Local Heroes Grieser, Magrum Return to XTERRA ATX

XTERRA standout Kyle Grieser doesn’t have an off-season, but it’s not because of his racing schedule.

The 13-time XTERRA South Central Regional Champion and reigning XTERRA ATX Champion needs to be in top condition because he is also a firefighter.

“I have to stay in shape all year round to be the best I can be at my job,” said Grieser, who just returned from the Texas panhandle where he was battling a wildfire. “Having that much cardio under my belt definitely helps, but fighting fires is still the hardest thing I’ve ever done. There’s nothing quite like it in the world.”

Although Grieser qualified for the XTERRA World Championship race in Maui for the past 13 years, this is the first year he has registered for the race.

“I finally decided to give XTERRA Worlds a shot, so most of my focus is going to be for that race and being in the best possible shape to do well there in Hawaii.”

“I love doing the XTERRA ATX because it’s right in my backyard,” Grieser added. “Pace Bend Park is my second home, and I love the hard work that Joel and Dion put into all their races. ATX is a quick course, but it’s also incredibly technical in spots, so it’s perfect for this point in my season.”

Interestingly, Pace Bend Park was the home of the first XTERRA race held in Texas way back in 1999 when it was the second-stop on the inaugural 10-stop XTERRA America Tour. A pair of XTERRA Hall-of-Famers, Michael Tobin and Kerstin Weule, won that first event.

“At the time, it was a long way outside of Austin, which has now pretty much spread all the way there,” said XTERRA President Janet Clark. “It’s a gorgeous natural venue on Lake Travis, which gets packed on the weekend with people out enjoying the water and not paying any attention to XTERRA!”

Last year’s XTERRA ATX women’s champion is another local hero. Alissa Magrum is the executive director of Colin’s Hope, a non-profit that creates and supports programs that aid in the prevention of drowning. In 2016, the Colin’s Hope Athlete Ambassadors raised $80,000 by collecting pledges and competing in marathons, triathlons, and swims.

“Drowning remains the leading cause of accidental death for children under four, and I’m passionate about changing that by sponsoring swim lessons for children and building awareness of water safety,” said Magrum, who is also an XTERRA Ambassador. “Athletes are go-getters, which is why I’m so happy to be part of the XTERRA tribe. These races are full of remarkable people, like Kyle.”

Last year, Alissa finished the XTERRA ATX in 2:31:58, coming in six minutes ahead of second-place finisher, Keri Rimiel. Look for Alissa to be one of the first out of the water. She has a strong background in open water swimming events and has competed in swims up to nine miles to raise money for Colin’s Hope and awareness about drowning prevention.

The race begins in Pace Bend Park with an 800-meter swim, continues with a 13-mile mountain bike ride, and finishes with a 3.7-mile trail run.

Pace Bend Park is in Texas Hill Country in Spicewood, Texas. The entire park is on a peninsula jutting into the lake with steep bluffs on one side offering spectacular views. The running and biking portions of the course include limestone ledges, challenging rock gardens, steep climbs, and technical drop-offs, as well as a few flat and fast stretches.

The 2017 Texas XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon Series consists of five events held at some of the most popular venues in the central Texas region.

Register for XTERRA ATX on April 22nd. Learn more about the XTERRA Texas tri and trail running series here. Learn more about the XTERRA America Tour here.

XTERRA America Tour Heads South to Myrtle Beach

On Sunday, April 23rd, XTERRA heads to Myrtle Beach for a unique race that combines imaginative and technical trails with a beginner-friendly atmosphere and a water taxi to the start. 

“I’ve been doing triathlons for 6 years and this is by far the most fun I’ve had in a race,” said 2016 second place finisher Dwayne Dixon. “The atmosphere at XTERRA is unlike any other.  Everyone is super cool and very friendly. This was my first XTERRA and I’ve already met some great people and exceptional athletes. I’m hooked and looking forward to the season ahead.” 

 The race’s one-of-a-kind swim start begins with a boat ride taxi to the starting line. When the gun goes off, competitors will swim 1000 meters point to point in the Intercoastal Waterway and then run up a boat ramp for the first transition.

The bike portion will surprise many, with a challenging and technical course that will engage racers over two laps to cover 14 miles along the coast of the beautiful outer banks. Nicknamed “The Hulk,” because of its similarity to the Universal Studios Hulk roller coaster, the trail changes elevations, twists, turns, and then drops steeply. The scenery changes often, from waterway views to grassy meadows, to thick jungle-like sections.

Race director Pete Politis is known for improving the course every year. First, he made the swim a point to point to prevent athletes from having to swim against a heavy tide. Since then, he’s been constantly improving the trails and making the course more technical from additional switch backs and steep drops to the mountain bike trails to taking the five mile run completely off road.

“The boys and girls down in Myrtle Beach, with the leadership of Pete Politis, completely revamped the run course,” said Marcus Barton, the 2016 third place finisher.  “When I say “completely”, I mean they built all new trails, added on to the Horry County Bike and Run Park, and made the 5 mile run almost completely off-road.”

“Our goal is to make the course more sustainable,” said race director Pete Politis. “The mountain bike course doesn’t have rocks or heavily wooded areas, so the technical features are man made. You will find multiple double switchbacks that bring balance and gearing into play.”

Politis adds that the run course is also customized for running rather than cycling. “Most of the running trail is in the shade. We’ve also built the trail without berms and made the turns less sharp so it’s pretty ideal for racing.”

Learn more and register for XTERRA Myrtle Beach.

Serrano, Poor Win XTERRA Malta (again!)

Roger Serrano from Spain and Brigitta Poor from Hungary captured the elite titles at the third annual XTERRA Malta off-road triathlon to open the 2017 XTERRA European Tour racing season this morning.

It’s the third straight win in Malta for Poor, who is the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion, and it’s the second consecutive Malta victory for Serrano, who won the Euro Tour title in 2015.

XTERRA European Tour marketing director Kostas Koumargialis was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

Complete Results / Photos

The weather this morning was cloudy and we were expecting some rain but finally it was ideal for racing. The sea was a little choppy but it was nothing comparing to previous years’ conditions. The elites started 30-seconds ahead of the age groupers in order to have a clear swim and the sprint distance race began 10-minutes later.

In the men’s race Roger Serrano was the first out of the water followed by Maxim Chane and Hannes Wolpert just seconds behind him.

“I was not first in the first-loop of the swim, but I pushed a little bit on the 2nd-loop and managed to exit the water first,” said Serrano.  “I left transition second but after 500-meters I took the lead and rode alone the whole course.”

Forty-seconds behind the first three out of the swim were Maximilian Sasserath, then Tomas Kubek and Francois Carloni.

“The swim was great for me because I was able to be with the fast guys,” said Sasserath, who posted a career-best runner-up finish today.

In the women’s race Nicole Walters, a Silver-medalist as a paratriathlon guide at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, posted the fastest swim in her first-ever XTERRA race.

“I did not swim as good as I wanted but was able to stay in front of the other girls,” she said.

One minute behind her was Anna–Paulina Sasserath, followed by last’s year winner Brigitta Poor.

“My swim was bad; I was very slow but was happy to see myself 3rd into transition,” said Poor.

Carina Wasle, motivated after her win at XTERRA Saipan a few weeks ago, was 4th and then one-minute later the young Italian Menditto and former European Tour champion Kathrin Mueller were climbing the stairs to transition together.

On the bike section Serrano increased his lead progressively, while Chane struggled with his hardtail bike and Wolpert had a flat tire that caused him to withdraw.

Carloni pushed a lot on the first loop and was able to pass Sasserath and Kubek.

“I lost a lot of time in transition and was 7th when I started the bike,” said Carloni.  “I was having a good day and was able to push a lot on the uphill. I was just one-minute behind Roger on the first loop but decided to slow down and keep some energy for the run.”

Sasserath entered the bike-to-run transition in 3rd place followed by Jorg Scheiderbauer & Kubek. Scheiderbauer was the surprise of the day on the bike, as he was 18th out of the water and managed to come into transition in 5th.  Just seconds behind them was Maxim Danon, who was leading the amateurs race, with Jan Pyott in 7th and Jim Thijs in 8th.

In the women’s race on the bike Poor and Wasle passed Sasserath and Walters during the first 5km, but then Wasle flatted on the first downhill and Poor took the lead for good.

“On the bike, I felt very well and managed to pass everybody on the first loop,” said Poor.  “I did a careful race after that trying to gain some time over the other girls. I managed to have 4-minutes lead entering transition for the run.”

Wasle explained, “I started the bike together with Brigitta but had a flat very early. I tried to fix it but was losing air and had to stop several times. I lost lot of time riding on the rim.”

Behind them Helena Erbenova, who lost almost 5-minutes on the swim, was pushing hard on the bike to cover the difference.

“Starting the bike I knew I had to do my best to get in the front,” said Erbenova.  “I was feeling great and powerful and enjoyed passing the other girls but even with that Brigitta was more than 4-minutes in front by the time I got to transition.”

Walters, in her first race on a mountain bike, was able to stay in touch with the leaders followed by Maud Goldsteyn. They both entered transition zone with just one-minute difference.

On the run no-one could touch Serrano who was managing his pace and enjoying the lead. Even on this pace he did the 3rd best run of the day finishing the race in first place more than three-minutes ahead of Sasserath.

“I was feeling great all the time today and did not make any mistakes,” said Serrano.  “I am so happy to win here for the second time in a row. Congratulations to the organizers, all the athletes and competitors. Looking forward to race in Greece at the end of the month and hope to win there too.”

The young German Sasserath has his best performance in an XTERRA today grabbing second place from Francois Carloni who finished third.

“I was able to see Carloni on the 2nd loop of the run. I was feeling strong, pushed hard and was able to pass him on the last downhill. This was a great day for me,” said Sasserath.

This year Jan Pyott was finally able not only to finish the race but also secure 4th place, with Jorg Sheiderbauer in 5th.

In the woman’s race the big lead Poor took to the run was plenty enough to secure her third straight win in Malta.

“I tried to be relaxed and keep the gap to Erbenova,” said Poor.  “After the second loop I knew I was going to win here. It’s the best start of the 2017 season for me and looking forward to the next events. Congratulations to all. See you soon”

Erbenova followed in second after more than three-minutes, saying “I felt empty on the run. My concern was not to catch Brigitta but just to keep at least the second place.”

Newcomer Nicole Walters managed to finish 3rd followed by Goldsteyn in 4th and Wasle in 5th.

All-Time XTERRA Malta Elite Champions

2017 – Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor

2016 – Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor

2015 – Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor

The next stop on the XTERRA European Tour is April 23 at XTERRA Cyprus.

Learn more about the XTERRA European Tour here.
Pro Men
Pos Name, NAT Time Points Swim Bike Run Purse
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 2:06:44 75 15:37 1:05:57 42:11 $1,200
2 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 2:10:11 67 16:22 1:09:28 41:18 $900
3 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:11:11 61 16:43 1:06:59 44:10 $700
4 Jan Pyott, SUI 2:13:43 56 17:04 1:11:19 42:45 $550
5 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 2:14:04 51 18:02 1:08:43 43:57 $400
6 Tomas Kubek, CZE 2:14:08 47 16:38 1:10:36 43:58
7 Mark Hamersma, NED 2:14:12 43 17:01 1:13:34 40:35
8 Jim Thijs, BEL 2:18:14 39 16:51 1:11:54 46:42
9 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 2:18:21 36 18:01 1:13:48 42:38
10 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 2:21:44 33 25:53 1:09:43 42:58
11 Maxim Chane, FRA 2:21:59 30 15:39 1:14:23 49:17
12 Doug Hall, GBR 2:22:57 27 17:29 1:16:48 45:17
13 Stephan Radeck, GER 2:23:16 25 17:43 1:15:51 46:02
14 Callum Hughes, GBR 2:25:44 23 19:07 1:16:35 46:24
Pro Women
Pos Name, NAT Time Points Swim Bike Run Purse
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 2:25:01 75 18:05 1:17:25 46:19 $1,200
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 2:28:44 67 21:45 1:18:05 45:35 $900
3 Nicole Walkers, GBR 2:37:31 61 16:56 1:26:52 49:21 $700
4 Maud Golsteyn, NED 2:38:44 56 20:44 1:24:21 49:41 $550
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 2:40:21 51 18:11 1:32:09 46:40 $400
6 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 2:46:01 47 23:59 1:31:31 46:37
7 Louise Fox, GBR 2:48:34 43 19:11 1:32:32 52:44
8 Cecila Jenssen, SWE 2:50:11 39 20:36 1:30:09 54:50
9 Anna Pauline Sasserath 2:51:02 36 17:50 1:32:30 57:23
10 Kathrin Mueller, GER 2:56:17 33 19:09 1:40:19 52:45
11 Marta Menditto, ITA 2:59:01 30 19:08 1:39:58 56:42
2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule

XTERRA Malta was the seventh of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 29.

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25 XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4 XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18 XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25 XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1 XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1 XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
Apr 2 XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
Apr 8 XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Rotorua, North Island
Apr 9 XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Playa Reserva Conchal
Apr 16 XTERRA La Reunion La Reunion Island
Apr 23 XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Lara Beach/Akamas, Paphos
Apr 23 XTERRA Cebu + GOLD Danao, Cebu, Philippines
Apr 29 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship / Malaysia + GOLD Langkawi, Malaysia
Apr 30 XTERRA Greece * Silver Vouliagmeni
May 6 XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Moorea
May 14 XTERRA Spain * Silver Taragonna
May 14 XTERRA Brazil # Silver Ilha Bella, Sao Paolo
May 20 XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Pelham, AL, USA
May 27 XTERRA Portugal * Silver Golega
Jun 10 XTERRA Belgium * Silver Namur
Jun 17 XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18 XTERRA Finland * Silver Imatra
Jun 24 XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Vallee de Joux
Jul 2 XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
Jul 9 XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15 XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30 XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5 XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
Aug 5 XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
Aug 6 XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12 XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12 XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
Aug 13 XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
Aug 13 XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
Aug 19 XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
Aug 26 XTERRA Sweden * Silver Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26 XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2 XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
Sep 3 XTERRA European Championship / Denmark * GOLD Mons Klint
Sep 16 XTERRA Pan American Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29 XTERRA World Championship 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

 

 

Barraza, Riveros win XTERRA Chile

Santiago, Chile – Felipe “Pipo” Barraza and Barbara “Chicka” Riveros captured the inaugural XTERRA Chile off-road triathlon elite titles and the hearts of their hometown fans in Santiago today.

It’s the first XTERRA win for Barraza and just the second for Riveros (she won XTERRA New Zealand) after a handful of big runner-up finishes at XTERRA USA and World Championship races over the years.

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

I know it sounds corny, but it was chilly in Chile this morning. The skies were cloudy all day with bright sun behind and the temperatures were perfect for racing with a high of 21C (70). Everyone was allowed wetsuits despite the water being at 21C as the air temp at the start was barely 15.5C 60F.

The swim is in a waterski park, so the depth is very consistent but there is no beach or grassy access. The pros had their water start promptly at 9:58 and the age groupers thrashed their way out at 10:00. The swim was two laps and Chilean ITU racer Diego Moya beat the field by a minute. Moya held the bike lead for the first 5K as both bike and run were dead flat for the first 3K. As they hit the first hill a bunch including Canadian Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, local Chile racer Felipe “Pipo” Barraza and Gaspar Riveros. Last week’s Argentine winner Gonzolo Tellechea was a bit back with Americans Ian King and Branden Rakita close behind. Barbara Riveros, the Chilean Olympian (she finished 5th in Rio) and top finisher at Maui several times had a huge lead out of the water.

“Barb is simply on another level right now,” said the reigning Pan Am Champ and runner-up today Suzie Snyder.

Brazilian Laura Mira was 3rd up the hill followed by French pro Morgane Riou and a great battle between Sabrina Gobo and Kara LaPoint.

The race was at the front. Barraza and the mountain bikers quickly swallowed roadie Moya and it became a two-man battle between Argentinian Tellechea and Chilean Barraza. Tellechea eventually got past Barraza but seemed to have some bike trouble near the end and they came into T2 together. Barraza got our first and I don’t think they were ever more than 50-meters apart.

“Felipe was so strong on the hills he would go away from me,” smiled Tellachea. “But then I would come back on the flats by pushing hard. With a few hundred meters to go I knew I could not get him.”

There was an equally great race for 3rd between Brazilian Felipe Moletta and Thibodeau.

“I am thinking this might be my last year if I cannot get faster,” said the Canadian. “My bike was great today but I gave too much and could not catch him.”

Moletta put in the fastest bike time of the day and eased away to take 3rd by just over one-minute. Last week’s second place finisher Maximiliano Morales had a terrible swim but put in a strong bike and was able to catch American Branden Rakita for 5th.

“I am so happy to win here,” grinned Barraza, who was 4th at the Pan Am Championship race last year.

“Gonzalo really made it hard, especially when he passed me on the bike, but I had a good T2 and was able to come out in front. He pushed me all the way.”

As Suzie Snyder said earlier, Riveros was on a different level and she won by 12-minutes over Snyder who had a good race to beat Morgane Riou by four-minutes.

“I knew I had a nice lead but still I had to push. You cannot go easy on those steep hills and I think if you try to go slow it is more dangerous,” said the petite winner. “Last year I got hurt and could not race Maui, but I will be there this year.”

The 2nd XTERRA Pan American Tour race has had a brilliant start. Argentinian Gonzalo Tellechea won Argentina and Chilean Felipe Barraza wins Chile. Susie Snyder had two great races but ran into a tiny buzz-saw here and had to settle for second. Both races were well-organized and the courses, while tough, were fair and fun. The Brazilians were here in force and even hired a bus and trailer to take all their gear from Santiago to the race venue. It was quite amazing to see a pizza chef making fresh dough and topping it with fresh ingredients 100’ from the finish line! And in a portable pizza oven. Erdinger tasty nonalcoholic beer had plenty of free drinks for everyone including a huge stein for the winners.

Tentative Elite Results

XTERRA Pan America Tour Standings After 2

PL NAME, NAT TOT ARG CHI
1 Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG 142 75 67
2 Maximiliano Morales, ARG 118 67 51
3 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 117 61 56
4 Branden Rakita, USA 103 56 47
5 León Drajer, ESP 94 51 43
6 Julien Buffe, FRA 82 43 39
7 Felipe Barraza, CHI 75 DNS 75
8 Felipe Barraza, CHI 75 DNS 75
9 Felipe Moletta, BRA 61 DNS 61
10 Felipe Moletta, BRA 61 DNS 61
11 Andres Darricau, ARG 47 47 DNS
12 Diego Moya, CHI 36 DNS 36
13 Gaspar Riveros, CHI 33 DNS 33
14 Benjamin Munizaga, CHI 30 DNS 30
15 Ian King, USA 27 DNS 27

Learn more about the XTERRA Pan America Tour here.

2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule

XTERRA Chile was the sixth of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 29.

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25 XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4 XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18 XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25 XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1 XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1 XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
Apr 2 XTERRA Malta * Silver Majjistral Nature Reserve
Apr 8 XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Rotorua, North Island
Apr 9 XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Playa Reserva Conchal
Apr 16 XTERRA La Reunion La Reunion Island
Apr 23 XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Lara Beach/Akamas, Paphos
Apr 23 XTERRA Cebu + GOLD Danao, Cebu, Philippines
Apr 29 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship / Malaysia + GOLD Langkawi, Malaysia
Apr 30 XTERRA Greece * Silver Vouliagmeni
May 6 XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Moorea
May 14 XTERRA Spain * Silver Taragonna
May 14 XTERRA Brazil # Silver Ilha Bella, Sao Paolo
May 20 XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Pelham, AL, USA
May 27 XTERRA Portugal * Silver Golega
Jun 10 XTERRA Belgium * Silver Namur
Jun 17 XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18 XTERRA Finland * Silver Imatra
Jun 24 XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Vallee de Joux
Jul 2 XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
Jul 9 XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15 XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30 XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5 XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
Aug 5 XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
Aug 6 XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12 XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12 XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
Aug 13 XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
Aug 13 XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
Aug 19 XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
Aug 26 XTERRA Sweden * Silver Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26 XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2 XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
Sep 3 XTERRA European Championship / Denmark * GOLD Mons Klint
Sep 16 XTERRA Pan American Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29 XTERRA World Championship 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.

McPherson, Bucher win XTERRA Thailand

Phuket, Thailand – Kieran McPherson from New Zealand and Renata Bucher from Switzerland won the inaugural XTERRA Phuket off-road triathlon on a magnificent morning in Thailand.

It’s the first career XTERRA World Tour win for McPherson, and the 34th for Bucher who has now won an XTERRA major in 15 different countries.

Full Results | Photo Gallery

In the men’s race Ben Allen turned in a blazing 21:01 swim to lead McPherson and a chase group including fellow Aussies Brodie Gardner and Taylor Charlton out of the water by two minutes.

“The race was pretty epic. I finished second today to Kieran who had a phenomenal race and brought it home during the run and that’s where it counted,” said Allen. “For me it was a pretty interesting race. Had a pretty good swim, big lead out of the water. Jumped on the bike and felt good so I went pretty hard but you know it’s typical Asian racing. I almost got hit by a car turning on to the road, took two wrong turns. I had a flat tire and everything that could have went wrong, went wrong.”

“But I got into transition two and started to run hard but again cramps on the run from the heat. Kieran came flying past and I tried to hang with him as long as I could but the legs just didn’t have it today.”

The day belonged to McPherson as he pushed his body to his first XTERRA major victory in his second season racing.

“Ben put a pretty good lead out of the water,” he said. “I tried to push hard on the bike to try to cut into his lead and catch him before the flat section. I kind of just cooked myself.”

“I could see Ben coming out of transition and I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me. I caught him after about 4 or 5kms and I never looked back.”

“It was hard, I fell over a few times in the last few kilometers and just couldn’t feel my legs anymore.”

“This is my first ever victory for XTERRA in my second season … can’t really complain about that,” he added with a giant grin. “A really happy day.”

 

In the women’s race, American Kelli Montgomery led the ladies out of the water with Bucher on her heals.

Bucher using transition to her advantage exited to the bike with the lead and never looked back finishing in 3:10:22.

“There’s always this fine line between pushing hard and really suffering,” Bucher said. “It’s hot, it’s humid and these hills are really steep and slippery but I actually love the technical part when it’s a slippery downhill. I love that so much and I think I made a bit of time there.”

“On the run I just pushed through and had the big goal in front of me to make it happen. To win in another country and for the first time in Thailand. Every time it’s a gift, you never know what can happen and I told myself to never cry if I don’t win but now I have tears from just being so happy.”

For Montgomery her day was a battle for second place against XTERRA newcomer Marika Wagner of Sweden. The pair changed positions on the bike with Wagner coming into T2 in second place behind Bucher by posting the fastest bike split at 1:55:21.

“I felt like I swam pretty well, then got on the bike and tried to start more conservative and build the pace throughout watching how hard I went on the hills.”

“Markia passed me half-way through the bike, she had a nice bike split but I tried to settle into a pace and catch her on the run.”

Montgomery made her pass around mile two and finished nearly nine minutes back of Bucher at 3:19:25.

For Wagner she added, “I didn’t know what to expect from the other girls so I just had to do my own race. I managed to find a good pace on the bike but my most challenging part was the swim.”

“I saw the next girl on the run coming out of T2 and she looked like a good runner. I tried to go as hard as I could as I thought she would pass me but I decided that she wouldn’t get it easy.”

For its inaugural event, XTERRA Thailand received high marks for the event operation and the quality of the course from amateurs and pros alike.

The stunning scenery, incredible people and vibrant adventures you can find in Phuket has not gone unnoticed by all who made the journey to this island in the Andaman Sea. There should be many familiar faces next year.

2017 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Point Standings After Two

PL NAME, NAT TOT SPN THA
1 Kieran McPherson, NZL 131 56 75
2 Ben Allen, AUS 128 61 67
3 Markus Benesch, AUT 102 51 51
4 Brodie Gardner, AUS 100 39 61
5 Will Kelsay, USA 94 47 47
6 Sam Osborne, NZL 75 75 DNS
7 Aleksandr Dorovskikh, RUS 72 36 36
8 Bradley Weiss, RSA 67 67 DNS
9 David Ballesteros, ESP 56 DNS 56
10 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 51 21 30
11 Yuichi Hosoda, JPN 43 43 DNS
12 Taylor Charlton, AUS 43 DNS 43
13 Jacob Storey 39 DNS 39
14 Dominik Wychera, AUT 33 33 DNS
15 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 33 DNS 33
16 Joe Miller, PHI 30 30 DNS
17 Emil Duraj, SVK 27 27 DNS
18 Akihiko Maeda, JPN 25 25 DNS
19 Michal Bucek, SVK 23 23 DNF

Elite Women

PL NAME, NAT TOT SPN THA
1 Renata Bucher, SUI 75 DNS 75
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 75 75 DNS
3 Kelli Montgomery, USA 67 DNS 67
4 Mieko Carey, JPN 67 67 DNS
5 Marika Wagner, SWE 61 DNS 61
6 Belinda Hadden, AUS 56 DNS 56

XTERRA Phuket was the fifth of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 29.

2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25 XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4 XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18 XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25 XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1 XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1 XTERRA Chile # Silver San Bernardo, Santiago
Apr 2 XTERRA Malta * Silver Majjistral Nature Reserve
Apr 8 XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Rotorua, North Island
Apr 9 XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Playa Reserva Conchal
Apr 16 XTERRA La Reunion La Reunion Island
Apr 23 XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Lara Beach/Akamas, Paphos
Apr 23 XTERRA Cebu + GOLD Danao, Cebu, Philippines
Apr 29 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship / Malaysia + GOLD Langkawi, Malaysia
Apr 30 XTERRA Greece * Silver Vouliagmeni
May 6 XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Moorea
May 14 XTERRA Spain * Silver Taragonna
May 14 XTERRA Brazil # Silver Ilha Bella, Sao Paolo
May 20 XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Pelham, AL, USA
May 27 XTERRA Portugal * Silver Golega
Jun 10 XTERRA Belgium * Silver Namur
Jun 17 XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18 XTERRA Finland * Silver Imatra
Jun 24 XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Vallee de Joux
Jul 2 XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
Jul 9 XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15 XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30 XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5 XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
Aug 5 XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
Aug 6 XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12 XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12 XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
Aug 13 XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
Aug 13 XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
Aug 19 XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
Aug 26 XTERRA Sweden * Silver Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26 XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2 XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
Sep 3 XTERRA European Championship / Denmark * GOLD Mons Klint
Sep 16 XTERRA Pan American Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29 XTERRA World Championship 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.

A prelude to the inaugural XTERRA Chile

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas has been touring the Pan Am Tour’s South America stops from Argentina to Chile over the past week and found himself quite entertained at what he has found at XTERRA’s new home in Santiago today.

He explains …

It is Thursday here at the first XTERRA Chile venue, just south of Santiago.  Rodrigo Ballivian, Emilio and crew have done an outstanding job of preparing everything. The bike and run are fully marked, the expo is nearly complete, transition is up and the finish line near ready.  There was a very neat kids clinic taught by Olympian and XTERRA superstar Barbara Riveros this morning.  About noon there was an elite race briefing and then many of them took off to ride the course.

“It is tough” remarked last weeks Argentine winner Suzie Snyder.  “Lots of climbing and a couple hike a bikes,” agreed Branden Rakita.  The downhills, for now, are very slippery with loose sand and we are all hoping a few hundred practice rides tomorrow will clean them up a bit.  The run is equally difficult as it mirrors the bike for the first few K going around the swim lake – actually a water ski lake – and then up the same very steep climb. Both the bike and the run are single laps;  the bike at 30K and the run at 8K.

There is a solid pro field with Pan Am points leader Snyder trying for two in a row but with the very fast Barb Riveros to contend with.  Kara LaPoint looks healthy after a gutty race in Argentina while feeling very ill.  Sabrina Gobbo and Laura Mira from Brazil are also competing in their second event in two weeks.  For the men, Chile has given us Felipe “Pipo” Barraza who was 12th at Maui in his initial XTERRA season last year.  He’s joined by Chilean pros Benjamin Munizaga, Gaspar Riveros, and Diego Moya.  Argentina winner and Olympian Gonzalo Tellechea is here along with fellow Argentinian and 2nd place finisher last week, Max Morales.  Ian King from the USA comes south to join last weeks 4th place American Branden Rakita. The surprise last week was the speed of French Canadian Jean-Philippe Thibodeau who held 2nd most of the race before being passed by Morales on the run. Thibideau has been training hard and looks ready to podium again.

Friday registration opens and despite Highway 5 being under construction and the exit for our venue being closed, organizers have done a blast email to every entry with great instructions on how to avoid the construction.

Emilio has done any number of triathlons as a participant and organizer and between his operational skills and Rodrigo’s marketing skills Chile will be an exceptional first time event.

Rodrigo worked a deal with Subaru, who is the sponsor of Triathlon in Chile, to donate several cars to visiting pros.  They parade all around Santiago with big, bright logos adorning the front, back and sides.  Perhaps even better is that Erdinger non alc beer has a tent full of chilly cans ready to quench the thirst of tired and weary athletes.  Naturally, I had to make sure such a thing was worthy of XTERRA.  It was.

Let me tell you more about Santiago.  I’ve never been here so did not know what to expect.  I am pleased to say it is quite the amazing city.  Very, very Big City Metropolitan in every way.  Tall, glass office buildings and apartments, tons of traffic at all hours, beautiful parks, great public transportation and the Andes in the backdrop.

The drivers here are as crazy as Naples.  Which means that LA, Paris and Rome are easy in comparison.  If a light turns green – don’t go;  wait a second or two to see if somebody is blasting through.  My friend shrugs his shoulders when I comment on this and says “here, yellow means speed up to get through”.  The other item to watch for is changing lanes.  If a Chilean needs to change lanes they simply put on the signal and turn the wheel.  It makes no difference if another car is there, they are supposed to back off.  But it all works and in a couple days of driving all over we never saw one fender bender.  Figure 7 million people and roads created for a lot less.

The economy of Chile leads South America and it shows.  Lots of construction of tall buildings and commercial space; BMW’s, Jags and Mercedes are all around and the restaurants and shops are full.  To put it mildly, this is no sleepy South American capital, this is a vibrant metropolis that is leading the way into the 21st century.

Poole, Floyd Win XTERRA Trout Creek 15K

The race conditions for the XTERRA Trout Creek Trail Run on Sunday, March 26th couldn’t have been better. As the gun went off for the 12th annual race, held in Trout Creek Wilderness Park, the sun was shining and the trails were shady.

“We had some pretty spiffy running conditions,” said race director Jim Hartnett. “Temperatures were in the upper 60’s at the start and runners loved the course. There were stream and river crossings, some off-trail running in the woods, varying terrain, and even a fence to jump.”

“This is the seventh time I’ve done this run and I always look forward to it,” said XTERRA Ambassador Jimmy Patterson, who placed fourth overall and first in his age group in the 15K with a time of 1:04:33. “The wide open berm was challenging in the sun, but the course was a blast.”

Michael Poole won the 15K in 57:59, about 15 seconds ahead of second-place finisher David Ramos. In the women’s race, Kayla Floyd, 26, crossed the line in 1:13:19, about 5 minutes ahead of Jill Corbett, 50.

“Michael Poole is tough to beat,” said Hartnett. “He’s a pro-level triathlete and it was wonderful to have him in the race.”

The course has a unique start in that all racers in the 15K and 5K start at the same time at the bottom of a hill. At the top, the 15K runners head one direction for the 10K loop and the 5K runners head the other way. The trails wind through pines, oak hammocks, and lakes on challenging single and double track.

The XTERRA Trout Creek Trail Run is the second of three races in the XTERRA Florida Trail Run series. The next race will be the XTERRA Claw Trail Run 16K/8K on May 7, 2017.

XTERRA Trail Runs Guaranteed to Raise Your Heart Rate

Runners who compete in the XTERRA Seneca Creek Trail Run 5K and 10K on April 9th in Gaithersburg, Maryland might pick up their pace when they recognize the woods they are running through are featured in the movie, The Blair Witch Project . Luckily, the XTERRA Seneca Creek Trail Run will be much better marked than the trails in the movie. (However, if you stumble on an old cemetery with seven cairns, then you definitely want to turn around.)

“The course has fared the winter well and should be a perfect spring trail run,” said race director Jefferson Nicholson. “We are also looking forward to seeing some excellent athletes. XTERRA regional champ, Diane Magill and XTERRA Brandywine second-place finisher, Iain Banks will both be there.”

Both the 5K and 10K courses are fairly flat and follow a meandering stream before circling Clopper Lake.

For those who would rather raise their heart rate at altitude, the 7th annual XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain Trail Run 5K/12K/24K will also take place on April 9th. The Colorado Springs race heads through high mountain trails filled with wildlife and beautiful vistas. As elevation hits about 7,200 feet, you will feel like you can touch the sky.

The weather is forecast to be perfect for running: in the mid 50’s at the start and in the 70’s by the end of the run,”said race director, Victoria Seahorn. “The best part of this particular race is the setting and the awesome runners, as trail runners have a peaceful and incredibly healthy presence and personae.”

Learn more about and register for XTERRA Seneca Creek.

Learn more about and register for XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain.

XTERRA Black Canyon Half Marathon Runs Deep

Heavier than normal rains this year caused river crossings to be high in the Arizona desert and the XTERRA Black Canyon Trail Run even more adventurous than usual.

“XTERRA athletes love river crossings,” said race director, Shannon Lindner. “And the course this year did not disappoint. Some rivers were almost knee-deep at the crossing, and all of the rain led to some spectacular wildflowers.”

In the men’s race, Arthur DeGraw made it look easy, winning the half marathon in 1:23. The woman’s winner, Morgan Gonzalez, also won by several minutes as she crossed the line in 1:46.

The point-to-point half marathon (13.1 miles) was off to an early start at 7:30 AM on March 26 to beat the Arizona heat. While waiting for the race, runners were treated to coffee, music, and a fire before they started off. The course followed the Black Canyon Trail to Black Canyon City and Rock Springs Café and was extremely well-marked as the runners crossed rivers, brokered hills, and navigated rocky desert terrain. The half marathon course was almost entirely single track.

The race was originally scheduled for March 5, 2017 but was rescheduled due to high and dangerous waist-deep water levels.

The XTERRA Black Canyon Trail Run is the final race in the Arizona series. You can view the final series standings once all points are calculated. The 2018 Arizona Trail Run Series will begin in October, 2017.