XTERRA-Poland

Poland, Korea to Join XTERRA World Tour

The XTERRA European and Asian Tours are breaking new ground and adding compelling venues to their series of events in 2016.

In Europe, XTERRA Poland (http://xterrapoland.pl/) will debut in August 2016 in the historic town of Tyniec on the western outskirts of Krakow. The race will be staged either before, after or in-between XTERRA Czech and Germany, creating an ideal race vacation block for international travelers.

“There are a lot of great attractions in the area and one could easily spend a week visiting all the tourist and outdoor sights,” said Kris Kowal, one of the event organizers. “Old town is on the UNESCO list, as are the Wileiczka salt mines and Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp.”

Krakow lies on the Vistula River, the largest river in Poland, and on the boundary between Kraków-Częstochowa Upland and the Carpathian Mountains. Its history dates back to the Paleolithic period.

Organizers are hosting a test race this year, on August 23, and have been granted two qualifying slots to XTERRA Worlds for the men’s and women’s overall winners. Learn more at http://triathlon.krakow.pl/eng/ and find a video from their 2014 event.

South Korea will also welcome an officially sanctioned XTERRA championship race in 2016, and like Poland, will host a test event this year.

The XTERRA Korea preview event will take place September 5th at Daeahn Reservoir in Wonju City, Gangwon Province.  The date for the championship race in 2016 has yet to be announced.

“For international athletes from both inside and outside of Korea, we will offer English, German, and Japanese languages at registration, the race briefings, and in the announcements,” said Daeik Kim, Manager of Planning & Marketing at SJ Company in Seoul, Korea. “Competitors will fly into Incheon International Airport, and the race site is about three hours away. If requested we can book an English speaking taxi or express bus.”

Learn more at www.xterra.co.kr, https://www.facebook.com/xterrakorea, or by emailing xterrakorea@gmail.com.

XTERRA-Switzerland

XTERRA Switzerland This Saturday

XTERRA Switzerland on Saturday serves as stop No. 5 of 12 on the 2015 XTERRA European Tour.

Managing director Dave Nicholas and technical director Nico Lebrun were out-and-about in Vallee de Joux on Thursday and bring us this update…

“A beautiful day in the Vaud area of southwest Switzerland,” writes Nicholas. “The Vallee de Joux means the valley of the watches.  Not literally, but that is what this gorgeous area is known for.  The past two days have been wonderful and the farmers are out in force cutting the tall grass to make hay while the sun shines.

The whole compound is looking fabulous.  There is a great work crew and transition is up – the big registration and pasta party tent is up and the bike and run courses are marked.  Perhaps not 100% but it is easy to find your way around.  Laurent Ardiet has improved the Swiss event every year and his experience has made this a truly world class event.

The lake is clear and refreshing at about 19C or 66F.  There is a beautiful white swan who is guarding the swim entrance that simply adds to the allure of the place.

I did the run course today.  It is relatively flat and fast starting in the main compound and running through some nice, tall wild flower fields.  Then along railroad tracks for a bit and then it traverses around the swim lake on a fun, fast, twisty gravel and dirt path.

Nico Lebrun did the bike course and had this to say about the day and conditions on the trails.

“It’s a beautiful area, especially when it’s sunny,” exclaimed Lebrun. “It’s really close to France and it’s a part of the Jura Mountains: maybe the coldest Swiss place in the winter! Known for cross-country skiing and Telemark (the ancestor of skiing)!”

“There are cows everywhere, and a lot of field doors to open and close on the course because of the herds of cows. The Swiss farmers would not be happy if we let the cows escape! On race day, they will all be open.

Here you’ll find beautiful single track trails with flowers, pine forest and lots of wild strawberries. There is a lot of up and down but the climbs are never too long so the race will be very fast. It took Louise Fox 45-minutes to recognize one lap of the 14-kilometer bike course (racers will do two laps). This might be the fastest bike race on the XTERRA European Tour.

The transition area is on a big green lawn, perfect for a triathlon, and only 10-meters from the lake. The water is great about 18°C clear perfect mountain lake.

Now with 12 races on the Euro Tour it’s hard to get all the top athletes in one race, but it’s good to see athletes chasing points, looking who is coming or not, then decide at the last minute to get some big points, because here it’s a gold race.

I saw Helena Erbenova and Carina Wasle, and we believe Brigitta Poor will race as well. In Switzerland we expected to see the Swiss Miss Renata Bucher but she is having knee surgery. Fox is here, and also Karin Hansen in her home country.   Also Jessica Roberts, good to see some new faces following the tour!

“For the men, I will put a Swiss Franc on Kris Coddens again this week,” said Lebrun. “He found the way of victory last weekend and this is again a good race for him. Yes, he will have to fight hard with Roger, who has entered at the last minute in order to get some big points. With a short bike, Roger the fish will stay a long time in front with no Carloni to ride him down. For the podium also Yeray Luxem can be really strong, and maybe thinking I can and want to win one too. Jan Pyott will be on fire at home, and I’m sure he will be not far from the podium if he is not on it. Okay, I’m French, so I will finish my top 5 with Arthur Forissier, a young athlete with a big talent.”

Be sure to visit the XTERRA Europe Facebook page for more updates prior to the race, which starts at 2pm on Saturday.

Conrad and Ned

Two Thousand One: The Caveman Era Begins

The 2001 XTERRA World Championship marked the beginning of the “Caveman Era.”

It was the rookie season for Conrad Stoltz, a year in which he won the first of his record-setting 51 championships, 10 U.S. Pro Series crowns, and four XTERRA World Titles.

There is one scene in the race’s televised broadcast that stands out amongst the rest. It’s of Stoltz, midway through the bike on the first real downhill, fearlessly flying past Eneko Llanos and into the lead. His speed and grace on the sharp, jagged lava rock of a course was unmatched and back in those days there was no pre-riding allowed so it was the first time he’d ever ridden on that terrain.

It was also the first time he was riding his very own mountain bike. In his previous four XTERRA races that season he was on borrowed bikes but just before Worlds two-time XTERRA Champ Ned Overend had the foresight to get Stoltz on a Specialized and in a matching jersey to boot. It was the start of something big.

Stoltz wasn’t the only South African to crush it that day, as the women’s race went to Anke Erlank. And those two didn’t just win, they dominated. Stoltz won by more than eight minutes over Kerry Classen, and Erlank won by more than 10-minutes over Cherie Touchette. To this day, those are the two biggest margins of victory ever posted in Maui.

Two thousand one was also a year of grit, carnage, and mechanicals. The opening montage showed racer after racer bloodied and battered. The narrator describes the event as a “torturous challenge” and a “brutal confrontation between man and nature.”

CBS broadcaster Bill Macatee would go on to explain how racers are “confronting that moment of epiphany that often defines their character. Do I go on and suffer, or do I quit. That, at its core, is the essence of XTERRA,” he says.

There are tears of determination as Kerstin Weule vows to fight through injury to defend her title, tears of resolve as Navy Captain Doug Perry recounts being at the Pentagon on September 11, and tears of prophesy in Melanie McQuaid’s words “there’s always next year.” (McQuaid, of course, would go on to win Maui three times.)

There’s also quite a few humbling moments – Jody Mielke’s bad luck, Mike Vine’s mechanical, Eneko Llanos chain disaster, and even Deadly Nedly trying to get his jersey on at T1 … “Biking is his specialty, dressing, apparently, is not.”

Watch the 2001 show / 2001 Results

2001 XTERRA World Championship from XTERRA TV on Vimeo.

EPC Tips - Swim Session

EPC Tips – Base Build Swim Session

After your mid-season break (see last week’s post) it’s time to begin your second build and peak of the season. The second half of your training and racing season is structured much like the first with a base period that focuses on general aerobic and strength development, followed by a race prep phase that trains the higher intensities and/or volumes, and a peak phase that gets you ready to perform on race day. The difference with this second build is that it can be and usually is much shorter and more condensed than your first build of the season. This is due to the fact that you are coming off a much more recent peak and a short rest break compared to the longer break that comes at the end of the race season, so your fitness is likely much higher to begin with. Also your next peak probably isn’t that far off in the future likely being only 2-4 months away (compared to 6 or more months that is typical over the winter months for a summer event), so there is little time to lose and you must get back to work!

The first block of training for the second build, as mentioned earlier, is to re-visit some aerobic training.

If you’ve been training for a sub-5 hour race than you’ve likely been doing a lot of higher intensity training over the last few months. High intensity training is great for racing fitness, but over time it can erode aerobic endurance. Not to mention that higher intensity training requires a lot of mental focus and hard work. It’s important to re-visit the less-intense aerobic training to rebuild both the body and mind as aerobic training is typically more enjoyable with the mellower paces/effort required and will recharge your body and mind for more hard work down the road as you prepare for your second peak of the season.

The following swim session is designed for this base building phase of the season. The main set consists of short reps, and a combination of aerobic strength, technique and neuromuscular speed to build a platform from which to improve your swim. With this workout you’ll perform multiple rounds of 5x50s, alternating between pulling  and swimming with a focus on arm-turnover speed. With the pulling 50s you can choose which gear to use (buoy, paddles, snorkel, etc.) while you focus on really reaching, catching the water and pulling all the way through to a pushing finish. The pace is relatively slow while you focus on good mechanics and a strong, complete pull. With the swimming 50s you want to focus on improving (increasing) your stroke rate. Using a metronome is helpful here, but not required. You want to focus on a quick yet smooth stroke. The pace will increase compared to the pulling 50s, but should remain controlled and not as a ‘sprint’ effort. You’ll likely repeat this cycle of 5×50 three or more time through, and try to increase the number of rounds you get through once a week for 3-5 weeks as you rebuild your base for your final races of the season.

WARM-UP:

  • 400 easy choice
  • 6x[25 fast kick + 25 swim]

MAIN SET:

Repeat Rounds of:

  • 5×50 strong pull @ 0:15 rests (choice of gear: buoy, paddles, snorkel, etc.)
  • 5×50 fast swim @ 0:15 rests w/ high stroke rate focus (metronome)

WARM DOWN:

  • 200+ easy choice
Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. Looking for help with your training for 2015? Check out EPC’s Personal CoachingGroup Coaching, and Custom Training Plan options created to fit your needs and budget. Don’t forget to ‘LIKE’ the EPC Facebook Page and follow Cody on Instagram
Coddens Greece

Coddens, Erbenova win XTERRA Greece

(Lake Plastira, Greece) – Kris Coddens of Belgium and Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic each posted come from behind wins to capture the third annual XTERRA Greece Championship race at Lake Plastira this afternoon.

It’s the first-ever XTERRA major title for Coddens, and for Erbenova, a two-time European Tour Champion, her second big win in three weeks (she won XTERRA Spain on June 7).

In the men’s race Roger Serrano, the XTERRA European Tour points leader through the first four races, took an early lead out of the water but it was last year’s Greece champion Francois Carloni who took control during the bike.

Carloni was first out on the run, followed by Serrano, but Coddens can fly and chased both of them down to take the tape in 2:20:28, 35-seconds ahead of Serrano with Carloni another minute behind in third.

Coddens has come close to the top step before, he was 2nd at XTERRA England last year and second here at XTERRA Greece two years ago, but this was his first signature win.

Top 15 Elite Men

Pl Name Time Points
1 Kris Coddens, BEL 2:20:28 75
2 Roger Serrano, ESP 2:21:03 67
3 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:22:07 61
4 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK 2:24:54 56
5 Tim Van Daele, BEL 2:28:41 51
6 Albert Soley, ESP 2:28:50 47
7 Markus Benesch, AUT 2:29:48 43
8 Tomas Kubek, SVK 2:30:09 39
9 Grigoris Souvatzoglou 2:32:01 36
10 Henry Sleight, GBR 2:32:17 33
Also:  Fabrizio Bartoli (30), Llewellyn Holmes (27), Rory Downie (25), Simone Calamai (23), James Walker (21)

Helena Erbenova Greece

ERBENOVA IN FINE FORM

In the women’s race it was all Brigitta Poor early on.  The XTERRA Malta winner led out of the water and off the bike but Erbenova charged to the front early on the run and took the tape by 45-seconds over Poor with a winning time of 2:44:03.

Success at Lake Plastira is nothing new to Erbenova, a former Winter Olympian and Winter Tri World Champ, who won the inaugural XTERRA Greece Championship title two years ago.

Top 7 Elite Women

Pl Name Time Points
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 2:44:03 75
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 2:44:48 67
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 2:46:29 61
4 Louise Fox, GBR 2:56:26 56
5 Jessica Roberts, GBR 3:01:21 51
6 Morgane Riou, FRA 3:01:32 47
7 Deniz Dimaki, GRE 3:20:15 43

XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR UPDATE

XTERRA Greece was the fourth of 12 races in the XTERRA European Tour, and the third of five Silver level events.  Elite athletes count their best four (4) Gold and three (3) Silver finishes.  Elites can compete in as many events as they wish, but will count only their best four Gold and three Silver finishes. How it Works.

Next up: June 27 – XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*

2015 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR POINT STANDINGS
After 4 – As of 6.20.15
Men   S S G S  
Pl Name, NAT MLT POR ESP GRE TOTAL
1 Roger Serrano, ESP 67 56 82 67 272
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 47 67 75 61 250
3 Albert Soley, ESP 43 39 90 47 219
4 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP DNS 75 100 DNS 175
5 Nicolas Fernandez, FRA 75 47 DNS DNS 122
6 Xavier Riart, ESP 36 DNS 69 DNS 105
7 Tim Van Daele, BEL 25 27 DNS 51 103
8 Fabien Combaluzier, FRA 56 36 DNS DNS 92
9 Tomas Kubek, SVK DNS 43 DNS 39 82
10 Kris Coddens, BEL DNS DNS DNS 75 75
11 Jan Pyott, SUI DNS 23 49 DNS 72
12 Gonzalo Bernal, ESP DNS DNS 63 DNS 63
13 Brice Daubord, FRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61
14 Yeray Luxem, BEL DNS 61 DNS DNS 61
15 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 30 DNS DNS 30 60
16 Ruben Salmeron, ESP DNS DNS 58 DNS 58
17 Henry Sleight, GBR DNS 25 DNS 33 58
18 Rory Downie, GBR 33 DNP DNS 25 58
19 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR DNS 30 DNS 27 57
20 Tomas Jurkovic, SVK DNS DNS DNS 56 56
21 Jose Borrino, ESP DNS DNS 53 DNS 53
22 Clement Briere, FRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51
23 Hector Guerra, ESP DNS 51 DNS DNS 51
24 Juan Gracia, ESP DNS DNS 45 DNS 45
25 Markus Benesch, AUT DNS DNS DNS 43 43
26 Dominique Fernando, ESP DNS DNS 41 DNS 41
27 Jan Kubicek, CZE 39 DNS DNS DNS 39
28 Juan Marti, ESP DNS DNS 37 DNS 37
29 Grigoris Souvatzoglou, GRE DNS DNS DNS 36 36
30 Carlos Martinez, ESP DNS DNS 34 DNS 34
31 Jens Roth, GER DNS 33 DNS DNS 33
32 Sergio Espejo, ESP DNS DNS 31 DNS 31
33 Javier Oliver, ESP DNS DNS 28 DNS 28
34 Arthur Serrieres, FRA 27 DNS DNS DNS 27
35 Nicolas Corentin, BEL DNS DNS DNS 25 25
36 Matt Dewis, GBR 23 DNS DNS DNS 23
37 Simone Calamai, ITA DNS DNS DNS 23 23
38 Lars Van der Eerden, NED 21 DNP DNS DNS 21
39 Rob Woestenborghs, BEL DNS 21 DNS DNS 21
40 James Walker, GBR DNS DNS DNS 21 21
41 Pablo Navarrete, ESP DNS DNS DNP DNS
 Women Name, NAT MLT POR ESP GRE TOTAL
Pl Brigitta Poor, HUN 75 61 90 67 293
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE DNS 67 100 75 242
2 Louise Fox, GBR 51 51 82 56 240
3 Morgane Riou, FRA DNS 56 DNS 47 103
4 Jessica Roberts, GBR 47 DNF DNS 51 98
5 Karin Hansen, SUI 43 47 DNS DNS 90
6 Kathrin Mueller, GER DNS 75 DNS DNS 75
7 Sandra Koblemueller, AUT 67 DNS DNS DNS 67
8 Maud Golsteyn, NED 61 DNS DNS DNS 61
9 Carina Wasle, AUT DNS DNS DNS 61 61
10 Elisabetta Curridori, ITA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56
11 Sofia Brites, POR DNS 43 DNS DNS 43
12 Deniz Dimaki, GRE DNS DNS DNS 43 43
13 Danica Spiteri, MLT 39 DNS DNS DNS 39

THE KAHUNA’S TAKE

Dave “The Kahuna” Nicholas describes the day here…

“Race day in the mountains of Greece dawned sunny and warm. It appeared as if the rain was going to stay away and we would have a perfect day.

As with most Mediterranean cultures, racers started appearing about 9:30am for the 11am start. Greek Federation official Andreas Galanos laughed “we will need to check in 200 bikes in an hour. This is the Greek way.”

But it all happened in fine order and promptly at 11 the gun went off and the Championship race was off. A few, fast local relay swimmers beat Roger Serrano out of the water, but the quick Spaniard took charge and had a big lead over the other contenders coming out of T1. The circuit here has two laps of the bike and run. Coming past the lake at the end of the first lap Frenchman Francois Carloni had taken the lead and had a minute on Serrano with Slovakia’s Tomas Jurkovic in third and Belgian Kris Coddens in 4th about 3 minutes back.

Out of nowhere, those pesky clouds came overhead and it looked as if we would get the expected rain. A cloud also appeared over Carloni as he broke his right pedal. “I could push on the arm but could not pull and had to climb with mostly my left” he grinned. “When I start the run my left leg is tired and I just cannot go”. For the women, young Hungarian Brigitta Poor had a nice lead from the swim with Morgan Riou, Louise Fox, Jessie Roberts and Carina Wasle together. Brigitta kept the lead for the entire bike but Czech Champion Helena Erbenova was coming fast. “I think I make a mistake doing adventure race last week” said Erbenova. “I push hard on the bike but I am tired”. Then she smiled, looked at Brigitta and said “She is growing up so fast” !!

Out in the hills of the bike course the rains came – and they came hard. Nico Lebrun was out there at a short, steep climb where organizers had cut steps to help people up the slippery slope. “by the second loop there were no more steps. People just push and slide to get up in the rain”. Carloni still led despite the missing pedal. “I think I need maybe 3-4 minutes on Coddens from the bike. He is so fast” said Carloni. The heavy rain helped him a bit. “It rained so hard you couldn’t see at all” said Coddens.

Surprisingly the quickly improving Poor held the lead at T2 but Helena had rode into second. Carina Wasle, in her first race back since crashing hard in Malaysia, had gotten within 30 seconds of Brigitta but fell back to third. “I have not had any chance to train for so long. I only started a few weeks ago and am happy I was still fast but I had no endurance today. But now I am 100%” she laughed.

The rains stopped and the winners came from behind. Coddens caught Carloni at the end of the first run loop and never looked back. Erbenova caught and passed Poor but could not get away and won by less than a minute. Coddens put in the fastest run of the day for the win, and Roger Serrano ran really well to get past poor Carloni for second.

Coddens was grinning from ear to ear. “I have a job and kids and have to fit in training, this is very special for me”. Erbenova’s mention that “Brigitta is growing up” meant the Hungarian is no longer just a fast swimmer but then no threat.

The Belgians sang and roared all during the awards ceremony in support of Coddens. Certainly the loudest I have heard in 20 years of being at awards. The Greek lifeguards were a big highlight as the new female uniforms look more like thongs than lifesaver suits. The whistles and howls from male athletes as they headed out at the start of the race were hilarious.

Great organization, a great race and a fabulous place to visit. Next up is Switzerland, the second of 4 in a row here in Europe.”

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Greece Championship was the 19th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT (Pro Winners)
8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson / Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship (Ben Allen / Carina Wasle)
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Braden Currie / Suzie Snyder)
18-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship (Braden Currie / Flora Duffy)
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship (Francisco Serrano / Lesley Paterson)
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti (Brice Daubord / Sarah Backler)
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion (Brad Weiss / Carla Van Huyssteen)
2-May XTERRA Asian Tour Championship (Brad Weiss / Myriam Guillot)
10-May XTERRA Brazil (Diogo Malagon / Sabrina Gobbo)
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship (Braden Currie / Lesley Paterson)
16-May XTERRA Portugal (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder)
20-Jun XTERRA Greece (Kris Coddens / Helena Erbenova)
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers

XTERRA Canada

XTERRA in Canada at Full Strength

The 2015 XTERRA Canada Series presented by Muscle MLK gets underway next weekend with the first of seven races nationwide from now through September.

First up is the XTERRA Mine Over Matter off-road triathlon, June 27, in Milton, Ontario. Mine Over Matter is serving as the Canadian Cross Tri Championship and as such it’ll award 10 qualifying spots for each age division into the 2016 ITU Cross Tri World Championships. It’s also the first of three races produced by The Element Racing team out of Ontario this year and will deliver 20 qualifying spots for Ontario Series amateurs into the 20th XTERRA World Championship race to be held November 1 in Maui.

“This is a location that is sure to provide a spectacular course- whether you are a seasoned athlete or first-timer to the world of multi-sport races,” said Race Director James Kowalewski. “The swim will take place in the spring-fed, baby blue waters of the Kelso Quarry. The bike portion of this race will take place within Kelso Conservation Area- home to some of the area’s best mountain bike trails, while the run will follow along various escarpment trails! This is a fast and flowing course, which constantly changes from double to single track and back again. There are lots of opportunities for passing, and racers are treated to several vista views on the run course.”

The following weekend on July 5 the west coast Canadians jump into the fray with XTERRA Victoria. If there is one thing the Tribe has learned through the years it’s this … XTERRA Canadians know how to party, know how to race, and know how to put on a race.

Combine those three skills with an outrageous venue and you’ve got all the reasons you need to head north for the XTERRA Victoria off-road triathlon festival. The swim is in Durrance Lake, the bike cuts through the heart of Mt. Work Park, and the run twists through the Partridge Hills trail system. To get a look at the stunning scenery to be found watch this highlight video from last year’s race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSr4f5R39Xo.

Later in July the scene switches back east for the second race of the XTERRA Ontario Series – XTERRA Parry Sound (July 25) at the Georgian Nordic Ski and Canoe Club.   XTERRA Sleeping Giant (September 7) in Thunder Bay will be the XOS finale.

“Having a points series and multiple races within the province helps provide a reason to dedicate training to the off-road discipline. Add in the opportunity to qualify for a destination race like Maui and you’ve got something to train for,” explained Kowalewski.

XTERRA Sleeping Giant will award qualifying spots to the top 3 male and top 3 female overall finishers, and 14 World Championship spots will be awarded to individuals who have accumulated the greatest number of points Mine Over Matter and Parry Sound, divided evenly among the genders with 7 going to female racers and 7 going to male racers in 10-year age groups.

On August 16 the Tour heads to the Canadian Rockies for XTERRA Canmore in Alberta, and then the following weekend goes to XTERRA Quebec for an August 23 showdown.

The last race of the year is the Canada Series newest member, XTERRA Woolastook, which will take place on September 13 in Woolastook Park near Fredericton, New Brunswick.

For more information visit www.xterracanada.com.

XTERRA Greece

XTERRA Greece This Saturday

The XTERRA European Tour heads to Lake Plastira for the XTERRA Greece off-road triathlon Saturday. It’s the fourth of 12 stops on the Tour and racers from more than 20 countries are making their way to the popular resort town in the middle of the country.

As the third of five Silver-level events Greece presents a golden opportunity for elites and amateurs alike to collect valuable points and move up in the XTERRA European Tour standings.

The top two pro men in the current XET standings after three events – Roger Serrano and defending Greece champion Francois Carloni – are on the start list, as are the top five finishers from last year’s race – Carloni, Serrano, Albert Soley (4th), Rory Downie (23rd), and Tomas Kubek (18th).   They’ll be joined by Tim Van Daele (14th), Fabrizio Bartoli (26th), Llewellyn Holmes (27th), Henry Sleight (30th), Asa Shaw, Kris Coddens, and a cast of others.

The top three women in the standings – Brigitta Poor, Louise Fox, and Helena Erbenova (who finished 3rd, 4th, and 2nd last year respectively behind winner Kathrin Mueller) – highlight the elite women’s field and will be joined by Carina Wasle, Nicole Olivari, Morgane Riou, Jessica Roberts, and local favorite Deniz Dimaki.

The race combines a 1.5-kilometer swim in the pure and clean waters of the mountain lake followed by a 30km mountain bike course through verdant woods filled with Oak and Chestnut trees and a 10km trail run through the forest.

We’ll post updates from Lake Plastira in the next two days on our Facebook page.

Here’s a look at last year’s race video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoeFEqtQyoI

XTERRA Sweden

XTERRA Sweden Has it All

XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas has bushwhacked his way across the XTERRA Planet and has been hard-pressed to find a location as sweet as the one hosting XTERRA Sweden on July 11.

“This has to be one of the most ideal locations on tour,” said Nicholas after last year’s race. “Only 15 minutes from the old town of Stockholm, inexpensive cabins for athletes to stay in at the park, lots of hotels, shopping and services within minutes, two airports within 30 minutes and simply fabulous cycling and running and a clear, warm lake to swim in.”

Not to mention an energetic, enthusiastic, racer-himself-organizer named Pal Torok who traveled with a group of locals to XTERRA South Africa this year just to see how the best races in the world get it done.

“The park at Hellasgarden is a gem, totally in nature yet so close to population,” said Nicholas. “A big, clear freshwater lake surrounded by pine and hardwood forests and huge outcrops of rocks (mostly granite).  The bike course is awesome with a great combination of climbs, rocks and roots. It is quite technical but fun all over, and because it’s two laps comes right back through the main compound.”

Torok and his team have prepared a wide variety of on-site clinics and on-line videos to entice and encourage local and international participation. Here is a video on how to prepare for the challenging mtb course: http://www.xterrasweden.se/collections/xterra-sweden-mtb-course-the-highligts

“The run is also fantastic,” said Nicholas. “It starts flat and fast around the lake but turns uphill after about 1K.  Then things get interesting as one has to scramble over the huge rocks jutting out of the hills, like an uphill dry-way from Richmond.  The climbs are not long but they are technical and you’ll need confidence and some strength left in your legs to literally leap from one to the other to make fast times.  The trails go from totally open rock faces to very slim and technical (roots and rocks every inch to twist your ankles) trails then back to more climbing and finally to coming back down to lake level to start your second lap.  The views at the top are spectacular and the smells inside the forest from the pines and woods is perfume to any XTERRA racer.”

Visit the XTERRA Sweden Facebook Page to find special offers on entries and great insight into local accommodations and training events.

Learn more at http://xterranordic.com/events/sweden.

Michael Tobin

XTERRA Worlds Circa The Year 2000

Y2K was a breakout year for both the men’s and women’s XTERRA World Champions – Michael Tobin and Kerstin Weule. They had each finished 2nd in Maui in ’99 and had won just about every major XTERRA but winning Worlds was always the ultimate goal.

“Just thought of a funny story but first here’s why 2000 was such a great experience,” shared Tobin. “XTERRA did a camp on Molokai the weekend before. Jenny and I, Pat Brown and friends were asked to participate. It was so relaxing, quiet and fun. Nothing like the pressure I put on myself prior to the year before. Jenny and I stayed in this beautiful hut looking out over the island and ocean. A little more my style than staying at the big hotels to be honest.  Two nights before the race at the race hotel I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. As I walked to the bathroom I blacked out.  The next thing I noticed was something rough on my cheek. It was the non-slip coating on the tub bottom. With my shorts down I got up and couldn’t turn my head. I spent the day before the race at a Physical Therapist in one of those traction machines. Really relaxing :).”

Not exactly the perfect race prep, but it worked! “I passed Mike Vine on the last big climb and held off the Whistler trained bike handler to the transition. I bet he was surprised. Or maybe he had a flat?” wrote Tobin, who added that racing against and with Mike Pigg was always special. “I love his joy in competing,” he said.

After Maui, Tobin, Mike Vine, and Pat Brown teamed up for their very first adventure race in China. “We rented some sit on top kayaks in Maui to practice,” said Tobin, “We still laugh at our “how hard can it be'” comment after we flailed down the Yangste river completely out of contention.”

The XTERRA World Championship race that year was a grueling affair, described colorfully here by Matt Fitzgerald in a post he wrote for active.com 15 years ago…

“Chance plays a big role in deciding outcomes in the XTERRA World Championship. Two years ago, Michael Tobin probably would have won the race, but a flat tire helped Ned Overend claim an upset victory. This year, the roles were reversed: Overend came in as the two-time and defending champion, but suffered a flat tire on Sunday that helped Tobin to victory.

In this years womens race, Wendy Ingraham was considered a shoo-in to win the Hawaiian Airlines Double for the lowest combined Hawaii Ironman and Xterra finishing times, but she was stung by a bee during the bike leg and was unable to finish. Beth Zinkand took advantage of Wingnuts misfortune to make herself $1,000 richer.

Chance also played a role in deciding Sundays womens World Championship and Points Series outcomes. The defending champion, Jody Purcell, fell victim to a flat tire and two broken chains within one measly 30K mountain bike leg, clearing the way for a victory by Kerstin Weule, who holds the record for the most career Xterra victories. The fact that Purcell still managed to climb back into third place before melting down within sight of the finish and ultimately crossing the line in sixth place indicates that she would have stood an excellent chance of winning had she only had an incident-free ride.

This is to take nothing away from Weule, who won the race deservedly with a gutsy come-from-behind performance and had a flat tire of her own to deal with. Indeed, Purcells woes hardly turned the race into a laugher for Weule, as the expected showdown between Weule and Purcell who were tied for this years Points Series lead coming into the World Championship – turned instead into a battle between Weule and unheralded Melanie McQuaid.

McQuaid turned in the fastest bike split of the day to mount a four-minute lead on Weule entering the second transition. Weule pushed hard on the run and chipped away at Purcells advantage throughout the insanely difficult seven-mile run segment. As the two leaders came into view of the finish on Salt n Pepper Beach, Weule passed McQuaid and surged into the lead.

Once passed, McQuaid entered a pretty severe bonk, and it appeared that Tori Valentine might catch her, too. But then Valentine fell apart to the point where she actually fell down and was carried off the course allowing the spent McQuaid to cross the finish line in second place.

Purcell was the next woman to appear on the beach, but as she tired, Uli Blank, Karen Masson, and Jenny Tobin passed her in quick succession to finish third through fifth, respectively.

With the win, Weule claimed the Xterra America Tour Points Series title.”

Watch the Show // 2000 XTERRA World Championship Results