Malta Swim

XTERRA European Tour Starts Sunday in Malta

The 2016 XTERRA European Tour gets underway at XTERRA Malta on April 3rd, and our technical director for the Tour Nico Lebrun has been counting down the days. Here he brings us his thoughts on the race and season to come…

The spotlight is on Malta this weekend, as the first of eleven races in this year’s XTERRA European Tour. The big question is, will 2015 Tour winners Roger and Helena repeat, or who will beat them?

On the women’s side the focus is on the young Hungarian, Brigitta Poor, as Helena Erbenova who competes in both XTERRA and adventure races will not start until later in the Tour.  Poor was runner up in last year’s Series and is the reigning XTERRA Malta champion. If she can step it up again, like she did last year, she will be hard to beat.

Morgane Riou and Maud Golsteyn are both likely to fight for the podium. Morgane has been working with Organicoach on her mountain bike skills and I can’t wait to see how she improves in the race. Last year, Maud was exhausted coming in from the Cape Epic race, but if she is 100%, she will be strong. There’s also Diane Lee.  As an age grouper, she took second place overall in Denmark last year, and this will be her first XTERRA race as a pro, and she may be able to move fast over Malta’s rock. I will also look for a strong performance from Anne Sophie Maréchal. She is an age grouper with a strong athletic background and wants to race pro in the future.  And of course, all of Malta will be cheering for home country favorite Danica Spiteri.

On the men side, Spaniard Roger Serrano is back with his magic beard. Serrano is highly charismatic and does a great job promoting XTERRA.  He was second last year in Malta to Nico Fernandez who will not be racing.

The victory will not be easy for Roger, however, as Karl Shaw will be on the start line. Shaw beat out world champion, Josiah Middaugh in Costa Rica a few weeks ago, and like every Shaw brother, they are hard to beat when they are on their game.

Brice Daubord, who was third in Malta last year, won XTERRA Tahiti last year and is a 3-time French cross triathlon champ. He will fight for the podium again, and guys, ride fast because he will run faster than you!

Brice has the run covered, but Jens Roth has the swim. Last year, he was first out of the water at cross tri worlds and third overall at XTERRA Denmark. This young German is improving, and is likely to stay longer in the front of the field.

From last year’s top ten in Malta we will have also Fabien Combaluzier, a father of two and natural runner.  He will have a good race if he doesn’t lose too much time on the mountain bike. Jan Pyott, who finished 4th in the 2015 European Tour, will also start the season in Malta.  We will see if his Swiss winter training has put him in good shape.

It will also be exciting to see new pros who had amazing results in age group or in Elite ETU racing.  These include Julen Lorono, who was second in ETU’s Duathlon Euro Championship behind Kris Koddens, and young Maxim Chané, who is jumping into pro out of Junior ranks and into the Pro field. I saw some improvement on his run this winter, so I’m sure he will be a surprise. It would not be a surprise to see Christophe Betard in the top 10.  He finished top 10 in France and is our overall age group world champion. Betard will fight for a prize money finish and if he improved his swim, he can be close.  Also look for Hannes Wolper, 20-24 cross tri world champ in Sardinia, and Julien Buffe overall age group winner in Portugal last year. Finally, we have age grouper Nicolas Durin, who I hope will move to pro.  Durin won the overall amateur at ITU cross tri worlds last year and is very fast.

It will also be great to see our XTERRA Warrior, David DeSantis, who will be doing his 4th race of 16 around the world this year to raise awareness and money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. DeSantis will also race in France, Italy and Germany, and a lot more! Another inspiring athlete is Michel Gonon, a Challenge Athlete who was third in Maui in 2014.

It’s going to be an exciting race, and an exciting season, and I’m looking forward to seeing our new Euro Tour marketing associates Kristian and Andreas in Malta.  Onward!

Read more and see images from Malta / XTERRA Malta FB

Icarus Sports

XTERRA TV Plants Flag in Europe

Honolulu, HI – TEAM Unlimited LLC, owners and producers of the XTERRA World Tour, has entered into a television distribution partnership with Icarus Sailing Media that will significantly increase XTERRA television programming in Europe and beyond.

Icarus Sports, which annually distributes more than 20,000 hours of content through 85 broadcasters and 160 territories, recently expanded into outdoor sports and views XTERRA content as a valuable addition to its current offerings in water sports programming.

“Icarus Sports is very proud to partner with XTERRA and provide our world class distribution service to this amazing event,” said Jason Georgaris, Icarus Sports Chief Executive Officer.

The new distribution stream with Icarus Sports in Europe will complement XTERRA’s existing U.S. distribution that includes airings on ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, and FOX Sports Network, it’s international programming with ESPN stations in Oceania, Canada, Latin America, Japan, and the Caribbean, as well as its upcoming online distribution with Amazon Fire TV.

“In a relatively short time period, the XTERRA endurance sports platform has grown around the world,” said Tom Kiely, the CEO of TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA. “In our history, we have primarily distributed our award winning TV productions in the USA. Recently we expanded to South America, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Rim. However, we were lacking in our TV distribution in Europe where the XTERRA European Tour is strong and expanding. Through Kostas Koumargialis, our XTERRA partner in Greece, we were introduced to Icarus Sports and have developed a great relationship for the expansion of our media.”

The partnership begins this May with European distribution of the one-hour 2015 XTERRA World Championship show, with plans to add the hour-long XTERRA Pan American Championship and the 8-part XTERRA Adventures series of half-hour programs shortly. Details and a broadcast schedule will be available at xterraplanet.com/television.

About Icarus Sports
Icarus Sports is the leading media & marketing company specializing in the sport of sailing, outdoor events and water sports. Founded in 2008 as Icarus Sailing Media, Icarus Sports is now active in 45 countries in all continents with more than 25 employees and offices & partners in Athens, Istanbul, Incheon and Rio De Janeiro. In 2011, Icarus Sailing Media won the “Rising Star Award” from the Enterprise European Network for its innovative business model. Icarus Sports has developed its own specialized technology and manages the media production, post-production and distribution in-house. In this way, the company can satisfy the sailing fans, the general audience, the media and the sponsors by tailoring its products and services. Icarus is also managing the commercial rights for various sailing events and federations, such as the 49er class, the International Kiteboarding Association, the Korean Sailing Federation and others.

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA
TEAM Unlimited LLC, 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. Learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterracontent.com.

Middaugh, Guillot-Boisset win XTERRA Argentina

Dique Ullum, San Juan – Josiah Middaugh and Myriam Guillot-Boisset captured the elite titles at XTERRA Argentina in San Juan on Saturday.

The victories put both Middaugh and Guillot-Boisset atop the leader board in the inaugural XTERRA Pan American Tour standings.

It’s the second win in as many weeks for Guillot-Boisset, who took home the XTERRA Costa Rica title last Sunday, and the first major XTERRA victory of the year for Middaugh, the reigning XTERRA World Champ.

When Middaugh caught Canadian Karsten Madsen on the bike he started yelling in Spanish … “I heard this Argentinian racer yelling he wanted to pass,” said Madsen. “I turned around to see who it was and there was Josiah with a big grin.”
Madsen said he hit some soft sand and bobbled a bit and Josiah was gone. On the podium Middaugh said “Karsten is getting faster and we all need to start worrying about him.” Middaugh finished a little over one-minute ahead of Madsen who came in 2nd.

Home country favorite Maximiliano Morales finished third, Oscar Galindez finished 4th, and Lucas Mendez was 5th.

Josiah Bike1web

In the women’s race Guillot-Boisset flew past Fabiola Corona just after T2 and put the hammer down.

“She went by me-zoom, so fast,” said Corona. “I just made a good run but could not catch her.”

Corona finished 2nd with Laura Mira Dias from Brazil in third and home country favorite Erika Simon from Argentina in 4th.

XTERRA Argentina (San Juan) March 26
   
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:34:47 100
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 2:36:04 90
3 Maximiliano Morales, ARG 2:40:40 82
4 Oscar Galindez, ARG 2:44:00 75
5 Lucas Mendez, ARG 2:46:54 69
6 Mario De Elias, ARG 2:50:05 63
7 Facu Medard, ARG 2:50:05 58
8 Ian King, USA 3:01:12 53
9 Mauro Ayesa, ARG 3:09:44 49
10 Victor Arenas, ARG 3:27:08 45
Also: Parada Penagos (41)
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 3:00:56 100
2 Fabiola Corona, MEX 3:06:28 90
3 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 3:48:49 82
4 Erika Simon, ARG 5:00:52 75

Photo Gallery / More pics at XTERRA Argentina Facebook / Highlight Video

THE OFF-ROAD TO UTAH

XTERRA Argentina was the second of ten races in the 2016 XTERRA Pan American Tour. The inaugural series for both amateur and professional athletes started last weekend at XTERRA Costa Rica and concludes September 17 with the XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Ogden, Utah.  In between are two majors in the U.S., two in Canada, and one each in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

The XTERRA Pan American Tour features Gold and Silver level events, where Gold events award points on a 100-point basis and Silver races award points on a 75-point basis.

The XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Utah will offer $20,000 USD for the race and distribute an additional $60,000 USD in prize money to the top 10 men and women in the final XTERRA Pan American Pro Series rankings.

Next up on the XTERRA Pan American Tour is XTERRA Brazil (May 7, 2016).

XTERRA Pan Am Tour Elite Standings (after 2)
PL NAME CRC ARG TOT
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 67 100 167
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN DNS 90 90
3 Maximiliano Morales, ARG DNS 82 82
4 Karl Shaw, GBR 75 DNS 75
5 Oscar Galindez, ARG DNS 75 75
6 Lucas Mendez, ARG DNS 69 69
7 Mario De Elias, ARG DNS 63 63
8 Rom Akerson, CRC 61 DNS 61
9 Facu Medard, ARG DNS 58 58
10 Francois Carloni, FRA 56 DNS 56
11 Ian King, USA DNS 53 53
12 Federico Venegas, CRC 51 DNS 51
13 Mauro Ayesa, USA DNS 49 49
14 Greg Schott, USA 47 DNS 47
15 Victor Arenas, ARG DNS 45 45
16 Parada Penagos, ARG DNS 41 41
PL NAME CRC ARG TOT
1 Miriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 75 100 175
2 Fabiola Corona, MEX DNS 90 90
3 Laura Mira Dias, BRA DNS 82 82
4 Erika Simon, ARG DNS 75 75
5 Kara Lapoint, USA 67 DNS 67
6 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 61 DNS 61
7 Caitlin Snow, USA 56 DNS 56
8 Caroline Colonna, USA 51 DNS 51
9 Rebecca Blatt, USA 47 DNS 47

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Argentina was the sixth 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 October 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 Majjistral Nature Reserve
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua, North Island
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
Matt Dews Malta

XTERRA European Tour Starts in Malta

The 2016 XTERRA European Tour gets underway in one-week at XTERRA Malta, and our technical director for the Tour Nico Lebrun has been counting the days.  Here he brings us his thoughts on the race and season to come…

First race of the season in Europe! Malta will once again have all the light shining upon it in one week as the first race of 11 in this year’s European Tour.  The big question is, who will replace Roger and Helena, our 2015 tour winners, or can they repeat?

On the women’s side Helena Erbenova will not race in Malta.  We know Helena alternates XTERRA and adventure racing, and may start later like last year. So all our focus in Malta will be on Brigitta Poor, this sweet young Hungarian pro, who took second place last year in the series, and won Malta to show how much she improved and that she was ready to win. If she can make the same step from 2014 to 2015 again this season she will be hard to beat.

For the Podium, if I look at the list, I think two other girls will fight for it … Morgane Riou and Maud Golsteyn, I had Morgane in camp with me so I know she improved a lot on the mountain bike and I can’t wait to see her improvements in the race. Maud was dead coming from Cape Epic last year, but if she is 100% she can be strong. I want to talk about Diane Lee, she will race pro after a second place overall in Denmark last year, so maybe she can move fast over Malta’s rock. I will also look Anne Sophie Maréchal, she will race AG but want to race pro in the future, and she comes from an athletic career.  And of course all of Malta will be cheering for home country favorite Danica Spiteri.

On the men side, Roger Serrano is back.  We will see his magic beard again, this guy who does a great job for XTERRA with a lot of promotion and is such a nice and charismatic athlete.  He was second last year to Nico Fernandez who will not be racing.

The victory will not be easy for Roger, however, as Karl Shaw will be on the start line.  Shaw just beat our world champion in Costa Rica, and like every Shaw brother, at 100% they are hard to beat.

Brice Daubord, who was third in Malta last year, won XTERRA Tahiti last year and is a 3-time Cross triathlon champ. He will fight for the podium again, and guys, ride fast because he will run faster than you!

Ok for the run split we have Brice, but for the swim we have Jens Roth, he was first out of the water at Cross tri worlds and third overall at XTERRA Denmark, this young German is improving, and I’d think he will stay longer in the front.

From last year’s top ten we will have also Fabien Combaluzier, a father of two, natural runner, can have a good race if he doesn’t lose too much time on the MTB. Jan Pyott, who was 4th of the tour last year, will also start the season in Malta.  We will see if the Swiss winter training will bring him in good shape?

It will also be really exciting to see new pros who had amazing results in AG or in Elite ETU like Julen Lorono, second in Duathlon Euro Champ ETU behind Kris Koddens, and young Maxim Chané, out of Junior, he jumped into Pro, this is good for XTERRA.  I saw some improvement on his run this winter, so I’m sure he will be a surprise.  Not a surprise would be to see Christophe Betard in the top 10, he was already in France and he is our overall AG world champ.  Betard will fight for money podium and if he improved his swim, he can be close. Also Hannes Wolper, 20-24 cross tri world champ in Sardinia, and Julien Buffe overall AG winner in Portugal last year. Finally, we have Nicolas Durin, he is in age group group but I hope he will move to pro, he won the overall amateur Sardinia ITU world last year and is very fast.

It will also be great to see our XTERRA Warrior, David DeSantis, who will be doing his 4th race of 16 around the world this year to raise awareness and money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. DeSantis will also race in France, Italy and Germany, and a lot more!  Another inspiring athlete is Michel Gonon, a Challenge Athlete who was third in Maui in 2014.

It’s going to be an exciting race, and an exciting season, and I’m looking forward to seeing our new Euro Tour associates Kristian and Andreas in Malta.  Onward!

New Race in the Pacific Northwest

The XTERRA America Tour is thrilled to welcome the Granite Man off-road triathlon at Applegate Lake, Oregon to the Northwest Region Points Series.

Nestled at 2,000-feet in the Rogue River National Forest, Applegate Lake has long been a favored destination in southern Oregon for mountain bikers, trail runners, and swimmers alike and the XTERRA Granite Man is the only multisport race held at the venue.

Race weekend is set for June 11-12, and also includes a duathlon, kids tri and du races, a 10-mile mountain run, 5-mile poker run, youth scavenger hunt, and a 17.5-mile time trial xc mountain bike race.  There’s even a “dual day” award for those that do XTERRA on Saturday, and the 10-mile mountain run on Sunday. Plus, there’s camping!

The XTERRA Granite Man race combines a .75-mile swim, 13-mile MTB, and 5-mile trail run.

“The views across the lake of the majestic peaks of the Red Butte Wilderness and surrounding Rogue River National Forest lands are spectacular,” said the organizers. “Applegate Lake is at its best this time of year, full with fresh spring run-off. You may compete as a Granite Man individual or as a three-person team with each team member doing one of the segments.”

The swim is in Applegate Lake and starts and ends at the Hart-Tish park beach. Hart-Tish is one of the few Forest Service parks with several acres of beautifully groomed lawn down to the water’s edge.

The mountain bike section starts at Hart-Tish Park and goes clockwise around the lake to Seattle Bar. At Seattle bar, participants will rack their bikes and complete the course with a 5 mile run back to Hart-Tish Park.

“On the bike and run, participants will utilize 12 miles of single-track, 3.5 miles of pavement and 2.5 miles of forest roads that follow the fingered shoreline. It includes many short, moderately difficult climbs and a lot of very fun undulating terrain. The trail is never too technical but it is definitely challenging.”

Learn more at http://granite-man.com/triathlon.

Argentina

XTERRA Argentina This Saturday

There is no rest for the weary.

Well, perhaps it would be a stretch to label elite endurance athletes like Josiah Middaugh and Myriam Guillot-Boisset as “weary” – even after a grueling race in extreme conditions like they faced in Costa Rica last Sunday – however they will both be back in action Saturday in San Juan, Argentina, home to the second stop on the XTERRA Pan American Tour.

“I am excited to be in Argentina for the first time and the people are amazing,” said Middaugh.  “I’m still adapting to eating dinner at midnight, but otherwise functioning normally.  The race venue is at a big reservoir at the foot of the Andes.  Below the reservoir in San Juan it is wine country with some of the worlds best and cheapest wine.  The terrain looks similar to something in Southern Utah or outside of Las Vegas.  The bike course is fun and challenging. It follows mostly dirt bike trails that wind through very hilly terrain with lots of banked corners and whoopty woos.  The second half of the course is very tough pedaling with lots of time spent in the sandy washes.  There seems to be really good energy and a good local turnout with a sound system pumping some up-beat American jams.”

It’s been nearly 10 years since the last XTERRA was held in Argentina back in 1997. That year home country hero and former Olympian Oscar Galindez took the tape, and he’ll return to the dirt once again to defend that national title against the likes of Middaugh, Mexican great Francisco Serrano, and Canada’s XTERRA star Karsten Madsen.

In the women’s race Guillot-Boisset will look to take the momentum from her win in Costa Rica to the Andes against former Olympian and XTERRA Mexico Champion Fabiola Corona.

“I’m just having so much fun with XTERRA, and exploring these great places,” said Guillot-Boisset.  “I look forward to another great adventure in Argentina this weekend.”

Blessed by nature, San Juan boasts magnificent mountains and is surrounded by two mountain ranges whose mountains reach heights of six thousand meters above sea level, which is higher than even the highest mountains in Europe.

Jose Arancibia, one of the organizers from Argentina Tri Events, explained that the race will be held at the magnificent setting of the Ullum Dam, near the province of San Juan at the foot of the Andes Mountains.

“We’re very excited to join the XTERRA World Tour and show people from all over the globe how beautiful this part of Argentina is,” said fellow organizer Juan Carlos Guevara. “It’s also great for our local athletes, as we have a large group of mountain bikers, trail runner and triathletes who now have the chance to be part of the XTERRA Tribe.”

In San Juan, the event will bring together four races during the same weekend: one which is purely Mountain Bike (50 km), another which is Trail Running (5k, 10k, 21k), another which is open-water swimming, and an off-road triathlon (1.5k swimming + 30k MTB + 9.5k Trail Running). Also, children will have the possibility of participating in the Kids Race, which makes it an ideal event for the entire family.

Follow along on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/XTERRAplanet/ and XTERRA Argentina for updates, photos, stories, and results in the days ahead.

Learn more at http://xterraargentina.com/

DN-Josiah TV web

XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas is in San Juan to take in all the action and brings us this report….

We are in the foothills of the Andes in the west of Argentina for the first race here in 10 years.  The city is San Juan, and while very few have heard of it, this is a big city of 600,000 people and the Capitol of the region.

The race venue is about 20 minutes outside town at a very neat reservoir that sits in a location very reminiscent of Lake Las Vegas.  Tall, redish hills and mountains, very little vegetation and a big, blue lake.

Josiah gave you a good preview of the trails yesterday.  Some very fun whoops and berms made by dirt bikers and then some brutal washes; again like Lake Las Vegas.

Argentina is very much Spanish.  There is a big Italian influence, but the culture is definitely that of Spain.  Josiah and I did a live TV interview on channel 8 Wednesday.  The evening news starts at 8pm !!  There was a staff and sponsor Happy Hour last night and in Argentina, Happy Hour starts at 8pm.   We found a nice Italian restaurant called Franky’s with a Frank Sinatra theme.  The doors to the restaurant open at 10 and close at 3.  Dinner here starts about 9 and more commonly 10pm.  The whole city comes alive after 9pm and does not close until the sun comes up.

As you would expect the beef is superb.  One of the local dishes is a big, square charcoal fired grill brought to the table with beefsteak, beef ribs, normal sausage plus chorizo and chicken.  I ordered the equivalent of a New York strip and it was delicious.  I won’t tell you how much it cost as many of you familiar with steak house prices would faint and then buy a plane ticket.

San Juan is a 90 minute flight from Buenos Aires and as you land there are miles of vineyards surrounding the city.  The local wines are excellent and like the beef; a fantastic value.

So far a wonderful experience.  Not just Josiah but Costa Rica winner Myriam Guillot-Boisset is here to do Pan-Am back-to-back races. This new series taking in South America, the Carribean, Mexico, the USA and Canada is certainly something you need to think about.  The XTERRA Planet just got bigger.

Braden Currie

Currie to Defend Title at XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship

Braden Currie set out on a mission last year to win the XTERRA World Championship.  He came ‘oh so close, finishing 2nd to Josiah Middaugh.

The goals got even bigger in 2016, with not just an XTERRA World Title on his mind, but a spot on the start line to represent New Zealand at the Olympics triathlon in Rio.

To achieve those dreams, he put his off-season on hold.

“I haven’t really stopped since World’s,” said Currie, who notably became only the second man along with Middaugh to finish ahead of Ruben Ruzafa in 16 races over three years in Maui.  “I was really stoked with the 2nd place result and was on a huge high after that race. But racing didn’t stop for me. Travelling to the USA meant that I was going to have to take on another back to back summer, so I just sucked it up and went hard as soon as World’s was over.”

Straight after Maui Currie flew to Australia and won the Augusta Adventure Festival, an event that combines trail running with swimming, kayaking, and mountain biking, for the fourth time in a row.

“I was pretty stoked with that one as I hadn’t kayaked since February and just had to wing it on the day in the 13km paddle,” he said.

Next up was Taupo 70.3, and another resounding victory.

“I think I might have snuck in a week off before getting back on the time trial bike and training for Taupo,” said Currie.  “I was pretty motivated to win that one as I had put a lot of my efforts into 70.3 when I was in the states but hadn’t had a result that I felt reflected what I could do.  The race went well for me and I managed a pretty easy win, which was very unexpected but gave me a huge confidence going forward with my season of road racing.  Straight on from that I raced in the Long Distance National champs in January and managed to take the title off 10* champ Cameron Brown.”

With his focus now set on turning his endurance base into speed the new year brought a whole lot more racing, trials and tribulations.

“It’s been a roller coaster,” said Currie.  “I only had the chance to race sprint distance triathlon, as they were the only ones on offer and this was a steep learning curve. The key to triathlon is the swim and I was starting way out on the start line because I had no points. This made it hard to find the right feet and I was getting stuck with slower swimmers and losing lots of time. It’s only a 750m swim so not a lot of time to figure it out in the water. But after five weeks of racing non-stop I think I have it sussed and have some points on the board so I now start in a better spot.”

Currie won the NZ Olympic Triathlon Championship race last weekend, which he says was not an accurate reflection of how he is going because the top two Kiwis were not racing, still…

“It was good to have a reasonably good race. Because of that race I now have a start at my 2nd ITU World Cup event in New Plymouth on the 2nd of April, followed by a World Series race on the Gold Coast the weekend after. It will be 4 weeks of racing by the time I get to Asia Pacific’s but my body is recovering well and I seem to making progression through racing each weekend. I’m using the mountain bike now instead of the road bike as the cross over works and I like being back on my mountain bike. I am looking forward to Rotorua and Asia Pacifics and a style of racing I know well and enjoy. But racing the unknown has also been a great challenge and I know I have become a better athlete for it.”

Currie is a beast on the run and as tough as they come.  Watching him go for it all in these next few months – both at XTERRA and on the road – will be a joy to watch.

xterra.co.nz / xterraasiapacific.com / bradencurrie.com

USAT Nationals

XTERRA Gator Terra to Host USAT Nationals

The Historic XTERRA Gator Terra off-road triathlon will double as the 2016 USA Triathlon Off Road National Championship on May 1, 2016 in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

It’s an important race for XTERRA amateurs for many reasons as they can collect valuable points towards winning their regional championship in the XTERRA America Tour, claim a spot on Team USA for the 2017 ITU Cross Tri Worlds, and race for a national title.

The event is celebrating its 20th birthday this year (which includes 18 years at its original home in Ruston, Louisiana, and now its second year at its new home of DeGray Lake and Iron Mountain in Arkadelphia).

The Race venue is nestled in the foot hills of the Ouachita (Wash-she-ta) Mountains in Southwest Arkansas, in the Diamond Lakes resort area of Hot Springs and Arkadelphia.

“The Iron Mountain Trail system has 25+ miles of exciting of trails,” said race director Fred Phillips.  “The 1500-meter swim is held in DeGray Lake, which has been rated as one of the top 10 cleanest fresh water lakes in America by the Army Corp of Engineers.  The mountain bike portion of the event uses 19.5 miles of purpose built Mt Bike trails. This is deep woods single track, with solid climbs, great descents, with big banked turns, awesome views and much more. The Run course will challenge you from the beginning to the end, so hang on to your hat!  At the finish line you will have earned the right to be called an Iron Mountain Man and will receive a finishers medal to prove it.”

Phillips recommends racers come early and stay a few extra days to ride one or more of the three IMBA Epic Trails in the Diamond Lakes area (Womble, Ouacitha Trail, and Vista), visit Hot Springs National Park, the Crater of Diamonds State Park, and enjoy ‘some good ol’ Southern hospitality.’

Learn more at http://www.dltevents.com/off-road-events/xterra/xterra-gator-terra.html or email DLTevents@yahoo.com.

Shaw, Guillot win XTERRA Costa Rica

Playa Conchal, Costa Rica – Karl Shaw from Great Britain and Myriam Guillot-Boisset from France won the elite races at the inaugural XTERRA Pan American Tour season-opener on an amazing “Pura Vida” morning in Costa Rica on Sunday, March 20.

It’s the first career XTERRA win for Shaw, who had a one-minute lead out of the swim, was seconds in front of last year’s XTERRA Costa Rica Champion Rom Akerson and reigning XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh coming off the bike, and responded to a late surge from Middaugh with one of his own in the deep sand just 2K from the finish to take the tape in 2:05:52.

Middaugh came in 17 seconds later, followed closely by Akerson 9 seconds after that.  It was one of the closest 1-2-3 finishes in sport history.

“I would’ve been happy with 3rd so to come away with the win is great, especially mentally to start the season,” said Shaw, who was racing his first XTERRA in four years.

“I’ve just come off 2-3 months of good training, and two weeks of camp here in Costa Rica with my friends, so it’s just been really good.  Costa Rica is a lovely country, very good course, hot, and hard on the legs.  It’s a beautiful place and I’ll be back next year to defend the title.”

Shaw’s brother Asa, who was the runner-up at XTERRA Worlds three years ago, was on-site to see the big win and even though Karl had a good lead out of the swim Asa wasn’t sure it was enough. It turned out that when Akerson and Francois Carloni caught up with Shaw on the bike the three starting working together and effectively held-off the world champ.

For Middaugh, who escaped a winter snowstorm in Colorado on Wednesday only to be greeted by the warm air of the Province of Guanacaste on Thursday, it wasn’t so much the humidity but rather a late crash on the last downhill of the bike that might’ve been the difference.

“I had caught Francois and closed to about five seconds behind Rom and Karl, but after that crash it was more like 30 seconds. It was tough racing today,” said Middaugh. “Every year its hard here. I thought I was feeling a little more fit and would have had an easier time catching that front group on the bike. I came close but not quite close enough.”

Akerson, who lives nearby on the beach, was set on defending his title and knew that keeping Middaugh behind him on the bike would give him his best shot.

“It’s just a matter of time before beast mode breaks out with Josiah,” said Akerson. “I gave it all I had to keep him behind me but couldn’t do it.”

When asked if he was surprised by Shaw’s strong showing, Middaugh replied, “I was surprised with Karl.  I knew he was strong on the bike but I didn’t know he would be that strong on the mountain bike, but he was.  He did a very smart race, and they were able to work together and he raced really strong.  It was hot this year, a little dryer and a little faster and I was really worried about the heat but it seemed okay. I felt I managed it okay.”

This is the third straight runner-up for Middaugh in Costa Rica, and when reminded that it took him 15 years to win Worlds, he said “Well, you don’t learn anything from winning and second keeps you hungry so I’ll be back.”

Next stop for Middaugh is XTERRA Argentina, the 2nd stop on the Pan America Tour, this weekend.

Last year’s XTERRA European Tour runner-up Francois Carloni finished 4th, followed by Frederico Venegas from Costa Rica in 5th and Greg Schott from the USA, racing his first pro race, in 6th.

Miriam Guillot-boisset

EMOTIONAL WIN FOR GUILLOT

Two years ago here in Costa Rica Myriam Guillot-Boisset was on top of the world having just won the adventure racing world championship, and to make it even better her Dad was in Costa Rica with her to see it happen.

And then sadness set in…

“My Dad was very sick when he came here, and when he took the flight to go back home he passed away,” said Guillot, with tears in her eyes.  “It was the last time I saw him, here in Costa Rica, and the first time I’ve been back since.  This one is for him.  I thought of him out there today.  We were at the same place.”

Guillot-Boisset said she could feel her Dad with her during the race and it made her confident, and happy.  “So happy, and I’m sorry to share this, normally I keep it to myself, but it’s overwhelming right now”

Guillot-Boisset, who won XTERRA Malaysia and was 4th at XTERRA Worlds last year, dominated the women’s elite race.  She came out of the water together with Kara LaPoint from the U.S. and Sabrina Gobbo from Brazil, and the three of them caught IM star Cait Snow early on the bike.

Guillot-Boisset then pulled away from the rest of the field and finished strong in 2:34:48, nearly 15 minutes ahead of LaPoint in 2nd, and Gobbo in third.  She will now head to Argentina in her chase to win the XTERRA Pan American Tour title this season.

“The race today was better than I expected,” said Guillot-Boisset. “It was an amazing swim, everybody would dream to swim here and the run is really exciting. I enjoyed the course, it has so much variety and it’s such a good way to experience Costa Rica.”

For LaPoint, the adventure of racing in Costa Rica mixed with a career-best runner-up performance left her with a great big smile.

“It feels amazing … now that I’m not suffering,” said LaPoint. “The last two miles of the run was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I was so tired, it was so hot, and I knew Sabrina was doing great behind me.   Having to run on the sand was such a challenge. I did everything I wanted to do here today and I’m very happy with that.”

LaPoint was 2nd out of the water “but 4th out of transition, doh!” but was able to get past Gobbo and Snow and rode in 2nd until about mile 15 when Gobbo passed her back and came into transition 2nd.  LaPoint then regained the 2nd position at about mile two of the run and held on until the finish.

“It’s been a really fun experience. A new race, a new country, everything was new. The water was great, course was awesome, everything was neat.  It’s been a blast to be here. I was literally thinking to myself in Spanish the whole race,” said LaPoint, who impressively also did her TV interviews in Spanish.

Gobbo said she tried to go with LaPoint when she passed her on the run, but “she was running really fast and I couldn’t keep up.”

Snow finished smiling in fourth in her XTERRA debut, and said “XTERRA is awesome, just a hair-bit dirtier than Ironman. I had a blast, and even though I came off the bike so many times, I was able to laugh about it and that is the key.”

Caroline Colonna posted a career-best 5th place showing, and Rebecca Blatt followed in sixth.

Pos Name, NAT Time S B R Points
1 Karl Shaw, GBR 2:05:52 18:40 1:09:52 35:27 75
2 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:06:09 20:22 1:08:37 35:23 67
3 Rom Akerson, CRC 2:06:18 19:43 n/a 35:48 61
4 Francois Carloni, FRA 2:11:21 19:45 1:09:41 39:54 56
5 Federico Venegas, CRC 2:25:25 19:48 1:22:51 40:51 51
6 Greg Schott, USA 2:26:07 21:02 1:21:14 41:29 47
Pos Name, NAT Time S B R Points
1 Miriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 2:34:48 24:56 1:24:37 42:31 75
2 Kara Lapoint, USA 2:49:20 24:14 1:33:25 48:01 67
3 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 2:51:29 25:57 1:33:20 51:02 61
4 Caitlin Snow, USA 2:56:01 23:58 1:46:52 43:35 56
5 Caroline Colonna, USA 2:58:35 30:09 1:40:52 46:19 51
6 Rebecca Blatt, USA 3:06:38 29:49 1:37:32 57:52 47

FULL RESULTS | PHOTO GALLERY

XTR_0895

AMATEUR RACE

Harold Ramos and Shannon Greenhill won the overall amateur titles in Costa Rica and age group champions from every division earned a spot on the starting line for the 21st running of the XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 23.

There were lots of great story lines in the amateur race.  Marco Amador won the 30-34 division on a fat bike that he’ll take with him to Worlds this October. Heart Akerson (Rom’s Dad) did the race barefoot as usual and got a big cheer from the crowd upon his arrival. He won his division and qualified for Maui and said he plans to go back and do better in that one this year as well.

Nat Grew did not make the race due to illness but he was there in spirit and his extended XTERRA Family talked about him constantly. His son Daniel did race, however, and finished 5th in the 25-29 division while racing on a fat bike as well.

David Desantis finished his 3rd XTERRA World Tour race of the season and is well on his way towards his goal of racing 16 XTERRAs in 16 countries to raise $16,000 or more for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Jump along on his journey at https://www.gofundme.com/desantis16in2016.

In all, racers from 20 countries took part in the event and each one can honorably call themselves XTERRA Warriors. The race got rave reviews from athletes, who spoke highly of the volunteers, organization, and beauty of the nature from the beach to the monkeys to the iguanas.

“It’s a fantastic place to train, to race, to visit, and I plan on doing that every year,” said the men’s champ Karl Shaw.

XTERRA COSTA RICA AMATEUR CHAMPIONS

Division   Men, Nationality                   Women, Nationality

15-19         Marco Gomez, CRC

20-24         Sebastian Salas, CRC

25-29         Harold Ramos, CRC

30-34         Marco Amador, CRC

35-39         Fabio Duque, COL                  Xiomara Brenes, CRC

40-44         Jorge Alpizar, CRC                  Shannon Greenhill, USA

45-49         Keith Schumann, USA

50-54         Roman Urbina, CRC

55-59         Scott Sullivan, CRC

60-64         Steve Cole, USA

THE OFF-ROAD TO UTAH

XTERRA Costa Rica was the first of ten races in the 2016 XTERRA Pan American Tour. The inaugural series for both amateur and professional athletes started at XTERRA Costa Rica and concludes September 17 with the XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Ogden, Utah.  In between are two majors in the U.S., two in Canada, and one each in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

The XTERRA Pan American Tour features Gold and Silver level events, where Gold events award points on a 100-point basis and Silver races award points on a 75-point basis.

The XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Utah will offer $20,000 USD for the race and distribute an additional $60,000 USD in prize money to the top 10 men and women in the final XTERRA Pan American Pro Series rankings.

Next up on the XTERRA Pan American Tour is XTERRA Argentina (March 26, 2016).

XTERRA PAN AMERICAN TOUR ELITE STANDINGS, tentative after 1 event

Pos Name, NAT CR AR BR OAK MOM VIC BC DO MX UTAH Total
1 Karl Shaw, GBR 75 75
2 Josiah Middaugh, USA 67 67
3 Rom Akerson, CRC 61 61
4 Francois Carloni, FRA 56 56
5 Federico Venegas, CRC 51 51
6 Greg Schott, USA 47 47
Pos Name, NAT CR AR BR OAK MOM VIC BC DO MX UTAH Total
1 Miriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 75 75
2 Kara Lapoint, USA 67 67
3 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 61 61
4 Caitlin Snow, USA 56 56
5 Caroline Colonna, USA 51 51
6 Rebecca Blatt, USA 47 47

2016 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

XTERRA Costa Rica was the fifth 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 October 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 / Miriam Guillot
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Dique Ullum, San Juan
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Majjistral Nature Reserve
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua, North Island
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