New! XTERRA Ontario Series

For the first-time ever XTERRA is headed to Eastern Canada.

XTERRA OntarioJames Kowalewski from Element Racing will produce the first of three races in the XTERRA Ontario Series July 5 with the XTERRA Mine Over Matter off-road triathlon in Milton, Ontario.

The race will double as the Canadian Cross Triathlon Championships and qualify 10 age group athletes to represent Team Canada at the 2015 ITU Cross Tri World Championships; and the race winners will qualify for the 2014 XTERRA World Championship.

XTERRA Mine Over Matter will also be the first of three events in the XTERRA Ontario Series that will award 16 slots into XTERRA Worlds.

“This location is spectacular,” said Kowalewski.  “The swim is in the spring-fed, baby blue waters of the Kelso Quarry and the bike takes place within Kelso Conservation Area- home to some of the area’s best mountain bike trails.  It’s a fast and flowing course, which constantly changes from double to single track and back again. There are lots of opportunities for passing, and racers are treated to several vista views on the run course.”

Race No. 2 in the series is the XTERRA Sleeping Giant off-road tri at Giants Tomb Provincial Park in Thunder Bay, Ontario, on Sept. 7; a third race for the Ontario Series being planned.

“We’ve been working on this for a few years now and are really excited to see the expansion take hold,” said XTERRA President Janet Clark.  “XTERRA’s Canadian contingent of racers is one of the strongest and most colorful in all the world and we’re happy to be able to provide them with more quality events and opportunities to qualify for Maui in different parts of the country.”

There are six XTERRA races planned in Canada this year, which include XTERRA Victoria (July 6), XTERRA Canmore (August 17), and a new race in Quebec that is yet to be finalized.

Canadians have been racing XTERRA since Greg Timewell finished 7th at the inaugural World Championship back in 1996, and they started hosting their own XTERRA races more than a dozen years ago.

XTERRA Across America Challenge

2013 Mr. XTERRA award-winner Brent Bieshaar, who completed an XTERRA triathlon every weekend of the season this year during his XTERRA Across America journey (finishing an unprecedented 24 races overall) is challenging the Tribe to do the same in 2014…with a twist.

XTERRA Across America“It was such a rewarding experience I wanted to share it with others,” said Bieshaar.  “Now, realizing that not many of even the most die-hard triathletes are able to travel the nation every weekend, I had the idea to make it a more attainable goal by creating the team challenge.”

With that, we introduce the XTERRA Across America Team Challenge.  Here’s how it works.  Each team will consist of no more than three team members.  Those two or three people will combine their efforts to complete an XTERRA triathlon every week of the season, from the first race of the 2014 XTERRA America Tour* (tentatively XTERRA Key Biscayne on February 16) until the official end of the regular season on August 31st.

To start dreaming about the possibilities have a look at the tentative 2014 race schedule here.

How each team chooses to divide the races between themselves is entirely up to the team, and there is no requirement that each member compete in an equal number of races.

XTERRA will keep score based upon the age-group place finish for each race.  The team with the lowest score will be named the winner and each member of the winning team will earn a qualifying slot into the XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 26 (not a free spot, but a spot nonetheless).

XTERRA Across America will continue as a platform to raise money and awareness for the Blazeman Foundation and the War on ALS.  Each team will raise $1,500 ($500 per team member) and each member will receive an official XTERRA Across America racing kit.

Throughout the season, weekly stories about the teams will be posted on thewww.xterraacrossamerica.com web page and on Facebook, and teams will be encouraged to submit stories about their experiences.

There is already one team that has made the commitment to take on the XTERRA Across America Team Challenge.  Of course, Bieshaar is on it, and will be joined by Kevin Adams (Bethesda, MD) and Ben Dillon (Pensacola, FL).

Those interested in accepting the challenge or if you have any questions please contact Brent at bbieshaar@msn.com.  Also, individuals who are interested in the team challenge, but do not have a team formed, should contact Brent.  He will assist in hooking you up with others who have expressed an interest.

*The 2014 races held during the end of 2013 are not considered within this challenge

Father-Son Relish Opportunity to Race XTERRA in Australia / Malaysia

Among the first to sign-up for both the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race at Jervis Bay in Australia on April 26 and the XTERRA Malaysia Championship the following weekend in Putrajaya was a father-son duo from Selangor, Malaysia.

Damian BaynesDamian Baynes, 43, is originally from Adelaide, Australia but moved to Malaysia with his wife I-Nah nine years ago to provide an opportunity for their children to grow-up in their mother’s homeland.

As teachers at the Australian International School Malaysia where their children attend school, Damian and I-Nah are able to spend an enviable amount of time with their kids – time often spent swimming, biking and running.

“I am truly blessed,” explained Baynes.  “We have a swimming pool on campus so I swim train with my children every day, they run train with me a couple of times a week and Henry trains on the bike with me on the weekends. My wife thinks we are a bit strange when we’re doing our core and strength workouts in the lounge room though. She’s probably right, but I love being able to spend so much time with my kids.”

One of the rewards for all the hard work is the racing itself.  When the inaugural Asia-Pacific Champs race was announced in the days prior to XTERRA Worlds in October, Damian and Henry were in Maui to compete right alongside the most talented, international field in all of off-road triathlon.

“Going to Maui with Henry was a fantastic experience. To travel and race alongside my son is something I truly cherish,” said Baynes.  “Maui was also about exposing him to racing on the international scene, for him to see and experience an elite level event.”

Henry BaynesIt was an experience that is sure to pay big dividends come April and May.  Damian placed 26-of-74 in the highly competitive 40-44 division while Henry finished 14th as one of the youngest racers in the field in the 15-19 age group.

“We were both happy with our races, we weren’t racing for the pointy end of the field just for the experience, though we both want to pick up our training and have a bit more of a crack at the races in Malaysia and NSW now,” said Baynes.

Damian was first exposed to off-road triathlon at XTERRA’s initial race in Malaysia a few years back, while Henry got his first taste of the dirt and adventure of XTERRA in Putrajaya last April.

“One of the things that I really enjoy about XTERRA is that it’s so different. Mountain biking and trail running are heaps more fun than riding and running on the road. Also, one of the amazing things about XTERRA is how accessible the pros are. They have been so friendly and accommodating to me and my kids asking questions and hanging around.”

At XTERRA Malaysia last season Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack along with other visiting pros took time from their schedule to host a clinic for the kids at Baynes school.

“They are great ambassadors for XTERRA and have really inspired my kids with their training and racing. It’s really neat to have elite level athletes like this that are willing to give back to the next generation. At the race my children collected autographs from all the pros but they missed Dan Hugo, so when we went to Maui Tamika made me take the race t-shirt she had them sign and when I explained the story to Dan, he was very happy to sign it for her.”

Wanting to do as many XTERRA races as they can get to, Baynes said the expanding Asia-Pacific Tour has added “fuel to the fire” and the Asia-Pacific Championship is being held at the perfect time.

“It falls on our school holidays, and there are also very cheap flights between Malaysia and Sydney.  We are traveling with a friend here in Malaysia, and expect more racers in the region to jump at the opportunity.”

Upon their return from New South Wales, the whole family is set to get in the mix at XTERRA Malaysia.

“My twin girls (Tamika won the female trail run in 2013) are at me to get mountain bikes because they want to get involved too,” said Baynes.  “The races in Malaysia look really exciting, there is something for everyone. Henry and I will race the championship event, my daughters Tamika and Kiana will race the kids under 15 races and all four of us will most likely race the 11km trail run the next morning. Oscar, my youngest, will probably race the little kids’ race as well. For a family that races and trains together XTERRA Malaysia has something for all of us.”

You know what they say, ‘a family that plays together, stays together.”

To learn more and register for the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship visitwww.xterraasiapacific.com and for details on XTERRA Malaysia go to www.xterramy.com.

Maui Slots to Help the Philippines

Sunrise Events, organizers of the XTERRA Philippines Championship, is hosting an online auction to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda rebuild the affected areas in Tacloban, Bohol, and Cebu.

Maui Slots to Help the PhilippinesAmong the items up for bid are two at-large entries into the 2014 XTERRA World Championship triathlon at Kapalua, Maui.   The auction is now live and will last one week.  You can bid and find more details athttp://bid.sunriseevents.com.ph/.

Other items in the auction include a Robbie McEwen Tour de France jersey, Ben Allen, Jacqui Slack, and Belinda Granger race kits, Luke McKenzie’s kit and Trucker Hat (signed), and a custom-made “I Care for the Philippines” jersey.  More items will be posted shortly.

“We wanted to find a way to assist in the rebuilding efforts once the immediate needs for food and basic shelter are addressed,” said Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Chairman of Sunrise Events, Inc. “We intend to partner with Gawad Kalinga and build a small village and classrooms that will be sustainable over the long haul.  We hope you will consider helping in this worthwhile and needed endeavor.”

The XTERRA Philippines Championship race itself, scheduled for March 15, 2014 at Liloan, Cebu, will open for registration on December 1 at www.xterraphil.com.

Inside Scoop on #xterraAPAC

The inaugural XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship at Jervis Bay (hashtag #xterraAPAC) on April 26 has stirred up quite a bit of interest since its announcement less than a month ago.

Ben AllenTo get an inside-look on the area and what’s in store for competitors we turned to Aussie native Ben Allen who grew up just about an hour-half north of the starting line.

XTERRA: Bennie, what can you tell us about Callala Bay?

Ben Allen: Sitting at the northern end of Jervis Bay in New South Wales, only a couple of hours south of Sydney, best known for its stunning beaches, swimming and dolphin parades, the town offers plenty of holiday cottage accommodation and a delightful Aussie beach culture atmosphere. There is excellent sailing from Callala Bay and a regional boat ramp and jetty provide easy access to the water.

Myola is a nice and quiet, one-street village just south of Callala Bay on the beautiful Jervis Bay. Here is where the roads end and the Currambene Creek flows into the Jervis Bay. The place is surrounded by beautiful bush.

The bay and the creek are fantastic places for all sorts of water sport activities. You can swim, fish, sail or surf as much as you like. And the bay is safe for children. A nice stroll through the bush brings you to the kilometers long beaches of the bay.

XT: You won 7 World Tour races last year, most of anyone, and now you have one in your backyard…whadya think?

BA: It’s so exciting to be involved in a thrilling, adrenalin pumping & action packed sport such as XTERRA.  I’m “stoked” as we say in Australia, to showcase my backyard and share the natural beauty of our culture, landscape, and laid back lifestyle.

XT: Checked out the course yet?

BA: I haven’t yet ridden the XTERRA Asia Pacific course, but I have ridden and run all the trails in Jervis Bay. They offer short technical sections, flat twisty blasts, some modest climbing, a wha-hoo downhill section for all those gravity minded soles and a smattering of natural obstacles, it helps keep the fun factor set to high. Just remember to make a conscience effort to look at the scenery as you ride by, it is simply Jaw Dropping.

XT: How about the beach, can we expect some big waves?

BA: Callala Bay isn’t known for its surfing, but you most definitely will spot dolphins frolicking in the crystal clear water of Callala Beach. There are plenty of great beaches in New South Wales where you can learn to surf at an accredited surf school. It’s also where you might find your surf lesson incorporates a little yoga.

Surfing along the South Coast of NSW brings you close to nature at every turn. There are small towns and villages surrounded by bushland and national parks, birds and wildlife abound and deserted beaches are easy to discover.

XT: As an avid traveler yourself, what should others put this race on their schedule?

BA: The XTERRA Tribe can come experience first-hand Australia’s 50,000 kilometers of spellbinding coastline. Our white, sandy beaches are just as you imagine – uncrowded, unspoilt and utterly enticing.

Australian culture is founded on stories of battlers, bushrangers, sporting hero’s and brave soldiers. It’s all about a fair go, the great outdoors and a healthy helping of irony.

They can come see some of our unique animals, one of the many reasons people visit our country. Australia has more than 378 mammal species, 828 bird species, 4000 fish species, 300 species of lizards, 140 snake species, two crocodile species and around 50 types of marine mammal. More than 80% of our plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia and are found no-where else. Some of our best-known animals are the kangaroo, koala, echidna, dingo, platypus, wallaby and wombat.  Be careful you might just fall into our laid back. “She’ll be right” Aussie lifestyle!

XT: Think we might discover some new talent down under with this race?

BA: I know that this is going to be the toughest race of the year! There will be some of the best Aussie Multi-sport athletes, triathletes, Olympian’s, Surf Ironman Athletes, World Champions, National Champions, mountain bikers, off-road trail runner and first timers to electrify the atmosphere.

XT: Any local shops, restaurants or activities you’d recommend close to Callala Bay?

BA: Yeah, Ocean & Earth Surf Wear company based in Sussex Inlet, NSW, Australia. Fantastic place to stock up on surf gear like hats, t-shirts, shirts and shorts. Great discounts too. Only 20mins drive from Callala Bay.

For those that like good wine, the Shoalhaven Coast Wineries has a wine trail meandering through luscious green valleys and overlooks some of the country’s most pristine beaches.www.shoalhavencoastwine.com.au

And I might recommend the Dolphin Wild Cruises – an opportunity to view Jervis Bay and all its wildlife above, below and beyond.  The “Wild Essence” is the most loved vessel by the Dolphins in Jervis Bay, as they race for hundreds of meters to play on its bow. www.dolphinwildcruises.com.au

Check out www.visitnsw.com and start making your plans!

http://www.xterraasiapacific.com

2014 XTERRA European Tour Takes Flight

The XTERRA European Tour will feature as many as 13 majors in 2014 including new stops in Portugal, Ireland and Denmark with the possibility of two more Nordic races in Sweden and Norway.

European Tour Schedule

“It’s really been remarkable to see the interest in XTERRA grow year-over-year in Europe,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas. “If everything comes together we’ll have a major every weekend from mid-June all the way through August.”

While the Sweden/Norway races are yet to be finalized, the rest of the Tour is set and travel options abound for adventurous triathletes worldwide.

“I’ve said it a thousand times, but it bears repeating, there’s really no greater way to explore the diverse and culturally rich areas of Europe than to string together two or more of these races and enjoy the adventurous travel in between,” said Nicholas. “Each venue offers a unique experience, and you can count on the XTERRA family to welcome you wherever you go.”

Nicholas should know, having been on-hand to oversee nearly every big event in Europe since ’99.

The Euro Tour also appears to be the proving ground for the sports’ fastest racers, evidenced by their recent success at the XTERRA World Championship.  Six of the top 10 men at XTERRA Worlds were regulars on the Euro Tour including the top three – Ruben Ruzafa, Asa Shaw, and Ben Allen.  Also of note, three Frenchman won age group titles in prominent divisions – Clement Briere (20-24), Oliver Pichou (30-34), and Romaric Delepine (35-39) while Albert Soley from Spain won the 25-29 World title.

For the second straight year the Series will start in Spain (May 25), a country home to  more XTERRA World Championship men’s pro titles than any other with six combined between Eneko Llanos (3), Ruzafa (2), and Javier Gomez.  The following weekend the Tour visits a new venue and new local organizer for XTERRA Portugal in Golega.

Then starting on June 21 the XTERRA European Tour heads to Greece, Switzerland, France, Sweden (tentative), Ireland, Italy, Norway (tentative), Czech, Germany, England, and Denmark on successive weekends.

Of note, the XTERRA Germany Championship in Zittau on August 16 will double as the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships.  With XTERRA Czech a week before and XTERRA England a week after, there’s a neat opportunity for Americans (and athletes from around the world) to race for their nation and have two or three chances to qualify for XTERRA Worlds at the same time.

“It’s going to be a fun summer, that’s for sure,” said Nicholas.

 

Date Race Location
25-May XTERRA Spain Cieza
1-Jun XTERRA Portugal Golega
21-Jun XTERRA Greece Lake Plastira
28-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Vallee de Joux
6-Jul XTERRA France Gerardmer
13-Jul XTERRA Sweden* TBD
20-Jul XTERRA Ireland Killaloe
26-Jul XTERRA Italy  Abruzzo
3-Aug XTERRA Norway* TBD
9-Aug XTERRA Czech Prachatice
16-Aug XTERRA Germany Zittau
24-Aug XTERRA England  Cranleigh
31-Aug XTERRA Denmark TBD
26-Oct XTERRA Worlds Maui

*tentative, as of 11.15.13

For more information visit www.xterraeurope.com

XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Race in NSW Open for Registration

The race is on to sign-up for the first-ever XTERA Asia-Pacific Championship race with entries being accepted online at www.xterraasiapacific.com.

Jervis Bay, NSW - Photo: Adam Taylor, Destination NSWSpecial early bird rates apply through November 30, 2013, and team entries (2-3 persons) are also available in the full and sprint distance races.

The inaugural event is scheduled for April 27, 2014 at Callala Bay, a small town on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia.  It is situated on the north shore of Jervis Bay, roughly 2 to 2-1/2 hours drive from Sydney or Canberra.

Callala is renowned for its mountain biking, white sand beaches and clear turquoise water.  The area boasts several national parks and is teeming with native wildlife as well as whales, dolphins and an amazing array of ocean life.

The main event will combine a one-mile swim with roughly 30-kilometers of mountain biking followed by 10km of trail running.  The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race will double as the XTERRA Australia Championship, awarding national titles to locals and qualifying spots into the XTERRA World Championship for all involved.

The April 26-27 weekend will also include a sprint distance off-road triathlon (half-mile swim, 15K mountain bike, 5K trail run), plus stand-alone trail runs, ocean swims, kid’s races, camps, clinics, and social gatherings.

As the most prestigious event in XTERRA’s Asia-Pacific series that includes championship races in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Guam, and the Northern Marianas – the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship will offer $50,000 in prize money to the sport’s top professional athletes and two television shows will be produced for international distribution.

Those interested in racing around the region’s exotic destinations offered by the XTERRA Asia Pacific Tour have a myriad of scheduling opportunities from March through May.  Here’s a glance at the events docket:

Mar 8 – XTERRA Motatapu, South Island, New Zealand

Mar 15 – XTERRA Philippines Championship, Cebu

Mar 29 – XTERRA Guam Championship, Piti

Mar 30 – XTERRA Great Ocean Road, Anglesea, Victoria, Australia

Apr 5 – XTERRA Saipan Championship, Northern Mariana Islands

Apr 12 – XTERRA New Zealand Championship, Rotorua

Apr 26 – XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, NSW, Australia

May 4 – XTERRA Malaysia, Putrajaya

Learn more and register at www.xterraasiapacific.com.  For more information on the XTERRA brand and worldwide event series, visit www.xterraplanet.com  Athlete inquiries may be directed to info@xterraplanet.com.

Photo: Jervis Bay, NSW – Adam Taylor, Destination NSW

XTERRA Adventures on OC16 TV & Online

TEAM TV, producers of the adrenaline-pumping XTERRA Adventures TV series, is proud to announce a partnership with Oceanic Time Warner Cable to broadcast the award-winning shows in Hawaii exclusively on OC 16.

XTERRA AdventuresXTERRA Adventures show No. 1 – the first of eight half-hour, magazine-format programs – premiered on Monday and follows with repeat airings Tuesday through Sunday (see below for show times).  Each Monday a new XTERRA Adventures show will be broadcast at 9:30 p.m. HST, and follow with daily repeat airings.

XTERRA Adventures is an award-winning national TV Series covering thrilling adventures, activities and events from some of the world’s greatest adventure destinations.  Filmed and produced in high definition, this 8-show series explores exciting activities from the Hawaiian Islands to South Africa.

“We are really excited about XTERRA Adventures becoming a weekly series on OC 16, and know our destination partners and the athletes and adventures we cover are thrilled with the exposure,” said Tom Kiely, CEO of TEAM Unlimited.

In show No. 1 XTERRA Adventures visits the dramatic setting of Kualoa Ranch for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, hits the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore, explores the pristine waters off Maui and Lanai on a scuba diving adventure, and celebrates one of the world’s most unique – and hilarious – surf competitions at the Buffalo Big Board Surf Classic at Makaha Beach.

Ensuing episodes expose everything from the Van’s Triple Crown of Surfing competition to breathtaking paragliding rides high above the island chain, off-road triathlon racing in the jungles of Saipan and the Philippines as well as snowboarding the slopes of Central Oregon.

“We’re excited and proud to have ‘XTERRA Adventures’ on OC16. We have partnered with XTERRA over the last few years for their Trail Run World Championship race and it seemed fitting to include the show in our family of programs. Their beautiful production and storytelling make it a welcomed addition to OC16,” said Lianne Nishimura Killion, the Sr. Programming Manager at Oceanic Time Warner Cable.

New XTERRA Adventures shows can be seen on OC 16 each Monday at 9:30pm, with repeats on Tuesday (3:30am), Wednesday (4pm), Thursday (7:30am), Friday (12 noon), Saturday (6:30pm), and Sunday (12:30am).

The shows will also air online at oc16.tv and perpetuated on OC16 On Demand, OC16 Interactive and in the archived shows on oc16.tv.  For a complete list of show descriptions and schedules, visit www.OC16.tv/shows.

Looking to the Source at XTERRA Worlds

The XTERRA World Championship is a special race, one that carries different meanings for different people.  For some, it’s the athletic test they’ve prepared for all year. For others, it’s the culmination of their own personal journey to “Live More.”

Tom DhansFor Tom Dhans, it was an opportunity to connect with his source of strength.

Dhans, a 49-year-old from Brooksville, Florida, lost his 16-year-old daughter Brandi in an auto accident a little more than a decade ago.

“After her death it was hard to get out on the bike because your mind wanders and mine would always end thinking of her accident.  It happened by our house, and I ran to the scene and was there to see everything,” said Dhans.  “I didn’t ride much after her accident because it was just too hard, and when I first started running I felt like I was running away from my problems, but my Pastor said I was running to something.  And there were so many things that encouraged me. She was an organ donor and meeting her recipients and seeing what strength they had pushed me forward.”

By chance, Dhans was at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua in Maui for his 30th anniversary before last year’s race and was able to ride the course with some of the Ritz staff.  The experience moved him, visibly enough that his brother surprised him by entering him in the at-large pool for the 2013 XTERRA World Championship as a Christmas present.

Although he was an avid cyclist, it was never competitive. He only started running four years ago, didn’t swim, and had never done a triathlon before.  That all changed with the entry to Worlds.

“I thought if I could finish it would be a personal victory,” he said. “I started swimming six months ago, and did my first of four triathlons this year just four months ago. The driving force was Brandi. She was always proud of my riding and would cheer me on at century rides and my yearly cross-Florida ride. I felt she was with me on this journey.”

Eventually, swimming, biking, and running became a refuge for Dhans.  It became even more than that as he prepared to race in the XTERRA World Championship.

“XTERRA’s motto is to ‘Live More’ but for me it’s more than that,” he said. “It feels more like simply, LIVE, because I’ve never felt more alive than on the West Maui Mountains above Kapalua this year, repeating the Ritz spiritual advisor Clifford Nae’ole chant to “look to the source.” My source was Brandi, my daughter who left us way too early, and my wife and daughter, Sarah and Angie, who always supported me.”

XTERRA TattooDhans said that to him XTERRA meant never giving up.  On Sunday, October 27, Dhans did not give up.  “I came off the mountain bike feeling like it was the hardest, scariest thing I’ve done,” he said.  Despite a few cuts and bruises and a “slightly” separated shoulder, Dhans crossed the finish line in 5:37:05.

“To be greeted by Raena at the finish line with an arm full of lei’s, then to be held and cry tears of joy with my wife and daughter.  I’d imagined it so many times,” he recalled.

Dhans dedicated his race to Brandi and to organ donor families and recipients.

“I feel like XTERRA and the XTERRA family has ignited new life in me, and I’m hoping my story might inspire other athletes to pursue their dreams,” said Dhans.

As a permanent reminder of his spiritual journey, Dhans got a truly special tattoo.

“The tribal symbols are strength, power, courage and family,” he said. “The tattoo artist’s father also competed in XTERRA and explained that these were all attributes of an XTERRA Warrior, and the island of Maui says it all.”