Swim Close Up

EPC Tips – Swim Speed

This week’s workout takes us to the pool to work on your swim speed, it consists of short, fast repetitions with a good amount of rest to allow you to swim them near an all out effort. The objective with any short, near max effort intervals is to work on your nueromuscular capabilities and mechanical efficiency through a high turnover rate (stoke rate in the pool, and cadence on the bike and run). Most triathlete swimmers lack the arm-turnover capabilities to really be able to swim fast in the open water. Triathletes often train the endurance side of the swim so they can ‘get through’ the swim, which is step one; but when you’re ready to swim the swim leg more competitively you need to work the short speed end of the equation to make further gains.

Try this workout for a start at improving your turn-over speed. Be careful to maintain good stroke mechanics and a good ‘grip’ on the water so you’re not just simply ‘spinning your wheels’ and not going any faster. Think strong and fast! Grab the water in front of you and pull yourself forward with each stroke. Adjust the rest intervals between the reps to allow a good recovery as you are learning. As you improve you can shorten the recovery intervals a bit for more of a challenge. You can also add a second set of the main set, as you get stronger and more into your race season.

WARM-UP: 200 easy swim
6×50 drill choice
6×50 kick, descend 1-3 & 4-6 @ 15″ rests

MAIN SET:100 build @ 20″ rest
4×50 fast @ 30″ rests
100 easy choice
3×50 fast @ 30″ rests
100 easy choice
2×50 fast @ 30″ rests
100 easy choice
1×50 ALL OUT!

STRENGTH SET: 600 pull w/bouy & paddles, descend each 300

WARM-DOWN: 200 easy mixed stroke

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

James Lee of Saipan-Relay Team Member

The Crown Jewel – 13 Years in Saipan

Stop No. 5 of the Asia-Pacific Tour on Saturday takes XTERRA to the beautiful island of Saipan in the Northern Marianas – the sports original exotic destination.

“There’s no place like it,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas.  “This is a hallmark race and the allure of this island is really not possible to describe – but the pull is here.”

XTERRA first ventured to Saipan in 2002 and 13-years later is still taking racers through caves where Japanese soldiers hid and fought from during the Battle of Saipan in 1944.

Some of the sports’ best all-time stories originated in Saipan, from an exploding neighbor island volcano that painted the sky black with ash during the middle of the day to the tsunami threat following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake that played tricks with the ocean currents.

“The impact it had on Saipan was a pushing and pulling current typical of the phenomena,” explained Nicholas.  “Just before the race, swimmers came in asking the course be changed from counter clockwise to clockwise as there was a big current.  We changed the direction but it was not just a simple current but the after-effects of the tsunami.  As swimmers hit the outside buoy, the current changed to pushing in and everyone nearly stopped!  Then the current sucked the water away from the beach and many were walking.”

Saipan is where XTERRA Hall-of-Famer Jamie “J-Dawg” Whitmore got her career kick-started in 2002.  It’s where Aussie Jason “Chalks” Chalker became a living-legend with an extraordinaire string of epic crashes.  Three-time Olympian Olivier Marceau made using Saipan as a base-camp for early season training and racing a popular decision.   Renata Bucher has a long-standing love-affair with the island and its people, saying it’s “not an XTERRA season without a stay in Saipan.”

Triathlete Magazine called it one of the ‘World’s Best” races in 2011.  Richard “Doc” Wall saved a man’s life in the middle of the race one year.  New York Times bestselling author Marty Dugard wrote about his adventures at XTERRA Saipan in his book, To Be A Runner.

At XTERRA Saipan, the race starts on the same beach where Marines launched their attack in ’44, then the bike course traverses nearly every inch of the island where the battles took place. At the American Memorial Park Museum, many who visit watch a heart-wrenching video on how it all went down, and then walk somberly through the interactive displays.

There are a lot of reasons to love Saipan – the people, history, and adventurous course are a few, however, the most recurring comment you’ll hear when talking to alumni, “it’s so much fun.”

A worthy international elite field is in Saipan to experience that fun along with Saturday’s championship event, highlighted by Dan Hugo and Ben Allen for the men; Renata Bucher and Jacqui Slack for the women.

Hugo has been on fire in 2014, winning all three majors he raced at – South Africa (Feb. 23), Philippines (March 15), and Guam (March 29).  Allen is fresh off a W at his home country race – the XTERRA Great Ocean Road off-road tri in Australia – and won XTERRA Saipan the past two years.

Other contenders for the men include 4x Saipan Champ Olivier Marceau representing Switzerland, South Africans Bradley Weiss (2nd in Guam) and Nico Sterk (4th in Guam), Kiwis Olly Shaw (3rd in Guam) and Mark Leishman, Markus Benesch from Austria, Michal Bucek from Slovakia, and Charlie Epperson from the U.S.

In the women’s race Bucher is shooting for her 8th Saipan title in 10 years but will have to contend with defending champ Jacqui Slack from Great Britain – who just won in Australia last weekend, along with Carina Wasle from Austria and former Saipan resident Mieko Carey.

Read what some of the pros had to say in this preview from Roselyn Monroyo of the Saipan Tribune.

XTERRA SAIPAN ALL-TIME PRO WINNERS
Year Men Women
2002 Mike Vine Jamie Whitmore
2003 Jason Chalker Jamie Whitmore
2004 Olivier Marceau Jamie Whitmore
2005 Olivier Marceau Renata Bucher
2006 Olivier Marceau Renata Bucher
2007 Olivier Marceau Renata Bucher
2008 Andrew Noble Renata Bucher
2009 Sam Gardner Renata Bucher
2010 Sam Gardner Renata Bucher
2011 Sam Gardner Shonny Vanlandingham
2012 Ben Allen Renata Bucher
2013 Ben Allen Jacqui Slack

Note: Saipan is located in the middle of the Western Pacific Ocean – 1,300 miles south of Tokyo, 1,400 miles east of Manila, 3,200 miles west of Honolulu, and 2,900 miles north of Sydney. It offers up azure colored water, a powder blue sky, light island breezes, and tropical 85-degree days prevail year-round providing the perfect venue for XTERRA.  The race consists of a 1.5-kilometer ocean swim, a 30km mountain bike that climbs 1,500 feet to the highest point on the island, and an epic 12km trail run that weaves through heavy jungle and into caves used during World War II.

ALL-TIME XTERRA SAIPAN PRO LIST

 Ben Allen (AUS) 2012-13
Jude Baker (Guam) 2003
Renata Bucher (Switzerland) 2005-13
Jens Buder (GER) 2012
Mieko Carey (Japan) 2008-13
Jason Chalker (Australia) 2002-05, 2010
Paul Chetwynd (Canada) 2011
Caroline Colonna (USA) 2011
Fabiola Corona (Mexico) 2006
Ryan DeCook (USA) 2006
Julie Dibens (United Kingdom) 2007-09
Rory Downie (Great Britain)
Anke Erlank (South Africa) 2002
Denilson Freitas (Brazil) 2011
Hideo Fukui (Japan) 2002, 2005
Sam Gardner (United Kingdom) 2007, 2009-11, 13
Dominic Gillen (USA) 2004
David Henestrosa (Spain) 2004
Michael Hiscott (Great Britain) 2010
Misaki Hosoya (Japan) 2003, 2004
Haruna Hosoya (Japan) 2003
Dan Hugo (South Africa) 2013
Noiaki Ito (Japan) 2006
Uli Katzer (Austria) 2009
Will Kelsay (USA) 2012
Cedric Lassonde (FRA) 2012
Arland Macasieb (Philippines) 2009
Gary Mandy (South Africa) 2002
Olivier Marceau (France) 2004-07, 2012-13
Sibylle Matter (Switzerland) 2007
Jim McConnel (Great Britain) 2009
Josiah Middaugh (USA) 2004
Jody Mielke (Australia) 2002
Yasuko Miyazaki (Japan) ’02, ’04, ’05, ’07, ‘13
Makoto Nagatome (Japan) 2003
Andrew Noble (Australia) 2007, 2008-09
Misa Nonaka (Japan) 2005
Takahiro Ogasawara (Japan) 2008-13
Haruna Ouchi (Japan) 2002
Darelle Parker (Great Britain) 2010-11, 13
Kaley Parkinson (USA) 2002, 2003
Brandyn Rakita (USA) 2012
Pedro Ribeiro (Brazil) 2002
Ingrid Rolles (South Africa) 2005
Mami Saito (Japan) 2005-07
Ingrid Sala (Spain) 2004
Yuko Sasaki (Japan) 2005, 2006
Monique Sawicki (USA) 2006
Taro Shirato (Japan) 2002-10
Jacqui Slack (GBR) 2012-13
Emma Ruth Smith (Great Britain) 2010
Suzie Snyder (USA) 2011
Butch Sublemente (Saipan) 2013
Kyosuke Takei (Japan) 2005, 2007
Margus Tamm (Estonia) 2006, 2007
Melissa Thomas (USA) 2003
Richard Thomas (France) 2007
Jim Vance (USA) 2008
Shonny Vanlandingham (USA) 2009-11
Mike Vine (Canada) 2002, 2009-10
Graham Wadsworth (GBR) 2012
Carina Wasle (AUT) 2011-13
Bradley Weiss (South Africa) 2013
Jamie Whitmore (USA) 2002-07
Sascha Wingenfeld (Germany) 2009
Adam York (USA) 2011
Yu Yumoto (Japan) 2002-03, 2005-06

GOR Pro Men Winners

Allen, Slack win XTERRA Great Ocean Road

Complete Results / Photo Gallery

(Anglesea, Victoria, Australia) – The power couple of XTERRA, Ben Allen from Australia and Jacqui Slack from Great Britain, captured the 2nd running of the XTERRA Great Ocean Road off-road triathlon amidst a perfect bright blue sky day in the seaside town of Anglesea, Victoria on Sunday.

Interestingly, Allen didn’t post the fastest swim, bike, or run time but still crossed the tape nearly three minutes ahead of Roger Serrano from Spain with a winning time of 1:57:14.  Drew Box, an Aussie ITU racer, was first out of the water and also posted the fastest run split (just 11 seconds faster in both disciplines than Allen) while Serrano had the best bike split.

The lead Box held out of the swim-to-bike transition area at Anglesea River-mouth Park didn’t last long as Allen and Serrano sped along the early stages of the bike route that featured breathtaking views of the Surf Coast Walk before dipping into some rugged Australian bushland and single track.

Serrano, a friend of Allen who came to Australia to experience the culture and tackle the two majors (Great Ocean Road and the inaugural XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race in NSW on April 26) was in the mix on the bike all day.

“I tried hard to stay with Ben in the technical sections but he was too fast. I had a couple of close calls not to crash, but it was still great fun out there,” said Serrano.

Allen and Serrano came into the bike-to-run transition together, then Allen pulled away and put the hammer down on the 10K trail run that featured a mixture of soft sand, cliff face and headland.

“I had fun out there today,” said Allen.  “I raced smart and in control. I had a plan and I executed it to perfection. I’m honored to win on home soil in front of my family and friends. A huge highlight was crossing the line with my nephew Jayden.  My whole family came down to support Jacqui and I. It’s the best feeling in the world to put on a good performance and show them what I can do.”

It’s Allen’s first major win of the season, coming off a 2013 career-year when he posted an unprecedented seven XTERRA World Tour race victories. Serrano held on for second and Box ran his way into third position. Dr. Mitch Anderson, a former Ironman Champion, placed fourth and Alex Hunt was fifth.

Pro Men
Pl Name Time
1 Ben Allen, AUS 1:57:14
2 Roger Serrano, ESP 2:00:07
3 Drew Box, AUS 2:02:40
4 Mitchell Anderson, AUS 2:05:27
5 Alex Hunt, AUS 2:07:08
6 Sam Kidd, AUS 2:08:19
7 Jarad Kohlar, AUS 2:12:13
8 Eduardo Sturla, ARG 2:13:45
9 Ben Pattie, AUS 2:14:52
10 Noah Wright, USA 2:22:26
Also: Tim Beardall

GOR Pro Men Winners

SLACK DOMINATES WOMEN’S RACE

In the women’s race Aussie ITU and IM 70.3 great Annabel Luxford started strong in her XTERRA debut using her Aussie surf skills to lead Slack out of the water.  Of note, age grouper Natalie Marshall – a champion Surf Swimmer – exited 1st ahead of both of them.

Slack showcased her XTERRA mountain bike skills right away by riding through the soft sand and into the trails in the first 200-meters,  a spot where Luxford had to walk her bike through, and there was no looking back after that.  Slack posted the quickest bike and run splits on the day to cross the line in 2:16:19, more than 11-minutes ahead of runner-up Deanna Blegg.

“I had a solid ride but had no idea how far ahead I was,” said Slack, winner of four XTERRA World tour races last season.  “I took off on the run hard for the first 5km and once I knew I had a big lead I was able to enjoy the second half of the run and embrace the support from the crowds, family & friends that cheered me on. It’s always a huge highlight sharing the top spot of the podium with Ben. We are both very grateful for the opportunity to race and all those who support us on this journey.”

Penny Hosken finished less than a minute behind Blegg in third, with local favorite Peri Gray in fourth and Luxford in fifth.

Pro Women
Pl Name Final
1 Jacqui Slack, GBR 2:16:19
2 Deanna Blegg, AUS 2:27:49
3 Penny Hosken, AUS 2:28:41
4 Peri Gray, AUS 2:29:51
5 Annabel Luxford, AUS 2:31:22
6 Bernadette Dornom, AUS 2:34:52
7 Rebecca Hoschke, AUS 2:35:47

Also on the day age-groupers lined up to race for Victorian Off-Road Championship titles and qualification spots into the XTERRA World Championships in Hawaii.  Anglesea local Sam Hume won the men’s amateur title and placed 4th overall, edging Daniel Neilson by just over a minute in 2:05:14. Naantali Marshall won the women’s amateur title, placing fifth overall among women.  Hundreds of other competitors took on the XTERRA Sprint Tri, 21km Trail Run and 10km Trail Run/Walk events.

Next up on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour is XTERRA Saipan on April 5, then XTERRA New Zealand on April 12, followed by the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Jervis Bay, New South Wales on April 26.

2014 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING EVENTS

XTERRA Great Ocean Road was the sixth of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 26, 2014.  Up next, the XTERRA Saipan Championship on April 5.

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 Northern Marianas
12-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship Rotorua
13-Apr XTERRA West Championship Lake Las Vegas, Nevada
26-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia
3-May XTERRA Malaysia Putrajaya
17-May XTERRA Southeast Championship Pelham, Alabama
24-May XTERRA Mauritius Bois Cheri
25-May XTERRA Spain Championship Cieza, Murcia
1-Jun XTERRA Portugal Golega
8-Jun XTERRA Brazil Championship Ilhabela, Sao Paulo
15-Jun XTERRA East Championship Richmond, Virginia
21-Jun XTERRA Greece Lake Plastira
28-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship Vallee de Joux
29-Jun XTERRA Norway Horten
5-Jul XTERRA Ontario – Canadian Cross Tri Championship Milton, Ontario, Canada
6-Jul XTERRA France Championship Xonrupt, Gerardmer
6-Jul XTERRA Victoria British Columbia, Canada
6-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii
13-Jul XTERRA Sweden Hellasgaarten
19-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, Colorado
20-Jul XTERRA Ireland Killaloe, County Clare
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship Abruzzo, Scanno
2-Aug XTERRA Mexico Championship Tapalpa, Jalisco
9-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship Prachatice
16-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship Zittau
17-Aug XTERRA Canmore Alberta, Canada
24-Aug XTERRA England Cranleigh, Surrey
31-Aug XTERRA Denmark Tisvilde
31-Aug XTERRA Quebec Lac Delage, Quebec, Canada
7-Sep XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thundery Bay, Ontario, Canada
20-Sep XTERRA USA Championship Ogden/Snowbasin, UT
26-Oct XTERRA World Championship Maui, Hawaii


About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

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

LeoSwimFeatured

Chacon, Vanlandingham win XTERRA Costa Rica

(Playa Conchal, Costa Rica) – Home country hero Leonardo Chacon and former XTERRA World Champion Shonny Vanlandinghan won the XTERRA Costa Rica off-road triathlon on an incredibly hot day in Playa Conchal.

XTERRA managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas was on-site and brings us this report…

After days of super gusty winds and high humidity the weather Gods gave us a perfect Costa Rica day for racing.  Not that it wasn’t hot or humid, but not oppressive at all.

The morning was truly festive with hundreds of athletes and spectators all wearing their XTERRA tattoos and smiling in anticipation.  On the way down to the start, a loud family of howler monkeys was perched right above the road providing entertainment for all.  These little guys are cute as hell and it is amazing the huge howls and growls they summon up.

Pro men started up on the beach right at 0645 followed by the pro women a few minutes later.  The big age group field would start after the women were well into their second lap.  The first lap out of the water, local and international pro Leonardo Chacon led followed closely by American Craig Evans and Mexican 20-year-old neo-pro Mauricio Mendez Cruz.

Evans went into the lead on the second lap and headed the field onto the bike with Chacon second, Maurizio 3rd, Brandon Rakita 4th and Roberto Garcia 5th.   USA champ Josiah Middaugh was roughly 3 minutes back in 8th.  Josiah quickly dispatched everyone ahead of him but Chacon, who had caught Evans and had the lead.  At the start of “The Lollipop”, about 2/3 of the bike,  Leo was 1 minute ahead of Josiah.  “I was catching him on the hike-a-bikes, or so it seemed.  I think I got to 40 seconds, but when we got back on the bike he really went hard” said Middaugh.  “I knew Josiah was there and he was pushing me” said Chacon “I had to push so hard”.  Hard?  When I talked to Leo he was in the med tent on his 2nd IV.  He left nothing out on the field.

Best race on the bike was birthday boy Craig Evans and his young protagonist Mauricio Mendez.  They traded places and worked together the entire bike.  “I liked racing with him, he is very good to ride with” said Mendez.  “We had a good race but when we got to the run, he simply ran away” lamented Evans.

Leo was on a mission and put time on Josiah in the first couple K of the run and then held it, winning by just under 3 minutes.  Mendez was a fantastic 3rd overall with the fastest run of the day and came across the line just a minute behind Middaugh.

The heat finally got to Craig Evans and another hard charging Costa Rican- Rom Akerson – caught Craig with only a few hundred meters to go.

For the women, Canadian Chris Jeffrey had a massive lead out of the water.  Chris’ nickname is Big Fish and the announcers continued to use that name the entire race.  At the end, in the timing tent, the scoring crew asked me to verify that Big Fish was not her real name !!  Shonny Vanlandingham had a good swim and was just 4 ½ minutes back.

We need to talk about the swim.  The beach is pure white, the water azure blue.  But yesterday and today there was a massive influx of jellyfish.  I don’t think massive is even a big enough word.  ”It was like swimming into a wall at times” said Brandon Rakita.  “There were times you could not see if front of you because they were so thick”.  Josiah laughed that it was “weird when you started a stroke and your hand punched into one – yuck”.  He finished “They were so thick the stinging danglers were always down and the only time I felt anything was when one would get tossed up”.  The beach was full of them, leftover from the high tide but nobody got stung.

Vanlandingham did not catch Jeffrey until well into the bike.  “She is a strong biker on those flats and I had to wait until the technical parts to make any kind of gain on her” said Shonny.  Indeed Christine had a great bike to finish an uncontested 2nd.  Farther back Costa Rican pro Vivian Chavarria came out of the water second to Jeffrey but by the Lollipop Brazil pro Laura Diaz was in 3rd with Brit Flo Dannah 4th.  Diaz, like so many others, suffered on the run and Flo caught her about the same place as Akerson passed Evans.  The finish for the women was Vanlandingham first, Jeffrey 2nd, Flo Dannah 3rd, Laura Diaz 4th and Chavarria 5th.

A great first race.  The area is fabulous.  The event is held inside Playa Conchal which features hundreds of great condos from 1 to 3 bedrooms and the swanky Westin Resort.  For those on a budget there are a dozen or more smaller places nearby that start at $29 a night.  Plenty of camping as well, but don’t expect the campsites to be deluxe as in the States.  This area is basically a Costa Rican surf resort.  Lots of waves, coffee houses and small restaurants of a very high quality.  Cuisine seems to be largely Italian and Mediterranean, but as mentioned, there are dozens of neat café’ style places to choose from that are quite varied.  Oh – and the local Imperial Beer is always cold and tasty.

For this area you can fly into a good sized airport in Liberia.  Then about a 45 minute drive to the venue.  The Capitol City of San Jose is from 2.5 to 4 hours depending on traffic – and there is traffic in the big city.

Costa Rica is just a neat place.  I had heard loads about it but never had been here.  It meets all your expectations and then some.  I’ve said it about a dozen places and this is another one.  Get that Live More spirit going and come play in the sun and the surf next season.

Pro Men
Pl Name Time
1 Leonardo Chacon, CRC 2:17:43
2 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:20:40
3 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 2:21:46
4 Rom Akerson, CRC 2:25:05
5 Craig Evans, USA 2:25:47
6 Sebastian Neef, GER 2:26:39
7 Branden Rakita, USA 2:29:25
8 Llewellyn Holmes, GBR 2:31:59
9 Jan Kubicek, CZE 2:34:29
10 Sebastian Bauer, GER 2:42:26
Also: John Garita Zamora, Roberto Garcia Lachner, Fabrizio Bartoli
Pro Women
Pl Name Final
1 Shonny Vanlandingham, USA 2:51:08
2 Christine Jeffrey, USA 2:58:23
3 Flo Dannah, GBR 3:14:35
4 Laura Mira Diaz, BRA 3:14:58
5 Viviana Chavarria 3:38:56

Age Group Results / Facebook Page / Images

2014 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING EVENTS

XTERRA Costa Rica was the fifth of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 26, 2014.  Up next, the XTERRA Saipan Championship on April 5.

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
Anglesea, Victoria, Australia
5-Apr XTERRA Saipan Championship Northern Marianas
12-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship Rotorua
13-Apr XTERRA West Championship Lake Las Vegas, Nevada
26-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia
3-May XTERRA Malaysia Putrajaya
17-May XTERRA Southeast Championship Pelham, Alabama
24-May XTERRA Mauritius Bois Cheri
25-May XTERRA Spain Championship Cieza, Murcia
1-Jun XTERRA Portugal Golega
8-Jun XTERRA Brazil Championship Ilhabela, Sao Paulo
15-Jun XTERRA East Championship Richmond, Virginia
21-Jun XTERRA Greece Lake Plastira
28-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship Vallee de Joux
29-Jun XTERRA Norway Horten
5-Jul XTERRA Ontario – Canadian Cross Tri Championship Milton, Ontario, Canada
6-Jul XTERRA France Championship Xonrupt, Gerardmer
6-Jul XTERRA Victoria British Columbia, Canada
6-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii
13-Jul XTERRA Sweden Hellasgaarten
19-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, Colorado
20-Jul XTERRA Ireland Killaloe, County Clare
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship Abruzzo, Scanno
2-Aug XTERRA Mexico Championship Tapalpa, Jalisco
9-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship Prachatice
16-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship Zittau
17-Aug XTERRA Canmore Alberta, Canada
24-Aug XTERRA England Cranleigh, Surrey
31-Aug XTERRA Denmark Tisvilde
31-Aug XTERRA Quebec Lac Delage, Quebec, Canada
7-Sep XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thundery Bay, Ontario, Canada
20-Sep XTERRA USA Championship Ogden/Snowbasin, UT
26-Oct XTERRA World Championship Maui, Hawaii


About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

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

Dan Hugo

Hugo, Bucher win XTERRA Guam

Complete Results / Images

(Piti, Guam) – South Africa’s Dan Hugo led from wire-to-wire, posting the fastest swim (19:39), bike (1:24:41) and run (44:20) times of the day to capture the 10th annual XTERRA Guam Championship in 2:28:40 on Saturday.  In the women’s race the “Swiss Miss” Renata Bucher edged fellow Aloha Racing team member and island favorite Mieko Carey with a winning time of 3:03:52.

The victory is Hugo’s 3rd straight on the XTERRA World Tour, as he also captured the XTERRA South Africa in February and the Philippines Championship two weeks ago in Cebu.

“It’s been a stellar two weeks on Guam,” said Hugo. “It is a great training environment for Asian athletes needing to escape winter. Multiple running tracks, 50m pools, quiet roads. It has been great for both Brad and I, and that showed today.”

Hugo and his travel /training buddy Bradley Weiss, also of South Africa, pulled away from the entire field during the scenic, warm-water swim then tackled the signature hill climb right out of transition to bridge a gap that would never be contested.

“Did the first climb with Brad, setting up a good day for us both, and got time immediately onto the dirt which starts with a fun style of pump track riding that I enjoy,” said Hugo, who added that conditions were ideal for racing with “Sublime weather. Not much cloud, not much oppressive heat.”

By the time he got on the run Hugo could relax and enjoy perhaps the most adventurous route on the XTERRA Planet.

“I ran conservatively, especially down the waterfall sections. Unfortunately no camera gets down to the true magic of the run, where the creek meanders through thickets of old bamboo forest,” said Hugo.  “The water pools were cool and joyous relief when going in neck deep.”

The post-race festivities in Guam are an event into themselves with great food and live music, and a community filled with the Live More spirit of XTERRA.

“These people are real home grown enthusiasts for the sport, and they produce an XTERRA with soul across a memorable swim-bike-run route,” said Hugo (read his race recap at dghugo.com).  “It’s a bucket list race destination for certain.”

Weiss, who just turned 25-years-old, was in a world all his own on the day – finishing second with no one in sight, while Kiwi Olly Shaw followed in third.  A deep, international elite field filled in behind with Nico Sterk (RSA), Markus Benesch (AUT), Guam-based elite Charlie Epperson – the top American on the day, placing 6th overall, and Mark Leishman (NZL) rounding out the top 7.

Pro Men
Pl Name Time
1 Dan Hugo, RSA 2:28:40
2 Brad Weiss, RSA 2:35:43
3 Olly Shaw, NZL 2:39:12
4 Nico Sterk, RSA 2:43:52
5 Markus Benesch, AUT 2:45:30
6 Charlie Epperson, USA 2:54:05
7 Mark Leishman, NZL 2:55:18
8 Michal Bucek, SVK 3:15:33
9 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 3:23:53
10 Tyce Mister, USA 3:37:08

 

BUCHER WINS AGAIN

Renata Bucher is the women’s Guam champ for the third time in five years and collected her 33rd career XTERRA championship title, but it didn’t happen the way she envisioned.

Austria’s Carina Wasle posted the fastest bike split of the day and had the lead into the run but missed an arrow and went off course, as did local favorite Mieko Carey, who was second out of transition.

“Carina was very strong today and when she passed me on the bike I could not keep up,” explained Bucher.  “Mieko rode well too, she was so motivated for her home race.  So I came into transition in 3rd position.  On the run, I just kept it steady and safe through the waterfall and the jungle sections. I didn’t run that fast but I had good sight of all the arrows. I ran a lot with Chuck Fortier (Canadian age-grouper who won mens amateur title) and we quite enjoyed the run.  When I came to the finish line, I really thought I was second because the only person I passed on the run was Mieko, who also got off-course but Chuck and I saw it and cried loud to let her know to come back.  After I passed the finish line, they put the XTERRA Guam band in my hand and told me I won the race.  I was so surprised and asked where Carina is, but nobody had seen her yet.  Winning a race like that, it feels different, not like winning, more like a present from the island of Guam and the people here.  I love this place.”

To be fair, there is no telling what would have happened had Wasle and Carey not gone off-course, as Bucher has a long-history of pulling off stunning runs to win races, especially on the Asia-Pacific Tour, and was certainly within striking distance just two minutes back of Wasle out of transition.

“A bit disappointed as I had a good lead in the run and then missed an arrow,” posted Wasle to her Facebook page.  “Went much too far and got lost in the river. Not a big win for me today, but I’ll be back next week at XTERRA Saipan.”

Carey, the reigning and 4-time XTERRA Japan Champion, finished 41-seconds behind Bucher in 2nd place.  The trio will square off again next week at the XTERRA Saipan Championship.

Pro Women
Pl Name Final
1 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:03:52
2 Mieko Carey, JPN 3:04:33
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:15:11

2014 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING EVENTS

The XTERRA Guam Championship was the fourth of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 26, 2014.  Up next, the XTERRA Saipan Championship on April 5.

Date Race Location
23-Feb XTERRA South Africa Grabouw, Western Cape
8-Mar XTERRA Motatapu South Island, New Zealand
15-Mar XTERRA Philippines Championship Cebu
29-Mar XTERRA Guam Championship Piti
30-Mar XTERRA Great Ocean Road Angelsea, Victoria, Australia
30-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Playa Reserve Conchal
5-Apr XTERRA Saipan Championship Northern Marianas
12-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship Rotorua
13-Apr XTERRA West Championship Lake Las Vegas, Nevada
26-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia
3-May XTERRA Malaysia Putrajaya
17-May XTERRA Southeast Championship Pelham, Alabama
24-May XTERRA Mauritius Bois Cheri
25-May XTERRA Spain Championship Cieza, Murcia
1-Jun XTERRA Portugal Golega
8-Jun XTERRA Brazil Championship Ilhabela, Sao Paulo
15-Jun XTERRA East Championship Richmond, Virginia
21-Jun XTERRA Greece Lake Plastira
28-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship Vallee de Joux
29-Jun XTERRA Norway Horten
5-Jul XTERRA Ontario – Canadian Cross Tri Championship Milton, Ontario, Canada
6-Jul XTERRA France Championship Xonrupt, Gerardmer
6-Jul XTERRA Victoria British Columbia, Canada
6-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii
13-Jul XTERRA Sweden Hellasgaarten
19-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, Colorado
20-Jul XTERRA Ireland Killaloe, County Clare
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship Abruzzo, Scanno
2-Aug XTERRA Mexico Championship Tapalpa, Jalisco
9-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship Prachatice
16-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship Zittau
17-Aug XTERRA Canmore Alberta, Canada
24-Aug XTERRA England Cranleigh, Surrey
31-Aug XTERRA Denmark Tisvilde
31-Aug XTERRA Quebec Lac Delage, Quebec, Canada
7-Sep XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thundery Bay, Ontario, Canada
20-Sep XTERRA USA Championship Ogden/Snowbasin, UT
26-Oct XTERRA World Championship Maui, Hawaii


About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

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

Renata Bucher

A Decade at XTERRA Guam

While the 2005 “Xticer” may not have been an official XTERRA (don’t tell that to Art and Annie Guerrero – the champions on that day) the Live More spirit has been strong in Guam even longer than a decade, ever since the “Guamaniacs” first rallied to travel and support XTERRA Saipan back in 2002.

It’s an epic course with island weather that is as warm as the people.  As proof, check this logo out, it was custom-made to show support for 15-year-old Jeremy Del Castillo who is making his XTERRA debut on Saturday.  Expect the entire Del Castillo family will be decked out in these shirts cheering him on.

For more on the race and the pros competing we turn to Charlie Epperson, a Guam-based rookie pro who recently finished 4th in his elite debut at XTERRA Philippines.

XTERRA Guam is celebrating its10th anniversary of racing this year and the international field of professional racers is one highlight of this storied race.

In 2010, XTERRA Guam was named one of the Top 5 off-road races in the world by Triathlete Magazine, although many of the local triathletes were already well aware of the beauty and challenge our course has to offer.  The growth and prestige of the race has grown each year and with a new XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race held in New South Wales, Australia in late April along with the $50,000 pro prize purse, it is now more financially appealing to professional racers to travel to our region to race.

ATHLETE PROFILES

With Ben Allen (Australia) and Jacqui Slack (Great Britain) out due to hosting XTERRA Great Ocean Road in Australia the same weekend, a new champion will be crowned in both the men and women’s race this year.  I wanted to highlight the athletes that have made the journey to Guam to race in 2014.  If you are racing or just spectating, take a moment to say Hafa Adai and welcome these truly world class athletes to Guam…

RENATA BUCHER, Switzerland

Known as the Swiss Miss, Renata Bucher returns to Guam for her fifth time.  Winning individual titles in 2010 and 2012, last year, Renata took second to Slack in a close race.  Renata is on fire recently capturing her first title of the year at the 2014 XTERRA Philippines.

With 32 individual titles under her belt, Renata is one of the most successful female racers in the history of off-road triathlons.  In 2014, Renata launched a new project, ALOHA RACING TEAM, which promotes off-road triathletes from around the world.

As team manager, Renata is responsible for securing top of the line sponsors that equips their athletes with the best gear available to compete against the world’s best.  A few of their sponsors so far: Storck Bicycles, Magura, Coeur Sports, Catlike and Sram.

MIEKO CAREY, Japan claimed by Guam and Saipan)

Mieko won XTERRA Guam twice in 2008 and 2011.  In 2013, Mieko also captured the XTERRA Japan title, her fourth, and finished runner-up in XTERRA Malaysia.  Mieko is a fixture in the local racing scene and has already captured the Tour of Guam (cycling) and Bank of Guam 5k (running) titles for the year that each came with a big payday.

At XTERRA Philippines this year, Mieko showed off her strength by running down third place on an extremely hot day.  Her efforts allowed ALOHA RACING TEAM to take 1st and 3rd on the podium that day. After XTERRA Guam, Mieko will return to her former home in Saipan to race and eventually onto Australia for the XTERRA Asian-Pacific Championship race.

CARINA WASLE, Austria 

Carina started the year off in South Africa at the XTERRA South Africa Championships where she secured a second place finish to add to her victories in 2009 and 2011.  Not afraid of a long flight, Carina found herself in the Philippines battling for the win against Renata Bucher that was only decided over the last 200 meters of the race.

Carina has raced in Guam and Saipan the last couple of years and is expected to be in the hunt for the Championships this year. When Carina is not racing the traditional off-road triathlons, she can be found back in her home country of Austria racing the Winter Triathlon circuit that includes a snow covered run and bike course before clipping in snow skis for the final leg of the adventure.  In 2009, Carina won the ITU Winter Triathlon Championships held in Austria.

DAN HUGO, South Africa

Dan is widely recognized as one of the best and most consistent off-road triathletes in the business.  In 2013, Dan finished runner-up to Ben Allen at XTERRA Guam before going on to win a number of races including the highly contested XTERRA East Championships in Richmond, Va and dominating the XTERRA Japan Championships.

As for 2014, Dan has been on a streak and claiming titles at XTERRA South Africa and the XTERRA Philippines held in Cebu.  Dan spent his off season back in Stellenbosch, South Africa tuning up for a long year that will see him race in the Philippines, Guam, Saipan, Las Vegas, Australia, Malaysia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and a return to the USA before the year is complete. Dan can be found on the cover of the January edition of TRIATHLETE magazine proving great exposure to his sponsors that include PUMA, SPEACIALIZED BICYLCLES, and OAKLEY to name a few.

BRADLEY WEISS, South Africa

Bradley is the training partner of Dan Hugo and is based out of Stellenbosch and Boulder, CO although he would consider himself a Capetonian (originally from Cape Town, South Africa).  Weiss is part of the younger generation of XTERRA triathletes that are poised to make an impact and to raise the bar for the sport.  Bradley captured the ITU World Championships U/23 title in 2012 as part of the XTERRA Southeast Championships in Pellham, Alabama.  This win put Bradley on the map and demonstrated his commitment to the sport and ability to race at the highest level.  With countrymen such as Dan Hugo and “the Caveman” Conrad Stoltz, Bradley has a long legacy to uphold as a South African Triathlete.

So far 2014 has been a breakthrough year for Bradley who held strong at XTERRA Philippines to finish runner-up to Hugo and is looking to continue the success here.  A strong swimmer, Bradley should set the early pace and be in the hunt as riders roll into T-2 to begin the signature run.

NICO STERK, South Africa

Nico is a late entry into the XTERRA Guam and serves as the final member of the South African trio.   An ITU Olympic distance specialist, Nico has done his fair share of off-road racing.  In 2012, Nico won the South African Tri Cross National Championships and went on to finish 17th at the World’s held in Pelham, Alabama later that year.

This will be Nico’s first time racing XTERRA Guam, but his strong swim and mountain biking experience should allow him to compete well against the international field.

MICHAL BUCEK, Slovakia (by way of Hong Kong)

Michal got his start in professional racing as part of the Slovakia National Canoe-Kayak team.  As part of the training for the National Team, they were required to run, swim, and cycle during the off-season, so the transition to triathlons was only natural.  Michal has been an active racer in the Asia-Pacific region mostly racing road and 70.3 distances.  As a two-time Kona Ironman World Championships finisher and 70.3 World Championship competitor, Michal has the endurance to race with the best in the field.

Michal began his off-road PRO career at this year’s XTERRA Philippines and was positioned well to finish in the top-3 if a broken chain didn’t derail his chances.  An optimistic racer, Michal had a smile on his face throughout the day.  With over 50 Age Group victories from 2005-2013, Michal has the experience and fitness to make an impact in this year’s race.

MARKUS BENESCH, Austria

Markus is coming off a strong 2013 campaign highlighted by finishing 15th in the European Cross Triathlon Championships as well as a respectable 22nd in the ITU World Championships held in The Hague last July.

Markus has made the most of this exotic destination race by bring his wife and traveling to Yap for a diving adventure between training sessions on the XTERRA Guam course.  Markus is seen with his fellow Nora Racing Teammates.

OLIVER SHAW, New Zealand

One of the youngest competitors in the pro men’s field, Oliver is far from a novice.  As the 20-24 Age Group Champion at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui in 2012, Olly has a ton of racing experience under his belt.  Olly has made a successful transition to the PRO ranks and raced throughout Europe last year gaining valuable experience.  Additionally, Olly found the time to race in the highly competitive field at the 70.3 Ironman Asian-Pacific Championships held in Auckland, NZ where he was again crowned 20-24 age group champion.

As one of the two Kiwi professionals making the trek from Rotorua, NZ, a mountain bike heaven and host to their own XTERRA New Zealand Championships race. As the 2013 NZ Elite Cross Triathlon National Champion, Olly has the skills to race the best at XTERRA Guam this year.

TAKAHIRO OGASAWARA, Japan

Known as “Oga” to his friends, this will be his 6th year in a row racing XTERRA Guam.  After finishing runner-up to Sam Gardner in 2011, Oga will be looking to make the podium in this extremely stacked male field.  Oga has been a member of the Japanese Mountain Bike National Team an amazing five times and can lay down one wicked bike split.  I had the benefit of coming out of the water ahead of Oga last year at XTERRA Guam- only to witness his MTB strength as he blew past me climbing Nimitz.

In 2012, Oga captured the XTERRA Japan title along side his good friend Mieko Carey.  In past years, Oga has raced both XTERRA Guam and XTERRA Saipan to take advantage of the quick flights and proximity to Japan.

MARK LEISHMAN, New Zealand

If Oliver Shaw is the upcoming New Zealand triathlete then Mark Leishman is recognized as one of New Zealand’s most consistent riders and triathletes over the last decade.  Known as “Cabin” in the mountain biking scene of NZ, he has been selected to both XC and Marathon World Championships teams.

An avid racer, Cabin has finished on the podium at the XTERRA New Zealand Championships five consecutive years from 2007-2011.  Demonstrating a wide-range of ability, he has claimed the Oceania Short Track title and finished 4th at the Singlespeed World Championships in 2010.  Cabin arrives to Guam ready to turn a big gear on a course that favors strong mountain bikers.  I wouldn’t bet against this Kiwi making the podium at XTERRA Guam on his first try.

TYCE MISTER, Saipan (CNMI)

Tyce has been a fixture in the racing in Saipan for many years.  A multi-talented athlete, Tyce is probably most recognized as a beach volleyball player, a sport that sent him to the Pacific Games as a representative of the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Not afraid of a challenge, Tyce has partnered with former fellow CNMI resident Mieko Carey to win the Guam Endurance Adventure Race (GEAR) that can last well over 24 hrs.  Tyce has raced XTERRA Saipan for a number of years, but this will be his first attempt at racing XTERRA Guam.   Tyce is well acclimated to the climate of Guam and CNMI and should have no trouble battling through the conditions.

CHARLIE EPPERSON, Guam

Coming off a beating at the XTERRA Philippines Championships in Cebu, I was unexpectedly not prepared for the heat that defined the run leg of the course.  Looking forward to the cool waters of the XTERRA Guam run course, I’m stoked to race on my home course in my second attempt in the PRO ranks.

I’ll make no predictions on how I’ll fair under this stiff competition, but I do feel confident I can smash my times from previous years.  With a solid year of training that was defined by no significant injuries or lost of training time, I’m likely in the best shape of my life at the not-so-youthful age of 37.  I’m lucky to have a solid training group here and look forward to a year of traveling and racing that will take me to Saipan next and then back to the US to race in my college town of Knoxville, Tennessee for XTERRA Knoxville.  I will finish my year of XTERRA racing at the XTERRA East Championships in Richmond, VA that will double as the USAT Off-Road Championships alongside a large contingent of Guam triathletes.

xterraguam.com // www.facebook.com/XTERRA-Guam // @xterraguam // #xterraGuam

quebecTrail

Introducing XTERRA Quebec

For the first time in XTERRA history the sport is headed to the French-speaking east coast of Canada.

Quebec CityOrganizers Alain Deraspe and Michel Ferland are bringing XTERRA to Lac Delage for the inaugural XTERRA Quebec off-road triathlon and sports festival on August 28-31

“Lac Delage was chosen to host the event as it delivers world-class trails and clean water, and is located just 20 minutes from downtown,” said Deraspe.  “Rare are the cities on nature’s very doorstep, where urban living melds seamlessly with outdoor enjoyment.  Quebec City, much to the delight of sports people and visitors, is one of them.”

XTERRA is a labor of love for Deraspe and Ferland.  As proof, they’ve joined forces with experienced cyclist and trail builder Gabriel Marceau to actually add single track trails to the established route just for the XTERRA.

“Gabriel Marceau is responsible for the bike course and trail development, and also for the organization and management of the race,” explained Deraspe.  “The 6km mountain bike loop includes a portion of existing trails, about 2km of forest trails and 2km of single track. We have created an additional 2km of single track strictly for the event.  Our loop is already well under way and 90% complete. We will spend the summer improving it to make it impeccable. We have access to all required tools, labor and machinery.  It will be possible to create something spectacular by including bridges and additional structures depending on how well we will have budgeted for this first event, but know that we are targeting growth.  We are looking to please and progressively amaze even the most demanding cyclists.”

The XTERRA Quebec Festival will also offer swimming and trail running events, hiking, mountain biking, games for young children, and initiation clinics which focus on each of the three different disciplines.

The main event is August 31 and will award 15 qualifying spots into XTERRA Worlds for the top finishers in each division.

“Within minutes of the historic district of Quebec City are mountains, lakes, rivers, and much more. Right in the heart of the city are the Plains of Abraham, an immense urban park where people love to bike, picnic, inline skate, or simply relax and enjoy the outdoors,” said Deraspe, who added that Quebec City is the most European city in North America.

An English version of their website can be found at xterraquebec.ca.   For more details email xterraquebec@gmail.com or visit on facebook at www.facebook.com/xterraquebec

Ben Allen

XTERRA Down Under, This Sunday

The second-running of the XTERRA Great Ocean Road triathlon takes place Sunday at the Anglesea River-mouth Park in Anglesea, Victoria, Australia.

Up for grabs is $15,000AUD prize money for pros and 15 spots into XTERRA Worlds for amateurs. The event will also double as the Victorian Off-road Championships.

Here’s a look at the pro field, which includes a wealth of newcomers to the sport…

Ben Allen – from Wollongong, New South Wales, Allen follows the XTERRA Series around the globe. Allen won seven XTERRA World Tour races last year, and was second to only Courtney Atkinson at XTERRA Great Ocean Road last year.

Eddie Sturla, Argentina, currently based in Australia – a triathlete for over 24 years, Sturla was the first South American athlete to win an Ironman competition at Ironman Brazil in 2001. He placed in the top 10 at the Ironman World Championships held in Kona, Hawaii in 2008. Sturla is now venturing into the world of off-road adventure.  This is his first XTERRA event.

Roger Serrano, Spain – Spanish Triathlon Cross Champion 2012 and sixth place at the XTERRA Spain National Championships 2013.

Drew Box, Australia – from Kallangur, Queensland, 45th place in ITU World Triathlon Stockholm (Elite Men) and 36th place ITU World Triathlon Madrid (Elite Men) 2102. First XTERRA race

Alex Hunt, Australia – from Taroona, Tasmania, exciting up-and-comer, second Thule Icebreaker Multisport and third Baise Outdoor Quest in 2013, second Open Men Freycinet Challenge 2012. First XTERRA race

Sam Kidd, Australia – from Mermaid Waters, Queensland, 20th Mooloolaba Oceania Cup, 25th Oceania Sprint Championships Kinloch, ITU Aquathon Age Group World Champion (25-29) 2012, second place ITU Triathlon Age Group World Champs (25-29) 2012. This is his first XTERRA event

Tim Beardell, Australia – Triathlon Australia Pro license holder and World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) Pro license holder

Jacqui Slack, England – Won six XTERRA World Tour races last year, including the British title and the Triple Crown. Was second at XTERRA Great Ocean Road last year to Renata Bucher.

Peri Gray, Australia – Anglesea local, second year XTERRA pro. Fifth at XTERRA Saipan, sixth at XTERRA Guam, sixth at XTERRA Malaysia and fourth at XTERRA Great Ocean Road last year.

Rebecca Hoschke, Australia – second place in Geelong 70.3 and sixth in Auckland 70.3 in 2014, female champion Port Macquarie Ironman 2013. First XTERRA race

www.xterraaus.com.au // www.facebook.com/xterraaustralia // @xterraaus // #xterraGOR

Josiah and Leonardo

Guam, Costa Rica, Austalia on Tap

It’s a busy weekend on the XTERRA World Tour with three majors – the XTERRA Guam Championship and XTERRA Costa Rica on Saturday, and the XTERRA Great Ocean Road off-road tri in Australia on Sunday.

There are several great match-ups to look forward to, highlighted by the Leonardo Chacon vs. Josiah Middaugh showdown in Costa Rica.  Chacon, an Olympian from CR, ran past Middaugh in the final stretches of the XTERRA USA Championship in Utah last year to take the title, and their is no doubt Middaugh would like to return the favor on Chacon’s home turf.

“Leo is undoubtedly the favorite, but since he beat me on my turf at altitude, I would like nothing more than to return the favor in the heat and humidity. Since nothing about my winter training could prepare me for hot and humid, I am feeling very optimistic,” deadpanned Middaugh from the midst of a blizzard in his hometown of Eagle-Vail, Colorado.

The race is scheduled for a live broadcast starting at 7:45am MST on Saturday.  Access the video link from costaricaxterra.com.  Images and results will also be available through their facebook page.

XTERRA managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas is in Costa Rica and gives us this insight into the race venue and course details…

The first XTERRA in Costa Rica was in 2006 and while it was nice, it did not last.  One might say we were eight years ahead of our time.  For this edition there are already 258 entries and 20 teams for the two distances.  The location is on the west side of this Central American country on the blue Pacific, with headquarters at the very posh and luxurious Reserva Conchal which has hundreds of great condos, a grand Westin Resort and a full championship golf course as its focal points.  No more than a few minutes away are campgrounds and very inexpensive small hotels, literally everything from $25 a night to $400 a night and all in between.

The swim will be a typical XTERRA 2-lap with short beach run.  Today the wind was at least 20 mph with gusts even higher.  Forecast says that will die down on Friday.  The ocean currents are changeable and we’ll decide the direction, clockwise or counter, based on what Mother Nature gives us.

Transition is a short beach run away and is there for both bike and run.  The first few K of the bike are tough.  Some really, really, really steep climbs in the first 3K and our advice is to play it easy until you get over these hills and save your power for the rest of the course.  A great combination of dirt roads, gravel, lava rock, some single track but mostly loose brown dirt trails.

There are some technical downhills and more short, steep and loose climbs that many will choose to walk, especially near the end.  We’re driving 4WD vehicles on as much as we can to pack some of the trails down.  There just has not been a lot of rain recently.  A good set of eyes and experience will have a lot of benefit in finding the packed line around much of the course.

Back at the beach transition and out on the run you’ll find it much flatter and fast, but don’t let the elevation profile kid you, that first climb is not so bad – even I can run it!  There are two loops inside the Reserva and as it should be – some beach running near the finish.

We’ll start early, 0645 to avoid the heat of midday.  Costa Rica is a pretty amazing place.  We had breakfast with a couple Iguanas one of which was over 2-feet long.  Another usual sight are these fat, furry animals that are a cross between a raccoon and an anteater called a Pizote.  Lots of howler monkeys out in the morning and late afternoon hanging out in the tree tops and noisy birds deep in the forest.  I hope to get out a bit further into the bush in the next day or two to see what else is there.

A big pro field here headlined by the very fast Costa Rican Leonardo Chacon.  Also from Costa Rica, Rom Akerson is making his return to XTERRA after a few years off and if he is back in form, Rom can be very fast.  From the U.S. we have The Champ Josiah “Beast Mode” Middaugh with Branden Rakita and Craig Evans.  Shonny Vanlandingham and Suzie Snyder are here for the Luna team along with Christine”Big Fish” Jeffrey.  First year pro from Mexico and future superstar Mauricio Mendez has made the trip and it will be interesting to see if he can continue his unbelievably quick age group finishes as a pro.  Toss in Brits’ Llewellyn Holmes, Brazil’s Laura Diaz, Italy’s Simone Calamai and Fabrizio Bartolin, Sebastian Neef from Germany and hopefully Jan Kubicek from the Czech Republic and we have one great field for the first year.

We also have a strong over 75 age group with a current and former World Champs Ron Hill versus Nat Grew in the field.  Many-time XTERRA champion Kerry Classen is living in Costa Rica and we’re trying hard to get him off his bar stool and back in the water.  He says no, but I think he’ll be on the line come Saturday morning.