Island Air and XTERRA Championships Announce Partnership

Honolulu, HI – Island Air and the XTERRA World Championships in Hawaii are proud to announce their new alliance by which Island Air becomes the Official Hawaii interisland air carrier.

Island AirIsland Air will be a featured partner of the XTERRA World Championship [off-road triathlon] at the Kapalua Resort, Maui in October and the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa, Oahu in December. These events attract approximately 10,000 registrants, participants, friends, family and spectators who come from Hawaii, 40 other states and more than 30 countries.

Paul Casey, CEO, Island Air states, “The XTERRA World Tour spans the globe and we are proud to partner with their two most prestigious events that comprise the XTERRA World Championships in Hawaii. We look forward to bringing Hawaii residents to these events and will also work with our national and international airline partners to bring overseas visitors to these great events. Strategically, we want to play a role in helping to grow Hawaii’s reputation as a great destination for active lifestyle and sports-oriented visitors.”

Tom Kiely, CEO, TEAM Unlimited / XTERRA adds, “Paul Casey has been a leader in the Hawaii tourism industry for decades and we are thrilled to be working with him as he leads Island Air into a new era of expansion and service excellence. The mainland and international participants who come to our events plan for multi-island, two week holidays around XTERRA and so it is most important for us to have a terrific partner like Island Air to fly our participants from island to island during their stay.
About Island Air
Island Air is Hawaii’s leading regional carrier, offering flights to and from the Islands of O?ahu, Maui, Moloka?i, Lana’i,  and Kaua?i using a fleet of 64-seat ATR-72 turboprop aircraft. Island Air’s aircraft fly at lower altitudes than jets do, providing passengers with unparalleled views of Hawai’i’s magnificent scenery – pristine coastlines, spectacular mountains, frozen lava flows, plunging waterfalls and frolicking whales.

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 2013 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 18 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 atwww.xterraplanet.com and www.xterratrailrun.com.

Hugo, Carey win XTERRA Japan Championship

Photo Gallery

Kan Ko So Resort – Marunuma – Gunma Prefecture – Dan Hugo, 28, of Stellenbosch, South Africa and Mieko Carey, 35, from Tumon, Guam (via Japan) captured the 10th annual XTERRA Japan Championship titles in the mystic, fog-shrouded mountains of Nikko National Forest in Marunuma, Japan this afternoon.

Dan HugoThe win is Hugo’s second major of the season (he captured the XTERRA East Championship in June) to go with six runner-up performances spanning seven countries and three U.S. States. For Carey the win marks her fourth XTERRA Japan title in five years.

On Friday here in Marunuma it rained all day making one of the XTERRA World Tour’s toughest courses ever the more challenging.  Luckily, the rain stopped on Saturday morning and the 12 noon start time gave the course at least a little time to dry.

In the mens race it was Dan Hugo from start to finish.  He out-swam the entire field by more than two minutes, took a four-plus minute lead into the run, and took the tape in 2:12:16; more than seven minutes ahead of last year’s champ Takahiro Ogasawara.

“Crazy day and crazy fun in the best sense.  It’s the adventure mentality,” said Hugo. “We had a torrential downpour yesterday which made for an extreme course, just off the charts, riding with one foot clipped in and one foot clipped out, some places sliding next to the bike, it was mad fun.  The people here seem to love it, everything flows.  It’s been an incredible Japanese experience.  Beautiful respectful culture, an incredible mountain lodge, it’s all been a bit eye-opening.  It’s my first time here, and the first time I’ve ever had a breakfast like this before the race and it seemed to work so maybe I’ll have miso soup before all my races.”

Ogasawara was solid in second the entire way, and Australian adventure racer Jarad Kohlar placed third.

Hugo has traveled extensively this season, and has stellar results to show for it. He was second at XTERRA South Africa to start the season, followed by runner-up performances at XTERRA Philippines, Saipan, Guam, and the Southeast Championship in Alabama before winning the East Championship in Richmond in June.  He was then 7th at the Mountain Champs and 2nd at XTERRA Mexico earlier this month.

“I’ve had an amazing time here and look forward to exploring Tokyo for a few days now. I can promise you this is not my last trip to Japan,” said Hugo.

Mieko CareyIn the women’s race Mieko Carey, like Hugo, dominated the day.  She was first woman out of the water, and first across the line in 2:56:11, followed by Yasuko Miyazaki in second nearly 15 minutes back.  Australian adventure racer Emma Francis finished third.

“I tried to think the moment today, just like Dan had instructed the students at XTERRA University yesterday,” said Carey.  “The bike was totally technical. I’ve done this course seven or eight years and today’s course was the hardest ever but I made it under three hours for the first time and that was my goal.”

It’s the fourth time this year Carey has been on the podium having placed 4th at XTERRA Saipan, fifth at XTERRA Guam, and second at XTERRA Malaysia.

The age group race was won by Michal Bucek (pictured), who finished fourth overall.  The field was stacked with the best Japanese amateurs in the country, including former age-group XTERRA World Champions Kimiko Matsuda and Keiji Matsuba. Former XTERRA Warrior award winner Tae Yoong Kim – who was attacked by a bear before this race last year – successfully conquered his demons by racing today.

Of note, a group of photographers did see a bear on the course on their way to a spot to take pictures, but it fled and was not seen for the rest of the day.

XTERRA Japan, led by a legend in Taro Shirato and supported by an army of hard-working staff, volunteers, and site managers, is truly an amazing destination race situated in a magical forest in the old country of Japan.

After the race participants are treated to a feast of noodles and curry, succulent beef and pork, and specialties like tomato soup prepared by the property manager “Mr. Kawata-san.”  The nighttime awards ceremony is filled with joy and big prizes, and the slideshow at the end features brilliant photography showcasing the beauty of the host environment.  A taiko-drum band and their dancers will keep everyone’s heart rate beating high through the night and get the crowd swinging their arms and legs to the beat (Hugo already did a celebration dance with the troop).

Tomorrow, Sunday, XTERRA Japan continues with several hundred runners taking on a grueling 50-kilometer and an adventurous 15K trail run, along with a kids’ triathlon.

Pro Men
Dan Hugo, RSA, 2:12:16
Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN, 2:19:53
Jarad Kohlar, AUS, 2:24:19

Pro Women
Mieko Carey, JPN, 2:56:11
Yasuko Miyazaki, JPN, 3:11:05
Emma Francis, AUS,

Past XTERRA Japan Champions
Year – Men/Women
2013 – Dan Hugo/Mieko Carey
2012 – Takahiro Ogasawara/Shonny Vanlandingham
2011 – Conrad Stoltz/ Mieko Carey
2010 – Ian Leitch/ Mieko Carey
2009 – Sam Gardner/Mieko Carey
2008 – Sam Gardner/Renata Bucher
2007 – Nico Pfitzenmaier/Jamie Whitmore
2006 – Yasuo Takahashi/Jamie Whitmore
2005 – Yu Yumoto/Jamie Whitmore
2004 – Hideo Fukui/Jamie Whitmore

XTERRA World Tour: Just two World Tour championship races remain – the finale of the XTERRA European Tour at XTERRA England on September 8 and the culmination of the XTERRA America Tour at the USA Championship in Utah on September 21 before the best-of-the-best gather for the XTERRA World Championship to be held in Kapalua, Maui on October 27, 2013.  Here’s a look at past races and the elite’s who won them:

 

Date Event (Location)
24-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Grabouw)
Richard Murray and Carla Van Huyssteen
2-Mar XTERRA Philippines Championship (Cebu)
Ben Allen and Lesley Paterson
9-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (South Island, New Zealand)
Braden Currie and Nicky Samuels
9-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Northern Marianas)
Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack
23-Mar XTERRA Guam Championship (Piti)
Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack
7-Apr XTERRA Great Ocean Road (Angelsea, Victoria)
Ben Allen and Renata Bucher
13-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Rotorua)
Courtney Atkinson and Renata Bucher
28-Apr XTERRA Malaysia (Putrajaya)
Ben Allen and Renata Bucher
2-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship+ (Cieza, Murcia)
Ruben Ruzafa and Renata Bucher
15-Jun XTERRA Greece+ (Lake Plastira)
Ben Allen and Helena Erbenova
22-Jun XTERRA Brazil Championship (Ilhabela, Sao Paulo)
Conrad Stoltz and Shonny Vanlandingham
29-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship+ (Vallee de Joux)
Victor Del Corral and Helena Erbenova
7-Jul XTERRA France Championship+ (Xonrupt, Gerardmer)
Nicolas Lebrun and Helena Erbenova
14-Jul XTERRA Victoria (Vancouver Island, BC, Canada)
Brent McMahon and Melanie McQuaid
20-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo+ (Scanno, L’Aquila, Italy)
Conrad Stoltz and Helena Erbenova
3-Aug XTERRA Mexico Championship (Tapalpa, Jalisco)
Leonardo Chacon and Fabiola Corona
4-Aug XTERRA Canmore (Alberta, Canada)
Mike Vine and Chantell Widney
10-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship+ (Prachatice)
Felix Schumann and Helena Erbenova
17-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship+ (Zittau)
Ruben Ruzafa and Jacqui Slack
24-Aug XTERRA Japan Championship (Marunuma)
Dan Hugo and Mieko Carey
8-Sep XTERRA England+ (Cranleigh, Surrey)
21-Sep XTERRA USA Championship (Ogden/Snowbasin, UT)
27-Oct XTERRA World Championship (Maui, Hawaii)

(Maui, Hawaii)

XTERRA America Tour Enters Final Week

The XTERRA America Tour enters its final weekend of the regular season with just two races on tap – the XTERRA Buffalo Creek off-road tri in Bailey, Colorado and the MountainMan off-road tri at Kualoa Ranch in Hawaii.

Cindi ToepelA big congrats to Brent Bieshaar who is now just one-race away from successfully competing in an XTERRA event in 22 of the last 23 weekends of the XTERRA America Tour. His XTERRA Across America journey has been nothing short of inspiring and his latest blog post (co-authored with his wife Paula) titled “Find Your Passion” is brilliant.  Read it athttp://www.xterraacrossamerica.com/

Here’s a look at last weekend’s top three finishers.  Of note, Cindi Toepel won the women’s overall at XTERRA Iron Creek AND the 60-64 division at the same time.

On the other end of the spectrum young-gun Cole Bunn won the overall AND the 15-19 division at Illinois Wild.  Alex Modestou won his fifth overall title this year, and former XTERRA Pro Jenny Tobin took XTERRA Wild Ride.

 

XTERRA CHARLOTTESVILLE
TOP 3 MEN TIME AGE
Alex Modestou 1:53:25 25-29
Chris Meewes 1:53:50 30-34
Justin McMurrer 1:54:55 25-29
TOP 3 WOMEN TIME AGE
Tanya Houghton 2:14:36 45-49
Kate Lucas 2:23:43 45-49
Kathy Coutinho 2:29:23 40-44
XTERRA WILD RIDE
TOP 3 MEN TIME AGE
Chris Ganter 2:24:18 Pro
Brad Mitchell 2:39:19 40-44
Lance Munselle 2:42:14 30-34
TOP 3 WOMEN TIME AGE
Jenny Tobin 2:51:04 45-49
Sara Lloyd 3:01:53 35-39
Julie Welty 3:09:46 40-44
XTERRA IRON CREEK
TOP 3 MEN TIME AGE
Daniel Molnar 2:00:43 25-29
Jacob Deitz 2:09:33 25-29
Brandon Zelfer 2:15:38 20-24
TOP 3 WOMEN TIME AGE
Cindi Toepel 2:38:08 60-64
Dawn Hammermeister 2:55:36 45-49
Danielle Ranek 3:18:17 30-34
XTERRA ILLINOIS WILD
TOP 3 MEN TIME AGE
Cole Bunn 1:50:45 15-19
Matt Riley 1:51:41 20-24
Karl Stover 1:54:48 40-44
TOP 3 WOMEN TIME AGE
Cheryl Stine 2:18:54 45-49
Sarah Gall 2:19:38 30-34
Beverly Enslow 2:21:39 55-59
XTERRA LAKE TAHOE
TOP 3 MEN TIME AGE
Matt Backler 2:53:43 30-34
Matt Balzer 2:55:05 30-34
Romolo Forcino 3:00:35 40-44
TOP 3 WOMEN TIME AGE
Julie Baker 3:15:31 35-39
Genevieve Evans 3:16:23 40-44
Kara Lapoint 3:17:30 25-29

Read recap on XTERRA Lake Tahoe

Meet Hector Guerra

In just his first full season of racing XTERRA, 35-year-old Spaniard Hector Guerra sits atop the XTERRA European Tour standings and with a strong performance at XTERRA England on September 8th can win the title.

Hector GuerraGuerra was fourth at XTERRA Spain, second at Switzerland, Czech and Germany, and third in France – the most consistent performer of the year thus far.

We caught up with Guerra this week to learn a little more about him.

XTERRA: How did you learn about XTERRA?

Hector Guerra: A friend of mine who’s a mountain bike rider spoke to me about. He watche the Maui race and thought this format could be good for me. Last year, I went for the first time to XTERRA Switzerland (Prangins) and I enjoyed a lot.

XT: What do you like about the sport?

HG: A lot of things, but the most important for me is the way of XTERRA life.

XT: Will you race at XTERRA England, also XTERRA World Championship?

I will go to XTERRA England to defend the lead of European Tour and after the race I will decide if I go or not to World Championship. I would like to go to Maui … as an experience and also to discover the most important race of triathlon cross.

XT: Tell us about your racing background.

HG: Since I was young, I always go to cycling competitions. At the beginning, MTB and then road but always trying to steal going to MTB races and cyclo-cross.

Desafio Donana in 2011 was my first crazy triathlon experience. During the swim part in a river I only try to stay alive!

XT: Do you have a nickname?

HG: Children from triathlon school call me THOR

XT: Where are you from?

Originally from Spain. Born in Madrid. Now I live in different countries; Madrid (Spain), Paris (France) and for training time in winter I go to Malaga and Jerez de La Frontera (South of Spain).

XT: Favorite XTERRA?

HG: All of them are different but one moment was really the best for me: the Start in Gerardmer – XTERRA France with the music and all the people dancing in the water.

XT: Do you also have a “normal job”?

HG: I’m an architect but I’ve never built a house!  I am also a trainer for Cyclisme, and in the future I would like to become a fireman.

XT: Interests outside of athletics?

HG: My family, having good time with friends and try to reach my love for sport with children of Jerez Triathlon School.

XT: Any words of advise?

HG: I want to mention to all XTERRA boys and girls: don’t hesitate to speak, to ask, to reach inclusive to train with us (pro athletes) during the days before races.

A Decade in Marunuma

XTERRA celebrates the 10th running of the XTERRA Japan Championship in the mystic, fog-shrouded mountains of Marunuma on Saturday.

Marunuma LakeWhile the first race held in the Nikko National Forest back in 2004 the foundation for its success was formed a few years earlier.

“It was the summer of 1998 when one of my American friends showed me an interesting article,” said Taro Shirato, the organizer for XTERRA Japan and the first Japanese athlete to race an XTERRA.

“I had heard of the event but had never seen such exciting pictures with a beautiful ocean, red clay, clear blue sky and sweat.  It was from the XTERRA World Championship in Maui and all of a sudden I was intrigued with the article and in October of that year, I tried XTERRA in Maui for the first time and was deeply fascinated by it.  What most stimulated me was ‘playing in nature,’  and getting dirty with sand clouds and struggling to run on the beach where most people lay down to relax. People think ‘what an idiot!’ but this idiotic adventure made me feel great! It reminded me of my childhood. It was like the first time I started riding a bicycle, I wanted to explore the world and as a child I loved to jump into mud puddles.  These un-ruled adventures thrilled me.”

It was this passion that led Shirato – known as the “King of Triathlon” in Japan – to introduce XTERRA to his fellow countrymen.

“I wanted more people to have the chance to try the adventurous game of XTERRA and enjoy nature,” said Shirato.  “XTERRA is not just for fun but it is for learning. It is a way to discover yourself.  The more you try, the smarter you become.  The real joy for me has been to see new communities and friendships develop out of this culture of XTERRA.”

XTERRA has been equally blessed to experience the culture of Japan.  The race site is four hours away from the bustling metropolis of Tokyo at the Kanko So Resort – a traditional Japanese inn with hot springs remotely situated in a protected natural preserve 4,000 feet above sea level.

The location has been praised by competitors from all over the world as being the most spiritual and scenic spot on the entire XTERRA World Tour.

XTERRA Hall of Famer Jamie Whitmore won the first four races from 2004-2007 and spread the good news of Marunuma wherever she traveled.

Indeed, all foreigners who visit transform into ambassadors for the race.  The latest addition to the crew is XTERRA Pro Dan Hugo from South Africa, who 24 hours into his visit proclaimed that this course, this experience, is “extreme in every sense – the challenge, the culture, the beauty.”

The race itself combines a one-mile swim in the calm waters of Marunuma Lake with an adrenaline-ridden 16-mile mountain bike and a ridiculously wild 6-mile trail run.

The bike course was crafted by a Nagano-based former pro mountain biker named Paul Chetwynd, who turned 52 today.  He bush-wacked his way through thick mountain foliage to connect to rocky, picturesque hiking trails carved out of the mountainside around the lake.  It’s been called by all who have ridden it the most technical, thrilling, and unforgettable route imaginable.

The start list for Saturday’s race is filled with colorful characters. Certainly the most compelling story line belongs to former XTERRA Warrior award winner Taeyoong Kim.  “Kim-san” survived a black bear attack while pre-riding this course with Mieko Carey last year, and this is his first race since.

“I’m a little nervous, not about the race, but about the bear,” said Kim, who suffered deep cuts on his arm and leg and a bite mark on his chest.

Local officials have been setting off cannon blasts around the mountains to scare away any local bears.  They’ve also hung portable radios on trees all around the bike course set to broadcasts of baseball games and sports-talk radio.  Competitors have bells attached to their bikes to signal their presence.

There are a pair of former XTERRA World Champions in the race – Kimiko Matsuda who won the 60+ division in 2009 and Keiji Matsuba who was the first Japanese athlete to win a world title when he captured the 45-49 division in 2002.

The elite race will pit Hugo against the defending XTERRA Japan champ Takahiro Ogasawara and Australian adventure racer Jarad Kohlar.  In the women’s race Mieko Carey will look to win her fourth Japan title in five years against Yasuko Miyazaki and Aussie adventure racer Emma Francis.

There are many athletes to celebrate, including Makoto Shimamoto who has done every race here in Marunuma since 2004.

After the race athletes soak in the “onsen” bath – a natural hot spring with extremely hot and cleansing volcanic water that the Kanko So Resort is famous for.  Then comes the feast – complete with curry and noodles and sautéed beef, succulent pork, hot corn on the cob and ice cold beer – followed by Taiko drummers and a Japanese tribe jamming out African drum beats and ritual dances for everyone to enjoy.

Past XTERRA Japan Champions

 

Year Men Women
2012 Takahiro Ogasawara Shonny Vanlandingham
2011 Conrad Stoltz Mieko Carey
2010 Ian Leitch Mieko Carey
2009 Sam Gardner Mieko Carey
2008 Sam Gardner Renata Bucher
2007 Nico Pfitzenmaier Jamie Whitmore
2006 Yasuo Takahashi Jamie Whitmore
2005 Yu Yumoto Jamie Whitmore
2004 Hideo Fukui Jamie Whitmore

Table Rock Provides Challenging Finish for South Carolina Series

Epley wins his age-group for third straight year

The XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series featured a grueling finish to its season, as the XTERRA Table Rock Trail Run lived up to its reputation as the toughest trail run in South Carolina.

XTERRA Trail Run South Carolina Series“The Table Rock course is a very challenging mix of rocky and rooty single track trails with many water crossings,” said Carl Epley, who placed third overall. “After an initial 2-mile rolling start, there is a punishing trek to the top of the mountain of 3 miles and 2,000 feet … only to be sent then screaming back down on an even steeper decline.”

Close to 100 runners participated in the 15-kilometer long course, and only 13 of them were able to finish in less than two hours.

Jose Zavala was up for the challenge, completing the course in a winning time of 1 hour, 32 minutes, 47 seconds. He finished more than nine minutes ahead of the other top runners. Peter Ross was second in 1:42:11, and Epley was third in 1:43:24.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS

For Epley, it capped quite a week. On August 10, he placed fifth overall at the XTERRA Bays Blaze Trail Run at Kingsport, Tennessee. That performance earned him enough points to clinch the 35-39 age group for the XTERRA Tennessee Trail Run Series.

Seven days later came his third-place showing at the Table Rock Trail Run, and that performance earned him enough points to clinch the 35-39 age group for the XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series. This is the third consecutive year that he has won his age group in the South Carolina Series.

“In racing back- to-back weekends I did not put in my usual training miles,” Epley explained. “It was more important for me to focus on recovery from the Tennessee race the previous week and to keep my legs fresh for the Table Rock race.”

Making it more impressive, Epley does not live in either Tennessee or South Carolina. He resides in Marion, North Carolina, and crossed the state border several times throughout the year to compete in both the Tennessee and South Carolina Series. He also competes in the North Carolina Series, and has a shot at winning his age group for that series as well.

Record Run at Puerto Rico Series Finale

Close to 600 runners participate at Cerro Gordo

The XTERRA Puerto Rico Trail Run Series saved its best for last, as a record number of runners showed up to participate in the season finale.

Cerro Gordo WinnerThe XTERRA Cerro Gordo Trail Run drew close to 600 runners, ranging in age from 10 to 68. It was the largest field ever for a Puerto Rico Trail Run Series event.

“We had a coupon offer for the 5K as an effort to get the message spread all over the island that XTERRA Trail Runs are here to stay and rock the running community,” said Efrain Cardona, director of the Puerto Rico Series.

The event featured a 10K long course and a 5K short course. The elite runners entered the 10K race, and Heriberto Hiraldo Flecha ran away with the victory. He completed the course in 55 minutes, 15 seconds, which was nearly two minutes ahead of the rest of the field.

Flecha, 42, is considered one of Puerto Rico’s top road runners and triathletes, and this was his first appearance in an XTERRA Trail Run race.

Aaron Hogan placed second in 57:01, and Erick Bernard was third in 57:29.

XTERRA Trail Run veteran Alberto Saldana placed fifth, and said of the course: “A very challenging course and one of the most difficult in the island with a lot of elevation changes. It’s like a roller coaster, so is very difficult to increase some speed. Is a very technical trail, and you need a lot of balance and coordination. The conditions were a little bit muddy, because it rained early in the morning. Other than that, everything was fine. This trail has a beautiful ocean view and extraordinary vegetation.”

Neysha Velez was the top female, finishing with a time of 1:05:57, and Sheila Soto was second in 1:08:27.

The 10K race went out first, but it was the 5K race later in the day that took the spotlight. More than 500 runners participated in the 5K, and the race for first came down to a photo finish. Fourteen-year-old Jobriel Navarro Collazo edged 32-year-old Waldemar Galarza after a sprint to the finish. Edithmarie Colon was the top female in the 5K

“This is only the tip of the iceberg for trail running in Puerto Rico,” Cardona said.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS

CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THE RACE

The XTERRA Puerto Rico Trail Run Series will return for the 2013-14 season with at least four races on the schedule. The first race of the new season is scheduled for December 1, and it is open to runners of all ages and skill levels. To learn more about the XTERRA Puerto Rico Trail Run Series, please visit www.xterrapr.com.

Hutson Runs into XTERRA Trail Run History

He is the first to win three regional titles in the same year

If you need inspiration to “Live More” in an XTERRA Trail Run Series, meet Thomas Hutson.

The HutsonsThe 61-year-old from Houston, Texas, recently capped an amazing year on the XTERRA Trail Run circuit – and in his personal life. He made XTERRA Trail Run history by winning his age division in three different regions in the same year: Texas, Florida and South Carolina.

Several runners have won two regional titles in the same year, but Hutson raised the bar a notch with his extended travel to compete in three different regions.

“My wife (Lisa) and I both won our age groups in Texas in 2012, and we travel to Florida several times a year to visit friends and family,” Hutson said. “After winning Texas last year … I decided to try to win Florida and Texas in 2013.”

When it became apparent that he was going to clinch both the Florida and Texas age-group titles for 2013, he checked the XTERRA schedule and found that the South Carolina Series still had races available, so he decided to chase down that title as well. All told, he competed in 11 different races – six in Texas, three in Florida, and two in South Carolina.

His wife accompanied him to the various races, although she did not always compete due to injury.

“We love running trail runs in the different states and venues,” Hutson said. “They all offer different challenges.  Florida races are surprisingly tough technically, and this last South Carolina race was the most technical race we have run so far, but the Texas Series is the best run and offers the most variety of all the series we have done so far.”

As amazing as his record run to three titles was, that was only part of his story, and perhaps not even the best part.

In January of 2012 – just 19 months ago – Hutson was diagnosed with bladder cancer. It required surgery and several months of recovery. He and his wife started participating in the XTERRA Texas Trail Run Series as a way to get back in shape.

“Lisa signed us both up for the first race of the XTERRA Texas Series as a way to get me off the couch and out of a minor bit of post-surgery depression,” he said. “It worked.”

It also served as his incentive to chase the races in Florida and South Carolina for this year.

“The older I get, the harder it is to find new challenges and opportunities to compete against runners my own age, and the XTERRA Series is one of the few that does that,” said Hutson, who is a retired human resources leader.

He said his most memorable race of the year was the Florida Series finale, when he got lost off the course two separate times, and had to rally to overtake the other runners in the 60-64 age group and clinch the series title.

Adding to the busy 2013 schedule of races, the Hutsons moved from Houston, Texas, to Freeland, Michigan, last month. “The logistics got complicated, but we managed to get it done,” he said. Because of the move to Michigan, Hutson said he is unsure what his running schedule will be like in 2014. The only thing for sure is that he wants to fulfill the XTERRA motto and “Live More.”

“We live in Michigan now, so will have to travel a long distance to participate in any series next year,” he said. “But we love trail running so will definitely pick an XTERRA Series that we haven’t run before.”

Hutson was one of 11 runners to earn enough points to win an age division for the XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series. Here is the list of South Carolina champions for 2013:

 

Age Group Name Age Hometown State

 

 

 

 

 

Female 25-29 Shannon Lewis 28 Simpsonville SC
Female 35-39 Denise Knight 36 Chapin SC
Female 40-44 Lynn Simmons 44 Simpsonville SC
Female 50-54 Lea Hall 51 Greenville SC

 

 

 

 

 

Male 25-29 Aaron Benne 27 Summerville SC
Male 30-34 Jose Zavala 30 Hickory NC
Male 35-39 Carl Epley* 39 Marion NC
Male 50-54 Dave Hale 52 Columbia SC
Male 55-59 Geary Mcalister 56 Rock Hill SC
Male 60-64 Thomas Hutson 61 Houston TX
Male 65-69 Donald Burkett 65 Mineral Bluff GA

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Repeat champion from 2012

Ruzafa, Slack win XTERRA Germany Championship

Zittau, Germany – Former XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa from Spain and XTERRA Triple Crown winner Jacqui Slack from the United Kingdom won the XTERRA Germany Championship on a beautiful day in Zittau on Saturday.

Ruben RuzafaIt marks Ruzafa’s second win of the season (he also won XTERRA Spain) and Slack’s third overall championship victory to go with her Saipan and Guam titles.

Ruzafa came out of the water more than two minutes behind the swim leaders before turning in the fastest bike and run times to take the tape in 2:25:02, more than five minutes ahead of runner-up and fellow countryman Hector Guerra.

It’s the third 2nd place finish of the season for Guerra, who has been in the top four five times this season and jumped past Nicolas Lebrun to take the lead in the XTERRA European Tour standings with just one race remaining.  Likewise, Yeray Luxem from Belgium finished third for the fourth time this year and moved into second place in the standings.  With elite racers counting their best six of eight finishes, everything will be decided at the Euro Tour finale at XTERRA England on September 8.

In the women’s race Slack didn’t have the fastest swim, bike, or run but combined to post the fastest overall time, a 2:50:02 – nearly two minutes ahead of runner-up Kathrin Muller who had the fastest swim and run times.

Of note, two-time XTERRA European Tour champ Helena Erbenova had her five-race win streak snapped and Renata Bucher posted the fastest bike split of the day to finish in the top five for the sixth time on this year’s XTERRA European Tour.

2013 XTERRA GERMANY RESULTS

Elite Men

 

Pl First Last NAT Time Swim Bike Run
1 Ruben Ruzafa ESP 2:25:02 0:21:53 1:29:15 0:32:09
2 Hector Guerra ESP 2:30:43 0:23:57 1:31:14 0:33:37
3 Yeray Luxem BEL 2:32:10 0:20:35 1:36:38 0:33:35
4 Jan Kubicek CZE 2:32:58 0:22:09 1:35:02 0:34:16
5 Ben Allen AUS 2:34:31 0:19:17 1:38:03 0:35:50
6 Jonas Vojtech CZE 2:35:08 0:20:18 1:37:06 0:36:05
7 François Carloni FRA 2:37:31 0:22:49 1:36:21 0:36:22
8 Maik Petzold GER 2:39:26 0:19:16 1:45:53 0:32:24
9 Christian Otto GER 2:39:48 0:19:12 1:44:57 0:33:49
10 Jan Francke CZE 2:41:02 0:20:22 1:44:30 0:34:23
11 Václav Holub CZE 2:41:40 0:25:33 1:39:30 0:34:40
12 Tomáš Jiránek CZE 2:43:12 0:29:00 1:36:17 0:35:42
13 Llewellyn Holmes GBR 2:45:04 0:23:57 1:42:15 0:37:09
14 Lars Van Der Eerden NED 2:45:29 0:21:52 1:44:15 0:37:29
15 Jarrich Van Woersem NED 2:46:40 0:21:13 1:48:02 0:35:21

Elite Women

 

Pl First Last NAT Time Swim Bike Run
1 Jacqui Slack GBR 2:50:02 0:21:57 1:48:50 0:37:32
2 Kathrin Müller GER 2:51:52 0:21:46 1:51:07 0:37:15
3 Helena Erbenová CZE 2:53:22 0:25:37 1:47:44 0:37:57
4 Carina Wasle AUT 2:54:07 0:25:49 1:47:46 0:38:42
5 Renata Bucher SUI 2:56:42 0:23:57 1:47:18 0:43:42
6 Carla Van Huyssteen RSA 3:00:34 0:22:48 1:57:07 0:38:44
7 Coralie Redelsperger FRA 3:03:01 0:28:09 1:52:17 0:40:19
8 Lenka Cibulková CZE 3:07:10 0:23:59 1:57:50 0:42:57
9 Brigitta Poór HUN 3:10:27 0:24:00 2:02:27 0:41:55
10 Nienke Oostra AUS 3:20:47 0:32:10 2:02:38 0:43:43
11 Hana Kolarova CZE 3:27:18 0:21:43 2:17:25 0:46:06
12 Jip Veelenturf NED 3:27:52 0:25:45 2:07:21 0:52:00

2013 XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS (AFTER 7)

Pros count best 6-of-8

 

Elite Men ESP GRE SUI FRA ITA CZE GER TOT
1 Hector Guerra, ESP 75 90 82 90 90 427
2 Yeray Luxem, BEL 82 82 63 82 82 391
3 Nicolas Lebrun, FRA 69 75 100 90 53 387
4 Asa Shaw, GBR 82 69 45 69 63 328
5 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 100 90 100 290
6 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 45 63 53 53 69 283
7 Francois Carloni, FRA 41 49 45 69 58 262
8 Ben Allen, AUS 90 100 69 259
9 Jan Kubicek, CZE 75 63 75 213
10 Jim Thijs, BEL 53 41 58 49 201
Elite Women ESP GRE SUI FRA ITA CZE GER TOT
1 Helena Erbenova, CZE 90 100 100 100 100 100 82 590
2 Renata Bucher, SUI 100 75 75 90 90 69 499
3 Kathrin Muller, GER 82 82 82 82 90 418
4 Jacqui Slack, GBR 75 90 90 100 355
5 Marion Lorblanchet, FRA 69 63 82 75 289
6 Carina Wasle, AUT 63 69 75 75 282
7 Brigitta Poor, HUN 58 63 58 53 49 281
8 Coralie Redelsperger, FRA 69 69 49 58 245
9 Nienke Oostra, AUS 49 49 63 37 45 243
10 Lenka Cibulkova, CZE 53 58 45 53 209

XTERRA World Tour: Just five World Tour championship races remain before the best-of-the-best gather for the XTERRA World Championship to be held in Kapalua, Maui on October 27, 2013.  Here’s a look at past races and the elite’s who won them:

 

Date Event (Location)
24-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Grabouw)
Richard Murray and Carla Van Huyssteen
2-Mar XTERRA Philippines Championship (Cebu)
Ben Allen and Lesley Paterson
9-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (South Island, New Zealand)
Braden Currie and Nicky Samuels
9-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Northern Marianas)
Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack
23-Mar XTERRA Guam Championship (Piti)
Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack
7-Apr XTERRA Great Ocean Road (Angelsea, Victoria)
Ben Allen and Renata Bucher
13-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Rotorua)
Courtney Atkinson and Renata Bucher
28-Apr XTERRA Malaysia (Putrajaya)
Ben Allen and Renata Bucher
2-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship+ (Cieza, Murcia)
Ruben Ruzafa and Renata Bucher
15-Jun XTERRA Greece+ (Lake Plastira)
Ben Allen and Helena Erbenova
22-Jun XTERRA Brazil Championship (Ilhabela, Sao Paulo)
Conrad Stoltz and Shonny Vanlandingham
29-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship+ (Vallee de Joux)
Victor Del Corral and Helena Erbenova
7-Jul XTERRA France Championship+ (Xonrupt, Gerardmer)
Nicolas Lebrun and Helena Erbenova
14-Jul XTERRA Victoria (Vancouver Island, BC, Canada)
Brent McMahon and Melanie McQuaid
20-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo+ (Scanno, L’Aquila, Italy)
Conrad Stoltz and Helena Erbenova
3-Aug XTERRA Mexico Championship (Tapalpa, Jalisco)
Leonardo Chacon and Fabiola Corona
4-Aug XTERRA Canmore (Alberta, Canada)
Mike Vine and Chantell Widney
10-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship+ (Prachatice)
Felix Schumann and Helena Erbenova
17-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship+ (Zittau)
Ruben Ruzafa and Jacqui Slack
24-Aug XTERRA Japan Championship (Marunuma)
31-Aug XTERRA Ecuador (Manabi)
8-Sep XTERRA England+ (Cranleigh, Surrey)
21-Sep XTERRA USA Championship (Ogden/Snowbasin, UT)
27-Oct XTERRA World Championship (Maui, Hawaii)