X-Day in South Africa

Stillwater Sports, the organisers of South Africa’s premier off-road triathlon the Fedhealth XTERRA, launch “X-DAY” at the picturesque Wildekrans Wine Estate.

The two day event granted XTERRA Warriors the unique opportunity to test and perfect their multisport prowess in the prelude to the 2017 Fedhealth XTERRA SA Season.

“We are extremely proud to introduce X-DAY to the XTERRA Community,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports.  “Unlike XTERRA, X-DAY won’t be a mass participation event, but rather a more intimate gathering of sporting enthusiasts looking to train at their own pace on a safe, ‘simulated’ XTERRA course.   The ‘event’ will be self-timed with XTERRA Warriors starting and finishing at their own leisure.  We invite all sport enthusiasts to enjoy a day out celebrating the sport of XTERRA at the magnificent Wildekrans Wine Estate.”

Four-time XTERRA World Champion, three time ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion and XTERRA SA Ambassador, Conrad Stoltz was on hand, riding and running the routes.  Stoltz also offered guidance and advice to all X-DAY participants.

According to Stoltz, he participated in his first XTERRA race in 2001 in Richmond, Virginia.  “It was the adventure, technical challenge and cool people that attracted me to the sport,” says Stoltz.  “I enjoyed road triathlon and I was relatively good at it, but it was only after I’d discovered XTERRA (ten years after turning pro) that I’d really found my calling.  I’d recommend this sport to newcomers because it’s outside in nature, it’s exciting, challenging, well rounded, the people are cool and there are many great places that you can visit to take part in an XTERRA.”

“I think X-DAY is a fantastic idea,” continues Stoltz.  “It’s basically a training camp that is open to everyone.  It’s a great way to learn the tricks of the trade from an old hand.  I’m really honoured to be an XTERRA ambassador.  I’d like to inspire people of all abilities to ‘live more’.  Loving sport and the outdoors is a very important part of my life, which I’d like to share with my children and hopefully the people I reach as an ambassador.”

For further information or to enter the Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort, Nelson Mandela Bay or Grabouw visit www.stillwatersports.com.

XTERRA’s New Deal … Most Points Win!

In 2017 XTERRA will unify the scoring structure for the America, Pan America, European, and Asia-Pacific Tours.

The new deal is simple.  Amateur and professional athletes can compete in as many events as they want and at the end of the season the athlete with the most points in each division, in each tour, wins.

“Every race counts, it’s really that simple,” explained Dave Nicholas, the managing director of the XTERRA World Tour. “This year we have 16 races in Europe, 11 in the Americas, 9 in the Asia-Pacific region, and more than 50 in the U.S. points series for amateurs and for the first time ever, how we score each series is consistent.”

The unification efforts will make it easy for athletes and administrators to follow Tour points and will create great excitement as the title chases heat-up.  Also, new in 2017, at the end of the season every amateur tour champion will earn a qualifying spot into XTERRA Worlds.

“This structure provides a neat opportunity for our most loyal racers around the world to secure a spot to Maui,” said Nicholas.  “Athletes who may not be able to crack the top two or three at a race can now doggedly collect points until they’re at the top of their division and get a spot that way.”

In addition to the qualifying spots awarded to Tour Champions, there are 38 races in 34 countries offering up Maui spots to the fastest age groupers in each division at each race.

To learn more on the “new deal” click the link below that applies to you:

New XTERRA Early-Bird Championship 3-Pack

New for 2017 we are offering a discounted XTERRA Championship 3-Pack entry option until January 31, 2017.

For one low price, you will receive discounted early entry into the 2017 XTERRA Oak Mountain, Beaver Creek and Utah Championship off-road triathlons.

Sign-up Now!
2017 Championship 3-Pack Registration

Select XTERRA Early-Bird Now Open

Now until January 31, 2017 select XTERRA events are open for early registration. These rates will be the lowest available rates offered.

Shelby County, Alabama
May 20, 2017 – XTERRA Oak Mountain Championship, Sprint & Xticer
May 21, 2017 – XTERRA Oak Mountain 5/10/20km Trail Runs

Beaver Creek, Colorado
July 15, 2017 – XTERRA Beaver Creek Championship and Sprint
July 16, 2017 – XTERRA Beaver Creek 5/10/20km Trail Runs

Ogden / Snowbasin, Utah
Sept. 16, 2017 – XTERRA Pan Am Championship and Utah Sprint
Sept. 17, 2017 – Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Nationals and Utah 5/10km

Kapalua, Maui
Oct. 28, 2017 – XTERRA Kapalua 3.3/5/10km Trail Runs

Kualoa Ranch, Oahu
Dec. 3, 2017 – XTERRA Trail Run World  Championship – 21/10/5km Trail Runs and Adventure Walk
* Will open 12/5/2016

DeSantis 16 in 16 Mission Accomplished

14291622_1745029532423754_6976058056916535321_nEarlier this year, 2015 XTERRA Warrior Award winner David DeSantis set out on a mission to race 16 XTERRA’s in 16 countries to raise $16,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

Not only did he meet those goals, he doubled them.

DeSantis raised more than $34,000 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation this season and inspired the XTERRA Tribe daily with his strength and perseverance.

The mission, however, did not go so smoothly.  It started good.  His cancer was in remission and he quickly conquered XTERRA Philippines, South Africa, Costa Rica, and Malta, all by April 3.

Then the cancer came back and started wreaking havoc on his body and his race travels.

He went back into chemotherapy and traded exotic races in far off places for Northeast Region races closer to home.   When he couldn’t make a race, somebody stepped up and raced in his place, and all the while the donations for the Challenged Athletes Foundation kept rolling in.

The Tribe was excited to see him fulfill his campaign at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui, but it wasn’t meant to be.  DeSantis made it to Maui, but soon after arrival the pain from the growth of new tumors inside and outside his rib cage proved too much to handle so instead of battling through the mud with his brothers he watched the action unfold online and was thrilled to see his designated racer Stephanie Landy win a world title in his honor.

While he accomplished his mission this season, DeSantis’ fight against cancer continues.

“But on a more positive note,” he said.  “I just finished building a new mountain bike so I’ll be ready for next season!”

Cheers to David DeSantis, our hero.  Photo courtesy Julien Hebert.

Here is his personal note to the Tribe…

“With Maui in the books and #16 complete it has been one hell of 2016 XTERRA season. I am so honored to have been able to make this 16 in 2016 campaign happen and with such incredible success. None of it would have been possible without all the help, guidance and support of each and every one of you.  Thank you for your generous donations and words of encouragement. I want to personally thank the five athletes, Ben Allen, Monica Metsky, Suzie Snyder, Alan Moore and Stephanie Landy, who stepped in for me to race when I was unable to. You kept the dream alive! A huge thank you to our sponsors, McLaren Boston and First Taunton Group. To my XTERRA family, especially Dave Nicholas, Janet Clark and Trey Garman, for embracing this campaign, it’s message and my goals. You all have been…..well, freaking awesome is what honestly comes to mind. Thank you to my Team Pegasus coach, Beth Lamie who has been so supportive and patient with me as both a coach and good friend. Lastly, I have to thank my niece Rachael and wife Kathy. Kathy has followed me around the world supporting every crazy goal I have come up with. I wouldn’t be here without you, Kath. With a final total of $34,152 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and 16 races complete, I want to end with a short video (https://vimeo.com/190756428) that really sums up for me why I had this goal and what I hope makes you proud to have been a part of this campaign.  See you all for the 2017 season!!  Dave”

At-Large Opens December 1

At-large age group entry for the 2017 XTERRA World Championship will open December 1, 2016 at 11am Hawaii Time (1pm PST, 4pm EST, 7pm Brazil, 9pm in London, 8am, Dec. 2 in Sydney, 6am Dec. 2 in Tokyo and 5am Dec. 2 in Manila).  *Adjust to your time zone accordingly.

The event will be held on Sunday, October 29, 2017 at Kapalua, Maui.

To enter the at-large pool interested amateur athletes must register and pay for the race.  Slots are offered on a first-come, first-served basis until all slots have been filled.

The limited number of slots sell-out in a matter of minutes.  If the At Large entry shows full, please list yourself on the free “Waiting List” option that will also be offered.

We look forward to seeing you on Maui.  Live More!

The Bucket List

It’s time to start dreaming.  With more than 30 World Tour Championship races next year – all with qualifying spots to XTERRA Worlds – it’s just a matter of what your dream destination looks like.

XTERRA has races at sea level and altitude, with swims in lakes, rivers, and oceans – in big cities and small towns – from one end of the earth to the other.

While each race offers up its own unique set of challenges, there is one constant … the people. XTERRA is One Tribe, and an adventurous “Live More” spirit unites our community.  You’ll find that friendly, helpful, encouraging type of camaraderie everywhere you go on the XTERRA Planet … discover it for yourself!

Have a look at last year’s Off-Road To Maui Video and look below at our tentative 2017 XTERRA World Tour Schedule and start making some plans to discover the XTERRA Planet!

2017 World Tour Schedule

This schedule is tentative, as of November 03, 2016 and will most certainly have additions and changes.  Check back frequently for updates and the most current world tour schedule.

Date Race Location
25-Feb XTERRA South Africa Grabouw, Western Cape
4-Mar XTERRA Motatapu South Island, New Zealand
18-Mar XTERRA Saipan Northern Mariana Islands
18-Mar XTERRA Colombia Paipa Boyaca
25-Mar XTERRA Argentina Dique Ullum, San Juan
2-Apr XTERRA Chile San Bernardo, Santiago
2-Apr XTERRA Thailand Phuket
2-Apr XTERRA Malta Majjistral Nature Reserve
8-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua
8-Apr XTERRA Costa Rica Playa Reserva Conchal
16-Apr XTERRA Reunion Reunion Island
23-Apr XTERRA Cyprus Lara Beach/Akamas, Paphos
23-Apr XTERRA Cebu Danao, Cebu Philippines
29-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Finale Langkawi, Malaysia
30-Apr XTERRA Greece Vouliagmeni
6-May XTERRA Tahiti Moorea
7-May XTERRA Paraguay San Bernardino
14-May XTERRA Brazil Ilhabela, Sao Paolo
20-May XTERRA Oak Mountain Pelham, Alabama, USA
27-May XTERRA Portugal Golega
4-Jun XTERRA Wales Atlantic College, Llantwit Major
10-Jun XTERRA Belgium Namur
17-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Milton, Ontario, Canada
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Vallee de Joux
2-Jul XTERRA France Xonrupt
9-Jul XTERRA Victoria Victoria, B.C., Canada
15-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, CO, USA
23-Jul XTERRA Finland Imatra
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
6-Aug XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
6-Aug XTERRA Norway Location TBD
12-Aug XTERRA Parry Sound Ontario, Canada
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic Barahona
13-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
19-Aug XTERRA Germany Zittau
25-Aug XTERRA Korea New venue TBD
26-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
3-Sep XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
3-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Maui
Dafflon

Meet Rookie Sensation Xavier Dafflon

In his very first year of racing XTERRA Xavier Dafflon is on top of the World.

At the XTERRA World Championship in Maui two weeks ago he crossed the line in 17th place overall, the top amateur, and winner of the 30-34 division with a time of 3:08:35.

“I’m used to endurance sports, mainly mountain biking, but I was looking for some new challenges this year so I tried XTERRA for the first time in June and July for XTERRA Switzerland and XTERRA France,” said Dafflon, a 34-year-old from Fribourg, Switzerland.

The experiment worked out very well as he finished third overall in his first XTERRA at Switzerland, then was the top amateur in a very competitive field at XTERRA France.

“My swimming is not very good yet, but what motivates me is to make progress in this new sport,” exclaimed Dafflon, who has his sights set on earning his pro license for next year.

On race day Dafflon said he feared the big waves and the mud, but “everything went perfectly and I had a lot of fun because I was in very good shape.”

The week leading up to the race, however, was anything but perfect.

“I had a lot of bad luck right upon arrival,” he explained. “A few hours after landing, I went for a first swim in the ocean, but after less than 2-meters in the water I got a bad cut below my left foot from a rock or something sharp. I had to go to the emergency room and get three stitches badly placed below the foot. I was not sure the entire week whether I would even be able to race on Sunday, but luckily I could.”

Dafflon said he had no idea when he took the lead or even who is opponents were.

“I was passing other athletes during the whole race, you know, because I was very far behind after the hard swim,” he said.

His swim time was 29:45, well off the leader’s pace, but more than made up for it with the best amateur bike and run times, 1:52:16 and 46:34, respectively.

After the race Dafflon traveled all around the Hawaiian Islands with his wife, and said he loved it. Now, he’s back in Switzerland, “the country of mountains, chocolates, cheese and banks!” and the search for sponsors to turn his passion for XTERRA into a pro career is on.

Maui Razor Ridge

Oh, What a Worlds!

It’s already being talked about as perhaps the toughest XTERRA World Championship race in the 21-year history of the sport.  It started Sunday morning with big swells, a strong current, and shore-pounding waves welcoming each swimmer back to the sand.  Then the rain came and made the bike course a muddy mess, and the run is hard enough under perfect conditions.
The winning elite men’s time was the slowest in event history at 2:49:38, nearly 15-minutes slower than last year, and all other winning times got progressively slower with each age group.
Still, racer after racer described it as “epic,” and will have a story to tell for many years to come.  Here’s a look at some of the videos, pictures, and stories captured in Maui last week…

Aging Up

XTERRA Hall of Famer Scott Tinley, one of the original castmembers from the inaugural event in 1996, is still going strong. Here he writes about his day…

Language disclaimer: Don’t read it if you’re a kid or bad words offend you.

A return to XTERRA and in some strange way, competition itself, was thwarted by the weather. But that sounds lame. Shit happens. After four days of near constant rain, the great majority of the bike and run course were mired in two or three inches of icy clay; that sticky earth of which bowls and mugs are shaped and fired. Great for a set of dishes when glazed but a challenging surface on which to run or push a bike up a steep slope as the red dirt collects, dries, and immobilizes movable parts. At the 21st XTERRA World Championships on Maui last Sunday, wheels and derailleurs simply stopped going around and around.

Very soon after the start of the bike it became painfully obvious that the race would be replaced with that bane of all competitive endurance athletes, the ultimate fallback position—just finish.

Still, there were those of us who sought to find the rents and seams. Could we ride some parts of the course? Uh, excuse me, coming through! On your left! Could we simply stay upright and gain time on the hike-a-bikers and the rest of the settled-in-for-the-long-run sect who wore tall numbers on their short calves?

Geez, I’d had a great swim, perhaps the fastest in the 60-64 age group. But to see that qualifying phrase in print—in the 60-64 age group– reminds me that as a former world champion I’d either aged, left something on the table or missed stoking the long-dormant embers of racing.

After an hour-long death march, the top of the hill only revealed an outdoor bike shop in the pasture as athletes struggled to extricate the dirt and weeds and disgust from their non-moving parts. The experienced squirted Gatorade on the muddied chain. The desperate, long since fluid-less, pissed on their derailleurs.

I found the individual negotiations fascinating. Most riders, sensing the futility of it all, turned to the pragmatic and the oblique.

Well, I’ll spend more time cleaning my bike than I did riding it.

This isn’t a world championship. It’s a gladiator pit.
Hardest thing I’ve done since Kona, ’96. And we’re only half way.

Surprisingly, tempers were held in check. No assigning blame. No miss-directed anger. It was a shit-show, someone claimed. And the steadily slogging pack grunted their agreement.

The morning’s swim, which was supposed to be the toughest leg with six-foot surf and three-foot chop, seemed pleasurable compared to pushing a twenty-five-pound bike that now weighed forty with its new coat of clay. Oh, and don’t mind those uphill riders slip-sliding and bowling you down. Sorry mate, my tires, shoes, and soul have no purchase left. Shit show indeed.

The XTERRA organizers have cobbled a successful and authentic aura of family-first. In other road triathlons, the conditions might’ve invited sniping and verbal attack. The worst thing I heard during the five plus hours I carried the same ball and chain was this:

“This is fucked up.”

“Yeah but we’re all fucked together.”

There might’ve been better technical preparation.

Low profile tires allowing for more clearance, hard tail frames, sleeping in on race morning. The pros knew. They had scouted the course, made the changes in equipment, strategy, and approach. As an upper limits age grouper, you mostly don’t take the time or don’t care. You take your sloppy seconds. Your happy just to be on your feet making steady progress between point A and point B under your own power.

By the last trimester of your life, you either have learned humility, have found the right drugs, or are smart enough to keep your precious little powder dry for another battle.

As always, the run favored the youth; those spry and perky forty to fifty year-olds who saw the fallen log in the trail and jumped over it. The cramped, wise, and crumbled who were left picking up bread crumbs studied the longest possible way around.

At some point-it must’ve been very near the finish line-and I knew that I could still walk, that crawling was allowed, I put the hammer down. Which is to say I ceased with the poor-me limp-a-long and ran. Both feet off the ground at the same time. Flying.

My preparation for the XTERRA World Championship might have graciously been labeled as training. I’d saved my money, bought my ticket, extricated the old bike case from under the house, and hosed out the fifteen years of rat shit. The night before the race I was remindedly-nervous. What was it like, I wondered, re-dipping a toe into the ancient racing pool? Would I feel tacked-on as an age grouper? A supporting role for the real athletes? A warmed-over has-been in search of one more parade lap?
Or could I find something that I had once sought in a two-decade occupation if not some deeper existential quest?

The worst and the best parts of Maui are that now…I still don’t know.