Matt Haley

XTERRA Trail Runner Profile: Matt Haley

By Donald Quinn
XTERRA Trail Run Intern

Matt Haley has been dominating the XTERRA Georgia trail race series for quite some time now, having finished on the podium in every race he’s entered. Says Matt, “I keep coming back to the XTERRA Georgia Series because Tim Schroer and the crew from Dirty Spokes Productions put on great races. I love the atmosphere they create, the community they have built, and the courses they design. XTERRA Georgia offers a little bit of everything and that’s a fun change from my day to day running, which is mostly done on the road. The series takes advantage of some of the best trails in the metro Atlanta and North Georgia areas.

I also really enjoy the fact that it is a series not just a single day event. It’s fun to see how everyone progresses over the course of the series and there are always some really good battles both at the front of the races and down through the age groups. I know that every time I run an XTERRA Georgia race it’s going to be on a well thought out course that’s going to be both fun and challenging.”

Despite his long streak of success, Matt is still focused on challenging himself with new goals:

“My future racing goals are to keep progressing and keep trying to test myself with different distances and different races. I want to defend my XTERRA Georgia and Dirty Spokes trail series title and I’d like to take a shot at a couple of trail races up in the Chattanooga area; they have some really cool races up there. I would also like to lower my half marathon PR; right now it’s 1:13 but I think I can get down to 1:10 or faster. And I’d like to figure out a marathon to take a shot at; I haven’t been able to put the training together to run one, but it’s something that’s always been in the back of my mind as something I’d like to do. Really I just want to keep challenging myself.”

But don’t get too confident challengers, Matt says he will still be back for the XTERRA Georgia series this year: “Yes, I am hoping to defend my series title. I’ve already got the XTERRA dates marked on my race calendar. Winning the series last year was one of my goals and I had some really good battles, some good days and some bad days, but I was really proud to be able to be at the front of every race, especially since it’s a long series, beginning in September and finishing up in May. Winning the series is definitely one of my goals for 2014/15.”

Even though he’s a high-caliber XTERRA competitor, Matt still takes time to give advice to those who are new to the sport of trail running, saying, “Ditch the GPS/watch or at least don’t worry about time/distance/pace. Just go out and run by feel and have fun. Enjoy being out on the trail and all that comes with it. If you obsess over the pace or the distance you’re not going to enjoy trail running for what it is. It’s different. Embrace that part of it.”

This philosophy of enjoying running has without a doubt contributed to Matt’s success on the trails. When asked about his favorite race in the Georgia series Matt said, “That’s a tough question. They all have parts of them that I really enjoy, but if I had to pick one race I would say Little Mulberry Park. It’s one of my favorite spots to run because it has a ton of variety. The race features a little bit of everything: it has paved paths, gravel trails, parts of the high school cross country course, and of course trails. It has a couple tough climbs, but it also has some fast sections where you can really get rolling. Now that I’m talking about it, it’s hands down my favorite race in the series. Even the weather is normally perfect for it.”

So beware challengers for the 2014/15 XTERRA Georgia series championship: Matt Haley is on the trail, and he’s loving it!

Paul Mitchell Finisher Badge

Paul Mitchell Badge of Honor

The 2014 Paul Mitchell digital XTERRA Finisher’s badges are all about recognizing athlete accomplishments. While simply participating and living the healthy, active, outdoors lifestyle is reward enough, actually surviving the rigors of an XTERRA deserves a special shout out.

Here are what some of this year’s XTERRA Warriors had to say about their Paul Mitchell badge of honor…

“I decided that I wanted to do the XTERRA triathlon in Ogden, Utah when I was 10 years old and at 16 years old I am proud to say that I finished and actually remembered to keep my goal. I can’t wait to come back next year and drop an hour off of my time,” – Aidan Hueton

“XTERRA Syracuse….My first off road Triathlon…won’t be my last…had a BLAST!….1st in Age Group – 4th woman overall.” – Donna Bessette Boots

“Hardest things I’ve ever done,” – Fernarndo Pessoa

“Love XTERRA Races! Near misses with rocks and trees remind you that your heart is still beating,” – Doug Hinken

“I have completed 3 of my 4 XTERRA Triathlons this summer with the fourth one less than 3 weeks away. If I finish high enough, I will have achieved my goal to make it to the XTERRA USA Championship in Utah this September and be able to compete with my son, Chase, who should also qualify. This has been an awesome challenge but even more special to achieve with my son,” – Kevin Needler

“Completed my first Triathlon! You can do anything you set your mind to! As much as I wanted to throw in the towel I kept pushing forward. Words of encouragement from family and friends played over and over in my head and I made it!” – Frank Ayala

“This was an awesome race with my wife, thx to Jim Harman and crew for doing such a great job organizing this event!! XTERRA for Life!!” – Justin Green

“Lake, mountain trails, woods, GO! Ideal location, excellent event/coordination/and management! This was my first. The respect I have for the women and men who endeavor to compete and complete at this level cannot be measured! I am tremendously proud to say I am an EX2 triathlete! Looking at all and any EX2 / Cranky Monkey races now!” – Patrick Euler

“My first XTERRA off-road race and my new passion,” – Adam Parker

“A true championship course! Challenging swim with tricky currents. Many small technical obstacles on the bike and lots of fun water crossings on the run – a classic XTERRA,” – Tucker Newberry

Read more stories here

Nicky Samuels

Last Year in Maui

The countdown to the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship is on … T-24 days to off-road triathlon’s greatest day. Although no extra motivation is needed to get excited for Maui it’s always fun to look back at last year to see how it all unfolded…

Watch the 2013 XTERRA World Championship show


Maui turned up the heat and the competition last year as more than 700 endurance athletes from around the world participated in the ultimate XTERRA at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua hotel on Maui. Temperatures approaching 90 degrees turned it into a race of attrition as much as a race of competition.

Ruben Ruzafa from Spain made a triumphant return to the top of the XTERRA World Championship podium after completing the course in 2 hours, 34 minutes, 34 seconds. Nicky Samuels from New Zealand took the women’s title in her first appearance at the XTERRA World Championship. She finished the course in 2:57:48.

Ruzafa, who is 30 and resides in Malaga, Spain, won the 2013 XTERRA World Championship for the second time in his career last year (and he hasn’t lost a race since).

“We knew that it was a really hot day,” Ruzafa said. “I drink a lot (of water). I drink three bottles on the bike so I can make it to the run relatively fresh. I pushed hard and I’m very, very happy.”

Ruzafa trailed the leaders by around two minutes after the swim, but he more than made up for it with an astonishing bike ride. He finished with a bike split of 1:30:11, which was the fastest of the day by more than a minute. He eventually reeled in all the leaders on the bike, and had a lead of about 45 seconds entering the run.

“I was really surprised,” Ruzafa said of his ability to pass the other pros on the bike. Nobody got close to Ruzafa on the run, and he eventually finished 1 minute, 27 seconds, ahead of the rest of the field.

“Two (XTERRA) championships is really, really good for me,” he said. “It’s a dream.”

Runner-up Asa Shaw from France (via England), also described his best XTERRA showing as “a dream.”

If Ruzafa had the bike ride of the day, Shaw pulled off the run of the day. He passed four fellow pros on the run to capture second place. “I didn’t really know where I was,” Shaw said of his position in the pack. “I was just pushing as much as I could to catch anyone in front of me.”

He finished with a time of 2:36:01, including the fastest run split of the day at 39:24. Shaw, 29, holds professional status on the XTERRA circuit, but he also works full-time as a carpenter in Saint-Raphael, France.

“When I go to work every day, I see professional athletes who train every day,” he said. “For me to be able to do a podium (finish) today is enormous.”

Keeping with the dream theme, Ben Allen from Australia also described his career-best third-place finish as such. He placed 35th last year after experiencing mechanical problems with his bike.

“I sort of had disappointment in the back of my mind, and I used that as motivation to really dig deep,” said Allen, 28. “I’ve worked so hard over the past two years, and to finish on the podium against a quality field is amazing.”

Allen was one of the leaders out of the swim, and stayed in the top three for most of the bike and run legs. He was in second after the bike before Shaw passed him midway through the run course.

“To ride with (Ruzafa), I had to ride like a madman,” Allen said. “I think I was the loosest guy out there on the corners, and just taking as many risks as possible to stay with Ruben, who’s a phenomenal rider.”

Allen finished in 2:36:24, just 23 second behind Shaw.

Josiah Middaugh from Colorado placed fourth overall and was the top American finisher for the third year in a row and sixth time in his career. His time of 2:37:44, included a 1:34:36 bike split, which was second only to Ruzafa.

“I’m happy with the effort I put into it, but I was a little too far behind out of the water,” he said. “I was about a minute, 30 (seconds) to the lead after the bike, and that’s usually a pretty good position, but it’s really hard to make up that much time on the run when you’re not feeling fresh and I put a lot into the bike trying to catch guys.”

Braden Currie from New Zealand placed fifth (2:39:05) for his best showing at XTERRA Worlds, and four-time former world champ Conrad Stoltz from South Africa was sixth (2:39:31).

Nicolas Lebrun from France placed seventh overall in his farewell to the XTERRA World Championship as a pro. The 2005 world champion is retiring from professional competition to focus on coaching, and he was inducted into the XTERRA Hall of Fame the night before the race.

“My dream was to be close to the top five, and today it happened,” he said. “I wanted to finish my career with a good race, a top 10. I didn’t want to struggle at the end. I wanted to enjoy the race –make it both a good race and a spiritual race, and that’s exactly what it was.”

Rounding out the top 10 were Marvin Gruget from France in eighth (2:40:57), Leonardo Chacon from Costa Rica in ninth (2:42:08) and Brice Daubord from France in 10th (2:43:00). Chacon was near the lead for the first half of the race, but appeared to succumb to the conditions late in the bike and the run.

The women’s race had no such drama at the front, as Samuels jumped into the lead early in the bike and stayed somewhat-comfortably in front the rest of the way.

“A bit shocked, really,” Samuels said of her successful debut at the XTERRA World Championship. “I didn’t know how my descending skills, or lack of, was going to stand up to the other girls.”

Samuels, 30, who raced for New Zealand at the London Olympics and normally focuses on ITU road events, and said she practiced her mountain biking for only three weeks prior to this race. Still, she was able to post the second-fastest bike split among the females at 1:49:36.

“I thought it would be hot and thought there would be a lot of sandy stuff on the bike,” she said. “I guess that’s what it might have been, but more of a mountain bike course with berms and jumps and things. It was kind of like a school cross country race when you’re 5 or 6. It was fun, something different and a nice way to end the season.”

She is the first female from New Zealand to win the XTERRA World Championship (Hamish Carter took the men’s title in 2006). Her victory ended the successful run of Scotland’s Lesley Paterson, who was the two-time defending XTERRA women’s world champ and had posted seven consecutive XTERRA race victories leading up to this year’s Worlds.

“I just didn’t feel like I had the legs from the start and that’s a horrible course to feel like that,” said Paterson, 33.

Paterson said she knew midway through the bike that victory was probably out of reach, but she still displayed her champion spirit by tracking down two fellow pros on the run to take second place. Paterson finished the bike in fourth, but passed Barbara Riveros first on the run, then staged a late surge to pass Flora Duffy in the final 100 meters of the run.

“I came off the bike just way down, not where I wanted to be, and I just fought all the way,” she said.

Paterson finished in 3:00:14, including the fastest run split of the day at 43:55.

Duffy, who is an Olympian from Bermuda, finished in third – five seconds after Paterson – for an impressive debut of her own at the XTERRA Worlds. “I’m shocked,” she said. “Coming into this race, I was kind of here just for fun.”

On Paterson’s late pass for second place, Duffy said: “I couldn’t respond. I was just hoping there was nobody behind Lesley.” Riveros, who is an Olympian from Chile and placed second at the 2012 XTERRA Worlds, took fourth this year with a time of 3:01:43.

Emma Garrard from Park City, Utah, continued her strong showing at the end of this season with a career-best fifth place finish (and first American). She finished in 3:01:49, just six seconds behind Riveros. It followed her career-best fourth-place finish at the XTERRA USA Championship last month.

Chantell Widney from Canada was sixth (3:04:36) and Helena Erbenova from the Czech Republic was seventh (3:05:16). Colorado’s Shonny Vanlandingham, the 2010 XTERRA women’s world champ, placed eighth (3:05:43), and posted the fastest bike split at 1:49:23.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jacqui Slack from United Kingdom in ninth (3:05:52) and Suzie Snyder in 10th (3:08:32).

In the age-group amateur field, youth continued to prevail as a pair of teenagers took top overall honors for the second consecutive year. Hannah Rae Finchamp from Altadena, California, took the female amateur championship for the second consecutive year, becoming the first female to win it in back-to-back years.

As to why she does not hold professional status, she is only 17 and a senior in high school (now 18 and a freshman in college). Still, she raced like a pro on Saturday, finishing with a time of 3:11:02 – more than 12 minutes ahead of the other female amateurs.

“It was a perfect race, and that’s really hard to achieve in any XTERRA race,” Finchamp said. “It was like every single thing I trained for came together.”

Finchamp’s time was good for 11th overall among all females, topped only by the top 10 pro women.

“I knew I was second coming out of the swim, and I passed the other girl heading to transition,” she said. “After that I was racing scared the whole race.”

It was also Finchamp’s fourth consecutive age-group world title for the female 15-19 division.

Mauricio Mendez from Mexico City turned in an equally impressive performance on the male side of the amateur field. The 18-year-old finished in 2:45:48, which was nearly five minutes ahead of the other male amateurs. Mendez, who graduated from high school in Mexico earlier last year, finished in 15th place overall.

Mendez trained with two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson for a month leading up to this race, and will continue to train with her next year. Romaric Delepine from France placed second overall and first in the male 35-39 division.

Numerous age-group amateurs added to their respective collection of XTERRA world titles, including Peter Wood from La Jolla, Calif., who won the male 70-74 division. He now owns a record eight XTERRA amateur world titles. Fouad Fattoumy from Honolulu won the physically challenged division for the eighth time, tying Wood for most amateur championships.

Wendy Minor (female 65-69) from Kamuela, Hawaii, won her seventh, Beverly Watson (female 60-64) from Canada captured her sixth, and Calvin Zaryski (male 45-49) won his fifth. The following men all captured their fourth title: Thomas Vonach (40-44) from Austria, Tom Monica (55-59) from California and John Royson (60-64) from California.


Asa Shaw and Lesley Paterson posted the fastest runs on the Leilani’s Run Course, and each received $100 gift certificates.

Four other amateur competitors received $100 gift certificates to Leilani’s for their running times: Mauricio Mendez (fastest amateur male), Hannah Rae Finchamp (fastest amateur female), Jefferson Oishi (fastest Maui resident male) and Kimberly Mufalli (fastest Maui resident female).

Mendez and Finchamp were also the winners of XTERRA Vortex full wetsuits for posting the fastest amateur swim times.

Winners of special back packs from Muscle Milk for the Muscle Milk U25 Prime were Mendez, Clement Briere and Arthur Serrieres for the males, and Finchamp, Elizabeth Gruber and Hannah Wells for females.


Martin Flinta from Sweden and Kathryn Taylor from Hawaii were the top amateurs in the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts “Double” award competition, given to the amateur man and woman with the fastest combined 2013 XTERRA World Championship and Ironman Hawaii Championship time. Flinta wins a 6-night stay at the Kapalua Villas and Taylor wins a 6-night stay at the Outrigger Napili Shores.

2014 Maui Racers / 2013 Champs / 2013 Results


All 2014 XTERRA World Championship age group winners will be guaranteed a slot to the 2015 XTERRA World Championship to defend their titles.  The race will be held November 1, 2015 at Kapalua, Maui.


The XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs return to the beautiful slopes of the West Maui Mountains for the fourth straight year on October 25 and will once again start and finish at the picturesque Ritz-Carlton Kapalua resort hotel.

It’s a chance for one-and-all to experience the grueling 10-kilometer XTERRA World Championship run course.

The event will also feature a 5-kilometer course, and a 1-kilometer children’s course. The 10K and 5K races are open to runners of all ages and skill levels; the Keiki race is for children ages 10 and younger. Last year’s event drew close to 1,000 runners from around the world, and they enjoyed some of the most spectacular views in the sport of trail running. The course starts on the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton, then traverses the West Maui Mountains, including a section near a rarely-seen mountain lake. There is also a stretch run along the sandy beach fronting The Ritz.  T S Restaurants of Maui serves as the title sponsor for the event, and the races are officially called the Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K, the Hula Grill XTERRA 5K, and the Kimo’s XTERRA Keiki Run. Fastest male and female pro, age group, and Maui resident run times will win a $100 restaurant certificates from Leilani’s On the Beach in Kaanapli at Whaler’s Village.

Craig Vogtsberger

Meet Mr. XTERRA Craig Vogtsberger

Every year XTERRA honors a member of its “Tribe” with the Mr. XTERRA award at the Night of Champions dinner on the eve of the USA Championship. The award is reserved for he who best exemplifies the challenge, commitment and camaraderie that is the essence of XTERRA.

This year the honor was bestowed upon Craig Vogtsberger, the most decorated challenged athlete in XTERRA America Tour history. Since 2008 “V” has racked up an unprecedented seven regional championship crowns and four USA Championship titles.

Watch our Video Presentation

That said, the 37-year-old from Olney, Illinois – who now lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Brittany and two boys, Eli and Gabe – is beloved far more amongst his peers for his achievements in life than his accomplishments in racing.

In 2001 while serving in the Army National Guard and just days away from being deployed in the Middle East, Vogtsberger was crushed between two Army Humvees and suffered massive trauma to his entire body.

Among the long list of injuries: traumatic brain injury, spinal trauma (to all three sections), dysautonomia, paralyzed left leg and shoulder, visual impairment, and hearing loss.

“Interesting fact, due to my TBI and Dysautonomia, I am considered legally blind,” explained Vogtsberger. “At any moment my vision can go from 20/20 to 20/400. I have double and blurry vision all the time and have limited peripheral vision. I have learned to adapt and adjust to the vision changes since my Humvee accident.”

He jokes to other racers that the condition isn’t one of his bigger concerns on the course, saying “I just figure I’ll dodge both of you when I pass by. Imagine my wife’s adventures with me driving; I dodge a fly in my periphery as well as a semi the same way!”

Putting it all in perspective, and his trademark smile, has made Craig a family favorite on the XTERRA scene since his first race at the XTERRA Last Stand off-road tri in 2008.

“XTERRA is just plain fun. It doesn’t matter how hard or ridiculous the courses are or how much I sometimes complain with a big smile on my face, I love every minute,” said Vogtsberger. “Also, as I was told, and have come to know, XTERRA is just a big family. I love being a part of it. The family feel of XTERRA adds more to my life than just racing. I really miss the people, events, and places during the off season.”

This year Vogtsberger competed in five races and says the XTERRA World Championship later this month will take on extra meaning as he gets to share it with his wife and kids.

“Having them there will make this a very special race. I race for my family because I see a reflection of myself in them. They see the happiness and enjoyment I get out of XTERRA and it flows over to my wife and two boys. They will experience the XTERRA World Championships for the first time this year and I can’t wait for them to meet my XTERRA family.”

Understandably, when asked who his favorite XTERRA athlete was, he quickly called out Josiah Middaugh… “He inspires me the most. He was the first pro I met and I’ve followed his career in XTERRA, but more than his career, what impresses me the most is the man I see with his family before and after events.”

Among his all-time favorite XTERRA moments was his first race in Maui “during the second lap of the swim in 2008 when a sea turtle swam up from the bottom of the ocean into the swarm of athletes.”

In stark contrast, a month earlier that year at the USA Championship in Lake Tahoe “the water was so cold, I had a liner under my wetsuit. When I got to the swim/bike transition after the long run from the lake, my hands were so numb and cold I struggled to put my shoes on. My Dad was standing outside transition and we were both laughing. Having my father there to share in the race and also the comedic moments of transition is something I won’t ever forget.”

Craig’s personal mantra is “No Excuses” and his best advice to others is “Stop being timid. Grab life and don’t just exist in each moment, but live each moment. Sometimes you just have to jump. There are no excuses.”

On being named Mr. XTERRA Craig said “It is a huge honor and was an even bigger surprise. I have watched Mr. and Mrs. XTERRA’s being named each year since I started in 2008. I didn’t ever think that I would obtain the accomplishments, both professionally and personally, that are required of a person to be selected for this award. I am proud that who I am as a person is as important as what I have accomplished as an athlete to my XTERRA family.”

And as for his future goals, “To continue racing XTERRA and to live each moment, feel each bump and bruise and have it remind me that I am alive and living a life that no doctor believed was possible.”

For his service to the XTERRA community and for truly embodying the “Live More” Spirit – XTERRA is honored to present the Mr. XTERRA 2014 award to Craig Vogtsberger.

2014 – Craig Vogtsberger
2013 – Brent Bieshaar
2012 – Jay Heller
2011 – Steve Cole
2010 – Casey Fannin
2009 – Brandyn Roark
2008 – Circ and Cindi Toepel
2007 – Will Kelsay
2006 – Courtney Cardenas
2005 – Tom Lyons
2004 – Anthony Snoble and Rick Byman
2003 – Billy Anderson and Barbara Peterson
2002 – Susi Chandler
2001 – Chris Shelley
2000 – Robert Hopper
1999 – The inaugural winner, Dennis Fox, spent his last Army paycheck after finishing his tour of duty on entry fees to all the stops on the XTERRA America Tour. He lived the XTERRA dream that year – going to every championship race, including the world championship in Maui.

EPC Tips - Power Run

EPC Tips – Polish Off Your Run Power

Polish off your run power with this great session as you head towards your season finale event…

There is a reason running hill repeats are a staple in most training programs; they build strength, power and economy. And if your goal race has any hills in it, then you’ll be better prepared for it with hill repeats. The main set of this session incorporates fast running on both hills and flats. On the first set of hills you want to run them hard and jog back down the hill each time for recovery. On the second set of hills you want to attack them with everything you’ve got! Sprint these hills as hard as you can and then walk back down the hill for recovery. The flat fast running following each of the hill segments should be run at your race pace effort (tempo/threshold). When all said and done this adds up to a hefty chunk of effort so make sure you’re rested and ready for this session.

WARM-UP: 5:00 Dynamic Warm-Up
5-15:00 easy run
4x[0:15 strides, 0:45 walk]
1:00 walk

MAIN SET: 5-6x[1:30 UPHILL hard run, jog down recovery]
1x[5:00 FLAT fast run]
3:00 walk
5-6x[0:30 UPHILL all-out run, walk down recovery]
1x[5:00 FLAT fast run]

WARM-DOWN: 2:00 walk
5-10:00 easy run
3:00 walk

(45-75 minutes total workout 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.

ENVE Performer of the Year

Ricard wins ENVE Performer of The Year Award

ENVE Composites – makers of incredible wheels and components produced by riders, for riders – has its manufacturing facility and test lab in Ogden, Utah.

For the third straight year they sponsored XTERRA’s ENVE Performer of the Year award, which is presented at the Night of Champions dinner on the eve of the XTERRA USA Championship just a few blocks from their headquarters.

Selecting just one racer out of the amazing collection of XTERRA amateur racers is a tough task, as so many racers had great seasons this year. There was one who stood above the rest, however, and that was Rob Ricard – a 37-year-old Naval Architect from Berwick, Maine.

Ricard won his division at all six races he entered (Jersey Devil, Richmond, French River, Garnet Hill, Sky High, and STOAKED) and he won the overall at five of those events. In June, he took the top spot at the XTERRA East Championship that doubled as the USA Triathlon National Championship this year.

We caught up with Rob at the XTERRA USA Championship race to learn more about this year’s ENVE Performer of the Year…

XTERRA: When did you first start racing XTERRA?

Rob Ricard: My first XTERRA was in 2012 at XTERRA STOAKED. It’s still my favorite because it was my first and I’ll never forget it. I crashed on the first lap of the bike, taco’d my front wheel, then nursed the bike thru the second lap and into T2. After that experience I was hooked.

XT: Where did you come from, the road? How’d you get hooked?

RR: Started with road tri’s, accomplished everything on the road that I ever wanted to. Felt like when I started in tri’s that I had to race on the road. Once I’d done everything I set out to do there it’s like I told myself that it was ok to now go and do what I really wanted to do. Get out into the woods and play like I was a kid again. I knew XTERRA was out there, and just finally got off the fence, bought myself a mountain bike and did it. What I like about XTERRA is the challenge, it’s as much you against the course as it is against other racers. Race the course well and your place across the finish line will take care of itself.

XT: What’s your history on the Nationals course here in Utah?

RR: I raced Nationals for the first time last year but was fighting Lyme disease in the weeks leading up to the race. All the reservations were in place so I made the trip anyway and was so glad that I did.           Although I was much more of a participant than a competitor last year, I got to see how spectacular the course is and couldn’t wait to come back healthy and try again. The terrain is so much different than what I’m accustomed to (rocky, rooty New England singletrack).

XT: You did a lot better this year, finishing third in your division. Are you happy with that?

RR: After Saturday’s race it’s clear to me that I’ve got to up my game to compete with all of the great bike climbers who come out to play in Utah. I’ve got every intention of coming back next year to give it another go.

XT: What do you swim, ride, and run in?

RR: Ride a Specialized Stumpjumper 29’er (hardtail); and Niner Jet 9 RDO (full suspension). For running I train on the road in Asics, race trails wearing Inov-8. And in the water it’s a DeSoto T1 (love the custom fit achievable with a 2 piece suit).

XT: Any notable pre-race rituals?

RR: Oatmeal 3hrs before the start, get transition set up with time to spare (I don’t like having to rush on race morning), start swim warmup 30m prior to the start.

XT: Who is your favorite XTERRA athlete?

RR: Josiah Middaugh (one tough dude); honorable mentions have to go to Conrad (always been super friendly), and Branden Rakita (met him for the first time while doing reconnaissance of the “dry way” at Richmond this year. He spent 10 minutes with me showing what he’d found for the best route across).

XT: What made this year so special for you?

RR: Obviously, winning in Richmond was huge for me. After that race I started to wonder what might be possible this year. Getting wins at several point series races (a huge thanks to race directors in the northeast region for stepping in to fill the void of XTERRA races) gave me more confidence. And to cap it all off with a return trip to Ogden; I really couldn’t have asked for a better season.

XT: Who is your role model?

RR: My dad – always has been. Started running with him when I was a kid and I think about him every time I hear the national anthem played before races. He got me started in sports and I’m so thankful that he did.

XT: Did you dedicate Nationals to anyone in particular?

RR: This one goes to Dawn, the love of my life. She’s been to every race and supports me in so many ways she doesn’t even know about.           She doesn’t do all the training but she’s with me in every workout and out on every race course. She’s the “D” in Team RAD. RAD stands for “Rob And Dawn”.

XT: Do you have a personal mantra?

RR: I’ll parse a phrase a coach once told me. Don’t be afraid to crash and burn. That’s where the demon lives. It should be miserable.

XT: Finish this sentence, XTERRA is…

RR: Living an adventure.

XT: Any random thoughts for us?

RR: I’ve never heard anyone finish an XTERRA (especially if it’s their first one) and say that they hated it and never wanted to do another one. Quite the contrary. They want to know where to sign up for the next one. I wish more racers would give XTERRA a try, I think they’d get hooked.

EPC Tips Big Gear Bike Intervals

EPC Tips – Big Gear Bike Intervals

Build more strength on the bike with this set of big gear intervals…

Including big gear work on the bike late in the season helps ‘bike proof’ your legs so you can get off the bike and still run well after a solid bike split. This particular workout was written to be performed on the stationary trainer, but can be easily adapted to the road (or dirt) if you have some longer hills available in your area. The goal with big gear interval work is to create a moderate to large amount of pedaling resistance (force) by using hills/resistance and gear selection. Proper gear selection should get you in to the 50-60 rpm range for the intervals. Alternate seated and standing positions within the session to train different muscles. If you’re new to strength work on the bike, start with shorter intervals and higher cadences to allow your body to adapt to the added stress.


  • 10:00 easy gear spin
  • additional aerobic riding as desired
  • 5:00 progressive build towards threshold power


  • 2x[10:00 big gear, low cadence climbing (2-3 min rec)(alternate seated & standing)]
  • short rest
  • 10:00 easy gear spin (ride downhill?)
  • short rest
  • 2x[10:00 big gear, low cadence climbing (2-3 min rec)(alternate seated & standing)]


  • 10:00 easy gear spin
  • extra easy riding as desired

(75+ minutes total workout time)

The ‘Workouts of the Week’ are brought to you by coach, Cody Waite. Racing XTERRA USA and/or World Championships this Fall? Then checkout our XTERRA Championship specific Group Coaching Program for a complete XTERRA specific program leading up to the BIG races!


Hales, Stephen win XTERRA Trail Run Nationals

Ogden/Snowbasin Resort, UT – Brett Hales made quite the first impression on Snowbasin Resort and the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship.

Although he lives in Layton – about 35 miles away from Snowbasin – Hales had never raced on the picturesque trails at Snowbasin until Sunday. All he did in his first XTERRA Trail Run was win the overall National Championship.

“It was phenomenal, I loved it,” said Hales, 28, who was competing in his first-ever trail race.  “Holy cow, that was so addicting.  Looking left and seeing the valley, looking right and seeing the valley, it was unlike anything I’ve ever done before.”

Winning, however, is nothing new for the former track and cross country stand-out at Weber State University.  Just last Saturday he captured the Big Cottonwood half-marathon in Salt Lake City with a blistering time of 1:03:07.

“There was a lot of downhill in last weekends race so my quads were pretty tender all week so I was waiting to see how my body would feel.  Didn’t decide to do this until 10’o’clock last night and I had no idea what to expect having never done a trail race. It was amazing.  A little wind, little rain, critters running everywhere, and there were so many people in the race but I felt like I was the only one out there.”

By mile 3.5 on the run it looked like Hales was the only one out there as he had already established a commanding lead over eventual runner-up finisher Mario Mendoza from Bend, Oregon.  Hales winning time was 1:18:18, more than six-minutes ahead of Mendoza.  Nathan Peters came in third just 10 seconds later.

Top 10 Men

Name Time
Brett Hales (Layton, UT) 1:18:18
Mario Mendoza (Bend, OR) 1:24:35
Nathan Peters (SLC, UT) 1:24:45
Bret Ferrier (Ogden, UT) 1:26:47
Nick Scalfone (San Jose, CA) 1:28:29
Daniel Molnar (Bismark, ND) 1:28:36
Barry Makarewicz (SLC, UT) 1:30:04
Andy Lee (Lakeway, TX) 1:31:48
Diego Baca (Corregidora, Mexico) 1:32:56
Dan Crooker (SLC, UT) 1:33:20
Albert Wint (Ogden, UT) 1:33:42

Complete Results


In the women’s race Liz Stephen, a two-time Olympic cross country skier from Vermont who spends her off-season in Park City, captured the elusive women’s championship title after two close second-place finishes on this course in 2011 and last year.

Her winning time of 1:27:55 was more than two minutes ahead of runner-up Kimber Mattox from Eugene, Oregon.

“It was a really fun race, and there was some fast women out here,” said Stephen.  “I wasn’t really sure how far up I was because it’s hard to see anyone else when you’re grinding through the single track on the uphills and the downhill is so long you really can’t see anybody else unless they’re within seconds.”

Like Hales in the men’s race, Stephen got out front early and never looked back.  She ultimately finished 5th overall behind only four men.

“This is a really fun course. It was a beautiful day, and the weather was amazing,” said Stephen, despite the fact it was windy, cold, and raining. “Last year was really hot so this was a nice change.  Plus, I’m kind of a hot runner so I think conditions like this are just perfect.  Falling leaves and spectators all around, I really love running here at Snowbasin and XTERRA always does such a good job with the organization.”

Top 10 Women

Name Time
Liz Stephen (East Montpelier, VT) 1:27:55
Kimber Mattox (Eugene, OR) 1:30:11
Tori Tyler (Danville, CA) 1:36:54
Mary Colburn (Culver City, CA) 1:39:11
Tracie Akerhielm (Danton, TX) 1:41:31
Rochelle Tyson (Ogden, UT) 1:44:13
Blair Bucklin (Lafayette, CO) 0:44:00
Chelsea Ollar (Provo, UT) 1:45:59
Heather Hoechst (Philadelphia, PA) 1:46:12
Kristina Owen (Ogden, UT) 1:47:15


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

Twenty-six runners representing 10 different states and Mexico took home age-group titles at the 2014XTERRA Trail Run Nationals.

The home-state Utah runners led the way with 14 champions, not including Kevin Tuck (formerly from Salt Lake City but now living in Phoenix, AZ).  Tuck, 58, was an impressive 14th overall, and this was his sixth XTERRA Trail Run National Championship age-group win.

Bob Evers (men 60-64) from Park City, Utah won his fourth straight XTERRA National title, while Bryce Larkin from Eden, UT (Men 70-74), Adrian Wolford from Mustang, OK (Men 75-59), Liz Stephen (Women 25-29), and Mary Colburn from Culver City, CA (Women 35-39) each won their second national title.

On the young end of the spectrum the Ward Kids from Layton, Utah cleaned house as 7-year-old Lota, 9-year-old Taimane, and 10-year-old Leilani each went home with a National Championship crown.  In addition Lota Ward became the youngest runner to complete the 21K course at Snowbasin.

All of the age-group champions received a free entry to participate in the 2014 XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, which is scheduled for December 7 at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii.

Below is a look at the champs, and for full results visit

XTERRA National Champs (Male)

Division Name Hometown Time
9-under Lotatoa Ward Layton, UT 3:30:17
15 – 19 Diego Baca Corregidora, Mexico 1:32:56
20 – 24 James Gossell Salt Lake City, UT 1:42:17
25 – 29 *Brett Hales Layton, UT 1:18:18
30 – 34 Bret Ferrier Ogden, UT 1:26:47
35 – 39 Albert Wint Ogden, UT 1:33:42
40 – 44 Andy Lee Lakeway, TX 1:31:48
45 – 49 Wilhem Northrop Boise, ID 1:37:12
50 – 54 Barry Makarewicz Salt Lake City, UT 1:30:04
55 – 59 Kevin Tuck (6) Phoenix, AZ 1:33:43
60 – 64 Bob Evers (3) Park City, UT 1:51:12
65 – 69 John Mitchell Altamonte Springs, FL 2:52:07
70 – 74 Bryce Larkin (2) Eden, UT 2:32:16
75 – 79 Adrian Wolford (2) Mustang, OK 2:56:19
XTERRA National Champs (Female)

Division Name Hometown Time
1 – 9 Taimane Ward Layton, UT 3:29:04
10 – 14 Leilani Ward Layton, UT 3:28:58
20 – 24 Chelsea Ollar Provo, UT 1:45:59
25 – 29 *Liz Stephen (2) East Montpelier,VT 1:27:55
30 – 34 Tracie Akerhielm Denton, TX 1:41:31
35 – 39 Mary Colburn (2) Culver City,CA 1:39:11
40 – 44 Michelle Roy Hampton, NH 1:59:44
45 – 49 Holly Hagerman Woodland Hills, UT 1:52:05
50 – 54 Laura Brewer Morgan,UT 2:15:21
55 – 59 Marty Smith Liberty,UT 2:22:52
60 – 64 Ruth Ference Rome, GA 2:28:31
65 – 69 Cheri Uno Los Angeles, CA 3:59:26

There were also 5K and 10K races today, captured by Robert Soeberger and Kalii Caldwell (5K) and Quoc Tran and Denyse Skipper (10K).

Highlight videos & images from today’s race can be found at

The 2014 XTERRA Nationals weekend is presented by the Utah Sports Commission, Paul Mitchell, and the XTERRA Live More Card. Sponsors include Snowbasin Resort, GOAL Foundation, Gatorade, PowerBar, ENVE, Utah Media Group, the U.S. Forest Service, XTERRA Wetsuits, Muscle Milk, Rockwell watches, XTERRA Fitness, LifeProof, XTERRA Coffee, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, Champion System, Greenlayer, and XTERRA Boards.

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, and learn more at and


Ruben Ruzafa

Ruzafa, Duffy win XTERRA USA Championship

(Snowbasin Resort – Ogden, Utah) – Ruben Ruzafa, 25, from Spain and Flora Duffy, 27, from Bermuda captured the 2014 XTERRA USA Championship off-road triathlon on a beautiful blue sky day at Snowbasin Resort today.

Ruzafa, the current and two-time XTERRA World Champion, finished in 2:21:47, less than one-minute ahead of runner-up and 2012 USA Champ Josiah Middaugh of Colorado who crossed in 2:22:32.

The difference was the bike where Ruzafa, a former national team rider in Spain, posted the fastest split of the day in 1:18:01, two-minutes faster than that of Middaugh who had the second-best bike time at 1:20:00.  Even though Middaugh ran one-minute faster, it wasn’t enough to reel in Ruzafa.

“It was tough.  I couldn’t stay with him on the bike,” said Middaugh.  “I needed to match him but he doesn’t have any weakness on the bike.  You give him 10 seconds and it blows up to a minute real fast.”

Middaugh still won the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series for the second straight year and was the XTERRA National Champ (top American) for the 10th time.

For Ruzafa, it’s his eight straight win of the 2014 season.  He won seven straight in Europe to capture the XTERRA European Tour Championship and also won the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship.  The last time he didn’t win was here in Utah last year, when he crossed the line in 3rd place behind Leo Chacon of Costa Rica and Middaugh.

“This race was important to me because last year was really hard,” said Ruzafa.  “I wanted to come back and do well here and happy that I did.  I came here two weeks early and studied the bike course, memorized all the turns so I could go as fast as I could.  I really like Utah, the people and the mountain.”

Eighteen-year-old rookie pro Mauricio Mendez from Mexico City finished in third, with South Africans Bradley Weiss and Dan Hugo taking 4th and 5th.

“It’s a dream come true, I’m so happy,” said Mendez.  “I know there is a lot more work to do but I’m still proving to myself that I can do more than I think.”

The day started with Ben Allen leading the way in the swim with Mendez right behind, but at the four-mile mark after the first big climb through Wheeler Canyon Mendez got gobbled up by Ruzafa and Middaugh and when Brad Weiss and Dan Hugo came by Mendez jumped on board for the ride.  By the bike-to-run transition it was Ruzafa, two minutes to Middaugh, then five minutes later Weiss and Mendez 3rd and 4th.  The speedy Mendez quickly moved into third and stayed there through the finish.

The 6-thru-10 spots were filled with breakthrough performances highlighted by Brad Zoller’s best XTERRA in 6th, then Cody Waite, Craig Evans, Chris Ganter, and Alex Modestou.

Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Ruben Ruzafa 30 Malaga, Spain 2:21:47 100
2 Josiah Middaugh 34 Vail, Colorado 2:22:43 90
3 Mauricio Mendez 18 Mexico City, Mexico 2:28:55 82
4 Bradley Weiss 25 Somerset West, South Africa 2:29:31 75
5 Dan Hugo 28 Stellenbosch, South Africa 2:32:06 69
6 Brad Zoller 37 Vail, Colorado 2:33:47 63
7 Cody Waite 36 Lakewood, Colorado 2:33:59 58
8 Craig Evans 36 Hendersonville, Tennessee 2:34:14 53
9 Chris Ganter 36 Boise, Idaho 2:34:42 49
10 Alex Modestou 28 Durham, North Carolina 2:35:46 45

Also: Branden Rakita (41), Ryan Ignatz (37), Ben Allen (34), John O’Neill (31), Adam Wirth (28), Ryan Petry, Jeff Smith, Rory Downie, Andy Lee, Louis Tafuto

Complete Results

Flora Duffy


In her first full season racing XTERRA Flora Duffy has been dominant.  She won all three regional championships and now the USA Championship.

She posted the fastest swim (coming out of the water third overall behind only Ben Allen and Mauricio Mendez), had the fastest bike split (1:32:36) and the second-best run behind eventual runner-up Barbara Riveros from Chile to take the tape in 2:38:18, more than six-minutes in front of Riveros.

“It was a lot of fun, but it was hard.  I never felt particularly stressed with my breathing but my legs were shot,” said Duffy, a two-time Olympian. “I was intimidated by this course, but apparently it suits me. The water was warm, but swimming at altitude is hard. I was redlining the entire swim trying to stay on feet.”

Duffy, who finished third at XTERRA Worlds last year, said the pro series title was just the first part of the plan.

“After Las Vegas in April I made it a goal of mine to win the series, so it’s pretty cool to do that. Now it’s time to get to work and be faster for Maui.”

Riveros, who wasn’t even sure if she’d make the starting line after crashing at the ITU Grand Finale in Edmonton three weeks ago, flatted towards the end of the bike – came into transition in third – but was able to chase down two-time World Champ Lesley Paterson for second.

“I’m pretty happy to finish, especially here. I’m very grateful.  Beautiful venue, beautiful people,” said Riveros, who was also 2nd at this race last year.  “I heard I was 53 seconds back halfway through the last downhill when I got a flat.  I hit a rock but my tire didn’t explode for a while.  It was kind of sketchy, I was happy to make it out okay.”

For Paterson, the defending USA Champion who’s been sidelined all season with injury, just getting back into the mix was a win.

“I’m truly back (pointing to blood seeping through the tip of her running shoes),” said Paterson.  “My feet were killing me, I’m just not used to it.  It all came back to me, like ‘Oh, yeah, this is what it feels like.’  But it feels awesome, so much fun just to be out there with those girls, they’re awesome and we were giving each other shouts out there.  I was bummed Barbara got a puncture on the bike but on the run she ran past me like I was standing still so I guess it all worked out.”

“Today it was great to see Lesley back racing and up here on the podium,” said Duffy at the awards ceremony.  “She’s an athlete I really respect and someone I think singlehandedly raised the bar for XTERRA racing on the women’s side. It’ll be exciting to watch the comeback and I hope to have many more battles with her in the future.”

Emma Garrard from Park City, Utah finished fourth and the National Champ (top American in the Series) for the second straight year, and Chantell Widney placed 5th.

The race combined a 1.5km swim in the 67-degree waters of Pineview Reservoir with a 28km mountain bike that climbed 3,400-feet up to Sardine Peak and back down to Snowbasin Resort, then finished with a 6.1-mile trail run that had another 600-feet of climbing.  Altitude is 4,900-feet at Pineview, 7,300-feet at top of Sardine, and 6,400-feet at T2 and the finish.

Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Flora Duffy 27 Boulder, Colorado (Bermuda) 2:38:18 100
2 Barbara Riveros 27 La Pintana, Chile 2:44:28 90
3 Lesley Paterson 33 San Diego, CA (Scotland) 2:46:24 82
4 Emma Garrard 31 Park City, Utah 2:48:10 75
5 Chantell Widney 34 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 2:50:10 69
6 Suzie Snyder 32 Fredericksburg, Virginia 2:52:04 63
7 Carina Wasle 29 Kundl, Austria 2:52:53 58
8 Danelle Kabush 38 Calgary, Canada 2:53:32 53
9 Sara Schuler 33 Boulder, Colorado 2:55:57 49
10 Shonny Vanlandingham 45 Durango, Colorado 3:01:40 45

Also: Genevieve Evans (41), Maia Ignatz (37), Kim Baugh (34), Susan Sloan (31), Kara LaPoint (28), Catherine Sterling, Jaime Brede, Debby Sullivan, Caroline Colonna, Amelia McCracken, Rebecca Blatt


Josiah Middaugh and Flora Duffy capped off remarkable seasons on XTERRA’s U.S. pro circuit. Duffy went undefeated, while Middaugh’s only blemish was his runner-up performance today. They each received a check for $10,000 for taking the series title.

In the race for second Brad Weiss’ 4th place finish today was enough to secure his 2nd place standing in the overall – by one point!  Weiss finished with 322 points, Mendez with 321.

In the women’s chase Emma Garrard’s 4th place finish also secured her 2nd place standing for the Series. Middaugh and Garrard took home the honors of XTERRA USA National Champions for having the best seasons of American’s on the tour.

2014 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Standings (Final)

Pros count their best 3-of-4 regionals, plus USA

Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Josiah Middaugh 100 100 x82 100 90 390
2 Bradley Weiss 90 82 75 DNS 75 322
3 Mauricio Mendez 82 75 x63 82 82 321
4 Dan Hugo 58 63 100 DNS 69 290
5 Craig Evans 69 90 69 DNS 53 281
6 Branden Rakita 75 69 58 x53 41 243
7 Chris Ganter 53 x45 53 58 49 213
8 Ryan Ignatz 45 58 DNS 63 37 203
9 Alex Modestou DNR 41 DNS 69 45 155
10 Ryan Petry 63 DNR DNS 75 DNP 138
11 Brad Zoller DNS DNS DNS 49 63 112
12 Jeff Smith 37 37 34 DNS DNP 108
13 Cody Waite DNS DNS DNS 45 58 103
14 Ruben Ruzafa DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 100
15 Karsten Madsen DNF 49 49 DNS DNR 98
16 Ben Hoffman DNS DNS DNS 90 DNR 90
17 Ryan DeCook 31 DNR 45 DNS DNR 76
18 Nick Fisher DNP 53 DNS DNS DNR 53
19 Matt Lieto 49 DNR DNS DNS DNR 49
20 Thomas Spannring DNS DNS DNS 41 DNR 41
21 Justin Thomas 41 DNR DNS DNS DNR 41
22 Takahiro Ogasawara DNS DNS 41 DNS DNR 41
23 Alex Libin DNS DNS DNS 37 DNR 37
24 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau DNS DNF 37 DNS DNR 37
25 Joshua Merrick DNS DNS DNS 34 DNR 34
26 Will Kelsay 34 DNR DNS DNS DNR 34
27 Ben Allen DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 34
28 Gavin Anderson DNS DNS DNS 31 DNR 31
29 Charlie Epperson DNS DNP 31 DNS DNR 31
30 John O’Neill DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 31
31 Will Ross 28 DNR DNS DNS DNR 28
32 Noah Wright DNS DNS 28 DNS DNR 28
33 Adam Wirth DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 28
Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Flora Duffy 100 100 100 DNS 100 400
2 Emma Garrard x90 90 90 90 75 345
3 Chantell Widney 69 69 DNS 100 69 307
4 Suzie Snyder 75 82 82 x63 63 302
5 Shonny Vanlandingham 82 DNF 75 75 45 277
6 Danelle Kabush 63 63 DNS 82 53 261
7 Kara LaPoint 58 58 41 x28 28 185
8 Christine Jeffrey DNR 75 69 41 DNS 185
9 Jaime Brede 49 49 DNS 69 DNP 167
10 Amelia McCracken 37 53 49 DNP DNP 139
11 Sara Schuler DNS DNS DNS 58 49 107
12 Debby Sullivan 45 DNR 58 DNP DNP 103
13 Caroline Colonna DNR 45 45 DNP DNP 90
14 Barbara Riveros DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 90
15 Lesley Patersno DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 82
16 Rebecca Blatt 41 DNR 37 DNS DNP 78
17 Maia Ignatz DNS DNS DNS 37 37 74
18 Kim Baugh DNS DNS DNS 34 34 68
19 Catherine Sterling DNS DNS 63 DNS DNP 63
20 Carina Wasle DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 58
21 Katie Button 53 DNR DNS DNS DNR 53
22 Mieko Carey DNS DNS 53 DNS DNR 53
23 Rebecca Dussault DNS DNS DNS 53 DNR 53
24 Kelley Cullen DNS DNS DNS 49 DNR 49
25 Heidi Rentz DNS DNS DNS 45 DNR 45
26 Genevieve Evans DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 41
27 Rachel Challis DNS DNS DNS 31 DNR 31
28 Susan Sloan DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 31


JP Donovan and Hannah Rae Finchamp captured the overall amateur XTERRA USA Championship titles today.  It’s the third time Donovan has won Nationals, but his first overall victory, while it’s the second overall title in three years for Finchamp (who has now won the 15-19 division four straight times).

“It feels really nice to take the title back,” said Finchamp, who is in her freshman year at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.  “I felt really smooth and really good today, maybe more physically ready than ever because I’ve been training with the collegiate teams and it has been so much fun being with other people training.  It does take a toll on you mentally, however, having to come all the way from Missouri and flying by the seat of my pants.”

Finchamp is on the cross country, cycling, and swim teams at Lindenwood this season, and said “I love it there, nowhere else I’d rather be for school.”

There was an interesting twist in the men’s race as Matthew Balzer, the reigning USA Champion, looked poised to capture his second straight until another guy – wearing the same kit – stormed past.  And it was his fault.

“I’ve got to give thanks to Matthew Balzer from the Reno Running Company,” said Donovan, 27, a lifeguard from Incline Village, Nevada who has been racing XTERRA since 2006.  “He hooked me up with a kit, drove me out here, and really pushed me to train the last couple weeks.  I wasn’t even going to do it this year but he conned me into it. While he’s not my coach, he is in my mind, kind of like the conscience on my shoulder.”

The two came into transition close together but Donovan charged hard on the first steep incline out of transition and never looked back.

“I wouldn’t want to give it up to anybody else,” said Balzer, who finished second.  “At least we got the kit involved.”

Cindi Toepel from Littleton reached a milestone mark today, winning her unprecedented 10th XTERRA USA Championship crown.

David Rakita, father to XTERRA pro Branden Rakita, won his 5th title (he got his first in 2002).

Craig Vogtsberger, who was honored as this year’s Mr. XTERRA award winner for best exemplifying the “Live More” spirit of the sport, captured his fourth National Championship in the physically challenged division.

Donovan, Lucia Colbert, and Katherine Pollard each won their third USA Championships, while Balzer, Peter Lilley, Paula Maresh, and Meghan Sheridan captured their second each.

Here’s a look at all of this year’s National Champs:


Division Name Time Hometown
15 – 19 Hannah Rae Finchamp (4) 3:03:09 Altadena, CA
20 – 24 * Katherine Pollard (3) 3:52:44 Roseville, CA
25 – 29 Amie Graf 3:40:54 Glenwood Springs, CO
30 – 34 Sian Turner 3:15:11 Truckee, CA
35 – 39 Meghan Sheridan (2) 3:14:28 Salt Lake City, UT
40 – 44 Kathy Waite 3:19:12 Lakewood, CO
45 – 49 Patty Smaldone 3:54:08 Portland, OR
50 – 54 Paula Maresh (2) 3:33:58 Littleton, CO
55 – 59 Lucia Colbert (3) 3:52:59 Cordova, TN
60 – 64 Cindi Toepel (10) 3:57:04 Littleton, CO
Division Name Time Hometown
15 – 19 David Duncan 3:02:36 Shingle Springs, CA
20 – 24 Billy Allen 2:52:23 Farmingdale, NM
25 – 29 *JP Donovan (3) 2:38:08 Incline Village, NV
30 – 34 Matt Balzer (2) 2:40:48 Reno, NV
35 – 39 Jeffrey Dewitt 2:53:37 Castle Rock, CO
40 – 44 Jack Cartwright 2:46:26 Austin, TX
45 – 49 Chris Phenicie 2:52:04 Lakewood, CO
50 – 54 Andrew Macnaughton 2:52:37 Newbury Park, CA
55 – 59 Dennis Brinson 3:03:48 Carson City, NV
60 – 64 Johnny Davis 3:24:25 Boulder, CO
65 – 69 David Rakita (5) 3:53:53 Durango, CO
70 – 74 Peter Lilley (2) 5:22:01 Charlotte, NC
PC Craig Vogtsberger (4) 3:55:27 Littleton, CO

Complete Results

Now, it’s time to party at the Harvest Moon Celebration block party in downtown Ogden, Utah where the National Champs will be recognized on the main stage.

Tomorrow, it’s the trail runners turn as harriers from around the country will gather for the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship half-marathon at Snowbasin Resort at 9am.  Learn more at

Of note, both the XTERRA Tri and Trail Run National Championship races are the culmination of 70+ race nationwide series and XTERRA TV is producing an hour-long, nationally broadcast television show on the USA Championship, highlighting Northern Utah as a mecca for outdoor adventure recreation (you can watch last year’s show right now at

Highlight videos & images from today’s race can be found at

The 2014 XTERRA Nationals weekend is presented by the Utah Sports Commission, Paul Mitchell, and the XTERRA Live More Card. Sponsors include Snowbasin Resort, GOAL Foundation, Gatorade, PowerBar, ENVE, Utah Media Group, the U.S. Forest Service, XTERRA Wetsuits, Muscle Milk, Rockwell watches, XTERRA Fitness, LifeProof, XTERRA Coffee, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, Champion System, Greenlayer, and XTERRA Boards.

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, and learn more at and


The XTERRA USA Championship was the last of 35 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.

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 Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
15-Jun XTERRA East Championship Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy
21-Jun XTERRA Greece Francois Carloni / Kathrin Mueller
28-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller
29-Jun XTERRA Norway Dan Hugo / Cecilie Overbye
5-Jul XTERRA Ontario Sean Bechtel / Heather Pady
6-Jul XTERRA France Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller
6-Jul XTERRA Victoria Brent McMahon / Melanie McQuaid
6-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest Sergio Florian / Laurel Dudley
13-Jul XTERRA Sweden Braden Currie / Helena Erbenova
19-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship Josiah Middaugh / Chantell Widney
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Helene Erbenova
2-Aug XTERRA Mexico Championship Irving Perez / Fabiola Corona
9-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller
16-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller
17-Aug XTERRA Canmore Mathieu Signoretty / Brittany Webster
24-Aug XTERRA England Conrad Stoltz / Emma Garrard
31-Aug XTERRA Denmark Conrad Stoltz / Kathrin Mueller
31-Aug XTERRA Quebec Jean-Philippe Thibodeau / Claude Godbout
7-Sep XTERRA Sleeping Giant Scott Hill / Charlotte McShane
20-Sep XTERRA USA Championship Ruben Ruzafa / Flora Duffy
26-Oct XTERRA World Championship Maui, Hawaii