Argentina

XTERRA Argentina This Saturday

There is no rest for the weary.

Well, perhaps it would be a stretch to label elite endurance athletes like Josiah Middaugh and Myriam Guillot-Boisset as “weary” – even after a grueling race in extreme conditions like they faced in Costa Rica last Sunday – however they will both be back in action Saturday in San Juan, Argentina, home to the second stop on the XTERRA Pan American Tour.

“I am excited to be in Argentina for the first time and the people are amazing,” said Middaugh.  “I’m still adapting to eating dinner at midnight, but otherwise functioning normally.  The race venue is at a big reservoir at the foot of the Andes.  Below the reservoir in San Juan it is wine country with some of the worlds best and cheapest wine.  The terrain looks similar to something in Southern Utah or outside of Las Vegas.  The bike course is fun and challenging. It follows mostly dirt bike trails that wind through very hilly terrain with lots of banked corners and whoopty woos.  The second half of the course is very tough pedaling with lots of time spent in the sandy washes.  There seems to be really good energy and a good local turnout with a sound system pumping some up-beat American jams.”

It’s been nearly 10 years since the last XTERRA was held in Argentina back in 1997. That year home country hero and former Olympian Oscar Galindez took the tape, and he’ll return to the dirt once again to defend that national title against the likes of Middaugh, Mexican great Francisco Serrano, and Canada’s XTERRA star Karsten Madsen.

In the women’s race Guillot-Boisset will look to take the momentum from her win in Costa Rica to the Andes against former Olympian and XTERRA Mexico Champion Fabiola Corona.

“I’m just having so much fun with XTERRA, and exploring these great places,” said Guillot-Boisset.  “I look forward to another great adventure in Argentina this weekend.”

Blessed by nature, San Juan boasts magnificent mountains and is surrounded by two mountain ranges whose mountains reach heights of six thousand meters above sea level, which is higher than even the highest mountains in Europe.

Jose Arancibia, one of the organizers from Argentina Tri Events, explained that the race will be held at the magnificent setting of the Ullum Dam, near the province of San Juan at the foot of the Andes Mountains.

“We’re very excited to join the XTERRA World Tour and show people from all over the globe how beautiful this part of Argentina is,” said fellow organizer Juan Carlos Guevara. “It’s also great for our local athletes, as we have a large group of mountain bikers, trail runner and triathletes who now have the chance to be part of the XTERRA Tribe.”

In San Juan, the event will bring together four races during the same weekend: one which is purely Mountain Bike (50 km), another which is Trail Running (5k, 10k, 21k), another which is open-water swimming, and an off-road triathlon (1.5k swimming + 30k MTB + 9.5k Trail Running). Also, children will have the possibility of participating in the Kids Race, which makes it an ideal event for the entire family.

Follow along on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/XTERRAplanet/ and XTERRA Argentina for updates, photos, stories, and results in the days ahead.

Learn more at http://xterraargentina.com/

DN-Josiah TV web

XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas is in San Juan to take in all the action and brings us this report….

We are in the foothills of the Andes in the west of Argentina for the first race here in 10 years.  The city is San Juan, and while very few have heard of it, this is a big city of 600,000 people and the Capitol of the region.

The race venue is about 20 minutes outside town at a very neat reservoir that sits in a location very reminiscent of Lake Las Vegas.  Tall, redish hills and mountains, very little vegetation and a big, blue lake.

Josiah gave you a good preview of the trails yesterday.  Some very fun whoops and berms made by dirt bikers and then some brutal washes; again like Lake Las Vegas.

Argentina is very much Spanish.  There is a big Italian influence, but the culture is definitely that of Spain.  Josiah and I did a live TV interview on channel 8 Wednesday.  The evening news starts at 8pm !!  There was a staff and sponsor Happy Hour last night and in Argentina, Happy Hour starts at 8pm.   We found a nice Italian restaurant called Franky’s with a Frank Sinatra theme.  The doors to the restaurant open at 10 and close at 3.  Dinner here starts about 9 and more commonly 10pm.  The whole city comes alive after 9pm and does not close until the sun comes up.

As you would expect the beef is superb.  One of the local dishes is a big, square charcoal fired grill brought to the table with beefsteak, beef ribs, normal sausage plus chorizo and chicken.  I ordered the equivalent of a New York strip and it was delicious.  I won’t tell you how much it cost as many of you familiar with steak house prices would faint and then buy a plane ticket.

San Juan is a 90 minute flight from Buenos Aires and as you land there are miles of vineyards surrounding the city.  The local wines are excellent and like the beef; a fantastic value.

So far a wonderful experience.  Not just Josiah but Costa Rica winner Myriam Guillot-Boisset is here to do Pan-Am back-to-back races. This new series taking in South America, the Carribean, Mexico, the USA and Canada is certainly something you need to think about.  The XTERRA Planet just got bigger.

Braden Currie

Currie to Defend Title at XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship

Braden Currie set out on a mission last year to win the XTERRA World Championship.  He came ‘oh so close, finishing 2nd to Josiah Middaugh.

The goals got even bigger in 2016, with not just an XTERRA World Title on his mind, but a spot on the start line to represent New Zealand at the Olympics triathlon in Rio.

To achieve those dreams, he put his off-season on hold.

“I haven’t really stopped since World’s,” said Currie, who notably became only the second man along with Middaugh to finish ahead of Ruben Ruzafa in 16 races over three years in Maui.  “I was really stoked with the 2nd place result and was on a huge high after that race. But racing didn’t stop for me. Travelling to the USA meant that I was going to have to take on another back to back summer, so I just sucked it up and went hard as soon as World’s was over.”

Straight after Maui Currie flew to Australia and won the Augusta Adventure Festival, an event that combines trail running with swimming, kayaking, and mountain biking, for the fourth time in a row.

“I was pretty stoked with that one as I hadn’t kayaked since February and just had to wing it on the day in the 13km paddle,” he said.

Next up was Taupo 70.3, and another resounding victory.

“I think I might have snuck in a week off before getting back on the time trial bike and training for Taupo,” said Currie.  “I was pretty motivated to win that one as I had put a lot of my efforts into 70.3 when I was in the states but hadn’t had a result that I felt reflected what I could do.  The race went well for me and I managed a pretty easy win, which was very unexpected but gave me a huge confidence going forward with my season of road racing.  Straight on from that I raced in the Long Distance National champs in January and managed to take the title off 10* champ Cameron Brown.”

With his focus now set on turning his endurance base into speed the new year brought a whole lot more racing, trials and tribulations.

“It’s been a roller coaster,” said Currie.  “I only had the chance to race sprint distance triathlon, as they were the only ones on offer and this was a steep learning curve. The key to triathlon is the swim and I was starting way out on the start line because I had no points. This made it hard to find the right feet and I was getting stuck with slower swimmers and losing lots of time. It’s only a 750m swim so not a lot of time to figure it out in the water. But after five weeks of racing non-stop I think I have it sussed and have some points on the board so I now start in a better spot.”

Currie won the NZ Olympic Triathlon Championship race last weekend, which he says was not an accurate reflection of how he is going because the top two Kiwis were not racing, still…

“It was good to have a reasonably good race. Because of that race I now have a start at my 2nd ITU World Cup event in New Plymouth on the 2nd of April, followed by a World Series race on the Gold Coast the weekend after. It will be 4 weeks of racing by the time I get to Asia Pacific’s but my body is recovering well and I seem to making progression through racing each weekend. I’m using the mountain bike now instead of the road bike as the cross over works and I like being back on my mountain bike. I am looking forward to Rotorua and Asia Pacifics and a style of racing I know well and enjoy. But racing the unknown has also been a great challenge and I know I have become a better athlete for it.”

Currie is a beast on the run and as tough as they come.  Watching him go for it all in these next few months – both at XTERRA and on the road – will be a joy to watch.

xterra.co.nz / xterraasiapacific.com / bradencurrie.com

USAT Nationals

XTERRA Gator Terra to Host USAT Nationals

The Historic XTERRA Gator Terra off-road triathlon will double as the 2016 USA Triathlon Off Road National Championship on May 1, 2016 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

It’s an important race for XTERRA amateurs for many reasons as they can collect valuable points towards winning their regional championship in the XTERRA America Tour, claim a spot on Team USA for the 2017 ITU Cross Tri Worlds, and race for a national title.

The event is celebrating its 20th birthday this year (which includes 18 years at its original home in Ruston, Louisiana, and now its second year at its new home of DeGray Lake and Iron Mountain in Arkadelphia).

The Race venue is nestled in the foot hills of the Ouachita (Wash-she-ta) Mountains in Southwest Arkansas, in the Diamond Lakes resort area of Hot Springs and Arkadelphia.

“The Iron Mountain Trail system has 25+ miles of exciting of trails,” said race director Fred Phillips.  “The 1500-meter swim is held in DeGray Lake, which has been rated as one of the top 10 cleanest fresh water lakes in America by the Army Corp of Engineers.  The mountain bike portion of the event uses 19.5 miles of purpose built Mt Bike trails. This is deep woods single track, with solid climbs, great descents, with big banked turns, awesome views and much more. The Run course will challenge you from the beginning to the end, so hang on to your hat!  At the finish line you will have earned the right to be called an Iron Mountain Man and will receive a finishers medal to prove it.”

Phillips recommends racers come early and stay a few extra days to ride one or more of the three IMBA Epic Trails in the Diamond Lakes area (Womble, Ouacitha Trail, and Vista), visit Hot Springs National Park, the Crater of Diamonds State Park, and enjoy ‘some good ol’ Southern hospitality.’

Learn more at http://www.dltevents.com/off-road-events/xterra/xterra-gator-terra.html or email DLTevents@yahoo.com.

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XTERRA Northeast Trail Run Series Kicks-off in Connecticut

By Devin P. Quinn
XTERRA Trail Running Intern

Joining the XTERRA Trail Run Series roster this year is the brand-new Northeast series, four exciting events poised to introduce the region to the thrill of the XTERRA running experience. The series kicks off in just a few days with the XTERRA Shepaug Run Raiser in Bridgewater, CT on March 26th, with 10k, 25k, 50k, and 80k courses. The same distances are offered at the XTERRA Wawayanda Trail Run on May 7th in Hewitt, NJ and the August 6th XTERRA Steep Rock Trail Run in Washington, CT, and, on August 14th, the XTERRA Syracuse Trail Run will conclude the series with a 10k/20k race in Syracuse, NY. The XTERRA Shepaug Run Raiser is a rugged, “no-frills” race that provides challenges and rewards in equal measure on well-marked trails in the majestic Bridgewater backcountry.

The 10k course covers a variety of terrain—contouring, deer trails, dirt, open fields, rocks, roots, water, and more—with gentle elevation gains catering to every level of trail running skill. 25k and 50k runners continue on to the tranquil trails of the Roxbury Land Trust, where they will be treated to beautiful mountain laurel forests, crystal-clear streams, and the most welcome sight of all: an aid station by the pond, stocked with fuel for the tired runner. Finally, those brave souls who set out to tackle the 80k course will do three full laps of the 25k course plus a bit of extra distance around the aid station. Regardless of distance, runners should come prepared for any weather or trail condition.

Just over a month later is the XTERRA Wawayanda Trail Run, beginning and ending beside Lake Wawayanda in northwestern New Jersey. This start/finish area—a boat launch at the north end of the lake—also functions as an aid station for the longer distances, chock-full of all things sweet, salty, cool, and refreshing. The trails are a mix of single-track and double-track, smooth and technical, and include rocks, roots, and lots of rolling hills, and as runners navigate the winding trails, they will see signs of the historical background of Wawayanda State Park, including stone walls and an old iron furnace. The deep and wild woods of the park are home to a diverse wildlife population, so keep your eyes peeled for deer, wild turkeys, bears, birds, and Bigfoot.

The XTERRA Steep Rock Trail Run on August 6th is a tough but gorgeous trail run for casual and competitive runners alike. The 10k race takes place entirely within the Steep Rock Preserve, featuring a moderately technical course of serene riverside trails and pinnacle vistas as well as an old railroad tunnel and suspension bridge. The longer races head outside the borders of the preserve onto more technical but well-maintained trails through the Carter and Mine Hill preserves. Runners who challenge themselves with these longer distances will be rewarded with a tour of these beautiful parks, including an old quarry, ore mines, and blast furnace before the aid station, and can enjoy a sense of complete isolation and freedom in these peaceful preserves. Upon finishing, runners can cool off from the August heat in the cool, shallow river and enjoy the post-race refreshments.

The Northeast series finale, the XTERRA Syracuse Trail Run, will take place on the strikingly scenic trails at Green Lakes State Park in the heartland of central New York. Winding its way through rolling upland forest, rugged trails, and hill ascents, the course presents a challenging two-mile climb right from the start, but rewards with breathtaking views of two glacial lakes before offering a brief respite on the lakeside trail. The exciting mix of hilly terrain and fast, flat stretches offers a paradisiacal experience for any trail runner at any level of experience, whether seasoned pro or couch potato. In addition to a well-maintained and clearly marked course, runners can expect a well-organized and expertly run event and a great finish line party, including a fully catered lunch with great music. All in all, it’s safe to say that the XTERRA Northeast race series will go out with a bang!

Also, volunteers are always welcome at any of these races! Anyone who volunteers receives a snazzy t-shirt, post-race food, and the gratitude of our staff, spectators, and participants. If you’re interested, you can sign up on the race website. We also accept guilt-induced assistance, indentured service, and forced labor.

Points are awarded to the top fifteen finishers in each age group for the 25k, 50k, and 80k distances at Shepaug, Wawayanda, and Steep Rock, and for the 20k distance at Syracuse. The top three best race results for each runner during the series count towards the series standings, and the athletes with the most points in their age groups by the end of the series earn the title of Paul Mitchell XTERRA Northeast Series Champion and free entry to the Paul Mitchell XTERRA National Championship in Ogden, Utah on September 18, 2016.

Learn more about the XTERRA Northeast Trail Run Series.

 

Karl Shaw

Shaw, Guillot win XTERRA Costa Rica

Playa Conchal, Costa Rica – Karl Shaw from Great Britain and Myriam Guillot-Boisset from France won the elite races at the inaugural XTERRA Pan American Tour season-opener on an amazing “Pura Vida” morning in Costa Rica on Sunday, March 20.

It’s the first career XTERRA win for Shaw, who had a one-minute lead out of the swim, was seconds in front of last year’s XTERRA Costa Rica Champion Rom Akerson and reigning XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh coming off the bike, and responded to a late surge from Middaugh with one of his own in the deep sand just 2K from the finish to take the tape in 2:05:52.

Middaugh came in 17 seconds later, followed closely by Akerson 9 seconds after that.  It was one of the closest 1-2-3 finishes in sport history.

“I would’ve been happy with 3rd so to come away with the win is great, especially mentally to start the season,” said Shaw, who was racing his first XTERRA in four years.

“I’ve just come off 2-3 months of good training, and two weeks of camp here in Costa Rica with my friends, so it’s just been really good.  Costa Rica is a lovely country, very good course, hot, and hard on the legs.  It’s a beautiful place and I’ll be back next year to defend the title.”

Shaw’s brother Asa, who was the runner-up at XTERRA Worlds three years ago, was on-site to see the big win and even though Karl had a good lead out of the swim Asa wasn’t sure it was enough. It turned out that when Akerson and Francois Carloni caught up with Shaw on the bike the three starting working together and effectively held-off the world champ.

For Middaugh, who escaped a winter snowstorm in Colorado on Wednesday only to be greeted by the warm air of the Province of Guanacaste on Thursday, it wasn’t so much the humidity but rather a late crash on the last downhill of the bike that might’ve been the difference.

“I had caught Francois and closed to about five seconds behind Rom and Karl, but after that crash it was more like 30 seconds. It was tough racing today,” said Middaugh. “Every year its hard here. I thought I was feeling a little more fit and would have had an easier time catching that front group on the bike. I came close but not quite close enough.”

Akerson, who lives nearby on the beach, was set on defending his title and knew that keeping Middaugh behind him on the bike would give him his best shot.

“It’s just a matter of time before beast mode breaks out with Josiah,” said Akerson. “I gave it all I had to keep him behind me but couldn’t do it.”

When asked if he was surprised by Shaw’s strong showing, Middaugh replied, “I was surprised with Karl.  I knew he was strong on the bike but I didn’t know he would be that strong on the mountain bike, but he was.  He did a very smart race, and they were able to work together and he raced really strong.  It was hot this year, a little dryer and a little faster and I was really worried about the heat but it seemed okay. I felt I managed it okay.”

This is the third straight runner-up for Middaugh in Costa Rica, and when reminded that it took him 15 years to win Worlds, he said “Well, you don’t learn anything from winning and second keeps you hungry so I’ll be back.”

Next stop for Middaugh is XTERRA Argentina, the 2nd stop on the Pan America Tour, this weekend.

Last year’s XTERRA European Tour runner-up Francois Carloni finished 4th, followed by Frederico Venegas from Costa Rica in 5th and Greg Schott from the USA, racing his first pro race, in 6th.

Miriam Guillot-boisset

EMOTIONAL WIN FOR GUILLOT

Two years ago here in Costa Rica Myriam Guillot-Boisset was on top of the world having just won the adventure racing world championship, and to make it even better her Dad was in Costa Rica with her to see it happen.

And then sadness set in…

“My Dad was very sick when he came here, and when he took the flight to go back home he passed away,” said Guillot, with tears in her eyes.  “It was the last time I saw him, here in Costa Rica, and the first time I’ve been back since.  This one is for him.  I thought of him out there today.  We were at the same place.”

Guillot-Boisset said she could feel her Dad with her during the race and it made her confident, and happy.  “So happy, and I’m sorry to share this, normally I keep it to myself, but it’s overwhelming right now”

Guillot-Boisset, who won XTERRA Malaysia and was 4th at XTERRA Worlds last year, dominated the women’s elite race.  She came out of the water together with Kara LaPoint from the U.S. and Sabrina Gobbo from Brazil, and the three of them caught IM star Cait Snow early on the bike.

Guillot-Boisset then pulled away from the rest of the field and finished strong in 2:34:48, nearly 15 minutes ahead of LaPoint in 2nd, and Gobbo in third.  She will now head to Argentina in her chase to win the XTERRA Pan American Tour title this season.

“The race today was better than I expected,” said Guillot-Boisset. “It was an amazing swim, everybody would dream to swim here and the run is really exciting. I enjoyed the course, it has so much variety and it’s such a good way to experience Costa Rica.”

For LaPoint, the adventure of racing in Costa Rica mixed with a career-best runner-up performance left her with a great big smile.

“It feels amazing … now that I’m not suffering,” said LaPoint. “The last two miles of the run was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I was so tired, it was so hot, and I knew Sabrina was doing great behind me.   Having to run on the sand was such a challenge. I did everything I wanted to do here today and I’m very happy with that.”

LaPoint was 2nd out of the water “but 4th out of transition, doh!” but was able to get past Gobbo and Snow and rode in 2nd until about mile 15 when Gobbo passed her back and came into transition 2nd.  LaPoint then regained the 2nd position at about mile two of the run and held on until the finish.

“It’s been a really fun experience. A new race, a new country, everything was new. The water was great, course was awesome, everything was neat.  It’s been a blast to be here. I was literally thinking to myself in Spanish the whole race,” said LaPoint, who impressively also did her TV interviews in Spanish.

Gobbo said she tried to go with LaPoint when she passed her on the run, but “she was running really fast and I couldn’t keep up.”

Snow finished smiling in fourth in her XTERRA debut, and said “XTERRA is awesome, just a hair-bit dirtier than Ironman. I had a blast, and even though I came off the bike so many times, I was able to laugh about it and that is the key.”

Caroline Colonna posted a career-best 5th place showing, and Rebecca Blatt followed in sixth.

Pos Name, NAT Time S B R Points
1 Karl Shaw, GBR 2:05:52 18:40 1:09:52 35:27 75
2 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:06:09 20:22 1:08:37 35:23 67
3 Rom Akerson, CRC 2:06:18 19:43 n/a 35:48 61
4 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:11:21 19:45 1:09:41 39:54 56
5 Federico Venegas, CRC 2:25:25 19:48 1:22:51 40:51 51
6 Greg Schott, USA 2:26:07 21:02 1:21:14 41:29 47
Pos Name, NAT Time S B R Points
1 Miriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 2:34:48 24:56 1:24:37 42:31 75
2 Kara Lapoint, USA 2:49:20 24:14 1:33:25 48:01 67
3 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 2:51:29 25:57 1:33:20 51:02 61
4 Caitlin Snow, USA 2:56:01 23:58 1:46:52 43:35 56
5 Caroline Colonna, USA 2:58:35 30:09 1:40:52 46:19 51
6 Rebecca Blatt, USA 3:06:38 29:49 1:37:32 57:52 47

FULL RESULTS | PHOTO GALLERY

XTR_0895

AMATEUR RACE

Harold Ramos and Shannon Greenhill won the overall amateur titles in Costa Rica and age group champions from every division earned a spot on the starting line for the 21st running of the XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 23.

There were lots of great story lines in the amateur race.  Marco Amador won the 30-34 division on a fat bike that he’ll take with him to Worlds this October. Heart Akerson (Rom’s Dad) did the race barefoot as usual and got a big cheer from the crowd upon his arrival. He won his division and qualified for Maui and said he plans to go back and do better in that one this year as well.

Nat Grew did not make the race due to illness but he was there in spirit and his extended XTERRA Family talked about him constantly. His son Daniel did race, however, and finished 5th in the 25-29 division while racing on a fat bike as well.

David Desantis finished his 3rd XTERRA World Tour race of the season and is well on his way towards his goal of racing 16 XTERRAs in 16 countries to raise $16,000 or more for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Jump along on his journey at https://www.gofundme.com/desantis16in2016.

In all, racers from 20 countries took part in the event and each one can honorably call themselves XTERRA Warriors. The race got rave reviews from athletes, who spoke highly of the volunteers, organization, and beauty of the nature from the beach to the monkeys to the iguanas.

“It’s a fantastic place to train, to race, to visit, and I plan on doing that every year,” said the men’s champ Karl Shaw.

XTERRA COSTA RICA AMATEUR CHAMPIONS

Division   Men, Nationality                   Women, Nationality

15-19         Marco Gomez, CRC

20-24         Sebastian Salas, CRC

25-29         Harold Ramos, CRC

30-34         Marco Amador, CRC

35-39         Fabio Duque, COL                  Xiomara Brenes, CRC

40-44         Jorge Alpizar, CRC                  Shannon Greenhill, USA

45-49         Keith Schumann, USA

50-54         Roman Urbina, CRC

55-59         Scott Sullivan, CRC

60-64         Steve Cole, USA

THE OFF-ROAD TO UTAH

XTERRA Costa Rica was the first of ten races in the 2016 XTERRA Pan American Tour. The inaugural series for both amateur and professional athletes started at XTERRA Costa Rica and concludes September 17 with the XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Ogden, Utah.  In between are two majors in the U.S., two in Canada, and one each in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

The XTERRA Pan American Tour features Gold and Silver level events, where Gold events award points on a 100-point basis and Silver races award points on a 75-point basis.

The XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Utah will offer $20,000 USD for the race and distribute an additional $60,000 USD in prize money to the top 10 men and women in the final XTERRA Pan American Pro Series rankings.

Next up on the XTERRA Pan American Tour is XTERRA Argentina (March 26, 2016).

XTERRA PAN AMERICAN TOUR ELITE STANDINGS, tentative after 1 event

Pos Name, NAT CR AR BR OAK MOM VIC BC DO MX UTAH Total
1 Karl Shaw, GBR 75 75
2 Josiah Middaugh, USA 67 67
3 Rom Akerson, CRC 61 61
4 Francois Carloni, FRA 56 56
5 Federico Venegas, CRC 51 51
6 Greg Schott, USA 47 47
Pos Name, NAT CR AR BR OAK MOM VIC BC DO MX UTAH Total
1 Miriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 75 75
2 Kara Lapoint, USA 67 67
3 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 61 61
4 Caitlin Snow, USA 56 56
5 Caroline Colonna, USA 51 51
6 Rebecca Blatt, USA 47 47

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Costa Rica was the fifth 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 October 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 / Miriam Guillot
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Dique Ullum, San Juan
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Majjistral Nature Reserve
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua, North Island
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
Olly Shaw

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Time for Olly Shaw

A week removed from winning his first XTERRA at Motatapu Olly Shaw has turned his attention to the “off-road to Langkawi” in his chase for the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour title.

“I’ve got five weeks now until XTERRA New Zealand so it’s full on with the training,” said Shaw, who lives in Rotorua. “I have no racing between now and then and am focusing 100% on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour with New Zealand followed by the Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia and then the Tour finale in Malaysia.”

Despite not having collected any points yet, Shaw and countless others who have New Zealand, Australia, and Malaysia on their schedule have just as good a chance as anyone else at the tour title.  That is because while the tour includes six races – three of which are already in the books (Japan, Philippines, and Saipan) – pros and amateurs count just their best three scores (and the finale in Malaysia counts double).

If his performance in Motatapu last weekend is any indication, Shaw is one to watch out for. Here he tells us about his winning day…

“It feels great to finally get my first win. I have been chasing it for the past few years and after going close a few times it was nice to nail one. The conditions on race day were perfect. A cool morning turned into a stunning day with perfect temperatures and light winds. The course was running fast after dry temperatures for a few days which made for exciting racing! I’m all recovered now. Motatapu is one of the hardest and longest XTERRA’s in the world so it always takes a bit longer to recover from then the other XTERRA’s I do, so I took it easy for a good week to make sure there’s no long term fatigue.”

Takahiro Ogasawara leads the men’s APAC Tour title chase with three scoring races and 247 points while reigning XTERRA Japan champion Mieko Carey is in the lead of the women’s tour chase with 272 points.

Next up on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour is XTERRA New Zealand (April 16, 2016), followed a week later by the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia (April 23, 2016) and then the tour finale at XTERRA Malaysia (May 7, 2016).

Here’s a look at the elite APAC Tour elite standings after three…

PL NAME PTS
1 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 247
2 Brodie Gardner, AUS 182
3 Charlie Epperson, USA 144
4 Joe Miller, PHI 131
5 Kaon Cho, KOR 128
6 Cameron Oneal, USA 116
7 Courtney Atkinson, AUS 100
8 Bradley Weiss, RSA 100
9 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 90
10 Ben Allen, AUS 90
11 Taro Shirato, JPN 69
12 Taylor Charlton, AUS 63
13 Hsieh Jason, HKG 58
14 Michal Bucek, SVK 58
15 Barry Lee, MAS 45
PL NAME TOT
1 Mieko Carey, USA 272
2 Lizzie Orchard, NZL 190
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 100
4 Jacqui Slack, GBR 90
5 Renata Bucher, SUI 82
6 Belinda Hadden, AUS 75

2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Amateur Standings

PSE-Shoot_035-min-1

Man on a Mission – Phipps to XTERRA

The question was simple. “Can I train for an XTERRA in eight weeks?”

The man behind the question, and the race in question, was not so simple.

Aussie exercise and sports science guru Glenn Phipps isn’t your typical 40-something looking to get off the couch and try to get fit and the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race in New South Wales, Australia isn’t your typical race.

To the contrary, Phipps has spent his life on the other end of the spectrum, actually helping others achieve their personal bests, and XTERRA just so happens to be the world’s gnarliest off-road triathlon.

Now ordinarily a 1.5K swim, 30K mountain bike, and 10K trail run wouldn’t be anything to worry about for Phipps, but the injuries he has sustained through a career of fighting have reached critical mass and chronic illness forced a kidney transplant.

“I’m holding onto a huge amount of old injuries,” wrote Phipps. “It turns out that when people are trying to hurt you, they often do. And when you are trying to avoid being hurt, then you can often do a pretty good job on yourself. I’ve been at the receiving end of both. Not to mention that my entire body through surgeries and injuries resembles that of an EH Holden reno job (which was a good car in its day), then there’s plenty to be considered about training for an XTERRA in eight weeks.”

Add to that the great unknown of a new sport and the psychological battle to rally motivation out of a body that just wants to lay down and rest and you’ve got a compelling story that a lot of people out there can identify with in one way or another. It’s about a man on a mission to get going, get strong, get ready, and “Live More.”

The Search 4 Hurt television series broadcast on ESPN wants to see if Phipps can do it, and are documenting his efforts for a future special presentation. You can follow Phipps on his journey, and even share his training efforts if you like, by logging in to glennphipps.com.

Wong

Enrique Wong, The Original Tico of XTERRA

As the saying goes, there is a first for everything, and the first-ever XTERRA racer (and organizer) from Costa Rica was Enrique Wong.

“The first time I saw XTERRA was in a magazine. It was an ad for XTERRA Half Moon Bay in Northern California, and when I saw it I told myself it would be my next event,” explained XTERRA Costa Rica organizer Enrique Wong from Unlimited Productions.

At the time Wong was working for the airlines and consumed with travel, training, and work and XTERRA was just laying the foundation for the sport across the U.S.

“The combination of mountain biking and triathlon was amazing to me,” said Wong. “At the time I was training on a road bike but I was born and raised close to the nature, the beach, the mountains, and that’s how I lived.  I’m an adventure guy and I saw that XTERRA was pure adventure mixed with the adrenaline of racing and excitement of travel.  It was a perfect combination of all the things that I loved.”

Wong chased XTERRA around the world – to Richmond, Virginia and to Mexico and Temecula and to Maui for Worlds, and he fell in love with it all.

“XTERRA for me is a way of living, Pura Vida!” he exclaimed.

We caught up with Wong this week as he prepares to host the XTERRA Pan America Tour season-opener this Sunday at Playa Reserva Conchal in the Province of Guanacaste.

XTERRA: Why did you decide to produce XTERRA in Costa Rica?
Enrique Wong: When I started XTERRA I really got attached to it so I’ve kept racing all these years. At one point, maybe 10 years ago, I thought why not have an international event in Costa Rica.  We have everything here, the nature, the people, everything for a great XTERRA event and I knew I could do it.  Back then I was the only one going back and forth to XTERRA, but I thought if I could expose the sport to our people they would love it too. So that became my goal, to bring this event to the Costa Rican people.

XT: Have you seen the sport growing in Costa Rica?
EW: It’s been amazing. One of the first guys I came up with was Rom Akerson, and now his kids are on to XTERRA as well.   I saw little kids that were 15 when I brought XTERRA here for the first time and now they are competing to go to Hawaii. It’s really nice.  I’ve been telling them the experience of racing Worlds. Being so young and traveling to Hawaii is a dream for them, as it was a dream for me at the time. The main thing is, as I’ve seen in Maui, is to be part of the family of XTERRA, the XTERRA Tribe, and that is how they feel now.

XT: It seems you are not only showing XTERRA to Costa Rica, but you are also showing the beauty of Costa Rica to the world?
EW: Yes, we have 20 countries represented this year. It is important for us because the government is looking to us to see how these types of events are powerful ways to showcase our country.

XT: You’ve also put a lot of effort into televising the event, tell us about that.
EW: Last year we had people from all over the world, New Zealand, Australia, South America, Europe, South Africa and the U.S. tuning in to watch online (7:30am MST, find link to live broadcast at www.costaricaxterra.com). It’s also broadcast on the biggest cable channel in Costa Rica at the same time.

XT: Tell us when your love for traveling started.
EW: When I was 11 I was an exchange student to Wisconsin, and I’ve loved experiencing other cultures and places ever since. Mixing the sport which I love with traveling is the perfect way to live I’ll say.

XT: What kind of experience are you hoping to deliver with XTERRA?
EW: The experience we want to give all the racers is about the community, to have that interaction with Costa Rican people if they’re from other countries; and for the local people to feel at home and be well treated at the event.

XT: What do you think about the new XTERRA Pan American Tour?
EW: I just love how XTERRA has been growing, and it’s been growing really nice in a business way. I believe the Pan Am Tour is going to work.  I know it’s going to work.  We will work to have a really good interaction between all the countries involved. I know the people from Latin America will be very interested in racing the Pan American Tour.

XT: Why do you choose this date in March for XTERRA Costa Rica?
EW: The idea is to take visiting athletes from the winter season and provide them with a small break and start their training and racing season in some warm weather. Instead of going to Florida, come to Costa Rica and spend a week here.  It’s close to Easter week so they can have a vacation mixed with a race in warm weather and the whole family. That is what we are trying to communicate.

XT: Tell us a little bit about the course in Conchal.
EW: Sure The swim is two loops, 750-meter each, with a beach run in between. The water is perfect. The bike starts with some pretty loose sand and they’ll ride on the beach where there are no shadows, and you see the blue water in front of you, sand is shining in your eyes. Here you think, this is XTERRA. It’s a 30K bike and then a 10K run. It’s a really nice course in between the swimming, riding, and running. Some trails on the bike are like riding on the volcano rocks, loose, light rocks. It’s a whole mix of what Maui has as well, a good combination of what to expect from XTERRA.

XT: Is there a signature spot on the course?
EW: Yes, Rompe Piernas (translated to Breaking Legs Hill).  It’s a big climb and then really technical downhill about 10K into the bike.

XT: What can racers expect to see this weekend?
EW: You’re going to see friendly people, Pura Vida people. It’ll be hot. We tell everybody just to hydrate all the time. Good thing is while the run isn’t easy, there are a lot of shadows because it’s in the jungle, so that is nice.

XT: Is it hard for you to be director and not racer, do you wish you were out there?
EW: Yes, of course, I wish I could race but it’s also really satisfying to put on the race.  My goal was to bring an XTERRA here to Costa Rica for everybody. There are a lot of people who cannot travel to races.  Hosting it here gives this same experience, same quality of event as other places, but in their hometown. For me it’s satisfying to accomplish that down here.

XT: Tell us a little bit about your company.
EW: It’s called Unlimited Productions. My idea is to have this really open concept of company which produces sport, TV, and merchandise. Not just triathlon, but other races as well. The idea is to be wide open. We’ve set it up so we have departments for logistics, departments for TV.  We have a really good, very experienced crew who are passionate for sport and for their country. It’s also very important for us to treat the age groupers same as the pros. To show their value and importance to us.  The pros give us the image, but the age group athletes give us the foundation so it is our mission to treat them well.

Costa Rica

Pura Vida Kick-Off for the XTERRA Pan Am Tour Sunday in Costa Rica

The “Live More” spirit of XTERRA meets the essence of “Pura Vida” in Costa Rica when the first race of the inaugural XTERRA Pan American Tour gets underway on the beautiful beaches of Guanacaste this Sunday, March 20.

XTERRA fans from around the world are invited to tune-in to the live coverage of the event starting at 7:30 a.m. local time (also 7:30am in Colorado and Tapalpa, 9:30am in New York, 10:30am in Argentina and Brazil, 2:30pm in France, and 3:30pm in Stellenbosch). The link to the broadcast URL will be published at costaricaxterra.com and on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/XterraCostaRica/) Sunday.

What viewers can expect to see is hundreds of athletes from more than 20 countries challenging Mother Nature at the beach resort of Reserva Conchal. Among those athletes line up for XTERRA Costa Rica is the sports very-best racer, reigning XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh.

fp-xterracr-conchal

Middaugh, who has finished 2nd to local triathlon legends Leonardo Chacon in 2014 and Rom Akerson last year, is hoping the third time is a charm for him in Costa Rica.  Winning won’t be an easy task for the champ, however, as he just arrived today from a snowstorm in Colorado that was bad enough that he had to pull over to the side of the road on his drive to the airport for an hour to wait for it to subside.

“It’ll be interesting, that’s for sure, but I’m really looking forward to it” said Middaugh. “I haven’t been on the dirt yet this year, I’m on a new bike, and conditions are just a little different here than back home.  Last year I cramped on the run for the first-time ever during a race so I tried to prepare myself a little bit this year.  Did some steam room training at the Westin.”

Akerson, on the other hand, lives and trains year-round in the hot and dry tropical forests nearby where all of nature is his steam room.

“Costa Rica is an amazing place and it’s my home country, so I think it is a perfect place to have an XTERRA,” said Akerson. “It really is a beautiful country. We have nice beaches, great weather, and amazing people.  Plus, we believe in “Pura Vida” which means pure life. XTERRA’s motto is “Live More” which has about the same idea.”

XTERRA European Tour runner-up Francois Carloni is also on the elite men’s list, and has been training in Costa Rica in the build-up to this event. Carloni is joined by fellow Frenchmen Karl Shaw and Pierre Roblot, American Greg Schott, who won the 15-19 XTERRA National Championship last year, and local elite Federico Villegas.

In the women’s race Myriam Guillot-Boisset, who won XTERRA Malaysia and finished 4th at the XTERRA World Championship last year, headlines a field that includes three of the top 13 women from the 2015 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series in Kara LaPoint (5th), Rebecca Blatt (10th), and Caroline Colonna (13th).

We will also see the XTERRA debut of American long-distance road triathlon star Caitlin Snow, winner of IM France last year, French elite Camille Donat, and Brazilian XTERRA standout Sabrina Gobbo.

In the amateur race there are representatives from each of the Pan American Tour countries – the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Brazil, and the hosts from Costa Rica.

Of particular interest is the reigning XTERRA Warrior Award winner and cancer survivor Dave Desantis, who is on a mission to compete in 16 XTERRA races in 16 countries around the world this season with a goal to raise more than $16,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. This is the third XTERRA of the year for Desantis, who raced XTERRA Philippines and XTERRA South Africa in February, and he’s already raised more than $10,000 towards his fundraising goal.

The inaugural XTERRA Pan American Tour was created this year to connect the sports’ major events in South, Central, and North America as well as the Caribbean.

The inaugural 10-stop series for both amateur and professional athletes starts Sunday and concludes September 17 with the XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Ogden, Utah.  In between are two majors in the U.S., two in Canada, and one each in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

2016 XTERRA PAN AMERICAN TOUR

March 20 – XTERRA Costa Rica (Playa Reserva Conchal) *SILVER
March 26 – XTERRA Argentina (Dique Ullum, San Juan) *GOLD
May 7 – XTERRA Brazil (Ilhabela) *SILVER
May 21 – XTERRA Oak Mountain (Pelham, AL, USA) *GOLD
June 25 – XTERRA Mine Over Matter (Milton, ON, CAN) *SILVER
July 10 – XTERRA Victoria (B.C., CAN) *SILVER
July 16 – XTERRA Beaver Creek (Avon, CO, USA) *GOLD
July 31 – XTERRA Dominican Republic (Barahona) *GOLD
Aug 6 – XTERRA Mexico (Tapalpa) *GOLD
Sep 17 – XTERRA Pan American Championship (Ogden, UT, USA)

“Creating the Pan American Series aligns our events in the Americas with our structure in Europe and Asia-Pacific regions, and provides a platform for our Canadian, Latin & South American friends to be part of a competitive regional series of events,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas.

The XTERRA Pan American Tour will feature Gold and Silver level events, just like the XTERRA European Tour, where Gold events award points on a 100-point basis and Silver races award points on a 75-point basis.

GOLD POINTS: 100-Point Basis

1=100, 2=90, 3=82, 4=75, 5=69, 6=63. 7=58, 8=53, 9=49, 10=45, 11=41, 12=37, 13=34, 14=31, 15=28

SILVER POINTS: 75-Point Basis                                                            

1=75, 2=67, 3=61, 4=56, 5=51, 6=47, 7=43, 8=39, 9=36, 10=33, 11=30, 12=27, 13=25, 14=23, 15=21

Gold events offer the equivalent of $15,000 USD in elite prize money to the top seven men and women, plus 50 spots into the XTERRA World Championship for amateurs.

Silver races offer the equivalent of $7,500 USD in elite prize money to the top five men and women, plus at least 25 spots into the XTERRA World Championship for amateurs (the exception is XTERRA Brazil, which offers 50 spots to Worlds).

The XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Utah will offer $20,000 USD for the race and distribute an additional $60,000 USD in prize money to the top 10 men and women in the final XTERRA Pan American Pro Series rankings.

“I think it could really re-energize some of the pros that might be stale with the same races and open up to some other pro athletes to be competitive, especially in Mexico, Canada, Central and South America,” said Middaugh, who plans on racing six or seven of the 10 events on the Tour this year.

Elites and amateurs competing in the XTERRA Pan American Tour count their best four scores (two Gold, two Silver) from the first nine events plus whatever they get, or don’t get, at the XTERRA Pan American Championship race which will be scored at the 100-point level.  Five Scores Total.

Thus, the final point total combines an athletes best two Gold scores, best two Silver scores, plus their XTERRA Pan American Championship race points.

Athletes can race in as many of the five Gold events as they like, but just their best two will count at the 100-point level, with other Gold finishes counting at the 75-point level.

Amateur athletes need to race at least two (any two) XTERRA Pan American Tour majors listed in schedule above to be eligible for Tour honors at the end of the season, and athletes from all nations are welcome to race in the one-day XTERRA Pan American Championship race as no qualification is necessary.

“This point structure gives amateurs and elites from all over the region a legitimate shot at the Pan Am Title,” said XTERRA President Janet Clark. “It also encourages exploration and an opportunity to discover some amazing places.”

Learn more at www.xterrapanam.com.