Finchamp

Finchamp’s First Race in the Pro Field

Hannah Rae Finchamp has been amazing people with her speed, strength, courage, and humility for a decade … and she just turned 19-years-old.

The five-time XTERRA World Champion from Altadena, California just finished her freshman year at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri where get this – she was on the cycling, track and cross country, and swimming teams all while working extra hours on a double major.

Yesterday she finished her last exam of the semester, Saturday she’ll compete against the pro women for the first time (albeit a long time coming).  And today, she took the time to tell us how she’s doing…

“I am so excited to be a part of the Pro field this season! After racing XTERRA for so long I am thrilled to see the races through a new lens from the Pro’s point of view.  I just finished my last final for school yesterday and it has been a wild ride but I have loved every minute of it. I wanted to gain as much experience as I could and I got everything I wanted and more. This season I competed in over 20 collegiate competitions including mountain biking, cyclocross, road racing, track, cross country, and swimming. In addition, I took overload credit hours, continue to work toward a double major in athletic training and exercise science as well as finishing 165 observation hours in the athletic training field. It might come as a surprise that, yes, I did get to enjoy moving away and meeting new friends as well. I cannot say that this year came without it’s challenges and it was most definitely the biggest juggling act I have ever attempted. My success came down to two factors: joy and desire. I found that when running from one event to the next or fitting in a workout at 5am the most important thing was to remember why I do what I do and to rejoice in the fact that I am capable of doing it. God has blessed me with all these opportunities in front of me and it’s incredible that I have found a place that supports me to pursue whatever my heart desires. All of the people I have encountered at Lindenwood University have helped me make my visions a reality and the facilities there make it easy to complete one event and run across campus to make it on time to the next. Competing this year as a Pro marks the reaching of a goal I have had for a very long time. Since I am pursing NCAA athletics I cannot accept any prize money but what I will gain from racing against these incredible women is far more valuable than any dollar amount.”

Josiah Middaugh

XTERRA U.S. Pro Series in Alabama

The XTERRA Southeast Championship race at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama produces some awesome elite races every year and the 10th edition on Saturday should be no different.

American star Josiah Middaugh has won the last two, but had to come from behind and take it on the run both times. This year he’s got Craig Evans with a gleam in his eye, with nothing more in the world on his mind but to take this race.

“I’ve been trying for a long time, and have been really close,” said Evans. “Last year it was 45 seconds, three years ago it was 47 seconds. I led all of last year until Josiah passed me with six minutes to go and I was so deflated I just started walking. I’ve put a lot into just this race, and nothing else really matters right now.”

To keep it interesting a pair of really fast Kiwi’s – Braden Currie and Olly Shaw from New Zealand – have come to the U.S. to take on the American’s and see where they stand. Currie, in particular, is having an incredible year. He’s already won the defacto adventure racing world title, and followed that with back-to-back crowns at the XTERRA New Zealand and Asia-Pacific Championship titles last month.

“I’m in really good shape,” said Currie. “I’ve had some good races early season and got in some really solid training the last few weeks in California so I’m feeling really good. It’s awesome here, my first time in Alabama. I didn’t know what to expect but it’s beautiful. Really green and lush, and I’m really looking forward to getting out there.”

For Currie each race is a stepping stone to the big picture dream.

“The ultimate goal for me is to win, to try to take out the U.S. Champs, and I’d love to take out Worlds too.  This year I’ve got five months focused on XTERRA and I’m really looking forward to seeing all the different abilities progress.”

First things first, and that’s contending with the champ, Middaugh.

“I’ve raced Josiah before so I know how he races. He’s an incredible mountain biker and real solid runner. I know how I’m going to race against him. Just can’t give him an inch. Push the limits as much as I can.”

Chris Ganter, coming off a career-best third place performance at the West Championship, cannot be overlooked, nor should Branden Rakita, Karsten Madsen, Ryan Ignatz, Brad Zoller, Alex Modestou, or Will Ross.

Bib No. – Name – Age, Hometown
1 – Josiah Middaugh – 36, Eagle-Vail, CO
2 – Chris Ganter – 36, Boise, ID
3 – Branden Rakita – 34, Colorado Springs, CO
4 – Karsten Madsen – 23, Guelph, Ontario, CAN
5 – Craig Evans – 37, Hendersonville, TN
6 – Brad Zoller – 37, Avon, CO
7 – Alex Modestou – 28, Durham, NC
8 – Ryan Ignatz – 36, Boulder, CO
9 – Braden Currie – 28, Wanaka, NZL
10 – Will Ross – 26, Anchorage, AK
11 – Olly Shaw – 23, Rotorua, NZL

The event is the second of four regional championship races in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series, and the course combines a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run.

In the women’s race the dream match-up between reigning XTERRA World Champ Flora Duffy and two-time World Champ Lesley Paterson will have to wait for another day.

“I was hoping to get back to Alabama, I love that course and the Southern hospitality.” said Duffy.  “But this year it’s really important for me to be smart about my schedule and manage all my ‘want-to’ races with my ‘must-do’ races wisely.”

Duffy, of course, has had a really busy early season with a split focus on XTERRA and getting to Rio to represent Bermuda for the third time at the Olympics.

For Paterson, she’s thrilled to get back to ‘Bama, where she captured the 2012 and 2013 crowns.

She’ll be up against the speedy Emma Garrard, and a women’s elite field that’s nearly 20 strong.

“I’d love to win one of the U.S. Series races after coming in second at all of them last year,” said Garrard. “I’ll have to keep Lesley in sight on the bike, because I’m confident in my running right now. I feel I’ve done well on flat run courses where it’s high turnover rate, and of course I’ll have to push myself harder than ever before if I’m going to get it done.”

Suzie Snyder is in the field, fresh off a wild month of travel and racing and moving houses.

“Hopefully I’m rested up and ready to go again, but to win, that might take a miracle, to be honest. I’d have to have a big enough lead on the bike to not get caught on the run,” said Snyder. “Regardless, I really like this course because it’s fun, and that distracts your mind from the pain you’re going through. You’ve got to focus on the skills your using, which keeps you fresh throughout the race.”

Christine Jeffrey is back in the mix after anoff-season ankle injury kept her out of the opener in Vegas, and she also loves this place, so much so that she made Alabama her training grounds for a few years.

There’s also a very intriguing new name in the women’s elite field, who is no stranger to the XTERRA Tribe, and that’s Hannah Rae Finchamp.  Even though she’s a freshman in college the NCAA declared she’s eligible to race as an elite, she just can’t take prize money.

Here’s a look at the elite women’s field:

Bib No. – Name – Age, Hometown
31 – Lesley Paterson – 34, San Diego, CA (Scotland)
32 – Emma Garrard – 33, Park City, UT
33 – Suzie Snyder – 33, Fredericksburg, VA
34 – Kara LaPoint – 28, Truckee, CA
35 – Sara Schuler – 34, Boulder, CO
36 – Katie Button – 29, Victoria, B.C., CAN
37 – Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, CO
38 – Debby Sullivan – 33, Rocklin, CA
39 – Sara McLarty – 32, Clermont, FL
40 – Caroline Colonna – 51, Taos, NM
41 – Rebecca Blatt – 35, Lakewood, CO
42 – Emily Bashton – 35, Richmond, VA
43 – Jaime Brede – 37, Breckenridge, CO
44 – Hannah Rae Finchamp – 19, Altadena, CA
45 – Christine Jeffrey – 42, Tucson, AZ
46 – Solana Kline – 32, Bend, OR
47 – Amelia McCracken – 31, Philadelphia, PA
48 – Catherine Sterling – 38, Ayer, MA

EPC Tips Threshold

EPC Tips – Super Threshold Bike Session

This ‘pyramid’ interval session on the bike targets the ‘super-threshold’ zone for getting familiar with efforts over your lactate threshold. The bulk of the main set targets efforts at, and just above, your threshold power. Then you finish with a few short blasts  at your Vo2 Max to Anaerobic Power zones to prepare for (or maintain) the higher intensity efforts. Designed to be done on the trainer, this session can also be easily modified for outdoor riding on both the road or the trail.

WARM-UP:

  • 10:00 spin-up to max cadence
  • 2:00 easy
  • 5:00 build to threshold power
  • 3:00 easy

MAIN SET:

  • 2-3x[1:00/2:00/3:00/2:00/1:00 @ strong effort (100-110% threshold power/zone 4-5), 1:30 easy between each interval]
  • 5:00 bonus rest between each set
  • 1x[0:30/0:45/1:00/0:45/0:30 @ hard effort (120-150% threshold power/zone 5), on a 2:00 interval]

WARM-DOWN:

  • 5:00 @ high cadence (110+ rpm)
  • 5:00 spin-down

Written by Cody Waite, professional endurance athlete, endurance sport coach and founder of Endurance Performance Coaching. Looking for help with your training for 2015? Check out EPC’s Personal CoachingGroup Coaching, and Custom Training Plan options created to fit your needs and budget.

Malagon, Gobbo win XTERRA Brazil

Complete Results / Image Gallery

(Ilhabela, Brazil) – Diogo Malagon and Sabrina Gobbo captured the XTERRA Brazil Championship crowns on Saturday in Ilhabela.

It’s the first-ever XTERRA major win for Malagon, and the second Brazil title in as many years for Gobbo.

The course combined a 1.5km swim with unique mid-race pier jump, a grueling and muddy 24km mountain bike course and 8km trail run.

In the men’s race Malagon came out of the water about 40-seconds behind swim leaders Rodrigo Altafini and Alexandre Manzan then turned it on during the bike posting the fastest split of the day in 1:31:42. His winning time of 2:33:33 was more than one-minute ahead of Frederico Zacharias, and Altafini was able to hold off a hard charging Manzan, who had the fastest run split of the day, to finish in third.

In the women’s race Gobbo, who has been racing XTERRA in Brazil since it all started more than 10 years ago, posted the fastest swim and bike times and had the second-best run split (by two seconds) to take the tape in convincing fashion with a winning time of 3:14:11, more than 15-minutes ahead of Laura Mira Dias. Isabella Ribeiro was third.

Top 7 Men and Women



Pl Name Swim Bike Run Final
1 DIOGO MALAGON 0:21:56 1:31:42 0:38:59 2:33:33
2 FREDERICO CARVALHO ZACHARIAS 0:23:23 1:33:07 0:37:15 2:34:55
3 RODRIGO ALTAFINI 0:21:13 1:32:59 0:41:41 2:37:05
4 ALEXANDRE JOAQUIM FONTES MANZAN 0:21:14 1:39:46 0:36:35 2:38:51
5 CLEVERSON LUIS DEL SECCHI 0:26:49 1:51:46 0:37:10 2:57:25
6 CRISTIAN PEREIRA DA CRUZ 0:27:05 1:48:21 0:44:45 3:01:51
7 WELLINGTON SANTOS CONCEIÇÃO 0:35:38 2:23:30 0:46:07 3:48:09
Pl Name Swim Bike Run Final
1 SABRINA KOESTER GOBBO 0:25:15 1:58:16 0:49:07 3:14:11
2 LAURA MIRA DIAS 0:25:54 2:11:34 0:52:37 3:30:45
3 ISABELLA G RIBEIRO 0:29:18 2:10:26 0:49:05 3:32:07
4 TATIANA SANTOS QUEIROZ 0:27:12 2:29:14 0:57:19 3:58:56
5 LUIZA INES ZANINI 0:34:14 2:34:58 0:57:10 4:08:25
6 RITA CBL VIEIRA 0:35:31 2:39:44 1:04:38 4:22:52
7 BRISA MELCOP 0:25:26 3:03:39 1:09:59 4:41:32


2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Brazil Championship was the 14th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1, 2015.

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

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

UP NEXT

May 16 XTERRA Southeast Championship, Pelham, AL, USA#XTERRA Portugal, Golega*

 

XTERRA Brazil Championship This Sunday

The 11th running of the XTERRA Brazil Championship race takes place Sunday in the same place where the sport got started in South America back in 2005, the island paradise of Ilhabela.

Last year’s champion’s Felipe Moletta and Sabrina Gobbo have returned to defend their crowns, and thousands of amateurs, spectators and locals are ready to literally jump off the pier in anticipation.

“The pier is lined three deep for a raucous mid-swim moment of happiness before launching like a doomed sailor off the plank into a near spring low tide,” is how past champ Dan Hugo described the mid-swim run and jump off a 10-foot pier edge. “Quite a fun swim feature, certainly more enjoyable than the wavy water swallow breathing I was into for the rest of it.”

Former age group XTERRA World Champion turned pro Albert Soley from Spain is in Ilhabela to give Moletta a run for his money, and other contenders include Rodrigo Altafini and Frederico Zacharias. Moletta, who has won the race in two of the last three years and also won the first two races in this year’s XTERRA Brazil Tour, is said to be the clear-cut favorite.

Laura Mira Dias, ranked second in the Brazilian tour, is said to be the toughest human competition for Gobbo in the women’s race but Mother Nature is the most formidable of all foes at this one.

Mike Vine was quoted as saying “It was the hardest of any, ever, and we had decent conditions w/ cooler temps and a dry course that means it easily could’ve been a lot worse. The finishing times tell the story… many took 5, 6, and even 7 hours,” he said.

“Absolutely the toughest XTERRA race I have ever done,” agreed Candy Angle. “I have done my fair share of XTERRA races around the world and cannot imagine any tougher than this one.”

Even two-time winner Conrad Stoltz described it as “more of an adventure than a race.”

As for XTERRA Brazil Race Director Bernardo Fonseca, he says  Ilhabela is “the only place in the world to host over 3,000 people having fun as a family in nature in the right place and with the right people.”

“The energy here is so great. I’ve never been to another country’s race that has such a festive atmosphere.” Vanlandingham noted after her victory in 2013.

ALL-TIME XTERRA BRAZIL CHAMPIONSHIP ELITE WINNERS

Year Man Woman
2014 Felipe Moletta Sabrina Gobbo
2013 Conrad Stoltz Shonny Vanlandingham
2012 Felipe Moletta Shonny Vanlandingham
2011 Ben Allen Carina Wasle
2010 Dan Hugo Shonny Vanlandingham
2009 Rom Akerson Maria Omar
2008 Alexandre Manzan Carla Prada
2007 Mike Vine Candy Angle
2006 Nico Lebrun Candy Angle
2005 Conrad Stoltz Jamie Whitmore
Chris Ganter

Getting to Know Chris Ganter

XTERRA Pro Chris Ganter wasn’t even mentioned in the pre-race hype leading up to the XTERRA West Championship at Lake Las Vegas last month.

Interestingly enough, that may have been a blessing in disguise.

Josiah Middaugh wasn’t listed among the favorites in Richmond the year he won the East Championship in 2008 and he’s been one of the world’s best ever since.  Ruben Ruzafa wasn’t in the media guide the year he won his first XTERRA World Title, and he won two more after that.   Emma Garrard was notably left out of the prognostication for the women’s elite race at the USA Championship two years ago, and she’s been the top American in the sport at every race thereafter.

“It’s good to fly under the radar like that,” explained Middaugh.  “No pressure, no expectations, you can just go out there and perform.”

And that is exactly what Ganter did in Vegas, posting a career-best third-place finish behind only Olympian Francisco Serrano from Mexico and Middaugh, the 10x U.S. National Champ.

While he had a solid season racing in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series in 2014, finishing in the top 10 at all five majors with a season-best 7th place finish at the Mountain Championship, he’d never been at the front and in the mix like he was in the desert last month.

Perhaps the oversight was all he needed to finally breakthrough … or maybe, just maybe, it was the result of a lot of hard work.

We caught up with the 36-year-old from Boise to find out…

XTERRA: Where did you make the biggest improvement in the off-season?
Chris Ganter: I’ve put in some good work across the board.  But the primary focus this “off-season” has been on improving my fitness on the mountain bike.  I was into recreational BMX and mountain biking growing up, so it’s like I’m kind of going back to my roots.  I love it.

XT: Can you tell us about your coach and maybe what you’ve been doing differently?
CG: I’m coached by Paulo Sousa of The Triathlon Squad fame.  I’ve been with him for 18 months (not that I’ve been counting).  You don’t necessarily have to be doing anything vastly different to make improvements. If you look at my results last season, I was steadily improving.  And we’ve continued that trend during the off season.  But without triathlon results, it looks like a big “jump” when you come back to racing.  The most important thing I’m doing is training consistently.  I saw how consistent the performances were in the ITU and I wanted a coach that knew how that’s done.  Luckily, I found a great one and he shares my style work ethic.

XT: Where do you train?
CG: I live and train in Boise, Idaho.  I have hundreds of miles of trails only blocks from our home in the North End.  I’m a little isolated here, so periodically I head down to train with the rest of the squad in Poway, CA.  I find that I get a good boost from training with a strong squad, but being a full-time XTERRA athlete I have to put in a lot of solo time on the dirt.

XT: What brought you to Boise?
CG: Everything about it!  My wife Allis and I agreed that we’d spend a few years in Philly together and then move somewhere West.  It came down to Flagstaff, Bend, and Boise.  When we visited Boise, it was like we already lived here.  And it has just become more and more appealing to us the longer we’ve been here.  Boise’s not for everyone, but it’s for me and I could go on and on about it.

XT: I know you’ve won some of the XTERRA Points Series races in Idaho, you guys have a pretty good XTERRA culture there, huh?
CG: Yes, I’ve pulled off some hard-fought results here locally.  I absolutely love our local XTERRA scene. Great venues with high-quality professional racing.  We have two notable races close to Boise that each attract solid talent:  XTERRA Les Bois, here in Boise, and XTERRA Wild Ride in McCall, ID.  They couldn’t be more different, with Les Bois down here in the desert and McCall held in beautiful mile-high ponderosa forests.

XT: Ever see XTERRA ambassador Allison Moore out on the trails, or our course guy Chris Appleton?
CG: Absolutely!  One of my favorite parts of XTERRA is our ohana.  Allison is a good friend and my wife’s mountain bike teammate.  So we hang out pretty regularly.  I don’t run into Chris all that often, but Boise is a huge small town, so I’m sure I’ve passed him in the supermarket and didn’t even know it.

XT: I know you had a “real” job before going all-in, how long have you been racing full time now?
CG: First off, I love that you put “real” in quotations! One of the issues I see with endurance sports in America is the concept of a “real job”.  Professional triathlon is a “real job” if you choose to make it so.  Just like being a musician, or an artist, or professional ANYTHING. You have to work very hard to make it work for you.  This is one of the biggest things Paulo and my squad mates have taught me.  But yes, to answer your question: I worked for Johnson & Johnson in Global R&D Quality Assurance and loved it!  It was tough juggling a demanding job, some graduate school, and amateur racing.  But I got some solid results along the way.  I was there for 10 years, so I sort-of technically “retired”.  I still consider myself a “J&J’er”!

XT: You grew up on the East Coast, can you tell us about your high school days, what it was like?
CG: I graduated back in 1996 from Upper Perkiomen High, or “Upper Perk”.  It’s an agricultural rural area outside of Philly, and I think we had every character from “Dazed and Confused” at my school.  I played basketball and ran cross-country.  I participated in track, but I didn’t like running around in circles.  It didn’t help that my coach entered me in 4 distance events in every meet.  I was a work horse for the team twice a week.  I felt punished in every meet, lost passion to train hard, and consequently never really excelled in track.  Out of desperation, I showed that I could win the high jump and pole vault in dual meets so I could get out of running four distance events!

XT: You ran cross country at Chaminade University here in our hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii.  How did that happen and what was the experience like?
CG: A big influence on my life has been my childhood best friend’s family.  Her father is a proud Chaminade Alum (pretty random for rural PA, I know) and he suggested out of the blue that I send in an application to this “Chaminade University of Honolulu”.  A typical rural teen, I wanted to transcend my rather humble roots.  So when I got a running scholarship offer, I was gone!  My time in Hawai’i was formative.  I have an affinity for the islands and the culture that will never go away.  It’s hard to describe, but when I’m there I feel like I’m at home… I believe in “mana” for sure.  I left Chaminade for the promise of a Division I running scholarship at Drexel University.  However, in the summer the coach called me and informed me that our team was terminated.  I considered going back to Chaminade, but I decided to keep my education moving forward at Drexel.  It was a painful, but smart decision in the end.

XT: What other races are you doing right now, or near future?
CG: I did a few mountain bike races in the early season.  But I’m focused on the XTERRA US Pro Tour, so I’ll be lining up in Alabama and Virginia these next two months.  I really want to put my efforts into getting better here domestically.  For me, part of being a professional is to commit to “Plan A” without fear of failure.  And if I chase other goals and races, I’m afraid it will detract from the investments I have to put in to just get faster.

XT: When was your very first XTERRA and how did you first hear about it?
CG: Believe it or not, the 2010 XTERRA US Pro Championships in Ogden Utah was my first XTERRA race!  Looking back, it was comical. I was 19th Pro, 34th Overall.  I came straight from Philadelphia, (altitude 15 feet) to a race in the mountains of Utah (over 4,000’).  The experience was “breathtaking”.  But I performed the way you would expect for a flat-lander at altitude.  And I still do, albeit to a lesser extent now that I live at 3,000’ and spend some time much higher.

XT: Most ridiculous thing that’s happened to you during an XTERRA?
CG: Oh that’s easy!  2013 XTERRA Southeast Championships. Coming off a double mechanical in Vegas, I promptly broke my right hand early on the bike in Alabama.  I finished with an all-out sprint for… wait for it…. 9th!  How’s that for “ridiculous”?!

XT: You’ve set a pretty high standard for yourself with that 3rd, did you have to re-adjust your season goals afterwards?  What are your goals?
CG: I’m pretty stoked on that result for sure!  But honestly, the folks who win the race set the standard.  It’s hiding in plain sight.  So I’m focused on the process of getting better every day, and consistently putting together good performances.  I just want to continue to steadily improve through this season. So I don’t really have to adjust my goals too much.  If anything, I think that getting 3rd in the opener allows me to defend a higher position in the overall points series.  It may figure into my risk/reward calculations, but I’ll most likely keep a “push hard, take risks” attitude.

XT: When did you shave the mustache, and wasn’t that kind of your thing?  Was it an aerodynamic decision?
CG: Ha!  I think budgy-smugglers are my thing.  Like I said, I’m old school.  … and they’re also aero.  Very, very aero.

XT: You wrote on your profile form last year that after 10 years you “found where I belong in triathlon” about XTERRA?  Can you explain…
CG: XTERRA is just kind-of me.  I grew up riding my mountain bike. Whether in the forests of Pennsylvania or later on Wa’ahila Ridge by University of Hawai’i (UH).  My friends were nuts, so we’d ride hard twice or sometimes three times a day in the summer.    I ran cross country in Pennsylvania and in Hawai’i, but did not like running on the smooth surfaces.  I surfed (a lot) so I love the ocean and open water. I naturally became a triathlete.  So with XTERRA, being triathlon, in the ocean, in the woods, and based in Hawai’i, it’s a perfect fit for me. I’ve definitely found where I belong in triathlon!

XT: What should people know?
CG: I’m passionate about bringing XTERRA to new people and showing them that XTERRA is more than just triathlon.  There’s a freedom and connection with nature that go with it.  There’s also serious suffering that gets you more in touch with yourself as an athlete and a person.  So, for me, the XTERRA training and racing experiences make me feel more “alive”.   I’m extremely proud to have amazing sponsors including my title sponsor Equal Earth who allow me to share these experience with as many people as possible.

 

Matt-Turner-Defiant-Photography

Dig Deep at the XTERRA Deep South Trail Run

By DJ Quinn

On May 30th another installment of the phenomenon gripping the Southeast arrives: the XTERRA Deep South Trail Run! For the past ten years, race director Tim Schroer and family have been putting on Dirty Spokes races across the Southeast, with races in Alabama, North Carolina, and the lion’s share in Georgia. With about thirty trail and mountain bike races to run this year, you might think Tim and Co. would be overworked and stressed. On the contrary, when asked to describe his race series, and in particular the popular (and series finale) XTERRA Deep South race Tim says, “Overall the series is a blast! We go to some of the best and most scenic venues in the state of Georgia! Each race and venue (trail system) has something unique to offer. The XTERRA Deep South 15K/5K is at Dauset Trails (about 35-40 minutes south of Atlanta). It is a mixture of single track, double track, hills, technical sections (roots and rocks) and overall, sweet Georgia Dirt!”

As mentioned above, the XTERRA Deep South race (and all the Georgia races) are incredibly popular, and are only gaining in popularity. In fact, they are often sold out. When asked why the XTERRA Deep South race is so popular Tim says, “We have a great group of people that attend our events. The runners make these races what they are; they create a fun, family type atmosphere for our events! Whether it’s front, middle, or back of the pack it always seems like everyone is out there cheering, rooting and supporting each other.”

The supportive and friendly atmosphere certainly explains the popularity of the XTERRA Deep South run, and Dirty Spokes races in general. But exactly how did all this start? According to Tim, “Dirty Spokes was established in 2005 by my wife and me. We have 4 daughters, so it’s really a family business. Our family is a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts! My father is the former men’s tennis coach at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia (he helps at the races also). Growing up I always worked in his tennis camps. I teach and coach at Mill Creek High School (my full time day job). Learning organizational skills from my father growing up (working for him at his camps), as well as teaching school, the race directing and organizing just fall into place.”

When I asked Tim what he thought about the XTERRA Deep South race compared to the other Dirty Spokes races, Tim said, “It really kicks off summer time! I think the name Deep South is appropriate because it’s hot and humid each year out in the open field but cools just a touch when you hit the woods! The most important factor of course are the participants: they are the same as our other races-good people!”

With so many popular and well-loved races, Dirty Spokes can truly be said to put on some of the best XTERRA races in the country. Just go to the Deep South race and find out for yourself!

Photo Credit: Matt Turner / Defiant Photography

Malaysia Start

Weiss, Guillot win XTERRA Malaysia

(Langkawi, Malaysia) – Bradley Weiss from South Africa and Myriam Guillot of France won the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship race in Langkawi, Malaysia this morning.

With the win Weiss also secured the Series crown for the men, and Jacqui Slack took the Tour title for the women with a third place finish to hold off Carina Wasle.

The men’s race today was akin to an honorable samurai duel.  Weiss and Allen have been going at it for years, and this year in particular.  Weiss came out on top in the XTERRA Asian Tour opener in the Philippines.  Allen came back and won the next two at XTERRA Saipan and Guam (Weiss was second at both). They forged through different XTERRA World Tour paths after Guam with Allen going to Australia then the U.S. while Weiss went to Reunion Island.  Both gave it everything, and it’s been awesome to watch.

“Great way to end the series. Certainly fitting that Ben and I finished 1-2.  We didn’t make it easy on ourselves, both racing last weekend on separate continents and then making our way to Malaysia for the grand finale of the Asia Pacific Series,” explained Weiss.  “I arrived late Thursday evening and Ben only arrived on Friday mid-morning with less than 24hrs before the gun would set us off. As expected Ben took an early lead on the swim and held it onto the bike. The weather was hot and humid sometimes even misty in the forest with 100% humidity making breathing a struggle. The course was a true test with steep elevation gain on wet trails covered in roots and leaves.  Thankfully the animals gave me a clear path but the terrain tested me right to the very end. Ben was solid on the bike and extended his lead to over 2mins after the first lap. With better course knowledge on the second lap I managed to close the gap to roughly 90sec starting the run. After losing to Ben in both Guam and Saipan I was unsure if I would be able to bridge the gap but willing to give a good dig and see if I could get him in sight. Ben has had a rough racing schedule as have I and I knew he must be weary from all the travel. The run course had two big jungle climbs on switch trails but I never got a visual on Ben. I was losing hope but still pushing hard. Cresting the second climb I got a split of 45sec, after the fast slippery descent it was down to 30sec and I was now sure I would catch him. In the distance I could see he was struggling and soon I was on his heels.”

And that was that.  Weiss surged past as if he was on roller skates and posted the quickest run split of the day by far in 57:06 to take the crown.

“Thankfully for my sake Ben had burnt his final matches and was unable to respond to my surge as I came by. The remainder of the run was flat and fast so I knew if I just kept the pace steady I would win comfortably. This was indeed the case and I was thrilled to take the Malaysian Championships as well as the inaugural XTERRA Asia Pacific Series Title. Many thanks to all for an awesome few months of racing and special thanks to Ben for making it such an exciting series and pushing me all the way to the very end. Ben is a true competitor and someone I am proud to call a friend.”

As for Allen, he did everything he possibly could.  Had the best swim, the best bike, and perhaps even the best attitude but not even that could save his weary legs after a whirlwind of racing and traveling these past few weeks.

“Five races in five different countries over five weeks has broken me,” said an understated Allen after the race.  “Today I gave it everything I had and to be honest, I came up short. The travel just to get here has been epic, flying all the way from Vegas last weekend. 24hrs of flying and 36hrs of travel time total, but I didn’t doubt myself one bit. I knew if I didn’t give up and pushed all the way to the end I might have a chance.”

As it turned out Allen had more than just a chance, he nearly pulled it off.

“The Asian Tour races have been special to me over the last couple of years and I would of loved nothing more to have crossed than line first, but I’m my own worst enemy! I think I’m invincible sometimes, biting off more than I can chew. I have to say though it has been one hell of a ride and one that has taught me some valuable lessons both as an athlete and person.  For now the journey is all over. I am in total recovery mode and I will spend the time relaxing at home with my family & friends. I’m especially excited to hang out with my nephew Jayden. I can tell you the journey has definitely been worth all the pain. The things I have seen, places I’ve visited & people I have met has been inspirational. I wear my heart on my sleeve and always give 100%. I’m proud of what I have achieved and honored to race in a sport that has given me a gift. To live my life the way I choose.”

PRO MEN      
Pl Name Time Points
1 Brad Weiss, RSA 2:45:32 200
2 Ben Allen, AUS 2:50:07 180
3 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 2:54:24 164
4 Charlie Epperson, USA 3:01:11 150
5 Theo Blignaut, RSA 3:05:45 138
6 Markus Benesch, AUT 3:07:38 126
7 Joe Miller, PHI 3:09:21 116
Myriam Guillot

GUILLOT WINS RACE, SLACK WINS SERIES

In the women’s race Myriam Guillot – an adventure racing and winter sports star from France – came seemingly out of nowhere to win the women’s race. She was way back out of the water but then cranked out the second-best bike and fastest run of the day to take the title.

Lizzie Orchard, who was recently second at XTERRA New Zealand and 5th in Australia, put together the second-best run to work her way into the runner-up spot.

Third-place was just as sweet for Jacqui Slack, who secured the XTERRA Asian Tour Championship as a result.

“Thrilled would be an understatement,” said Slack.  “I’ve never won a tour before and to come away with the Asia Pacific title is a dream come true and a testament to my hard work, sacrifice and patience. The race was always going to be hard and the field was stacked. I was leading the whole way however Carina was also very strong it was clear she wanted the title as much as me and she made me race hard.  She started to fade at 5k on the run and although I was suffering myself It was an opportunity for me to stay strong and get the job done. Myriam flew by on the run and I knew the win was off the cards it was all about racing Carina then. The run was super long and I was expecting some of the stronger runners like Lizzie to pass which she did just 2k from the end. Both girls looked so fresh and after all the racing so far this year I certainly wasn’t fresh and consolidated a solid 3rd place. I suppose this year I’ve been very consistent.  It’s very hard to hold great form through so many races and this one was the toughest by far.  I’ve seen my form deteriorate in the last couple of races, and I’m just glad I could tuff this one out to grab the crown.  It’s the end of a fantastic tour and it’s been exciting for everyone that it’s been so close. Either Carina or I could have taken the title, she has pushed me all the way through and I’ve enjoyed the battles.  A great job to Myriam and Lizzie on very strong performances, and all the tour finishers for being so consistent throughout.  I’m now taking a lot of time out to rest, train and improve. I want to go into Maui much stronger this year and the key is to be fresh.”

Carla Van Huyssteen from South Africa, winner of last weekend’s XTERRA Reunion title, took the fourth spot while Wasle came in fifth.

PRO WOMEN    
Pl Name Time Points
1 Myriam Guillot, FRA 3:05:56 200
2 Lizzie Orchard, NZL 3:07:46 180
3 Jacqui Slack, GBR 3:09:22 164
4 Carla Van Huyssteen, RSA 3:11:57 150
5 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:15:03 138
6 Helena Erbenova, CZE 3:16:19 126
7 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:20:41 116
8 Mieko Carey, JPN 3:23:26 106
9 Dimity-Lee Duke, AUS 3:26:43 98
10 Daz Parker, GBR 3:41:56 90
Also: Belinda Hadden (82), Shirin Gerami (74)

FULL RESULTS

XTERRA Managing Director Dave Nicholas was on-site, standing courageously in the midst of growling monkey’s, to bring us this report…

“This was no dominating, win from the front race.  It was a heavyweight punch-out from the start.  The 7:15 start had the pros leading the way with age groupers starting when the pros finished their first lap.  Ben Allen went out hard and came out with a one-minute lead on Theo Blignaut but more importantly 90-seconds on his main competition Bradley Weiss.

Ben added a bit to it and had closer to two-minutes on completion of the big first loop of the bike.  This moved out to a bit more on the start of the second loop but Weiss was not intimidated.

“I should have come here a bit earlier as I did the first lap of the small loop too slowly.  The second time around I made up some time because I knew where I was going” said Weiss.

Into T2 the Aussie Allen had 2 ½  minutes on the South African, but the heat of the day was on us and the sky blue and the sun beat down hard on the jungle.  I was eaten alive by mosquitoes every time I ventured into the jungle and at my spot on the run was nearly attacked by monkeys!  I was fooling around with a couple young ones who were curious and soon after an older, grey bearded male jumped on branches above me and shook them until the leaves were falling on me and growled fiercely.  When it all started I thought the wind had picked up because the trees were swaying but I was wrong.  It was about 20 monkeys of this old man’s family coming to see what the growling was about.

But back to the race.  Ben was leading at the half-way mark of the run but Brad was coming strong and fast and only 30-seconds back.  The quick Weiss caught Ben at the lighthouse and brought it home to win by almost four minutes.  Ben was simply fatigued from four straight races on four weekends plus about 25,000 miles of air travel.  “I gave it what I could but Brad was too strong today, full congratulations to him.”

Blignaut looked like a sure 3rd place but had bike problems early in the bike and lost too much time.  Takahiro Ogasawara posted a very strong bike segment and was never threatened for an excellent 3rd place.  “Swim was not so good” smiled the Japan Champion “but the bike was very good”.  Then he really smiled and said “Oh the run was so hot.”

Charlie Epperson battled with Markus Benesch for most of the bike but pulled away near the end and kept his fine 4th. Theo never quit and came all the way back to take 5th.

The women’s race was even wilder.  The swim was close between Jacqui Slack and Carla van Huyssteen.  Out onto the small double loop Jacqui led with Carla falling back about one-minute followed by Carina Wasle and a surprising Lizzie Orchard.

“Lizzie has really started getting serious following some good finishes” said her husband “instead of making sure she saves energy to finish she’s now racing to win”.

Coming up behind Lizzie with a big smile on her face was French adventure racer Myriam Guillot.  While I noticed the smile, I did not recognize how confident she looked.

Jacqui continued her lead into T2 but Carla had dropped far back and it was Carina, Lizzie and Carla were now 2nd, 3rd, and 4th with Myriam slightly back.

Both Myriam and Czech Helena Erbenova were coming to Malaysia from an adventure race in China.

“I was in very good fitness from the adventure race, but different fitness from triathlon” said Guillot.  “I come from the swim behind by four minutes.”

But Myriam was absolutely flying on the run.  First she got past Lizzie, and Lizzie followed her speed and both swept by Carla.  Jacqui had been caught by Carina and it was a repeat of the men’s top two fighting each other.

The battle for the Asian Tour series was between Jacqui and Carina and they were literally side by side.

“We were running together, well sometimes walking together” said Slack.

“I don’t know what happened but when we started downhill I just lost all energy” Carina said.

It was all over after that.  Carina stopped at an aid station and kept pouring cold water on her head to cool down.  But while this was happening, Myriam and Lizzie swept by into 2nd and 3rd and shortly after they passed Jacqui putting the race leader back into 3rd.  And so it finished.  Formerly unknown Myriam Guillot taking a blistering fast sub 1 hour run in the Malaysian heat to first place (only Bradley Weiss ran faster) and Bradley taking the fastest run of the day to chase down Ben Allen.

If there was a fun part to the run it had to be the river that ebbs and flows depending on the tides.  At the finish it was almost high tide and waist deep.  Every finisher had to jump down, wade or swim about 30-meters and clamber up the other side and run to finish.  “Oh it felt so, so good to get into the water when we were so hot” smiled Mieko Carey.

So the first Asian Tour ends with a super race in Langkawi.  A great effort and organization by Major Events Malaysia with Sean Chee heading the company and the never ending energizer race director Dave Spence simply manhandling every problem to the ground and making it all happen.  A great staff and a great race.  A fitting way to end the Asian Tour for 2015.

XTERRA ASIAN TOUR FINALE

The XTERRA Asian Tour awarded a prize bonus of $10,000 USD to the top five pro men and women in the final standings ($2,000 for 1st, $1,500-2nd, $800-3rd, $400-4th, $300-5th).  Racers counted their best three scores to determine champions, with double points on offer here at the finale in Malaysia.  In all, more than $100,000 in prize money for pros was awarded on the Asian Tour this year.  There were $15,000 USD payouts at the Philippines, Saipan, Guam, and Malaysia races, and $50,000 AUD awarded at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia, plus the 10K bonus to the series’ top performers.

Weiss and Slack win the XTERRA Asian Tour series crowns, and here’s a look at the final elite standings

2015 XTERRA Asian Tour Standings (Final)
Best three, Malaysia counted double
PRO MEN              
Pl Name PHI SAI GUA AUS MAS TOT
1 Brad Weiss, RSA 100 x90 90 x 200 390
2 Ben Allen, AUS x82 100 100 x69 180 380
3 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN x 82 82 x 164 328
4 Charlie Epperson, USA 69 x 69 x 150 288
5 Markus Benesch, AUT x 75 75 x 126 276
6 Joe Miller, PHI x63 63 63 x 116 242
7 Theo Blignaut, RSA x x x x 138 138
8 Brodie Gardner, AUS 75 x x 58 x 133
9 Kaon Cho, KOR x 53 58 x x 111
10 Braden Currie, NZL x x x 100 x 100
t11 Courtney Atkinson, AUS x x x 90 x 90
t11 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90 x x x x 90
13 Conrad Stoltz, RSA x x x 82 x 82
14 Olly Shaw, NZL x x x 75 x 75
15 Aleksandr Dorovskikh, RUS x 69 x x x 69
16 Joshua Kenyon, NZL x x x 63 x 63
t17 David Esposito, FRA x 58 x x x 58
t17 Michal Bucek, SVK 58 x x x x 58
19 Jarad Kohler, AUS x x x 53 x 53
20 Kieran McPherson, NZL x x x 49 x 49
21 Mitchell Ginsberg, RSA x x x 45 x 45
PRO WOMEN            
Pl Name PHI SAI GUA AUS MAS TOT
1 Jacqui Slack, GBR x90 100 90 x82 164 354
2 Carina Wasle, AUT x 90 100 x63 138 328
3 Mieko Carey, JPN x75 82 82 x 106 270
4 Renata Bucher, SUI x69 75 69 x49 116 260
5 Lizzie Orchard, NZL x x x 69 180 249
6 Daz Parker, GBR x63 69 75 x 90 234
7 Belinda Hadden, AUS x 63 63 x45 82 208
t8 Myriam Guillot, FRA x x x x 200 200
t8 Flora Duffy, BER 100 x x 100 x 200
10 Dimity-Lee Duke, AUS 82 x x x 98 180
11 Carla Van Huyssteen, RSA x x x x 150 150
12 Helena Erbenova, CZE x x x x 126 126
13 Barbara Riveros, CHI x x x 90 x 90
14 Suzie Snyder, USA x x x 75 x 75
15 Shirin Gerami, IRI x x x x 74 74
t16 Caroline Steffen, SUI x x x 58 x 58
t16 Aya Stevens, SVK 58 x x x x 58
18 Jessica Simpson, AUS x x x 53 x 53

2015 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERSThe XTERRA Asian Tour Championship in Malaysia was the 13th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify for the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1, 2015.

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

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

Degray Lake

Epic Arkadelphia Adventure Awaits

For those intrepid individuals near Arkadelphia, Arkansas, this is the weekend for you. Arkadelphia will host two XTERRA American Tour Triathlons. The XTERRA Epic – Rustman and XTERRA Gator Terra will take place this weekend on May 2nd and May 3rd, respectively.

XTERRA Epic will begin with a two lap one mile swim, which transitions into a 30-mile bike ride and finished with a 10-mile run.

XTERRA Gator will not be as taxing as XTERRA Epic and will consist of an 880 yard swim, an 11-mile bike ride and finish with a 3.3-mile run on a combination of trail and paved road.

XTERRA Gator Terra is the longest running America Tour with its inception race back in 1997. New with its 18th year celebration is a new venue. No longer in Ruston, Louisiana, XTERRA Gator and XTERRA Epic will be held in Arkadelphia, Arkansas featuring a new course but the same challenges people have faced for almost two decades.

Points are awarded to the top fifteen finishers in each Age Group at each XTERRA American Tour race. The athlete with the most points by gender, age group, and by XTERRA Region of Residence will earn the title of XTERRA Regional Champion and is named as 2015 Regional Champion. Regional champions and point scorers from each region are invited to compete against each other in the XTERRA USA Championship Race in Ogden, Utah.

For more information on the two events visit dltevents.com.

To register for the events visit imathlete.com

Upcoming South Central Region Races:

May, 31 XTERRA Eureka Springs Eureka Springs, Arkansas

June, 13 XTERRA Muleshoe Spicewood, Texas

June, 11 XTERRA Magnolia Hill Navasota, Texas

August, 8 XTERRA TRI the Torture Glorieta, New Mexico

August, 15 XTERRA Cameron Park Waco, Texas