Ruzafa Reunion

Ruzafa, Wasle win XTERRA Reunion

Three-time XTERRA World Champion Rubun Ruzafa from Spain and Carina Wasle from Austria captured the 2nd annual XTERRA Reunion off-road triathlon on Sunday.

Ruzafa has now won 15 of his last 16 XTERRA majors and is 19-of-23 for his career.

Francois Carloni and Yeray Luxem finished 2nd and 3rd, and the “Caveman” Conrad Stoltz finished 9th in his first race since retiring.

“To me, “Retirement” does not mean “stay on the couch forever”, it means “train for fun and race for fun” – which meant I finished 20 minutes (9th place) behind winner Ruben Ruzafa,” posted Stoltz to his Facebook page. “Much fun was had. Stunning course, magical island and people.”

In the women’s race Wasle and South African Carla Van Huyssteen went back-and-forth all day until the Austrian pulled away at the end.

XTERRA REUNION PHOTOS // RESULTS

power-fairly-consistent

Middaugh Coaching Corner – Interval Training

For years interval training has been considered the most potent form of training for an endurance athlete. Thanks to early running legends such as Paavo Nurmi, the flying Finn, and Emil Zatopek, the Czechoslovakian locomotive.  They weren’t the first to implement interval training, but their straightforward approaches shaped modern distance running. Put simply, in order to race fast, you need to train fast.

In modern times, interval training is a fundamental way to train endurance performance. I overheard my 10 year-old telling his brother, “the best way to get faster is to do intervals, that’s what my gym teacher said.”  For the general public, any intervals will do, but for the highly trained endurance athlete we need to get a little more scientific.

The basic premise of interval training is that you are able to swim, bike, or run at a higher intensity if your training is intermittent versus continuous. A 5k runner, for example, could head out the door and cover 3.1 miles as fast as possible a couple times a week, but would have a hard time holding their goal pace for much more than one mile. Instead, if the training was broken into half mile intervals, a race-pace could be achieved with every 800 meter bout as long as recovery was adequate.  With each repeated bout there is a cumulative effect, up to a certain point, to stimulate adaptation. Beyond a certain point, maladaptation can occur.

Types of Intervals

In an effort to simplify we will focus our discussion on the most potent type of intervals known as VO2 max intervals. VO2 max is defined as an individual’s highest rate of oxygen consumption (milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute). A common misconception is that interval training is strictly anaerobic. These types of intervals do have a big anaerobic component, but by definition have you operating near your peak oxygen consumption, which is the key.  Most athletes can work at VO2 max for only about 5 to 9 minutes, so intervals at VO2 max need to be shorter than that.  If the interval is too short, then the anaerobic contribution is big, but there is not enough time to actually get to VO2 max. Personally I like 2-3 minutes ON with about equal recovery.

Pacing Strategy

Pacing is critical. Suppose you are running those 800 meter bouts and you start out by sprinting the first 200 meters and then have a gradual slow-down for the next 600 meters.  Your average pace might be on target, but you have failed to reach VO2 max since you started with this huge anaerobic effort and then settled into a pace slower than your VO2 max intensity.

There is something called a slow-component to VO2 max.  This means that for any pace above lactate threshold, you will eventually reach VO2 max if the exercise is continued. So you do want to go fast, but to spend the most amount of time near VO2 max, you want a pace you can sustain for 2-3 minutes. If performed correctly your oxygen consumption will approach VO2 max about half-way through each hard effort.  So if your workout is 6 x 2.5 minutes, you might in reality only spend a total of 7.5 minutes at VO2 max, which is fine.  If performed poorly you may only spend a few seconds of each interval at VO2 max or none at all.

poor-pacing.jpg

Poor pacing strategy with high power output at the start of each bout and power dropping on each bout. Also note the furthest distance achieved on the first effort.

better-pacing.jpg

Better pacing strategy here. In this case, power within each bout was very consistent, but there was still a drop off in power for the last 3 bouts.

power-fairly-consistent

Power fairly consistent throughout hard efforts.   Notice peak heart rate is not achieved until the 6th bout. Different athletes, different software.

Work:Rest Ratios

An ideal range for work portion is about 1.5 to 4 minutes. We like the 2-3 minute range the best with a few exceptions. Work to rest ratios are usually around 1:1.  The rest interval can be adjusted to increase or decrease the intensity of the workout. If you are having a hard time keeping pace, try adding 30 seconds rest. If you are completing the workout with energy to spare, try 30 seconds less rest the next time out.

How Intense?

Pace or power are your best guides for this type of training. Heart rate lags so far behind that it is not the best indicator and you don’t want to try to spike your heart rate to start each effort.

If you have power on the bike, I like to use 110% FTP for 3 minute bouts, and 115% FTP for 2 minute bouts.  To find Functional Threshold power on the bike go here (http://middaughcoaching.com/heart-rate-and-power-training-zones/).

For running, a 5k race pace or slightly faster will get you there. A 15 minute 5k runner can just use their 5k pace, but a 25 minute 5k runner might need to increase the pace slightly. If you use our spreadsheet, then use your pace for the top of zone 4, beginning of zone 5. (http://middaughcoaching.com/running-heart-rate-and-pace-training-zones/)

If you are performing intervals uphill and don’t have power or pace to guide you, try this approach. Warm up to the base of consistent climb.   On your first bout, hold back a fraction and note your distance at 1 minute and 2 minutes. Make a mark in the dirt.  Recover on the downhill and repeat the same section of the hill attempting to at least reach the same finishing mark or go slightly further. Try to do this without going any further for that first minute.

How Much?

I mentioned earlier that this is the most potent form of training. So your goal is to be able to maintain the quality for the entire workout. For most people this means 15-21 minutes of total hard work.  So that is 8-10 bouts of 2 minutes, or 5-7 bouts of 3 minutes. Keep it simple.   Shoot for a very similar intensity every time and if you start to slow down you have done too much.

How Often?

A little bit can go a long way. I try to space out this type of training more than any other.  For most people that means two quality sessions per week with one on the bike and one on the run.   Training becomes more polarized during a VO2 max cycle with recovery and endurance workouts separating VO2 max bouts.  Total training volume is reduced and avoid excessively long workouts during this time.

Soon Ripe, Soon Rotten

With this type of training, most people will plateau in about 6 weeks.  I like to sprinkle in this type of training as key races are approaching and save heavy blocks of VO2 max interval training for the most important races of the season.

Jacqui Slack

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Saturday in New South Wales

The raucous sounds of native Cockatoo’s and laughing Kookaburra’s fill the air around Callala Beach in New South Wales, Australia – home to the third annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race on Saturday.

The weather has been perfect in the days leading up to the main event with lots of sunshine and bright blue skies, although threats of rain fill the forecast for Friday and as we’ve learned from previous years, rain soaked trails turn the forest roots here into slippery rails and intermediate routs into technical tracts.

Braden Currie thrived in those conditions last year, posting the fastest bike split of the day and crossing the line nearly three minutes ahead of the speedy Courtney Atkinson. He’d like nothing more than a repeat of that performance to end a grueling schedule full of racing on a high note.

“Think I’ve race nine times in the last 13 weeks,” said Currie, who after finishing second at XTERRA Worlds last year, did his best to make the New Zealand Olympic team for triathlon thus never did have an off-season. “It’s been a lot of time on the road, traveling and training. I’ve had heaps of good learnings though, and think there is great cross over to it and it will benefit me in XTERRA.”

Courtney Atkinson was also chasing an Olympic spot in hopes of representing Australia for the third time.  It didn’t work out, but said he’s happy to be back in the bush and have the chance to win a fourth straight XTERRA Australia title.

“Got back off-road last weekend and had a win, and had so much fun racing on the mountain bike again,” said Atkinson, who won the Queensland Cross Tri on Saturday. “There’s a great international field coming to Callala Beach for this one, and it’s good for off-road tri.”

Among that great international field is Bradley Weiss from South Africa, last year’s XTERRA Asian Tour Champion and winner of XTERRA South Africa and XTERRA Philippines already this year.

“So great to be back in New South Wales,” said Weiss, who finished 4th here two years ago in the inaugural event behind fellow countryman Dan Hugo, Atkinson, and Currie.   “Should be a really fast and furious race out there on Saturday. I’m looking forward to going against these guys.  I’ve been very focused on this particular race, not just the prize purse but the prestige that comes with the event. I’m going to be giving it my all out there. I feel like I’m in really good shape at the moment, it’s just going to take some execution on my part to get it right.”

Weiss said he also looked forward to reigniting the friendly rivalry with Asia-Pacific Tour nemesis Ben Allen. Those two have gone back-and-forth for years now in the regional races, flip-flopping places between first and second.

“The field toeing the line this weekend is no joke,” said Allen, who won the Australian Cross Tri National Championship earlier this year. “Braden won New Zealand. Brad won the Philippines and has had some time now in this part of the world. It’s great to see the guys are traveling all the way out to these destination races in the Asia-Pacific area to take the sport to the next level. I’m sure the quality and depth of the field will make it one heck of a race.”

Others of note include Kiwi Sam Osborne, who was second to Currie at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend and won XTERRA Sweden last year; Olly Shaw who won the XTERRA Motatapu off-road tri earlier this year; Brodie Gardner who won XTERRA Saipan in March, and the best off-roaders from Malaysia (Barry Lee), Hong Kong (Jason Hsieh), and Korea (Kaon Cho).

WOMEN’S ELITE RACE UP FOR GRABS

Reigning XTERRA Asian Tour Champion Jacqui Slack has finished third at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in each of the last two years.  In 2014 she was 3rd behind XTERRA World Champions Flora Duffy and Nicky Samuels.  Last year she was third behind Duffy and two-time Maui runner-up Barbara Riveros.

Since all three of those speedsters are now focused on the Rio Olympics and not on the start list for Saturday’s race, Slack is hoping that, well, she can pick up the slack.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Slack, who had eight podium finishes last year.   “They’re not here and it’s wide open.  It’s going to be a really good race for that number one spot, and it’s such a huge race, huge prize money, Asia-Pacific title on the line. All the girls here are pretty similar and anyone could take it, so I think it makes it pretty exciting.”

Slack is also happy to come into this race fully charged and ready to go for the first time in three years.

“I’ve got three, four months of really solid training in me and I can’t wait to get out there and see what’s going to happen on the day. We’re all super close and have our own strengths and weaknesses, so it’ll come down to who’s the strongest at the finish.”

Indeed, the women’s field is full of familiar faces and top-level pros that have each gotten the better of one-another at a myriad of championship races through the years.

Renata Bucher is the most decorated of the bunch with 33 big XTERRA wins spanning 14 countries over her illustrious 13-year career.   Just last year she won the ETU European Cross Tri Championship and was second to only two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson at the XTERRA European Champs.

Lizzie Orchard might be the most improved, and has run down victories at XTERRA Philippines and XTERRA New Zealand just last weekend.

“I’m looking forward to Saturday, and really determined to see a Koala,” joked Orchard.

Carina Wasle from Austria is coming off a win of her own at XTERRA Reunion last weekend, and she took home the XTERRA Saipan title earlier this year. Kiwi Sarah Backler, who won the XTERRA Tahiti title last year, finished just 27-seconds behind Orchard at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend. American Catherine Sterling is a fantastic swimmer and should hit the trails right alongside Jacqui Slack and those two could take off together.

There’s also Aussie Cross Tri National Champ Penny Hosken in the field, the reigning XTERRA Australia Champion Jessica Simpson, and a newcomer to the sport named Holly Khan.

There’s one thing for certain … this race is anybody’s to win.

XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC ELITE START LIST

Name (Alphabetical) – Age, Hometown
Ben Allen – 31, North Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Courtney Atkinson – 36, Mermaid Waters, Queensland, Australia
Kaon Cho – 33, Jeju, South Korea
Braden Currie – 29, Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand
Aiden Dunster – 25, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Brodie Gardner – 29, Marcoola, QLD, Australia
Jason Hsieh – 31, Tai Po, Hong Kong
Barry Lee – 23, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kieran McPherson – 24, Matamata, New Zealand
Sam Osborne – 25, Rotorua, New Zealand
Cameron Paul – 25, Taupo, New Zealand
Alex Roberts – 26, Taupo, New Zealand
Olly Shaw – 24, Rotorua, New Zealand
Robert Skillman – 32, Tarlo, NSW, Australia
Bradley Weiss – 27, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Noah Wright – 41, Austin, Texas, USA

Name (Alphabetical) – Age, Hometown
Sarah Backler – 33, Tauranga, New Zealand
Renata Bucher – 38, Lucerne, Switzerland
Penny Hosken – 28, Ringwood North, VIC, Australia
Holly Khan – 30, Cooranbong, NSW, Australia
Elizabeth Orchard – 30, Auckland, New Zealand
Jessica Simpson – 27, East Corrimal, NSW, Australia
Jacqui Slack – 32, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, GBR
Catherine Sterling – 38, Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
Carina Wasle – 31, Kundl, Austria

XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC COURSE OVERVIEW

XTERRA managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas has high praise for the venue set to host the 3rd annual XTERRA’s Asia-Pacific Championship race.

“The area is gorgeous, and we’ll be racing and riding through the Nowra State Forest,” explained Nicholas. “All in all it will be a total Australian experience. They call it bush – and it is. Not a lot of total elevation change, but some steep, short stuff and it’s quite sandy in places that will require some tough pedaling.”

The bike and run trails are native bush, undulating and fast. There are some sandy trails, even miles from the coast, and it’s also rooty in spots. The trails get narrow, winding thru trees.

“The run course is going to have nearly a mile of sand/beach running and it will be tough,” said Nicholas.

Even locals marvel at the soft, white sand that stretches for miles. “Better than Kailua Beach sand,” exclaimed XTERRA President Janet Clark, a Canberra-native who lives near the famous Kailua Beach in Hawaii.

Of note, the ocean temperatures measured at 20 degrees on their visit, which would make it a wetsuit-legal race.

“It’s also worth noting the ocean should be fairly flat, with no surf to speak of during the race,” said Nicholas.

No surf, but plenty of wildlife.

“Birds squawking and yodeling everywhere – sulfur crested cockatoos, parrots, kookaburras, it is a cacophony of a racket. We named one of the run trails “Squawking bird” as a result,” said Nicholas. “The range of colors and sounds is unbelievable, and the huge white gum trees (currently in flower) are spectacular.”

Of course there is no doubt visitors will be eager to experience the Kangaroo culture.

“The Kangaroos are the same color as the tree trunks and it’s hard to see them until they move,” said Nicholas. “On the golf course you can see a dozen at a time and walk right up to them.

Swim Distance: 1.5-kilometers (0.93 miles)
Location: Callala Beach at the end of Callala Beach Road.  A long, white sand beach facing the mouth of Jervis Bay. The Bay is renowned for its white sand beaches and clear turquoise water. Jervis Bay is sheltered from most open ocean swells. Full course athletes will swim two laps of a 750-meter triangular course with a short beach sprint between laps.

Swim to Bike Run (T1) – A notable 670-meter run from beach to T1.  There is even a shoe transition set-up for it.

Mountain Bike Distance: 30 Kilometers (18 miles)
Location: Nowra State Forest, Private Land. The bike course follows jeep trails from the RSL and crosses Forest Road to access some great single track which are portions of Superbowl and Butterfly trails. There will be short technical sections, flat twisty blasts, some short, sharp climbs, a couple of short twisty downhills and a great wha-hoo downhill.

Trail Run Distance: 10 Kilometers (6.2 miles)

Location: Race courses will be a combination of beach, jeep trail and single track – starting and finishing at the RSL. This year’s course replaces the second long-stretch of sand with some undulating forest terrain.

XTERRA ANZ DOUBLE PARTICIPANTS

Dozens of racers are taking on the XTERRA ANZ Double, which  recognizes the pro and age group male and female racers who post the fastest combined times at the XTERRA New Zealand and XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship races.

Here’s a look at the times of those who raced at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend and are on the start list for Saturday’s race in Australia:

First Last Division NZ Time
Braden Currie PRO M 2:05:42
Sam Osborne PRO M 2:07:23
Bradley Weiss PRO M 2:11:33
Olly Shaw PRO M 2:11:50
Hayden Wilde PRO M 2:15:32
Kieran McPherson PRO M 2:17:27
Cameron Paul PRO M 2:20:03
Matt Backler 35-39M 2:21:42
Alex Roberts PRO M 2:28:08
Lewis Ryan 15-19M 2:29:13
simon manson 45-49M 2:32:20
Lizzie Orchard PRO F 2:39:10
Sarah Backler PRO F 2:39:37
Kaon Cho PRO M 2:53:20
Josie Sinclair 55-59F 3:09:38
Peter Hepworth 45-49M 3:12:06
Catherine Ballantyne 45-49F 3:16:56
Nola Urquhart 50-54F 3:51:38
Brayden Currie, winner of  Paymark Xterra, Rotorua, New Zealand, 16 April 2016. Photo by John Cowpland / Marathon Photos

Currie, Orchard win XTERRA New Zealand

Photos / Complete Results / Quick Highlight Video

Braden Currie defended his title and Lizzie Orchard got her first big win in her home country at the 14th annual XTERRA New Zealand Championship on a beautiful day at the Blue Lake in Roturua on Saturday.

XTERRA media liaison Jordyn McLean was on-site to capture all the action and brings us this report (photos courtesy John Cowpland)…

Top Kiwi multisport athlete Braden Currie has defended his pro title at the Paymark XTERRA Rotorua Festival, crossing the line ahead of Rotorua’s Sam Osborne and South Africa’s Bradley Weiss at the Blue Lake today.

The 29-year old from Wanaka was neck and neck with Osborne out of the swim and into the mountain bike, but he managed to pull away towards the end of the bike leg.

“Yea me and Sam swim pretty similar and we ride pretty similar on the flat stuff and I just managed to get away on the big hill. It was great to go into transition with a little bit of a lead cause I knew we would have been real close in the run too,” said Currie. “I’m stoked with the win though. It was always going to be a hard day, I knew Sam was in real good condition and I knew how badly he wanted to win so it was never going to be easy. It was just fun to have a really good race and enjoy it.”

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Currie though.

“I had an epic crash and I’m really starting to feel it now. I was just sitting on Sam’s wheel and just scored a wrong line and went straight over the bars at full speed and slipped down the bank on my shoulder and head. I came to a stop and collected my bike and lost all my gels. In a way it was good because it made me refocus.”

Currie will head to the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championships next weekend in New South Wales, before taking a break to decide what he’ll do next.

Local athlete Osborne had a frustrating swim, but kept the pressure on Currie for the majority of the race.

“I didn’t have the best start in the swim, I actually had to swim back on which was a bit annoying. Braden and I were literally just battling it out the whole bike, but coming into the big climb he just let rip at the bottom of it and I just couldn’t go with his initial surge. It came down to a running race and I think I just burnt too many matches on the bike,” said Osborne.

Osborne had plenty of praise for the new layout of the course at the Paymark XTERRA Rotorua Festival.

“I think this course is a winner. Braden and I both think this would be the perfect World Champs course. It’s good, consistent riding and it’s technical enough that when you ride fast it is actually hard, but not ridiculous either.”

Whakatane teenager Hayden Wilde produced a remarkable result in the long course race, finishing in fourth place.

“I had one of the best swims I’ve ever had, and I came out with the likes of Olly Shaw and then from there I started a good bike, but about 5km into it I got a puncture. I had to stop and put CO2 in it and I lost about 2 minutes. Once I got going again I managed to pass guys who had passed me and then I passed a few others and then gunned it on the run,” said Wilde.  “I was stoked with the result but gutted to have got the puncture, but I guess it’s good to know where I am at. I’m going to the Asia-Pacific Champs next weekend and it will be my first elite race so I’m looking forward to it.”

Pro Men  
Pl Name Final
1 Braden Currie, NZL 2:05:42
2 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:07:23
3 Bradley Weiss, RSA 2:11:33
4 Olly Shaw, NZL 2:11:50
5 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:17:27
6 Cameron Paul, NZL 2:20:03
7 Alex Roberts, NZL 2:28:08
8 Lachlan Davey, NZL 2:37:35
9 Kaon Cho, KOR 2:53:20
10 Kiley Momohara, NZL 3:25:11
Liz Orchard

Liz Orchard, womens winner, Paymark Xterra, Rotorua, New Zealand, 16 April 2016. Photo by John Cowpland / Marathon Photos

In the women’s pro race, Lizzie Orchard improved on her second place finish last year to take out the 2016 title. The 30-year old defeated Sarah Backler who finished second and Rachel Challis in third.

Orchard was delighted with the victory and says it was a long time coming.

“I’m super pleased to have won XTERRA in Rotorua. It’s the home town race and you always want to do well here. I’ve actually been coming here for over 10 years, starting as a teenager before eventually trying the full triathlon. It’s always great, loads of support and so many people cheering you on.”

Orchard made her charge in the run, after coming into transition off the mountain bike in third place.

“I don’t think I have ever come out of a bike ride in a triathlon in the lead, so I am used to being on the back foot and I enjoy running so it’s good to have your strength last. It’s also good to have the others a little bit worried sometimes, they know you are coming.”

Pro Women  
Pl Name Final
1 Lizzie Orchard, NZL 2:39:10
2 Sarah Backler, NZL 2:39:37
3 Rachel Challis, NZL 2:41:04
4 Mary Gray, NZL 2:41:38

Rio Olympics hopeful and National mountain bike champion Sam Gaze took out the 26km mountain bike race in a time of 1:07:50. He’s in good stead heading into next week’s World Cup event in Cairns.

“It went well out there. It was a great course, it was definitely a bit different from the other times I’ve done it but it was quite cool. I just came along with Dad just to enjoy it and test myself for the World Cup next week and everything looks pretty good for it.”

The Waikato rider has had two Olympic qualification races so far this year, one went well while the other didn’t got to plan because of health issues. But he’ll find out whether he makes the Rio Games after the third World Cup event in France around the 20th of May.

2,300 participants took part in the 14th edition of the Paymark XTERRA Rotorua Festival. As well as the XTERRA short and long course races, athletes could choose to walk or run a 5.5km, 11km or 21km distance, and the 26km mountain bike.

Event spokesperson Tony Sangster says they received great feedback on the new bike layout.

“The athletes loved the new bike course and we have seen some great performances. The people have enjoyed themselves. Having an event where you have the opportunity to go to two World Championships is fantastic as well. A lot of athletes are trying to get to Maui (XTERRA World Championships) and Lake Crackenback in Australia (ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships). This Rotorua event is great and it caters for all ages and abilities.”

XTERRA NEW ZEALAND ALL-TIME WINNERS
Year Men Women
2003 Sam Mallard Evelyn Willamson
2004 Hamish Carter Sonia Foote
2005 Hamish Carter Sonia Foote
2006 Hamish Carter Gina Ferguson
2007 Tim Wilding Gina Ferguson
2008 Terenzo Bozzone Sonia Foote
2009 Richard Ussher Nicola Leary
2010 Scott Thorne Nicola Leary
2011 Richard Ussher Karen Hanlen
2012 Ben Allen Jacqui Slack
2013 Ben Allen Renata Bucher
2014 Conrad Stoltz Barbara Riveros
2015 Braden Currie Suzie Snyder
2016 Braden Currie Lizzie Orchard

Up Next: The 3rd annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in NSW, Australia on Saturday, April 23

OGASAWARA, ORCHARD LEAD APAC TOUR STANDINGS

After four races Takahiro Ogasawara still sits atop the men’s standings and with the win today Lizzie Orchard moves to the top of the women’s elite standings in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour points series.

With two races remain (and they count three) it’s about to get interesting with the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship next Saturday at Callala Beach in New South Wales, Australia, then the finale at XTERRA Malaysia in Langkawi on May 7.  (See the press guide for the Asia-Pacific Champs here).

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

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

The 2016-17 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour season will begin anew at XTERRA Tahiti (May 14, 2016), then continue at XTERRA Korea with an amateur-only race (no pro prize money or pro points) on August 27, 2016 in Daeahn Reservoir, followed by XTERRA Japan in Hokkaido on September 3, 2016.

Here’s a look at the tentative elite standings (pending NZ results confirmation) after four:

PL NAME JPN PHI SAIPAN NZL TOT
1 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 82 75 90 DNS 247
2 Brodie Gardner, AUS DNS 82 100 DNS 182
3 Bradley Weiss, RSA DNS 100 DNS 82 182
4 Kaon Cho, KOR 53 DNS 75 49 177
5 Charlie Epperson, USA 75 69 DNS DNS 144
6 Joe Miller, PHI DNS 53 82 DNS 135
7 Cameron Oneal, USA 63 58 DNS DNS 121
8 Courtney Atkinson, AUS 100 DNS DNS DNS 100
9 Braden Currie, NZL DNS DNS DNS 100 100
10 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 90 DNS DNS DNS 90
11 Ben Allen, AUS DNS 90 DNS DNS 90
12 Sam Osborne, NZL DNS DNS DNS 90 90
13 Olly Shaw, NZL DNS DNS DNS 75 75
14 Taro Shirato, JPN 69 DNS DNS DNS 69
15 Kieran McPherson, NZL DNS DNS DNS 69 69
16 Michal Bucek, SVK DNS 63 DNS DNS 63
17 Cameron Paul, NZL DNS DNS DNS 63 63
18 Jason Hsieh , HKG 58 DNS DNS DNS 58
19 Alex Roberts, NZL DNS DNS DNS 58 58
20 Lachlan Davey, NZL DNS DNS DNS 53 53
21 Barry Lee, MAS DNS 49 DNS DNS 49
22 Kiley Momohara, NZL DNS DNS DNS 45 45
PL NAME JPN PHI SAIPAN NZL TOT
1 Lizzie Orchard, NZL 90 100 DNS 100 290
2 Mieko Carey, USA 100 82 90 DNS 272
3 Carina Wasle, AUT DNS DNS 100 DNS 100
4 Jacqui Slack, GBR DNS 90 DNS DNS 90
5 Sarah Backler, NZL DNS DNS DNS 90 90
6 Renata Bucher, SUI DNS DNS 82 DNS 82
7 Rachel Challis, NZL DNS DNS DNS 82 82
8 Belinda Hadden, AUS DNS DNS 75 DNS 75
9 Mary Gray, NZL DNS DNS DNS 75 75

Learn more

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The New Zealand Championship was the 8th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

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

An XTERRA Reunion with a Caveman

This Sunday’s second annual XTERRA Reunion off-road tri has lured an XTERRA Hall of Famer out of his retirement cave to join in the fun.

“I’ve circled the globe many times to race in some of the world’s most idyllic triathlon locations but almost unbelievably, I never raced in Reunion,” said Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz, who will bring his family and make a race-cation out of the trip while also documenting the experience for TriathlonPlus Magazine.

Reunion Island, a French island located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, is indeed a worthy destination.

“I’ve always wanted to travel there,” said Stoltz.  “I speak fluent French, I love unique cultures and unspoiled nature, and Reunion has a very strong triathlon culture.”

That culture will get even stronger this weekend when some of the world’s best XTERRA racers, including three-time World Champ Ruben Ruzafa, descend upon the island.

Other elite men in the field include Euro Tour runner-up Francois Carloni, last year’s XTERRA Reunion runner-up Yeray Luxem, age-group World Champ turned pro Christophe Betard, and a bevy of South Africans with Theo Blignaut, Antoine Van Heerden, Aiden Nugent, and Charl Stephan.

The defending men’s champ Bradley Weiss will be in New Zealand to take on the Kiwis and fight for the Asia-Pacific Crown in the coming weeks, leaving the Reunion title for another to grab.

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In the women’s race Carla Van Huyssteen returns to defend her crown but will have her work cut out for her with Carina Wasle, Sandra Koblmueller, Susan Sloan, and Natia Van Heerden also on the start list.

The race combines a 1,500-meter swim in the west coast lagoon with a hilly 30km mountain bike course through the savannah and sugar cane fields and a 10km trail run by the coast. To learn more visit www.xterrareunion.com, or write to xterrareunion@gmail.com.

XTERRA_Jersey_Devil-17

XTERRA Racing with The Devil May 1

Spring is here in the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast and it is time to hit the water, singletrack and trail!

May 1 is Opening Day for XTERRA athletes in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions, so get your application in for the XTERRA Jersey Devil Off-Road Triathlon in Barnegat, New Jersey. Now in its 6th year, the Jersey Devil is still the same great family event, and an excellent way to spend a Spring Sunday morning together supporting Mom, Dad, Sis, Bro, everyone racing through the water and grounds of the Joseph A. Citta Scout Camp.

The XTERRA Jersey Devil includes a half-mile lake swim, 13-mile mountain bike and 3-mile trail run.  The lake is shallow so water temps warm daily in the spring; past race day water temps have usually been in the low ’60’s.  The mountain bike course is flat with plenty of space to pass (or be passed); and the ground is very sandy – this is the Jersey Shore.

“The course drains very well, so if there’s rain immediately prior to or even on race day, there is not much mud to deal with,” said race veteran Charlie Redmond.  “The trail run is quite tricky, with lots of turns, hops and twists through the trees, and then there’s that pesky Jersey Devil always looking to grab you!”

What makes this race especially cool is the beneficiary.

“The New Jersey Devil is an all-volunteer effort benefiting the Boy and Girl scouts of this region,” said race director Bob Horn, as all race profits are given back to the Joseph A. Citta Scout Camp, 229 Brockville Road, Barnegat NJ 08005, where the race is held.

More information here: http://www.xterrajerseydevil.com/home.  Please register in advance here https://www.raceforum.com/xterra.

TITLE CHASE BEGINS FOR ATLANTIC REGION

New in 2016 – for the first-time ever – XTERRA Regional Champions will earn a qualifying spot into the XTERRA World Championship on October 23 in Maui. And, athletes who can’t make it this year have an opportunity to defer the spot until 2017 to allow more time to plan their trip.

XTERRA Jersey Devil on May 1 is in the Atlantic Region.  If you live in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, or Washington D.C. this race is IN YOUR REGION.

How old will you be on December 31, 2016? The answer determines your age group. If you’ll be 45-years-old on December 31 (even if you’re 44 on race day) you’ll be competing in the 45-49 division all year. To win your region you have to score more points than any other athlete from the Atlantic Region in the 45-49 age group.

How to score:
– You score points by finishing in the top 15 in your age group (75pts for 1st, 67 for 2nd, etc.)
– You can do as many races as you want.
– You count your best four finishes.
– You must compete in at least one (1) race in your Region.
– You must count at least two (2) races in your region.
– There are two races – XTERRA Oak Mountain (May 21 in Alabama), and XTERRA Beaver Creek (July 16 in Colorado) that offer 100 points.  In those three you can get 100-points for 1st, 90 points for 2nd, and so on.  If you do two or three of those races, just your best finish counts at 100 points, and others revert to 75-point scale.

Other races in the Atlantic Region include the XTERRA EX2 on July 10 in Flintstone, MD and XTERRA Appalachia on August 7 in Penn Runn, PA.

https://www.xterraplanet.com/uploadedfiles/XAT_RULES.pdf

Currie

XTERRA New Zealand in Rotorua Saturday

The 14th annual Paymark XTERRA New Zealand Championship race takes place Saturday at Blue Lake in Rotorua.

It’s a big race for a lot of reasons. It’s the fourth of six events on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour, dishes out qualifying spots into XTERRA Worlds to the top amateurs, and qualifies Kiwis to race for their country at the ITU Cross Tri World Champs.

It’s also one of the biggest gatherings on the XTERRA Planet with thousands of participants taking part in the walk, runs, mountain bike races, and off-road triathlons on offer. And it all happens in one of the most magnificent locations on earth.

“It’s hard to stay focused during the race because it’s so beautiful out there,” said last year’s women’s winner Suzie Snyder.  “It’s like no place I’ve ever been.   You go from a tropical feel to a Redlands Forest-type scene to jungle action, and it changes all the time so it’s just constant stimulation.”

A terrific pro field is on hand to contend for the top step, including the top three men from last year with defending champion Braden Currie, runner-up Sam Osborne, and third-place finisher Olly Shaw.  XTERRA Asian Tour Champ Bradley Weiss of South Africa will give those three chase, as will Kaon Cho of Korea, and a deep cast of Kiwis including Clark Ellice, Kiley Momohara, Alex Roberts, and Lachlan Davey.

The race carries special meaning for both Osborne and Shaw, who hail from right there in Rotorua and would like nothing more than a big win in front of their family and friends. In last year’s race Currie came in just 13-seconds ahead of Osborne, who comes in confident having trained with New Zealand Olympian Ryan Sissons in his build-up to the Rio Olympics.

On the women’s side this could be the year for Lizzie Orchard from Auckland. She had a breakout race at XTERRA Worlds last year, finishing 5th overall, and won her first XTERRA major earlier this season at XTERRA Philippines. She’ll have her hands full with fellow kiwi and former age group XTERRA World Champion Sara Backler, Rachel Challis, and Mary Gray.

To get a sense for the beauty of Blue Lake, have a look at this video from last year’s race: http://www.xterra.co.nz/video.html

More information can be found at www.xterra.co.nz and on Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Paymark-XTERRA-Rotorua-Festival.

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XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship April 23

Intrepid triathletes and trail runners from all over the world are headed to New South Wales, Australia for the third annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship triathlon and accompanying trail running races at Callala Beach in Jervis Bay on April 23-24, 2016.

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres said: “NSW is Australia’s adventure capital, with so many fantastic landscapes and opportunities for athletes to test their skills and endurance. The South Coast is a wonderful location for XTERRA and I wish the athletes the best of luck.”

The main event starts with a 1.5-kilometer swim at Callala Beach, follows with 30-kilometers of mountain biking on trails through the Nowra State Forest, and finishes with a grueling 10-kilometer trail run that traverses Australia’s famous beaches and bushland.

As the most prestigious event in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour that includes championship races in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Tahiti, and Saipan – the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race boasts the second-largest prize purse in off-road triathlon at $50,000 AUD, and will be filmed and edited into a sports special to be broadcast on ESPN International and throughout the U.S. via national syndication and Fox Sports Network.

The event will also serve as XTERRA’s Australian Championship – giving Aussies the chance to grab this very special national title – and award 50 qualifying spots into the XTERRA World Championship in Maui to the top performers. The off-road sports festival weekend also includes a sprint distance off-road triathlon, Xticer beginner triathlon, trail runs, and relay team competitions attracting more than 600 competitors of all ages.  www.xterraasiapacific.com

VISITING NEW SOUTH WALES FORESTS

forest_playground_dark_greenThe true beauty of every XTERRA race around the world is the natural environment in which the race takes place.

At the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship held on the South Coast of New South Wales, participants are treated to uncrowded beaches, crystal-clear water, and bushland that can be enjoyed by walkers, runners, bird-lovers and cycling enthusiasts alike.

“State Forests of the South Coast are home to thousands of hectares of native bushland which showcase a diversity of beautiful landscapes,” said Brendan Grimson, the Partnerships Leader at the Forestry Corporation of NSW which provides free access to thousands of kilometers of forest roads and trails and more than 100 free visitor areas, including camping grounds and picnic facilities.

“Our State Forests support a range of spectacular visitor experiences from mountain biking, horseback riding, trail biking and four-wheel driving. We welcome the XTERRA participants to explore the forests here. What’s more, you can bring your dog.”

Just a few hours south of Sydney in the beach side town of Callala on Jervis Bay XTERRA racers will find a coastline endowed with bays, interesting country towns, great food and wine, and many natural attractions. Indeed, NSW is renowned for its outdoor lifestyle, beauty and exuberant spirit.

Learn more at http://www.forestrycorporation.com.au/visit

Compex

Compex Partners with XTERRA

Honolulu, HI (April 14, 2106) – TEAM Unlimited LLC, owners and producers of the XTERRA America Tour, today announced Compex will join the 2016 XTERRA America Tour as a participating sponsor.

Compex is the worldwide leader in electric muscle stimulation. From injury prevention and fast recovery to muscle-strength gains and endurance improvements, Compex provides athletes and active people with the most intelligent tool to enhance sport performance. The device recruits specific motor nerves by targeting muscle fibers that cannot be reached through traditional workouts and training, and is designed to help athletes reach their goals by delivering a magnitude of benefits including increased muscle strength and density, larger muscle size, boosted speed, enhanced blood circulation, and faster recovery.

“The XTERRA community is committed to living life to the fullest and the starting point is being healthy and fit,” said XTERRA CEO Tom Kiely.  “We feel that part of our mission is to introduce XTERRA friends and family to companies and groups which have great products and services which fit with the “Live More” philosophy, and Compex is surely one of those. Coincidentally, we were exposed to Compex in our early years with XTERRA when they were just entering the USA market and at our events people were lined up to test and experience what was then a “new product.” I tried it myself and was quite impressed with the muscle energy it generated. So, when our friend Brandon Hearn joined Compex we connected and agreed to team up in the future…and we are very happy to welcome them onboard.”

The alliance puts Compex in a prime position to connect with XTERRA’s active, national audience of adventure seekers, weekend warriors and competitors via the XTERRA America Tour of more than 100 off-road triathlons and trail runs held across the U.S.

“Compex is excited to partner with the 2016 XTERRA America Tour and offer their athletes an intelligent training aid to improve their performance,” said Brandon Hearn, Sr. Director of Compex. “Not only does Compex serve as an excellent strength training tool for endurance sport athletes, it allows athletes to flush lactic acid in less than 6 minutes.”

Compex is offering XTERRA racers 20% off their first Compex purchase using coupon code XTERRA20.  See product line and order at https://www.compexusa.com/products.

ABOUT DJO GLOBAL
DJO Global is a leading global developer, manufacturer and distributor of high-quality medical devices that provide solutions for musculoskeletal health, vascular health and pain management. The Company’s products address the continuum of patient care from injury prevention to rehabilitation after surgery, injury or from degenerative disease, enabling people to regain or maintain their natural motion. Its products are used by orthopedic specialists, spine surgeons, primary care physicians, pain management specialists, physical therapists, podiatrists, chiropractors, athletic trainers and other healthcare professionals. In addition, many of the Company’s medical devices and related accessories are used by athletes and patients for injury prevention and at-home physical therapy treatment. The Company’s product lines include rigid and soft orthopedic bracing, hot and cold therapy, bone growth stimulators, vascular therapy systems and compression garments, therapeutic shoes and inserts, electrical stimulators used for pain management and physical therapy products. The Company’s surgical division offers a comprehensive suite of reconstructive joint products for the hip, knee and shoulder. DJO Global’s products are marketed under a portfolio of brands including Aircast®, Chattanooga, CMF™, Compex®, DonJoy®, ProCare®, DJO® Surgical, Dr. Comfort® and ExosTM. For additional information on the Company, please visit www.DJOglobal.com.

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