Mendez Opens XTERRA Season in Moorea Saturday

Reigning XTERRA World Champion Mauricio Mendez from Mexico will kick-off the XTERRA racing portion of his 2017 season Saturday at the third-annual XTERRA Tahiti Championship race in Moorea.

The 21-year-old won the Ironman 70.3 Texas title back in April, but this will be his first adventure on the trails this year.

“I am pretty excited for my first race in the dirt since Maui last year,” said Mendez.  “I am actually really nervous about it, but it’s probably more excitement than nerves.”

Mendez is not alone in his excitement, as one-and-all have commented that the new course in Moorea is spectacular.

“Everything has been great! The course is really cool, and it’s a totally new world here, and the islands are beautiful.”

Ben Allen from Australia, the reigning XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Champion, is quick to agree.

“I’ve raced on almost every Asia-Pacific island there is, and I’ve never come across one so beautiful in every way,” he said.  “The bike course is a truly organic course, with natural obstacles obtruding from the ground making it technical and challenging. Undulating and rocky but fast and flowing. The run is in the heart of the Tahitian jungle, you run under the canopy of big trees shadowing your every step and you climb up and down passed pineapple, avocado and banana plantations. It’s going to make for a tough and challenging race, but it’s hard to focus on the trail when you are surround by natural beauty!”

Sam Osborne, the current points leader on the Asia-Pacific Tour, will be looking to solidify his position in the rankings and see where he stacks up against the current XTERRA World Champ at the same time.

“Excited to see Moorea and race against Mauricio, Ben, and the other boys,” said Osborne.  “I’ve done my bit of googling the spot and it just looks like an incredible location for a race.”

Tahiti’s own Cedric Wane is the top local elite, and will look to mix into the top three along with Frenchman Christophe Betard, who was second behind Josiah Middaugh at last year’s race.

In the women’s elite race, it’s all about Jacqui Allen, who is enjoying her time on Moorea.

“It’s absolutely stunning, so green, lush, and beautifully maintained.” she explained. “The oceans are the clearest I’ve seen and there’s just one road that separates the mountains from the sea. It’s great to be here and despite so much travel, I’m feeling relaxed. The bike and run course is already marked so we’ve been around a few times now. You ride on bumpy fire road trails past farms and paddocks, the route is undulating, challenging all rideable with rocky and Rooty sections through the forest, it’s lots of fun. The run has everything, to start and finish its flat and fast, in the middle you climb the mountain using a path of rocky stairs and roots once you pop out of the forest at the highest point it’s downhill all the way home.”

While not racing in the elite division, Mimi Stockton from Michigan could prove to be a worthy challenger for Allen.  She, too, is taken aback with the island’s natural beauty.

“This has got to be the world’s most stunning island you’ve never heard of,” said Stockton, who is also one of the XTERRA Couch-to-Trail coaches from PRS Fit.  “With it’s out of this world scenery, warm, crystal blue waters and brilliant sunsets it’s a place that is certainly worthy of the long trek.  If it were up to me, I’d swim, bike and run all day long and stay forever.  I still can’t believe I get to do an XTERRA race here, and one that is incredibly well-run to boot.  This should be a race on everyone’s bucket list!”

Follow along on their Facebook page here.

Race-cation Options Galore May 20-21

Birmingham.  St. Louis.  Charlottesville.  New York.

Let’s face it. XTERRA races are never in ugly parts of the country. The only downside of this is that many times, athletes don’t want to go back home. In fact, rather than rushing back to regular life, some XTERRA athletes are taking “racecations” instead of “vacations.”

Below are four XTERRA races, all on the same weekend – May 20 and 21 – that are perfect destinations for the whole family.

XTERRA Oak Mountain
Two words: Oak Mountain. The miles and miles of perfect single track, heart-pounding climbs, and flowy descents are enough to start us packing.

The 12th annual XTERRA Southeast Championship on May 20-21st will attract the country’s best off-road triathletes. Shelby County, just outside Birmingham, is also a terrific place for families to enjoy southern BBQ, baseball, and live music.

Read about Kirk Ermels’ 8 favorite things in Shelby County

Register for XTERRA Oak Mountain

XTERRA Way Over Yonder
XTERRA Way Over Yonder is held on Saturday, May 20th in beautiful Wawayanda State Park, which will make you think you are hours away from civilization, even though the park is less than an hour from New York City.

“This is a Saturday race,” said race director David Schwartz. “So you can race in the morning and then head to New York for dinner and a show and a full day of site seeing on Sunday.”

Wawayanda Park is a great place for history buffs as well as athletes. An old iron furnace from the 1840’s can be seen near the start of the race as well as the rock walls of former subsistence farms and homesteads. The Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine, also runs through almost 20 miles of the park.

The XTERRA Way Over Yonder is the first New York City metro race and is the brainchild of Schwartz. “In 2015, I was competing in XTERRA Nationals in Utah, and I asked why there was no New York City race. I was told that no one had made it happen yet, so I decided to take that on.

“Near the park are the Long Pond Ironworks, which is contains the remnants of ironworks from the 1700’s. A visitor center and museum are on site. For art lovers,

Schwartz has been riding the trails in Wawayanda for years. “It was my first choice to have the race,” said Schwartz. “Sixteen years ago I started calling the park ‘Way Over Yonder’ and the name stuck.”

Racers are traveling to XTERRA Way Over Yonder from New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, and Texas.

For information about where to stay and what to see while you are in New Jersey, or to register for the race, visit: http://www.rsgadventures.com

XTERRA St. Louis
From the Gateway Arch to the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales, you might find so much to do in St. Louis, you would go even if there wasn’t a race (but we know you are really, really glad there is one).

“The course is fast and flowing with very little elevation change,” said race director, Mike Barro. “When ridden slow, it is considered to be easy or beginner friendly.  However, at race speed those trees jump out at you pretty quick.” 

Barro has been competing in XTERRAs since they were called “AquaTerra.”  

“I believe my first race was in 1999 when I racked my bike next to Ned Overend and Mike Pigg in Ruston, LA,” said Barro.  

XTERRA St. Louis will take place on Sunday, May 21st at Creve Coeur Park, which is the largest park in St. Louis. The course has been changed slightly this year, resulting in more single track on the run course and a longer loop on the mountain bike course.

“I have run a number of time simulations on Excel, and this route lowers the amount of lapped traffic significantly,” said race director, Mike Barro. “This is going to be a great race. People think of St. Louis as just an urban area, but there are so many parks, trails, and pubs and cafes to recover in after.”

Perhaps this is why XTERRA St. Louis finisher’s medals double as bottle openers.

You can watch a preview of the course:

 

For more information about XTERRA St. Louis, visit www.xterrastl.com

XTERRA Charlottesville
There isn’t a better time than now to visit Charlottesville, Virginia. From the historical University of Virginia campus to the farm to table restaurants that abound in this college town, you will not lack places at which to bike, hike, and eat.

XTERRA Charlottesville has a very special course, designed by Andy Guptill, who was a professional cyclist for 10 years. As a mountain biker, he rode in World Cup and other competitive races.

The race takes place at the Miller School of Albermarle, which has a  varsity team of 8th to 12th graders that compete in road biking, mountain biking, enduro, cyclocross and triathlon.

Not only are these kids racing at elite races for their ages, they also had a hand in building and maintaining the XTERRA Charlottesville course.

A pre-ride of the course will take place on Thursday, May 18th from 4-7 pm and on Friday, May 19th from 1-8pm.

The entire course consists of a 1 km lake swim a 30 km mountain bike ride, and a 10 km run.

Our own XTERRA Ambassador extraordinaire Marcus Barton wrote a great article about the new venue (good read) on his blog speedylizard.com. You can read it here:

You can also watch a video of the course trails filmed with some of the Miller School students:

For more information or to register, http://www.adventureaddictsracing.com

 

 

Ricard, Sullivan Win XTERRA Jersey Devil

Legend has it that in the 1700’s, a devil flew into the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, where his ghost remains, haunting people to this day.

However, in the XTERRA Jersey Devil, held on April 30th, the only one doing the haunting was Rob Ricard, who finished over a minute ahead of runner up Daryl Weaver with a winning time of 1:26:05. Iain Banks was third in 1:28:17.

“It’s ridiculous how many 40-somethings were just on fire today,” said race director and 5X XTERRA Regional Champ, Bob Horn. “If you finished 10th, you were still 7th in the 40-44 division. This seems to be a sweet spot for XTERRA racers because you finally have the skills on the mountain bike to get it done.”

Horn was humble about his 2016 title saying that the only reason he won was because Rob Ricard wasn’t racing last year.

On a side note, Iain Banks has been running XTERRA Trail Races all spring in the Atlantic Series and has had quite a rivalry with Evan Daney (who did not race in the XTERRA Jersey Devil). The two will again be going head to head on May 7th in the XTERRA Lums Pond Trail Run in Bear, Delaware.  

In the women’s race, elite racer Debby Sullivan crossed the tape first in 1:39:49 with Amanda Bayer a minute back. Angie Defilippi was the second amateur in 1:45:54, and Stephanie Landy was the third in 1:48:16.

I had some good pressure from Amanda,” said Sullivan. “She was fast out of the water and then put the pressure on me running.”

Sullivan used the XTERRA Jersey Devil to prep for the upcoming XTERRA Oak Mountain on May 20th. “I have been dealing with some back issues and the goal was to put in a good race effort and put all three together before Alabama. Now I have a couple weeks to continue to work out the kinks and hopefully be ready to see how I stack up in big field of women at Oak Mountain.” 

Finish videos are posted along with the complete race results. Next up on the XTERRA America Tour is XTERRA Renegade on May 6th in San Dimas, CA. 

 

Garren Watkins – The Man Behind The Beard

Garren Watkins doesn’t like to do the same race twice.

“I like to see new cities and go to places I’ve never been,” says Watkins, who was the 2016 XTERRA Pan Am Champ in the 40-44 age group. “I don’t want to do the same race over and over again. I want to find new races. I want to go where I haven’t been. I haven’t been to Alabama, so I’m going to do XTERRA Oak Mountain this year.”

It’s not surprising then, that Watkins has gone a long way for a race: Coeur d’Alene, Brazil, Arizona, Canada, South Africa, France, Wisconsin, Tahoe, Dubai.

And now, Alabama.

“That’s what racing does. It puts you out of your comfort zone,” says Watkins.

Watkins seems to be most comfortable out of the comfort zone. He is an expert on travel and being an expat (he lived in Dubai for years doing market research) because he has created new experiences for himself time and time again.

Watkins used to play soccer and surf in Oregon and found the icy water to be a Zen-like experience. “Swimming is where I can relax,” he says. “It comes pretty easy and being a strong swimmer is a huge bonus in XTERRA races.”

An ACL injury put a halt to soccer, but encouraged running in a straight line. Watkins began training for marathons and then Ironman.

“I had a random bucket list: Cape Epic, IM Worlds, BC Bike Race, XTERRA Worlds, La Ruta de Los Conquistadores, IM 70.3 Worlds,  the Leadville 100/Breck Epic double, and Leadman.”

And yet, Watkins claims that out of all of those races, the XTERRA World Championship in Maui remains his kryptonite.

“I liked the swim there just fine. Big and rough is good. I mean, if the weather serves up six-foot swells you kind of have to embrace it,” says Watkins, but then turns honest. “Of course, I’m the first to blame all kinds of things. But I had this coach when I was in Oregon, who would say, ‘You can’t do anything about the weather. Stop wasting energy on things that aren’t helping.’ And that’s where the mental battle starts.”

Watkins has a dark side. Maybe it’s that beard that streams water when he’s coming into T1, or that he charges straight into the mud. Or maybe it’s how he approaches the dark moments that are part of any race; any life.

“If you can’t do that, what can you do? It’s all about exploring those limits. You know you’re going to have that dark spot. You gotta know it’s coming and you gotta know how to get out of it. ”

When Watkins is in a dark place in a race, he calls on Ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes who once said he ran a 100-mile race from one telephone pole to the next. “It’s really just one aid station to the next,” says Watkins. “You can do anything for a mile. One foot in front of the other.”

When asked why he pursues this type of activity, Watkins pauses. “Sometimes I wonder,” he admits. “I guess because you get to find out what you’re capable of. And you get to be with people who ride bikes and swim. There’s some good camraderie out on the trails.”

Watkins lives in Boulder, Colorado where he sometimes runs into fellow Pan Am Champ, Craig Daugherty on the trails.  Both of them work in software implementation and seem to thrive on the extremes of structure and wilderness.

“My goals keep me out of trouble,” says Watkins. “That’s a big part of why I do it. Racing provides structure. I’m sure if I wasn’t doing XTERRA, I would replace it with something else that probably wasn’t so good for me.”

Lesley Paterson Will Race XTERRA Renegade on Saturday

This Saturday, some of XTERRA’s most dynamic personalities will be tearing it up at XTERRA Renegade, in San Dimas, California.

Lesley Paterson, two-time XTERRA World Champion will be racing the triathlon. Despite the fact that she has been coaching, writing a book, and training a Hollywood actress for a lead role, Paterson has been keeping up with her own training.

A few weeks ago, at the XTERRA Black Mountain 15K Trail Run, Paterson won the women’s race easily and was ninth place overall. 

“There’s such a purity in our sport,” said Paterson. “It’s about feeling fit and strong and moving through nature. Of course we push each other, but it’s also about supporting each other too.”

The XTERRA Renegade Triathlon will be held in Bonelli Park. The half-mile swim, 15-mile bike, and 3-mile trail run is challenging enough for the experienced triathlete but short enough for a novice to have a blast and experience off-road racing.

In addition, the Renegade Duathlon will follow the same course but without the swim. Instead, the 15-mile mountain bike ride will be bookended with two, 3-mile runs. 

Rob Teixeira, a fireman and triathlon coach from LA County, is already fired up for the duathlon.

“The trails in Bonelli Park are like my second home,” said Teixiera. “There’s nothing I like more than me and my two wheels in the dirt.” 

You can watch Rob’s video of the XTERRA Renegade course at Bonelli Park here.

Tim Peters and his son Evan have been training all spring for the event.

“When I found out about the race, I told my son and he said, ‘I was just thinking I’d like to do a triathlon, but without the swim,’” Peters said. “For me, I know this time training with my son will be a memory I’ll have for the rest of my life.”

The father son duo have been running 2-3 times a week and biking on the trails twice a week to get ready for XTERRA Renegade. Peters said that when he and Evan are training, they are all business.

“But when we are heading out or cooling down, it’s been great to talk to Evan about work and school and our key workouts and goals. Sometimes we mountain bike with friends from our church and we talk about how we live out our faith in daily life.”

Learn more and register for XTERRA Renegade at www.renegaderaceseries.com

 

Eat or Be Eaten at XTERRA Fort Yargo

There is an old proverb:

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.

On April 29th, at XTERRA Fort Yargo in Winder, Georgia, Marcus Barton was the gazelle, and 2017 XTERRA Blackwater Champ, Yaro Middaugh, and 2017 XTERRA Myrtle Beach Champ, Caleb Baity, were the two lions in close pursuit.

After the race, Marcus Barton wrote on his blog:

It’s rare I get to truly experience the thrill of being chased.  Usually it’s a combo of chasing someone AND being chased, but at this point in the race, the feeling was 100% “get your butt moving, they’re coming for you.”  I felt like a gazelle being chased by a bunch of cheetahs and that at any point one of them would pounce from around the corner and take me down.

If this seems a bit personal, that’s because it is. Middaugh, Barton, and Baity have a history of taking turns being the hunter and the hunted.

Backing up to April 23rd, at XTERRA Myrtle Beach, Barton and Baity were battling it out, with Baity the eventual champ, coming in less than three minutes ahead of third place Barton.

Sandwiched between Barton and Baity was Dwayne Dixon, who snuck in for second, finishing in the same place as he did the previous year, just ahead of Barton.

What makes watching XTERRA America Tour races in the Southeast Region so addicting, is that the top guys are out for blood on the course but good friends as soon as the race is over.

“Yeah, we have a close-knit group,” said Middaugh. “The races have been very competitive, which makes them fun for us.”

Barton admitted he had a good, clean swim on Saturday and a lucky ride, devoid of any mechanical issues or crashes.

From his blog:

As I got closer to T2, I kept catching a glimpse of someone through the switchbacks and twisty trail behind me.  Every now and then I would catch the sound of their rear hub whirring down the trail.  As I was finishing up my transition in T2, Josh Shaffer came in and threw his bike on the rack next to mine.  We exchanged winded pleasantries and I took off running out of T2 and the chase was back on.

I didn’t know who else was behind Josh, but knowing fellow XTERRA Ambassador, Caleb and his fast bike splits, I knew he couldn’t be far behind.

I knew if I could just turn out a good run split, I might be able to hold them off.  With each passing mile, I fully expected to see Caleb, Yaro or Josh to come up behind me and give me that virtual tap on the shoulder, but it never happened.  Coming into the finish I was elated to have stayed in front of some of the stiffest competition on the circuit.

In the women’s race, Christine Grant was the cheetah, staying in front of runner up Angie Childre for the win. While Grant made it look easy, she says that like Barton, she was “running scared.”

“The trail was in perfect condition and I passed a few riders, but I did not know I had moved into first place until part-way into the course,” said Grant.  “I heard cheers as I crossed over a section of road back into the trail where I was told I was the first female so the pressure was on! 

When I heard the announcer say, ‘We have another group being led by Angie Childre, my heart rate jumped. Angie is extremely strong and we have battled before. I passed my husband then who yelled, ‘You better get moving!'”

Third for the women was Jess White.

Next up on the XTERRA America Tour is XTERRA Renegade on May 6th in San Dimas, CA. For more information, visit www.renegaderaceseries.com.

View complete results for XTERRA Fort Yargo at www.goneriding.com

XTERRA Teaches Lessons for Life

Paula and Jay Davis enrolled their kids in swim lessons because they wanted to keep them safe. “We lived on a lake so drowning was a real concern,” said Paula.

Two of their four children went through a water safety program and the other two took swim lessons. “From the time they were itty bitty, it’s been so important to us that they can swim.”

Last year, the Davis’ enrolled their three sons – now aged 13,11, and 10 – in the XTERRA Xticer because it seemed like a fun challenge. Designed for beginners of all ages, the XTERRA Xticer includes a 200-meter swim, a 10K mountain bike ride, and a 4.5K trail run.

Alex, Jack, and Porter are avid swimmers, lacrosse, and soccer players, so fitness wasn’t an issue, but the race was challenging because mountain biking and trail running were new to the boys. 

“The boys had never mountain biked before,” said Paula, “And that course is tough! Jack fell off his bike and Alex kept dropping his chain, but they had so much fun they want to do it again this year. Kids feel proud when they can do hard things.”

Like all parents, Paula and Jay walk the narrow line of keeping their children safe, while not sheltering them so much that they miss out on growth experiences.

“Sometimes, in trying to be a great parent, we can inadvertently deprive our children of opportunities that can help them grow the most,” said Paula. “It’s all about walking the middle path.”

The day before the XTERRA Oak Mountain race, any racer is able to meet with the pros at get last minute tips at XTERRA University. Last year it was run by 2017 XTERRA Blackwater Champ Yaro Middaugh and his brother, 2015 XTERRA World Champ, Josiah.

“Personally, I’ve always enjoyed working with kids and challenging them to do something they didn’t think they could achieve,” said Yaro, who was an elementary school teacher for 15 years before he started coaching full time.

Paula is also enthusiastic about the benefits parents receive when their children are in sports or outdoor activities. She notes that her kids have learned first hand how to make choices, keep commitments, and set priorities. It’s impossible to get homework finished, practice with a team, have a social life, and play video games for hours on end. 

“We’ve always let them choose what they want to do,” said Paula. My daughter Emily tried lacrosse and hated it, so I’m never going to make her do that.  At the same time, we try to teach them that if they make a commitment to being on a team, they need to honor that commitment. Because that’s how it is in life.”

“One thing I noticed is that my oldest, who’s in 7th grade, has really learned how to delegate his time wisely. He’s the kind of kid who’s in advanced classes, playing lacrosse, running track, and swimming. He’s chosen to do all of these things and I told him he can try it as long as he doesn’t burn out.”

Through the act of balancing school and sports, Alex has learned not only how to figure it out, but how to be efficient with his work. “That’s a life skill,” said Paula.

Paula admits that sometimes it’s hard to keep the culture of technology from infringing on her children’s love of movement. “We limit electronics a lot,” she admits. “If it’s hard for adults to stay off their phones, then you know it’s also hard for kids.”

She believes that for children to be active, parents need to walk – or run – the walk. Paula is a competitive runner and her husband is an avid swimmer.

“We’ve been athletes all our lives and we knew that when we had kids, sports were something we wanted to teach them. We want them to have an active lifestyle too.” 

Erbenova

Ruzafa, Erbenova win XTERRA Greece

Athens, Greece – Three-time XTERRA World Champion and two-time XTERRA European Tour Champion, Ruben Ruzafa of Spain and Helena Erbenova from Czech Republic took the wins at the 5th annual XTERRA Greece Championship in Municipality of Vari Voula Vouliagmeni – on the outskirts of Athens.

Ruzafa was runner up to Roger Serrano in Greece last year, in a tightly fought race that Serrano pulled ahead on the run to win.  Today, the roles were reversed and Ruzafa took his first win in Greece.

Erbenova, who had just returned from a four-day adventure race in China and in second for most of the race, also pulled the victory from Brigitta Poor on the run, but maintains her substantial lead in the XTERRA European Tour.

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

Pictures | Results

It started great and finished even better.  Our third race of the XTERRA European Tour season took place in Vouliagmeni, Greece, a very nice suburb of Athens.

Our race takes place at the same venue as the 2004 Olympics and we share the same swim and transition area.  But this race is not for speedos and space helmets but for real men and women who go out and challenge themselves in the mountains and forest high above the Mediterranean.

The pro field was impressive with 20 men and 8 women representing 10 different nations.  Just under 400 total athletes took to the beautiful white sands for a 9:15 start.  The pros got a one minute advantage on the field over a two lap 1500m swim.

Jens Roth led from the water followed by Roger Serrano and young Maxim Chane’, Tiago Maia and Hannes Wolpert.  Not far back were super bikers Francois Carloni and 3 time XTERRA world champion Ruben Ruzafa.

Spanish Olympian Miriam Casillas Garcia was first woman out of the water and in the top 10 of all the swimmers.  Current Euro Champion Brigitta Poor was second but already 2 minutes back from the tiny Spanish woman.

“This was my first XTERRA,” smiled Miriam.  “And I was not so confident on the bike.  My second lap was much better.”

Indeed Brigitta passed into first place about half way into the first bike loop.  French woman Morgane Riou was in 3rd with Isabella Ferrer, a long distance racer on a new bike in 4th.

I was happily surprised to see many time champion Helena Erbenova only about 3.5 minutes behind starting the big climb.  Helena was just back from a 4 day adventure race in China and said she was “tired”.  But at the press conference she grinned and remarked “but when I am tired sometimes I have my best races”.

The start of both the bike and run course takes you up a steep road climb next to the Vouliagmeni Suites hotel, then up stone stairs, a hard path and more steep stairs to put you high above the seacoast road and the start of the mountain biking and trail running.

Things sorted themselves out and by the halfway point of the first bike lap. Serrano led with Jens Roth tight with him.  About 25 seconds back Carloni and Ruzafa had asserted themselves and were in their own pack chasing the leaders.  The surprise was young Maxim Chane’ riding very smoothly in 5th.  After that it was a gang fight with a dozen pros all battling up the hills and sliding the down the hills to gain positions.

At the start of the second lap Roger was off the stairs and on the dirt first with Ruben a very close second.  But Jens Roth would not go away.  He was still in the shadow of Roger while Ruzafa soon took a small lead – it was still anyone’s race.

“I fell once on the 2nd lap, but not bad,” said Ruzafa after the race. “It was very close to the finish and I don’t know what happened.  I fell at the Reunion Islands race a few weeks ago and hurt a rib and was worried I might hurt it again.” he said while rubbing his left side.  “But it was not too bad and I had the lead coming to the run”.

Carloni was still 4th but dropping back a bit and the young Chane’ continued in 5th with Arthur Forissier 6th and Chris Coddens coming on quickly in 7th.  Chris did not have that bad a swim but took some time to get going on the bike.

Poor led the women but Erbenova was riding quickly and now up to 3rd ahead of Riou and closing on Garcia despite the Spanish woman putting in a better second lap.

This was a classic Helena Erbenova race – don’t lose too much in the swim, ride fast and smart, and crush the run.

Into T2 Ruzafa held the lead with Serrano 2nd and the pesky Jens Roth hanging tight to the Spaniard.  Carloni was still 4th, Chane’ 5th but Coddens had moved up to 5th past Forissier.

On the run, Coddens continued to be the big mover and was now 5th, passed Max Chane’ on the first, steep run hill and closing on 4th place Francois Carloni.

Ruzafa had broken away but Roth and Serrano were tied together for the top three.

The women’s race was getting closer as well.  Brigitta still led but the Czech Rocket was now 2nd and closing fast.  Our Olympian was now 3rd but Morgane was closing on her.

At the start of the death march hill on the second lap Ruzafa had a commanding 50 second lead.  On the first lap Serrano looked beat and Roth strong, but the Spaniard is known as “El Gato” and indeed I think the cat was playing dead.

“I could not shake him on the bike or the run.” said Roger as he shook his head. “But I had a plan on the second lap and suddenly pushed hard near the tunnel and got a few seconds on him.  I am so happy with second.  I hardly sleep because of organizing XTERRA Spain so this is a fantastic result for me.”

Roth is showing some superb form early in the season and is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Coddens continued his march to the front and ended up 4th just 40 seconds behind Roth who came out of the water almost 3 minutes ahead of the tall Belgian.  Arthur Forissier finished the top 5 with the amazing Xavier Dafflon, who was the first age grouper at Maui in 2016, in 6th with the 2nd fastest bike and the 3rd fastest run.

Pos Last First Nation Time Points Swim Bike Run
1 Ruzafa Ruben Spain 02:17:34 75 00:18:01 01:18:52 00:39:05
2 Serrano Roger Spain 02:18:58 67 00:16:39 01:20:56 00:39:53
3 Roth Jens Germany 02:19:15 61 00:16:22 01:20:58 00:40:08
4 Coddens Kris Belgium 02:19:59 56 00:19:35 01:21:35 00:37:19
5 Forissier Arthur France 02:21:19 51 00:18:20 01:23:51 00:37:41
6 Dafflon Xavier Switzerland 02:21:46 43 00:21:44 01:20:10 00:37:49
7 Carloni Francois France 02:22:41 47 00:18:01 01:21:52 00:41:02
8 Dolores Rui Portugal 02:23:16 39 00:18:49 01:22:32 00:40:24
9 Chané Maxim France 02:24:33 36 00:17:03 01:24:19 00:41:40
10 Kerner Thomas Germany 02:28:40 33 00:21:03 01:26:52 00:38:51
11 Maia Tiago Portugal 02:29:44 30 00:17:20 01:27:56 00:42:47
12 Van Daele Tim Belgium 02:29:52 27 00:20:05 01:27:00 00:41:15
13 Pyott Jan Switzerland 02:31:00 21 00:18:45 01:27:16 00:43:24
14 Buffe Julien France 02:31:24 23 00:18:04 01:27:02 00:44:24
15 Benesch Markus Austria 02:33:50 25 00:19:14 01:29:24 00:43:07
16 Wolpert Hannes Germany 02:34:22 0 00:17:22 01:28:44 00:46:35
17 Kubicek Jan Netherlands 02:36:39 0 00:18:42 01:35:35 00:40:42
18 Trakic Strahinja Serbia 02:39:38 0 00:18:05 01:34:10 00:45:18
19 Vicente Octavio Portugal 02:50:21 0 00:25:18 01:35:13 00:48:02

At the same point on the run course Brigitta led but Erbenova was now only a few seconds behind.

“I am not sure what happened but I had no strength today” said the sad Hungarian woman.  “I mean I was OK but when my mind said to push my body said no”.

Erbenova was really happy when we spoke to her in transition.

“I know I said sometimes when I am tired I go so fast, ” she giggled. “Maybe I should be tired more often.  I was very good on the bike and saved some energy.  I started the run a bit slow but on the first hill everything went great and after that I just kept running fast.  I caught Brigitta on the 2nd lap and then kept going.”

Brigitta was strong enough to stay 2nd and Miriam Casillas Garcia, our first time XTERRA woman from Spain, a very nice 3rd.  Morgane came within a minute but made a wrong turn on the run.

“I was going very fast and don’t know why I got lost – but I knew right away and turned back”.

Morgane is having a fine year with top fives at every race this season.  Isabelle Ferrer kept a nice strong pace to finish 5th in her very first XTERRA race.

Some exciting passing and chasing all day.  The age group racers were having just as good a time with a number of battles going back and forth.  The weather did get warmer in the afternoon but never too hot and the clouds kept the sun from frying too many exposed arms and legs.

Our Euro tour gets a couple weeks off now before racing again in Spain on May 14 followed by Portugal on May 20.

XTERRA Greece has surely moved into the top tier of our XTERRA World Tour.  When you combine Athens with a back-to-back weekend on Cyprus you have a fantastic opportunity to get out of the cold and snow of mainland Europe and start the season right.  As we say here “OPA”.

Pos Last First Nation Time Points Swim Bike Run
1 Erbenova Helena Czech Republic 02:42:52 75 00:23:40 01:33:43 00:43:14
2 Poór Brigitta Hungary 02:44:00 67 00:19:53 01:35:56 00:45:56
3 Casillas García Miriam Spain 02:46:18 61 00:17:58 01:42:35 00:43:28
4 Riou Morgane France 02:47:35 56 00:21:51 01:40:06 00:43:33
5 Ferrer Isabelle France 02:50:28 51 00:20:17 01:44:01 00:43:46
6 Golsteyn Maud Netherlands 02:56:15 43 00:22:07 01:44:56 00:47:03
7 Bucher Renata Switzerland 02:58:29 47 00:22:01 01:43:09 00:51:07

XTERRA European Tour Elite Standings – After 3

Francois Carloni continues to hold the XTERRA European Tour lead with Roger Serrano moving to second.  Brigitta Poor is dominating the Tour for the women after the first three of 15 events.

Up next: XTERRA Tarragona in Spain May 14.

Men S S S
Pl Name, NAT TOTAL MLT CYP GRE
1 Francois Carloni, FRA 151 61 47 43
2 Roger Serrano, ESP 142 75 DNS 67
3 Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR 100 33 67 DNS
4 Thomas Kerner, GER 94 DNS 61 33
5 Jan Pyott, SUI 79 56 DNS 23
6 Julien Buffe, FRA 77 DNS 56 21
7 Ruben Ruzafa, ESP 75 DNS DNS 75
8 Yeray Luxem, BEL 75 DNS 75 DNS
9 Maximilian Sasserath, GER 67 67 DNS DNS
10 Maxim Chane, FRA 66 30 DNS 36
11 Stephan Radeck, GER 64 25 39 DNS
12 Jens Roth, GER 61 DNS DNS 61
13 Kris Coddens, BEL 56 DNS DNS 56
14 Arthur Forissier, FR 51 DNS DNS 51
15 Sebastian Neef, GER 51 DNS 51 DNS
16 Jörg Scheiderbauer, GER 51 51 DNS DNS
17 Xavier Daflon, FRA 47 DNS DNS 47
18 Tomas Kubek, SLK 47 47 DNS DNS
19 Hannes Wolpert, GER 43 DNS 43 0
20 Mark Hamersma, NED 43 43 DNS DNS
21 Jim Thijs, BEL 39 39 DNS DNS
22 Geert Lauryssen, BEL 36 36 DNS DNS
23 Tiago Maia, POR 27 DNS DNS 27
24 Doug Hall, GBR 27 27 DNS DNS
25 Tim Van Dale, BEL 25 DNS DNS 25
26 Callum Hughes, GBR 23 23 DNS DNS
27 Loic Doubey, FRA 0 DNS DNS DNS
28 Octavio Vicente, POR 0 DNS DNS 0
29 Markus Benesh, AUS 0 DNS DNS 0
30 Strahinja Travic, SER 0 DNS DNS 0
31 Jan Honza Kubicek 0 DNS DNS 0
Pl TOTAL MLT CYP GRE
1 Brigitta Poor, HUN 217 75 75 67
2 Helena Erbenova, CZE 142 67 DNS 75
3 Morgane Riou , FRA 123 DNS 67 56
4 Maud Golsteyn, NED 103 56 DNS 47
5 Cecila Jessen, SWE 100 39 61 DNS
6 Miriam Casillas Garcia, ESP 61 DNS DNS 61
7 Nicole Walkers, GRB 61 61 DNS DNS
8 Daz parker, GBR 56 DNS 56 DNS
9 Isabelle Ferrer, FRA 51 DNS DNS 51
10 Marika Wagner, SWE 51 DNS 51 DNS
11 Carina Wasle, AUT 51 51 DNS DNS
12 Kristina Lapinova, SLK 47 47 DNS DNS
13 Renata Bucher, SUI 43 DNS DNS 43
14 Louise Fox, GRB 43 43 DNS DNS
15 Anna Pauline Sasserath 36 36 DNS DNS
16 Kathrin Muller, GER 33 33 DNS DNS
17 Marta Menditto, ITA 30 30 DNS DNS
18 Anne Sphie Marechal, FRA 0 DNS DNS 0

2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule

XTERRA Cyprus was the 12th of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date
Race
Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25
Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4
Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18
XTERRA Saipan + Silver
Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25
Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1
Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1
XTERRA Chile # Silver
Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
Apr 2
XTERRA Malta * Silver
Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
Apr 8
Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
Apr 9
Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
Apr 16
Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
XTERRA Cyprus * Silver
Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
Apr 29
Ben Allen, Kieran McPherson, Sam Osborne, Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
Apr 30
XTERRA Greece * Silver
Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
May 6
Moorea
May 14
XTERRA Spain * Silver
Taragonna
May 14
XTERRA Brazil # Silver
Ilha Bella, Sao Paolo
May 20
Pelham, AL, USA
May 27
Golega
Jun 10
Namur
Jun 17
Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18
Imatra
Jun 24
Vallee de Joux
Jul 2
Xonrupt
Jul 9
Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15
Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30
Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5
Tapalpa
Aug 5
XTERRA Norway * Silver
Norefjell
Aug 6
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12
Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12
Ontario, Canada
Aug 13
Barahona
Aug 13
XTERRA Poland * Silver
Krakow
Aug 19
Zittau
Aug 26
XTERRA Sweden * Silver
Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2
XTERRA Japan + Silver
Hokkaido
Sep 3
Mons Klint
Sep 16
Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* XTERRA European Tour / # XTERRA Pan American Tour / + Asia-Pacific Tour
Silver = Min. $7,500 pro purse & 75-point scale // GOLD = Min $15,000 pro purse & 100-point scale

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Report

Langkawi, Malaysia – In a powerful display of unity, Sam Osborne, Kieran McPherson, Ben Allen, and Bradley Weiss – the top four ranked elite men in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour standings, crossed the finish line together and were declared co-champions of the 2017 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race held in Langkawi this afternoon.

The day started with Allen and Osborne coming out of the water together, with Weiss and McPherson about one-minute back.  By the 20km mark on the bike those four were riding single file with Weiss leading the way.  It was shaping up to be a race for the ages, but then “the last 5km of the bike we couldn’t find the signage on the course, and we all went the wrong way,” said Allen.

Photo Gallery

“There were markers out there but they were everywhere,” added McPherson.  “We’d get down a path and realize it led to nowhere and have to turnaround.”

“It was un-raceable at that point,” said Weiss.

While the group managed to find their way out of the bike route and back to the bike-to-run transition, the racing spirit was gone.  Instead of turning it into a running race to see who won, they decided to neutralize the event, do the run together as a group, and finish together.

“Last thing in the world we wanted to do but really felt there was no other option,” said Osborne.

The decision was upheld by the racing committee, who agreed it was the best possible solution given the circumstances.

“We tried to pre-empt this from happening,” said Weiss.  “We had been here from earlier in the week and were unclear where the course went. We had meetings to address our concerns but it didn’t get marked in time to pre-ride, so on race day we were still not sure where it went.”

Elite Men’s Results

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
Tied 1 Bradley Weiss, RSA 2:51:27 87
Tied 1 Sam Osborne, NZL 87
Tied 1 Kieran McPherson, NZL 87
Tied 1 Ben Allen, AUS 87
5 David Escolar, ESP 2:58:39 69
6 Alex Hunt, AUS 2:58:57 63
7 Brodie Gardner, AUS 3:04:00 58
8 Will Kelsay, USA 3:12:59 53
9 Joe Miller, PHI 3:19:42 49
10 Taylor Charlton, AUS 3:20:36 45
11 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 3:23:06 41
12 Akihiko Maeda, JPN 3:53:29 37
13 Jacky Boisset, FRA 4:01:08 34

Carina Wasle

In the women’s race Carina Wasle passed Jacqui Allen on the run to win her third title in 13 days following wins at XTERRA Reunion Island and XTERRA Danao in the Philippines.

“I like this run course, lots of climbing and very technical,” said Wasle, who overcame a five-minute deficit on the run to take the win.

Jacqui Allen had the fastest swim by more than one-minute and the best bike by nearly four-minutes.  After being passed by Wasle on the run, however, she subsequently veered off-course and Myriam Guillot-Boisset moved into the second spot.

Leela Hancox from Australia, in her first race as an elite, finished fourth.

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Carina Wasle, AUT 3:20:26 100
2 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 3:32:53 90
3 Jacqui Allen, GBR 3:44:00 82
4 Leela Hancox, AUS 3:54:06 75

With the win Wasle takes a commanding lead in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour standings with two races to go, while the top four elite men remain unchanged with Osborne, McPherson, Allen, and Weiss.  Next up: XTERRA Tahiti (May 6).

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Elite Standings – After 5 (As of Apr. 29)

 M S S S G G
PL NAME, NAT TOT SPN THA NZL PHI MAS
1 Sam Osborne, NZL 327 75 DNS 75 90 87
2 Kieran McPherson, NZL 300 56 75 DNS 82 87
3 Ben Allen, AUS 290 61 67 DNS 75 87
4 Bradley Weiss, RSA 254 67 DNS DNS 100 87
5 Will Kelsay, USA 216 47 47 DNS 69 53
6 Brodie Gardner, AUS 205 39 61 47 DNS 58
7 David Escolar, ESP 168 DNS 56 43 DNS 69
8 Joe Miller, PHI 142 30 DNS DNS 63 49
9 Taylor Charlton, AUS 141 DNS 43 DNS 53 45
10 Olly Shaw, NZL 109 DNS DNS 51 58 DNS
11 Markus Benesch, AUT 102 51 51 DNS DNS DNS
12 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 92 21 30 DNS DNF 41
13 Alex Roberts, NZL 85 DNS DNS 36 49 DNF
14 Aleksandr Dorovskikh, RUS 72 36 36 DNS DNS DNS
15 Hayden Wilde, NZL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS
16 Alex Hunt, AUS 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
17 Akihiko Maeda, JPN 62 25 DNS DNS DNS 37
18 Kyle Smith, NZL 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
19 Fynn Thompson, NZL 56 DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS
20 Yuichi Hosoda, JPN 43 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Jacob Storey 39 DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS
22 John Mering, NZL 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
23 Jacky Boisset, FRA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
24 Dominik Wychera, AUT 33 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS
25 Fabrizio Bartoli, ITA 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS
26 Cedric Wane, FRA 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS
27 Emil Duraj, SVK 27 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Michal Bucek, SVK 23 23 DNF DNS DNS DNS
 WM S S S G G
PL NAME, NAT TOT SPN THA NZL PHI MAS
1 Carina Wasle, AUT 275 75 DNS DNS 100 100
2 Jacqui Allen, GBR 157 DNS DNS 75 DNF 82
3 Penny Slater, AUS 141 DNS DNS 51 90 DNS
4 Renata Bucher, SUI 131 DNS 75 56 DNS DNS
5 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
6 Jessica Koltz, USA 82 DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS
7 Leela Hancox, AUS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
8 Kelli Montgomery, USA 67 DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS
9 Mieko Carey, JPN 67 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS
10 Hannah Wells, NZL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS
11 Marika Wagner, SWE 61 DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
12 Josie Wilcox, NZL 61 DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS
13 Belinda Hadden, AUS 56 DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
14 Rebecca Clarke, NZL 47 DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS
15 Lizzy Bunckenburg, NZL 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS

2017 XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race was the 13th of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date
Race
Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25
Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4
Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18
XTERRA Saipan + Silver
Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25
Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1
Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1
XTERRA Chile # Silver
Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
Apr 2
XTERRA Malta * Silver
Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
Apr 8
Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
Apr 9
Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
Apr 16
Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
XTERRA Cyprus * Silver
Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
Apr 29
Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
Apr 30
XTERRA Greece * Silver
Vouliagmeni
May 6
Moorea
May 14
XTERRA Spain * Silver
Taragonna
May 14
XTERRA Brazil # Silver
Ilha Bella, Sao Paolo
May 20
Pelham, AL, USA
May 27
Golega
Jun 10
Namur
Jun 17
Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18
Imatra
Jun 24
Vallee de Joux
Jul 2
Xonrupt
Jul 9
Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15
Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30
Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5
Tapalpa
Aug 5
XTERRA Norway * Silver
Norefjell
Aug 6
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12
Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12
Ontario, Canada
Aug 13
Barahona
Aug 13
XTERRA Poland * Silver
Krakow
Aug 19
Zittau
Aug 26
XTERRA Sweden * Silver
Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2
XTERRA Japan + Silver
Hokkaido
Sep 3
Mons Klint
Sep 16
Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* XTERRA European Tour / # XTERRA Pan American Tour / + Asia-Pacific Tour
Silver = Min. $7,500 pro purse & 75-point scale // GOLD = Min $15,000 pro purse & 100-point scale.