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Family Fun at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs

By Lauren Hall

Tough races like the XTERRA Asia-Pacific off-road triathlons and trail runs that took place last weekend in New South Wales, Australia take a lot of time, money, sweat, and tears to get ready for, and not many people commit to such a challenge … let alone a whole family.

While feeling accomplished at the end of the race is something we all look forward to, being able to share the joy of racing with the ones we love makes the experience all that much sweeter.

Just ask Jenny Hart, who finished 3rd in her division in Saturday’s tri then got to watch her boys Hamish, Lachlan, and Ethan (ages 10-to-14) finish first, third, and fifth overall in the 5-kilometer trail run the next day.

Although she says there are a lot of inspiring people in this world, Jenny sees her boys as her greatest inspiration.

“They inspire me to go out there and try, for age is just a number,” she said.

In return, Jenny hopes that by participating in these races she will show her boys that “anything can be achieved when you put your mind to it.”

She seems to have made an impact because since she started doing triathlons, her boys have competed in events where there are options to do so. Her two older ones have developed a love for triathlons, and hopes to one-day race at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui. Jenny said she loves watching her boys race, and “it’s fantastic to have them at the finish line too.”

Jenny is a primary school teacher that works with a number of schools in her area to improve literacy and numeracy outcomes for her students in K-2 in more socioeconomic disadvantaged small schools.

She heard about XTERRA from her friends that raced pro at last year’s XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, and when she won the prize drawing of a free entry while participating at Elite Energy’s Husky Long Course tri she decided to jump in feet first and do the championship race.

“XTERRA races seem to becoming a lot more popular with more people signing up for these races,” she said. “I thought it would be fun to do and something a bit different.”

In order to get ready for their family XTERRA race outing, Jenny continued her normal triathlon training while adding some mountain bikes rides in the mix. Her boys attending swim practice with a club team and have been also mixing in mountain bike rides with their mom. Jenny said that 12-year-old son’s cross country training has played an important part in Hamish’s training. Going into the race, they had no expectations. Jenny stated she “just wanted to go out there and have fun.”

One thing that worried her entering the race was the 30km mountain bike course. She worried the course might be too technical to start doing at her age. Jenny went for it anyways, and ended up finishing the XTERRA race with a time of 3:48:14 coming in 3rd in her 50-54 age group.

“Determination and perseverance are qualities that that can be transferred across all facets of our lives.”

Jenny hopes that through competing in the XTERRA Asia Pacific Championship triathlon race as she turns 50 will inspire not only her family, but others to have fun with life and do what makes them happy.

Through traveling as a family, they have made friends from all over the world and seen many beautiful new places. Jenny and her family encourages you and yours to take on the XTERRA race challenge so you too can be exposed to “the world of possibilities.”

Lizzie-BikeWeb

XTERRA World Tour Triple on Tap

The XTERRA European, Asia-Pacific, and Pan-American Tours are all in action next weekend, May 7, with championship races in Greece, Malaysia, and Brazil.

In Greece they’ll celebrate the second of 12 races on this year’s XTERRA European Tour at an exciting new location that has XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas chomping at the bit.

“Next week will be the 4th running of XTERRA Greece and we are in for big changes,” he said. “The first races were at the middle of Greece, in the mountains at Lake Plastira.  This year, we are changing to a suburb of Athens and the site of the 2004 Olympic triathlon in Vouliagmeni. This is where so many XTERRA legends performed on the big stage. Remember Hamish Carter won gold in Athens, then won XTERRA Worlds a couple years later. Hamish still plays a big role for XTERRA in New Zealand, goes to all the races and is the ultimate ambassador for the sport over there.”

Other XTERRA legends that raced in the Olympics that year included Olivier Marceau (who was in the lead group off the bike and finished 8th), World Champs Conrad Stoltz, Eneko Llanos, and Julie Dibens, Canadian great Brent McMahon, XTERRA Mexico race director Javier Rosas, and a dozen more that would try their hand at off-road racing at one point or another like Bevan Docherty, Tim Don, Ivan Rana, Victor Plata, Tyler Butterfield, Susan Williams, and Samantha McGlone.

The swim and transition areas will be the exact same as the Olympic triathlons, but as this is XTERRA, the bike and run will be in the hills above the city.

“After several meetings with the Mayor we were able to secure the necessary permits,” said Nicholas.  “I took a look at the prospective area with Kostas Kourmargialis, the race director, after last year’s event and it is stunning.  Nico Lebrun went to Athens later in the year and he and Kostas have come up with a gem of a course that is in the shadow of the Parthenon and less than half an hour from the Athens airport. Tunnels will take athletes under the very busy street that runs along the ocean, and racers can expect lots of climbing and descending. You know if it is a Lebrun course it will be a fair challenge between technical and power.”

XTERRA Greece is sold out for this year, so those dreaming of racing in the Athenian Riviera best have secured their spot on the start list already or start looking forward to next year.

“This kind of venue is perfect for XTERRA travel.  An international airport nearby, lots of hotels from 5 star to B&B’s and a location that gives you full access to all the wonders of Athens,” said Nicholas.

A heavy pro field is assembling for the race featuring all of Europe’s best including Ruben Ruzafa, Roger Serrano, Francois Carloni, Kris Coddens, Jan Pyott, Brice Daubord, and Arthur Forissier in the men’s race and Helena Erbenova, Brigitta Poor, Louise Fox, and Renata Bucher in the women’s race. All told there are some 26 elites representing 13 countries racing. We’ll talk more about the pro race next week.

Meanwhile in Langkawi organizers of XTERRA Malaysia are setting up for a grand Asia-Pacific Tour finale that will pit the reigning XTERRA Asian Tour Champ Brad Weiss with his friendly rival Ben Allen who wants it back. Benny got the better of Bradley in Australia last weekend but Bradley took the title at this race in Langkawi last year.

The women’s race will be equally compelling with 2016 APAC Tour starlet Lizzie Orchard going for her fourth win in a row, but up against last year’s winner Myriam Guillot-Boisset (who won XTERRA Costa Rica last month) plus Carina Wasle and Jacqui Slack.

Of note, XTERRA Malaysia counts double points so gives all who race a good shot at moving high up in the standings if they have a solid race. That means guys like Takahiro Ogasawara, Brodie Gardner, and Olly Shaw will be shooting for the stars.

Learn more about the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour finale here.

In Brazil, the beautiful island of Ilhabela will host the third stop on the new XTERRA Pan America Tour.

XTERRA Brazil has long been one of the most unique and cherished events on the World Tour and will once again attract an international field of XTERRA Warriors for the experience.

We’ll have more info on all three races next week.

Daryl Weaver

This Week on The America Tour

Some of XTERRA’s fastest and most famous amateurs are in Arkansas this weekend for the XTERRA Gator Terra off-road tri which is doubling as the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship.

On the line are national titles, valuable points for amateurs racing for a regional title and the Maui spot that goes with it, plus the right to race for Team USA at the 2017 ITU Cross Tri World Championships to be held next August in Pentincton, Canada.

Among the heavy hitters on the start list is reigning USAT and XTERRA National Champ Daryl Weaver (pictured), fresh off a win at XTERRA Myrtle Beach last week. Weaver has a remarkable streak going, having won his division at 28 of the 29 regular season XTERRA races he’s entered, and the overall at most of those.

For the women the amazing Mimi Stockton looks to defend her overall women’s amateur USAT National Title that would go nicely with her three XTERRA World Titles in the 40-44 division.

Others coming back to defend their USAT crowns include Ron Scranton (70-74), Doug Usher (60-64), Stephanie Landy (55-59), Susan Griffin-Kaklikian (60-64), and Linda Usher (65-69).

The entire start list reads like a who-who in XTERRA racing lore with names like 15-time regional champ Steve Cole, 14-time regional champ Beverly Enslow, 11x regional champ Kyle Grieser, and stalwarts like David Rakita, Peter Lilley, Marc Hawley, May-li Cuypers, Paula Maresh, Mike Carter, Brett Edgerle, Karen Robertson, Kristen Wade, Bill Blankenship, Marcus Barton, and on and on.

One thing is for sure, Team USA will be in good hands next year!

Over in Winder, Georgia the XTERRA Fort Yargo off-road tri takes to the trails in the natural refuge of the state park on Saturday where one of the only remaining forts for early settlers can be found.

On Sunday, further up the coast, the devil is loose in Barnegat, New Jersey – home to the XTERRA Jersey Devil off-road tri that we previewed earlier this month.

Find your way on the XTERRA America Tour by visiting www.xterraplanet.com.

Braden Currie

Currie, Orchard win XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship

Photo Gallery / Complete Results

(Jervis Bay, NSW) – Braden Currie and Lizzie Orchard captured the 3rd annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race on an unseasonably cool and windy day at Callala Beach in New South Wales, Australia this afternoon.

It’s the ninth XTERRA win of Currie’s career and for the second year in a row he won XTERRA New Zealand and the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship races on back-to-back weekends.

“For me it’s the end of five years of solid racing, and I’m just so stoked to finish on a good race,” said Currie.  “You know that feeling of being smooth and consistent the whole race and finishing with a good result, when you race professionally it doesn’t get much sweeter than that.”

For everyone, the day started with an eye-opening walk down the beach to find big waves, red weed, white caps, wicked wind, crazy currents, and downright blustery conditions at Callala Beach.  It was so rough getting in-and-out of the water race officials changed the swim course from two-laps with a beach-run in the middle to just one-lap that went with the current.

Even the pros had a hard time sighting buoys and swimming in straight lines.

APAC Swim

XTERRA’s surf-life saving guru Ben Allen used the rough sea conditions to his advantage and led everyone out of the water, followed close behind by Courtney Atkinson.  Impressively, Braden Currie and Sam Osborne came out together less than one-minute behind those two and quickly caught and passed Atkinson and joined a line of three with Allen into the Aussie bush.

“It was a challenging, tough course,” said Currie.  “That swim was amazing.  Probably good for us Kiwis because we can’t swim like Courtney can.  It was so rough he couldn’t see where he was going so we could just follow his feet and keep in close contact with him.  I knew coming out of the water it was going to be a good day if we were that close to him.”

By the midway point on the bike it was a three-man race with Currie and Allen trading leads and Osborne never far behind.

“That bike was absolutely unreal, Braden was drilling it,” said Osborne, who also finished 2nd behind Currie at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend.  “I was looking at that back wheel of his and just thinking don’t let it go, that’s my ticket to the front.  He was going so fast.”

Allen hit the run in second but Osborne wasn’t far behind, and moved into second somewhere around the 3K mark.

“The swim was alright,” said Allen, who finished in third and top Aussie to win the XTERRA Australia title.  “Towards the end of that run the legs were cramping up, I think the effort of laying it down on the bike with Braden caught up with me. I just tried to hang on as long as I could to Sam.  Full credit to Braden, he’s a phenomenal athlete, and Sammy too.”

Brad Weiss and Olly Shaw were fourth and fifth out of T2, but Atkinson in sixth posted the fastest run of the day (35:16) to leap-frog past both of them for fourth.

“It’s one of those bike courses where you warm up on it and you think it’s not so bad but then when you start riding it hard every single little step-up and hill kills your legs,” said Atkinson.  “These guys make it look easy, riding around in the mud.  It’s a bloody fun day.  I come out here to have a lot of fun, and try my hardest to keep the deficit as best I can but today Braden and these boys were absolutely flying and caught me very early on.  I wasn’t even in the race so I really want to know what happened up in the front.”

Up front Currie was showing what kind of a fast, tough athlete he is.  Remember he was the runner-up to Josiah Middaugh at XTERRA Worlds last year, and in doing that he became the only other guy along with Middaugh to upset Ruben Ruzafa in two years of racing off-road.  No doubt the Kiwi is looking forward to another crack at the Spaniard and American.

For Bradley Weiss, who held on to 5th by just eight seconds over Shaw, it was a disappointing day.

“I lost too much time on the swim,” said the South African who won the first four races he did this year. “I saw when I was running up to transition that Braden and Sam were together, and knew that Ben and Courtney were together in front of them, and there is a lot of drafting chances on this course and I ended up all by myself.  I caught Courtney eventually, but he’s become a much better mountain biker through the years so it wasn’t easy.  I’m disappointed in 5th, but the guys up ahead definitely deserved it today.”

After the race Atkinson, a two-time Olympian, told the crowd … “I’d like to congratulate everyone out here today.  It’s difficult for me, and for all the on-road triathletes that gave it their first shot off-road today I want to congratulate them.  It’s fun, but it’s a challenge.  I think we’ll continue to get people crossing over and tying this.  People tick off Ironman, tick off Olympic distance and all the rest of them, this is your next challenge.”

For Ben Allen, who worked so hard to help XTERRA establish roots in Australia, seeing the big field of international racers and the great vibe in Callala today made him choke-up a little.

“I’m absolutely stoked XTERRA is here, it’s been a dream come true for me to get XTERRA on the forefront of triathlon within Australia and this event, this day is just awesome,” he said.

ELITE MEN

Pl Name (Bib #) Time Swim Bike Run
1 Braden CURRIE (1) 2:11:46 0:16:57 1:15:49 0:35:31
2 Sam OSBORNE (12) 2:13:38 0:16:57 1:18:05 0:35:14
3 Ben ALLEN (4) 2:14:47 0:16:06 1:17:56 0:37:12
4 Courtney ATKINSON (2) 2:16:30 0:16:12 1:22:06 0:34:38
5 Bradley WEISS (15) 2:17:04 0:18:06 1:18:16 0:36:55
6 Olly SHAW (3) 2:17:12 0:18:45 1:18:16 0:36:13
7 Aiden DUNSTER (8) 2:23:10 0:18:39 1:20:16 0:40:12
8 Kieran MCPHERSON (6) 2:24:03 0:18:31 1:21:58 0:39:32
9 Brodie GARDNER (5) 2:25:06 0:18:35 1:23:43 0:38:39
10 Cameron PAUL (13) 2:25:35 0:18:43 1:21:54 0:41:02
Also: Alex Roberts, Noah Wright, Jason Hsieh, Barry Lee, Kaon Cho

Lizzie Orchard

ORCHARD GOES 3-FOR-3 IN 2016

Lizzie Orchard isn’t a surprise winner anymore.  Last year she finished an amazing 5th in a stacked field at the XTERRA World Championship.  To start this season she won her first XTERRA major in the Philippines, and just last weekend she won the XTERRA New Zealand Championship.  Today, she solidified all those results with her third win of the year to take a commanding lead in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour standings.

“I can’t believe it. I’m still me, it’s just me,” smiled Orchard, an XTERRA Tribe favorite for her big smile and friendly demeanor.  “I really like the hot races, and it wasn’t that hot today so I’m very pleased to have a good go today.”

From the very beginning of today’s women’s elite race it looked like the title belonged to Jacqui Slack, who lives and trains with her fiancée Benny Allen just up the road in Wollongong for much of the year.

Slack had the best swim of the day by more than one-minute, and took a minute lead on to the run.  Behind her Renata Bucher (who had the fastest bike split of the day, 1:32:20), Lizzie Orchard, and Carina Wasle started chasing.

“There were three or four of us within 40 seconds or so,” said Orchard.  “With the long beach section of the run we could all see each other.  It was a technical run, and Carina was about 50-meters behind me the whole way.”

After passing Bucher on the sand early in the run, it took Orchard and Wasle until about the 7K mark to catch up to Slack.

“We slowly, sloooowly caught Jacqui,” said Orchard, who had the fastest run of the day (41:14) to take the tape in 2:36:42, just 27-seconds ahead of Wasle (who won at XTERRA Reunion last weekend).

Slack came in third, gutted not to have won it.

“I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to win a race so much,” said Slack.  “I did everything I could do, I had the best race I could’ve had, the other girls were just stronger today.  I held them off as long as I could but they just had that bit on me at the end.  They’re both great runners and great athletes, and raced really well.”

Bucher held off a hard-charging Jessica Simpson on the run by just two seconds to finish in fourth, with Simpson taking home the XTERRA Australia title for the second year in a row as the top Aussie.

“I’m super proud of Lizzie,” said Bucher, who recruited her to be on her Aloha Racing Team. “She’s an amazing athlete, and a great person as well.  She smiles all the time, and really has a great Aloha spirit.”

ELITE WOMEN

Pl Name (Bib #) Time Swim Bike Run
1 Elizabeth ORCHARD (32) 2:36:42 0:20:01 1:31:34 0:40:41
2 Carina WASLE (33) 2:37:09 0:20:55 1:30:34 0:40:54
3 Jacqui SLACK (31) 2:37:40 0:18:37 1:31:33 0:43:16
4 Renata BUCHER (35) 2:41:05 0:22:24 1:28:23 0:45:32
5 Jessica SIMPSON (34) 2:41:07 0:19:46 1:33:31 0:43:19
6 Catherine STERLING (39) 2:45:45 0:19:03 1:38:04 0:43:14
7 Sarah BACKLER (36) 2:47:06 0:22:26 1:35:54 0:44:03
8 Penny HOSKEN (37) 2:51:26 0:20:45 1:38:24 0:47:04
9 Holly KHAN (38) 2:58:40 0:22:14 1:41:15 0:49:29

CURRIE, ORCHARD WIN XTERRA ANZ DOUBLE

Braden Currie and Lizzie Orchard won the elite XTERRA ANZ Double titles and Hayden  Wilde and Josie Sinclair won the amateur ANZ titles for posting the fastest combined times at XTERRA New Zealand and the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship.

WILDE, SLATER WIN AMATEUR TITLES

Hayden Wilde, the 18-year-old phenom from Whakatane, New Zealand who won the 15-19 division XTERRA World Championship last year, captured the overall men’s amateur title in Callala while Penny Slater was the fastest female amateur on the day.

Here’s a look at all the 2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Age Group Champions:

WOMEN
Division Name Hometown Time
15-19 Brooke Crossland Erowal Bay, NSW 3:40:35
20-24 Penny Slater Wamboin, NSW 3:04:01
30-34 Becky Mates Willoughby, NSW 3:19:12
35-39 Virginie Bernard France 2:57:57
40-44 Megan Arthur Hamilton, New Zealand 3:13:03
45-49 Catherine Ballantyne Sydney, NSW 3:07:28
50-54 Jenny Henville Loftus, NSW 3:25:46
55-59 Josie Sinclair Auckland, New Zealand 3:14:06
65-69 Lynne Pattle Auckland, New Zealand 3:38:32
MEN
Division Name Hometown Time
15-19 Hayden Wilde Whakatane, New Zealand 2:21:55
20-24 Taylor Charlton Manly West, QLD 2:35:19
25-29 Tim Fitzpatrick Echuca, VIC 2:39:36
30-34 Nicholas Moore Gold Coast, QLD 2:34:41
35-39 Matt Backler Taurange, New Zealand 2:26:49
40-44 Tod Horton Burleigh Heads, QLD 2:41:13
45-49 Simon Manson North Curl, NSW 2:33:27
50-54 Peter Walker Chatswood, NSW 2:48:51
55-59 Andrew Rutty Figtree, NSW 2:55:40
60-64 Richard Jeffrey Bingie, NSW 2:56:10
65-69 Alan Pattle Auckland, New Zealand 3:25:41
70-74 Ry Lichtwark Rotorua, New Zealand 3:30:45

MONTGOMERY, BERNARD WIN XTERRA WETSUITS SWIM PRIME

Tom Montgomery and Virginie Bernard each took home a brand new wetsuit from XTERRA Wetsuits Australia for posting the fastest amateur swim splits of the day, 15:29 and 20:59, respectively.

WEISS, ORCHARD LEAD XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC TOUR STANDINGS

After five of the six races in the 2015-2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Bradley Weiss and Lizzie Orchard sit atop the elite standings.

Just one race remains, an important one that counts double points at XTERRA Malaysia in Langkawi on May 7.  Both Weiss and Orchard, and host of other pros, will be at the tour finale in Malaysia to chase the crown.

PL NAME JPN PHI SAI NZL AUS TOT
1 Bradley Weiss, RSA DNS 100 DNS 82 69 251
2 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 82 75 90 DNS DNS 247
3 Brodie Gardner, AUS DNS 82 100 DNS 49 231
4 Braden Currie, NZL DNS DNS DNS 100 100 200
5 Sam Osborne, NZL DNS DNS DNS 90 90 180
6 Kaon Cho, KOR 53 DNS 75 49 x28 177
7 Courtney Atkinson, AUS 100 DNS DNS DNS 75 175
8 Ben Allen, AUS DNS 90 DNS DNS 82 172
9 Charlie Epperson, USA 75 69 DNS DNS DNS 144
10 Olly Shaw, NZL DNS DNS DNS 75 63 138
11 Joe Miller, PHI DNS 53 82 DNS DNS 135
12 Kieran McPherson, NZL DNS DNS DNS 69 53 122
13 Cameron Oneal, USA 63 58 DNS DNS DNS 121
14 Cameron Paul, NZL DNS DNS DNS 63 45 108
15 Alex Roberts, NZL DNS DNS DNS 58 41 99
16 Jason Hsieh , HKG 58 DNS DNS DNS 34 92
17 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
18 Barry Lee, MAS DNS 49 DNS DNS 31 80
19 Taro Shirato, JPN 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS 69
20 Michal Bucek, SVK DNS 63 DNS DNS DNS 63
21 Aiden Dunster, NZL DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 58
22 Lachlan Davey, NZL DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS 53
23 Kiley Momohara, NZL DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS 45
24 Noah Wright, USA DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 37
PL NAME JPN PHI SAI NZL AUS TOT
1 Lizzie Orchard, NZL x90 100 DNS 100 100 300
2 Mieko Carey, USA 100 82 90 DNS DNS 272
3 Carina Wasle, AUT DNS DNS 100 DNS 90 190
4 Jacqui Slack, GBR DNS 90 DNS DNS 82 172
5 Renata Bucher, SUI DNS DNS 82 DNS 75 157
6 Sarah Backler, NZL DNS DNS DNS 90 58 148
7 Rachel Challis, NZL DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS 82
8 Belinda Hadden, AUS DNS DNS 75 DNS DNS 75
9 Mary Gray, NZL DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS 75
10 Jessica Simpson, AUS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 69
11 Catherine Sterling, USA DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 63
12 Penny Hosken, AUS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 53
13 Holly Khan, AUS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 49

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.  Presenting sponsors include John Paul Mitchell Systems, the world’s largest privately owned professional salon hair care company, Outrigger Resorts – one of the largest and fastest growing privately-held leisure lodging, retail and hospitality companies in the Asia-Pacific and Oceania regions, 220 Triathlon Australia/NZ, the Forestry Corporation of NSW, and XTERRA Wetsuits & Boards Australia – the official swim sponsor.

ABOUT TEAM UNLIMITED

TEAM Unlimited, founded in 1988, is the Hawaii-based television, events, and marketing company that brought off-road triathlon and trail running to the world under the brand name XTERRA.  From a one-off race held on the most remote island chain in the world XTERRA evolved into an endurance sports lifestyle with worldwide appeal. Over the past 20 years XTERRA transcended its status as ‘just a race’ to become a bona-fide way of life for thousands of intrepid athletes as well as an emerging brand in the outdoor industry.  In 2016 XTERRA will offer more than 200 off-road triathlons and trail running events in 30+ countries worldwide and produce 10 adventure television shows for international distribution.  Online at xterraplanet.com / xterracontent.com.

ABOUT ELITE ENERGY

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race is produced by TEAM Unlimited LLC in conjunction with Elite Energy Events.  Elite Energy is a sports and athlete management-marketing firm, dedicated to lifestyle sports development, creating new standards in competition, format, equipment and competitor satisfaction. Established in 1999, Elite Energy manages mass participation sporting, music and entertainment events where their company has produced many of Australia’s leading multisport events. Elite Energy is one of Australia’s premier event management specialists.  Their mission is to “make events memorable”. Quality is a vital component in the development of their events and their goal is to satisfy the needs of sponsors, competitors, the triathlon industry and the public in a safe, healthy and memorable atmosphere.  Mark “Emo” Emerton, the founder and CEO of Elite Energy, served as the logistics manager for the Triathlon, Marathon, Race Walks, and Road Cycling events of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.  Learn more atwww.EliteEnergy.com.au

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship was the 11th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT LOCATION or WINNERS
7-Feb XTERRA Philippines Brad Weiss/Lizzie Orchard
21-Feb XTERRA South Africa Brad Weiss/Flora Duffy
5-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Olly Shaw/Mary Gray
12-Mar XTERRA Saipan Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle
20-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Karl Shaw/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Josiah Middaugh/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Roger Serrano/Brigitta Poor
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
17-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa/Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
7-May XTERRA Malaysia Langkawi
7-May XTERRA Brazil Ilhabela, São Paulo
7-May XTERRA Greece Vouliagmeni
14-May XTERRA Tahiti Papeete
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park Pelham, Shelby County, AL, USA
21-May XTERRA Portugal Golega
11-Jun XTERRA Belgium Namur
25-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Vallee de Joux
25-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Milton, Ontario, Canada
3-Jul XTERRA France Xonrupt
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Victoria, B.C., Canada
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, CO, USA
23-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound Ontario, Canada
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Lago Di Scanno
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Barahona
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
14-Aug XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
20-Aug XTERRA Germany – XTERRA European Championship Zittau
27-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
27-Aug XTERRA Korea Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City
3-Sep  XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
4-Sep XTERRA Quebec Quebec City, Quebec
11-Sep XTERRA Woolastook New Brunswick, Canada
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
Myrtle Beach

This Weekend on the XTERRA America Tour

The Southeast and South Central Regions of the XTERRA America Tour are in action this weekend with XTERRA ATX in Austin, Texas and XTERRA Myrtle Beach in South Carolina.

Pace Bend Park, located in far western Travis County in the Hill Country of central Texas, takes center stage on Saturday. The entire park is on a peninsula jutting into Lake Travis, with steep bluffs on one side offering spectacular views and gentle grassy slopes descending to the water on the other side.

The trails at Pace Bend Park include limestone ledges, challenging rock gardens, some steep climbs, technical drop offs with “plenty of smooth trail in between to help you recover before reaching the next obstacle,” said race director Joel Grimmett of Race Revolutions.

“It all starts with an 800-meter swim in the waters of Lake Travis, continues with 13 miles of 90 percent classic Texas Hill country single track, and finishes with a mostly flat 6K run weaving along the lakeshore. At the finish line racers will find some cold post-race beer provided by NXNW Restaurant and Brewery, Austin.”

ATX is the second of five races in the XTERRA Texas Off-Road Triathlon Series, and those who win their regional title at the end of it all earn a qualifying spot to the XTERRA World Championship in Maui.

On Sunday the America Tour heads to XTERRA Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to a family-oriented and beginner-friendly experience.

Starting with a one of a kind swim start, beginning with a boat ride to the starting line, competitors will swim 1000-meters in the Intercoastal Waterway and find themselves running up a boat ramp into transition 1. The bike portion will surprise many, with a challenging and technical course that will engage racers over two laps to cover 14 miles. The bike is a hidden gem among our coastal geography! The run continues to change things up, with a flat and fast five miles. The route is still on dirt, and is a traditional out and back style which is closed to traffic. Drawing beginners and experienced racers alike, the XTERRA Tri and Myrtle Beach is a race like none other.

The defending men’s champ Marcus Barton will return to defend his title and says he’s got his work cut out for him in this early-season test.

“Gonna be tough as there are some fast boys showing up like Daryl Weaver and newcomer Dwayne Dixon who’s an experienced road triathlete,” said Barton.

“When I first rode the trails there I went in with low expectations, thinking “What could they have built at the beach?” Boy was I surprised. These guys and gals have done an outstanding job building some pretty awesome trails.  Last year the run was a flat, out and back on a gravel road. This year, they’ve built more trail so the run is 95% trail. As for the swim, it’s a straight shot up an intercostal waterway, so plenty of room to spread out and no fighting over buoys.”

You can read all about Barton’s experience at last year’s race here: https://speedylizard.com/2015/05/07/root-beer-swimming-and-big-green-guys-xterra-myrtle-beach/

XTERRA America Tour

Ruzafa Reunion

Ruzafa, Wasle win XTERRA Reunion

Three-time XTERRA World Champion Rubun Ruzafa from Spain and Carina Wasle from Austria captured the 2nd annual XTERRA Reunion off-road triathlon on Sunday.

Ruzafa has now won 15 of his last 16 XTERRA majors and is 19-of-23 for his career.

Francois Carloni and Yeray Luxem finished 2nd and 3rd, and the “Caveman” Conrad Stoltz finished 9th in his first race since retiring.

“To me, “Retirement” does not mean “stay on the couch forever”, it means “train for fun and race for fun” – which meant I finished 20 minutes (9th place) behind winner Ruben Ruzafa,” posted Stoltz to his Facebook page. “Much fun was had. Stunning course, magical island and people.”

In the women’s race Wasle and South African Carla Van Huyssteen went back-and-forth all day until the Austrian pulled away at the end.

XTERRA REUNION PHOTOS // RESULTS

Jacqui Slack

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Saturday in New South Wales

The raucous sounds of native Cockatoo’s and laughing Kookaburra’s fill the air around Callala Beach in New South Wales, Australia – home to the third annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race on Saturday.

The weather has been perfect in the days leading up to the main event with lots of sunshine and bright blue skies, although threats of rain fill the forecast for Friday and as we’ve learned from previous years, rain soaked trails turn the forest roots here into slippery rails and intermediate routs into technical tracts.

Braden Currie thrived in those conditions last year, posting the fastest bike split of the day and crossing the line nearly three minutes ahead of the speedy Courtney Atkinson. He’d like nothing more than a repeat of that performance to end a grueling schedule full of racing on a high note.

“Think I’ve race nine times in the last 13 weeks,” said Currie, who after finishing second at XTERRA Worlds last year, did his best to make the New Zealand Olympic team for triathlon thus never did have an off-season. “It’s been a lot of time on the road, traveling and training. I’ve had heaps of good learnings though, and think there is great cross over to it and it will benefit me in XTERRA.”

Courtney Atkinson was also chasing an Olympic spot in hopes of representing Australia for the third time.  It didn’t work out, but said he’s happy to be back in the bush and have the chance to win a fourth straight XTERRA Australia title.

“Got back off-road last weekend and had a win, and had so much fun racing on the mountain bike again,” said Atkinson, who won the Queensland Cross Tri on Saturday. “There’s a great international field coming to Callala Beach for this one, and it’s good for off-road tri.”

Among that great international field is Bradley Weiss from South Africa, last year’s XTERRA Asian Tour Champion and winner of XTERRA South Africa and XTERRA Philippines already this year.

“So great to be back in New South Wales,” said Weiss, who finished 4th here two years ago in the inaugural event behind fellow countryman Dan Hugo, Atkinson, and Currie.   “Should be a really fast and furious race out there on Saturday. I’m looking forward to going against these guys.  I’ve been very focused on this particular race, not just the prize purse but the prestige that comes with the event. I’m going to be giving it my all out there. I feel like I’m in really good shape at the moment, it’s just going to take some execution on my part to get it right.”

Weiss said he also looked forward to reigniting the friendly rivalry with Asia-Pacific Tour nemesis Ben Allen. Those two have gone back-and-forth for years now in the regional races, flip-flopping places between first and second.

“The field toeing the line this weekend is no joke,” said Allen, who won the Australian Cross Tri National Championship earlier this year. “Braden won New Zealand. Brad won the Philippines and has had some time now in this part of the world. It’s great to see the guys are traveling all the way out to these destination races in the Asia-Pacific area to take the sport to the next level. I’m sure the quality and depth of the field will make it one heck of a race.”

Others of note include Kiwi Sam Osborne, who was second to Currie at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend and won XTERRA Sweden last year; Olly Shaw who won the XTERRA Motatapu off-road tri earlier this year; Brodie Gardner who won XTERRA Saipan in March, and the best off-roaders from Malaysia (Barry Lee), Hong Kong (Jason Hsieh), and Korea (Kaon Cho).

WOMEN’S ELITE RACE UP FOR GRABS

Reigning XTERRA Asian Tour Champion Jacqui Slack has finished third at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in each of the last two years.  In 2014 she was 3rd behind XTERRA World Champions Flora Duffy and Nicky Samuels.  Last year she was third behind Duffy and two-time Maui runner-up Barbara Riveros.

Since all three of those speedsters are now focused on the Rio Olympics and not on the start list for Saturday’s race, Slack is hoping that, well, she can pick up the slack.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Slack, who had eight podium finishes last year.   “They’re not here and it’s wide open.  It’s going to be a really good race for that number one spot, and it’s such a huge race, huge prize money, Asia-Pacific title on the line. All the girls here are pretty similar and anyone could take it, so I think it makes it pretty exciting.”

Slack is also happy to come into this race fully charged and ready to go for the first time in three years.

“I’ve got three, four months of really solid training in me and I can’t wait to get out there and see what’s going to happen on the day. We’re all super close and have our own strengths and weaknesses, so it’ll come down to who’s the strongest at the finish.”

Indeed, the women’s field is full of familiar faces and top-level pros that have each gotten the better of one-another at a myriad of championship races through the years.

Renata Bucher is the most decorated of the bunch with 33 big XTERRA wins spanning 14 countries over her illustrious 13-year career.   Just last year she won the ETU European Cross Tri Championship and was second to only two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson at the XTERRA European Champs.

Lizzie Orchard might be the most improved, and has run down victories at XTERRA Philippines and XTERRA New Zealand just last weekend.

“I’m looking forward to Saturday, and really determined to see a Koala,” joked Orchard.

Carina Wasle from Austria is coming off a win of her own at XTERRA Reunion last weekend, and she took home the XTERRA Saipan title earlier this year. Kiwi Sarah Backler, who won the XTERRA Tahiti title last year, finished just 27-seconds behind Orchard at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend. American Catherine Sterling is a fantastic swimmer and should hit the trails right alongside Jacqui Slack and those two could take off together.

There’s also Aussie Cross Tri National Champ Penny Hosken in the field, the reigning XTERRA Australia Champion Jessica Simpson, and a newcomer to the sport named Holly Khan.

There’s one thing for certain … this race is anybody’s to win.

XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC ELITE START LIST

Name (Alphabetical) – Age, Hometown
Ben Allen – 31, North Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Courtney Atkinson – 36, Mermaid Waters, Queensland, Australia
Kaon Cho – 33, Jeju, South Korea
Braden Currie – 29, Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand
Aiden Dunster – 25, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Brodie Gardner – 29, Marcoola, QLD, Australia
Jason Hsieh – 31, Tai Po, Hong Kong
Barry Lee – 23, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kieran McPherson – 24, Matamata, New Zealand
Sam Osborne – 25, Rotorua, New Zealand
Cameron Paul – 25, Taupo, New Zealand
Alex Roberts – 26, Taupo, New Zealand
Olly Shaw – 24, Rotorua, New Zealand
Robert Skillman – 32, Tarlo, NSW, Australia
Bradley Weiss – 27, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Noah Wright – 41, Austin, Texas, USA

Name (Alphabetical) – Age, Hometown
Sarah Backler – 33, Tauranga, New Zealand
Renata Bucher – 38, Lucerne, Switzerland
Penny Hosken – 28, Ringwood North, VIC, Australia
Holly Khan – 30, Cooranbong, NSW, Australia
Elizabeth Orchard – 30, Auckland, New Zealand
Jessica Simpson – 27, East Corrimal, NSW, Australia
Jacqui Slack – 32, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, GBR
Catherine Sterling – 38, Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
Carina Wasle – 31, Kundl, Austria

XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC COURSE OVERVIEW

XTERRA managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas has high praise for the venue set to host the 3rd annual XTERRA’s Asia-Pacific Championship race.

“The area is gorgeous, and we’ll be racing and riding through the Nowra State Forest,” explained Nicholas. “All in all it will be a total Australian experience. They call it bush – and it is. Not a lot of total elevation change, but some steep, short stuff and it’s quite sandy in places that will require some tough pedaling.”

The bike and run trails are native bush, undulating and fast. There are some sandy trails, even miles from the coast, and it’s also rooty in spots. The trails get narrow, winding thru trees.

“The run course is going to have nearly a mile of sand/beach running and it will be tough,” said Nicholas.

Even locals marvel at the soft, white sand that stretches for miles. “Better than Kailua Beach sand,” exclaimed XTERRA President Janet Clark, a Canberra-native who lives near the famous Kailua Beach in Hawaii.

Of note, the ocean temperatures measured at 20 degrees on their visit, which would make it a wetsuit-legal race.

“It’s also worth noting the ocean should be fairly flat, with no surf to speak of during the race,” said Nicholas.

No surf, but plenty of wildlife.

“Birds squawking and yodeling everywhere – sulfur crested cockatoos, parrots, kookaburras, it is a cacophony of a racket. We named one of the run trails “Squawking bird” as a result,” said Nicholas. “The range of colors and sounds is unbelievable, and the huge white gum trees (currently in flower) are spectacular.”

Of course there is no doubt visitors will be eager to experience the Kangaroo culture.

“The Kangaroos are the same color as the tree trunks and it’s hard to see them until they move,” said Nicholas. “On the golf course you can see a dozen at a time and walk right up to them.

Swim Distance: 1.5-kilometers (0.93 miles)
Location: Callala Beach at the end of Callala Beach Road.  A long, white sand beach facing the mouth of Jervis Bay. The Bay is renowned for its white sand beaches and clear turquoise water. Jervis Bay is sheltered from most open ocean swells. Full course athletes will swim two laps of a 750-meter triangular course with a short beach sprint between laps.

Swim to Bike Run (T1) – A notable 670-meter run from beach to T1.  There is even a shoe transition set-up for it.

Mountain Bike Distance: 30 Kilometers (18 miles)
Location: Nowra State Forest, Private Land. The bike course follows jeep trails from the RSL and crosses Forest Road to access some great single track which are portions of Superbowl and Butterfly trails. There will be short technical sections, flat twisty blasts, some short, sharp climbs, a couple of short twisty downhills and a great wha-hoo downhill.

Trail Run Distance: 10 Kilometers (6.2 miles)

Location: Race courses will be a combination of beach, jeep trail and single track – starting and finishing at the RSL. This year’s course replaces the second long-stretch of sand with some undulating forest terrain.

XTERRA ANZ DOUBLE PARTICIPANTS

Dozens of racers are taking on the XTERRA ANZ Double, which  recognizes the pro and age group male and female racers who post the fastest combined times at the XTERRA New Zealand and XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship races.

Here’s a look at the times of those who raced at XTERRA New Zealand last weekend and are on the start list for Saturday’s race in Australia:

First Last Division NZ Time
Braden Currie PRO M 2:05:42
Sam Osborne PRO M 2:07:23
Bradley Weiss PRO M 2:11:33
Olly Shaw PRO M 2:11:50
Hayden Wilde PRO M 2:15:32
Kieran McPherson PRO M 2:17:27
Cameron Paul PRO M 2:20:03
Matt Backler 35-39M 2:21:42
Alex Roberts PRO M 2:28:08
Lewis Ryan 15-19M 2:29:13
simon manson 45-49M 2:32:20
Lizzie Orchard PRO F 2:39:10
Sarah Backler PRO F 2:39:37
Kaon Cho PRO M 2:53:20
Josie Sinclair 55-59F 3:09:38
Peter Hepworth 45-49M 3:12:06
Catherine Ballantyne 45-49F 3:16:56
Nola Urquhart 50-54F 3:51:38
Brayden Currie, winner of  Paymark Xterra, Rotorua, New Zealand, 16 April 2016. Photo by John Cowpland / Marathon Photos

Currie, Orchard win XTERRA New Zealand

Photos / Complete Results / Quick Highlight Video

Braden Currie defended his title and Lizzie Orchard got her first big win in her home country at the 14th annual XTERRA New Zealand Championship on a beautiful day at the Blue Lake in Roturua on Saturday.

XTERRA media liaison Jordyn McLean was on-site to capture all the action and brings us this report (photos courtesy John Cowpland)…

Top Kiwi multisport athlete Braden Currie has defended his pro title at the Paymark XTERRA Rotorua Festival, crossing the line ahead of Rotorua’s Sam Osborne and South Africa’s Bradley Weiss at the Blue Lake today.

The 29-year old from Wanaka was neck and neck with Osborne out of the swim and into the mountain bike, but he managed to pull away towards the end of the bike leg.

“Yea me and Sam swim pretty similar and we ride pretty similar on the flat stuff and I just managed to get away on the big hill. It was great to go into transition with a little bit of a lead cause I knew we would have been real close in the run too,” said Currie. “I’m stoked with the win though. It was always going to be a hard day, I knew Sam was in real good condition and I knew how badly he wanted to win so it was never going to be easy. It was just fun to have a really good race and enjoy it.”

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Currie though.

“I had an epic crash and I’m really starting to feel it now. I was just sitting on Sam’s wheel and just scored a wrong line and went straight over the bars at full speed and slipped down the bank on my shoulder and head. I came to a stop and collected my bike and lost all my gels. In a way it was good because it made me refocus.”

Currie will head to the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championships next weekend in New South Wales, before taking a break to decide what he’ll do next.

Local athlete Osborne had a frustrating swim, but kept the pressure on Currie for the majority of the race.

“I didn’t have the best start in the swim, I actually had to swim back on which was a bit annoying. Braden and I were literally just battling it out the whole bike, but coming into the big climb he just let rip at the bottom of it and I just couldn’t go with his initial surge. It came down to a running race and I think I just burnt too many matches on the bike,” said Osborne.

Osborne had plenty of praise for the new layout of the course at the Paymark XTERRA Rotorua Festival.

“I think this course is a winner. Braden and I both think this would be the perfect World Champs course. It’s good, consistent riding and it’s technical enough that when you ride fast it is actually hard, but not ridiculous either.”

Whakatane teenager Hayden Wilde produced a remarkable result in the long course race, finishing in fourth place.

“I had one of the best swims I’ve ever had, and I came out with the likes of Olly Shaw and then from there I started a good bike, but about 5km into it I got a puncture. I had to stop and put CO2 in it and I lost about 2 minutes. Once I got going again I managed to pass guys who had passed me and then I passed a few others and then gunned it on the run,” said Wilde.  “I was stoked with the result but gutted to have got the puncture, but I guess it’s good to know where I am at. I’m going to the Asia-Pacific Champs next weekend and it will be my first elite race so I’m looking forward to it.”

Pro Men  
Pl Name Final
1 Braden Currie, NZL 2:05:42
2 Sam Osborne, NZL 2:07:23
3 Bradley Weiss, RSA 2:11:33
4 Olly Shaw, NZL 2:11:50
5 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:17:27
6 Cameron Paul, NZL 2:20:03
7 Alex Roberts, NZL 2:28:08
8 Lachlan Davey, NZL 2:37:35
9 Kaon Cho, KOR 2:53:20
10 Kiley Momohara, NZL 3:25:11
Liz Orchard

Liz Orchard, womens winner, Paymark Xterra, Rotorua, New Zealand, 16 April 2016. Photo by John Cowpland / Marathon Photos

In the women’s pro race, Lizzie Orchard improved on her second place finish last year to take out the 2016 title. The 30-year old defeated Sarah Backler who finished second and Rachel Challis in third.

Orchard was delighted with the victory and says it was a long time coming.

“I’m super pleased to have won XTERRA in Rotorua. It’s the home town race and you always want to do well here. I’ve actually been coming here for over 10 years, starting as a teenager before eventually trying the full triathlon. It’s always great, loads of support and so many people cheering you on.”

Orchard made her charge in the run, after coming into transition off the mountain bike in third place.

“I don’t think I have ever come out of a bike ride in a triathlon in the lead, so I am used to being on the back foot and I enjoy running so it’s good to have your strength last. It’s also good to have the others a little bit worried sometimes, they know you are coming.”

Pro Women  
Pl Name Final
1 Lizzie Orchard, NZL 2:39:10
2 Sarah Backler, NZL 2:39:37
3 Rachel Challis, NZL 2:41:04
4 Mary Gray, NZL 2:41:38

Rio Olympics hopeful and National mountain bike champion Sam Gaze took out the 26km mountain bike race in a time of 1:07:50. He’s in good stead heading into next week’s World Cup event in Cairns.

“It went well out there. It was a great course, it was definitely a bit different from the other times I’ve done it but it was quite cool. I just came along with Dad just to enjoy it and test myself for the World Cup next week and everything looks pretty good for it.”

The Waikato rider has had two Olympic qualification races so far this year, one went well while the other didn’t got to plan because of health issues. But he’ll find out whether he makes the Rio Games after the third World Cup event in France around the 20th of May.

2,300 participants took part in the 14th edition of the Paymark XTERRA Rotorua Festival. As well as the XTERRA short and long course races, athletes could choose to walk or run a 5.5km, 11km or 21km distance, and the 26km mountain bike.

Event spokesperson Tony Sangster says they received great feedback on the new bike layout.

“The athletes loved the new bike course and we have seen some great performances. The people have enjoyed themselves. Having an event where you have the opportunity to go to two World Championships is fantastic as well. A lot of athletes are trying to get to Maui (XTERRA World Championships) and Lake Crackenback in Australia (ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships). This Rotorua event is great and it caters for all ages and abilities.”

XTERRA NEW ZEALAND ALL-TIME WINNERS
Year Men Women
2003 Sam Mallard Evelyn Willamson
2004 Hamish Carter Sonia Foote
2005 Hamish Carter Sonia Foote
2006 Hamish Carter Gina Ferguson
2007 Tim Wilding Gina Ferguson
2008 Terenzo Bozzone Sonia Foote
2009 Richard Ussher Nicola Leary
2010 Scott Thorne Nicola Leary
2011 Richard Ussher Karen Hanlen
2012 Ben Allen Jacqui Slack
2013 Ben Allen Renata Bucher
2014 Conrad Stoltz Barbara Riveros
2015 Braden Currie Suzie Snyder
2016 Braden Currie Lizzie Orchard

Up Next: The 3rd annual XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship in NSW, Australia on Saturday, April 23

OGASAWARA, ORCHARD LEAD APAC TOUR STANDINGS

After four races Takahiro Ogasawara still sits atop the men’s standings and with the win today Lizzie Orchard moves to the top of the women’s elite standings in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour points series.

With two races remain (and they count three) it’s about to get interesting with the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship next Saturday at Callala Beach in New South Wales, Australia, then the finale at XTERRA Malaysia in Langkawi on May 7.  (See the press guide for the Asia-Pacific Champs here).

The top 15 amateur, Asian-elite, and professional racers at each event earn series points, with double points being offered at the finale in Malaysia.  Racers will count their best three scores to determine champions in each division.

The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour will award a prize bonus of $10,000 USD to the top five pro men and women in the final standings ($2,000 for 1st, $1,500-2nd, $800-3rd, $400-4th, $300-5th).

The 2016-17 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour season will begin anew at XTERRA Tahiti (May 14, 2016), then continue at XTERRA Korea with an amateur-only race (no pro prize money or pro points) on August 27, 2016 in Daeahn Reservoir, followed by XTERRA Japan in Hokkaido on September 3, 2016.

Here’s a look at the tentative elite standings (pending NZ results confirmation) after four:

PL NAME JPN PHI SAIPAN NZL TOT
1 Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN 82 75 90 DNS 247
2 Brodie Gardner, AUS DNS 82 100 DNS 182
3 Bradley Weiss, RSA DNS 100 DNS 82 182
4 Kaon Cho, KOR 53 DNS 75 49 177
5 Charlie Epperson, USA 75 69 DNS DNS 144
6 Joe Miller, PHI DNS 53 82 DNS 135
7 Cameron Oneal, USA 63 58 DNS DNS 121
8 Courtney Atkinson, AUS 100 DNS DNS DNS 100
9 Braden Currie, NZL DNS DNS DNS 100 100
10 Cedric Lassonde, FRA 90 DNS DNS DNS 90
11 Ben Allen, AUS DNS 90 DNS DNS 90
12 Sam Osborne, NZL DNS DNS DNS 90 90
13 Olly Shaw, NZL DNS DNS DNS 75 75
14 Taro Shirato, JPN 69 DNS DNS DNS 69
15 Kieran McPherson, NZL DNS DNS DNS 69 69
16 Michal Bucek, SVK DNS 63 DNS DNS 63
17 Cameron Paul, NZL DNS DNS DNS 63 63
18 Jason Hsieh , HKG 58 DNS DNS DNS 58
19 Alex Roberts, NZL DNS DNS DNS 58 58
20 Lachlan Davey, NZL DNS DNS DNS 53 53
21 Barry Lee, MAS DNS 49 DNS DNS 49
22 Kiley Momohara, NZL DNS DNS DNS 45 45
PL NAME JPN PHI SAIPAN NZL TOT
1 Lizzie Orchard, NZL 90 100 DNS 100 290
2 Mieko Carey, USA 100 82 90 DNS 272
3 Carina Wasle, AUT DNS DNS 100 DNS 100
4 Jacqui Slack, GBR DNS 90 DNS DNS 90
5 Sarah Backler, NZL DNS DNS DNS 90 90
6 Renata Bucher, SUI DNS DNS 82 DNS 82
7 Rachel Challis, NZL DNS DNS DNS 82 82
8 Belinda Hadden, AUS DNS DNS 75 DNS 75
9 Mary Gray, NZL DNS DNS DNS 75 75

Learn more

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The New Zealand Championship was the 8th of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

DATE WORLD TOUR EVENT LOCATION or WINNERS
7-Feb XTERRA Philippines Brad Weiss/Lizzie Orchard
21-Feb XTERRA South Africa Brad Weiss/Flora Duffy
5-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Olly Shaw/Mary Gray
12-Mar XTERRA Saipan Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle
20-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Karl Shaw/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Josiah Middaugh/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Roger Serrano/Brigitta Poor
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
17-Apr XTERRA La Reunion La Reunion Island
23-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia
7-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Championship Langkawi
7-May XTERRA Brazil Ilhabela, São Paulo
7-May XTERRA Greece Vouliagmeni
14-May XTERRA Tahiti Papeete
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park Pelham, Shelby County, AL, USA
21-May XTERRA Portugal Golega
11-Jun XTERRA Belgium Namur
25-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Vallee de Joux
25-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Milton, Ontario, Canada
3-Jul XTERRA France Xonrupt
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Victoria, B.C., Canada
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, CO, USA
23-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound Ontario, Canada
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Lago Di Scanno
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Barahona
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
14-Aug XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
20-Aug XTERRA Germany – XTERRA European Championship Zittau
27-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
27-Aug XTERRA Korea Daeahn Reservoir, Wonju City
3-Sep  XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
4-Sep XTERRA Quebec Quebec City, Quebec
11-Sep XTERRA Woolastook New Brunswick, Canada
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
Conrad Stoltz

An XTERRA Reunion with a Caveman

This Sunday’s second annual XTERRA Reunion off-road tri has lured an XTERRA Hall of Famer out of his retirement cave to join in the fun.

“I’ve circled the globe many times to race in some of the world’s most idyllic triathlon locations but almost unbelievably, I never raced in Reunion,” said Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz, who will bring his family and make a race-cation out of the trip while also documenting the experience for TriathlonPlus Magazine.

Reunion Island, a French island located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, is indeed a worthy destination.

“I’ve always wanted to travel there,” said Stoltz.  “I speak fluent French, I love unique cultures and unspoiled nature, and Reunion has a very strong triathlon culture.”

That culture will get even stronger this weekend when some of the world’s best XTERRA racers, including three-time World Champ Ruben Ruzafa, descend upon the island.

Other elite men in the field include Euro Tour runner-up Francois Carloni, last year’s XTERRA Reunion runner-up Yeray Luxem, age-group World Champ turned pro Christophe Betard, and a bevy of South Africans with Theo Blignaut, Antoine Van Heerden, Aiden Nugent, and Charl Stephan.

The defending men’s champ Bradley Weiss will be in New Zealand to take on the Kiwis and fight for the Asia-Pacific Crown in the coming weeks, leaving the Reunion title for another to grab.

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In the women’s race Carla Van Huyssteen returns to defend her crown but will have her work cut out for her with Carina Wasle, Sandra Koblmueller, Susan Sloan, and Natia Van Heerden also on the start list.

The race combines a 1,500-meter swim in the west coast lagoon with a hilly 30km mountain bike course through the savannah and sugar cane fields and a 10km trail run by the coast. To learn more visit www.xterrareunion.com, or write to xterrareunion@gmail.com.