Flora Duffy

XTERRA Worlds Flashback Finale

Our look back in time at every XTERRA World Championship race broadcast since the sports’ inception in 1996 is now complete.

This week we re-live last year’s race where Ruzafa’s reign continued and the rise of Flora Duffy began; and all that’s left is 37 days of anticipation until the 20th running of the XTERRA World Championship on November 1, 2015.

Watch the 2014 Show and all 19 in history / 2014 Results

2014 Race Review: One elite became an instant legend in her home country and another solidified his status among XTERRA’s all-time greats at the 19th running of the XTERRA World Championship.

Flora Duffy, who first dreamed of becoming a world champion when she was 8-years-old, became the first pro triathlete from Bermuda to win a world title and Ruben Ruzafa from Spain captured his third XTERRA World Championship and wrapped up a perfect season that featured nine straight wins, the XTERRA European Tour Championship, the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship and the XTERRA USA Championship.

More than 800 endurance athletes from around the world participated in the off-road triathlon, which started and finished at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua hotel on Maui. The course consisted of a 1-mile swim, a 20-mile mountain bike, and a 6- mile trail run.

RUZAFA REIGNS: It used to be all about the bike for Ruben Ruzafa, who has now posted the fastest bike split at all three XTERRA World Championship races he’s entered (and won) , but now he’s almost just as strong at swimming and running.

“I feel great, it’s incredible. Until you finish the race you don’t know if you are going to win. Today, I knew it was going to be hard because Josiah was really good. I am surprised because I swam very well… but Josiah did really well in the ride, and running of course he was very fast. So, it wasn’t until the end of the course that I knew he was not there.”

Ruzafa came out of the water less than one-minute behind the leaders and made all that up and more to take the lead on the bike by the six-mile mark when he passed the other 11 riders in front of him and finally Ben Allen. More importantly, his 20:51 swim split was 1:45 faster than his toughest opponent, Josiah Middaugh.

He extended the gap on Middaugh by 50-seconds on the bike and even though the American XTERRA icon ran more than a minute faster in the final leg of the race, it wasn’t enough.   Here’s how Middaugh explained it…

“I knew I had to have a really good swim. I had a great start today and I had the best swim I’ve ever had here. I was a little over two minutes behind the lead, but really close to the people I was racing with but Ruben was off ahead with an even better swim. He wasn’t too far off the front. I caught the top 5 on the bike really early and I put together the best race I have done here.  It wasn’t quite enough to win but I’m very happy with second. I feel like I pushed really hard all the way through. I feel like I emptied the tank like 50 times and put every single thing into this race. Best day I’ve had.”

Aussie Ben Allen came out of the water up front with Mauricio Mendez, was the first out on the bike course after a quicker transition and held the lead until Ruzafa caught him at around mile four.  Middaugh passed 33 people in front of him before he passed Allen at mile 13 and moved into second. Allen stayed in third the rest of the way. Here’s what he said after the race:

“I’m so stoked to back up my third-place last year. It’s been a roller coaster ride but I’ve finished top 5 in every race and to come here and back it up, it just goes to show it wasn’t a fluke last year and shows me that I’m a force to be reckoned with in the sport of XTERRA. I mean, I really dug deep today and had the attitude that I had nothing to lose and gave it a crack.”

Dan Hugo, who won seven races on the XTERRA World Tour this year, also came in to the main event in fine form. Much like Middaugh, he was happy with his effort, if not the result that came with it.

“The guys set the bar exceptionally high, maybe the best expression of XTERRA we have ever seen,” said Hugo. “Salute and credit where due, especially my friend Joe in second, so sublime, he’s in the best shape and he must be recognized for that. Personally, I came in digging and I really wish there was more but it felt great. I wish it felt this way but I went quicker.”

In a finish for the ages, Mauricio Mendez from Mexico City (who turned 19 earlier in the week) edged Bart Aernouts and Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz by two seconds. Aernouts went on to finish 6th and Stoltz was 7th.

“Being fifth place in my first year as a pro is unbelievable. When I started running I just told myself that this was a fight with me, nobody else,” said Mendez, who moved up eight spots from 13th to 5th with a blistering run split of 38:50 that was second only to Middaugh.

DUFFY DOMINATES: It was only a little more than a year ago when Flora Duffy finished out of the top five at the XTERRA Mountain Championship and told herself, “never again.”

There was an again, fortunately, at Maui last year where she surprised herself with a 3rd-place finish. After that she went to South Africa – where XTERRA roars – and honed her skills in the craft of mountain biking and the results were remarkable. Combine the fitness she already possessed with some mad skills and Duffy turned into a dominant racer.  She won everything except XTERRA Germany, and by big margins.

Nothing could stop her today, not a mechanical, not even a wicked crash that sent her flying into the bushes and ripped holes in her racing kit.

“I crashed so hard, I literally don’t know how I got back on my bike,” said Duffy. “You know how it’s a steep gnarly decent, I hit a root awkwardly and just flew into the trees head first with the bike on top of me. I was lucky I landed in the bushes. Then, five minutes later I had a mechanical. It was a hard day out there.”

It was even harder for all the elite women trying to keep up with Duffy. Last year’s women’s winner Nicky Samuels did her best, but said she lacked the fitness after her break from ITU racing.

“I had a break after the ITU season so I think 3rd is about where my fitness is, and to hold on to 3rd place was good enough for me,” said Samuels. “Flora probably pulled away at the 1k or 2k mark on the bike, so really soon. And I think she was pulling the same ground going down, so huge difference in her bike fitness and mine.  Barbara (Riveros) passed me on the last descent and then pulled away.”

Riveros, who was the runner-up two years ago and finished fourth last year, worked her way back into the second spot this year.

“I’m very, very proud of Flora,” said Riveros. “I’m happy for her for getting the title for her country. She’s a role model. She’s very strong and I knew she was the big contender here and she more than proved that today so clap for her and congratulations to everyone.”

Emma Garrard continues to shine bright as America’s top female racer and improved on her fifth-place performance of a year ago with a fourth-place showing today.

“I was about 12th out of the water but there were some girls not too far ahead so that was kind of helpful,” said Garrard. “By the ridge I had kind of caught up to Jacqui and Susie but didn’t pass them and on the next climb I could see Melanie.   Before we got to the single track at the end I made a move on Melanie and Kathrin. Susie wasn’t too far in front but I couldn’t catch her on the last section coming into transition. I was side by side with Susie and had no idea if Helena was behind us. I really hoped I could make it on the podium on the run but…”

Helena Erbenova was several minutes behind the leaders after the swim but coupled a great bike and run to work her way into fifth despite crashing on the bike.

2014 XTERRA World Championship from XTERRA TV on Vimeo.


XTERRA Kicks Off in Korea

The inaugural XTERRA Korea off-road triathlon took place earlier this month at the Daeahn Reservoir in Wonju City, Gangwon Province.

While the 2015 event was just a test race, it showed great promise for the sport in South Korea. In the race videos its clear competitors had a blast, as did the organizers who wore Aloha shirts and handed out lei’s at the finish line.

The 2016 race will be part of the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour that features stops in the Philippines, New Zealand, Saipan, Guam, Tahiti, Australia, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia.

The race will award Age Group Points in the Asia-Pacific Tour and DOES NOT PAY PROFESSIONAL PRIZE MONEY.

XTERRA South Korea is scheduled for September 3, one week after XTERRA Japan, creating an enticing double for adventurous elites and foreigners.

“We’re excited to be part of the XTERRA World Tour and welcome athletes from around the world to enjoy XTERRA in South Korea,” said Daeik Kim, Manager of Planning & Marketing at SJ Company in Seoul, Korea.

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

Scott Dunlap

Our Favorite Blogger is Back!

Perhaps our favorite runner / writer on the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Series is Scott Dunlap, winner of the 2009 National and World Championship titles in the 40-44 division.

The last few seasons, however, Dunlap has been chasing the long dreams, the ultras, and has won masters titles in just about every long-distance trail race you can imagine from 10-milers to 50Ks.

On Sunday, however, he came back to the Tribe to take part in the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship race and as much as we missed him, it looks like he missed us too…

“It had been a few years since I raced an XTERRA trail run, and I’ll be honest, I missed it,” wrote Dunlap on his incredibly popular blog, aptly titled atrailrunnersblog.com. “XTERRA has always been able to take their cool mountain community vibe and inject it with some polish, such as a blazing finish line chute full of top notch sponsors, professional prize purses, enough events for the whole family to get dirty, and a post-race video worthy of sharing. Even in this world of barbed wire obstacle and tough mudding insanity, XTERRA successfully sticks to their roots and consistently wins the hearts of a loyal group of outdoor warriors. The events are long enough to hurt, but not so long you can’t spend the afternoon meeting people and sipping beers at the end.”

Have a look at the videos, photos, and report for more on this year’s Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship:

Highlight Video // Photo Gallery // Report

Josiah and Emma USA Champs

Looking Back at Nationals

The 15th edition of the XTERRA USA Championship was one for the ages.  An absolutely stunning day on the mountain with great racing all around…here’s proof:

Highlight Video // Photo Gallery // Reports

While the elite race in Utah garnered most of the attention last weekend there was some really great racing taking place in the amateur divisions as well.

Cole Bunn

Cole Bunn, a 19-year-old sophomore at CU-Boulder, had a breakthrough day to finish as the top amateur, 13th overall, in 2:39:01. In a field that featured 20 elite men Bunn posted the 9th best swim, 17th fastest bike and 12th quickest run.  He finished 1:33 ahead of the 2013 overall amateur champ Matthew Balzer.

“This was my best XTERRA finish ever,” said Bunn, who has been racing XTERRA since 2012 and also won the 15-19 division national title in 2013. “It’s by far my favorite course that I’ve ever raced on. It seems to be almost magical for me, everything always comes together perfectly when I race here.”

Bunn also credits the CU triathlon team he trains with for his steady improvement the past two years.

“I think we’ve won 16 of the past 18 national championships and six consecutively, so we have a great team and a great environment to train in,” said Bunn. “I have to give credit to my teammates because they are continually pushing me.”

The women’s amateur race was even more remarkable with Julie Baker finishing 4th overall and Liz Gruber finishing right behind her in 5th overall. It’s the first-time in the history of XTERRA Nationals that two amateurs have finished in the top five.

“It was a good day, for sure, it has to be my best XTERRA,” said Baker, a soil scientist by trade who is forced to spend weeks off from training at a time while she’s out in the field. “I’ve been working on my biking with a good group back home lately and that has helped.                                                             I caught a couple pros early on the bike, did the switchbacks with Jaime Brede, and no other amateurs ever caught up.”

Interestingly enough Baker and Gruber were the top two amateurs in 2013, but the roles were reversed with Gruber taking the overall crown.

Also of note Cindi Toepel won her eighth straight and unprecedented 11th XTERRA National Championship (60-64 division).  Willie Stewart picked up his fourth in the PC division, Matt Balzer and Liz Gruber each won their third, and Sian Turner-Crespo, Julie Baker, Libby Harrow, Cole Bunn, and Bryce Phinney all won their second title.



Sometimes the most impressive athletes take the most time to arrive at the finish line.  Such is the case for our 65-69 division women’s champion Libby Harrow from Fruita, Colorado and our 70-74 men’s champion Clark Griffith from Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“I could go faster, but I wanted to get my money’s worth!” smiled Harrow, who has been racing XTERRA for 14 years now.

On Saturday she picked up her second national championship to go with two XTERRA World titles and seven regional championships.

“This race was special because it was my first year in the 65-69 age group, and I am separated from the great talented athletes like Cindi Toepel, Lorenn Walker, and Jo Garuccio, for one year only!” exclaimed Harrow.  “My day went smoothly, from start to finish, but I had forgotten just how challenging the Utah course is.  The last time that I raced there was in 2012. Due to foot surgery, I missed it in 2012 and 2013. Fortunately mountain biking is my strength so I was able to make to make the cut off.  I had in my mind that the climb was comparable to the mountain championship in Beaver Creek but it is significantly harder.”

In addition to being a terrific advocate for the sport of XTERRA Harrow has also made huge contributions to the communities where she lived. As the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory chairperson in Vero Beach, Florida, Libby helped construct over 76 miles of bike lanes, 57 miles of sidewalk, and several miles of unpaved trails.

“I actually struggled in Vero Beach to get land for a mountain bike trail from the county, for a decade, with no success.  They gave me land twice, only to take it away again,” said Harrow, who now lives in Fruita, Colorado.

“Now I can ride to the Colorado National Monument a few miles from my house, and do a 9-mile road climb. Many times I go out for an hour trail run with my dog in the Devil’s Canyon area, of the McInnus National Conservation Area, and it turns into a 2 hour run just because I am overcome with the beauty of the rock formations.”

As for Griffith, who edged two-time champ Peter Lilley by seven minutes after five and a half hours of racing, he said “the race went good – except for that dreadful swim. Once that was over, it was uphill from there!”

Of course, the time it takes Griffith to get to the finish is secondary to the time he gets to spend with his son.

“Me and my son, we try to go mountain biking once a week,” explained Griffith in a must-see pre-race interview.

“That’s my main pleasure in life … It’s just something I look forward to. Monday is waiting for Sunday to ride with my son. It’s a big pleasure. It’s exercise that helps me do that. He rides once a week, and I work my rear end off and still can’t keep up on Sunday. But I try.”

Suzie Snyder


“It was frustrating,” said Snyder, about her day on the course. The long-time XTERRA pro raced just six weeks after breaking her pelvis and by just finishing was able to hold on to her 2nd place Pro Series standing and the $6,000 paycheck that comes with it.

Todd Wells


There was a lot of excitement around the participation of Todd Wells, a three-time Olympic mountain biker.

“Well, you can see what Josiah can do on the bike coming two and three minutes down out of the water sometimes so I can only imagine what Todd could do,” said Braden Currie in a pre-race interview.

Wells, however, was worried about the swim and as it turned out, rightly so.

“Right now it’s nothing but pain,” said Wells when he crossed the finish line in 19th overall (15th elite). “When I came out of the water they said I was 10 minutes down, but at least I didn’t drown out there! I’ll tell ya that swim was every bit as bad as I thought it would be, even worse! But the bike was good and everyone was very nice and would let me by, way nicer than at mountain bike races.  Then the run was good too. I got passed by somebody going twice my speed, but then I didn’t get passed by anyone else so that was good.”

Wells had the fourth-best bike split behind Josiah Middaugh, Braden Currie, and Brian Smith.


Emma Garrard and Josiah Middaugh were honored as the pro XTERRA USA National Champions at Snowbasin Resort on Saturday.

The honor is bestowed upon the top American finishers in the final XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Standings.

Both Middaugh and Garrard won the Pro Series outright. It’s the 11th time in the last 12 years Middaugh has been crowned the National Champ (Seth Wealing won the title in 2006) and it’s the second-year in a row Garrard has won the XTERRA National Championship.


EPC Tips – Maui Bike Prep

The XTERRA USA Championship is behind us, Fall (in the northern hemisphere) is upon us, and the XTERRA World Championship in Maui is on the horizon!

The Maui course is a tough one, with a lot of steep climbing and elevation gain on the bike. For this very reason, it is critical to re-establish some bike specific strength so you can not only ride well, but also arrive in T2 with some strength left in the legs to tackle the challenging run. One of the best ways to train bike specific strength is with big gear, low cadence, high tension, intervals on the road or trainer. If you’ve been following along with my XTERRA “workouts of the weeks” over the last many months, you likely are already aware that I’m a big fan of strength work on the bike. You may already be familiar with my strength work protocols, or you can view an earlier post that desricbes the intervals in detail.

Specifically for the Maui course you will want to build up to several repetitions of 10:00 in duration to prepare for the constantly “up and down” nature of the World Championship course. Here’s what I’d recommend to build up to over the next few weeks of training:

On trainer as 90 minute session or MTB on the road as part of longer endurance session…


  • 10:00 easy spin
  • 20+ min additional aerobic riding as desired

MAIN SET: If you’re new to high tension intervals, build up to this volume with 2 sessions a week over next 3 weeks.

  • 6x[10:00 big gear, low cadence climbing, 2-4 min recovery (alternate seated & standing)]


  • 10:00 easy gear spin (or downhill)
  • extra aerobic riding as desired

Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. NEW for 2016, EPC will be transforming to Sessions:6 Sport Performance! Learn more HERE. You can also follow Cody on Instagram and ‘LIKE’ our EPC Facebook Page to keep up with all our 2016 happenings.


Smyth, Stephen win Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Nationals

Photo Gallery | Highlight Video

September 20, 2015 (Ogden, Utah) – Patrick Smyth and Liz Stephen won the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship half-marathon titles in 1:13:55 and 1:28:39, respectively, on a picture-perfect day at Snowbasin Resort this afternoon.

It’s the second XTERRA National Title in three years for Smyth, and the second straight for Stephen.

In the men’s race Smyth, who is also a two-time Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Champion, took the lead early, kept pushing, and had more than three-minutes on runner-up Travis Morrison at the finish line.

“I was feeling good this morning so I figured I’d get after it and try to run away early,” said Smyth, who kick-started his trail racing career with XTERRA two years ago here at Snowbasin Resort by winning nationals.  “The course is in beautiful shape.  Now that I’ve run a lot of trail races all over the world it’s safe for me to say that this is definitely THE best, funnest, flowiest downhill out there.  You just zone out and before you know it you’ve knocked out three miles.”

The win is sweet relief for Smyth, who had to miss joining his USA teammates at the World Mountain Running Championship this weekend in Wales.

“I just took a new job in Santa Fe in July so it was too much time to ask to get off, plus Salt Lake City is home, my family is here, I love this course, and it’s a lot easier to get back to work tomorrow from here than from Wales,” explained Smyth.

Smyth works in GIS, computer mapping, and when asked how he’d map this course he said… “This would be a fun course to map.  On the course profile I would put an asterisk on the climb right where the false summit is and say “still a lot of burn to go” because you get to the aid station up there and you think you just have to run the ridge and it’s flat and easy-peasy, but it’s not.  It’s another grind to the top before you get to the sweet, awesome downhill.”

Behind Smyth in second-place Travis Morrison, a 23-year-old from Schaumburg, Illinois who ran at North Central College was thinking the same thing.

“The course here is awesome, super flowy, climbs were sweet, downhills were awesome.  It was sick!” exclaimed Morrison, who recently moved to SLC to attend the University of Utah to start his PhD in mechanical engineering.  “It’s flowing coming down, and fun to hit the berms because you can hit the corners real hard and keep your momentum…you could fly.”

On what he thought of Smyth, Morrison said… “He just kept opening it up, he’s a machine.  I’ve heard stories about him but never seen him run.  He’s real fit.  His fitness is through the roof.  It was fun to compete against him, but hearing that the gap kept opening up was a little demoralizing, but it was still fun. The views were beautiful, you could see the whole valley, real uplifting.”

Mike Popejoy from Flagstaff finished in third three minutes later followed by Richard Chelimo and Nathan Peters.


In the women’s race Liz Stephen, a two-time Olympic cross country skier who lives in Park City, captured the women’s championship title with time to enjoy the experience after a hard fought win last year against Kimber Maddox and two close second-place finishes in 2012 and 2011.

“A couple of years ago I was head-to-head with Lindsey Anderson the whole race and it was hard the whole time both mentally and physically,” said Stephen, who is training with the US Ski Team with sights set on South Korea in 2018.  “Today, I was smiling and really enjoying the run itself.   I absolutely love to run. Deep down I think I’m a runner at heart.  Skiing is darn fun too, but running is a one heck of a sport.”

Stephen said today was one of those magical days on the trail… “It literally couldn’t have been more perfect for running. Plus, it’s a well laid out course.  It’s really hard in so many ways but it’s up and then it lets you rest, and it’s flowy and wonderful, and gorgeous.”

In second-place, remarkably, was 11-year-old Alayna Szuch, a 6th grader at Evergreen Elementary School in Colorado.

“It was awesome to come out here, the course was really nice.  It was torture, but a lot of fun to come and race,” said Szuch, who donated the $600 she won for finishing second to charity in order to save her NCAA eligibility. “It was really pretty, and nice to run on top of the mountain here in Utah.”

Maggie Shearer finished third, followed by Rachel Cieslewicz and Elizabeth George.



Although the elite runners chase the overall crown at the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship, the event remains an age-group race.

Twenty-eight runners representing 10 different states took home age-group titles at the 2015 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Nationals.

The home-state Utah runners led the way with nine champions, not including Kevin Tuck (formerly from Salt Lake City but now living in Phoenix, AZ).  Tuck, 59, was an impressive 19th overall, and this was his unprecedented seventh Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run National Championship age-group win.

Bob Evers (men 65-69) from Park City, Utah won his fifth straight XTERRA National title.  It was the third national crown for Stephen (25-29) and Tamara Tabeek, who also won the XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon national championship yesterday.  Those who picked up their second national title today include Aimee Balzer from Reno, Nevada, Maggie Shearer from Newbury Park, California, and Taha Mahmood from Salt Lake City.

All of the age-group champions received a free entry to participate in the 2015 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, which is scheduled for December 6 at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.

There were also 5K and 10K races today, captured by Tyler Woods from Riverdale and Sandra Daschner from Vienna, Austria (5K), and Dan Cushman from SLC and Bonita Gray from Layton (10K).

Below is a look at the champs, and for full results visit http://jtltiming.com/results/og-21.html

XTERRA National Champs (Male)    
Division Name Hometown Time
9-under Dallas Stricker Hattiesburg, MS 2:20:10
10 – 14 Joseph Urbanowicz Atlanta, GA 1:57:50
15 – 19 David Duncan Shingle Springs, CA 1:52:34
20 – 24 Travis Morrison Schaumburg, IL 1:17:29
25 – 29 * Patrick Smyth Salt Lake City, UT 1:13:55
30 – 34 Mike Popejoy Flagstaff, AZ 1:21:07
35 – 39 Albert Wint Salt Lake City, UT 1:34:09
40 – 44 Robert Ellerbruch Farmington, UT 1:32:41
45 – 49 Donnie Gray Layton, UT 1:33:39
50 – 54 Taha Mahmood (2) Salt Lake City, UT 1:35:00
55 – 59 Kevin Tuck (7) Phoenix, AZ 1:36:07
60 – 64 Ron Hendricks Castle Rock, CO 1:52:50
65 – 69 Bob Evers (4) Park City, UT 2:02:35
70 – 74 James Meskimen Truckee, CA 2:24:45
75 – 79 John Williams Culver City, CA 3:44:46
XTERRA National Champs (Female)    
Division Name Hometown Time
1 – 9 Alayna Szuch Evergreen, CO 1:45:32
10 – 14 Micala Schultz Fort Collins, CO 2:38:12
20 – 24 Alyssa Schrack Salt Lake City, UT 1:55:57
25 – 29 *Liz Stephen (3) East Montpelier,VT 1:28:39
30 – 34 Aimee Balzer (2) Reno, NV 1:52:33
35 – 39 Maggie Shearer (2) Newbury Park, CA 1:46:03
40 – 44 Caroline Szuch Evergreen, CO 1:49:22
45 – 49 Vicky Hadley Westfield, IN 2:13:22
50 – 54 Rainey Weaver Tempe, AZ 2:00:02
55 – 59 Tamara Tabeek (3) San Diego, CA 2:07:49
60 – 64 Anne Kilgore Salt Lake City, UT 2:10:05
65 – 69 Deborah Wagner Park City, UT 2:29:35
70 – 74 Dianne Rindt Ridgecrest, CA 2:47:28

Complete Results

Highlight videos & images from today’s race can be found at https://www.facebook.com/XTERRAplanet

The 2015 XTERRA Nationals weekend is presented by Paul Mitchell, the Utah Sports Commission, and XTERRA Travel. Sponsors include Outrigger Resorts, the GOAL Foundation, Gatorade Endurance, PowerBar, ENVE, Utah Media Group, the U.S. Forest Service, XTERRA Wetsuits, Snowbasin Resort, Muscle Milk, XTERRA Fitness, LifeProof, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, Greenlayer, Salming, and XTERRA Boards.

Josiah Middaugh

Middaugh, Garrard win XTERRA USA Championship

Photo GalleryHighlight Video

September 19, 2015 (Ogden, Utah) – The 15th annual XTERRA USA Championship triathlon took place at Snowbasin Resort today with more than 700 racers from 41 states taking on a grueling challenge that combined a one-mile swim in Pineview Reservoir with an 18-mile mountain bike ride that climbs 3,000-feet to Snowbasin Resort, and then a 7-mile trail run.

Josiah Middaugh of Eagle-Vail, Colorado won the men’s race for the second time in four years in 2 hours, 21 minutes and 21 seconds, edging New Zealand’s Braden Currie in a thrilling side-by-side battle by just 26-seconds at the line.

“It’s the most important race I’ve done so far this year and to have that tight of racing from start-to-finish is just really special, really magical to have that kind of authentic racing all the way through,” said Middaugh, who is now an 11-time National Champ.   “Braden Currie just never gives up, and I was really wishing that every once in a while he’d just give up, but he doesn’t.  It was never over, I just kept having to dig deeper and deeper.

The two traded leads on the bike and the run and it wasn’t until “about mile four” of the run that Middaugh opened a little gap, maybe 10 seconds, and held it to the line.  The finish was closer than the 26-second difference as Currie walked through the finish line giving high five’s to the fans.

“I knew Josiah going to create a big challenge today, I just had to give it everything I could,” said Currie, who was able to come away victorious in a similar stride-for-stride race with Middaugh earlier this year at the XTERRA Southeast Championship.  “Coming into transition I knew it was going to come down to the run and I just tried to push as much as I could.  I thought I had a little more speed on the downhill but Josiah had the edge on the climbs, and somewhere in the middle there he pushed I tried to catch him at the top but he had a little too much on me.”

XTERRA veteran Brian Smith did his first XTERRA race in five years and overcome a big deficit out of the water with the third-best bike split of the day to enter T2 in fourth and get past Branden Rakita to finish third on the day.  Alex Modestou posted his career-best result with a fourth-place showing and Matt Lieto finished 5th.

Emma Garrard

In the women’s race Emma Garrad from Park City, Utah at long last had her dream come true.  After two years and eight straight runner-up finishes on the XTERRA America Tour she finally broke the tape with her two-year-old son Torin in her arms for her first career U.S. Championship win.  The victory also secured the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series title for Garrard, with a combined payout of $12,500.

“This is the first time I’ve ever held the mic,” said an emotional Garrard at the awards ceremony, with friends and family standing all around.  “I’m so happy to be on the top step.  Proud to be up here with these girls who pushed me so hard not just today but for the last 10 years.  It’s great to have my family here, and for XTERRA to be my family too.”

Garrard took the lead on the bike from Catherine Sterling before the top of the big climb up Sardine Peak and never looked back.  Sara Schuler, who also has a two-year-old, finished in second-place more than four-minutes behind Garrard. It was her best-ever result at Nationals.

Catherine Sterling was the first out of the water and lead for the full first-half of the bike before Schuler and Garrard caught up.  She held that position through the finish line while Jaime Brede placed fourth and Maia Ignatz fifth.

Below is a look at the elite race results, final XTERRA U.S. Pro Series standings, and amateur national champions.  More stories, quotes, age group recaps, a full slate of photos and videos from the day will be loaded soon to XTERRA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/XTERRAplanet.

Now that the race is over the celebration begins with a gathering for the Tribe at the Harvest Moon Celebration where all the day’s champions get recognized on-stage in front of thousands of party-goers in a massive block party on Historic 25th street in Ogden.  Then, tomorrow, it’s the trail runners turn to race with the Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Running National Championship half-marathon at Snowbasin Resort.

XTERRA USA Championship Results      
PRO MEN          
Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh 36 Eagle-Vail, Colorado 2:21:21 100
2 Braden Currie 29 Wanaka, New Zealand 2:21:47 90
3 Brian Smith 39 Gunnison, Colorado 2:30:46 82
4 Alex Modestou 28 Durham, North Carolina 2:32:44 75
5 Matt Lieto 36 Bend, Oregon 2:33:42 69
6 Branden Rakita 34 Colorado Springs, Colorado 2:33:47 63
7 Karsten Madsen 23 Guelph, Ontario, Canada 2:34:12 58
8 Ryan Ignatz 36 Boulder, Colorado 2:35:47 53
9 Kieran McPherson 23 Waikato, New Zealand 2:35:52 49
10 Brad Zoller 37 Avon, Colorado 2:36:07 45
Also: Olly Shaw (41), Chris Ganter (37), John O’Neill (34), Will Ross (31), Todd Wells (28), Walter Schafer, Chris Foster, Andrew Russell, Chris Legh
PRO WOMEN        
Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Emma Garrard 33 Park City, Utah 2:50:06 100
2 Sara Schuler 34 Boulder, Colorado 2:54:49 90
3 Catherine Sterling 38 Ayer, MA 2:58:14 82
4 Jaime Brede 38 Breckenridge, Colorado 3:01:39 75
5 Maia Ignatz 34 Boulder, Colorado 3:05:35 69
6 Genevieve Evans 42 Carnelian Bay, California 3:08:50 63
7 Kara LaPoint 28 Truckee, California 3:16:38 58
8 Debby Sullivan 33 Rocklin, California 3:18:32 53
9 Caroline Colonna 52 Taos, New Mexico 3:23:19 49
10 Jenny Fletcher 39 Santa Monica, California 3:24:17 45
Also: Rebecca Blatt (41), Suzie Snyder (37)

Complete Results


With their wins today in Utah Josiah Middaugh and Emma Garrard also secured the top spots in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series.  More to come on the U.S. season, but for now here’s a look at the final standings…

2015 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Standings (Tentative Final)
Pros count best 3-of-4 regionals, plus Nationals
PRO MEN              
Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA x90 90 100 100 100 390
2 Braden Currie, NZL DNS 100 90 82 90 362
3 Chris Ganter, USA 82 82 75 x49 37 276
4 Alex Modestou, USA x49 58 63 69 75 265
5 Branden Rakita, USA 69 63 69 x31 63 264
6 Ryan Ignatz, USA x45 53 82 63 53 251
7 Brad Zoller, USA 53 x49 53 53 45 204
8 Craig Evans, USA 58 75 49 DNS DNS 182
9 Karsten Madsen, CAN 63 DNF 58 DNS 58 179
10 Olly Shaw, NZL DNS 69 DNF DNS 41 110
11 Francisco Serrano, MEX 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100
12 Ben Hoffman, USA DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS 90
13 Chris Foster, USA DNS 45 DNS 41 DNP 86
14 Brian Smith, USA DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 82
15 Ben Allen, AUS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
16 Rom Akerson, CRC DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS 75
17 Will Ross, USA DNS 41 DNS DNS 31 72
18 James Hadley, GBR 37 DNS DNS 34 DNS 71
19 Matt Lieto, USA DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 69
20 Chris Legh, AUS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNP 58
21 Kieran McPherson, NZL DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 49
22 Ben Collins, USA DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS 45
23 Thomas Spannring, USA DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS 45
24 JP Donovan, USA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
25 Ian King, USA DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS 41
26 Eli Hemming, USA DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS 37
27 Jimmy Archer, USA 34 DNS DNS DNP DNS 34
28 John O’Neill, USA DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 34
29 Kyle Hughes, USA 31 DNS DNS DNS DNS 31
30 Ben Torvik, USA DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS 28
31 Todd Wells, USA DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 28
PRO WOMEN            
Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Emma Garrard, USA x90 90 90 90 100 370
2 Suzie Snyder, USA 82 82 100 x69 37 301
3 Sara Schuler, USA 58 58 DNS 82 90 288
4 Maia Ignatz, USA x49 63 75 58 69 265
5 Kara LaPoint, USA 63 53 69 DNS 58 243
6 Catherine Sterling, USA DNS 75 82 DNS 82 239
7 Debby Sullivan, USA 45 x31 58 49 53 205
8 Lesley Paterson, GBR 100 100 DNS DNS DNS 200
9 Jaime Brede, USA DNS 49 DNS 75 75 199
10 Rebecca Blatt, USA x31 34 45 41 41 161
11 Sara McLarty, USA x41 45 49 53 DNS 147
12 Brittany Webster, CAN 69 DNS 63 DNS DNS 132
13 Caroline Colonna, USA 37 DNS DNS 45 49 131
14 Flora Duffy, BER DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS 100
15 Emily Bashton, USA DNF 37 53 DNS DNS 90
16 Melanie McQuaid, CAN 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
17 Christine Jeffrey, CAN DNS 69 DNF DNS DNS 69
18 Tamara Donelson, AUS DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS 63
19 Genevieve Evans, USA DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 63
20 Katie Button, CAN 53 DNF DNS DNS DNS 53
21 Jenny Fletcher, CAN DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 45
22 Amelia McCracken, USA DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS 41
23 Lauren Thompson, USA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34


A sophomore in college, Cole Bunn, and a soil surveyor, Julie Baker, took the overall amateur titles today.  Even more impressively, Baker finished 4th overall woman and Liz Gruber – who won the 25-29 division title – was right behind in 5th.  More from the age group race to come, for now, a look at this year’s XTERRA USA Champions…

Division Name Hometown Time
15  – 19 Rachel Anders Sandy, UT 3:24:04
20 – 24 Heather Wilson Temecula, CA 3:37:12
25 – 29 Liz Gruber Colorado Springs, CO 3:00:19
30 – 34 Sian Turner-Crespo Truckee, CA 3:19:59
35 – 39 *Julie Baker Sonora, CA 2:59:43
40 – 44 Deanna McCurdy Littleton, CO 3:20:03
45 – 49 Laura Morris Costa Mesa, CA 3:39:16
50 – 54 Janet Soule Davis, CA 3:32:42
55 – 59 Tamara Tabeek Ramona, CA 3:32:04
60 – 64 Cindi Toepel Littleton, CO 3:56:38
65 – 69 Libby Harrow Fruita, CO 5:53:37
Division Name Hometown Time
15  – 19 Greg Schott Chesterfield, VA 2:41:27
20 – 24 *Cole Bunn Bettendorf, IA 2:39:01
25 – 29 Mikal Davis Washington, DC 2:55:34
30 – 34 Matt Balzer Reno, NV 2:40:34
35 – 39 Bryce Phinney Broomfield, CO 2:44:45
40 – 44 Daryl Weaver Lititz, PA 2:51:39
45 – 49 Rife Hilgartner Vail, CO 2:50:06
50 – 54 Dennis Farrell Morrison, CO 3:03:01
55 – 59 Matt Morell Ketchum, ID 3:06:57
60 – 64 Peter Dann Eagle, CO 3:11:52
65 – 69 Alan Moore Ada, MI 3:59:37
70 – 74 Clark Griffith Chattanooga, TN 5:32:01
PC Willie Stewart Boise, ID 3:24:52

The 2015 XTERRA Nationals weekend is presented by Paul Mitchell, the Utah Sports Commission, and XTERRA Travel. Sponsors include Outrigger Resorts, the GOAL Foundation, Gatorade Endurance, PowerBar, ENVE, Utah Media Group, the U.S. Forest Service, XTERRA Wetsuits, Snowbasin Resort, Muscle Milk, XTERRA Fitness, LifeProof, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, Greenlayer, Salming, and XTERRA €ˆBoards.


The XTERRA USA Championship was the last 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.


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 (Arthur Forissier / Carina Wasle)
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter (Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady)
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest (Sergio Florian / Laurel Dudley)
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria (Brent McMahon / Zoe Dawson)
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller)
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden (Sam Osborne / Helena Erbenova)
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy)
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound (Sean Bechtel / Heather Pady)
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova)
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico (Josiah Middaugh / Fabiola Corona)
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship (Ben Allen / Helena Erbenova)
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship (Ben Allen / Helena Erbenova)
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark (Kris Coddens / Carina Wasle)
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (Courtney Atkinson / Mieko Carey)
30-Aug XTERRA European Championship (Ruben Ruzafa / Lesley Paterson)
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship (Josiah Middaugh / Emma Garrard)
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

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


A Season to Remember

Every parent looks for meaningful ways to connect with their kids. Here’s a story about a Dad who did just that, in the most healthy, active, outdoorsy way you can imagine.

It all started about 15 years ago when Carl Horton, a 57-year-old from Draper, Utah, started falling into a sluggish, inactive existence.

“My story is similar to many others,” he explained. “I was very quickly dipping into the middle age sedentary lifestyle and wanted to do something about my lack of fitness. I started with a goal of running 20 minutes in the neighborhood, and went from there.”

One of the first triathlons he ever did was a combo road/off-road triathlon. Both started with the same swim, went on separate bike course, and rejoined for a trail run.

“After the race the XTERRA athletes were covered in mud and seemed to have a lot more fun. That image of smiling dirt-encrusted triathletes stayed in my mind for another decade until I finally decided to join them a few years ago.”

His jump to XTERRA (he’s now a two-time regional champ) happened at an opportune time.  While his daughter Heather, now 15, grew up immersed in the multisport world and started swimming in grade school and doing triathlons in middle school, it wasn’t until she got to high school that she really wanted to mountain bike.

“When she was 13 and entered 9th grade at Alta High School in Sandy, she learned about the school’s NICA-Utah mountain bike league team,” said Carl. “It’s an understatement to say that high school mountain bike racing is big in Utah, and XTERRA is the perfect companion sport. Last year, she won the NICA Utah league overall freshman girls title, and is in first place for JV girls this year as a sophomore. The high school bike team is her greatest source of friends. She also lettered in swimming, and practices with the cross country and track teams when she can.”

This year, Carl and Heather set out with a goal to do a race a week – whether it be mountain biking, trail running or XTERRA.

“I believe that people get good at racing by racing a lot,” said Carl. “One can train at race pace, but one can’t train with race emotion.”

So, during the course of the 2015 XTERRA America Tour Carl and Heather did seven races together and if you took out the series rules about only counting the best four scores – those two tallied the 4th and 5th most points out of thousands of racers. Heather won her division in six-of-seven races, Carl won his three times, both won their region, and both got faster … but Heather got way faster.

“We started the XTERRA season with me waiting for Heather at the finish line. Then, about a month ago, she chicked me and began a new tradition of her waiting for me at the finish!” exclaimed Carl. “In Heather’s last four XTERRA races she finished 5th, 4th, 3rd, and 2nd overall female and is now very much looking forward to see how she can stack up against the big girls at XTERRA Nationals and Worlds.”

With success is a whole lot of fun, Carl insists the big picture is about spending time together and learning that you can do so much more than you think if you just put your mind to it.

“At this point, it’s about Heather having fun and learning that her body will do what her mind tells it to do,” said Carl. “We train without power meters, clocks, or training logs. We spend a lot of time training skills, learning race strategy, and motivation. Heather is very new to all this, although this summer she very quickly adapted to the lifestyle of a competitive endurance athlete- sleep, eat, train, and race. It amazes me how every day she can sleep 12 hours.”

As for Heather, she’s just having fun and enjoying time out on the trails with her Dad.

“It’s true,” Carl said. “Heather and I somehow managed to really connect this summer and had a lot of fun racing XTERRA.”

“I love our time together,” said Heather. “Almost every day we have the best daddy-daughter dates- we dress up in our finest lycra, eat energy bars, and dance through the mud! We have grown very close spending countless hours driving, talking about life, and racing together.”


Weaving into Perfection

Over the last four years nobody has had more success during the course of the regular season than Daryl Weaver, a 42-year-old from Lititz, Pennsylvania.

The 2015 season, however, started off “€œslow” for the four-time regional champ. By slow we mean he finished third overall behind the reigning 20-24 XTERRA National Champion Billy Allen and last year’€™s overall USAT Off-Road National Champion Rob Ricard at XTERRA Jersey Devil in April. Yet, he still won his division.

In his next race he stole that overall USAT Off-Road National Champion crown from Ricard in Pelham, Alabama (which doubled as the XTERRA Southeast Champs). In ‘Bama he was the top amateur and 10th overall behind only nine elites. He followed that win with another overall amateur title at the highly competitive XTERRA East Championship in Richmond where he was 8th overall (and got the better of Billy Allen). Then it was three straight overall victories at XTERRA EX2, Sky High, and Appalachia before another run in with Ricard at XTERRA Syracuse. He finished 31-seconds behind Ricard in 2nd overall, but still won his division.

Since he stared racing XTERRA in 2011 Weaver has won his division in 26 of the 27 races he has€™s done during the regular season, and captured the overall at most of them. Here is how he explains it…

“€œI feel it is a blessing from God that I am 42 and still racing at this pace,”€ said Weaver. “€œI like running races, mountain bike races, and road triathlons, but I love XTERRA!”

“I changed my approach to racing this year, and am trying to pay more attention to what my body is saying during the race and not over cooking the bike. This led to some good races this year and a lot of fun competing against guys like Billy Allen and Rob Ricard. They are great guys and my toughest competition on the east coast. Other than the time between the start line and the finish line, where we try to crush each other and would probably use each other for traction, we get along really good. It’s an XTERRA thing. Truth be told, if it were not for some injuries for both of them, I would not have had as good of a record this year. There are also several other guys from across the U.S. that are coming to nationals that scare me. This is my third nationals, the first two were not good for me, so I’€™m excited to see if my changes help.”€