Eat or Be Eaten at XTERRA Fort Yargo

There is an old proverb:

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

On April 29th, at XTERRA Fort Yargo in Winder, Georgia, Marcus Barton was the gazelle, and 2017 XTERRA Blackwater Champ, Yaro Middaugh, and 2017 XTERRA Myrtle Beach Champ, Caleb Baity, were the two lions in close pursuit.

After the race, Marcus Barton wrote on his blog:

It’s rare I get to truly experience the thrill of being chased.  Usually it’s a combo of chasing someone AND being chased, but at this point in the race, the feeling was 100% “get your butt moving, they’re coming for you.”  I felt like a gazelle being chased by a bunch of cheetahs and that at any point one of them would pounce from around the corner and take me down.

If this seems a bit personal, that’s because it is. Middaugh, Barton, and Baity have a history of taking turns being the hunter and the hunted.

Backing up to April 23rd, at XTERRA Myrtle Beach, Barton and Baity were battling it out, with Baity the eventual champ, coming in less than three minutes ahead of third place Barton.

Sandwiched between Barton and Baity was Dwayne Dixon, who snuck in for second, finishing in the same place as he did the previous year, just ahead of Barton.

What makes watching XTERRA America Tour races in the Southeast Region so addicting, is that the top guys are out for blood on the course but good friends as soon as the race is over.

“Yeah, we have a close-knit group,” said Middaugh. “The races have been very competitive, which makes them fun for us.”

Barton admitted he had a good, clean swim on Saturday and a lucky ride, devoid of any mechanical issues or crashes.

From his blog:

As I got closer to T2, I kept catching a glimpse of someone through the switchbacks and twisty trail behind me.  Every now and then I would catch the sound of their rear hub whirring down the trail.  As I was finishing up my transition in T2, Josh Shaffer came in and threw his bike on the rack next to mine.  We exchanged winded pleasantries and I took off running out of T2 and the chase was back on.

I didn’t know who else was behind Josh, but knowing fellow XTERRA Ambassador, Caleb and his fast bike splits, I knew he couldn’t be far behind.

I knew if I could just turn out a good run split, I might be able to hold them off.  With each passing mile, I fully expected to see Caleb, Yaro or Josh to come up behind me and give me that virtual tap on the shoulder, but it never happened.  Coming into the finish I was elated to have stayed in front of some of the stiffest competition on the circuit.

In the women’s race, Christine Grant was the cheetah, staying in front of runner up Angie Childre for the win. While Grant made it look easy, she says that like Barton, she was “running scared.”

“The trail was in perfect condition and I passed a few riders, but I did not know I had moved into first place until part-way into the course,” said Grant.  “I heard cheers as I crossed over a section of road back into the trail where I was told I was the first female so the pressure was on! 

When I heard the announcer say, ‘We have another group being led by Angie Childre, my heart rate jumped. Angie is extremely strong and we have battled before. I passed my husband then who yelled, ‘You better get moving!'”

Third for the women was Jess White.

Next up on the XTERRA America Tour is XTERRA Renegade on May 6th in San Dimas, CA. For more information, visit www.renegaderaceseries.com.

View complete results for XTERRA Fort Yargo at www.goneriding.com

Don’t Miss the Season Finale at XTERRA Malibu Creek

On Saturday, May 20th the XTERRA SoCal racing series will host its final event of the season at XTERRA Malibu Creek.

The 12K course is on challenging and beautiful single track which winds along Malibu Creek State Park, while the 22K includes the infamous Bulldog Hill.

“Bulldog Hill is a beast,” said race director Brennan Lindner. “It’s over four miles of grueling climbing.  You keep thinking you see the top but you don’t. But once you make it though, there is an epic view of Malibu, and a nice downhill to the next water station.”

XTERRA Ambassador Tina Weissauer calls XTERRA Malibu Creek “a true XTERRA race.”

“Every time you think you’re OK, you’re not. Bulldog Hill on the 22K course is brutal. You basically go three miles out and then three miles up. Every time you turn a corner, you think, ‘This is it!’ But then you’re like, ‘Wait, what?’ It’s heartbreaking.”

The 22K race will also give us an opportunity to check in with Anthony Fagundes who wowed us with his performance at XTERRA Black Mountain last month, where he set the course record less than a day after finishing a 24-hour relay from Huntington Beach to San Diego.

“I’m definitely doing Malibu Creek,” said Anthony, “And I’m hoping to improve my time over last year.”

Series winners are awarded a free entry into the XTERRA Trail Run National Championships. With over 400 series points already, there is no doubt that Fagundes will have the golden ticket to Nationals this September in Utah.  

Weissauer, who is leading her 40-44 age group for the second year in a row, believes it’s a bit ironic that she is ahead.

“I worked so hard last year to win the series and that was five years in the making,” said Weissauer. “This year I just ran for fun and didn’t even keep track of the points. At XTERRA Black Mountain, Freddy Luis told me I was winning. I was like, ‘Oh, but I’m just having fun!’”

At the end of 2016, Weissauer realized that she had completed three Ironmans, and two 50k’s, but not a marathon. In March, to celebrate her 40th birthday, she decided to run the LA Marathon, which she completed in 4:26:39. 

“I hated it,” Weissaurer said. “On the trails, even when I’m in pain, I can find beauty somewhere. As much as the marathon was on my bucket list and in my hometown, I couldn’t find the beauty. It was so crowded and I was completely overwhelmed.”

Weissauer admits that she is so competitive that she will even race someone to the check out at the grocery store, but she is happy to be back on the trails with “her people.”  

“It’s not just the trail runs that make XTERRA so great,” she said. “It’s also the trail runner. If you get down out there, there is always someone to help stretch you out or hand you a salt stick. There is always someone to lift you up.”

Learn more about XTERRA Malibu Creek at www.trailrace.com

 

Erbenova

Ruzafa, Erbenova win XTERRA Greece

Athens, Greece – Three-time XTERRA World Champion and two-time XTERRA European Tour Champion, Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and Helena Erbenova from Czech Republic took the wins at the 5th annual XTERRA Greece Championship in Municipality of Vari Voula Vouliagmeni – on the outskirts of Athens.

Ruzafa was runner up to Roger Serrano in Greece last year, in a tightly fought race that Serrano pulled ahead on the run to win.  Today, the roles were reversed and Ruzafa took his first win in Greece.

Erbenova, who had just returned from a four-day adventure race in China and in second for most of the race, also pulled the victory from Brigitta Poor on the run, but maintains her substantial lead in the XTERRA European Tour.

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

Pictures | Results

It started great and finished even better.  Our third race of the XTERRA European Tour season took place in Vouliagmeni, Greece, a very nice suburb of Athens.

Our race takes place at the same venue as the 2004 Olympics and we share the same swim and transition area.  But this race is not for speedos and space helmets but for real men and women who go out and challenge themselves in the mountains and forest high above the Mediterranean.

The pro field was impressive with 20 men and 8 women representing 10 different nations.  Just under 400 total athletes took to the beautiful white sands for a 9:15 start.  The pros got a one minute advantage on the field over a two lap 1500m swim.

Jens Roth led from the water followed by Roger Serrano and young Maxim Chane’, Tiago Maia and Hannes Wolpert.  Not far back were super bikers Francois Carloni and 3 time XTERRA world champion Ruben Ruzafa.

Spanish Olympian Miriam Casillas Garcia was first woman out of the water and in the top 10 of all the swimmers.  Current Euro Champion Brigitta Poor was second but already 2 minutes back from the tiny Spanish woman.

“This was my first XTERRA,” smiled Miriam.  “And I was not so confident on the bike.  My second lap was much better.”

Indeed Brigitta passed into first place about half way into the first bike loop.  French woman Morgane Riou was in 3rd with Isabella Ferrer, a long distance racer on a new bike in 4th.

I was happily surprised to see many time champion Helena Erbenova only about 3.5 minutes behind starting the big climb.  Helena was just back from a 4 day adventure race in China and said she was “tired”.  But at the press conference she grinned and remarked “but when I am tired sometimes I have my best races”.

The start of both the bike and run course takes you up a steep road climb next to the Vouliagmeni Suites hotel, then up stone stairs, a hard path and more steep stairs to put you high above the seacoast road and the start of the mountain biking and trail running.

Things sorted themselves out and by the halfway point of the first bike lap. Serrano led with Jens Roth tight with him.  About 25 seconds back Carloni and Ruzafa had asserted themselves and were in their own pack chasing the leaders.  The surprise was young Maxim Chane’ riding very smoothly in 5th.  After that it was a gang fight with a dozen pros all battling up the hills and sliding the down the hills to gain positions.

At the start of the second lap Roger was off the stairs and on the dirt first with Ruben a very close second.  But Jens Roth would not go away.  He was still in the shadow of Roger while Ruzafa soon took a small lead – it was still anyone’s race.

“I fell once on the 2nd lap, but not bad,” said Ruzafa after the race. “It was very close to the finish and I don’t know what happened.  I fell at the Reunion Islands race a few weeks ago and hurt a rib and was worried I might hurt it again.” he said while rubbing his left side.  “But it was not too bad and I had the lead coming to the run”.

Carloni was still 4th but dropping back a bit and the young Chane’ continued in 5th with Arthur Forissier 6th and Chris Coddens coming on quickly in 7th.  Chris did not have that bad a swim but took some time to get going on the bike.

Poor led the women but Erbenova was riding quickly and now up to 3rd ahead of Riou and closing on Garcia despite the Spanish woman putting in a better second lap.

This was a classic Helena Erbenova race – don’t lose too much in the swim, ride fast and smart, and crush the run.

Into T2 Ruzafa held the lead with Serrano 2nd and the pesky Jens Roth hanging tight to the Spaniard.  Carloni was still 4th, Chane’ 5th but Coddens had moved up to 5th past Forissier.

On the run, Coddens continued to be the big mover and was now 5th, passed Max Chane’ on the first, steep run hill and closing on 4th place Francois Carloni.

Ruzafa had broken away but Roth and Serrano were tied together for the top three.

The women’s race was getting closer as well.  Brigitta still led but the Czech Rocket was now 2nd and closing fast.  Our Olympian was now 3rd but Morgane was closing on her.

At the start of the death march hill on the second lap Ruzafa had a commanding 50 second lead.  On the first lap Serrano looked beat and Roth strong, but the Spaniard is known as “El Gato” and indeed I think the cat was playing dead.

“I could not shake him on the bike or the run.” said Roger as he shook his head. “But I had a plan on the second lap and suddenly pushed hard near the tunnel and got a few seconds on him.  I am so happy with second.  I hardly sleep because of organizing XTERRA Spain so this is a fantastic result for me.”

Roth is showing some superb form early in the season and is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Coddens continued his march to the front and ended up 4th just 40 seconds behind Roth who came out of the water almost 3 minutes ahead of the tall Belgian.  Arthur Forissier finished the top 5 with the amazing Xavier Dafflon, who was the first age grouper at Maui in 2016, in 6th with the 2nd fastest bike and the 3rd fastest run.

Pos Last First Nation Time Points Swim Bike Run
1 Ruzafa Ruben Spain 02:17:34 75 00:18:01 01:18:52 00:39:05
2 Serrano Roger Spain 02:18:58 67 00:16:39 01:20:56 00:39:53
3 Roth Jens Germany 02:19:15 61 00:16:22 01:20:58 00:40:08
4 Coddens Kris Belgium 02:19:59 56 00:19:35 01:21:35 00:37:19
5 Forissier Arthur France 02:21:19 51 00:18:20 01:23:51 00:37:41
6 Dafflon Xavier Switzerland 02:21:46 43 00:21:44 01:20:10 00:37:49
7 Carloni Francois France 02:22:41 47 00:18:01 01:21:52 00:41:02
8 Dolores Rui Portugal 02:23:16 39 00:18:49 01:22:32 00:40:24
9 Chané Maxim France 02:24:33 36 00:17:03 01:24:19 00:41:40
10 Kerner Thomas Germany 02:28:40 33 00:21:03 01:26:52 00:38:51
11 Maia Tiago Portugal 02:29:44 30 00:17:20 01:27:56 00:42:47
12 Van Daele Tim Belgium 02:29:52 27 00:20:05 01:27:00 00:41:15
13 Pyott Jan Switzerland 02:31:00 21 00:18:45 01:27:16 00:43:24
14 Buffe Julien France 02:31:24 23 00:18:04 01:27:02 00:44:24
15 Benesch Markus Austria 02:33:50 25 00:19:14 01:29:24 00:43:07
16 Wolpert Hannes Germany 02:34:22 0 00:17:22 01:28:44 00:46:35
17 Kubicek Jan Netherlands 02:36:39 0 00:18:42 01:35:35 00:40:42
18 Trakic Strahinja Serbia 02:39:38 0 00:18:05 01:34:10 00:45:18
19 Vicente Octavio Portugal 02:50:21 0 00:25:18 01:35:13 00:48:02

At the same point on the run course Brigitta led but Erbenova was now only a few seconds behind.

“I am not sure what happened but I had no strength today” said the sad Hungarian woman.  “I mean I was OK but when my mind said to push my body said no”.

Erbenova was really happy when we spoke to her in transition.

“I know I said sometimes when I am tired I go so fast, ” she giggled. “Maybe I should be tired more often.  I was very good on the bike and saved some energy.  I started the run a bit slow but on the first hill everything went great and after that I just kept running fast.  I caught Brigitta on the 2nd lap and then kept going.”

Brigitta was strong enough to stay 2nd and Miriam Casillas Garcia, our first time XTERRA woman from Spain, a very nice 3rd.  Morgane came within a minute but made a wrong turn on the run.

“I was going very fast and don’t know why I got lost – but I knew right away and turned back”.

Morgane is having a fine year with top fives at every race this season.  Isabelle Ferrer kept a nice strong pace to finish 5th in her very first XTERRA race.

Some exciting passing and chasing all day.  The age group racers were having just as good a time with a number of battles going back and forth.  The weather did get warmer in the afternoon but never too hot and the clouds kept the sun from frying too many exposed arms and legs.

Our Euro tour gets a couple weeks off now before racing again in Spain on May 14 followed by Portugal on May 20.

XTERRA Greece has surely moved into the top tier of our XTERRA World Tour.  When you combine Athens with a back-to-back weekend on Cyprus you have a fantastic opportunity to get out of the cold and snow of mainland Europe and start the season right.  As we say here “OPA”.

Pos Last First Nation Time Points Swim Bike Run
1 Erbenova Helena Czech Republic 02:42:52 75 00:23:40 01:33:43 00:43:14
2 Poór Brigitta Hungary 02:44:00 67 00:19:53 01:35:56 00:45:56
3 Casillas García Miriam Spain 02:46:18 61 00:17:58 01:42:35 00:43:28
4 Riou Morgane France 02:47:35 56 00:21:51 01:40:06 00:43:33
5 Ferrer Isabelle France 02:50:28 51 00:20:17 01:44:01 00:43:46
6 Golsteyn Maud Netherlands 02:56:15 43 00:22:07 01:44:56 00:47:03
7 Bucher Renata Switzerland 02:58:29 47 00:22:01 01:43:09 00:51:07

XTERRA European Tour Elite Standings – After 3

Francois Carloni continues to hold the XTERRA European Tour lead with Roger Serrano moving to second.  Brigitta Poor is dominating the Tour for the women after the first three of 15 events.

Up next: XTERRA Tarragona in Spain May 14.

Men S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE
1 Francois Carloni, FRA 151 61 47 43
2 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67
3 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 100 33 67 DNS
4 Thomas Kerner, GER 94 DNS 61 33
5 Jan Pyott, SUI 79 56 DNS 23
6 Julien Buffe, FRA 77 DNS 56 21
7 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 75 DNS DNS 75
8 Yeray Luxem, BEL 75 DNS 75 DNS
9 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 67 67 DNS DNS
10 Maxim Chane, FRA 66 30 DNS 36
11 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS
12 Jens Roth, GER 61 DNS DNS 61
13 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56
14 Arthur Forissier, FR 51 DNS DNS 51
15 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS
16 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS
17 Xavier Daflon, FRA 47 DNS DNS 47
18 Tomas Kubek, SLK 47 47 DNS DNS
19 Hannes Wolpert, GER 43 DNS 43 0
20 Mark Hamersma, NED 43 43 DNS DNS
21 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS
22 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 36 36 DNS DNS
23 Tiago Maia, POR 27 DNS DNS 27
24 Doug Hall, GBR 27 27 DNS DNS
25 Tim Van Dale, BEL 25 DNS DNS 25
26 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS
27 Loic Doubey, FRA 0 DNS DNS DNS
28 Octavio Vicente, POR 0 DNS DNS 0
29 Markus Benesh, AUS 0 DNS DNS 0
30 Strahinja Travic, SER 0 DNS DNS 0
31 Jan Honza Kubicek 0 DNS DNS 0
Pl TOTAL MLT CYP GRE
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 217 75 75 67
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 142 67 DNS 75
3 Morgane Riou , FRA 123 DNS 67 56
4 Maud Golsteyn, NED 103 56 DNS 47
5 Cecila Jessen, SWE 100 39 61 DNS
6 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61
7 Nicole Walkers, GRB 61 61 DNS DNS
8 Daz parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS
9 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51
10 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS
11 Carina Wasle, AUT 51 51 DNS DNS
12 Kristina Lapinova, SLK 47 47 DNS DNS
13 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43
14 Louise Fox, GRB 43 43 DNS DNS
15 Anna Pauline Sasserath 36 36 DNS DNS
16 Kathrin Muller, GER 33 33 DNS DNS
17 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS
18 Anne Sphie Marechal, FRA 0 DNS DNS 0

2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule

XTERRA Cyprus was the 12th of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date
Race
Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25
Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4
Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18
XTERRA Saipan + Silver
Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25
Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1
Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1
XTERRA Chile # Silver
Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
Apr 2
XTERRA Malta * Silver
Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
Apr 8
Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
Apr 9
Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
Apr 16
Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
XTERRA Cyprus * Silver
Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
Apr 29
Ben Allen, Kieran McPherson, Sam Osborne, Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
Apr 30
XTERRA Greece * Silver
Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
May 6
Moorea
May 14
XTERRA Spain * Silver
Taragonna
May 14
XTERRA Brazil # Silver
Ilha Bella, Sao Paolo
May 20
Pelham, AL, USA
May 27
Golega
Jun 10
Namur
Jun 17
Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18
Imatra
Jun 24
Vallee de Joux
Jul 2
Xonrupt
Jul 9
Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15
Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30
Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5
Tapalpa
Aug 5
XTERRA Norway * Silver
Norefjell
Aug 6
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12
Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12
Ontario, Canada
Aug 13
Barahona
Aug 13
XTERRA Poland * Silver
Krakow
Aug 19
Zittau
Aug 26
XTERRA Sweden * Silver
Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2
XTERRA Japan + Silver
Hokkaido
Sep 3
Mons Klint
Sep 16
Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* XTERRA European Tour / # XTERRA Pan American Tour / + Asia-Pacific Tour
Silver = Min. $7,500 pro purse & 75-point scale // GOLD = Min $15,000 pro purse & 100-point scale

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Report

Langkawi, Malaysia – In a powerful display of unity, Sam Osborne, Kieran McPherson, Ben Allen, and Bradley Weiss – the top four ranked elite men in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour standings, crossed the finish line together and were declared co-champions of the 2017 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race held in Langkawi this afternoon.

The day started with Allen and Osborne coming out of the water together, with Weiss and McPherson about one-minute back.  By the 20km mark on the bike those four were riding single file with Weiss leading the way.  It was shaping up to be a race for the ages, but then “the last 5km of the bike we couldn’t find the signage on the course, and we all went the wrong way,” said Allen.

Photo Gallery

“There were markers out there but they were everywhere,” added McPherson.  “We’d get down a path and realize it led to nowhere and have to turnaround.”

“It was un-raceable at that point,” said Weiss.

While the group managed to find their way out of the bike route and back to the bike-to-run transition, the racing spirit was gone.  Instead of turning it into a running race to see who won, they decided to neutralize the event, do the run together as a group, and finish together.

“Last thing in the world we wanted to do but really felt there was no other option,” said Osborne.

The decision was upheld by the racing committee, who agreed it was the best possible solution given the circumstances.

“We tried to pre-empt this from happening,” said Weiss.  “We had been here from earlier in the week and were unclear where the course went. We had meetings to address our concerns but it didn’t get marked in time to pre-ride, so on race day we were still not sure where it went.”

Elite Men’s Results

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
Tied 1 Bradley Weiss, RSA 2:51:27 87
Tied 1 Sam Osborne, NZL 87
Tied 1 Kieran McPherson, NZL 87
Tied 1 Ben Allen, AUS 87
5 David Escolar, ESP 2:58:39 69
6 Alex Hunt, AUS 2:58:57 63
7 Brodie Gardner, AUS 3:04:00 58
8 Will Kelsay, USA 3:12:59 53
9 Joe Miller, PHI 3:19:42 49
10 Taylor Charlton, AUS 3:20:36 45
11 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 3:23:06 41
12 Akihiko Maeda, JPN 3:53:29 37
13 Jacky Boisset, FRA 4:01:08 34

Carina Wasle

In the women’s race Carina Wasle passed Jacqui Allen on the run to win her third title in 13 days following wins at XTERRA Reunion Island and XTERRA Danao in the Philippines.

“I like this run course, lots of climbing and very technical,” said Wasle, who overcame a five-minute deficit on the run to take the win.

Jacqui Allen had the fastest swim by more than one-minute and the best bike by nearly four-minutes.  After being passed by Wasle on the run, however, she subsequently veered off-course and Myriam Guillot-Boisset moved into the second spot.

Leela Hancox from Australia, in her first race as an elite, finished fourth.

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:20:26 100
2 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 3:32:53 90
3 Jacqui Allen, GBR 3:44:00 82
4 Leela Hancox, AUS 3:54:06 75

With the win Wasle takes a commanding lead in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour standings with two races to go, while the top four elite men remain unchanged with Osborne, McPherson, Allen, and Weiss.  Next up: XTERRA Tahiti (May 6).

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Elite Standings – After 5 (As of Apr. 29)

 M S S S G G
PL NAME, NAT TOT SPN THA NZL PHI MAS
1 Sam Osborne, NZL 327 75 DNS 75 90 87
2 Kieran McPherson, NZL 300 56 75 DNS 82 87
3 Ben Allen, AUS 290 61 67 DNS 75 87
4 Bradley Weiss, RSA 254 67 DNS DNS 100 87
5 Will Kelsay, USA 216 47 47 DNS 69 53
6 Brodie Gardner, AUS 205 39 61 47 DNS 58
7 David Escolar, ESP 168 DNS 56 43 DNS 69
8 Joe Miller, PHI 142 30 DNS DNS 63 49
9 Taylor Charlton, AUS 141 DNS 43 DNS 53 45
10 Olly Shaw, NZL 109 DNS DNS 51 58 DNS
11 Markus Benesch, AUT 102 51 51 DNS DNS DNS
12 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 92 21 30 DNS DNF 41
13 Alex Roberts, NZL 85 DNS DNS 36 49 DNF
14 Aleksandr Dorovskikh, RUS 72 36 36 DNS DNS DNS
15 Hayden Wilde, NZL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS
16 Alex Hunt, AUS 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
17 Akihiko Maeda, JPN 62 25 DNS DNS DNS 37
18 Kyle Smith, NZL 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
19 Fynn Thompson, NZL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
20 Yuichi Hosoda, JPN 43 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Jacob Storey 39 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS
22 John Mering, NZL 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
23 Jacky Boisset, FRA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
24 Dominik Wychera, AUT 33 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS
25 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS
26 Cedric Wane, FRA 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS
27 Emil Duraj, SVK 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Michal Bucek, SVK 23 23 DNF DNS DNS DNS
 WM S S S G G
PL NAME, NAT TOT SPN THA NZL PHI MAS
1 Carina Wasle, AUT 275 75 DNS DNS 100 100
2 Jacqui Allen, GBR 157 DNS DNS 75 DNF 82
3 Penny Slater, AUS 141 DNS DNS 51 90 DNS
4 Renata Bucher, SUI 131 DNS 75 56 DNS DNS
5 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
6 Jessica Koltz, USA 82 DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS
7 Leela Hancox, AUS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
8 Kelli Montgomery, USA 67 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS
9 Mieko Carey, JPN 67 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS
10 Hannah Wells, NZL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS
11 Marika Wagner, SWE 61 DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
12 Josie Wilcox, NZL 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
13 Belinda Hadden, AUS 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
14 Rebecca Clarke, NZL 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
15 Lizzy Bunckenburg, NZL 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS

2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race was the 13th of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date
Race
Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25
Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4
Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18
XTERRA Saipan + Silver
Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25
Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1
Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1
XTERRA Chile # Silver
Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
Apr 2
XTERRA Malta * Silver
Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
Apr 8
Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
Apr 9
Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
Apr 16
Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
XTERRA Cyprus * Silver
Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
Apr 29
Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
Apr 30
XTERRA Greece * Silver
Vouliagmeni
May 6
Moorea
May 14
XTERRA Spain * Silver
Taragonna
May 14
XTERRA Brazil # Silver
Ilha Bella, Sao Paolo
May 20
Pelham, AL, USA
May 27
Golega
Jun 10
Namur
Jun 17
Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18
Imatra
Jun 24
Vallee de Joux
Jul 2
Xonrupt
Jul 9
Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15
Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30
Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5
Tapalpa
Aug 5
XTERRA Norway * Silver
Norefjell
Aug 6
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12
Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12
Ontario, Canada
Aug 13
Barahona
Aug 13
XTERRA Poland * Silver
Krakow
Aug 19
Zittau
Aug 26
XTERRA Sweden * Silver
Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2
XTERRA Japan + Silver
Hokkaido
Sep 3
Mons Klint
Sep 16
Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* XTERRA European Tour / # XTERRA Pan American Tour / + Asia-Pacific Tour
Silver = Min. $7,500 pro purse & 75-point scale // GOLD = Min $15,000 pro purse & 100-point scale.

Overheard on the Trails: Weekend Race Wrap-up

Spring is a glorious season for endurance runners. We’ve survived winter and can look forward to summer weather, long days and lots of time on the trails.

Finally, we can pack away the headlamps and the fleece tops; the base layer and the tights. Rather than running with our heads down against the sleet and snow, we are beginning to look up and notice the flowers, the mud, and – could it be – the sun.

Last weekend, we talked to several athletes from South Carolina to Texas who tore it up on XTERRA Trail Runs.

At the XTERRA Victoria Bryant Trail Run in Royston, Georgia, it was unanimously agreed that the park is a different animal in the spring, when the leaves are off the trail.

Jacqueline Donaldson won the 6.2K race in 55:56, and Cynthia Altman, who was the runner up in 57:59 said, “Although I am more of a road runner, I love trail running and now want to do more of it. Those hills were no joke, but I thoroughly enjoyed racing with everyone this weekend.”

John Simmons had the best time of the day and won in 46:07. He was followed by David Jiminez, who crossed the line in 47:41.

XTERRA Myrtle Beach offered 5K, 10K, 20K and 50K Trail Run options at Horry County Bike & Run Park, nicknamed “The Hulk,” because its trails are similar to The Incredible Hulk rollercoaster at Universal Studios.

The overall 20K champ was Justine Whipple, a former US Naval Academy track star who still holds the school record in the indoor 5K.

David Knight was the runner up and men’s champ in 1:42:28.

Alexandra Gass was the women’s 10K champ in 48:22 (and beat all but one of the men). Kara Slick was second in 1:01:38 and then went on to place 16th in the women’s division of the XTERRA Myrtle Beach Triathlon the next day.

When asked how long she had been running on the trails, Kara responded, “I’ve never done one until today.”

Scott Recupero won the men’s 10K in 47:25 and Adam Riedel was the runner up in 55:26.

At the XTERRA ATX in Austin, Texas, new XTERRA Ambassador Steven Stoot was first in a time of 1:28:12. Emma Kosciak was the women’s champ with a time of 2:00:10.

 

XTERRA Tahiti Debuts New Course May 6th

On Saturday, May 6th, the XTERRA World Tour will stop in Tahiti for six races, on two islands over two days. Athletes will experience an amazing infusion of Polynesian culture paired with a brand new course on the island of Moorea. 

Last year, the XTERRA race was on the island of Tahiti, where the XTERRA Trail Runs will still take place. This year, XTERRA athletes will board a boat on Saturday morning and will be ferried from Tahiti to the island of Moorea to run on an imaginative new course that will prove to be a test of technical skill, mental toughness, and physical endurance. 

“We are delighted to expand the scope of this year’s race to two islands, to showcase our tremendous culture and unique landscape,” said race director, Jean-Michel Monot. “We will have over 500 athletes from all over the world competing in the weekend events, including some of the best in the world.”

Leading the pack this year will be the reigning XTERRA World Champion Mauricio Mendez. Challenging him are on course will be 2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Champion Ben Allen and his wife, 2017 XTERRA New Zealand Champ Jacqui Slack Allen. Also at the start will be 2017 XTERRA New Zealand Champ Sam Osborne, and Frenchman Christophe Betard, who placed 6th in XTERRA Reunion in April. 

For the past two years, Tahiti – and the island of Moorea – were included in the Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards. In 2015, The Huffington Post called Moorea “The Most Beautiful Island You’ve Never Heard Of,” alluding to how far away this paradise is. Travelers first must land in Papa’ete, Tahiti and then travel by ferry to Moorea, which is 12 miles away.

The Tahitian islands were formed by volcanoes and have the steep cliffs, gorgeous lagoons, and white sand beaches you might expect. However, beneath this extravagant beauty is an XTERRA course that has brought the pros to tears. Josiah Middaugh, the 2016 XTERRA Tahiti and 2015 XTERRA World Champ called the terrain “diabolical.”

XTERRA Technical Director and Hall of Famer Nico Lebrun, who competed placed third in last year’s race, said, “We were all happy just to finish the bike safe, and happy to start the run, but that is only because we didn’t know what was in store for us.” Although this year’s course is new, Lebrun expects it to be just as beautiful and challenging as in previous years. 

Last year, Middaugh took the lead almost as soon as he got on the bike, but he stressed that this was a race where Mother Nature stayed tough. He finished almost 10 minutes in front of Christophe Betard who came through in 3:05:48. Lebrun was third in 3:12:47.

On the women’s side, two-time XTERRA World Champ Lesley Paterson won with a time of 3:34:19 and was 6th overall. She was over an hour ahead of runner up Alice Bourgeoisat, who was the first Tahitian. Bourgeoisat’s fellow countrywoman Yasmina Chenel completed the podium.

Watch the 2017 video:

2017 is the Tenth Anniversary of the Vieux Sportifs Oenologiquement Passionnés (VSOP), which translates into “Wine-Loving Old Athletes”. The VSOP has been the chief organizer of the the XTERRA Tahiti as well as its precursor, the TranStahitienne. Some of the members of the club have traveled the world competing in triathlons while others created triathlon clubs such as Club Avignon Triathlon and Kona Tri Tahiti. As the name of the club suggests, they also offer wine tastings to athletes after the race. Perhaps even more notably, VSOP wants all competitors to share equally in the joy and hardship of the race, no matter if they cross the line first or last.

The VSOP has traditionally donated part of the proceeds of the race to a charity.This year, the club is garnering awareness of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Vice President of the club, Loic Lecottier, was struck by the disease at the young age of 43 and passed away in October, 2015.

XTERRA Tahiti is the 15th of 38 events in which amateur athletes around the world can qualify for the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29th. XTERRA Tahiti offers 26 qualifying spots and $7,500 USD in prize money to the top six elite men and women.

XTERRA Tahiti will host a fun triathlon on Saturday after the race, and on Sunday, there will also be a 42 km Trail Run across the island of Tahiti through the Papenoo Valley as well as a Run & Bike. After the race, athletes will be served a light meal and massages will be offered with the proceeds going to charity.

Learn more at www.xterratahiti.com

View last year’s results

XTERRA Oak Mountain Isn’t Just for Fast People

If you want to see some of the best triathletes in the world, come see the pros race in the XTERRA Oak Mountain on Saturday, May 20th.

But if you want to see some of the best future triathletes in the world, then come a bit earlier in the day for the XTERRA Xticer. Designed as an introduction to off-road racing for beginners, the Xticer consists of a 200-meter lake swim, a 10K mountain bike, and a 2K trail run.

“Most people come to XTERRA after they are already mountain biking or trail running or competing in triathlons,” said Janet Clark, President, XTERRA. “The Xticer eliminates the fear of the unknown and gives beginners a chance to see that XTERRA is absolutely for everyone. You will have so many people supporting you at an XTERRA race, whether it’s a volunteer on the course or a pro who shows you how to fix a flat.”

Last year Xticer welcomed athletes from 9 to 58 years old.

“People typically try triathlons later in life than other sports such as soccer, track, or lacrosse,” said Clark. “When you’re five and kicking a soccer ball, no one expects you to be good. But when we are thirty and trying something new, we put all this pressure on ourselves. We created the Xticer so that beginners can relax, feel safe, and have a blast.”

Between the Xticer and the XTERRA Oak Mountain Full Course, an XTERRA Sprint will offer newcomers and beginners a less demanding race on the same award-winning trails the pros race on. The course consists of a 750m swim, a 15km mountain bike, and a 4.5km trail run.

The day before the Xticer, the XTERRA Sprint, and the XTERRA Oak Mountain Full Course, XTERRA University offers all competitors a chance to take in last-minute advice from the 2015 XTERRA World Champ, Josiah Middaugh, and his brother, the 2017 XTERRA Blackwater Champ, Yaro Middaugh.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with kids and beginners and challenging them to try something they weren’t sure they could achieve,” said Yaro Middaugh, who was an elementary school teacher for 15 years before turning to coaching full time.

Paula and Jay Davis entered their three sons – now aged 13, 11, and 10 – in the XTERRA Xticer last year on a whim. “The kids were like, ‘Sure, we’ll try it.’ They were really excited about swimming in a lake and running in the woods,” said Paula.

Paula also enrolled her children in XTERRA University day before the race. “They were so excited to get to meet the pros,” said Paula. “And the Middaugh brothers were great in telling the kids it was OK to get off the bike and walk. My boys took that to heart.”

From Adventure to Adventure

Myriam “Mimi” Guillot-Boisset just knocked out a four-day adventure race in China.

“Twenty hours of all-out with 7000m d+,” she explains. The event, one of the biggest in China, included mountaineering, orienteering, mountain biking, and boating. Her team, which includes fellow XTERRA standouts Daniel Jones from New Zealand, her husband Jacky, and Alex Hunt from Australia, won it all.

“I won’t be fresh that’s for sure,” said Guillot-Boisset about racing in Saturday’s XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race in Langkawi, Malaysia. “My body has two options on how it will respond. Either I’ll be flying or I’ll be totally cooked.”

In 2015, under the same circumstances of coming straight off a grueling adventure race, she was “flying” … “I have good memories of this race because it is the one which motivated me to be a professional XTERRA athlete,” recalls Guillot-Boisset. “Three years ago, I wanted to have a try at XTERRA and in my first attempt here in Langkawi, I won. It was so surprising, and so cool!”

Last year here in Langkawi, not so cool. “I was cooked.”

She finished fourth on the day last year and heading into Saturday’s race, she is hoping for a day more like that perfect one here in 2015.

“I love this tropical climate, the diversity of vegetation’s and the wild animals. I really enjoy this race, the hotel, the atmosphere, the welcome dinner, the monkeys everywhere. The course fits me perfectly because it’s hilly, technical, and tough. For an adventure racer, it is perfect.”

Learn more about Mimi in this recent profile: http://www.xterraplanet.com/2017/03/myriam-guillot-boisset-dives-race-season/

Women Persist at XTERRA ATX

Despite a rainy start and a very technical bike course, Saturday’s XTERRA ATX in Austin, Texas had 163 athletes start and a record number of 40 women.

Jenny Burden whose blog – Cowgirls Tri – gives a detailed and entertaining account of the race, wrote:

… Rather than each woman essentially being the only person in our age group, several age groups were 5-7 deep with women, making the competition real! My AG, 30-34, was one that had more than 3, meaning several weren’t getting a podium spot. (This may seem silly to the men who race against dozens of their peers at every race, but as we work to grow the sport among women, know that it was a big deal!)

“It was such a great vibe,” said race director, Joel Grimmett. “Our regular racers were so friendly to the newbies and it’s wonderful to see more women in the sport. Additionally, we had seven XTERRA Ambassadors competing in the off-road triathlon and the XTERRA ATX Trail Run, including Steven Stoot, Stephayne Gibson, Nicole Dorholt, Lua Walker, Jason McIntyre, Alissa Magrum, and Jeanne Hoffman.”

The race was held in Pace Bend Park in Austin, Texas, where the trails are renowned for their challenging rock gardens, steep climbs, and technical drop-offs. After the race, Burden wrote:

… I would have committed a felony for a full suspension bike, or at least a full tubeless set up, by the time I got done with the 14.5- mile course. My competition, Sarah, caught me at mile 5, and passed me. I told her I’d see her at the finish line and she laughed and challenged me to keep chasing! I thought that put me in second, and kept riding hard because you truly never know.

The overall women’s champ was Melanie Etherton, who finished in 2:14:15, about 12 minutes in front of Liesel McAllister’s 2:26:54. Alissa Magrum was third in 2:28:43. Jenny Burden was 4th in her 30-34 age group with a time of 2:53:30.

Etherton discovered mountain biking after relocating to Austin from Germany where she was an avid snowboarder. After seeing how much she missed the slopes, her husband encouraged her to begin mountain biking. From there, Etherton began competing in XTERRA races, where she routinely beats most of the men as well as the women.

Not to be outdone by the women’s competition, the men’s race turned out to be another match up between XTERRA Regional Champ, Kyle Grieser, and XTERRA National Trail Run Champ, Andy Lee.

Lee finished in 1:45:29, about 4 minutes in front of Grieser, who followed in 1:49:34. The two often meet up during XTERRA racing season in trail runs and off-road triathlons. Their last race together was at the XTERRA Pedernales 25K Trail Run in February. In that race, Lee finished the course in 1:51:51, ahead of Grieser’s 1:58:04.

“It was a great match up!” said Grimmett. “Andy and Kyle work for the same fire department so they have quite the friendly rivalry.”

View the complete results.