Recap; Running After Routledge

In December we brought you the story about XTERRA runner Susie Stephen’s quest to run across the length of England and thru to Rapa Nui to retrace an English Expedition of 100 years ago.  We’re happy to report back that Stephen accomplished the first part of her mission, and Christian Friis caught up with her to see how the journey transpired (Read her 13 Lessons Learned here)

CF: Tell us a little bit about your run…

SS: The run itself was tough in ways that I could never have predicted. Overall it was an amazing experience, difficult to put into words but I can definitely say it was full of emotional and physical highs and lows! I felt fairly well prepared going into the run, but of course in the days leading up to any event a few questions popped into my mind – but those were the moments when I had to remain mentally focused. I had read a number of books about ultrarunning, poured over many websites, listened to podcasts late at night and discussed the subject with various people from around the world who had undertaken similar challenges, but in the end there is nothing quite like first hand experience – and yes, I now understand one recurring theme that I read about: the highs and lows of ultra running. It’s a roller coaster and you just have to hold on tight and stay onboard!

CF: What was the greatest challenge?

SS: By far the greatest challenge was trying to accommodate for, and alleviate the soreness in my knees due that started on about day 4. When we decided to change the planned route and go more ‘off-road’, the softer ground definitely helped but the wet conditions and mud in some areas created a whole new set of challenges – like staying up right!

CF: How was the weather?

SS: The weather was actually very cooperative! But the mild winter in the UK presented a few extra challenges – such as flooding in Oxfordshire and extra muddy footpaths! It’s hard to say whether I would have preferred snow or ice, since those conditions are equally challenging to run in! I’m not complaining at all – the weather was great for February in England!!

CF: Were you close to giving up at any point?

SS: I wouldn’t have given up, but walked or hobbled my way if I’d had to! But I was scared when my knees first flared up that I might not physically be able to keep going! The thought of not completing the run and disappointing so many people drove me to keep going and finish what I had started!

CF: What was your longest run?

SS: There were two long days of 32miles each.

CF: What kind of people / runners did you meet on your way?

SS: I was very lucky to be accompanied by members of Darlington Harriers and Athletics Club and also the cross-country team from Hummersknott Academy (my old school) on the first day. On day three I was able to connect with my cousin Andrew who is a member of Otley Athletic Club and in training for the Edinburgh marathon. It worked out perfectly for him since we turned the day into his Sunday long run basically! In Northamptonshire I was supported by people on horseback, cyclists and a solo runner, someone just trying to get back into running. Further south in Oxfordshire I was accompanied by a group of local runners who had a varied background, one in particular was training for the London marathon. On the very last day a lady who had just finished her daily run heard I was coming down the road and so ran back to meet me! It was great to have company for the very last section, which included a short steep hill! So it was a mixture all in all, and quite often when I stopped to cross roads I would chat to people walking or cyclists – who often just said: ‘Good Luck’!!

CF: Tell us how it is going with your fundraising

SS: The fundraising for Easter Island/ Rapa Nui has started well but we still have a long way to go towards the total amount needed for the BioMax and we need as much help as possible!! The BioMax is a special sewage digesting unit that is greatly needed on the island where there is currently no real sewage treatment aside from cesspools and septic tanks that are nearly full! The BioMax will help because it produces grey water, reducing the need for fresh water from the wells & aquifer for outdoor uses when that water really is needed for drinking! The next part of the challenge is the bike ride across South America, and the fundraising continues as we go! Please see our JustGiving page for further details. Thank you!

Richmond America Tour

How The America Tour Works

2014 marks the 14th year of racing in the XTERRA America Tour, and here is an overview of how the nation’s premier off-road triathlon series works;

The America Tour is comprised of 70 XTERRA Point Series races (XPS) and five XTERRA Championship Series (XCS) races – also known as the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series.  Amateurs are welcome at XCS events, and can earn more points at these races because, generally, participation is higher and the courses are tougher.  New this year we have one Women’s-Only race, the XTERRA Steamboat Springs off-road tri in Colorado on August 31.  We also have four “Epic” distance races that feature a one-mile swim, 30-to-35 mile mountain bike, and 9-to-11 mile trail run for those that like to go long.

All four regional championship venues from 2013 return in 2014, as does the USA Championship in Ogden, Utah.

Follow the registration links below for more information on each:
April 13 – XTERRA West Championship – Lake Las Vegas, NV
May 17 – XTERRA Southeast Championship – Pelham, AL
June 15 – XTERRA East Championship – Richmond, VA
July 19 – XTERRA Mountain Championship – Beaver Creek, CO
Sep 20 – XTERRA USA Championship – Ogden, UT

For Pros: The top 15 pros at each championship event are awarded points based on overall pro finish.  Pros count their best three-of-four regional scores plus the points they get (or don’t get) at the XTERRA USA Championship. Thus, the final point total combines the best three scores in the first four races, plus the USA Championship race points.  He/she with the most points in the end is declared the U.S. Pro Series Champ. The U.S. Series will dish out $140,000 in prize money: $15,000 at each regional championship race, $20,000 at the USA Championship, and $60,000 to the top overall points scorers in the Series. Note:  The XTERRA World Championship on Oct. 26 in Maui is a stand-alone event worth $100,000.

For Amateurs:  The XTERRA America Tour is designed to provide age group athletes (amateurs) with a bona-fide championship to compete for within their geographic region. At the end of the regular season the top performers in each of eight regions are invited to compete against other athletes their same age – but from different regions – at the national championship in Utah on Sept. 20.

Here’s how the Series works:

1) CHOOSE REGION: There are eight regions, determined by a competitor’s primary residence at the time of their first race.

2) DETERMINE YOUR DIVISION/AGE GROUP: “XTERRA Age” is based on a competitor’s age on December 31, 2014.  Athletes compete in the following age categories: 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65+ (women), 65-69 (men), 70-74 (men), and 75+ (men). We also have Pro and Physically Challenged Divisions.

3) RACE AND SCORE: Series competitors race for points at their choice of events – including XTERRA Points Series (XPS) races & XTERRA Championship Series (XCS) races.  Competitors can enter as many events as they’d like but just their best four finishes count towards their total points score.  Competitors are required to race in at least one event in their region, and must COUNT two events in their region.  Note: You don’t have to race in two, but you have to count two in your region.  Bottom line, to play the game (to qualify for nationals and win a regional championship) you have to race in at least one event in your region, and everything more than that is gravy and increases your chances of scoring points and winning.

4) COUNT ‘EM UP:  Points are awarded to the top 15 finishers in each age group at each race. Athletes can earn more points at championship series races because, generally, participation is higher and the courses are tougher.  If an athlete races at more than one championship event, only the best finish counts at full points. Any other finishes earn points at the same rate as the XTERRA Points Series races.  See the points allocation at

5) BECOMING A REGIONAL CHAMP: At the end of the regular season in late August, the athlete with the most points – by gender, by division, by region – earns the title of XTERRA Regional Champion.  In addition, the highest points scorers in each region are invited to compete for a national title at the XTERRA USA Championship in Utah.  See breakdown of invites.

Note: All XTERRA America Tour events are sanctioned by USA Triathlon, the national governing body of multisport in the United States. As such all athletes are subject to the rules and regulations set forth by the USAT.  Details available at

The XTERRA Points Series races are a collection of independently produced off-road triathlons owned and operated by local promoters, while the championship series events are bigger races with pro purses on full-length courses operated by TEAM Unlimited / XTERRA.

Guam Bike

XTERRA’s Own March Madness

Unlike college basketball’s “March Madness”– which signals the end of a season – March marks just the beginning of the madness for XTERRA.  It’s officially Spring, after all, which means it’s time for the XTERRA Tri and Trail Run Series to spring into action.

Over the next seven months XTERRA will host more than 200 triathlons and trail runs around the world, including 30+ international championships, 70+ U.S. triathlons, and more than 100 trail runs.

The XTERRA America Tour hosts events every weekend until the end of August (except Easter and Memorial Day) and this weekend the World Tour kicks into high gear with three majors – XTERRA Guam, XTERRA Costa Rica, and the XTERRA Great Ocean Road off-road tri in Australia.

Some of the best racers from the XTERRA elite class are using those marquee events in exotic warm weather destinations to kick-start their seasons.

Reigning XTERRA U.S. National Champions Josiah Middaugh and Shonny Vanlandingham lead a strong American contingent headed for the sandy beaches of Costa Rica that includes Craig Evans, Branden Rakita, and Suzie Snyder. They’ll be joined by the “Big Fish” Christine Jeffrey from Canada, Laura Mira Diaz from Brazil, amateur XTERRA World Champ turned pro Mauricio Mendez of Mexico, and a worthy representation from Europe with Sebastian Bauer and Sebastian Neef from Germany, Simone Calamai and Fabrizio Bartolin from Italy, Llewellyn Holmes and Flo Dannah from Great Britain, and Jan Kubicek from the Czech Republic.  Their local hosts include 2013 XTERRA USA Champion Leonardo Chacon and Rom Akerson.

South Africa’s Dan Hugo and Brad Weiss will be in Guam, joined by Kiwis Mark Leishman and Olly Shaw, Austrians Carina Wasle and Markus Benesch, the Swiss Miss Renata Bucher and Slovakia’s Michal Bucek, and local pros Charlie Epperson and Mieko Carey.

Down under, Australia’s best – Courtney Atkinson, Ben Allen, Erin Densham and Jacqui Slack and host of others will take on the 2nd annual XTERRA Great Ocean Road in Anglesea.

Soon after, the magic of March will melt into an uber-active April with big races in Saipan, Rotorua, Jervis Bay, Las Vegas, and beyond…


EPC Tips – Workout of the Week – The Endurance Run

The Aerobic Endurance Run is a staple in all run programs and not to be neglected.

Gradually build your endurance run week by week adding 10-15 minutes to it until reaching a 90-120 minutes of total training time. The pace should be relatively easy, with some moderate effort on the hills you encounter within the run. Run these longer runs of the week over rolling to hilly terrain (if available) and on softer surfaces to minimize the fatigue and soreness often associated with longer runs. These runs work well placed on the calendar the day after a hard training day or at the end of a tough week of training since you don’t you need to put much ‘oomph’ into the effort. Time on the feet to enhance your durability is the goal. Longer runs of 90-120 minutes can be performed 3-4 times a month, runs longer than that are better kept to 2 times a month since they require more recovery time.

The Endurance Run…

WARM-UP: 5:00 walking/dynamic warm-up

50+ minutes running over mixed terrain, mostly easy effort with moderate effort on the hills.

WARM-DOWN: 5:00 walk

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. Cody works with XTERRA athletes from first-timers to World Champions, through his company EPC Multisport. Don’t forget to follow EPC Multisport on Facebook.

Joe Miller

Meet Joe Miller, Put Life in Perspective

Newly minted XTERRA Pro Joe Miller from the Philippines could be the most dedicated and grateful triathlete on the planet.

He works full time at The Brick Bike Shop in Cebu from 10am-to-9pm, 7-days a week, and when he’s not working he’s training and helping other Filipino athletes reach their goals.

His hard work paid off last weekend when he finished 3rd overall and the top Filipino for the second straight year at the XTERRA Philippines Championship.

“The guy is just amazing,” said XTERRA Pro Ben Allen, who has been so impressed with Miller over the past two years he helping him with travel arrangements to Australia to experience the culture and race in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship event.  “He’s easy going, compassionate, and always puts the needs of others first.  He’s just a great guy and he loves XTERRA.”

Miller says his work-ethic and zeal for life were born out of experience.

Growing up in a small village in the Lagundi Kiamba Sarangani Province, Miller’s father worked as a bike mechanic, which was the family business.

Working hard and taking care of family are time-honored Filipino traditions and why when he was 14-years-old, Joe Miller skipped school one day to go fishing with his friend and his friends Dad in hopes of catching Tuna to support his family’s needs.

After three days at Sea in Mindanao near the Malaysia boundary the trio had reeled in nine big tuna and pleased with their catch, set sail for home in the dark of the night.

“On our way back we crashed into a big tree log and our wooden boat began to sink,” said Miller, explaining how they never saw the tree because they navigated by stars without the aid of a compass, GPS, radio, or cellphone.  “People in our community are poor fisherman who can’t afford gadgets like sonars and detection equipment.”

The captain calmly instructed the boys not to panic as they tied their equipment, bread, biscuits and water to the log and took off the tarp that was serving as the boats roof.  There were no life jackets on board.

“The boat sank to the bottom on our first day stranded at sea, so we stayed beside the log our supplies were tied to but couldn’t rest on it because it would sink,” said Miller.  “To avoid shark attacks we stayed in the middle of the tarp and we tied ourselves to each other.”

All the while they prayed.

“On our first day our captain served us bread and water and I noticed that I’m hungry and our supply is easily consumed.  We took care of each other and didn’t lose hope.  At night all you could see is stars sparkling across the sky and reflections of it on the ocean.  It’s a good thing the ocean was calm, like oil.  We heard unusual sounds, those of cats and cows and wales.  There were curious sharks cruising around us in the day time, and we were lucky to be inside the tarp as they passed by.”

On the second day the three men ran out of bread and biscuits, but had water to drink.  They used their fishing skills to catch their ensuing meals.

“It was a good thing there were a lot of fish surrounding the log, but a bad thing because the sharks ate those fishes, so we were afraid.  We had our fishing equipment with us and we used the bread we saved for bait to catch small fish, and the small fish to catch bigger fish.  We were fighting for our lives.”

Miller said that on the third night they started to say goodbye to each other.

“We noticed our skin is shrinking, our lips are cracking, our bodies are numb and we felt so weak. We confessed to each other if we die and one of us survived, please don’t leave our bodies here. As long as I remembered, this is what I prayed, “LORD, THIS IS THE LIFE YOU GAVE ME AND I LOVE THE LIFE THAT YOU SHARED WITH ME AND IF I DIE TODAY LET ME DIE IN YOUR HANDS, AMEN.”

The next afternoon they were rescued by fellow Filipino fisherman.

“I remember thinking I survived the shipwreck, it’s not my time yet,” said Miller.  “I believed the power of prayer.  I learned to appreciate life even if we are poor. I’m thanking God, this thing made my will stronger, my mind stronger.  I don’t mind the traumas I’ve been through, all I know is to live the life that God gave me, my second chance.”

Upon his return Miller dedicated himself to his family, and to sports.

“I thought God has a purpose and plan for me,” said Miller. “I got into mountain biking, then duathlon, and now triathlons. I’ve been racing triathlon for four years now and I love off-road the most, ever since XTERRA came to Cebu.  I pushed my luck at XTERRA, failed twice, but I’m enjoying the sport now. This is my fourth year racing XTERRA and I want this life, to LIVE MORE!”

Guam Trail

XTERRA Guam Celebrates 10th Year

Back in 2005 athletes in Guam banded together to producer their own off-road tri, dubbed the “Xticer.”  It was the start of something big.  The next year they made the race an official XTERRA event, and two years ago race director Eric Tydingco rallied the local community to transform into a World Tour Championship stop, complete with $15,000 in pro prize money and qualifying spots to Maui for amateurs.

“The 10th anniversary of the XTERRA Guam Championship is truly a milestone,” said Tydingco. “We have an amazing group of both professional and amateur athletes that have signed on for the event, which gives Guam lots of international exposure and really puts our island on the map as a fantastic destination for international sporting events.”

Nearly 130 professional and amateur athletes representing 11 countries are set to compete in next Saturday’s XTERRA Guam Championship, presented by Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB) and PIVOT LLC.

“XTERRA Guam served as my introduction to the sport of off-road triathlons in 2011,” said Charlie Epperson, a Guam-based XTERRA pro who just finished 4th at the XTERRA Philippines Championship. “It is an amazing landscape and community-supported event. A must-do race for all triathletes and adventure racers.”

Dan Hugo and Renata Bucher, winners of the XTERRA Philippines Championship, enter as race favorites.

“Guam treated me really well last year, and I’m pleased to be returning for a second time to have another shot at winning here,” said Hugo. “Beyond [the race], I’ll be spending two weeks on Guam in total and hope to get to know a lot of it.”

Of note, last year’s Guam champs Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack will be competing in Australia on the same weekend.

The course begins at Port Authority Beach with a 1.5-kilometer swim, followed by a 35- kilometer mountain bike up Nimitz Hill, into the technical terrain of Mt. Aluton, then down through Mannengnon Hills. Competitors will then return to the transition point at Port Authority Beach to begin the 8.2-kilometer trail run through jungle rivers and slippery waterfalls.

“I’m racing XTERRA Guam for the third time, and every time it is a new challenge,” said Carina Wasle from Austria. “It’s so much fun riding through the red sand, with its flowy and technical ups and downs. On the run, there are some surprises, like the waterfall, which is my favorite part.

Year Men Women
2006 Courtney Cardenas Jamie Whitmore
2007 Olivier Marceau Julie Dibens
2008 Andrew Noble Mieko Carey
2009 Sam Gardner Julie Dibens
2010 Sam Gardner Renata Bucher
2011 Sam Gardner Mieko Carey
2012 Ben Allen Renata Bucher
2013 Ben Allen Jacqui Slack
Camp Eagle

Camp Eagle Kicks Off Texas Series

Eleven-time XTERRA South Central Region Champion Kyle Grieser from Marble Falls, Texas highlights a stacked amateur field of competitors for the first race in the Texas Series at Camp  Eagle in Rocksprings, Texas on Saturday.

“There are a lot of fast guys and girls on the list,” said race director Joel Grimmett.  “In addition to Kyle we have Josh De Bois Blanc and Adam Reardon. We also need to watch out for Mike Carter, Steve Etherton and Andy Lee in the masters age groups and they are all fast guys.  For the women Melanie Etherton leads the charge.”

Grimmett changed the start time for this year’s race after dealing with some gnarly weather last year.

“It was wild.  The wind picked up about 2am and the temperature dropped to 30-degrees making for a cold, cold start to the day. It influenced this year’s noon start time,” he said.

Camp Eagle is notorious for its swim, a two-level affair with ladders to climb in the middle.

“The swim and the run are very technical with lots of ledges, climbing and loose rock,” explained Grimmett, who is now in his fourth-year producing XTERRA races in Texas.

New this year is a series-within-a-series.

“We created an additional point structure for the five XTERRA’s in Texas, with the goal of getting people out to different venues. Often people may only attend the one closest to their home, so the idea was to encourage discovering different venues and we do have some cool prizes in the works for the series winners,” said Grimmett.

Learn more at

XTERRA Colorado Trail Run

XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series Returns to Action April 6

 March 20, 2014 – Spring is here, which means it’s time for the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series to spring into action again.  The 3rd annual XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain Trail Run is scheduled for April 6 at the picturesque Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs. The event is open to runners of all ages and skill levels, and there will be three courses to accommodate the various levels of runners.

Experienced distance runners can opt for the 24-kilometer course, but there will also be a 12-kilometer course and a fun 5K available. As expected for a race in Colorado, the trails will take runners to thin-air elevations ranging from 6,500 to 7,200 feet above sea level.

“Cheyenne Mountain State Park is a lovely and challenging park,” said elite runner Roberto Mandje, who won last year’s 12K.  “The terrain and footing can be fast as it’s not terribly technical, but the constant undulating terrain and steady climbs can really take it out of you. “

The XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain Trail Run is the second of four races in the 2013-2014 XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series.  The first race was held in late September, and the series took the winter months off due to the extreme weather conditions.  Mandje, for one, is ready for Spring.

“I’m hoping warmer days start to become a more and more consistent occurrence as it’ll allow full access to trails,” said Mandje.  “I’m fully ready for Spring and Summer, bring on the warm weather!”

To register for the XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain Trail Run, or to learn more about it, please visit Early-registration discount is currently available (see details below).

At the conclusion of the Colorado Series in July, the top age-group runners from the overall series standings will earn a free entry to represent Colorado at the 2014 XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah on September 21.  Colorado is one of 17 regions hosting an XTERRA Trail Run Series in 2014. The others are Alabama, Arizona, Atlantic, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pocono, Puerto Rico, SoCal, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

XTERRA Cheyenne Mountain Trail Run

When: Sunday, April 6, 8 a.m. start at Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Race distances: 24K, 12K, or 5K, open to runners of all ages and skill levels

Entry fees: $51 for 24K; $41 for 12K; $31 for 5K (prices rise on April 4)

Registration/race information:


Upcoming XTERRA Colorado Series races

June 7: XTERRA Turkey Track Trail Runs 5/10/21/42K (Pagosa Springs)

July 20: XTERRA Beaver Creek Trail Runs 5/10/21K (Beaver Creek Resort, Avon)

August 30: XTERRA Steamboat Springs 5/10K (Steamboat Springs)

October 12: XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races 5/21/42K (Colorado Springs) Part of 2014-15 Series


Hugo, Bucher win XTERRA Philippines Championship

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(Liloan, Cebu) – Dan Hugo (29, Stellenbosch, South Africa) and Renata Bucher (36, Lucerne, Switzerland) captured the 4th annual XTERRA Philippines Championship on a steaming hot day at the seafront of Barangay Jubay in Liloan (Cebu Province) on Saturday.

Ben Allen, who won the last two XTERRA Phil titles and 9-of-10 races in the Asia-Pacific region since 2012, took the early lead with the days fastest swim split (18:57).  Brad Weiss and Dan Hugo were 2nd and 3rd out of the water about one-minute back.

By the end of the first-of-two laps on the bike course Allen had crashed and flatted twice allowing Hugo and Weiss to move up front.

“On the treacherous volcanic descent I misjudged a line between some rocks and it bucked me completely off my bike into the lantana. I had a lot of speed and I felt like a superman flying through the air,” explained Allen.  “Luckily I managed to grab a couple of trees to slow me down mid-flight. That’s when Dan passed me, but I managed to quickly dust myself off and jump straight back on and continue to the fight.”

At the swim-to-bike transition Hugo had a commanding 7-minute lead on Weiss and the only question was if his ankle – that he rolled so badly in his XTERRA South Africa Championship win three weeks ago it tore his anterior talofibular ligament – would hold up.

Not only did Hugo’s ankle hold, he posted the fastest run split of the day to boot.  It’s Hugo’s third straight XTERRA win of the season (to go with titles at Buffelspoort and the SA Champs) and the 9th XTERRA Championship title of his career.

Fellow South African Bradley Weiss finished 2nd, a career-best performance.  Cebu’s own Joe Miller finished 3rd overall to win the Filipino Elite Division.  Allen, who carried on despite his misfortune on the bike, placed fourth overall – third pro.

Charlie Epperson, who was born and raised in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of east Tennessee but now lives in Guam and serves as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard, finished 5th overall/4th pro in his first race as an XTERRA Pro.  The pride of Malaysia Sharom Abdullah rounded out the pro podium.

In the women’s race Bucher captured the XTERRA Phil crown for the second time in three years but it wasn’t easy.  Jacqui Slack led out of the water and through the first lap of the bike before Bucher took over.

The “Swiss Miss” had the fastest women’s bike split by far (it was fourth best overall behind only Hugo, Weiss & Miller) to take a big lead onto the run.  It nearly wasn’t big enough, however, as Austrian Carina Wasle – who had the fastest run of the day – caught and passed Bucher toward the end of the run but “then almost fainted 300-meters from the finish and Renata re-passed,” explained XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas.

Bucher took the tape in 3:24:59, 19 seconds ahead of Wasle for her 32nd career XTERRA Championship victory.  Reigning and 4x XTERRA Japan Champion Mieko Carey finished 3rd, Slack was 4th, Aussie Dimity-Lee Duke was 5th in her XTERRA debut, and Daz Parker placed 6th.

Pro Men

Pl Name Time Swim Bike Run
1 Dan Hugo, RSA 2:48:48 19:56 1:43:26 45:26
2 Brad Weiss, RSA 2:56:39 19:51 1:50:37 46:11
3 Ben Allen, AUS 3:21:52 18:57 2:11:17 51:38
4 Charlie Epperson, USA 3:30:07 24:03 2:09:19 56:45
5 Shahrom Abdullah, MAS 3:32:58 28:32 2:12:44 51:42
Pro Women

Pl Name Final Swim Bike Run
1 Renata Bucher, SUI 3:24:59 23:48 2:03:31 57:40
2 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:25:18 24:08 2:08:48 52:22
3 Mieko Carey, JPN 3:27:34 23:24 2:10:29 53:41
4 Jacqui Slack, GBR 3:29:19 22:08 2:08:03 59:08
5 Dimity-Lee Duke, AUS 3:42:16 24:59 2:24:02 53:15
6 Daz Parker, GBR 3:46:45 25:27 2:21:18 1:00:00


Here’s the story of the day according to “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas…

The 4th edition of the XTERRA World Tour stop in Cebu, Philippines was typical, which means fabulous.  I was delayed with mechanical problems, planes being changed and other horrible experiences and only arrived the day before the event.  It had rained hard that day and while the sun and a nice breeze had dried up most of the water, there were still a few muddy places.

Racing starts early in the Philippines to avoid the humid, hot afternoon weather.  Organizers had changed the course for the better this year.  Last year was the first at the new location in Liloan and the Mayor Duke Frasco, helped enormously in getting permission to have T2 and the finish on the mountain side of the major road we crossed 4 times last year.  While their patience showed the great spirit of the Filipino people, we created a huge traffic jam in 2013 and wanted to avoid that this year.  T2 and the finish were located in the yards of the local elementary school – problem solved.

At 6:58am the pros started with the full field just two minutes later at 7:00am.  The shorter course riders went into the sea at 8:00am and the chase was on.

Ben Allen easily led the swim followed by South Africans Bradley Weiss and Dan Hugo.  For the women Jacqui Slack held the lead.  While the air temp was not super hot – about 84° – the humidity was pouring out of the wet ground and you could feel it.

Ben flatted early on the first lap giving the lead to Hugo and Weiss who were in tight formation.  Ben flatted again – and then once more on the second lap, but last year’s champion is a fighter and he never considered quitting.  Bradley Weiss could feel his rear derailleur binding a bit and backed off to make sure he did no damage to it and could finish.  This gave a clear lead to Hugo while Weiss kept control of 2nd and Filipino pro Joe Miller rode quickly in 3rd.  For the women, Jacqui led the first lap with Swiss Renata Bucher making time quickly.  Renata passed Jacqui on the 2nd lap to lead into T2.  Carina Wasle looked in great form in 3rd and Guam/Japan Mieko Carey was smiling and seemingly not affected by the heat.

Dan turned in a solid run and was never threatened on his way to his 3rd straight victory of the year.  Brad Weiss was a bit pained but came in with a solid lead over Miller.  Ben kept going and pulled himself up to 4th overall.

It was quite different for the women.  Renata came out first on the run by a few minutes over Jacqui Slack with Carina Wasle and Mieko very close in 3rd and 4th but another two-minutes minutes back.  The tiny Austrian Carina had returned to the form that won her races a few seasons ago and she blitzed the run early on catching Jacqui and finally passing Renata for the lead.  But her energy ran short by about 500m.  To cross a high cement wall that effectively split the run course – organizers built a great ramp up and over the wall that was a busy spectating area.  On the return, after crossing of the bridge, one must go up a rocky dirt path for about 150m.  On a normal day, without having pounded yourself for hours, this hill would not be a challenge.  But on this day, after a hard race in harsh conditions it was heartbreak hill.  Carina crossed the bridge first but I could see her walking the hill from side to side, clearly wobbly from exhaustion.  Near the top of heartbreak, Renata caught her, but she did not look all that strong either.  The final few hundred meters were a true test of will.  Renata won by just 20 seconds with Carina 2nd.  Mieko ran a fast pace and passed a tired Jacqui, for 3rd.

Another great event.  The Filipino spirit simply needs to be experienced to understand.  Thousands of spectators at all the interesting places over the bike and run, riding through small villages and through people’s yards, past cows and goats and chickens, it’s just amazing.  Nobody leaves here without a big smile and great stories.

Some of the pros took to twitter and Facebook after the race, here’s what they had to say:

Women’s winner Renata Bucher

What a race!  What a super warm day here in beautiful Cebu. Raced with all I had. Just made it to the finish line a couple of meters in front of Carina and got the happy win. Congrats to all the finishers. Thanks for an awesome event.

Men’s winner Dan Hugo

Big shout out to all twitter mentions, and all who make an effort to see results first thing. Thanks for the support and interest. Just back to hotel, reception and aircon. Scorched day, happy day.  Got it done alongside @BSWeiss_Tri.  Ankle held up. So relieved. Bang.

2nd Pro Woman Carina Wasle

2nd place at XTERRA Philippines! It was an amazing course with lots of cheering kids! What a finish! After 3h 25 Renata had more power in the end and just finshed some seconds ahead of me. Congrats to all XTERRA warriors!

3rd Pro Woman Mieko Carey

Finished XTERRA Cebu happy to finish 3rd, but more happy is I survived with this heat. Congratulations to Renata and Dan for 1st and all of the XTERRA Warriors in Cebu. And. thank you to organization and volunteers. The local people on the course made me feel like a rock star!

Ben Allen, 4th overall, third Pro

Happy days.. A gnarly crash & a couple of flats, but fought on for my family, friends and awesome sponsors and still managed to finish 3rd! Thanks @XTERRAPhils You guys ROCK!  Sometimes you have good days and sometimes you don’t, that’s racing!

Year Men Women
2011 Sam Gardner Shonny Vanlandingham
2012 Ben Allen Renata Bucher
2013 Ben Allen Lesley Paterson
2014 Dan Hugo Renata Bucher


The XTERRA Philippines Championship was the third 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, more exotic locales with XTERRA Guam, Great Ocean Road in Australia, and Costa Rica on March 29 & 30.

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