Introducing XTERRA Coffee

Honolulu, HI  –  What do you see so many people “clutching” as they prepare for the start of an XTERRA race?


“So, what better way to start your day than with the new XTERRA Coffee,” said XTERRA CEO Tom Kiely.

“We proudly announce a new partnership with Coffee Without Borders for a Hawaii-roasted brand of XTERRA Coffee.  We are so excited because we have been searching for a coffee partner and to align ourselves with a “roasted in Hawaii” partner is the perfect alliance,” added Kiely. “When I went to the roasting facility and discussed a special blend for XTERRA, I knew it would be a favorite of the XTERRA Tribe. On top of that, Coffee Without Borders is a cause-based group which helps struggling coffee farmers, many of whom are in impoverished regions.”

Coffee Without Borders uses the global currency of coffee to improve the quality of life for people living in developing countries. As one of the most heavily traded commodities in the world, coffee is primarily cultivated in poor countries, while the majority of it is consumed by the wealthy.

“As such, we recognize the importance of fair trade, which assures that the small coffee farmer in developing countries will receive a proper price for their product and labors,” said Coffee Without Borders CEO Ed Sowers.  “In addition, we will go one step further by returning 100% of our profits to the humanitarian aid organizations like Global Hope Network International, who invests in sustainable community development and other humanitarian assistance projects. So enjoy a great cup of coffee and be further warmed by knowing also, you are helping others too.”

To order visit www.xterracoffee.com.

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 26 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.

Malaysia Elite Collage

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Finale in Malaysia Saturday

The 2014 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour takes another trip across the international dateline for the season-finale at XTERRA Malaysia in Putrajaya on Saturday.

It’ll be hot and humid, perfect for another sizzling showdown between Dan Hugo and Ben Allen in the men’s race. Those two (and a cast of others that include Bradley Weiss from South Africa, Roger Serrano from Spain, Joe Miller from the Philippines, Olly Shaw of New Zealand, Michal Bucek of Slovakia, and Sam Gardner from the UK, and Shahrom Abdullah from Malaysia) have been slugging it out in races across the region since early March.

This will be the eighth and final race in the series that featured exotic majors in New Zealand, Philippines, Guam, Australia, Saipan, and Malaysia.  Last week Hugo captured the big one – the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in New South Wales, Australia – but conditions will be radically different in Putrajaya (which sits just outside the capital city of Kuala Lumpur).  Where last Saturday’s race was in cool, overcast, tree-covered conditions on the coast at Callala Beach in Jervis Bay; Putrajaya’s route is nothing short of steamy, wide-open, and unforgiving.

While Allen seems to excel in sticky situations (he caught Hugo on the run to win XTERRA Saipan in hot conditions on April 5) one has to hold-out a wild-card spot for Weiss.  The 25-year-old has raced in the shadows of Hugo and Allen these past two months but put up remarkable and consistent efforts at every stop (4th at South Africa, 2nd at Philippines, 2nd at Guam, 3rd at Saipan, 2nd at the West Championship, and 4th against a stacked-house at the APAC Champs last weekend).  He leaves Hugo and Allen no room for error.

In the women’s race a trio of Brits – Jacqui Slack, Daz Parker and Louise Fox will challenge Carina Wasle from Austria and Renata Bucher from Switzerland.

“This will be our 7th week of racing & the first half of our season done and dusted,” posted Slack to her Facebook page in anticipation of Saturday’s race.  “This can only mean one thing, time for a rest, catch up with friends and family back home.  Can’t wait to see you all next week and share our adventures before it starts again.”

XTERRA managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas is on the ground in Malaysia to bring us this pre-race report…

Malaysia is not what you think.  I am completely blown away by how modern yet traditional, how happy the people are, how sound the economy is.  I keep waiting to see the poor sections but have not seen anything even close yet.  Prices are moderate to inexpensive, hotels are quite nice and the local food is a combination of Malay, Thai and Chinese.  Read into that “spicy”.  Great Japanese restaurants are beginning to sprout up here and there and an occasional Italian or Lebanese restaurant as well.  As for those of you who come and get homesick – the ever present McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Starbucks can be found.

The 2nd edition of XTERRA Malaysia in Putrajaya comes tomorrow.  Putrajaya is a brand new city made to be the capital of the nation.  It is stunning in architecture, and infrastructure.  Think what Washington, DC must have been like when it was first laid out.  The cement is not dry as the whole place only started in the 1990’s.  Gardens and parks are everywhere as by charter, 38% must stay open and public.

Our race takes place next to the Maritime Center on the huge and very clean Lake that is the feature of the center of the city.  A two lap swim; no wetsuits required.  Exit the water on a boat ramp and you are immediately in transition.  Things have had to move from last year as construction has taken some of that space.

Last night a huge monsoon thunder storm lit up the city and the result was mud, mud, and more mud.  More rain is forecast for race day but it is very unpredictable here so we will have to wait. The weekend is full with short and full distance XTERRA’ and a duathlon on Saturday and running races on Sunday.  Total entry as of today is approaching 1,000 athletes all up.

Mieko Carey

EPC Tips – Bike Power with Vo2 Max Intervals

With races coming up it’s time to sharpen that bike power with V02 Max intervals.

Vo2 Max intervals are short to moderate length intervals performed at a high level of power; power you could sustain for maybe a 8-10 minutes max effort (read: pain cave). We’ll break this effort up into much smaller chunks of 1-3 minutes, with relatively short rests of equal duration, to make the effort more manageable and allow you to get between 12-20 minutes worth on work at your Vo2 Max power. HR will lag behind on these efforts since they are short, but will likely climb to a very high level, a little short of max HR, by the end of the last few intervals. RPE on these intervals are a 9 on the 1-10 scale. I like to do these on the trainer (controlled environment) or outside as hill repeats (6-8% grade) to allow for steady power output.

After building a solid base followed by several weeks training your threshold power, these Vo2 max intervals will bring your cycling ability to a nice peak when performed 1-2x per week for the final few weeks before your “A” race.


  • 10:00-20:00 easy
  • 5:00 build to threshold/race pace
  • 5:00 easy


  • 6-10x[2:00 @ Vo2 power/effort + 2:00 easy]
  • 5:00-10:00 easy


  • Optional additional aerobic riding to meet volume goals (60-90+ minutes total time)

**Don’t forget to run off the bike for 10+ minutes to get used to running on tired legs!

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.

Dan Hugo

Hugo, Duffy win XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship

Results | Photo Gallery

(Callala Beach, NSW, Australia) – Dan Hugo and Flora Duffy captured the inaugural XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship on a beautiful day at Callala Bay in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia on Saturday afternoon.

“It was a great win for Dan Hugo and perhaps his coming of age as a bona fide international superstar,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas.  “He has had 2nd-place finishes at XTERRA Worlds, wins at various places around the globe, but he broke the back of a stellar field today in Australia that marks his first big win.”

The 28-year-old from Stellenbosch, South Africa is quick to agree…“Great to win a championship, probably my first of this stature, it’s been a while coming.  I grew up knowing Australia as the pinnacle of triathlon, where are all the legends are from, so to win in my first race here is special.” said Hugo, who has now won four XTERRA majors this season.  “It’s beautiful when it all clicks, and make no mistake this course suits me down to the ground. It was super technical to ride this course quick and it had some power climbing. I loved the bike course, it was so fun, and you just don’t get to see Kangaroos very often.”

Everybody agreed on that point, that the course was epic, even four-time XTERRA World Champ Conrad Stoltz.

“The whole race is phenomenal and very well designed. There is a lot of really good single track and it’s well balanced.  I loved this course and was super excited to race here.  Even the run is great,” said Stoltz, who pulled out of the race at the bike-to-run transition while in 2nd place due to fatigue from a lingering cold that didn’t shake.

“I’m super disappointed I couldn’t put in a proper performance because I would love to do this race justice. It’s a big race, has a TV show, big money, just look how the Aussies crawled out of the woodwork, that’s good for the sport.  But when you’re racing at the level we’re racing at if you’re not 100%, well…”

Indeed, the inaugural XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship featured a $50,000 pro purse, two internationally distributed TV shows, and a big-time field worthy of the attention.

“Biggest championship until Maui, really, and for us as professional athletes we so appreciate New South Wales for putting up the incredible pro purse, so to come out here to show gratitude and elevate the sport was super important, and to be on the top step is really special,” said Hugo.

The day started with two-time Olympian Courtney Atkinson from Australia putting a minute into the field in the water, but that lead was quickly taken away…

“Straight in, first mud hole, I got the first big crash done,” laughed Atkinson. “I thought I’d be able to hold a lead but it seems the fire tracks are as hard as the single track here.”

A group of riders with Hugo, Ben Allen, and Roger Serrano bridged the gap to Atkinson within the first few kilometers of the bike, then Hugo “chose a line through a mud section and that was it.”  He got some daylight and drove a wedge between himself and the rest of the field from there.

By the bike-to-run transition Hugo had three minutes on Serrano and Allen, and roughly six minutes to Braden Currie, Bradley Weiss, and Courtney Atkinson.  Atkinson showed off some amazing foot speed by picking off everyone in front of him but Hugo with the fastest run split of the day by far.

“When I heard I was six minutes down I didn’t think I could bridge that no matter how well I ran but I heard that Benny (Allen) was two minutes up so starting thinking about winning the XTERRA Australia title and pushed,” said Atkinson, who finished three minutes, 48 seconds behind Hugo for 2nd place.

Currie, who finished 5th at XTERRA Worlds last year, stayed with Atkinson for about 8K “but just couldn’t hang in there at the end.”  Still a great effort, especially considering he competed in an adventure race in China last weekend.

Hugo’s mate and fellow South African, Bradley Weiss, had another under-the-radar amazing performance by placing 4th overall – his sixth top four finish this year (which include three runner-up showings).

Hometown hero Ben Allen held on for fifth to a rousing applause at the finish line.  Allen is beloved in this part of the world (he grew up about an hour away in Wollongong) and he put a ton of effort into hosting and pre-race promotion.

“It’s a win, even though I didn’t win,” said Allen.  “It’s so great to see the race go off so well, and the community get involved, and everybody is happy.  Jacqui and I, my family, we love the sport and the people and wanted to do our best to welcome the XTERRA Tribe to Australia.  The day came out amazing.”

Allen also made special effort to tell of how Weiss kept him moving after he passed him towards the end of the run.  “He just told me keep going and kept my spirits up.  It’s just classy to have guys like that in the sport.”

Brendan Sexton, an Aussie Olympian making his XTERRA debut, finished sixth on the day and came away with some stories for sure.

“It was an experience, definitely different from anything I’ve done before but I had a great time, it was really fun,” said Sexton, who took a spill that took some skin off his arm.  “Those boys are in a different league, so I just kind of let them go and did my own thing.  Tried to stay upright but was unsuccessful.  I got through it though. You could say I’m hooked, I definitely would like to prepare better next time but certainly enjoyed it enough to come back again.”

Pos Name, Country Time Swim Bike Run
1 Dan HUGO, RSA 2:19:01 0:18:35 1:11:24 0:47:26
2 Courtney ATKINSON, AUS 2:22:49 0:17:45 1:18:11 0:45:25
3 Braden CURRIE, NZL 2:23:46 0:19:17 1:16:12 0:46:40
4 Bradley WEISS, RSA 2:24:09 0:19:06 1:16:18 0:46:52
5 Ben ALLEN, AUS 2:25:35 0:18:29 1:15:02 0:50:53
6 Brendan SEXTON, AUS 2:25:57 2:25:57
7 Oliver SHAW, NZL 2:30:30 0:21:00 1:18:33 0:49:11
8 Alex REITHMEIER, AUS 2:31:45 0:18:40 1:23:01 0:48:16
9 Jarad KOHLAR, AUS 2:35:01 0:22:35 1:17:41 0:53:04
10 Craig EVANS, USA 2:36:39 0:18:53 1:19:30 0:56:52
Also: Joshua Kenyon, Joseph Miller


For the women it was another amazing performance by Bermudian Flora Duffy who finished far ahead of XTERRA World Champ Nicky Samuels and placed 9th overall.  Samuels was first woman out of the water and an equally amazing 2nd overall out of the swim.  Jacqui Slack put together three solid legs of swim/bike/run that netted her 3rd woman.  XTERRA Saipan winner Carina Wasle 4th and the “Swiss Miss” Renata Bucher 5th.

“It all came together,” said Duffy, who won the XTERRA West Championship two weeks ago and has clearly solidified herself as the woman to beat this year.  “I felt great coming into T2 after a really tough bike course and just hammered the first 2K of the run.  I just focused on my turnover because I knew Nicky is a strong runner and I wasn’t sure how far behind she was.”

Samuels was just about four minutes back at the bike-to-run transition, but coming off a cold and without the power she had hoped to put up a worthy fight.

“Having been sick for a week, to finish in 2nd is a great result,” said Samuels.  “I’m not so good on the single track and this race was fast, and a bit technical through the bush and over trees.  Having been racing World Series for nine years I can’t expect to be riding a mountain bike that well, so am justly happy for the result.”

Slack was the third woman out of the swim more than two minutes back and hoping to catch Duffy and Samuels by T2 but it wasn’t in the cards.

“I couldn’t have done much better so really happy with the effort,” said Slack.  “It’s great to have such talent in the field and keeps the drive going to get faster and stronger.”

Renata Bucher had the second-best bike split of the day behind Duffy but Wasle was able to catch her on the run to take the fourth spot.

The entire field echoed the same sentiment, that New South Wales is a special place.

“This area is gorgeous,” said Duffy. “Growing up in Bermuda I’m kind of a beach snob, so it takes a lot for a beach to impress me and I can tell you it’s gorgeous here, that white sand and water is beautiful.  I really enjoyed the swim and seeing Kangaroos, it definitely felt like Australia.”

Pos Name, Country Time Swim Bike Run
1 Flora DUFFY, BER 2:33:07 0:18:28 1:22:28 0:50:24
2 Nicky SAMUELS, NZL 2:40:07 0:18:26 1:26:14 0:53:49
3 Jacqui SLACK, GBR 2:44:29 0:20:53 1:25:56 0:56:01
4 Carina WASLE, AUT 2:46:58 0:22:56 1:27:46 0:54:12
5 Renata BUCHER, SUI 2:51:19 0:22:52 1:23:49 1:03:08
6 Lizzie ORCHARD, NZL 2:56:24 0:23:21 1:34:59 0:56:10
7 Mieko CAREY, JPN 2:57:27 0:22:57 1:30:21 1:02:20
8 Dimity-Lee DUKE, AUS 2:58:13 0:23:07 1:34:42 0:57:46
9 Jody MIELKE, AUS 3:20:49 0:22:49 1:40:55 1:13:55


Daniel Neilson and Jessica Simpson were the top overall amateur finishers, and they (along with the fastest amateurs in each division) were named XTERRA Australia National Champs and awarded a qualifying spot into XTERRA Worlds for their efforts.

“Altogether a fabulous first XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race,” said Dave Nicholas.  “The location is superb, the trails got high marks for great riding and fun and the organization was excellent.  Toss in a few dozen Kangaroos, big, loud Cockatoo’s flying all over, Kookabura’s cooing in the woods, spicy meat pies and strong beer and you have the start of a classic event for years to come.”

As always there were stories galore, said Nicholas…Yank Craig Evans got confused on the bike; “there were two small lakes on the bike.  The first you rode around and the second you blasted straight through.  I got to the first one and slammed in then saw the side trail out of the corner of my eye and said Oh S * * T.  Next thing I knew I was totally underwater when the front wheel sank and I went over the bars.  Never unclipped and on my back in 2′ of water with the bike on top of me.”

There’s more to a great event than just the racing.  A great pasta party the night before and a better after party at the Callala RSL. Sunny but cool weather and a race start at 11am add to the pleasure. Just a few hours south of Sydney, you really need to think about coming Down Under to see the sights and have a great race to cap it off.


The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship was the 10th 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, XTERRA Malaysia next weekend.

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 / 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 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 Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
20-Sep XTERRA USA Championship Ogden/Snowbasin, UT
26-Oct XTERRA World Championship Maui, Hawaii

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.  Presenting sponsors include John Paul Mitchell Systems, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Flight Centre Active Travel and XTERRA Wetsuits & Boards Australia

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 atwww.xterra.tv, and learn more at www.xterraplanet.com and www.xterratrailrun.com.

Vegas Swim

EPC Tips – Dial in Your Race Pace Swim

Swimming at your race pace helps you learn correct pacing, gets you familiar with your race day effort, and trains that upper aerobic/tempo training zone that helps to improve overall fitness. The main set has relatively short rests to keep the HR elevated throughout the race pace segments. The easy pull in between the race pace segments acts as active recovery. The rests also decrease as the set progresses to add to the challenge, while culminating with an “all out” 100 to finish it off. This particular set is geared for sprint to olympic distance swimming. You can easily add more reps to accommodate longer half and full iron distance swim training.


  • 300 swim
  • 4×50 drill choice
  • 4×50 build


  • 8×100 race pace @ 15″ rests
  • 200 easy pull @ 20″ rest
  • 4×100 race pace @ 10″ rests
  • 200 easy pull @ 20″ rest
  • 2×100 race pace @ 5″ rests
  • 200 easy pull @ 20″ rest
  • 100 ALL OUT!


  • 4×50 (odds: kick, evens: stroke)

The ‘XTERRA 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.


Brendan Sexton Joins Stacked Field at XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs

Australian Olympian Brendan Sexton is the latest in a string of high-profile elites to join in the fray at the inaugural XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship triathlon this Saturday at Callala Beach in New South Wales.

“There’s been a lot of attention for this particular event recently and I happen to spend some time with quite a few of the other age group and pro competitors,” said Sexton.  “I figured if there’s one of the best assembled XTERRA fields of 2014 having a race just down the coast from home (Wollongong) why not jump in for some experience. I am in the early stages of my ITU season but I am currently doing some heavy bike and run work so the mountain biking and trail running fits in well.”

Sexton joins London Olympics teammate Courtney Atkinson and fellow Wollongong-based XTERRA star Ben Allen in what is certain to be an epic battle of “Aussies Against The World” in a stellar field that includes the South African trio of Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz, Dan Hugo, and Brad Weiss; plus Kiwis Braden Currie and Olly Shaw; Europeans Brice Daubord from France and Roger Serrano from Spain, Philippines Champ Joe Miller, and American Craig Evans.

“It’s very exciting to have a high quality XTERRA event so close to home, and I’d be kicking myself if I had the opportunity to race and let it go,” said Sexton.  “While I’m far from prepared (I’ll be on a borrowed bike from my local Wollongong bike shop), I do like to spend some time off-road. Off-road triathlon is something I follow closely and something I would like to take more seriously down the track.  I’m extremely pumped to get out there and see how I fair against the real XTERRA boys!”

XTERRA President Janet Clark, a Canberra native living in Hawaii where XTERRA headquarters is based, is thrilled to see the locals come out in force to support one of the sports’ marquee events.

“Australia is the multisport capitol of the world.  It’s part of our culture and lifestyle, from the time we’re little kids to old timers we’re out there in the ocean and on the land, and doing it better than anyone else.  It’s great to see all these world-class athletes coming out to the beautiful South Coast to give it a go.”

Related Link:
Nicky Samuels, Flora Duffy to join all-star cast at XTERRA APAC

– Website: www.xterraasiapacific.com
– On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/xterraplanet
– On twitter @xterraoffroad …hashtag #xterraAPAC


EPC Tips – Vo2 Max System Run

Train some faster running as we head into race season.

This session trains the Vo2 Max system on the run. Through very fast running (roughly max 1 mile pace) and relatively short ‘partial recoveries’ you build your HR and blood lactate levels to near max levels over the course of the main set. The main set consists of fast segments at your mile pace followed by half-distance (same time) recovery jogs at roughly half the speed of the fast segments. These jogging recoveries at ‘half-speed’ allow you to recover a bit while keeping HR relatively high. With each rep your HR and RPE will continue to build until you are near max effort. When you can no longer maintain your target pace you end the set. 20 to 30 minutes is a typical duration of the main set depending on fitness level. This session is best done on a track.

5:00 Dynamic Warm-Up
10-15 easy run
4:00 build to tempo pace
2:00 walk
4x[0:15 strides, 0:45 walk]

6-12x[400m (or time equivalent) @ ~1mi pace, 200m (or time equivalent) jog] (stop when you can no longer hit goal time for 400s)

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

The XTERRA ‘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.

Michelle Regn

Journey to the Roof of Africa

Michelle Regn is a regular at the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship on Oahu, but that’s certainly not where her adventures end.  Here, she tells us of her journey to Mt. Kilimanjaro…

By Michelle Regn

The crazy hiker chick is at it again.  That’s the moniker my friends have given me and I suppose it’s appropriate.  I prefer to take long treks spanning several thousand miles & several months at a time.  However, this time I set my sights on a short trek of about 50 miles up a really tall mountain.  As triathletes and marathoners, we are no strangers to pushing ourselves to physical limits, but the oxygen poor air at the top of Kilimanjaro taught me a new lesson in determination.

Kili is the tallest mountain on the African continent and is comprised of three volcanic peaks, Shira, Kibo and Mwenzi.  Kibo in the center is the highest at 19,340’.  The summit, called Uhuru Peak, has been reached by many people, the youngest aged 7 and the oldest 87.  That does not mean it’s easily achieved by any means.  To stand on Uhuru and gaze out across the rapidly disappearing glaciers to the African Savannah far below, you need some very warm clothing, a sturdy pair of boots, the patience to walk slowly enough to acclimatize and a lot of luck.  There are two dry seasons a year, but Kili’s height makes its own weather systems regardless of the season, as I found out first hand.

My journey actually started in January of this year.  After six days in the Rocky Mountains to acclimatize, I flew to Tanzania along with eight others who had booked with the same outfitter.  A solo trek is not an option because the local government requires that you hire a licensed outfitter with professional guides.  As an extra bonus, porters come with the deal to carry most of your gear.  With over 5,000 miles of backpacking experience schlepping all my own gear, this felt like a guilty pleasure.

Our group spent five days hiking the Machame route to stage for a midnight summit bid from high base camp at 16,000’.  Shortly after our arrival at 4pm, it started to snow heavily.  By 11:30pm when we gathered in the dining tent, the storm was raging with heavy winds and near white out conditions.  Four people attempted to continue to the summit, but returned within 2 hours.  I opted to stay in my tent and try to keep from freezing.  My pack thermometer read 50 degrees below zero and the winds were gusting between 60 and 80 mph.  I propped my trekking poles inside to try and keep the tent poles from breaking as my tent twisted and buckled and tried to turn itself inside out.  Before the night was over, the porter’s tents and the cooking tent blew away, as well as the privies.  We all survived the blizzard, but we had missed our narrow summit window.  We had to retreat down the mountain in order to catch our flights the following evening.

I had a great time in Africa checking out the animals, meeting new people, experiencing a different culture and spending a week on a beautiful mountain.  Yet, I wasn’t satisfied.  I had set out to climb to the summit but Mother Nature hadn’t allowed me to reach my goal.  Shortly after I returned home, I knew I’d be going back.

I headed back to Tanzania for a second attempt eight months later.  August and September comprise the second dry season of the year.  This time there were seven other trekkers and we chose the nine-day Western Approach route.  The last time I had been feeling somewhat gnarly at 16,000’ and thought I might require more time to acclimatize before attempting the summit.

The first day was spent resting at the 10,000 acre Ndarakwai Reserve, a game ranch with really comfortable safari type platform tents and lots of animals roaming the grounds including a few monkeys running around the dining pavilion.  I got to visit a Masai village and see how people live with the absence of all modern amenities.  It was fascinating.

The next day our group of eight trekkers with three guides and thirty-seven porters headed up the west side of the mountain.  The familiarity of the trail and landscape was comforting to me.  We spent three days trekking around the Shira Plateau, one of the highest alpine plateaus in the world averaging over 12,000’.  The weather was clear and cold and afforded a constant view of the summit above that still looked so far away.

On the fourth day we headed up to 15,500’ to camp at the base of Lava Tower, a 450’ high cylindrical cinder cone resembling Devil’s Tower in Wyoming.  We all opted for the optional hike to the top.  Although I’m slightly afraid of hanging from rock faces, it wasn’t as technical as it looked and turned out to be another highlight of the trip.  The view of the summit glaciers from the top of the tower was stunning.

We spent the fifth night sleeping 3000’ lower in order to prepare for the next night back at 16,000’.  By opting for a longer trek, we were afforded the luxury of a daylight summit attempt rather than leaving at midnight and hiking in the coldest part of the day.  I thought this was an important advantage for my tropical thinned blood and the main reason I picked this route.

After a restful night in the chilly single digit alpine zone, our trail family started for the summit just as the sun rose.  There’s something about close quarters and a shared goal that really brings people together.  After a week on the trail we had become a well-oiled hiking machine.  By convention, the slowest hiker leads the pace so no one in the group gets left behind.  I had been one of the lead pace setters most of the week, but the extremely thin air after 17,000’ had my feet dragging and my head spinning with dizziness with each labored gasp.

The guides placed me up front to set the pace, but after another 1,000’, my oxygen starved body succumbed to acute mountain sickness.  AMS isn’t necessarily a dangerous condition unless you are unable to stop vomiting.  Luckily, I had anticipated the possibility and brought along some prescription medication to stop the nausea.

I had reached the point that separates the big dogs from the puppies, so to speak.  Every cell of my body was screaming at me to head down and get oxygen.  I couldn’t listen.  I had 750 vertical feet to go to reach Stella Point, the trail junction leading to the summit to the left and to the right, the trail to the night’s camp alongside the Furtwangler Glacier.  With my head pounding and my stomach churning, I decided I would head for Stella and make another decision from there.  I had already bid the rest of the group farewell and they assumed I had turned around.

That was probably the longest 750’ of my life, somewhat reminiscent of the two miles up Diamond Head at the end of the Honolulu marathon.  After two hours of head-down trudging I finally reached what I thought would be the end of my journey.  Exhausted and dejected, I sat down at Stella and cried like a baby.  I was pretty sure I didn’t have another 750’ left in me.  My oxygen deprived brain was playing tricks on me.  When the head guide informed me the summit was only a little over 300’ higher and that the rest of the group was only about 20 minutes ahead, I got a second wind.

The final hour was painful, but deeply satisfying.  I knew I was going to make it this time.  That made everything I had been through to that point worth the effort.  By the time I reached the sign marking Uhuru Peak, I was blubbering for the second time that day, but this time the reason was elation and relief.  I’ve had several defining moments in my life.  It’s too soon after to have enough perspective, but I suspect this was one of them.

After the victory photos, we took a short decent to our camp for the night at 18,800’ inside the summit crater.  The scenery was breathtaking surrounded by crater wall and glaciers, but most of the group was too nauseated to appreciate it.   By morning the temp had dropped from zero to minus 20.  It was time to head off the mountain.

Within eight hours, the temp had risen 80 degrees and the air was noticeably chewy.  Twenty-four hours later I was boarding a plane back to settled life with the afterglow of success heavy on my mind and dreams of the next adventure. Photos courtesy of Michelle Regn

Michelle Regn

Nicky Samuels

Nicky Samuels, Flora Duffy Added to All-Star Elite Cast for Inaugural XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia

Honolulu, HI – Olympians Nicky Samuels of New Zealand and Flora Duffy of Bermuda confirmed their intent to race at the inaugural XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race at Callala Beach in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia next Saturday, April 26.

“It’s official, I just entered the 2014 XTERRA Asia Pacific Champs,” said Samuels, the reigning XTERRA World Champion who is a perfect 3-for-3 in her XTERRA career.  She won XTERRA Motatapu in March for the second time, and is coming off a strong performance at the ITU WTS opener in Auckland on April 6 where she led off the bike.

Duffy, who was third at XTERRA Worlds last year, won the XTERRA South Africa Championship in February and dominated the competition at the XTERRA West Championship at Lake Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday.

“I was keen to race Australia before this race (XTERRA West) but after today’s performance and how I felt, I think I had to book my flight and go to Australia,” said Duffy after Sunday’s race where she posted the fastest swim, bike, and run splits.

The pair join an already stellar cast that include this year’s XTERRA Philippines and Guam Champion Renata Bucher of Switzerland, the XTERRA Great Ocean Road Champ Jacqui Slack of Great Britain, and the XTERRA Saipan Champion Carina Wasle of Austria.  Combined, those five have won seven of the nine XTERRA World Tour Championship races this season.

“A lot of the XTERRA pros are doing several races on the Asia-Pacific Tour so having a big finale race in Australia makes the Tour more attractive and interesting,” said Bucher, winner of 33 XTERRA Championship events in 14 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Saipan, Guam, and the Philippines.

“For sure, it is hard work. At the end it is not all about who is the most super fit athlete, it is a lot about how to manage the travel, to recover quickly, and to get through these crazy races injury free and happy.”

Others of note include Lizzie Orchard from New Zealand, who won the 25-29 division XTERRA World Title in 2011, and four-time XTERRA Japan Champion Mieko Carey.

Adding to the intrigue are several high-profile local racers including defending IM Australia Champion Rebecca Hoschke, ITU standout Penny Hosken, and rookie elite Dimity-Lee Duke.  Showing them the way will be Aussie legend Jody Mielke, who won the first-ever XTERRA Championship race in Asia at the 2000 Japan Championship.

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship is the marquee event on XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour that includes races in New Zealand, Philippines, Australia, Saipan, Guam, and Malaysia.

Headlining the men’s race is Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz – a 7x World Champion who has won an unprecedented four XTERRA World Championship titles and three straight ITU Cross Tri World titles, and just won the XTERRA New Zealand Championship race in Rotorua on April 12.

“My last triathlon in Australia was the Sydney Olympics so it will be interesting to see how the hotbed of triathlon embraces XTERRA now,” said Stoltz, a two-time Olympian from Stellenbosch, South Africa.  “I love the sport, am extremely passionate about it and doing my best to help it advance globally.”

Stoltz’ home country will be well represented as fellow South African star Dan Hugo and young-gun Bradley Weiss are on the start list as well.

“It seems a powerful step forward for XTERRA, especially in a nation that celebrates triathlon as much as Australia does,” said Hugo, winner of XTERRA World Tour races in South Africa, the Philippines, and Guam this season and was having a brilliant day at the West Championship on Sunday before double-flatting.   “I look forward to being there, supporting an event that wants to raise the bar. I’ve been to Australia twice to visit mates, but never raced on the continent. I’ll also stay in Sydney for a few days, for which I’m just as excited.”

Weiss is also hot, fresh-off a career-best runner-up performance at the XTERRA West Championship where he finished runner-up to American star Josiah Middaugh.

The Aussies will be in full force as well with North Wollongong’s own Ben Allen, who won an unprecedented seven XTERRA World Tour races last year and this year won the XTERRA Great Ocean Road off-road tri in Anglesea and the XTERRA Saipan Championship in the Northern Marianas on back-to-back weekends before finishing second to Stoltz at XTERRA New Zealand on Saturday.

“It’s so exciting to be involved in a thrilling, adrenalin pumping & action packed sport such as XTERRA,” said Allen.  “I’m “stoked” as we say in Australia, to showcase my backyard and share the natural beauty of our culture, landscape, and laid back lifestyle to a big, diverse field of international triathletes.”

Other high-profile Australian racers include two-time Olympian Courtney Atkinson, who won XTERRA Great Ocean Road last year, Dr. Mitch Anderson – a former Ironman Champion, Alex Reithmeier who just finished third at the Australian Cross Tri Championships, and Todd Israel.

Also of note, Craig Evans from the U.S., a 12-year veteran of the sport who was 2nd at ITU Cross Tri Worlds in ’02, Kiwi Braden Currie – the two-time winner of  XTERRA Motatapu who finished 5th at XTERRA Worlds last year, Olly Shaw – the 20-24 XTERRA World Champ in 2012 before turning pro, Brice Daubord from France, who finished in the top 10 at XTERRA Worlds last year, Roger Serrano from Spain who was recently the runner-up at XTERRA Great Ocean Road in Australia, and XTERRA Philippines two-time national champ Joe Miller.

For all the latest news visit www.xterraasiapacific.com

Elite Men

Conrad Stoltz (RSA)
Dan Hugo (RSA)
Bradley Weiss (RSA)
Ben Allen (AUS)
Braden Currie (NZL)
Craig Evans (USA)
Courtney Atkinson (AUS)
Alex Reithmeier (AUS)
Olly Shaw (NZL)
Joshua Kenyon (NZL)
Roger Serrano (ESP)
Joe Miller (PHI)
Brice Daubord (FRA)
Todd Israel (AUS)
Mitchell Anderson (AUS)

Elite Women

Nicky Samuels (NZL)
Flora Duffy (BER)
Renata Bucher (SUI)
Carina Wasle (AUT)
Lizzie Orchard (NZL)
Jacqui Slack (GBR)
Mieko Carey (JPN)
Jody Mielke (AUS)
Penny Hosken (AUS)
Rebecca Hoschke (AUS)
Dimity-Lee Duke (AUS)


TEAM Unlimited LLC, owners and producers of the XTERRA World Tour, has a three-year strategic partnership agreement with Destination New South Wales to host the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship off-road triathlon and accompanying sports festival in the Jervis Bay area.

The inaugural event will double as the XTERRA Australia Championship.  The weekend will also include a sprint distance off-road triathlon, trail runs, kids events, clinics, and social gatherings.

“For the next three years, the XTERRA Asia-Pacific and Australian Championships, which have never been held before in Australia, will be held exclusively in the NSW South Coast town of Jervis Bay,” said George Souris, Minister for Tourism and Major Events.  “The NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW, works hard to secure major events for regional NSW and XTERRA is a fantastic new addition to the NSW Events calendar.  The spectacular coast line of the Jervis Bay area will provide a fitting location to host this triathlon event.”

As the most prestigious event in XTERRA’s Asia-Pacific series that includes championship races in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Guam, and the Northern Marianas – the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship will offer $50,000 in prize money to the sport’s top professional athletes and two television shows will be produced for international distribution.

“We are absolutely delighted to partner with Destination New South Wales and bring one of the major pillar events in the XTERRA World Tour to the New South Wales and Jervis Bay region,” said Tom Kiely, TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA CEO.  “Our athletes will be treated to a remarkable setting for a race and perhaps more importantly, a truly amazing adventure destination to explore and discover before and after the big event.”

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2013 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 18 countries worldwide.  In 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 www.xterraplanet.com and www.xterratrailrun.com.


MORE INFO:      

– Website: www.xterraasiapacific.com

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

– On twitter @xterraoffroad  #xterraAPAC