Championships in Mexico in September,’ and Christy said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’”

Fritts was having her own issues at the time. “I had a degenerative disc that was just bone on bone,” Fritts explained. “I had a lot of pain but since the Aquathlon was a run-swim-run, I knew I could do it. Amy is just an amazing athlete and an amazing person. In a few days she taught me everything I needed to know from communicating obstacles to running and swimming with a tether between us, to how to navigate the transitions.”

The two won the ITU Aquathlon World Championships, but before they went on to bigger and better races, Fritts needed surgery. “I didn’t want to be responsible for Amy ‘s medal or rankings slide because of my injury,” she said. “After researching my options, it turned out I was a candidate for an Artificial Disc Replacement.” 

 She explained that this procedure is a great alternative to athletes looking for an alternative to fusion.The surgery was in January and Fritts is already back on her mountain bike. 

Dixon took note of Fritts’ off-road prowess. “I said to Christy, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to do an XTERRA together?”

The talented duo will be competing in XTERRA Tahoe City on June 24th. Dixon will be the first blind female athlete to compete in an XTERRA race. 

“We are really excited to have Amy and Christy on the course,” said race director, Todd Jackson. “This is not an easy course, but they are tough athletes, and we’ve got their backs.” 

The XTERRA Tahoe City course features two 750 meter swim laps separated by a 50 meter beach run. The swim is followed by a 22 mile mountain bike ride and a five mile run. 

“I’ll let you know when we figure out trail running,” said Dixon. “On the roads we run side by side, but on the trail I’m going to have to run five feet behind Christy. I’ll just listen to her verbal cues and stare at her feet and hope mine do what hers do.”

The duo is also learning to navigate the tandem mountain bike. “Christy is so great about calling out obstacles but after the first ride it was clear I needed a long sleeve shirt and long fingered gloves. Christy said, ‘Oh, crap I forgot all about the branches.”

“Amy is incredible,” said her friend and off-road mentor Lesley Paterson. “She is such a tough cookie and never gives up! Not only that, she will fit in perfectly with the XTERRA community because she gets at the heart of what everyone loves about this sport! She is going to be amazing.”

XTERRA Heads to Canada This Weekend

As summer heats up, the Canadians get their first shot at XTERRA racing this weekend at the 8th annual XTERRA Mine Over Matter.

“We are expecting our largest field ever,” said race director, James Kowalewski. “We have a new switchback section about 1.5 km into the bike course. It’s full of accelerations and quick breaking sections that are sure to take your legs early in the race.”

Kowalewski adds that while XTERRA Mine Over Matter is gaining popularity each year, it hasn’t lost that grass-roots feeling. You can expect the same great, eclectic music and Canadian hospitality as always.

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Another thing that hasn’t changed is Canadian pro Karsten Madsen, who was runner up at last month’s XTERRA Oak Mountain, less than a minute behind 2015 XTERRA World Champ Josiah Middaugh.

“I expect Karsten to go head to head with fellow pro and former training partner Sean Bechtel,” said Kowalewski. “They are the only two who have ever won the race, with Karsten taking the championship for the last three years.”

“Since XTERRA Oak Mountain, my training has gone really well,” said Madsen. “I’ve been training in Guelph, Ontario and in Barbados because of the heat and the waves there. I’m looking to make large gains in both of those areas at XTERRA Worlds in Maui this year.”

Madsen added that he was looking forward to racing in front of family and friends. “The course at XTERRA Mine Over Matter is always stunning and a weekend I look forward to every year.”

Joining them at the start will be Tahiti’s Cedric Wane and Canadian pros Luka Senk and Adam Byrne.

The race takes place this Saturday at Kelson Quarry in Milton, Ontario. Despite its remote location, the race will have participants from North and South America, including Florida, Chile, and Western Canada.

The course features a 1 km swim in the spring-fed waters of Kelso Quarry, a two lap, 24 km bike course, and a 10.4 km run. Both the bike and run courses are on some of Canada’s finest single and double track trails.

“This is a fast and flowing course, which constantly changes from double to single track and back again,” said Kowalewski. “There are lots of opportunities for passing, and racers are treated to several vista views on the run course.”

Check out the XTERRA Mine Over Matter preview and register for the race at www.elementracing.ca

 

Record Falls at XTERRA Big Elk Trail Run

XTERRA Ambassador Eric Barton had an inkling he could break the course record at the XTERRA Big Elk Half Marathon Trail Run on June 10th in Elkton, Maryland.

“But the only thing that got me under that 1:26 mark was that at each water station, I focused on looking strong and just enjoying myself.”

Barton finished in 1:25:56. Taylor Shoulders was second in 1:34:43 and Iain Banks was third in 1:38:19.

“This was a different race than any other,” admitted Barton. “This was the first year I’ve been able to train specifically for this event. It’s my favorite race of the year and I was honored to represent XTERRA.”

Barton took the lead from the start, knowing that both Shoulders and Banks have been running strong this season.”I wanted to put a gap between them from the start, but they both stayed with me for almost three miles,” said Barton.

Barton admitted to starting out quickly and said he began to feel tired at the three mile mark. “That makes for a tough ten miles,” he said, “But I kept remembering all of the work I put in and kept telling my legs to go faster.”

Iain Banks, who suffered a stomach bug at the beginning of the week, met his goal of winning his 40-44 age group last Saturday.

“XTERRA Big Elk was an adventure!” said Banks. “Eric Barton went off in search of his fourth win in a row, and we wouldn’t see him until the finish. I went out purposely slower than usual and settled into fourth behind Taylor, who has been a regular in the series.”

The bulk of the elevation gains were made in the first half of the race. Shoulders pulled into second at the halfway mark, and by mile eight, Banks clawed his way into third.

Banks is training for the XTERRA Ex2 on July 9th, so he capped off his weekend by competing in a mountain bike race the next day.

 

In the women’s race, Shannon Cebron came through in 1:59:37 and Michelle Ankenbrand was right behind her in 2:00:09. Christine Reiner was third in 2:01:55.

In the XTERRA Big Elk Marathon, XTERRA Ambassador Laura Lunardi was the women’s champ in 3:56:55. Jacob Sinn was the men’s champ in 3:44:09.

“This was a tough race for me this year,” admitted Lunardi. “I didn’t feel well and had a lot of stomach cramping, which made for a long morning on the trails.”

Lunardi has won all of the XTERRA trail runs she has entered this year. Additionally, she competes in about six to eight Spartan races a year. She runs about 55-75 miles a week and fits in additional HIIT sessions and strength training.

While Lunardi runs on roads most mornings out of convenience, trails are her first love. “The XTERRA Big Elk course was great. It was a perfect mix of single track, wooded trails, and grassy meadows.”

Iain Banks agrees. “XTERRA Big Elk is the best in the series. Put it on your calendar for 2018.”

View the complete results at www.XTERRAAtlantic.com

XTERRA Pan Am Champ Laura Morris

Although Laura Morris has been the XTERRA Pan Am Champ for two years in a row, she isn’t returning to Utah this year to defend her title.

“I love that course,” said Morris. “I know I won last year and the year before that, but I wasn’t trying to win. The only reason I go to XTERRA Nationals is because it’s so much fun!”

As the 45-49 age group champ, Morris doesn’t go to Snowbasin with any expectations, either.

“I was a competitive runner for ten years,” she explained. “And then I started to slow down. That was tough. So I did a short stint in triathlons, but I didn’t really like it.”

Morris is a pharmacist, and when she was in her late thirties, a friend at work suggested she try mountain biking.

“I loved the other athletes,” said Morris. “I loved the atmosphere at the races. And I love that mountain biking makes me think. You are constantly thinking. You just can’t check out.”

Morris, who lives and trains in Costa Mesa, California, was mountain biking with her friend Diana Greenwood, who suggested they try XTERRA Laguna Beach in the fall of 2015.

“We were like, ‘Let’s do this!’ Of course, I had to get back in the pool. I’m a terrible swimmer but I really enjoy it. And we ended up having a great time. I mean, it’s the three sports I love the most.”

Morris and Greenwood swim in the ocean at least once a week and in Greenwood’s pool at least two other times a week, putting in about 2000-2200 yards at a time.

“I double up about twice a week swimming and running and swimming and biking. I usually get up at 5:30 and get a good one to two hours in. I work from 10:30 until seven. Then I come home and eat and go to bed every night. I know you aren’t supposed to do that, but that’s how it is.”

For a while, when Morris was training for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race with her husband on a tandem, she was strict about her diet.

“We had to be as light as we could to get up to the top of the mountains,” she explained. “But it was too much. We were riding about eight hours at a time on the weekend. And when we got married, I had bones sticking out of my chest. That’s another thing I love about XTERRA races. Girls with a little more back can really kill it on the trails.”

During the week, Morris eats well to fuel her training. “But on the weekends I kind of blow it, which is fine. You gotta have a life.”

She and Greenwood both have a particular affinity for Popeye’s chicken. “When we found out Ogden had a Popeye’s, we didn’t even go back to our room after the race,” Morris admits. “We ran to Popeye’s.”

This year, Morris will be returning to the XTERRA National Championship, but she isn’t concerned about defending her title. “I’m just there for the course. The ride is perfect.”

As to whether she will be at the XTERRA World Championships – for which she has already qualified twice – Morris is more ambivalent. “Maybe one of these days I’ll save my dollars and go.”

Morris is equally mellow about what happens on the course. “Yeah, you’re going to fall. You’re going to crash. But it’s OK. You’ll get over it.”

 

Meet XTERRA’s Nutrition Expert – Alexandra Borrelly

Alexandra Borrelly Lebrun is a pharmacist and has studied sports nutrition and natural medicine. She works alongside her husband, a former professional XTERRA athlete & 2005 XTERRA World Champ, Nico Lebrun, at Organicoach, where they create optimized nutrition plans for athletes of all levels. 

Alexandra takes care of Organicoach athletes and coaches by helping them choose the best food from nature. The Organicoach philosophy is, “Think Green and Stay Fit,” with organic food, natural medicine, and zero chemicals. 

Recently we asked her a few questions about what to eat during the summer, how to avoid bonking, and the best pre- and post-race foods. We are thrilled chocolate is on the list!

Q. What should we eat this summer?

A. I’m always a huge fan of the Mediterranean diet, no matter what time of year. It’s such a natural way of eating based on the traditional foods that people used to eat in countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea before 1960, when our diets became too heavy in processed foods.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, nuts, olive oil, fish, eggs, and some red meat.

Q. What are the advantages of a Mediterranean diet?

A. Eating local, organic foods means a heavy consumption of vegetables and fruit, olive oil, whole grains, and fish. Dairy, red meat, and wine can be added in small amounts. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases. Moreover, it was realized that the Mediterranean populations were particularly active. Thanks to the sun, they are often outdoors and regularly practice physical or sporting activities. So for me, it is obvious that if you want to move well, you need a body that can be healthy and efficient, and a Mediterranean diet is perfect for meeting those goals.

Q. Can the fats in a Mediterranean diet help prevent “bonking” in an endurance event?

A. Healthy fats, like almonds and olive oil from first cold pressing can be a good source of energy if you are doing a low-intensity endurance event. Healthy fats conserve the sugar reserves we have in the muscles. When those are depleted, we “bonk.” Healthy fats also protect our intestinal barrier and aid in the anti-inflammatory response.

Q. What is a good pre-race breakfast?

A. It all depends on when you are eating. If you have a minimum of three hours, you can eat eggs with good quality whole grain or gluten-free bread, a banana, and some almonds. If you have less than 3 hours: it is better to avoid eggs and almonds because proteins and fats take longer to digest.The important thing is not to change your habits much on the day of the race. Just like a workout, you must practice your diet and try what works for you.

Q.  What is a good post-workout meal, ideal for recovery?

A. You want to eat a varied mixture of vegetables to recharge minerals, whole grains and fruit to recharge the body’s sugars, and fish or eggs to rebuild the muscles. You must also hydrate well! Some great recovery meals include big salads, pizza with goat cheese, pita and hummus, and of course, fresh fruit. 

Q. How can an athlete follow a Mediterranean diet while traveling?

A. The most important thing to remember while traveling is to eat lots of fruit and vegetables! It is better to stay simple and to follow the local specialties.This means simple meals, simply prepared, without rich sauces. You can make food taste amazing if you use good quality olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. 

The important thing is to eat a lot of vegetables and fruit in the day.  In the summer, lunches and dinners can be based around big salads with good quality olive oil, lemon juice and salt. And of course, eat enough whole grains and protein to support your training.

Q. What types of snacks do you recommend?

A. I love snacking! Some of my favorites are: hummus, raw vegetables, fruit, nuts, figs, and dried fruit. And in small quantities, chocolate (70% cocoa) is OK. Life is just better with chocolate!

Q. Can you give a sample of what Nico eats in a day when he is training?

A.  Breakfast: eggs,  fresh fruit with grated coconut, spelt bread, and almonds

Noon: very large salad with seasonal vegetables and small fish (sardines, mackerel or herring) 

Evening: Vegetables, brown rice, and lentils

XTERRA Whitewater is an Athlete’s Paradise

The U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina has everything an XTERRA athlete’s heart desires. From 30 miles of meticulously groomed single track, a rock climbing wall over a swimming pool, a zip line through the canopy, and whitewater rapids, The U.S. National Whitewater Center will make you feel like you are a kid at summer camp.

The only thing better than a day at this outdoor paradise would be an XTERRA race here. Right?

On Saturday, July 8th, the U.S. National Whitewater Center will play host to XTERRA Whitewater, putting triathletes to the test at the world’s premiere outdoor recreation facility.

The course for 2017 begins with a 1K flat water swim in the natural waters of the Catawba River, followed by 23K on mountain bike across all difficulty levels of the USNWC trail system, and concluding with a 6.5K trail run to cross the finish line.

“XTERRA Whitewater is a great opportunity to bring your family on a fantastic adventure,” said race director Jimmy Lawler. “You can challenge yourself on some truly awesome trails and then spend the rest of the weekend kayaking, zip lining, and listening to live music at River Jam on Saturday night.”

Don’t miss the XTERRA Whitewater Transition Clinic on Friday evening, at 6:30 pm. Join XTERRA Ambassador, Marcus Barton, to learn some simple steps to make your transition faster and more effective. The clinic takes place at the transition zone on Friday, July 7th at 6:30pm and will also include a Q&A of the following day’s XTERRA Whitewater Triathlon with the Race Director.

Over 1,300 acres of maintained woodlands along the Catawba River provide the ideal location for this challenging trail race as well as a weekend getaway for the whole family. Home to the world’s largest man-made recirculating river, the USNWC features over 30 unique activities available to all ages and skill levels, including whitewater rafting and kayaking, flat water kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, rock climbing, deep water soloing, zip lines, and ropes courses.

For more information and to register, visit www.usnwc.org.

Catching Up With Morgan Johnson Hoffman

Morgan Johnson Hoffman is a USA Triathlon High Performance Team Coach at Playtri in the Dallas Fort Worth area. She is also a triathlete herself. Most recently, Morgan won the XTERRA Rock Dallas Trail Run 15K

We caught up with Morgan and talked about coaching, trails, and running in the dark.

Q. How did you get into trail running?
A. 
I always loved trail running and I’ve always loved the XTERRA Trail Run Series. I even competed in the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in 2009.

Q. You are a triathlete. Why did you sign up for the XTERRA Rock Dallas Trail Run?
A. I took a break from triathlon training from 2014 – 2016 to focus on coaching and managing a team and I’m just getting back into it again. It made sense for me to sign up for the XTERRA Rock Dallas Trail Run rather than the full triathlon.

Q. What were your goals for the race?
A. I had zero expectations in terms of how I was going to place. The goal was to have fun and run a sustainable effort.

Q. What was the course like?
A. Going out, I had a vague understanding that the first half of the course would be super technical, but the descriptions prior didn’t do it justice! I pushed the pace a bit during the first half with the hope that I would clear the more technical portions prior to it getting dark, since I knew that they would get much tougher once my visibility was restricted.

The trail had a lot of variety, which kept me on my toes, and the Texas humidity was really turned up full force for the first time this spring. I made a concerted effort to keep hydration consistent from the beginning and not be afraid to walk if my heart rate was spiking higher than was sustainable.

Q. What was it like to run in the dark?
A. As it got darker, I had to pick my way a lot more carefully through the technical parts, which made for a much slower pace. By the time I had been told I was the first female for the 15K,  it seemed like it would be a shame to lose  just because I rushed and wiped out.

I decided that being conservative would give me a better chance at a good finish. Towards the end, once it was full dark, the trail thankfully smoothed out a lot and I was able to open up my stride a bit and just go. Although I still had a few near misses!

Q. What were your thoughts after your win?
A. The win was a bit of a surprise! All in all, it was a great experience, and I thought Terra Firma did a stand up job with the organization. It definitely made me want to do more of the XTERRA events this year.

Q. Why do you run?
A. I love trail running because regardless of whether I feel “good” or “bad” during a training run or a race, ultimately every run is money in the bank, so I can just focus on getting it done to the best of my ability, and know that results will eventually follow.

Running is great meditation and constantly reminds me that the journey is more important than the destination.

Ruzafa, Erbenova win XTERRA Belgium

Complete Results / Gallery

June 10, 2017 (Namur, Belgium) – Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) and Helena Erbenova (CZE) captured the second-annual XTERRA Belgium Championship off-road triathlon race in Namur this afternoon.

For Ruzafa, a three-time XTERRA World Champion, the win is the 28th of his career, fifth of the season, and fourth-in-a-row on the XTERRA European Tour.  For Erbenova, a three-time XTERRA European Tour Champion, the win is the 26th of her career, third this season, and second-straight in Belgium.

The event combined a 1-kilometer swim in the Meuse River, followed with a 34-kilometer mountain bike in the forest surrounding the Citadel, and concluded with a 10-kilometer trail run.

Both Ruzafa and Erbenova came from behind out of the water, took the leads by the midway point on the bike and held on for the wins.  Ruzafa had a winning time of 2:45:42, 52-seconds faster than runner-up Xavier Dafflon of Switzerland.  Erbenova took the tape in 3:14:59, nearly five minutes ahead of runner-up Carina Wasle of Austria.

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

A beautiful day and a beautiful race.  It rained hard yesterday and it rained hard on the race last year, however, everything came good this morning and both the XTERRA Lite and championship races were held in near perfect weather.

The swim is unique here as it is a deep water start headed against the current of the Meuse river.  And this is no small piece of water; the Meuse is over 950k long.  There are no buoys except at the finish ramp as the course circumnavigates a huge island in the river.  Pretty neat.

Young French pro Maxim Chane dropped the field to come out of the water first and he held that lead to the top of the long climb from the river to The Citadel Fortress.  He was met by literally thousands of very enthusiastic fans banging plastic “bangers” together and shouting encouragement.  Following him starting the single track was Roger Serrano, but it was not to be his day.  Roger is still tired from organizing his XTERRA Spain and it showed today.  Brad Weiss up from South Africa was third at this point with a huge bunch including Ruben Ruzafa, Francois Carloni, Yeray Luxem and four others.

In the women’s race Carina Wasle got the lead quickly and we were all quite surprised to see Helena Erbenova much closer than usual.  “I had a very good swim today” she grinned.  “The ducks were with me in practice and I saw them on the island.  It seemed they were cheering me.” Hey, whatever works.

This course has a long climb on cobblestones before doing two loops of a fast and, at places, technical mountain bike course.  This means racers have to do that huge climb three times before T2.  At the top of the second-loop Ruben had asserted himself and Francois Carloni had moved into second with Luxem in third and Weiss in fourth.  At this point young first year pro Xavier Dafflon was not far behind.  Dafflon did the unthinkable in Portugal by posting a faster bike time than Ruben, and it appeared he was going to repeat that today.

Helena had taken the lead by the end of the first loop and looked very determined.  Carina had slowed a bit and told us after the race she was not feeling very strong, however, the mighty little Austrian gal felt good enough to have a commanding lead over third-place Isabelle Klein.  Unless a tree fell on her, this was Erbenova’s race and she controlled it well to win by five minutes.  Carina, sick or not, kept pace and was four minutes in front of Morgane Riou, who had passed Klein to move into third. Also on the move was Christine Verdonck, a very quick Belgian age group women who impressed by finishing 4th overall.  Klein finished 5th (4th elite), with Maud Golsteyn was 6th (5th elite).

On the mens side, Dafflon had caught and passed everyone but Ruzafa.

“I had a good race today but Xavier went past me on the last climb like he was on a motorbike,” exclaimed Carloni.

Luxem held onto Dafflon’s wheel and they came into T2 separated by seconds.

“My plan today was to pace myself on the bike during the first lap to save my legs, but when Dafflon went by me that plan went away,” said Luxem.

Dafflon took off on the run with intent to catch Ruzafa and indeed he turned in the fastest run of the day as well as the fastest bike of the day, but Ruzafa had too much for the big Swiss.  The promise that Dafflon showed in Portugal was cemented today and his bike time was exactly two-minutes faster than Ruzafa.  The kicker?  Dafflon had two flat tires today.

“It was a hectic day, two flat tires, cramps on the run, it was tough,” said Dafflon at the finish line.  “Still, happy to come in second to Ruben.”

Luxem took 3rd with Weiss 4th, and Carloni 5th.  Young Maxim Chane’ was having a great race but suffered badly on the run and dropped to 6th and was nearly caught by the old fox, Jan Kubicek, who was just one-second behind.

And so ended the second edition of XTERRA Belgium.  With about 1,200 entrants in just their second year, organizers Denis Detinne and Florian Badoux have exceeded anything we could have hoped for.  The courses are beautifully marked, volunteers everywhere, lots of parking, more than enough water safety, food vendors and expo to buy anything you need.  This race truly has it all.

We head back soon for the awards and after party. While I have a lot of great things to say about how good the race is – the after party is even better.

ELITE RESULTS

Men      
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:45:42 75
2 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 2:46:34 67
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 2:48:27 61
4 Bradley Weiss, RSA 2:48:39 56
5 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:52:47 51
6 Maxim Chane, FRA 2:54:34 47
7 Jan Kubicek, CZE 2:54:35 43
8 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 2:55:28 39
9 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 2:57:13 36
10 Thomas Kerner, GER 2:57:40 33
11 Peter Lehmann, GER 2:57:47 30
12 Theo Dupras, FRA 2:59:19 27
13 Tim Van Daele, BEL 3:00:17 25
14 Mark Hamersma, NED 3:01:54 23
15 Morten Olesen, DEN 3:03:46 21
Also: Hannes Wolpert, Christophe Betard, Julien Buffe, Joost Christiaans, Arthur Serrieres, Caimin Stevens
Women      
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:14:59 75
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:19:49 67
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 3:23:52 61
4 Isabelle Klein, LUX 3:28:16 56
5 Maud Golsteyn, NED 3:33:13 51
6 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 3:37:58 47
7 Jessica Roberts, GBR 3:40:11 43
8 Cecilia Jessen, SWE 3:52:23 39
9 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 3:54:36 36

RUZAFA, POOR LEAD EURO TOUR AFTER SIX

Ruben Ruzafa pulled further in front of the elite men’s standings following his fourth straight win today.  Carloni holds on to the No. 2 spot, Luxem jumps from fourth to third, Dafflon moves up six spots from 10th to 4th, and Serrano drops from 3rd to 5th after a DNF today.

In the women’s chase Erbenova closed to within six points of the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champ Brigitta Poor.  Poor has three wins and two runner-ups.  Erbenova has three wins, a runner-up, and a third-place finish. There are still eight races remaining, however, this is shaping up to be a great duel between the two.  Golsteyn holds on to the third spot, while Wasle leapfrogs over Riou into the 4th spot.

XTERRA EURO TOUR ELITE PTS STANDINGS

After 6 – 6.10.17
Men     S S S S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 300 DNS DNS 75 75 75 75
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 263 61 47 43 DNS 61 51
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 203 DNS 75 DNS DNS 67 61
4 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 170 DNS DNS 47 DNS 56 67
5 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNF
6 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 128 67 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
7 Thomas Kerner, GER 127 DNS 61 33 DNS DNS 33
8 Rui Dolores, POR 122 DNS DNS 39 36 47 DNS
9 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 118 DNS DNS DNS 67 51 DNS
10 Jens Roth, GER 117 DNS DNS 61 56 DNS DNS
11 Jan Pyott, SUI 114 56 DNS 25 33 DNS DNS
12 Maxim Chane, FRA 113 30 DNS 36 DNS DNS 47
13 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 100 33 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Jan Kubicek, CZE 82 DNS DNS DNP 39 DNS 43
15 Julien Buffe, FRA 79 DNS 56 23 DNS DNS DNP
16 Hannes Wolpert, BEL 79 DNF 43 DNP DNS 36 DNP
17 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 75 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39
18 Mark Hamersma, NED 66 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 23
19 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNP
21 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 58 DNS DNS DNS 25 33 DNS
22 Peter Lehmann, GER 57 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 30
23 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
24 Bradley Weiss, RSA 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
25 Tim Van Daele, BEL 52 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS 25
26 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Arthur Forissier, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
29 Tomas Kubek, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Albert Soley, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
31 Pau Botella Tarres, ESP 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
32 Mattia De Paoli, ITA 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
33 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
34 Dominik Wychera, AUT 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS
35 Pierre Alain Nicole, FRA 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36
36 Tiago Maia, POR 30 DNS DNS 30 DNS DNF DNS
37 Guillaume Jeannin, FRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS
38 Alejandro Tenorio, ESP 30 DNS DNS DNS DNP 30 DNS
39 Doug Hall, GBR 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
40 Rafael Gomes, POR 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS
41 Theo Dupras, FRA 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27
42 Octavio Vicente, POR 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS
43 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
44 Javier Oliver Vives, ESP 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS
45 Markus Benesch, AUT 21 DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS DNS
46 Zeus Gutierrez Ochoa, ESP 21 DNS DNS DNS 21 DNS DNS
47 Morten Olesen, DEN 21 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 21
WM     S S S S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 359 75 75 67 67 75 DNS
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 353 67 DNS 75 75 61 75
3 Maud Golsteyn, NED 210 56 DNS 47 DNS 56 51
4 Carina Wasle, AUT 185 51 DNS DNS DNS 67 67
5 Morgane Riou, FRA 184 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS 61
6 Cecila Jessen, SWE 139 39 61 DNS DNS DNS 39
7 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47 DNS
8 Kathrin Mueller, GER 89 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
9 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
10 Nicole Walkers, GBR 61 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
11 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
12 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
13 Daz Parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Isabelle Klein, LUX 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
15 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
17 Ladina Buss, SUI 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
18 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Aina Picas, ESP 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
20 Ine Couckuyt, BEL 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47
21 Louise Fox, GBR 43 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS
23 Sheila Marques, POR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
24 Jessica Roberts, GBR 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43
25 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 36
26 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS

XTERRA Belgium was the sixth of 14 races on the XTERRA European Tour, and 20th of 40 on the XTERRA World Tour where amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
25-Feb XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
4-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
18-Mar XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
25-Mar XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
1-Apr XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
1-Apr XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
2-Apr XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
8-Apr XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
9-Apr XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
16-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
29-Apr XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
30-Apr XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
6-May XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
13-May XTERRA Brazil # Silver Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
14-May XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
20-May XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
27-May XTERRA Portugal * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Brigitta Poor
10-Jun XTERRA Belgium * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
17-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Milton, Ontario, Canada
18-Jun XTERRA Finland * Silver Imatra
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Vallee de Joux
2-Jul XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
9-Jul XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
15-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
30-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
5-Aug XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
6-Aug XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
13-Aug XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
19-Aug XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
26-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2-Sep XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
3-Sep XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Next up on the XTERRA European Tour: XTERRA Finland, June 18 (Imatra)

Learn more at www.xterraeurope.com.