Middaugh, Riou win XTERRA Dominican Republic

Complete Results

August 13, 2017 – Reigning XTERRA Pan America Tour Champion Josiah Middaugh from Colorado and Morgane Riou from France won the 2nd annual XTERRA Dominican Republic Championship race elite titles on a clear, sunny day at the Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge in Barahona this morning.

It’s the fifth straight win of the season for Middaugh, and the 29th major victory of his storied career. For Riou, it’s her first XTERRA World Tour win as an elite.


In the men’s race two-time Olympian Leonardo Chacon from Costa Rica took the early lead with a swim that was two-minutes faster than the rest of the field, but Middaugh turned in the fastest bike of the day to take a two-minute lead of his own into the bike-to-run transition then posted the fastest run of the day to take the tape in 2:25:55, more than two minutes in front of runner-up Kieran McPherson.

“This race is the closest representation to the Maui course we have on the Pan American circuit, so it was good for me to come to this amazing location and test myself on a challenging tropical course against great competition like Kieran and Leonardo,” said Middaugh.

McPherson said, “I was happy to get out of the water with Branden and Josiah, as I knew Josiah would be riding up to the front of the race.  I managed to stay close on the first long lap with a small gap at the top of the first major climb, however it was extended on the second loop.  I was happy to share a similar run spit to Josiah.  I will be the first to commit to next year’s race here.”

Chacon, still recovering from a stress fracture suffered early in the season, finished third followed by Pan Am Pro Series points leader Branden Rakita in fourth, and Julien Buffe from France in fifth.

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:25:55 75
2 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:28:24 67
3 Leonardo Chacon, CRC 2:33:46 61
4 Branden Rakita, USA 2:47:23 56
5 Julien Buffe, FRA 2:47:47 51


In the women’s race Jessie Koltz led out of the water, roughly two-minutes ahead of Riou and Genevieve Evans. By the mid-way point on the first big climb Riou took the lead, followed next by Kara LaPoint about 15-seconds back, with Evans in third. From there the young French stand-out extended her lead to three-minutes at the bike-to-run transition and then she did what she does best … run.  Her run time was nearly three minutes faster than LaPoint, who came in second-place about six-minutes later.

Evans was third, with Laura Mira Dias from Brazil in fourth, and Koltz in fifth.

“I really went for it today” said LaPoint. “I was going for the win. Having not yet won an XTERRA major, I was really hopeful I could make my first one happen here in the DR, which is a very special place for me. I knew it would take a truly stellar day, as Morgane is in such great form right now. After getting out of the water a little behind, I fought hard to pull back time on the bike, and got within about 15 seconds near the top of the climb on the first lap, but I made a few critical mistakes that set me back, and I lost contact. In the end, Morgane was just too strong today, and she left no room for error out there. She really had an amazing race, and I am very happy for her on taking her first win here – I know she wanted it bad as well! While I didn’t quite get the result I wanted, I am happy with my day. I gave it everything, I felt strong out there, and I am very pleased with 2nd today. All the women turned in a super strong showing, which was cool to see. It was another amazing experience here at Casa Bonita, the host hotel. This venue is fantastic, and truly one of my very favorite races!”

Evans, who is back in the pro ranks after spending a brief stint back in the amateur field, added “XTERRA DR was my second international XTERRA experience and it was truly an adventure. I enjoy doing races that are out of my norm and this was certainly the case. Swimming in the Caribbean Sea as the sun rose and exchanging greetings with other racers on the out and back run course along the river were some of the highlights.  The volunteers, other racers, and locals were supportive and put on a good race.”

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Morgane Riou, FRA 3:00:05 75
2 Kara LaPoint, USA 3:06:46 67
3 Genevieve Evans, USA 3:19:54 61
4 Laura Mira, BRA 3:25:13 56
5 Jessie Koltz, USA 3:34:01 51

RAKITA, SNYDER REMAIN ATOP PAN AM PRO SERIES STANDINGS

Josiah Middaugh got another 19 points closer but Branden Rakita remains in the No. 1 spot in the Pan Am Pro Series heading into the season finale at the XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Utah on September 16.  In the women’s standings Snyder held on to her top spot as well.

Next Up: XTERRA Pan Am Championship, September 16, Ogden, Utah

XTERRA PAN AM PRO SERIES STANDINGS
After 9 (As of 8.13)
S S S S G S G G S
PL NAME, NAT TOT ARG CHI CRC BRA OAK VIC BVR MEX DOM
1 Branden Rakita, USA 466 56 47 56 DNS 69 61 58 63 56
2 Josiah Middaugh, USA 450 DNS DNS 75 DNS 100 DNS 100 100 75
3 Kieran McPherson, NZL 320 DNS DNS DNS 67 63 DNS 41 82 67
4 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 282 61 56 61 DNS 37 67 DNS DNS DNS
5 Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG 217 75 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS
6 Cedric Wane, TAH 208 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 51 63 53 DNS
7 Brian Smith, USA 208 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS 75 58 DNS
8 Julien Buffe, FRA 182 43 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 51
9 Francisco Serrano, MEX 172 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS 90 DNS
10 Karsten Madsen, CAN 165 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 75 DNS DNS DNS
11 Ryan Ignatz, USA 149 DNS DNS 51 DNS 53 DNS 45 DNS DNS
12 Felipe Moletta, BRA 136 DNS 61 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Maximiliano Morales, ARG 118 67 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
14 Chris Ganter, USA 114 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 56 DNS DNS DNS
15 Ian King, USA 108 DNS 27 47 DNS 34 DNS DNP DNS DNS
16 Veit Hoenle, GER 98 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS 49 DNS DNS
17 León Drajer, ESP 94 51 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Micheal Nunez, USA 92 DNS DNS 30 DNS 31 DNS 31 DNS DNS
19 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS DNS
20 Sam Long, USA 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS
21 Felipe Barraza, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Guiherme Goncalves, BRA 72 DNS DNS 36 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Ben Hoffman, USA 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS
24 Leonardo Mata , MEX 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS
25 Kris Coddens, BEL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Alexandre Manzan, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Leonardo Chacon, CRC 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61
28 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Mario de Elias, ARG 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS
30 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Andres Darricau, ARG 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
32 Diogo Malagon, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Cody Waite, USA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS
34 Esteban Rosas, MEX 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS
35 Greg Schott, USA 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Rodrigo Moreira, BRA 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
37 Daniel Ramirez, MEX 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS
38 Federico Venegas, CRC 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Silveira Silva, BRA 39 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
40 Thomas Spannring, USA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS
41 Joaquin Pereda, MEX 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS
42 Diego Moya, CHI 36 DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
43 Guilherme Goncalves, BRA 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
44 Joshua Merrick, USA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS
45 Gaspar Riveros, CHI 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
46 Billy Gordon, PAN 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
47 Anderson Ferreira, BRA 33 DNS DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
48 Benjamin Munizaga, CHI 30 DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
49 Wellington Conceicao, BRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
50 Ryan DeCook, USA 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS
51 Taylor Charlton, AUS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS
52 Andres Zuniga, CRC 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
53 Pericles Andrade, BRA 27 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Fernando Melo, BRA 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
55 Leonardo Lisboa, BRA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
ELITE WOMEN S S S S G S G G S
PL NAME, NAT TOT ARG CHI CRC BRA OAK VIC BVR MEX DOM
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 582 75 67 75 DNS 100 75 90 100 DNS
2 Kara LaPoint, USA 504 61 56 67 DNS 58 51 69 75 67
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 427 67 61 DNS DNS DNS 67 75 82 75
4 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 335 51 47 56 67 DNP DNS DNS 58 56
5 Annie Bergen, CAN 246 DNS DNS 61 DNS 31 27 58 69 DNS
6 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 235 56 51 DNS 75 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS
7 Lesley Paterson, GBR 190 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS 100 DNS DNS
8 Caroline Colonna, USA 173 DNS DNS 47 DNS 28 DNS 45 53 DNS
9 Julie Baker, USA 164 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS 82 DNS DNS
10 Jessie Koltz, USA 139 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 49 DNF 51
11 Katie Button, CAN 124 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 61 DNS DNS DNS
12 Liz Gruber, USA 120 DNS DNS 51 DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS
13 Maia Ignatz, USA 118 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 43 DNS DNS DNS
14 Emma Garrard, USA 108 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS 63 DNS DNS
15 Fabiola Corona, MEX 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS
16 Heather Zimchek-Dunn, USA 83 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 30 53 DNS DNS
17 Barbara Riveros, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Debby Sullivan, USA 74 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 33 DNS DNS DNS
19 Kelli Montgomery, USA 70 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 36 DNS DNS DNS
20 Dunia Gomez, MEX 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS
21 Isabella Ribeiro, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Genevieve Evans, USA 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61
23 Vanessa Cabrini, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Zoe Dawson, CAN 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
25 Fernanda Prieto, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
26 Katharine Carter, CAN 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Brisa Melcop, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Ladina Buss, SUI 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS
29 Anne Usher, USA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS
XTERRA Dominican Republic was the ninth of 10 races on the XTERRA Pan America Tour where amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.
Date Race Elite Winners or Location
25-Feb XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
4-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
18-Mar XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
25-Mar XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
1-Apr XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
1-Apr XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
2-Apr XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
8-Apr XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
9-Apr XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
16-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
29-Apr XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
30-Apr XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
6-May XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
13-May XTERRA Brazil # Silver Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
14-May XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
20-May XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
27-May XTERRA Portugal * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Brigitta Poor
10-Jun XTERRA Belgium * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
17-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady
18-Jun XTERRA Finland * Silver Pavel Andreev / Louise Fox
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Arthur Forissier / Michelle Flipo
2-Jul XTERRA France * GOLD Ruben Ruzafa / Laura Philipp
9-Jul XTERRA Victoria # Silver Karsten Madsen / Suzie Snyder
15-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Lesley Paterson
30-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Xavier Dafflon / Helena Karaskova
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
5-Aug XTERRA Norway * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Maud Golssteyn
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Morgane Riou
13-Aug XTERRA Poland * Silver Sam Osborne / Brigitta Poor
19-Aug XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
26-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
3-Sep XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Osborne, Poor win XTERRA Poland

Complete Results / Gallery

August 13, 2017 : For Immediate Release

Sam Osborne from New Zealand and Brigitta Poor from Hungary captured the elite titles at XTERRA Poland in Krakow this afternoon.

The victory is Osborne’s fourth this season, and first on the European Tour.  It’s also the fourth win of the year for Poor, the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion.

XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report…

It went about perfect for Brigitta Poor and Sam Osborne.  Both led from T1 and never gave it up.  Osborne was pushed hard by 2nd place Roger Serrano but was able to pull away on the run to win comfortably by close to four-minutes.  Poor had a strong swim, passing leader Nicole Walters when she missed a turn just after T1, and defeated her rival Helena Erbenova by more than two-minutes.

“I did not have a great first lap on the run, however, when I got close to the second loop I felt great and strong all the way to the end,” said Poor.

The finishes move the Kiwi Osborne up to 6th in the Euro Tour point standings and brought Poor eight-points closer to Erbenova with two races left in the series.

Serrano and Osborne had a fabulous battle from swim start through T2.

“I had real problems with my shoes in T2 and lost about 30 seconds.” moaned Serrano, and indeed Sam saw it and pushed super hard early in the run and had over a minute by the 3K mark.  Jens Roth, as usual, had a great swim and was holding a steady 3rd behind Serrano and Osborne.

On the second lap of the bike it became apparent that the chase group featuring two young French pros – Maxim Chane’ and Arthur Serrieres – were closing on the fast German.  Serrieres is very quick on the trails and passed Jens on the first run lap and set out after Roger.

“I wanted to go hard very soon so nobody could follow me and maybe catch Roger, but I went too hard and paid for it on the second loop,” said Serrieres.

Maxim got hit by a car after France while on Holiday in Croatia.  He hurt his back and has not fully recovered.  “I was OK on the swim and bike but could not run,” he said after the race. Chane put a valiant effort into the run but fell back steadily ending up in 8th.

Russia’s Pavel Andreev was chasing the two French riders as hard as the French duo were after Roth. He had closed to within 20-seconds when he started tiring.

“I felt so good early but could not go so hard at the end.  I will be better next week in Germany” said Andreev, who had his first XTERRA win in Finland this year.  No matter what happens he has a winning and quick smile befitting a 4-time Winter Triathlon World Champion.

Another quiet gentleman is Rui Dolores from Portugal.  Rui came off the bike 9th and ran his way to 6th behind Pavel.  Dolores has put together a string of top 10 finishes and finds himself in 5th place on the Tour.


In the women’s race it was all Brigitta, all day. Erbenova, as is typical, rode hard and ran harder to pass Carina Wasle on the run to take 2nd. Carina was feeling good today and had a very steady and impressive 3rd.

Coming back after a nice 2nd in Italy was Kiwi, Lizzie Orchard to take 4th.  Nicole Walters managed to come back to a top five after her misdirection on the bike.  Behind the top five was a battle royal with three women finishing within 45-seconds of each other.

Diane Lee (GBR) made it first of this bunch into 6th, with Kristina Niczapinova (SVK) and Angela Niklaus (SUI) separated by only five seconds.

The race was darn near flawless. Dozens of volunteers were everywhere, aid stations were full, the police did a fantastic job of intermittent traffic on the double road crossing, the awards were sensational and even the weather decided to warm up a bit with sunshine sneaking through just before Osborne came home to take his first win since Sweden in 2015.

We head to Zittau, Germany next and it is only a four-hour drive from Krakow.  A substantial number of athletes are doing this mini “double” and enjoying the short distance between the two venues.  As well, a lot of athletes (and your XTERRA European Staff) are staying in Krakow tomorrow for some shopping before heading west on the A4 (E40) with fond memories of a sensational second edition of XTERRA Poland.

Elite Men
Pos Name/Nat Time Pts
1 Sam Osborne, NZL 02:31:58 75
2 Roger Serrano, ESP 02:36:20 67
3 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 02:37:39 61
4 Jens Roth, GER 02:39:26 56
5 Pavel Andreev, RUS 02:40:09 51
6 Rui Dolores, POR 02:40:35 47
7 Peter Lehmann, GER 02:41:48 43
8 Maxim Chane, FRA 02:42:23 39
9 Doug Hall, GBR 02:43:23 36
10 Tomas Kubek, SVK 02:45:43 33
11 Sylwester Swat, POL 02:47:12 30
12 Christophe Betard, FRA 02:49:31 27
13 Balint Mester, HUN 02:50:42 25
14 Pavel Jindra, CZE 02:52:15 23
15 Theo Dupras, FRA 02:58:04 21
Elite Women
Pos Name/Nat Time Pts
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 02:55:48 75
2 Helena Karaskova-Erbenova, CZE 02:58:20 67
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 02:59:31 61
4 Elizabeth Orchard, NZL 03:08:24 56
5 Nicole Walters, GBR 03:09:57 51
6 Diane Lee, UK 03:13:45 47
7 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 03:14:24 43
8 Angela Niklaus, SUI 03:14:29 39
9 Sabina Rzepka, POL 03:17:08 36
10 Leicester Johandri, RSA 03:20:17 33
11 Daria Radczuk, POL 03:24:38 30

RUZAFA, KARASKOVA-ERBENOVA REMAIN ON TOP OF EURO TOUR

Ruben Ruzafa, the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion, is still ranked No. 1 after 12 of 14 races on this year’s tour. In the men’s chase Carloni retains his spot at No. 2, with Xavier Dafflon still in third position followed by Yeray Luxem in 4th, and Rui Dolores in fifth. With his win today Osborne climbed from 10th to 6th place and is able to climb even further up the rankings in the last two races.

For the women, Helena Karaskova-Erbenova is still in the lead but Brigitta Poor closed the gap to 43 points. Carina Wasle moved to 3rd and Golsteyn dropped to 4th. Morgan Riou remained at No. 5.

Next Up:  XTERRA Germany, August 19

Top 25 Elite Points Standings

Elite Men
Pos Name/Nat total MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN SUI FRA ITA NOR POL
1 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 565 DNS DNS 75 75 75 75 DNS 90 100 DNS 75 DNS
2 Francois Carloni, FRA 373 61 47 43 DNS 61 51 DNS 63 DNF 47 DNS DNS
3 Xavier Dafflon, SUI 351 DNS DNS 47 DNS 56 67 DNS 69 37 75 DNS DNS
4 Yeray Luxem, BEL 293 DNS 75 DNS DNS 67 61 DNS DNS 90 DNS DNS DNS
5 Rui Dolores, POR 283 DNS DNS 39 36 47 DNS DNS 41 34 39 DNS 47
6 Sam Osborne, NZL 275 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 58 67 DNS 75
7 Roger Serrano, ESP 270 75 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNF DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS 67
8 Maxim Chane, FRA 253 30 DNS 36 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNP 45 56 DNS 39
9 Arthur Forissier, FRA 233 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 82 DNS DNS DNS
10 Jens Roth, GER 222 DNS DNS 61 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS 56
11 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 217 33 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNP
12 Arthur Serrieres , FRA 204 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNP DNS 82 DNP DNS DNS 61
13 Xavier Jove Riart, ESP 171 DNS DNS DNS 67 51 DNS DNS DNP 53 DNS DNS DNS
14 Peter Lehmann, GER 167 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 30 DNS DNS DNF DNF 67 43
15 Hannes Wolpert, GER 149 DNF 43 DNP DNS 36 DNP DNS 37 DNP 33 DNS DNS
16 Jan Kubicek, CZE 149 DNS DNS DNP 39 DNS 43 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
17 Jan Pyott, SUI 145 56 DNS 25 33 DNS DNS DNS 31 DNF DNS DNS DNS
18 Bradley Weiss, RSA 131 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNF 75 DNS DNS DNS
19 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 128 67 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Thomas Kerner, GER 127 DNS 61 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Pavel Andreev, RUS 126 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNP DNS DNS 51
22 Tomas Kubek, SVK 108 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS 33
23 Theo Dupras, FRA 101 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS 53 DNP DNS DNS 21
24 Anthony Pannier, FRA 101 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 DNF 43 DNS DNS
25 Doug Hall, GBR 97 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNP DNS DNS 36
Elite Women
Pos Name/Nat total MLT CYP GRE ESP POR BEL FIN SUI FRA ITA NOR POL
1 Helena Karaskova-Erbenova, CZE 630 67 DNS 75 75 61 75 DNS 53 82 75 DNS 67
2 Brigitta Poor, HUN 587 75 75 67 67 75 DNS DNS 63 90 DNS DNS 75
3 Carina Wasle, AUT 378 51 DNS DNS DNS 67 67 DNS 69 63 DNS DNS 61
4 Maud Golsteyn, NED 343 56 DNS 47 DNS 56 51 DNS 58 DNS DNS 75 DNS
5 Morgane Riou, FRA 266 DNS 67 56 DNS DNS 61 DNS 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS
6 Nicole Walters, GBR 256 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 69 DNS DNS 51
7 Cecila Jessen, SWE 206 39 61 DNS DNS DNS 39 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
8 Louise Fox, GBR 185 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS 67 DNS
9 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 165 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 75 DNS DNS DNS
10 Isabelle Klein, LUX 155 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS 41 58 DNS DNS DNS
11 Kristina Lapinova, SVK 139 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS 43
12 Kathrin Mueller, GER 134 33 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS
13 Angela Niklaus, SUI 129 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 53 DNS DNS 39
14 Elizabeth Orchard, NZL 123 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 67 DNS 56
15 Renata Bucher, SUI 104 DNS DNS 43 DNF DNS DNS DNS DNS DNF 61 DNS DNS
16 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 100 DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS DNS DNF
17 Michelle Flipo, MEX 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Laura Philipp, GER 100 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 DNS DNS DNS
19 Rocío Espada, ESP 98 DNS DNS DNS 51 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Ladina Buss, SUI 96 DNS DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Jessica Roberts, GBR 84 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS DNS
22 Anna Pauline Sasserath, GER 79 36 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
24 Sara Bonilla, ESP 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
25 Elina Honkavuori, FIN 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS

XTERRA Poland was the 12th of 14 races on the XTERRA European Tour where amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
25-Feb XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
4-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
18-Mar XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
25-Mar XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
1-Apr XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
1-Apr XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
2-Apr XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
8-Apr XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
9-Apr XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
16-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
29-Apr XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
30-Apr XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
6-May XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
13-May XTERRA Brazil # Silver Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
14-May XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
20-May XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
27-May XTERRA Portugal * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Brigitta Poor
10-Jun XTERRA Belgium * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
17-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady
18-Jun XTERRA Finland * Silver Pavel Andreev / Louise Fox
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Arthur Forissier / Michelle Flipo
2-Jul XTERRA France * GOLD Ruben Ruzafa / Laura Philipp
9-Jul XTERRA Victoria # Silver Karsten Madsen / Suzie Snyder
15-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Lesley Paterson
30-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Xavier Dafflon / Helena Karaskova
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
5-Aug XTERRA Norway * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Maud Golssteyn
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Morgane Riou
13-Aug XTERRA Poland * Silver Sam Osborne / Brigitta Poor
19-Aug XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
26-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2-Sep XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
3-Sep XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

Meet Maia Ignatz – Staying Strong Through Injury

On July 9th, while racing XTERRA Victoria, pro athlete, Maia Ignatz, was running and navigating a large, rock surface. Her right ankle started to roll so she planted her left leg to steady herself. As the weight drove into her leg, her knee locked and her femur smashed into her tibia, resulting in a tibial plateau impaction fracture and a full thickness tear of her medial meniscus.

Ignatz was a runner first, and didn’t start mountain biking and swimming until 2008, when her husband Ryan recognized her potential. She competed in her first XTERRA in 2009, and in 2016, she finished the XTERRA Pan Am Championship – her favorite course – just three minutes behind fellow pro, Julie Baker.

Ignatz is also a renowned massage therapist in Boulder, Colorado. She has a degree in Integrative Physiology from CU Boulder and graduated with honors from the Boulder College of Massage Therapy. She currently has her own practice at Massage Boulder.

Ignatz is a firm believer in the body’s ability to heal. She uses her own experience to share how she stays positive, prepares for surgery, and stays strong mentally and physically.

Q. It’s common for athletes of all levels to become depressed when injured. How are you coping with this? 
A. I have found that it is crucial to stay active and continue to do the things that bring you joy. While training is not the same when you are injured, it is important to get out and do what you can. I find that staying active and involved prevents me from feeling depressed.

I also think it is very important to allow yourself to feel the frustrations, sadness, and anger that come along with being injured and unable to do the things you wish you could be doing. But do not let yourself dwell on these feelings – acknowledge them and return to doing the things that you can do, and be grateful for what you can still do. Do your best to keep “training” with your community. Show up and do what it is that you can do or make modifications.

With my knee injury, I have not been able to ride or run. I can hardly walk and I can hardly swim. But I have continued to go to the masters swim workouts that I typically go to, and I have been going to the gym to do some strength training. I find that showing up and being the best “athlete” that I can currently be keeps me positive most of the time.

I think that one of the most challenging aspects of serious injury is the unknown longterm outcome. In my case, with this knee injury, the bone will heal. Fortunately, I do not require surgery to plate my tibia. But, with a soft tissue injury like a torn meniscus, the recovery from repair will be long and slow, and there are no guarantees. I will be unable to use my left leg and have to stay completely non-weight bearing for at least 6 weeks after surgery. Then it could be anywhere from three to ten months before I work my way very slowly back to cycling and eventually running. But, I have found a great surgeon, I will put all of my effort into being the best self-healer that I can be, I will keep showing up to “train”, and I will eventually get my left leg as strong as my right leg. There is still a lot to be positive about.

Everyday, I spend some time to think about it, write it down, and acknowledge all of the good that there is in my life, despite my injury.

Q. When is the best time to use massage, bodywork, acupuncture etc? 
A. 
After some rest, ice, compression, and elevation, if you can be comfortable, pain free, and it’s safe for your injury, I recommend getting right into massage, bodywork, acupuncture, and physical therapy. I had a 90 minute massage two days after my injury. The massage therapist worked on everything but my knee, and I did some retrograde lymph style massage myself to help manage the swelling and decrease effusion.

I had acupuncture four days after my injury and would have gone sooner if I could. Let pain be your guide and listen to your doctors, but I believe that the sooner you can start promoting health and wellbeing for your injured body, the sooner it will respond with healing.

Q. How important is the mental side of injury recovery? Can positive thinking impact healing?
A. 
Our minds are very powerful – we know this as endurance athletes. Staying positive is as important for your mental wellbeing as it is for your physical wellbeing. You cannot separate the mind and body – they are integrated and one has a huge impact on the other. 

Running is one of my greatest joys in life and I will do everything that I can to recover and rehab to the best of my ability, and this definitely includes thinking positively. It is my goal to return to my pre-injury, elite level performance.

Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial to achieving both short-term and long-term goals. I spend time everyday using imagery to “train” my left leg and send it healing thoughts. I try to be gentle and kind to myself and my knee. Never underestimate the power of your nervous system and the mind body connection. Sitting around, feeling sorry for myself is not an option. 

The Chase is On!

With three weeks remaining in the regular season the battles for regional championships are heating up across the country. Every race counts this year, and there are just 10 races remaining in the XTERRA America Tour, including the season finale for every region across the country.

For those trying to win their regional championship and get the qualifying spot to XTERRA Worlds in Maui that goes with it, its crunch time.

“I’ve traveled more than 13,000 miles this season in pursuit of that slot for Worlds,” said XTERRA rookie Jordan Winar (pictured with his family and their home made signs), who traveled to 10 races and racked-up a tour-high 612 points in the South Central’s 30-34 division so far. “My wife and three kids really want to go to Maui.”

Michael Drackert and his wife really want to go to Maui too.  Problem is, he’s in the same region and age group as Winar.

“At the beginning of the season we decided that I could likely win the region with six or seven races…eight in emergency,” said Drackert.  “So, I got out a map, looked at the entire XTERRA race schedule, and picked the closest races to Kansas City. There’s not many. But I went for it and had a great season.”

It was an incredible season. Drackert won his division six times in seven races and collected 517 points. He also won the head-to-head against Winar three times.  If this was last year under the old rules Drackert would have had the title locked up, but with the every-race-counts rules change this year he’s on the outside looking in.  The cruel irony is last year Drackert narrowly missed winning the regional title in the 30-34 age group to 12-time winner Kyle Grieser.

Is he bitter?

“No. Winar played by the rules and good for him for making the sacrifices to go for it,” said Drackert.  “One evening while I was complaining to my wife about the situation she asked me, ‘Are you still having fun?’  I didn’t even have to think about it…Yes! I don’t train, race, and sacrifice for medals or trophies or results that nobody will really remember. I compete because the process makes me a better person. I love the trails. I love the process. I love competing.  And that’s what really matters.”

This weekend Drackert and his wife are loading up the campervan to drive up to Canada for ITU Cross Tri Worlds on August 23, and “taking the long way to get there,” said Drackert. “Turning it into a 2-week vacation filled with hiking, riding, and camping in the national parks of the Canadian Rockies.”

Is his chase for the title over?

“I’ve been keeping an eye on the competition between those two all season,” said 2016 Mr. XTERRA award winner Marcus Barton, who himself is sitting pretty with 550 points in the 45-49 SE Region. “Those two have been battling it out back and forth, and this is a CLASSIC case of how someone who might not be the fastest can win his region and get a Worlds slot. I’ve been chatting it up with Jordan. It’s his first year at XTERRA and he can’t seem to get enough. His desire to get to Worlds is very strong and he’s done a ton of races trying to keep the points lead and Worlds slot in sight.”

Barton, the master tactician, broke down some potential scenarios for Winar, who remarkably was on a mountain bike for the first time in February this year, and did his first triathlon ever at XTERRA ATX in April.

“I told him a 4th at Waco on Saturday would put him at 668.  If Michael did two more races and got 75 each, he’d be at 667,” explained Barton.  “Wouldn’t that be a helluva finish!”

Time will tell, and the tales don’t stop there . . .

A QUICK PEAK AT OTHER REGIONAL CHASES

The American Tour consists of 50 races in 30 states, which are divided into eight regions. Every race counts, and the athlete with the most points from each region, in each age group, wins the regional championship. To be eligible to win a regional title you must race in at least one event in your region and two races total in the series.

Regional champions are awarded a qualifying spot into the 2017 XTERRA World Championships to be held October 29 in Maui, and they will also be recognized at the XTERRA USA / Pan America Championship race in Ogden, Utah in mid-September.

With the number of talented XTERRA athletes, there are some extremely close battles.

The XTERRA South Central Region has quite a few close regional title chases. In the 15-19 age group, Jared Clark and Evan Marietta are only three points apart. In the 20-24 division, Reiner Gunther and Jacob Turbyfill have 225 and 209 points, respectively. In the 40-44 age group, Joe Tegerdine’s 203 points put him just ahead of Josh Walker’s 192, and in the 45-49 age group, Jeremy Cogswell is just three points ahead of Scott Burris’ 195 points.  The women in the region are fighting tough as well. Alissa Magrum is just ahead of Marcy Morris with 246 points to Marcy’s 217 in the 40-44 age group, and in the 35-39 age group, Lara Houseman is just ahead of Liesel McAllister, 264 to 217, and Heidi Fischer and Anna Culina are tied in the 45-49 division.

In the Atlantic Region, Kate Lucus and Jennifer Elder Brady are tied for first in the 45-59 age group with 142 points each. Sian Turner and Michelle Parker are tied at 150 points for the 35-39 age group title in the West.

In the Mountain Region, high-altitude fans Michael Kloosterman and Louis Cicchino are battling for the title in the 30-34 age group. They are just a point apart, at 243 vs. 242. In the 40-44 bracket, Mitch Sturdivant’s 276 points place him just ahead of Matt Lamm’s, who has 247 points. In the 45-49 division, Eric Snowberg is just three points behind Brian Krombein’s 291 points.

Back to the Atlantic Region, the race is tight in the 30-34 division between Charleen Secor and Meegan Kelly, whose 107 points are very close to Secor’s 118. For the 25-29 men, David Uber’s 184 points are just holding off Nicolas Cicio, with 142.

In the West, top amateur at XTERRA Oak Mountain, Humberto Rivera, is 25 points behind Alfredo Valdez in the 25-29 age group. In the 35-39 age group, Ryan Terry is less than 20 points ahead of Eric Johnson, and in the 45-49 men, Eric Reed is 23 points ahead of Tyler Ford.

In the Southeast, Dewight Winchester, Caleb Baity, and Marcus Barton are clear leaders in their age groups. But Mark Chubb and Dave Gill in the 35-39 age group are only one-point apart.

Marika King is less than 15 points ahead of Megan Mohr in the SE 25-29 division and Pan Am Champ Margo Pitts (pictured) is 32 points ahead of May-li Cuypers in the 50-54 division.

The Midwest men are also competitive. 25-29ers Dalton Guggemos is 11 points ahead of John Loucks’ 131 points, Phillip Towne is 14 points ahead of Doug Eubanks’s 103 points in the 30-34 age group, and in the 45-59 age group, Brad Scholtz is 30 points ahead of Jim Bartholomew’s 317 points. Jaret Johnson is only 10 points behind Bill Berghoff in the 50-54 group.

The Midwest women are a bit more spread out, but in the 35-39 category, Amanda Frost is only 40 points ahead of Kristen Wade.

The next few weeks will be crucial to all of these tight races, so expect to see some surprises and some extra fire on the course.

Find points standings here, and click the orange filter button to find the regional chase you’d like to see.

Here’s a look at the last 10 races of the XTERRA America Tour regular season…

8/12/2017 – XTERRA Cameron Park (Waco, TX)

8/12/2017 – XTERRA Portland (Portland, OR)

8/13/2017 – XTERRA Syracuse (Fayetteville, NY)

8/19/2017 – XTERRA Rockport (Rugged Alpena, MI)

8/19/2017 – XTERRA Auburn (Auburn, AL)

8/19/2017 – XTERRA Aspen Valley (Carbondale, CO)

8/19/2017 – XTERRA TRI the Torture (Santa Fe, NM)

8/19/2017 – XTERRA Lake Tahoe (Incline Village, NV)

8/20/2017 – XTERRA Wild Ride (McCall, ID)

8/26/2017 – XTERRA Iron Creek (Spearfish, SD)

XTERRA Dominican Republic this Sunday

The penultimate event on the XTERRA Pan America Tour takes place at Casa Bonita in the beachside town of Barahona in the Dominican Republic on Sunday.

Reigning Pan Am Tour elite men’s champion Josiah Middaugh has returned to race in the second-edition of XTERRA Dominican Republic in search of redemption and the chance to close the gap on Branden Rakita in the points series chase before the tour finale in Utah on September 16.

Last year at this race, while riding in the lead, Middaugh suffered a series of rather comical mechanicals on the bike that derailed any chance for a win.

“I was having a good time for a while,” he quipped after the race last year.  “And then I got a puncture.  I tried to plug it. I used my first CO2 to find the hole, but the hole was too big.  So, I put a tube in and inflated it with my other CO2, but that tube had a hole in it, so then I had nothing.  I started running with the bike.  Rom Akerson and Braden Rakita went by and didn’t have anything to give me…then finally somebody had a tube.  I put that in and then I couldn’t find my thru-axle.  It was a half a mile back up the hill.  I left the bike and ran up the hill but couldn’t find it.  I ran past it, looked everywhere and then finally, found it and ran back to the bike.”

Akerson went on to win the race, Rakita finished second, Kieran McPherson was third, and Middaugh finally got himself together to finish in fourth.  Akerson is not in the DR to defend his title as he is still recovering from recent surgery to fix a pinched artery in his leg, but Rakita and McPherson will be on the start line.  Other contenders include Panamanian standout Billy Gordon, Frenchman Julien Buffe, and two-time Olympian Leonardo Chacon from Costa Rica.

“I’m still on my way back from almost eight months of suffering through injuries but enjoying my time training for XTERRA again,” said Chacon. “To get ahead of Josiah on Sunday I’d need to be in the best form of my life, which right now I’m still training for.  For this race, I just need to be smart, execute the course as best I can, and get used to the feeling of racing again.”

For Rakita, racing is a lifestyle.  The 11-year veteran of the sport has competed in seven of the eight races on the Pan Am Tour since the season which kicked off in Argentina back in March.  He has placed in the top seven at each event and sits atop the Pan Am Pro Series standings with 410 points.

“I originally was not going to race this weekend because the ITU Cross Tri World Champs is 10 days from now and I wanted to focus a bit more on that, however, once I learned Josiah was headed to DR I knew I had to go if I wanted any chance at keeping the Pan Am series lead,” he said.

There are two races left, and Rakita is 35-points ahead of Middaugh.  Baring a DNF, he’ll keep that top billing heading into Utah and it’ll all come down to the XTERRA Pan American Championship race on Sept. 16 in Utah. See standings.

“I am very happy to be here racing in DR again,” added Rakita.  “It’s a challenging race and the venue at Casa Bonita is stunning.  Staying there is what people think all of the trips I take are like, which is far from it, but I will definitely take staying at a gorgeous resort for at least one race!  It is hard to pick the most challenging part of the course, the swim last year was brutal, the swells and current made it a tough swim. We will see how angry it may be this year.  The bike is tough as well, the climb is beastly, it is steep and exposed. We got lucky last year with some overcast weather that helped but the heat and humidity constantly beat you down.  I really enjoy the run. It is a gradual uphill the whole way out and well-shaded as it traverses along a crystal-clear river the whole way. One of the best things about this race is that it’s off the normal beaten path away from any American tourist trap places and you get to see and have the opportunity to experience the local scene.”

Middaugh agrees, adding “it’s starting to become known for adventure and ecotourism.  There are turquoise waters, surfing beaches, forests, and a developing mountain bike destination.”

In the women’s race reigning Pan Am Tour Champ and current Tour leader Suzie Snyder, who won this race last year and XTERRA Mexico last weekend, will not be in the line-up.

“I’m not racing this weekend because of the ITU Cross Tri World Champs on Aug 23rd in Canada,” said Snyder. “I feel pretty confident that my point lead is solid enough to skip DR so I can go into ITU Worlds more fresh.”

Indeed, Snyder’s series lead looks untouchable at 582-points, 145-points in front of Kara LaPoint who sits in second with just two races to go.

What that mean is there are butterflies everywhere as someone is going to win their first major XTERRA title on Sunday.  In the hunt for that elusive career win are the 2nd thru 5th place women in the standings: Kara LaPoint from the U.S., Morgane Riou from France, Laura Mira Dias from Brazil, and Annie Bergen from Canada.  Others in contention include Jessie Koltz and Genevieve Evans.

The frontrunner may be Riou, who finished nearly three-minutes ahead of LaPoint in Mexico last week and more than two-minutes in front of her at XTERRA Beaver Creek last month. LaPoint (pictured), however, has the benefit of experience having finished third here last year behind Snyder and Myriam Guillot-Boisset.

“I’m so happy to be back in the DR for XTERRA,” LaPoint posted to her social media accounts yesterday. “I love this place and every single thing about it! I had a great course recon this morning, with some exciting changes to the course from last year, even if I was sweating out my eyeballs!”

Follow along on Facebook.com/xterraDR

XTERRA Poland This Sunday

There are but three races left in the 2016-2017 XTERRA European Series; Poland, Germany and the Final in Denmark.  There are any number of possibilities for the Championship jersey for both pros and age groupers.

XTERRA World Tour Managing Director, Dave “Kahuna” Nicholas and the XTERRA European Team are in Poland and the city of Krakow and they bring us their first impression from the country’s second XTERRA event:

“We are in Krakow this weekend.  Today it is hot and muggy with temperatures today around 34C (93F) and about the same for Friday.  The good news is weather for Sunday’s race will drop down to about 22C (72F),” said Nicholas.

Our organizer Wojtek Mazurkiewicz has grown the event and his team impressively. Last year Poland had about 200 entries, this year we will have eight events with over 600 participants.  There will be XTERRA swim’s of 750m/1500m/3000m plus Charity runs of 7K and 21K.  Then add five categories of kids races plus short and long distance XTERRA’s and we have a Krakow XTERRA Festival that has the city buzzing.

The park is actually inside Krakow. The swim is in a calcium quarry. ,As mining continued the depth reached underground wells and the entire area began to fill. Today, with the white chalk base, the water is a beautiful azure in the sun leaning a bit towards teal in the shade.  Because of its quarry heritage, youngsters love the thrill of jumping off the vertical 15m high cliffs.

XTERRA will start on a small beach at the lake and then have an uphill run, across a bridge over vehicle and pedestrian traffic to T1. From there, the bike does two loops and ends up at T2 well inside the park. The run is also two loops ending just under 10K. The courses are marked and ready to pre ride/run today and the finish build up will happen tonight and tomorrow. The Polish team will be ready to go on Saturday morning at 9am for the swim starts.

Krakow is a largely unknown jewel in central Europe. Perhaps the most famous citizen of Krakow was the hugely popular Pope John Paul II.  Dating back to the 7th century you can still enjoy much of the medieval parts of the old town today in the 21st century. The old town must be visited with its huge market square. Wawel Castle and dozens of examples of architectural wonders make this city a walkers paradise.  Myths say Krakow was founded when a young man defeated a huge dragon.  You can see that dragon today at the castle and decide for yourself.

Poland continues to be one of the least expensive places on earth to shop and dine.  The food ranges from pork to pasta, from fish to frites.  And all at prices that will make you smile – especially after a week in Norway !
The pro field is extensive this year with 13 pro women and 18 pro men.

XTERRA European Director Nicolas Lebrun, previews the field and the trails:
For me it’s the most fun mountain bike loop in the tour – very twisty, with 80 percent on single track. It reminds me Richmond in Virginia, where I started XTERRA in 2001. It’s the kind of mountain bike loop that you want to ride many times, to work every corner, find the best line, where you will have to shift exiting a corner. You wonder how fast you can go over the moguls – can I ride the tunnel ?!  There are two zones on each loop with two different styles and a flat and easy connection in between to let you drink and eat.

The run has fun parts too – be ready to use your hands as you will need to climb.  The swim lake is 23C today.  Poland like most of Europe was pretty hot last month and you might swim without wet suit in this special place, this old mine, now turned in to a lake.

On the woman’s race, we have a very strong field with 15 elite athletes.

I will start with our locals, who will not fight for the victory, but a place in the top ten and will have a lot of support during the day. Anna Tomica Raced AG last year and was 11th overall for the woman. She wants to start racing XTERRA more and is waiting to show us her improvements on Sunday. Sabina Rzepka used to race with us often. She was a DNF last year and I bet she wants to be strong here in her home country. Not far from Krakow, Kristina  Lapinova SLK was 5th here in 2016 and with a podium in the ETU Cross Duathlon championship looks to be in very good shape. She is 18th on the tour with some points from Malta and France.

Close to Poland and leading the tour is Helena Karakova-Erbenova CZE. She has 51 points more than second place and won the first edition here last year. Second place is Brigitta Poor from Hungary, which shares no border with Poland but is not very far south. Poor has three wins this year and was second last year.  It will be a big battle with her main rival Helena, and with her ETU title in Cross Triathlon, and a race who will fit her well, she is maybe my favorite for Sunday. Austria is also not very far from Poland so Carina Wasle, 4th in the Euro tour, will arrive after a podium in Romania last week. If she has no problems in the race, she will get back in the top three for the Tour.  Nicole Walters is 7th and has not raced with us since XTERRA France where she had a fantastic race. As a very fast swimmer, she will probably be in the front for a while, and has a good chance for the podium.  Lizzie Orchard NZL, after her come back in Italy and a solid second place, will also start in Poland.  It’s good to see her on the list, that mean also she is now 100% fixed from her long injury.

Daria Rogozina is here from Russia.  She struggled a lot in France with a very long race, strong.  She is a cross country skier and suffers in the swim, but she won the U23 division at ETU Cross triathlon and Duathlon with a 5th and 2tnd places overall.  Diane Lee from UK was 4th here for the first edition, she has not raced often this year but is always strong.  Isabelle Ferrer from France is 13th in the tour, and might be slowed a little bit with a very twisty MTB loop, but she had time to train since Switzerland.  Rocio Espada ESP, is 16th in the tour and is looking for a top ten with a strong race here. Suisse Angela Niklaus, was very solid in France, actually 19th on the tour, and is also looking some points.

Local Daria Radczuk will start also for the first time in Elite at an XTERRA Race.

Elite Women
EU Tour Rank last year Rank Name, Country
1 1 Helana Karaskova-Erbenova, CZE
2 2 Brigitta Poor, HUN
4 / Carina Wasle, AUT
7 / Nicole Walter, UK
13 / Isabelle Ferrer, FRA
16 / Rocio Espada, ESP
18 5 Kristina Lapinova, SLK
19 / Angela Niklaus, SUI
22 / Lizziz Orchard, NZL
36 / Daria Rogozina, RUS
/ 4 Diane Lee, UK
/ 11 Anna Tomica, POL
/ / Leicester Johandri, RSA
/ / Daria Radczuk, POL
/ / Sabina Rzepka, POL

The Race will also be exciting for the men’s race, with 18th elites at the start.

With the top four not present in Poland, it will open the race for many athletes dreaming of a podium on Sunday. Our last year winner, Yeray Luxem, will sadly not be here for some personal problems. We hope to see him soon. My favorite for the race is Sam Osborne.  I failed with the same prediction in Italy – Sam is strong, he is leading the Asia Pacific tour and I’m sure he will win one in Europe before the end of the tour, maybe this one.

Roger won Malta this season, he was back in better shape in Italy, and I’m sure he will love this race.  I put him also as a potential winner. Jens Roth will be with those guys for quite a while at the front of the race.  Can he expect another podium like in Greece?  He has big potential, trains a lot and will also win one soon. Russian Pavel  Andreev already won in Finland this year and is a 5 time winter triathlon world champion. He will be not first out of the water and might struggle to pass people on this tight and twisty MTB course, but for sure he will come back, maybe not for the victory but can be in the top 5. Arthur Serrieres showed some amazing results this year like in Spain and Switzerland.  He had a bad day in France and Belgium, but on a good day he can be on the podium too.

Our best ranked on the Euro tour for Sunday, Rui Dolores from Portugal, will be happy with a top five, his best place was 7th at home. Oivind Bjerkseth took a second podium last week in Norway where he was also a big part of the organization crew, he will also struggle trying to pass a lot of athletes after a slow swim, but can be so strong on this bike loop. I think on the second loop with some energy left, he will come back for a top 10. Maxim Chane from France will not have this problem, he will not swim in the front, as Jens is here, but not far back.  He is solid on the technical MTB part and will love this race. If he does not completely blow on the run, he can think again of a top 5 like his last race in Italy. Peter Lehmann from Germany was reborn like the phoenix in Norway! It was so nice to see him in second position on the Norway’s podium.  For those who follow the tour, Peter had so much trouble this season. Now he is back and was 5th last year so there Is a lot of positive energy that should put him in condition to do it again.

Tomas Kubek from Slovakia started strong the season with a 6th position in Malta.  He has raced less this year, so he might have lots of energy and is normally all the time in the top 10.  Two Polish athletes will race in Elite, Mateusz Tylek was 22nd last year and won his AG. Sylwerster Swat is a new name for the XTERRA family, Only Kahuna Dave might know him. Mester Balint HUN was 11th last year, so he knows the race and can expect a top 10. Also 3 other French will take part in Elite, Theo Dupras his best was 8th in Switzerland, Christophe Betard, 3rd in XTERRA Tahiti this year and Valentin Genewe. And From UK Doug Hall, coming with his wife Nicole, will try to bit his best finish this season, a 12th place in Malta.

Elite Men
EU Tour Rank Last year Rank Name, Country
5 / Rui Dolores, POR
7 / Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR
8 / Maxim Chane, FRA
9 / Roger Serrano, ESP
10 / Sam Osborn, NZL
12 / Jens Roth, GER
16 / Arthur Serrieres, FRA
20 5 Peter Lehmann, GER
24 / Theo Dupras, FRA
28 / Pavel Andrev, RUS
28 6 Tomas Kubek, SLK
34 / Doug Hall, UK
55 / Valentin Genewe, FRA
/ 11 Mester Balint, HUN
/ / Bartosz Banach, POL
/ / Christophe Betard, FRA
/ / Swat Sylwerster, POL
/ 22 Tylek Mateusz, POL

Follow XTERRA Europe on Facebook at www.facebook.com/xterraeurope for all the latest updates and coverage on race day!

Allen & Allen Win XTERRA Indian Peaks

The XTERRA Elite power couple of Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack Allen each claimed the top podium spot at XTERRA Indian Peaks at Eldora Nordic Center, August 5th.

Located just outside – and above – Boulder, Colorado, XTERRA Indian Peaks is a high-altitude race. The 1,000m swim is pretty chilly at 9,000 feet, but the scenery is incredible. The 22k bike course is on Eldora’s phenomenal single track, and the 7k run took place on the eastern trails of the Eldora Nordic Center.

Allen finished the race in 1:50:03, almost four minutes ahead of the amateur winner, Pan Am Champ Nelson Hegg, who had a strong race and the fastest bike split of the day. Pro Brad Zoller was less than a minute back from Hegg in third.

In the women’s race, Jacqui Slack Allen finished in 2:09:35, almost five minutes ahead of runner-up and amateur winner Whitney Barrett. XTERRA Pan Am Champ Deanna McCurdy was third in 2:22:57. McCurdy had a phenomenal race, considering she has been taking time off to recover from some health issues. On Facebook, she said this wasn’t an A, B, or even C race on her schedule. Instead, she and her coach “labeled it an F race… as in, go out and remember why this sport is Fun.”

Specifically, McCurdy called it “gruelingly fun” which sounds just about right for XTERRA.

You can view the complete results for XTERRA Indian Peaks at www.racedirectorsolutions.com.

 

Countdown to Utah – Meet Christy Williams

Christy Williams is the picture of health. Tall, blond, and lean, she looks as fit as anyone on the trails at XTERRA Beaver Creek. 

You would never guess that 15 years ago, she was in a wheelchair, unable to walk up the stairs, much less swim 1500 meters, climb hills on her mountain bike, and run a 10k through the woods.

Williams has ankylosing spondylitis (AS), an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the spine, as well as all of the connective tissue in the body, including joints, kidneys, eyes, and even the heart. The outcome for many AS patients is complete spinal fusion, or ankylosis.

Williams became sick shortly after the birth of her first child when she was only 24 years old.

“I was frozen in my body two days after the birth of my daughter,” said Williams. “I could barely move, I couldn’t eat, and I had a fever that wouldn’t go away.”

Eventually, her body degenerated to the point where she couldn’t walk, and her husband had to carry her up the stairs in their home. Outside the house, she used a wheelchair.

It took a long time to diagnose Williams because despite her symptoms, her blood work was normal. After finally diagnosing Williams with AS, doctors tried many different drugs – each for three to six month periods – to see which one would work.

Six years after getting sick, Williams was being treated with Methotrexate – a form of chemotherapy that suppresses the immune system – when a new drug called Remicade was being used in clinical trials.

Biologics, like Remicade, are not a chemical but a protein. Williams goes into the hospital every four weeks for a three-hour IV treatment that brings her to near remission. However, she still suffers from chronic fatigue, low blood pressure, and a very weak immune system.

Ironically, another way to fight AS is to exercise. So Williams walks the delicate balance of moving her joints and connective tissue but avoiding overtraining, which can further tax her weak immune system.

“My doctor is always telling me, ‘Do not crash your bike. Do not get sick. Do not get a cut.’ I’m tested for TB on a regular basis, because my body can’t really fight infection.”

Still, Williams views Remicade and triathlon as the best gifts for getting healthy.

“Signing up for races, putting something on the calendar, it gets you motivated right?” said Williams. “When you have a disease, if you are having a bad day and your body is revolting, you still realize, ‘No I gotta go, because if I don’t move, I’ll feel worse.'”

Williams admits that she is both blessed and cursed by the genetic lottery.

“I have some athletic gifts and I also have this huge weight on my back. I see it as a welcome challenge – who is going to win? Am I going to let the disease be stronger than me or am I going to be stronger than the disease? That’s the competition in my mind.”

In 2011, when Remicade showed promise, Williams was still in a wheelchair. But she made a goal of competing in an Ironman triathlon.

“I used triathlon because growing up as an athlete, I knew how to use my body,” said Williams. “I knew I could rehab myself back because I knew how to start small and get strong.”

It took Williams four years, but in 2015, she competed in Ironman Boulder.

Shortly afterwards, Williams met the founder of The 2xtreme Foundation, John Davis – also a challenged athlete.

“We were both working out with the same tri group, and John was swimming with Susan, who is an Olympic bronze medal winner, my coach, and a good friend,” explained Williams. “Then, at the wall, I could tell he was in a lot of pain. I asked if he was OK and he explained that he has motor neuron disease. I said, ‘Hey, I have a chronic disease too!’ We kind of had a little moment there.”

Williams explained that she met Davis at a crucial point.

“I was feeling really lonely at the time,” she said. “The road is long, the diagnosis is hard to accept, and the treatment is tough. I remember praying – please send me one person who knows what I’m going through. Then I met John.”

As a way of paying it forward, Williams wants to let others with chronic diseases know that they aren’t alone. She also wants to shatter some of the stereotypes surrounding challenged athletes.

“It’s easy to think a physically challenged athlete looks a certain way and I want to say – No – there are so many people who suffer from degenerative diseases that you don’t see,” said Williams. “The other end of the stereotype is that because you’re a challenged athlete, you should only be a finisher. A participant. No. You can also be fast.”

Williams acknowledges that she is passionate about her sport because she is working on borrowed time. That’s why she has been driving so hard. Last month, she won the physically challenged division of XTERRA Beaver Creek and she is going on to race at the XTERRA Pan Am Championships in Utah next month.

“Right now, my symptoms are under control but I’m still degenerating. My spine is fusing and there are things going on that aren’t going to stop. I am taking advantage of the time I’m given because of this medicine, but my doctor reminds me that the medicine could stop working at any time.”

Williams credits the trails and the healing power of nature with keeping her spirits up.

“The fear of regret, the fear of not having lived the life I wanted for myself and my family is what drives me,” said Williams. “When the medicine stops working and I’m back in that dark place again, I want to be able to say, ‘I wore it out. I did it all. I have no regrets. I took that time I had and I crushed it.’ Then I can rest a little bit at peace knowing I didn’t pass anything up.”

 

 

Wychera, Buss Win XTERRA Canmore

Ladina Buss and Dominik Wychera captured the championship titles at XTERRA Canmore on August 6th in Canmore, Alberta.

Ladina Buss, the Swiss pro triathlete, finished in 2:49:48 for 14th place overall. Austrian elite, Dominik Wychera, surprised himself with the win, crossing the line in 2:21:01, just over a minute ahead of runner up Jean-Philippe Thibodeau. Seventeen-year old Canadian phenom, Tate Haugan was third in 2:25:08.

“I wanted to race XTERRA Canmore as training for Penticton ITU World Cross Triathlon,” said Wychera. “It was my first XTERRA podium, and it became a win.”

Haugan finished the 1500 meter swim first, followed by Thibodeau, Aidan Nugent, and Wychera.

“I knew that it will be a fight between the four of us,” said Wychera, “So I went out of T1 on my bike and gave it all out. I was two and a half minutes back and I wanted to catch up to the guys in front as fast as possible. I overtook Aidan in the beginning of the first lap but didn’t catch Jean-Philippe until the second. I managed to get a gap between him and me and came into T2 in second place  The run was tricky – again two laps – and I closed the gap on the first 2k and kept running fast for safety. Jean-Philippe managed to overtake Tate too, but the gap to me was too big. Aidan had a solid run, but was too far back off the bike to reach the podium.”

Wychera had the fastest bike split of the day by about two minutes and also had the quickest run time. “Young Gun” Tate Haugan was like an underwater missile, coming out of the water three seconds ahead of Thibodeau, who is known for his skill in the water. 

In the women’s division, the Swiss pro, Ladina Buss broke the tape in 2:48:48, about eight minutes ahead of runner up, Penny Slater, who finished in 2:57:13. Susanne McArthur was third in 3:02:23.

Slater and McArthur had identical swim splits with Buss coming out of the water almost two minutes back. Buss went on to crush it on the 26k bike course, completing the two-laps in 1:32:15, about six minutes faster than Slater and 13 minutes quicker than McArthur.

McArthur ran strong, finishing the 10k in 52:48, less than a minute slower than Buss’ split. Slater ran 55:23, which was good enough for second place.

The guys from Grizzly Mountain Events did a great job,” said Wychera, “And I think especially the bike course is one of the best from the world tour- so much fun.”

And to the best of our knowledge, no one needed to bust out the bear spray.

View the complete results at www.blitzevents.ca.