XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Race in NSW Open for Registration

The race is on to sign-up for the first-ever XTERA Asia-Pacific Championship race with entries being accepted online at www.xterraasiapacific.com.

Jervis Bay, NSW - Photo: Adam Taylor, Destination NSWSpecial early bird rates apply through November 30, 2013, and team entries (2-3 persons) are also available in the full and sprint distance races.

The inaugural event is scheduled for April 27, 2014 at Callala Bay, a small town on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia.  It is situated on the north shore of Jervis Bay, roughly 2 to 2-1/2 hours drive from Sydney or Canberra.

Callala is renowned for its mountain biking, white sand beaches and clear turquoise water.  The area boasts several national parks and is teeming with native wildlife as well as whales, dolphins and an amazing array of ocean life.

The main event will combine a one-mile swim with roughly 30-kilometers of mountain biking followed by 10km of trail running.  The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race will double as the XTERRA Australia Championship, awarding national titles to locals and qualifying spots into the XTERRA World Championship for all involved.

The April 26-27 weekend will also include a sprint distance off-road triathlon (half-mile swim, 15K mountain bike, 5K trail run), plus stand-alone trail runs, ocean swims, kid’s races, camps, clinics, and social gatherings.

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.

Those interested in racing around the region’s exotic destinations offered by the XTERRA Asia Pacific Tour have a myriad of scheduling opportunities from March through May.  Here’s a glance at the events docket:

Mar 8 – XTERRA Motatapu, South Island, New Zealand

Mar 15 – XTERRA Philippines Championship, Cebu

Mar 29 – XTERRA Guam Championship, Piti

Mar 30 – XTERRA Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria, Australia

Apr 5 – XTERRA Saipan Championship, Northern Mariana Islands

Apr 12 – XTERRA New Zealand Championship, Rotorua

Apr 26 – XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, NSW, Australia

May 4 – XTERRA Malaysia, Putrajaya

Learn more and register at www.xterraasiapacific.com.  For more information on the XTERRA brand and worldwide event series, visit www.xterraplanet.com  Athlete inquiries may be directed to info@xterraplanet.com.

Photo: Jervis Bay, NSW – Adam Taylor, Destination NSW

XTERRA Adventures on OC16 TV & Online

TEAM TV, producers of the adrenaline-pumping XTERRA Adventures TV series, is proud to announce a partnership with Oceanic Time Warner Cable to broadcast the award-winning shows in Hawaii exclusively on OC 16.

XTERRA AdventuresXTERRA Adventures show No. 1 – the first of eight half-hour, magazine-format programs – premiered on Monday and follows with repeat airings Tuesday through Sunday (see below for show times).  Each Monday a new XTERRA Adventures show will be broadcast at 9:30 p.m. HST, and follow with daily repeat airings.

XTERRA Adventures is an award-winning national TV Series covering thrilling adventures, activities and events from some of the world’s greatest adventure destinations.  Filmed and produced in high definition, this 8-show series explores exciting activities from the Hawaiian Islands to South Africa.

“We are really excited about XTERRA Adventures becoming a weekly series on OC 16, and know our destination partners and the athletes and adventures we cover are thrilled with the exposure,” said Tom Kiely, CEO of TEAM Unlimited.

In show No. 1 XTERRA Adventures visits the dramatic setting of Kualoa Ranch for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, hits the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore, explores the pristine waters off Maui and Lanai on a scuba diving adventure, and celebrates one of the world’s most unique – and hilarious – surf competitions at the Buffalo Big Board Surf Classic at Makaha Beach.

Ensuing episodes expose everything from the Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing competition to breathtaking paragliding rides high above the island chain, off-road triathlon racing in the jungles of Saipan and the Philippines as well as snowboarding the slopes of Central Oregon.

“We’re excited and proud to have ‘XTERRA Adventures’ on OC16. We have partnered with XTERRA over the last few years for their Trail Run World Championship race and it seemed fitting to include the show in our family of programs. Their beautiful production and storytelling make it a welcomed addition to OC16,” said Lianne Nishimura Killion, the Sr. Programming Manager at Oceanic Time Warner Cable.

New XTERRA Adventures shows can be seen on OC 16 each Monday at 9:30pm, with repeats on Tuesday (3:30am), Wednesday (4pm), Thursday (7:30am), Friday (12 noon), Saturday (6:30pm), and Sunday (12:30am).

The shows will also air online at oc16.tv and perpetuated on OC16 On Demand, OC16 Interactive and in the archived shows on oc16.tv.  For a complete list of show descriptions and schedules, visit www.OC16.tv/shows.

Looking to the Source at XTERRA Worlds

The XTERRA World Championship is a special race, one that carries different meanings for different people.  For some, it’s the athletic test they’ve prepared for all year. For others, it’s the culmination of their own personal journey to “Live More.”

Tom DhansFor Tom Dhans, it was an opportunity to connect with his source of strength.

Dhans, a 49-year-old from Brooksville, Florida, lost his 16-year-old daughter Brandi in an auto accident a little more than a decade ago.

“After her death it was hard to get out on the bike because your mind wanders and mine would always end thinking of her accident.  It happened by our house, and I ran to the scene and was there to see everything,” said Dhans.  “I didn’t ride much after her accident because it was just too hard, and when I first started running I felt like I was running away from my problems, but my Pastor said I was running to something.  And there were so many things that encouraged me. She was an organ donor and meeting her recipients and seeing what strength they had pushed me forward.”

By chance, Dhans was at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua in Maui for his 30th anniversary before last year’s race and was able to ride the course with some of the Ritz staff.  The experience moved him, visibly enough that his brother surprised him by entering him in the at-large pool for the 2013 XTERRA World Championship as a Christmas present.

Although he was an avid cyclist, it was never competitive. He only started running four years ago, didn’t swim, and had never done a triathlon before.  That all changed with the entry to Worlds.

“I thought if I could finish it would be a personal victory,” he said. “I started swimming six months ago, and did my first of four triathlons this year just four months ago. The driving force was Brandi. She was always proud of my riding and would cheer me on at century rides and my yearly cross-Florida ride. I felt she was with me on this journey.”

Eventually, swimming, biking, and running became a refuge for Dhans.  It became even more than that as he prepared to race in the XTERRA World Championship.

“XTERRA’s motto is to ‘Live More’ but for me it’s more than that,” he said. “It feels more like simply, LIVE, because I’ve never felt more alive than on the West Maui Mountains above Kapalua this year, repeating the Ritz spiritual advisor Clifford Nae’ole chant to “look to the source.” My source was Brandi, my daughter who left us way too early, and my wife and daughter, Sarah and Angie, who always supported me.”

XTERRA TattooDhans said that to him XTERRA meant never giving up.  On Sunday, October 27, Dhans did not give up.  “I came off the mountain bike feeling like it was the hardest, scariest thing I’ve done,” he said.  Despite a few cuts and bruises and a “slightly” separated shoulder, Dhans crossed the finish line in 5:37:05.

“To be greeted by Raena at the finish line with an arm full of lei’s, then to be held and cry tears of joy with my wife and daughter.  I’d imagined it so many times,” he recalled.

Dhans dedicated his race to Brandi and to organ donor families and recipients.

“I feel like XTERRA and the XTERRA family has ignited new life in me, and I’m hoping my story might inspire other athletes to pursue their dreams,” said Dhans.

As a permanent reminder of his spiritual journey, Dhans got a truly special tattoo.

“The tribal symbols are strength, power, courage and family,” he said. “The tattoo artist’s father also competed in XTERRA and explained that these were all attributes of an XTERRA Warrior, and the island of Maui says it all.”

SoCal Series is Underway for 2013-14 Season

Baldwin, Shearer continue winning streaks from last season

The 2013-14 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series opened in much the same way that the 2012-13 season closed – with Patrick Baldwin and Maggie Shearer taking top honors.

Maggie ShearerBoth elite runners continued their winning streaks at the XTERRA Point Mugu Trail Run, which was completed on October 13 at Point Mugu State Park in Oxnard/Malibu, California. A capacity field of more than 500 runners participated in the event, which was the first of seven races in the 2013-14 season for the XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series.

Baldwin placed first overall, completing the 18-kilometer long course in 1 hour, 9 minutes, 26 seconds. Shearer was the first overall female, finishing in 1:21:50.

Baldwin held throughout the course, but had to shift into sprint mode for the final mile when he saw a fast-approaching competitor making ground.

“I pushed really hard at the start and got a gap that held,” said Baldwin, who is 37 and resides in Encinitas, Calif. “I monitored a racer who was close, but tried not to look back. Anytime I hit a hill, I pushed it and focused on the fact that if I hurt, so will the people behind me. But on the final 2-mile downhill, I saw somebody new absolutely bombing the hill … I had to close with a big effort, 4:44 final mile! A learning lesson to keep your guard up.”

Chris Gilbert from Tarzana, Calif., was the fast chaser, and he finished in second place at 1:09:44 – 18 seconds behind Baldwin.  John Fedoroff from Thousand Oaks, Calif., was third in 1:10:25.

For Baldwin, it was his fourth consecutive victory in the XTERRA SoCal Series. He closed the 2012-13 season by winning the final three races of the series.

“This was my first time on this course, the only So Cal course I haven’t raced,” he said. “I really love the area, even after the recent fire.  The drive through Malibu to get to the race is epic, not many better places in the world.  I haven’t done a new course in awhile, and it makes me realize how important knowing a course is. I ran the first 1.5 miles before the race and it clued me in to running hard at the start as it turned to uphill single track early.”

The recent forest fires in the area cleared out some of the vegetation, giving the course a different look from previous years.

“The course was in great condition despite the recent firest that altered the landscape,” said Shearer, who is 36 and resides in Trabuco Canyon, Calif. “Although I raced last year, it looked entirely different due to the fire destruction. The trails were more open with less brush and protection on the side of the steep winding switch backs. This was a good reminder to control my speed and footing as I was descending.”

Shearer didn’t slow down too much, as she finished more than seven minutes ahead of the other top females in the race.

“I never ran with any women,” she said. “There was a lot of single track though out the course so it was like racing against the clock for much of the race. I took 5 minutes off my time from last year.”

Like Baldwin, Shearer has now won four consecutive XTERRA SoCal Trail Run Series races. She also closed the 2012-13 season with three straight victories.

“Last year was my first full year of XTERRA,” she said. “Knowing what to expect in the races plays a critical part in success.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS

The XTERRA Point Mugu also included an 11-kilometer “short course” race. Roman Kats was the first overall finisher for the 11K, and Carly Johann was the top female.

Former NBA All-Star Reggie Miller participated in the 11K and placed seventh in his age group. He resides near the race area and said he often runs on the trails as part of his training.

The next race in the SoCal Trail Run Series will be the XTERRA Topanga Turkey Trot on November 28 (Thanksgiving Day). The event will feature three course options – 15K, 10K or 5K – and all courses are open to runners of all ages and abilities. Please visitwww.trailrace.com for more information.

New Winners at New Race in Alabama Series

Aguirre and Holt prevail at Henry Farms

A new race to the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series introduced a couple of new winners to the podium.

Joseph Aguirre and Lauren Holt took top honors at the inaugural XTERRA Henry Farms Trail Run, which was completed on October 19 at Jacksonville, Alabama.

Cheaha StartAguirre was the overall winner, completing the 4-mile races in 26 minutes, 21 seconds. Holt was the top female in 31:54. It was the first XTERRA Trail Run victory for both runners.

“I enjoyed the race at Henry Farms tremendously,” Aguirre said. “The race staff was thoughtful, the other competitors were friendly, and the day was perfect for a fast time.”

Indeed, Aguirre jumped in front early, and stayed in front the entire way, although he was never quite sure of his lead because of the constant switchbacks on the course. “You were blocked from the sight of your nearest competitors by the trees, so I wasn’t sure where the other leaders were in relation to me,” he said.

Aguirre, 24, is a law student at the University of Alabama. He said he ran cross country in high school, but took some years off while in college.

The race for second place was a close one, with Gene Hood from Attalla, Alabama, finishing in 28:04 to edge Jay Crosby from Madison, Alabama, by four seconds.

Holt is also returning to competitive running this year after giving birth to her second child last year. “I love to run, and have since I was 14 years old competing in local 5K races,” said Holt, who is 32 and resides in Hokes Bluff, Alabama.

Holt said a friend explained the course to her prior to the race, so she knew it would be important to have a good start to get in a good position on the single track – “Start strong to gain a good position in the pack,” is how she put it.

Holt did just that, taking the early lead and holding it throughout. Hayley Long from Oxford, Alabama, placed second in 32:11, and Amberjean Goodman from Dothan, Alabama, was third in 33:56.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS

The XTERRA Henry Farms Trail Run was the third of seven events in the 2013-14 season for the XTERRA Alabama Trail Run Series. The next race in the series will be the XTERRA Oak Mountain Trail Run on November 10 at Birmingham, Alabama. That event will take place at the Oak Mountain State Park, and will off three courses for runners – a 21K half-marathon, a 10K and a 5K. To register for the race or learn more about it, please visitwww.dirtyspokes.com.

Honolulu Couple Takes Top Honors at Gunstock Ranch

Runners from 21 different states participate in Hawaii Series opener

Honolulu runners Nathan Carlson and Polina Babkina are used to running with each other – they are an engaged couple who enjoys training together.

They took it to a different level on October 19, when they placed first and second at the XTERRA Gunstock Ranch Trail Run in Laie, Oahu, Hawaii.

Polina BabkinaCarlson finished first overall, completing the 21-kilometer half-marathon course in 1 hour, 24 minutes, 58 seconds. Babkina was the top female – and second place overall – in 1:37:35.

“The course was extremely challenging with numerous long hill climbs and steep uphill and downhill descents,” Carlson said. “The course required more focus to stay on course than most trail races I have done.  It had many forks in the road and terrain changes.  Definitely a mental as well as physical challenge.  Many portions of the wooded trails opened up at high points and provided great hillside views.  A few times I was chasing cattle, which was fun and adventurous.  I would definitely run that race again to try and run faster, since I am now familiar with the route.”

Carlson basically ran alone in first place, although he recalled looking back within the first mile of the course and seeing Babkina behind him.

“There were miles that I did not see anybody and wondered if I was racing the right direction, but mostly I was praying that Polina would continue to have a good race and stay on course,” he said. “Every mile there was mile markers and then colored ribbons and XTERRA ribbons that kept me on track.”

Babkina held off several of the other top male runners to capture second place. Tom Dansie from Hurricane, Utah, placed third overall (second male) in 1:38:21, and Nate Johnson from Kailua, Hawaii, was next at 1:39:56.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW COMPLETE RESULTS

Carlson and Babkina will next enter the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, which is scheduled for November 24 at Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii. They are considered the top Hawaii runners in the field.

In addition to the 21K half-marathon course, there was also a 5K short course. Pat Hayburn from Pennsylvania finished first overall for the 5K, and Brynne Adams from Waialua was the top female.

The XTERRA Gunstock Ranch Trail Run drew more than 300 runners, ranging in age from 5 to 65. It also featured runners from 21 states, making it one of the most diverse races on the XTERRA Trail Run circuit.

The XTERRA Gunstock Ranch Trail Run was also the first of three races in the inaugural XTERRA Hawaii Trail Run Series. The XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs followed on October 26, and the XTERRA Freedom Fest Trail Run will be the series finale on July 5, 2014.

Lebrun Elected to Hall of Fame

Nicolas “The Professor” Lebrun was inducted into the XTERRA Hall of Fame at the Night of Champions dinner at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Saturday.

Nicolas LebrunXTERRA first met Lebrun more than a decade ago.  He had already made a significant impact on multisport – a World Champion duathlete and two-time World Champion Winter triathlete.

The native of France crossed the Atlantic and landed in Richmond, Virginia for his first XTERRA race in 2001.  He finished 3rd behind another, first-timer – Conrad Stoltz in 2nd, and Canada’s Mike Vine in first.

It was the start of something big for him, and for XTERRA….The following year he returned to Richmond and scored his first XTERRA win – interestingly, every time he made the trans-Atlantic crossing, he arrived minus his bike or his luggage, or both…and it became a signature and symbol of “good luck”.

Lebrun grew up in the alps where he learned to go downhill fast, and climb like a chamois  – a goat-antelope native to the mountains of Europe. The downside to this idyllic life was a poor educational environment…and it hit big when he moved to the city in first form, or middle school.

The school could not accommodate his needs, and he survived as one of the “bad guys” drinking, smoking, fighting…and throwing rocks at other kids in organized runs.  Caught in the act by one of the teachers – he was required to run himself.  And run he did – fast – to avoid potential rocks.  He discovered he was faster than the runners who had been training.

This was his turn-around point…he found strength in athletics – and a passion that fueled his future dreams.  In 1994 he began his athletic career as an elite – taking 3rd at the French Duathlon Championship – his first in a string of victories and many, many podiums.

Over the past thirteen years, he has been a major and consistent force in XTERRA racing in Europe and in America with 90 top five finishes, including 32 wins and four European Tour Championships.

He has helped race organizers with course planning and building – and trained fellow athletes to reach their performance goals, a career he will take on full time in 2014 with his Organicoach company.

But the crowning moment in his XTERRA career, was in Maui in 2005 when he won the XTERRA World Championship – despite falling and breaking his wrist on the run course. For this feat, he received a congratulatory letter from French President Jacques Chirac, and was recognized as the off-road triathlete of the year at the Endurance Sports Awards.

For all that he has done to spread the sport of XTERRA throughout Europe and elsewhere – we are proud to present the 2013 XTERRA Hall of Famer – “The Professor” Nico Lebrun.

XTERRA HALL OF FAME MEMBERS

The first eight…

NED OVEREND (2005)

Overend competed in the first-ever XTERRA in 1996, finishing third.  In ‘97 he was second, and in ‘98 and ‘99 he won consecutive World Championships at the ripe young age of 42 & 43.

SCOTT TINLEY (2006)

Tinley competed in XTERRA’s inaugural event and was one of the early ambassadors for the sport, helping to get high level pro’s and big media attention for the first-ever XTERRA World Championship.

KERSTIN WEULE (2007)

In the early years of the sport Weule won more XTERRA races than anyone, compiling 19 XTERRA titles, two US. Pro Series crowns (1999 and 2000), and the 2000 World Championship.

JIMMY RICCITELLO (2008)

Riccitello won the inaugural XTERRA World title over triathlon great Mike Pigg.  Afterwards, he said “Man this race is a bitch, but it’s the true spirit of triathlon –athlete vs. the course”.

MICHAEL TOBIN (2009)

Tobin dominated XTERRA for years, with 16 wins and the 2000 World Championship to his credit.  He’s the last American man to win off-road triathlon’s greatest race.

SHARI KAIN (2010)

Kain had an epic duel with Michellie Jones in the inaugural XTERRA of 1996 but came up 12 seconds short.  In 1999 “Sharoo” won it all in style by doing the hula across the finish line in a grass skirt.

SCOTT SCHUMAKER (2011)

Schumaker is perhaps THE pioneer of XTERRA racing.  In the early years he was a factor in just about every race, and he also introduced the sport to the triathlon world by writing about his experiences.

JAMIE WHITMORE (2012)

Whitmore won 37 championships in a dozen different countries, including the XTERRA World Championship in 2004.  She is still today the most successful female pro the sport has ever known.

2013 XTERRA Warrior Award Winner Ron Hill

In Hawaii, our kupuna – our elders – are highly esteemed.  They are our guides and our mentors.  They are treasured and honored for their wisdom and life experience.

Ron HillXTERRA is fortunate to have a strong group of kupuna -18 men and women 65 and older that raced in the World Championship in Maui.  XTERRA’s kupuna exemplify our “live more” creedo and inspire us to do more and be more.

Between them they hold numerous national championship and world championship titles. All of these athletes deserve our support and applause – however, one of them is deserving of a little extra attention.

Just a year ago at the XTERRA World Championship, our 2013 XTERRA Warrior Award Winner had a bad mountain bike crash on the downhill and crushed his pelvis.  It’s not an easy injury to recover from, not when you’re 30, and definitely not when you’re 75-years-old.

He went from racing on Maui to a medevac flight to Oahu where he spent weeks prone in a hospital bed.   He graduated to a wheelchair and then to a walker –  and was walking unassisted by the end of February 2013.  It wasn’t overnight, it wasn’t easy, but he did it.

In April of this year, he and his wife (who is XTERRA’s most cherished volunteer) drove out to the XTERRA West Championship in Las Vegas just to help out.  It was during this trip, while taking the family dog out for a stretch that Ron started to jog…and by July, he was racing XTERRA again…and again in August… and again in September – complete with prepping for the U.S. National Championship in Utah with uphill sprints.  He finished the race – one of XTERRA’s most grueling endurance challenges -and took his 3rd National Championship.

This year Hill returned to Maui to take care of some unfinished business on the Kapalua course.  He did so in grand fashion, conquering the World Championship in seven hours, 12 minutes and 11 seconds to win the 75-79 division XTERRA World Championship for the second time.

Our 2013 XTERRA Warrior award winner, and treasured Kupuna – Mr. Ron Hill.

Here’s a look at the names and finish times of our kupuna at this year’s XTERRA World Championship:

Men 65 – 69
Bruce Wacker : 4:29:03
Laurence Goddard : 4:50:48
Richard Wall : 5:21:12
Terry Hutchins : 5:21:55
Masashi Ando : 6:07:20

Men 70 – 74
Peter Wood : 5:07:59
James Meskimen : 5:13:28
Ronald Scranton : 5:52:27
G L Brown : 5:57:51
Roger Kern : 6:22:45
Stuart Lumb : 6:43:22
Rodger Bivens : 6:49:59

Men 75 – 79
Ronald Hill : 7:12:11

Women 65 – 69
Wendy Minor : 6:09:21
Kimiko Matsuda : 6:17:54
Katherine Frank : 6:48:06
Charlotte Mahan : 7:02:05

 

Ruben Ruzafa, Nicky Samuels win XTERRA Worlds

Results / Photo Gallery

(Kapalua, Maui) – Maui turned up the heat and the competition turned up a notch at the 18th annual XTERRA World Championship on Saturday afternoon.

More than 800 endurance athletes from around the world participated in the off-road triathlon, which started and finished at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua hotel on Maui. The course consisted of a 1-mile swim, a 20-mile mountain bike, and a 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) trail run.

Temperatures approaching 90 degrees turned it into a race of attrition as much as a race of competition.

Ruben Ruzafa from Spain made a triumphant return to the top of the XTERRA World Championship podium after completing the course in 2 hours, 34 minutes, 34 seconds.

Nicky Samuels from New Zealand took the women’s title in her first appearance at the XTERRA World Championship. She finished the course in 2:57:48.

Ruzafa and Samuels each received $20,000 for their respective victories.

Ruzafa rallies to take men’s title

Ruben RuzafaSome people like to visit the island of Maui every five years or so to enjoy the sun and sand of a Hawaiian island. Ruben Ruzafa likes to visit Maui every five years to win the XTERRA World Championship.

Ruzafa, who is 29 and resides in Malaga, Spain, won the 2013 XTERRA World Championship for the second time in his career on a hot Saturday afternoon. Ruzafa won the XTERRA Worlds in 2008, got injured a few days before the 2009 race, then spent the next few years focusing on mountain bike races.

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

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

“I was really surprised,” Ruzafa said of his ability to pass the other pros on the bike.

Nobody got close to Ruzafa on the run, and he eventually finished 1 minute, 27 seconds, ahead of the rest of the field.

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

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

If Ruzafa had the bike ride of the day, Shaw pulled off the run of the day. He passed four fellow pros on the run to capture second place.

“I didn’t really know where I was,” Shaw said of his position in the pack. “I was just pushing as much as I could to catch anyone in front of me.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2013 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PRO MEN RESULTS

 

Pl Name Age Hometown Final Time Purse
1 Ruben Ruzafa 29 Malaga, Spain 2:34:34 $20,000
2 Asa Shaw 29 Frejus, France 2:36:01 $12,000
3 Ben Allen 28 North Wollongong, Australia 2:36:24 $7,000
4 Josiah Middaugh 35 Vail, Colorado 2:37:44 $4,000
5 Braden Currie 27 Wanaka, New Zealand 2:39:05 $2,500
6 Conrad Stoltz 40 Stellenbosch, South Africa 2:39:31 $1,500
7 Nicolas Lebrun 40 Digne-les-Bains, France 2:40:57 $1,000
8 Marvin Gruget 21 Beaumes de Venise, France 2:42:03 $800
9 Leonardo Chacon 29 Liberia, Costa Rica 2:42:08 $600
10 Brice Daubord 28 Orleans, France 2:43:00 $500

Also: Francois Carloni, Richard Murray, Kris Coddens, Dan Hugo, Jan Kubicek, Ryan Ignatz, Courtney Atkinson, Felix Schumann, Dennis Kruse, Will Ross, Jan Francke, Branden Rakita, Olivier Marceau, Fabio Guidelli, Adam Wirth, Kyle Leto, Jason Michalak, Chris Ganter, Andy Lee, Richard Stannard, Grant Bovee, Brian Astell, Tim Snow, Jim Thijs, Bruno Silva

Samuels stuns the women’s field

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

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

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

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

She is the first female from New Zealand to win the XTERRA World Championship (Hamish Carter took the men’s title in 2006).

Her victory ended the successful run of Scotland’s Lesley Paterson, who was the two-time defending XTERRA women’s world champ and had posted seven consecutive XTERRA race victories leading up to this year’s Worlds.

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

Paterson said she knew midway through the bike that victory was probably out of reach, but she still displayed her champion spirit by tracking down two fellow pros on the run to take second place.

Paterson finished the bike in fourth, but passed Barbara Riveros first on the run, then staged a late surge to pass Flora Duffy in the final 100 meters of the run.

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

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

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

On Paterson’s late pass for second place, Duffy said: “I couldn’t respond. I was just hoping there was nobody behind Lesley.”

Riveros, who is an Olympian from Chile and placed second at the 2012 XTERRA Worlds, took fourth this year with a time of 3:01:43.

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

Chantell Widney from Canada was sixth (3:04:36) and Helena Erbenova from the Czech Republic was seventh (3:05:16).

Colorado’s Shonny Vanlandingham, the 2010 XTERRA women’s world champ, placed eighth (3:05:43), and posted the fastest bike split at 1:49:23.

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

PRO WOMEN 

 

Pl Name Age Hometown Final Time Purse
1 Nicky Samuels 30 Wanaka, New Zealand 2:57:48 $20,000
2 Lesley Paterson 33 Sterling, Scotland (San Diego, CA) 3:00:14 $12,000
3 Flora Duffy 26 Boulder, Colorado 3:00:19 $7,000
4 Barbara Riveros 26 La Pintana, Chile 3:01:43 $4,000
5 Emma Garrard 32 Park City, Utah 3:01:49 $2,500
6 Chantell Widney 33 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 3:04:36 $1,500
7 Helena Erbenova 34 Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic 3:05:16 $1,000
8 Shonny Vanlandingham 44 Durango, Colorado 3:05:43 $800
9 Jacqui Slack 30 Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom 3:05:52 $600
10 Suzie Snyder 31 Fredericksburg, Virginia 3:08:32 $500

Also: Carina Wasle, Carla Van Huyssteen, Kathrin Muller, Heather Jackson, Renata Bucher, Danelle Kabush, Melanie McQuaid, Caroline Colonna, Sarah Backler, Dunia Gomez, Genzianai Cenni, Tamara Donelson, Katie Button, Daz Parker, Laura Dias, Mieko Carey

MENDEZ, FINCHAMP WIN XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP OVERALL AMATEUR CROWNS

In the age-group amateur field, youth continued to prevail as a pair of teenagers took top overall honors for the second consecutive year.

Mauricio MendezHannah Rae Finchamp from Altadena, California, took the female amateur championship for the second consecutive year, becoming the first female to win it in back-to-back years.

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

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

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

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

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

Mauricio Mendez from Mexico City turned in an equally impressive performance on the male side of the amateur field. The 18-year-old finished in 2:45:48, which was nearly five minutes ahead of the other male amateurs.

Mendez, who graduated from high school in Mexico earlier this year, finished in 15th place overall – just 19 seconds behind South African pro Dan Hugo, who finished second at XTERRA Worlds only two years ago.

Mendez trained with two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson for a month leading up to this race, and will continue to train with her next year.

Romaric Delepine from France placed second overall and first in the male 35-39 division.

Numerous age-group amateurs added to their respective collection of XTERRA world titles, including Peter Wood from La Jolla, Calif., who won the male 70-74 division. He now owns a record eight XTERRA amateur world titles.

Fouad Fattoumy from Honolulu won the physically challenged division for the eighth time, tying Wood for most amateur championships.

Wendy Minor (female 65-69) from Kamuela, Hawaii, won her seventh, Beverly Watson (female 60-64) from Canada captured her sixth, and Calvin Zaryski (male 45-49) won his fifth.

The following men all captured their fourth title: Thomas Vonach (40-44) from Austria, Tom Monica (55-59) from California and John Royson (60-64) from California.

Competitors now with two titles to their name: Bruce Wacker, Ron Hill, Elizabeth Gruber, Mimi Stockton, Anne Gonzales and Lucia Colbert. See chart below for the complete list of amateur world champions for 2013.

2013 AMATEUR XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONS

 

Div Name Hometown Time
15-19 Mauricio Mendez Mexico City, Mexico 2:45:48
20-24 Clement Briere Bretteville, France 2:53:23
25-29 Albert Soley Bigues, Spain 2:53:27
30-34 Oliver Pichou Canteleu, France 2:56:19
35-39 Romaric Delepine Zimming, France 2:50:45
40-44 (4) Thomas Vonach Schwarzach, Austria 2:58:10
45-49 (5) Calvin Zaryski Calgary, Canada 2:58:31
50-54 Tim Sheeper Menlo Park, California 3:13:38
55-59 (4) Tom Monica Thousand Oaks, California 3:28:18
60-64 (4) John Royson Albany, California 3:34:51
65-69 (2) Bruce Wacker Nelson, New Zealand 4:29:03
70-74 (8) Peter Wood La Jolla, California 5:07:59
75-79 (2) Ron Hill Hayden, Idaho 7:12:11
PC (8) Ed Fattoumy  Honolulu, HI 3:52:13

Women

 

Div Name Hometown Time
15-19 (4) Hannah Rae Finchamp Altadena, California 3:11:02
20-24 (2) Elizabeth Gruber Redding, California 3:29:13
25-29 Kara Lapoint Truckee, California 3:28:24
30-34 Debby Sullivan Roseville, California 3:37:46
35-39 Jennifer Todd Newbury Parks, California 3:39:33
40-44 (2) Mimi Stockton Stevensville, Michigan 3:33:09
45-49 Kim Beckinsale Noosa Heads, Australia 3:28:38
50-54 (2) Anne Gonzales Aspen, Colorado 3:23:53
55-59 (2) Lucia Colbert Cordova, Tennessee 4:11:16
60-64 Beverly Watson Priddis, Canada 4:15:05
65-69 (7) Wendy Minor Kamuela, Hawaii 6:09:21

(#) titles won, *top amateurs

PRIME AWARD WINNERS

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

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

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

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

FLINTA, TAYLOR WIN OUTRIGGER HOTELS & RESORTS DOUBLE AWARDS

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

 
For more information on the XTERRA World Championship download

First Last Country Division IM XTERRA Double
Martin Flinta Sweden M40-44 9:30:45 2:58:27 12:29:12
Pablo Ureta Argentina M30-34 9:21:59 3:15:05 12:37:04
Richard Stoffel Switzerland M45-49 9:19:01 3:33:21 12:52:22
Tim Sheeper USA M50-54 9:45:13 3:13:38 12:58:51
Andrew Sellars Canada M40-44 9:41:41 3:17:26 12:59:07
Leandro Gonzalez Argentina M35-39 9:48:18 3:31:08 13:19:26
Ricky Simonsen New Zealand M45-49 9:59:43 3:28:37 13:28:20
brent lorenzen USA M40-44 10:03:37 3:30:45 13:34:22
Randal Walker Canada M55-59 10:22:28 3:33:18 13:55:46
Kirk Vandeweghe Canada M45-49 10:58:40 3:23:08 14:21:48
Kathryn Taylor USA F25-29 10:50:35 4:36:46 15:27:21
Rudy Becker USA M40-44 11:45:24 3:53:30 15:38:54
Beverly Watson Canada F60-64 11:50:41 4:15:05 16:05:46
Uta Knape Germany F40-44 12:26:54 4:16:47 16:43:41
Eddie Johnson USA M45-49 12:33:38 4:31:42 17:05:20
Kimiko Matsuda Japan F65-69 15:36:39 6:17:54 21:54:33

the PDF of the XTERRA Worlds press guide  complete with pro bios, previews, past results, and start lists.

The XTERRA World Championship is presented by Paul Mitchell, AVIA, Maui Visitors Bureau, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, and Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, and sponsored by Muscle Milk, Kapalua Resort, Gatorade, PowerBar, Island Air, T S Restaurants, Hawaii Tourism Authority, LifeProof, Footbalance, Zorrel, Rudy Project, Kona Brewing Company, Rockwell Watches, XTERRA Wetsuits, and XTERRA Fitness.