Josiah Middaugh

USAT Off-Road Nationals on Sunday

USA Triathlon 2014 Off-road National Championship

USA Triathlon’s 2014 National Championships season continues on Sunday, June 15, with the Off-Road National Championships in Richmond, Va., held in conjunction with the 16th annual XTERRA East Championship.

The race combines a 1,000-meter swim in the James River with a 32-kilometer mountain bike and a 10-kilometer trail run. The course has been part of the XTERRA circuit since 1999, and the River City is a premier destination for off-road racing adventures.

The men’s pro race is shaping up to be the most exciting showdown in recent memory with more than a handful of guys that could steal the show on Sunday.  Start with Josiah Middaugh, winner of the first two regionals at the West and Southeast Championships this year who is fresh off his eighth straight win at the Ultimate Mountain Challenge in his hometown of Vail, Colorado last weekend.

Then there’s Dan Hugo – the defending Richmond champion and winner of five XTERRA World Tour majors this season including the high-profile Asia-Pacific Championship race.  Fellow South African Conrad Stoltz won this race seven times in eight years from 2005 to 2012 (in 2008 Middaugh won it, and last year he did not race due to injury).  This season has been a tough one for Stoltz and no doubt he’s looking to turn the tide here in RVA – site of his first-ever XTERRA race back in 2001.

“This year has been terrible,” said Stoltz.  “Health issues, flat tires, bad luck, so I’m looking to change my luck this weekend and have a good race.  I love racing here, it’s one of my favorite courses and favorite towns to visit.  The rain is going to clear up and make for some good watching, and make for some tacky trails in good shape, it should be awesome.”

A third South African, Brad Weiss, is having a breakout season and finally got some rest this past month after a grueling stretch of racing across the Asia-Pacific region.  Mexico’s Mauricio Mendez has been posting remarkable swim-and-run splits of late and threatens to chase down anybody if he’s in close enough range coming out of T2.  And you can’t count out Americans Craig Evans and Branden Rakita who will be up front early.

For the women it’s all about who can stop Flora Duffy and her dominating ways.  American Emma Garrard has come closest and cut the time gap from first-to-second place in half at last month’s Southeast Championship.  Her familiarity with the intricacies of the Richmond course is certain to help.

There’s Shonny Vanlandingham who crushes on the bike, has won here before, and with the shortest swim on Tour will lose less time out of the water than she normally does.  Christine Jeffrey is coming off a great race in Alabama, where Suzie Snyder also turned a corner.  There’s no doubt all of those women are looking to reel in Duffy and steal one here in Richmond.

In the amateur race competitors include Hannah Rae Finchamp (Altadena, Calif.), who was named 2013 USA Triathlon Off-Road Athlete of the Year after winning the amateur women’s title at XTERRA Worlds in Maui, Hawaii. There are also five Off-Road Nationals defending champions on the start list: Dillon Shaffer (M25-29, Lawton, Okla.), Charlie Karstrom (M25-29, Solana Beach, Calif.), Marcus Barton (M40-44, Waxhaw, N.C.), May-Li Cuypers (F45-49, Largo, Fla.) and Charlotte Mahan (F65-69, Lenoir City, Tenn.).

In addition to chasing national titles in Richmond and qualifying spots into XTERRA Worlds athletes also will be competing for prized spots on Team USA for the 2015 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Cross Triathlon World Championships, the date and location of which will be announced later this year by ITU. The top 18 finishers (rolling down to 25th place) in each age group will qualify for a Team USA slot.

Team USA is comprised of the nation’s top multisport athletes who represent the U.S. at each ITU World Championships event. Visit usatriathlon.org for more on Team USA.

About USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

USAT NATIONALS / EAST CHAMP ELITES

Rank denotes current standing in 2014 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series after two races.

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Josiah Middaugh – 35, Vail-Eagle, CO
2 – Bradley Weiss – 25, Cape Town, South Africa
3 – Craig Evans – 36, Hendersonville, TN
4 – Mauricio Mendez – 18, Mexico City, Mexico
5 – Branden Rakita – 33, Colorado Springs, CO
6 – Dan Hugo – 28, Stellenbosch, South Africa
8 – Chris Ganter – 35, Boise, ID
9 – Jeff Smith – 31, Portland, OR
13 – Karsten Madsen – Guelph, Ontario, Canada
11 – Nick Fisher – 28, Ogden, Utah
15 – Alex Modestou – 27, Washington, D.C.
17 – Ryan DeCook – 33, Rochester, MI
NR – Charlie Epperson – 37, Tamuning, Guam (TN)
NR – Andy Lee – 41, Lakeway, TX (Great Britain)
NR – Nicholas Miehe – 25, Tarpon Springs, FL
NR – Takahiro Ogasawara – 34, Tokyo, Japan
NR – Conrad  Stoltz – 40, Stellenbosch, South Africa
NR – Jean-Philippe Thibodeau – 23, Quebec, Canada
NR – Noah Wright – 30, Austin, TX
NR – Brad Zoller – 36, Palatine, IL

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Flora Duffy – 26, Boulder, CO (Bermuda)
2 – Emma Garrard – 32, Park City, UT
3 – Suzie Snyder – 32, Fredericksburg, VA
6 – Kara LaPoint – 26, Truckee, CA
8 – Amelia McCracken – 30, Philadelphia, PA
9 – Shonny Vanlandingham – 45, Durango, CO
10 – Christine Jeffrey – 41, Tucson, AZ (Canada)
12 – Debby Sullivan – 32, Rocklin, CA
13 – Caroline Colonna – 50, Taos, NM
14 – Rebecca Blatt – 34, Lakewood, CO
NR – Mieko Carey – 36, Tumon, Guam (Japan)
NR – Catherine Sterling – 37, West Boylston, MA

XTERRA-Pro-Relay-Team-Challenge

Team CanaMex wins Shootout in Richmond

Photo: Jesse Peters

Fast, furious racing and a whole lot of fun was on display at the first-ever XTERRA Pro Relay Team Shootout, presented by Luck Stone.  It’s long been said that at XTERRA, Mother Nature is your toughest competitor and she was bringing it on Thursday.

Right on schedule for the 12 noon start the skies opened up and a torrential downpour blessed the event.  The racers themselves seemed unfazed, almost giddy about the conditions.

“We were gonna get wet in the swim anyway,” joked Craig Evans.

The James River was a warm 72-degrees and at the five-foot level, just about perfect for swimming.   Evans, Christine “Big Fish” Jeffrey were the first two out of the water, with 16-year-old rocket Jessica Hevener of Richmond right on their heels.  Hevener was a last-minute replacement to swim for Team RVAfrica, and the Poseidon swim club and Endorphin Fitness tri team member (who just finished the 10th grade) proved worthy of the invite.

“To swim the best in our sport, at just 16-years-old, that’s remarkable,” commented XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas.

Out of the water and up the boat ramp Hevener tagged Dan Hugo, Evans tagged Shonny Vanlandingham, Big Fish tagged Karsten Madsen, Alex Modestou tagged Conrad Stoltz, and Mieko Carey tagged Takahiro Ogasawara and the bike portion got underway.

The mountain bikers crossed the River over to Belle Isle where they worked their way through ‘lost trail’ and into some pump tracks.  At one point all five riders were in the track at the same time and it was fun to see all that skillful riding together in one spot (watch the video).

“It was raining so hard we were swimming on the bikes,” said Stoltz.  “Buckets of water were coming down the highway and you couldn’t see anything.  It was some good fun and games.”

Almost as if it was scripted the field came roaring into the bike-to-run transition one-after-another setting up an exciting final one-mile run leg to see who would come out on top.  As all five runners – Brad Weiss, Suzie Snyder, Mauricio Mendez, Branden Rakita, and Charlie Epperson were off and running it took 18-year-old rookie pro sensation Mendez from Mexico no time at all to pull out in front.

“I don’t think Mauricio got the memo that this was a demo event,” laughed Jeffrey.  “Seriously though, you can’t bring a group of athletes like this together for a race and tell us to take it easy.  Mauricio proved that emphatically.”

Indeed, there was no stopping Mendez, who has posted the fastest run split at just about every XTERRA he’s entered over the last two years (read his story on Slowtwitch).   He took the tape in just under 20 minutes to give team CanaMex the victory.

“It was great, it was really fun, what an experience,” said Mendez. “It’s fun to be around all of these incredible athletes. One of the things I really love about this sport is its people.  It’s such a great atmosphere here.”

Luck Stone was streaming the event live online and despite some technical difficulties (no fun trying to shield really expensive equipment from driving rain) captured some great moments for all to enjoy.

“There is no place like Richmond so to be able to showcase the city and our athletes to the XTERRA Tribe around the world is really neat,” said Nicholas.  “We can’t thank Luck Stone enough for all they do for us. Their motto is ‘igniting human potential’ and they live by that – clearly striving to do great things.”

The shootout was a prelude to Sunday’s 16th annual XTERRA East Championship, which is doubling as the USA Triathlon National Championship race.

Watch it live Sunday starting at 8am EST on http://www.luckstone.com/xterra-world-tour-2014

XTERRA Pro Relay Team Shootout Results

1. Team CanaMex (19:20) – Karsten Madsen (CAN), Mauricio Mendez (MEX), Christine Jeffrey (CAN)
2. Pacific Rim – Mieko Carey (JPN), Takahiro Ogasawara (JPN), Charlie Epperson (Guam)
3. RVAfrica – Jessica Hevener (Richmond), Dan Hugo (RSA), Brad Weiss (RSA)
4. Stars and Stripes – Craig Evans (TN), Shonny Vanlandingham (TX), Branden Rakita (CO)
5. Da Locals – Alex Modestou (DC), Suzie Snyder (Fredericksburg), Conrad Stoltz (South Africa)

See pics and videos at www.facebook.com/xterraplanet

The King Isn't Dead

“The King Isn’t Dead” – Stoltz, Hugo Rivalry Exposed

You could see this coming since 2006, when 22-year-old Dan Hugo started racing XTERRA in the U.S. and was immediately labeled “the Prodigy.”  It was only fitting as Hugo was super-fast and from the same hometown (Stellenbosch, South Africa) as the undisputed King of the sport – Conrad Stoltz.

After finishing just 16-seconds behind his mentor at the XTERRA Southeast Championship in 2008 Hugo humbly said, “It wasn’t a close race at all.  Conrad punctured his tire, fixed the flat, and was still the strongest racer out there today.”  For years after it was a recurring theme for Hugo, those second-place finishes in the shadows of the “Caveman.”

This year things are different.  Dan “The Man” Hugo is in the spotlight, having won five XTERRA World Tour majors including head-to-head meetings against Stoltz in their home town race at XTERRA South Africa and the prestigious XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia.

Prodigy, Mentor, Shadows no more.

South African journalist Angus Powers dug into the Stoltz-Hugo dynamic and crafted a riveting piece on the intensifying rivalry between the two for the The Red Bulletin titled “The King Isn’t Dead”

Click the image below for the PDF courtesy Angus Powers.

The King Isn't Dead

 

DSC_8474

Luck Stone Presents: XTERRA Pro Relay Team Shoot-Out

Luck Stone

Thursday, June 12 /// High Noon at Brown’s Island

USA Triathlon 2014 Off-road National Championship

(Richmond, VA) – High-performance meets high-technology at this year’s XTERRA East Championship / USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship media day in Richmond, Virginia as XTERRA pros face-off in a pre-race shoot-out to showcase their talents, the City of Richmond, and the innovation of Luck Stone.  The “shootout” is the first-of its kind and a prelude to the 16th running of XTERRA in Richmond.

On Thursday, June 12, fifteen of the fastest professional XTERRA triathletes in the world will split into five, three-person relay teams to take on each other in a micro-sized XTERRA featuring a short swim in the James River, a mountain bike ride over the footbridge and through the pump track on Belle Isle, and a run past the colorful murals along the Canal Walk before finishing on Brown’s Island.  The fastest team should conquer the challenge in about 15 minutes.

Luck Stone, presenting sponsors of the event, will equip each team with a GPS tracking device and stream all the action live in high-definition at www.luckstone.com so viewers from around the world can get an up-close (and overhead using an aerial drone) look at world-class athletes juxtaposed against the coolest urban XTERRA venue ever.

“We are extremely excited to showcase a little bit of Richmond and a whole lot of our sports’ biggest stars,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas.  “While the distances are but a fraction of what these men and women will be up against on Sunday, to see them work their way around downtown like human race cars will be something to behold and is sure to get everyone fired-up for race day.”

XTERRA MEDIA DAY QUICK FACTS:

WHO: Among the 15 racers competing you’ll find World Champions and Olympians from seven countries, including Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz and last year’s East Championship race winner Dan “The Man” Hugo – both from South Africa.  Representatives from XTERRA, Luck Stone, & the James River Park System will also be on-site to take in all the action.

WHAT: A Shoot-out! Five, 3-person relay teams vs. each other for #xterraRVA bragging rights

WHEN: Thursday, June 12, High Noon

WHERE: Brown’s Island, downtown Richmond, VA

WHY: Prelude to the 16th edition of the XTERRA East Championship race which will double as this year’s USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship on Sunday, June 15 in Richmond, Virginia.

 

XTERRA PRO RELAY TEAMS

Name – Racers – Honorary Captain (tentative, as of 6.5.14)

BermudAfrica – Dan Hugo (South Africa), Flora Duffy (Bermuda), Brad Weiss (South Africa)
Honorary Captain: Andy Thompson, Richmond Outside

Da Locals – Alex Modestou (Washington DC), Suzie Snyder (Fredericksburg), Conrad Stoltz (South Africa, but honorary local as seven-time XTERRA Richmond Champion who first raced in the River City back in 2001)
Honorary Captain:  Tee Clarkson, Richmond Times-Dispatch

CanaMex – Karsten Madsen (Canada), Mauricio Mendez (Mexico), Christine Jeffrey (Canada)
Honorary Captain: NBC12 Sports

Stars and Stripes – Craig Evans (Tennessee), Shonny Vanlandingham (Texas), Branden Rakita (Colorado)
Honorary Captain: CBS6 Sports

Pacific Rim – Mieko Carey (Japan), Charlie Epperson (Guam), Takahiro Ogasawara (Japan)

Honorary Captain: ABC8 Sports

Media and spectators alike are welcome to watch the action live on www.luckstone.com or in person on Brown’s Island Thursday, June 12, starting at 12 noon.

XTERRA has been racing in Richmond since 1999, and the city has firmly established itself as the sports’ finest urban adventure with a hip city culture that compliments ripping trails and the unpredictable James River.  This year’s 16th annual XTERRA East Championship on June 15 will be unlike any before as it will double as the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship race.

“We’re excited to partner with USA Triathlon and proud to bring a national championship event to our friends in Richmond,” said Nicholas.

Amateur racers who win their division will be crowned a USAT Off-Road National Champ and an XTERRA East Champion all while earning qualifying spots to both the 2014 XTERRA World Championship AND the 2015 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship (see the breakdowns at www.xterrarichmond.com).

The XTERRA East Championship triathlon combines a one-kilometer swim in the James with a 20-mile mountain bike in and around James River Park and a seven-mile trail run. There is a $15,000 prize purse for pros as the third of five stops in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series.

The course itself annually attracts racers from across the country and around the world to discover the epic trails in the James River Park System – where they are greeted by a raucous bunch of bike and trail fanatics who annually throw a trail party at the trickiest section in Buttermilk Heights known as “Rock Face.”  They blast music, BBQ, dress in costumes, scream, shout encouragement, and blast on vuvuzela’s to the delight of riders all day long.

As for the run, it has been best described as the “Fugitive 10K” because of its similarity to some of the chase scenes in the movie The Fugitive including river crossings, rock jumpings, the “Mayan Ruins” stair climb, and train track crossings.

In addition to Sunday’s main event, on Sat, June 14 the schedule includes the XTERRA Fugitive 10km and 21km trail runs, a free kids run, plus the XTERRA expo at Brown’s Island.

Registration for the 2014 USA Triathlon Off-Road Nationals/XTERRA East Champs, sprint race, and trail runs is open to everyone. To learn more and register visit www.xterrarichmond.com.

About Luck Stone

Luck Stone was founded in 1923, making it the oldest of the four divisions within Luck Companies. We are headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and one of the largest family-owned and operated producers of crushed stone, sand and gravel in the U.S. Through our commitment to Values Based Leadership, innovation and being inspired by our customers, we believe that we can ignite the potential for greatness that exists in everyone and make a positive impact on the lives of others in our communities and around the world. Luck Stone draws inspiration from customers to add value and launch tools that make our customers’ experience more efficient and easy. To learn more, please visit www.luckstone.com.

About USA Triathlon
Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon – the fastest growing sport in the U.S. Olympic Movement – as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with more than 550,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2014 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 20+ countries worldwide.  In the U.S. alone nearly 200,000 participants took part in the XTERRA lifestyle last year.  In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990.  View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterratrailrun.com.

Media Contact:  Trey Garman //808.216.8606 // trey@teamunlimited.com // www.xterrarichmond.com

– Denise Wright // 804.283.1742 // dbwright@luckcompanies.com // www.luckstone.com

– Live coverage on raceday: http://www.luckstone.xterra.com

– On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/xterraplanet

– On twitter @xterraoffroad …hashtag #xterraRVA

– Results will be posted at www.jtltiming.com/multisport.htm immediately after events

Ruben Ruzafa

Ruzafa, Redelsperger win XTERRA Portugal

Complete Results / Photo Gallery

(Golega, Portugal) –XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa wins his third straight XTERRA major while Coralie Redelsperger won her first-ever at the inaugural XTERRA Portugal in Golega on Sunday.

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

A great end to a grand weekend.  Two fabulous days of competition in Golega, Portugal with perfect sunshine and weather, friendly people, tight competition and some first-time endings.

We need to talk about the total immersion of the city into XTERRA.  Organizer Jaime Rosa had “3 right arms” as he called them, who took ownership of the bike course, the run course and the volunteers.  Dozens of workers in their bright yellow CREW shirts were everywhere.  Local police had every intersection handled and the race went off without a hitch.

Brit Asa Shaw led the swim with a surprising Francois Carloni on his heels and Ruben Ruzafa and Belgium Yeray Luxem close behind.  The bike starts through the twisty, cobble streets of Golega for the first 3K and by the time the men hit the fields and double/single track Shaw had dropped back.

“I don’t know what happened, I just couldn’t keep up with them” he said.  Ruzafa led, but Carloni and Luxem were no more than a few feet behind him.

For the women Jacqui Slack led out of the water and had a solid lead; for a while.  Surprising teenager Ana Alcacarenho was second (she is a swimmer and lives in Golega) with new pro Sandra Koblmueller from Austria riding a bit tentatively in 3rd and French pro Coralie Redelsperger in 4th.

At 15K Carloni (always a fast biker) and Ruben were still feet apart but Luxem was back about 30-seconds with a tire that was going flat, Asa hanging in 4th.

Coralie had passed all the women to take the lead with Jacqui second and Sandra hanging in for 3rd.

But as Yogi said “It ain’t over till it’s over”.  Yeray’s tire did flat and he fell off the pace by about 3-minutes; Francois and Ruben came into T2 absolutely together but the Frenchman was penalized 15 seconds for not putting his wetsuit in his transition box.  That sealed the deal for Ruben.  He ran a controlled pace and was never threatened.

Carloni, who had suffered foot problems over the winter, had them crop up again but soldiered on to finish just over 3-minutes behind the World Champ.  Yeray pulled back some time on Carloni but it was not enough.  Another surprise was Frenchman Nicolas Durin who had pedaled and run himself into 4th overall.

Will Kelsay was a solid 4th but got himself off track twice on the run and Asa passed him for 4th pro with Will 5th.

“Next time we need to get the organizers to trim the trees for people over 6′ tall” laughed Kelsay.  “I kept ducking and swatting branches out of my way the whole race.  Maybe put in some 3′ hurdles just for me!”

Coralie was out front, something she had never done before.  Jacqui was hanging on and slowly reeling Coralie in but what neither knew was the Austrian Koblmueller was flying after them.  Jacqui got within a minute and a half of Coralie but Sandra passed Jacqui in the last few K and almost caught the French girl and finished just 40 seconds behind.

I once accused Carloni of running like a girl as he was consistently top 5 off the bike but always 7th or so at the finish.  He was completely overjoyed with his finish and the first thing he said was “I don’t run like a girl anymore!”

Coralie improved throughout 2013 and has truly improved her bike.  “I am really getting fast on the downhills” she smiled.  Sandra admitted her technical skills are not the best, but she has plenty of power on the climbs and as she says “running is my preference”.

The race finished in the center of town with lots of local folks hanging about in the shade having lunch or some “tinto” wine and watching the finish.  This is a great city and a great race.  Fast, but tough, some technical pieces, some power places and lots of surprises like a run and dive off a military pontoon in the lake and a quick rope rappel on the run.

The first two races of the European season are over.  Next weekend we head to Brazil then back to the States for XTERRA Richmond which will also serve as the USA Tri Off-Road National Championship on June 15, then back across the pond for XTERRA Greece, France and Sweden.

Pro Men
Pl Name Time
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 2:35:47
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:39:00
3 Yeray Luxem, BEL 2:41:10
4 Asa Shaw, GBR 2:49:58
5 Will Kelsay, USA 2:51:58
Also: Rafael Gomes, Rui Fernandes, Diogo Rosa



Pro Women
Pl Name Final
1 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 3:10:01
2 Sandra Koblmueller, AUT 3:10:41
3 Jacqui Slack, GBR 3:11:27
4 Daz Parker, GBR 3:30:46
5 Boissy Elea, FRA 3:44:57
Also: Sofia Brites

 

2014 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING EVENTS

XTERRA Portugal was the 15th of 36 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 26, 2014.  Up next, the XTERRA Brazil Championship in Ilhabela.

Date Race Location / Pro Winners
23-Feb XTERRA South Africa Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy
8-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Braden Currie / Nicky Samuels
15-Mar XTERRA Philippines Championship Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher
29-Mar XTERRA Guam Championship Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Leonardo Chacon / Shonny Vanlandingham
30-Mar XTERRA Great Ocean Road
Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack
5-Apr XTERRA Saipan Championship Ben Allen / Carina Wasle
12-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship Conrad Stoltz / Barbara Riveros
13-Apr XTERRA West Championship Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy
26-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy
3-May XTERRA Malaysia Dan Hugo / Jacqui Slack
17-May XTERRA Southeast Championship Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy
24-May XTERRA Mauritius Sam Gardner / Karyn Southgate
24-May XTERRA Spain Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
1-Jun XTERRA Portugal Ruben Ruzafa / Coralie Redelsperger
8-Jun XTERRA Brazil Championship Ilhabela, Sao Paulo
15-Jun XTERRA East Championship Richmond, Virginia
21-Jun XTERRA Greece Lake Plastira
28-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship Vallee de Joux
29-Jun XTERRA Norway Horten
5-Jul XTERRA Ontario – Canadian Cross Tri Championship Milton, Ontario, Canada
6-Jul XTERRA France Championship Xonrupt, Gerardmer
6-Jul XTERRA Victoria British Columbia, Canada
6-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii
13-Jul XTERRA Sweden Hellasgaarten
19-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, Colorado
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship Abruzzo, Scanno
2-Aug XTERRA Mexico Championship Tapalpa, Jalisco
9-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship Prachatice
16-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship Zittau
17-Aug XTERRA Canmore Alberta, Canada
24-Aug XTERRA England Cranleigh, Surrey
31-Aug XTERRA Denmark Tisvilde
31-Aug XTERRA Quebec Lac Delage, Quebec, Canada
7-Sep XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
20-Sep XTERRA USA Championship Ogden/Snowbasin, UT
26-Oct XTERRA World Championship Maui, Hawaii


About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2014 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 25+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990.  View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterratrailrun.com.

Cody Waite

EPC Tips – Race Day Tempo / Speed Run

Get your run ready for race day with this tempo/speed run combo.

This is a great run session that prepares you for the specific demands of the race day run for Olympic, Half-Iron, and XTERRA events. It starts with an easy warm-up, followed by a set of 2-4 intervals of ‘race pace’ running. For short-course and XTERRA running, shoot for 2-3 race pace intervals, for long-course build up to 4 race pace intervals. After the race pace set, take a short recovery jog to stay on top of hydration/fueling. Then jump into the second set of intervals; this time ran at the fastest pace you can manage with good form. Build these repeat efforts to dial in your ability to really dig deep at the end of the run and finish strong!

I’ll be honest, this is not a fun run. It hurts…but it will build big time confidence and fitness heading into your goal events.

WARM-UP: 5:00 dynamic warm-up/walk
– 5-10:00 easy run

MAIN SET: 2-4x[10:00 race pace, 2-3:00 easy walk/jog]
– 5:00 easy
– 4-6x[1:00 FAST!, 1:00 walk/jog]

WARM-DOWN: 5-10:00 easy run
– 5:00 walk
– (60-90 minutes total time)

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. You can find this workout, and others like it for the swim, bike and run, by joining his Group Coaching programs for 2014.

Jaime Brede

Jaime Brede and the Cycle Effect

A few weeks ago at the XTERRA Southeast Championship in Alabama XTERRA Pro Charlie Epperson caught wind of a cool story about what fellow elite Jaime Brede was up to as the Summit County Program Director for The Cycle Effect.  He was so inspired by what he learned he wanted to share her story.

In 2010 Brett & Tamara Donelson founded The Cycle Effect in Eagle County, Colorado. Their mission then and now is to “enhance the lives of young women through mountain biking and to empower them through mentoring and education.”  By offering teenage girls the opportunity to experience mountain biking, participate in competitions, and the chance to train with professional riders, The Cycle Effect has been able to connect with these young girls at a point in their life when each needed encouragement and to be part of something bigger than themselves.

The success The Cycle Effect experienced in Eagle County led the Donelsons to reach out to Jaime Brede to establish the program in neighboring Summit County, Colorado.  Brede’s connection with Summit County and her visibility as a professional XTERRA triathlete made her the ideal candidate to launch this initiative in Summit County.   Plus, with a background that includes skiing and barrel racing (horseback) she understands all about the power of overcoming fear and gaining confidence through athletics.

I was able to catch-up with Jaime following the XTERRA Southeast Championships while she was on a working holiday at her in-laws’ tree farm plantation in South Carolina to learn more about her role on The Cycle Effect team.

Charlie Epperson: When did you get your start in XTERRA racing?

Jaime Brede: I actually won an entry into the Keystone XTERRA on the radio in 2008? I was definitely not prepared for the race and I suffered through it but was hooked nonetheless.

CE: What are your goals for the 2014 season and beyond?

JB: My goal in XTERRA has always been to podium at one of the championship races. The caliber of athleticism in the pro ranks at XTERRA is so high – that would be a huge accomplishment for me. In general, my goal is to be the best multisport athlete that I can be. Ski, bike, run, swim – I love it all. If I could continue racing all of these sports and land in the top five, I would be happy.

CE: How did you get introduced to The Cycle Effect and what made you decide to implement the program in Summit County?

JB: I was introduced to the Cycle Effect by Brett Donelson, the program’s Executive Director. I knew his wife, Tam, from racing XTERRA and local XC MTB races. He called me one day, we had a few meetings, and I knew I would be crazy not to explore this amazing opportunity.

CE: How did you go about identifying girls for the program?

JB: Initially, I thought it would be as easy as putting up some posters at Summit High School and this did not prove to be the case. I ended up reaching out to the amazing network of non-profit organizations in Summit County. By working with Mountain Mentors, SOS (Snowboard Outreach Society), FIRC (Family Intercultural Resource Center), the Frisco Workforce Development Center, and the Pre-Collegiate program at the High School, I finally found a great group of girls to start the program. I also jumped headfirst into local networking organizations like the Rec Roundtable and P.A.N.T.S (Physical Activity Nutrition Team Summit) which not only exposed me to other programs in the area, but let me get the word out about The Cycle Effect.

CE: How are the girls taking to the sport of mountain biking, training, and being part of a team?

JB: You know, I have had some mixed results so far. I have some girls that are relishing the challenges of being pushed to show up and work hard, and I have had some girls say, “You know, this is just not for me.” I understand that mountain biking is hard, so I totally get it, but I am really psyched for the girls that are sticking with it. The girls that literally hit the dirt, get back up with a smile, and say, “I can keep going.” THAT is character. I’ve got a few of those girls on the team this year, and they are so awesome.

CE: Can you talk on how you brought sponsors on to support The Cycle Effect and how important they’ve been to the establishment of this program in Summit, County?

JB: Absolutely! Our bigger sponsorships with Giant bicycles and Dionysus Hospitality Group have been cultivated mostly by our executive director Brett Donelson and our Development Director Amy Cassidy. Our Summit County sponsorships have been a result of some relationships that I have formed over the years. For example, I have worked for the Breckenridge Recreation Department as an Adult Swim/Triathlon training coach for about three years, so they were a natural fit. Not only have they donated facility usage for our winter training, but are allowing our girls the opportunity to teach kids MTB camps and do course set-up/tear-down for the Summit Trail Running Series. I also formed a relationship with a local company called Altitude Foods that actually sourced an organic free-trade coffee (roasted by Golden Valley Farms) for use in a Cycle Effect coffee label. We have also gotten a lot of support from The Summit Foundation, who provided us with a grant to pay for the girls to race in the Summit Mountain Challenge this summer.

CE: How concerned were you initially with taking on such an important project and the impact that might have on your time to train and focus on racing?

JB: At first I was reluctant to take on the challenge of being a program director and coach versus working part-time at a bakery/coffee shop and training. However, I realized that I don’t have what it takes to make a full blown living off of racing, so what better way to supplement my athletic lifestyle than by getting girls on bikes? Working with the girls has given me so much perspective on my personal athletic journey. Racing has given me SO MUCH- it would be irresponsible to not share that gift with others.

CE: Any advice to other athletes or communities that would like to implement a program or be part of a program like The Cycle Effect?

JB: A quote that comes to mind is “Leap and the net will appear.” I found that once I dove into this amazing program and project, the possibilities and resources are seemingly endless. There are so many people in our local communities that value physical activity, see it as a vehicle for personal growth and success, and want to share that with today’s youth.  A few things from my journey thus far:

– If you can positively impact the future of even just ONE person, you have done your job.
– Seek knowledge from those who have gone before you.
– Sometimes all it takes to be truly inspiring is to be truly inspired.

For more information on The Cycle Effect, visit thecycleeffect.org

DSC_8718

XTERRA Richmond XVI

XTERRA has been racing in Richmond since 1999, and the city has firmly established itself as the sports’ finest urban adventure with a hip city culture that compliments ripping trails and the unpredictable James River.

This year’s 16th annual XTERRA East Championship will be unlike any before as it will double as the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship race.  That means amateur racers who win their division will be crowned a USAT Off-Road National Champ and an XTERRA East Champion all while earning qualifying spots to both the 2014 XTERRA World Championship AND the 2015 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship.

Needless to say June 15th will be a big day for those in pursuit of off-road excellence.

This year’s race, the third of five stops in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series, has also attracted a stellar elite field to the River City with big names like Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz, Josiah “Beast Mode” Middaugh, and Dan “The Man” Hugo.  All three have won in Richmond before and each is hungry as ever to claim the crown once more.

As the hype begins to build on 2014 we dig into our archives of quotes from Richmond races past to get a glimpse into the allure of racing #xterraRVA…

“It’s my favorite course, and probably globally my favorite experience. The skyscrapers, great river and forest make for a ridiculously perfect XTERRA set-up that offers as much as any other. And you don’t need to explain XTERRA to anyone here.  The history and legacy of XTERRA in Richmond is at a very high level.”

- Dan Hugo, prior to winning it all last year

“I don’t think anybody here ever has a clean ride.  I endo’d, and I know that happens to everybody.  You just have to overcome that stuff.”

- Jamie Whitmore, after winning in 2006

“I’d like to thank Conrad for letting someone else win. It was sad to see him out there with a flat but nice to have a race for first rather than a race for 2nd and 3rd.”

- Josiah Middaugh after winning in 2008

“When I heard I was 1:30 back out of T2 I just went out a little too hard…I hit the wall, literally, at the Mayan Ruins.”

- Tyler Johnson, 2008, he still hung on for 3rd

“It was really important to silence my own inner-critic and show myself what I can do.  I think I’m the fastest at this sport and I had to prove it.”

- Melanie McQuaid after winning in 2008

“Had a hard day on the bike, got two flats … my left leg and my right leg.”

- Shonny Vanlandingham after finishing 3rd in 2008

“It feels like you’re out in the middle of nowhere but you’re in the middle of a big city and that’s really quite amazing.”

- Conrad Stoltz after winning in 2005

“An 800 watt sprint out of the transition area and he’s gone, and I’m still trying to get in my shoes.  It’s amazing.  The first kilometer on the bike he’s putting down 500 watts and I’m thinking to myself this is the moment, I’ve got to be on his wheels, but the power he generates…”

- Hugo on watching Stoltz pull away early in 2011

“Thrills and spills.”

- Christine Jeffrey, describing her day in 2008

“I caught Craig at the first bridge, Tyler on the dike, Josiah on the stairs, then Mike in the last twisty woods section, then tactically ran it in.”

- Seth Wealing, on running his way into 2nd from 7th in 2007

“Just want to say Happy Father’s day to my dad.  He’s out there suffering at 60-years-old.”

- Jamie Whitmore about her Dad, Biff, who competed himself on Father’s Day in 2007

“First lap my head wasn’t in it, I wasn’t focused. So, on the second lap I was paying attention and saw where I went wrong.  The second lap I was just flying, it was so smooth and so much fun. There was a lot of spectators on the cliff all in costume, yelling, spraying beer and dancing around.  It was like riding through a circus.  It’s such a fun race, the epitome of XTERRA.”

- Stoltz after winning Richmond for the 7th time in 2012

“There are a lot of mountain bikers on this podium and I think that’s testament to the fantastic trail network here.  Richmond is lucky to have so many great volunteers that take care of these trails.  I’ve seen the evolution of these trails over the years and they are in amazing condition and so much fun to ride.”

- Melanie McQuaid after winning in 2008

The minute I arrived on site, I’d hop on my bike and “get lost” on the trails. I’d ride for six hours in the two days prior to racing, that’s how cool the Richmond course is.  I remember getting poison ivy on very sensitive body parts (damn speedo), I remember ‘swimming,’ I remember literally cussing my way through the river-bed, I remember being so hot I worried about spontaneous combustion, I remember being in the best cycling shape of my life and getting spanked by guys like Mike Tobin, who knew what they were doing on a mountain bike.”

- Former XTERRA World Champ Jimmy Riccitello

“I still remember riding over the narrow stone bridge, slipping backwards trying to run up a muddy pitch, riding down a stairwell, the heat and humidity, scrambling up the steep stairs on the run, free forming the rocks across the river. Ya know, we’re still good friends with our homestay, they’ve even visited us here in Boise.”

- Michael Tobin, winner of the first two Richmond races in 1999 and 2000

“This course reminds me of some of the world cups I’ve done in Europe where they have small forests around cities but use every available space for trails. Really impressed with this place, they’ve got a great park system here.”

- Shonny Vanlandingham after finishing 3rd in 2008

“Back in 2001 I was just an innocent roadie thinking I had reached the pinnacle of triathlon going to the Olympic Games and I came to Richmond for my first XTERRA. I borrowed this 35-pound soft ride bike a week before the race and came out just to see what XTERRA was all about, and I was blown away.  Mike Vine won, I got second, Lebrun was 3rd, Steve Larsen 4th, and Ned Overend 5th.  After the race Steve and Ned came over to me and said ‘welcome to XTERRA, great to see you’.  The people were so friendly and I had such a good time that XTERRA became my goal.  I really lost my heart to XTERRA in Richmond.”

- Conrad Stoltz reminiscing about his first-ever XTERRA in 2001

“Who says I’m not a mountain biker.”

- Lesley Paterson moments after winning last year’s race

“My first impression was how amazingly well organized, colorful, impressive, and almost intimidating it was.  I was scared to death, had never done a tri before, and really hadn’t done much of any racing before other than marathon running.  But I was also filled with this sense of intense happiness to be able to participate in such a big race with so many fine athletes.   When I crossed the finish line, I swore I’d never do another marathon, that XTERRA was made for the likes of me.  More than 10 years later, all I have raced is XTERRA.”

- Dr. Kathy Coutinho, Virginia-based age grouper

“I remember when the swim was moved across the river into the slough.  It was a total obstacle course. The swim start was like being shot out of cannon because of the flow of the river, and then we took a hard right across shallow rocks and river grass.  It’s one of the only swims I remember passing people walking during the swim.” 

- XTERRA age grouper Casey Fannin recalling the 2004 race

“There’s this big field of rocks and periodically there’s an arrow. There’s one line that’s fast where you’re actually running on rocks and then there’s the line that I took where you have to run through water and jump back up on rocks or go way around the long way.   I ended up with my feet in the water the wrong way, and lost a lot of time.”

- Melanie McQuaid on 2005 run to the finish. Interestingly, it was the same exact mistake Jamie Whitmore made in 2004.

“I fell in a trench and went the wrong way twice and learned a lesson, because there are places out there where you can’t continue on. So in 2005 I practiced it over and over and once I got into the rock hopping section I knew where to go.  I came out behind her (McQuaid) and shot out on a different line and I just bee-lined it straight to the ladder.”

- Jamie Whitmore, who chased McQuaid down from behind to win by 30 seconds in 2005

“I felt fine on the bike, it didn’t hurt at all, and it wasn’t until the run that I started to get tired and a little woozy and I wasn’t sure if it was fatigue or blood loss.”

- Conrad Stoltz on the famous “bloody foot” incident from 2009 when he sliced open the top of his foot shuffling across the bottom of the James River while helping to put a course buoy back in place just before the swim start, raced anyway, and won.

I really love this course and it’s gotten better.  There was a nutty bunch on two of the rock sections going crazy.  I thought the cannon was loud, but then when I got through to those boys the cannon seemed OK.

- Hugo after winning last year, referring to a raucous bunch of bike and trail fanatics known as “Foghorn Leghorn Productions” who annually throw a trail party at the trickiest section in Buttermilk Heights known as “Rock Face.”

XTERRA EAST CHAMPIONSHIP ELITES

Tentative pro list for the June 15 USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship / XTERRA East Championship race in Richmond, Virginia.  Rank denotes current standing in 2014 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series after two races.

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Josiah Middaugh – 35, Vail-Eagle, CO
2 – Bradley Weiss – 25, Cape Town, South Africa
3 – Craig Evans – 36, Hendersonville, TN
4 – Mauricio Mendez – 18, Mexico City, Mexico
5 – Branden Rakita – 33, Colorado Springs, CO
6 – Dan Hugo – 28, Stellenbosch, South Africa
8 – Chris Ganter – 35, Boise, ID
9 – Jeff Smith – 31, Portland, OR
13 – Karsten Madsen – Guelph, Ontario, Canada
11 – Nick Fisher – 28, Ogden, Utah
15 – Alex Modestou – 27, Washington, D.C.
17 – Ryan DeCook – 33, Rochester, MI
NR – Charlie Epperson – 37, Tamuning, Guam (TN)
NR – Andy Lee – 41, Lakeway, TX (Great Britain)
NR – Nicholas Miehe – 25, Tarpon Springs, FL
NR – Takahiro Ogasawara – 34, Tokyo, Japan
NR – Conrad  Stoltz – 40, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Rank – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Flora Duffy – 26, Boulder, CO (Bermuda)
2 – Emma Garrard – 32, Park City, UT
3 – Suzie Snyder – 32, Fredericksburg, VA
5 – Danelle Kabush – 39, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
6 – Kara LaPoint – 26, Truckee, CA
8 – Amelia McCracken – 30, Philadelphia, PA
9 – Shonny Vanlandingham – 45, Durango, CO
10 – Christine Jeffrey – 41, Tucson, AZ (Canada)
12 – Debby Sullivan – 32, Rocklin, CA
13 – Caroline Colonna – 50, Taos, NM
14 – Rebecca Blatt – 34, Lakewood, CO
NR – Mieko Carey – 36, Tumon, Guam (Japan)
NR – Catherine Sterling – 37, West Boylston, MA

Portugal Transition Racks

XTERRA Portugal This Sunday

XTERRA Portugal, the second of 12 majors on the XTERRA European Tour, takes place in Golega for the first-time this Sunday.

XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas is on-site to give us an inside look into the new venue…

XTERRA Portugal is being held in the village of Golega.  Golega, prounounced gool-ga, is quite famous in Portugal as the Horse Capital.  Each year, for the past 95 years, the National Horse Fair is held here bringing over 500,000 visitors to watch the show and compete.

Beautiful farmland surrounds the village with corn, potatoes and tomatoes being the big crops.  Rather like a mini-California valley.  Tens of thousands of tomato plants are up and showing buds, the corn is a few feet high and the wonderful Portuguese sun is making it all glow.

The course is two laps of a swim in the village lake.  The army has put a pontoon bridge across the lake at a local park; which will serve as T1&2.  The town has hired a skimming boat to take out the algae that grows naturally and organizers have made steps in the bank for swimmers to exit.  The bridge will serve as both part of the swim and the way out of transition on the run.

Speaking of transition:  Organizers have made custom slots for over 400 bikes.  They have cut and trimmed branches and driven them in the ground about 2-3″ apart.  They work like a charm.  Roll your front or rear wheel into the slot and your bike stays upright and secure.

We’ll see the bike course today, but the first few K are through the village including a 100m ride through the horse stadium where the riding competitions are held each September.  It is one big lap in the countryside and returns through the village back to T2 where runners will take off over the bridge and out into the farm fields, under bridges, along the river and eventually back to Golega where the finish will be in the center of town at the old church square.

The place is starting to hum as athletes begin to arrive.  One huge feature is the Portuguese youth triathlon championship which will be held at XTERRA on Saturday.  Over 400 youth are entered.

I’ll have more on the fabulous food and what a great value Portugal is for travelers.  We had lunch at a local home yesterday and Belgium pro Yeray Luxem had his plate full at least 3 times.  “I am not sure if I come for the food or the race” he smiled.

Day Two

The weather is getting a bit warmer in the high 70’s in the afternoon.  Forecast for race day on Sunday is in the 80’s.

The village is now hopping with bikes riding all over the cobbled streets and narrow paths.  Out on the bike course we found several direction arrows taken down and tossed – odd how that happens so often in Europe.

The bike course is well marked and with painted rocks in some places and painted on poles at others.  No moving them !!  The first few K are through the village and if you think that’s simple – it is not.  There must be 15 tight turns through these centuries old, narrow streets.  Quickly into the country with double track into rough, farmland, back to single track, through streams and then back on dirt road until you begin the short steep climbs and loose descents.  A true XTERRA bike course.

The run, while flat, has its tough pieces.  Within the first K there is a 45 degree cement canal wall with a 3′ drop at the bottom.  Organizers have put big, thick ropes to assist.  I am sure the real athletes will probably just jump it – this old man took the rappel ropes.  Through the culvert under the road first constructed in 1872 and then out into the farm fields and alongside the river.

The farms and fields are simply drop dead gorgeous.  Farmers put corn next to wheat, next to tomatoes, next to potatoes.  The colors and rows are amazing.  Typical of small villages, the older men gather at a bar and sit outside and solve the problems of the world.  Unlike the major metropolis’ of Europe these small villages harken back to a simpler time.

The restaurants are all aware of XTERRA and greet the athletes with enthusiasm.  We went to a real bullfight on Thursday.  In Portugal they do not kill the bull. In fact, it’s kind of neat in when the show is done, the doors to the ring open and about 6-7 gorgeous cows come in.  The bull snorts, checks them out and when the cows leave the ring, the old man man – tired and wounded and a bit bloody follows the babes out, the doors close and everyone applauds.

Rego opens tomorrow and the kids races start in the afternoon.