Cool Off at XTERRA Quebec

On August 12th, XTERRA Quebec will feature a triathlon, a sprint triathlon, and a duathlon. On August 13th, three trail runs, and a youth duathlon will begin at 9AM.

The standard triathlon will consist of a 1.2k swim, a 25k bike, and a 10k run.

“You will begin your challenge in the majestic Lac Delage at the Manoir du Lac Delage in a natural and enchanting setting,” said race director, Alain Deraspe. “You will then embark on bike trails developed especially for mountain biking.  To finish, it is to the race of “trail” that you will have to give everything between the roots, rocks, climbs and descents to rally the arrival arch.”

Three trail runs will be offered on Sunday: a 12k race, an 8k race, and a 1k kids’ run. A youth duathlon will also take place on Sunday.

The XTERRA Quebec standard triathlon has a total of 15 age group selection slots for the World Championships held in Maui, Hawaii on October 29th, 2017.

Additionally, this race will also be a qualifying race for the ITU 2018 Cross-Triathlon World Championship to be held in Odense, Denmark.

To register for XTERRA Quebec, visit www.XTERRAQuebec.ca.

 

 

 

XTERRA Italy – T-minus Two Days

We talk and write about Scanno in Abruzzo always telling everyone how magical this place is.  Some of you must be tired of hearing it by now – but the plain truth is this place IS magical.  Let me tell you a story.

Within the first 300m of the start of the bike riders must cross the only road that leads to Scanno.  Not that this is a big highway, to the contrary, it is a small, rural two-lane road.  This means it always has some traffic.  After last year the local Carabinieri said “basta – no more” because of traffic problems.  They would not allow XTERRA to cross this road.

The organizers came up with an ingenious solution to this insurmountable problem that could only be Italian.  There is a small bridge over the creek that comes from the mountains to Lago diScano that is exactly at the spot where the bike crosses the road.  Local construction men looked at the problem and created a nice sloping path from the trail down to the creek leading under the bridge.  No problem you say?  Except that the creek is about 2-3’ deep and is running full tilt down the hill.  On the other side of the bridge there is nothing but 90 degree walls.  Easy to get down and under the bridge, but how do you get back out, scale the walls and onto the trails?

 

Italian ingenuity, engineering and art made it efficient and beautiful.  The men cut 4×4’s to the exact width of the walls under the bridge.  There was a small lip of about 6”s and the long boards were placed on the ledge and wedged so they would not move.  Then ¾” (19mm) thick boards were nailed along the 4×4’s creating approximately a 5’ (1.5m) wide wooden path that was inches above the bubbling water.  Not too difficult so far – but how do you scale that 10’ wall?

The men nailed in more 4×4’s in a radial patter making a right hand turn.  They secured this with more top boards and a truck brought in 20’ long (6m) poles that were about 8” (20cm) thick.  These were more than strong enough to hold a dozen bikers.  Men then cleared the top of the hill alongside the road – cut and fit blocks of wood so the ramp would be level at the top and nailed it all in place.

So how did it all work out?  We made the decision that while the entire bridge was ridable; having 450 crazy XTERRAists arriving at this structure at the same time was a recipe for disaster.  So athletes will dismount and run the boards until they clear the top and continue on up the mountain.  Riders will cross under the road twice and after, this Wonder of Abruzzo will be taken away to return next year.

The rest of preparations are going very well.  Massimo, Alex and their band of men and women are making the place gorgeous.  The level of the lake is down a bit, but not a problem.  Signs and banners are spread all over the village, people are smiling and waving as riders go down and up the streets and steps of Scanno.  After 5 years the residents have embraced our sport and are happy to have us here.  Latest news is that Nicole Waters and Doug Hall will not make the race.  Roger Serrano looks very fit, tanned and relaxed.  Renata Bucher has the eye of the tiger and do not be surprised at her result on Sunday.  The weather is absolutely perfect and the forecast is for more of the same all the way to next Monday.  We’re ready to race now, by Sunday the entire field will be more than ready to go.

XTERRA Syracuse Promises Family Fun

XTERRA Syracuse is a race for the entire family. From the classic triathlon to trail runs to the kids triathlon and swim/bike, XTERRA Syracuse has something for every athlete. All events will be held at Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville, NY, approximately 10 miles east of the city of Syracuse.

XTERRA Triathlon
in its second year, the XTERRA Syracuse triathlon features a 1 km swim, a 20 km mountain bike, and a 10 km trail run.

XTERRA 20K and 10K Trail Run
Hit the ground running on the most enjoyable, root slipping, mud hopping, tree ducking, stream crossing, hill climbing, dirt on your shirt, sweat in your eye trail run this side of Grandma’s house.

The XTERRA Syracuse Trail is the final race of the XTERRA Northeast Trail Run Series. Each age group winner in the Northeast Series will receive a complimentary ticket to the XTERRA Trail Run National Championship in Utah this September.

You can view the XTERRA Northeast Trail Run Series Standings at www.xterraplanet.com.

KIDS TRIATHLON & USAT SPLASH AND DASH, AGES 7-15
Introduce your kids to the sport you love! This year, XTERRA Syracuse is proud to partner with USA Triathlon Splash and Dash Aquathalon Series.

Kids Ages (11-15):200m swim/8k mountain bike/2k run

Kids Ages (7-10): 100m swim/4k mountain bike/1k run

Kids Ages (11-15): 200m swim/2k run

Kids Ages (7-10): 100m swim/1k run

To learn more and register for XTERRA Syracuse off-road triathlon and trail runs, visit www.syracusebicycle.com.

 

 

Tinley Still Going Off (Road)

XTERRA Hall of Famer Scott Tinley, one of triathlons original off-roaders, will host a new mountain bike triathlon at China Peak Resort in Central California this September 8-10.

One of the founding members of the XTERRA Tribe and co-contributing founder of all things dirty in the multisport world, Tinley is working with the China Peak Resort to host his long-standing Tinley’s Adventures, an event that worked closely with XTERRA in developing the entire concept of off-road triathlons since 1994.

A true multi-day event, Tinley’s weekend of racing will feature both on and off-road events, hill climbs, and youth events.

“Once we get the bugs worked out of this idyllic setting, we hope to become a part of the XTERRA Series,” said Tinley. “First, I need to make sure the hills are steep and the beer is cold.”

For more information visit https://www.scotttinleytriathlon.com.

XTERRA Italy This Sunday

XTERRA heads to the ancient village of Scanno this Sunday for the 14th edition of XTERRA Italy.  It’s the 10th of 14 majors on the 2017 XTERRA European Tour and one of the most visually stunning and culturally significant race destinations in all of sport.

“This will be our fifth visit to this wonderful place in the mountains of Abruzzo,” said XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas, who is on-site to take in all the action (pasta, wine, and beer).

“When you are here, you are at the end of the road.  There is no farther place up the mountain after Scanno, and the bike course rides past the spring that is the headwaters of the Tasso River flowing into the bright teal waters of Lago di Scanno.”

While Beaver Creek may be the highest elevation race on the World Tour, this could be the steepest race when you compare the vertical climb and mileage for the mountain bike and the run.

XTERRA European Tour director Nicolas Lebrun, a master of such courses in his racing days, is on-site and gives us his thoughts on the elite races…

Scanno will have eight elite women at the start, and the first news is that our tour leading and reigning champion Brigitta Poor will not be on the start list and therefore will probably lose her points lead over Helena Karaskova from the Czech Republic.  Who is she?  We know this woman for many years as she is our Czech champion who raced under the name Erbenova.  Now, she just got married and has a new name and for sure extra motivation. She will be the big favorite Sunday in Scanno, not only for this reason, but she won this race three times already (2013-15) and came here instead of the ETU Cross Triathlon Championship to take the lead and win this race.

English racer Nicole Walters, on paper, looks like the one who could put some pressure on Helena, but this is a very special place and crazy challenge. You need to love very steep and long climbs like we never get yet on the tour.  This course also features a very long, steep and scary downhill that could be used for an enduro race! Nicole is learning quick, however, and will study every corner to be ready.  With a podium she can take over 5th place in tour points and move up to 4th with a first or second place finish. Cecilia Jessen SWE is one point in front of Nicole and can also make a good move in the tour, or at least secure a solid place in the top 10.  She is a strong mountain biker and she might love these technical downhills.

We saw this woman around for several races, having a nice “van trip” but because of an injury she was not able to race but for Scanno, Lizzie Orchard from New Zealand will finally start. This is very good news and I hope she will do well.  Most important, we hope she will feel solid and 100%.  It’s always good to have a local hero, a pro from the country, and Genziana Cenni will be the one for us here. She raced Scanno many times, and she knows very well these trails and will have lots of support.

The “Swiss Miss” Renata Bucher wanted to get a last good vibe from a big XTERRA race. She planned to race in France but was hurt bad during the swim and ended up in the hospital during the bike with some lungs damaged.  Now she is in Scanno, and knowing her MTB skills, she is a very good choice.  She was third last year, so this is already a good vibe to start. Renata also manages the Aloha Racing team and will be here for Lizzie and Belinda Hadden (AUS) who will race pro too on Sunday.  Sabina Rzepka (POL) is on the start list and will do her first race for the season.  Eight women from eight countries!

Now for the men.  Everybody loves Ruben, but they love him even more when he is not racing!

The men’s race will be exciting with some very strong athletes who will take their chances to win this one.  Sam Osborne (NZL) with his second place last year, is maybe the favorite.  We know he is strong, had some bad luck in France and will be fired up for this one for sure.  He will be at the front for a good part of the race, there is no doubt.  He will maybe first see Francois Carloni (FRA) catching up and riding with him.  François will try to earn as much points as possible to consolidate his second place in the tour.  He knows it will be a hard mission and to win the championship he will need to win here, Zittau and maybe Denmark and have Ruben with some bad days in Norway and Denmark.  But this race suits perfectly the French athlete and I’m sure he will be strong.

The second athlete who can come back from behind after the swim is Xavier Dafflon.  He wants to forget the French nightmare where he had both of his bikes stolen which ruined his chances. This is the perfect race for the Swiss athlete with the very hard bike and run.  If he is in the same shape he had in Belgium, they can all start to worry about him.

And look who’s back! Our Malta winner and Spain Organizer Roger Serrano.  From what we saw on social media and after a big block of training with some altitude camp, he looks stronger than ever!  For sure he will swim in the front and have Sam with him on the swim and starting the bike. If Roger is back to normal he will be on the podium.

It will be very interesting to watch Cedric Fleureton (FRA) back racing XTERRA. His last race was, I think, St. Raphael in 2006, and he won it.  I remember!  I was wearing my world champion Jersey and he kicked my butt! He was a very strong road athlete and missed the Olympics by only a few points for the French team. He had a bad injury which stopped him about eight years ago and now is one of the best trail runners in Europe, mainly on short distance.  So, we know he is in good running shape, but can he swim fast and ride strong? We will see Sunday. Our Portuguese friend Rui Dolores will be in Scanno to get more points. He is 6th in the tour and can get back in top five after this one. Same for young Max Chane (FRA) who is 9th overall and with a good race like he had in France or Belgium, can come up to 7th. Young German racers Hannes Wolpert and Peter Lehmann will be here hoping for a strong finish.  Wolpert is among the fastest swimmers and will be in the lead pack to start.

Representing the host country, and racing with us many years is Fabio Guidelli.  Even more local, from Abruzzo and racing elite for first time in XTERRA, is Francesco Masciarelli.  From France, we will have Anthony Pannier, 6th in Switzerland and an excellent swimmer and mountain biker.  Damien Guillemet broke his collarbone in Belgium and will not yet be 100% I think.  Also competing will be Valentin Genewe (FRA) and Doug Hall (Nicole Walters husband) from the UK. For the men, we have 15 elite racers representing eight countries.

Find live updates on www.facebook.com/xterraeurope.

Rocky Mountain Highs – Relive the Weekend!

As we look back at a fantastic weekend in the mountains of Colorado, we are still marveling at the incredible performances, steadfast determination, and sheer love XTERRA athletes have for their sport and their tribe.

If you weren’t able to be there for the race – or if you were racing and didn’t get a chance to watch – you can relive the experience with our photos, videos, and recaps of XTERRA Beaver Creek.

XTERRA Hammerman Gives Back

Race director Andy Duenow isn’t in it for the money. In fact, your entry fee to XTERRA Hammerman may help to send a kid to college.

“Making money has never been the purpose of why I put on races,” said Duenow. “We love the sport. We charge as little as we can, and everything that doesn’t go into putting on the race goes right back into the club.”

The club he is referring to is the Alaska Triathlon Club, a 501(c)(3) self-described: non-profit, non-intimidating organization, dedicated to the educational pursuit of triathlon, general physical fitness, and the representation of the sport of triathlon within the community.

Each year, the Alaska Triathlon Club awards a $500 scholarship to one male and one female triathlete who have competed in at least four triathlons and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Purity of purpose is nothing new for Duenow, who got his start mountain biking in the late 1980’s in Colorado.

“There was no such thing as suspension on those bikes,” said Duenow. “And no such thing as carbon frames.”

From Colorado, Duenow moved to Arizona. After he and his wife married, they relocated to Anchorage, Alaska, where they worked in the hotel industry.

“We are both from the Pacific Northwest, and after living in Arizona for a while, we wanted to live someplace where we didn’t have to water our grass three times a day.”

With lows below zero in the winter and highs in the summer only reaching the 70’s, Duenow doesn’t worry about the heat anymore.

“There’s a reason we’ve stayed in Anchorage for 20 years,” he said. “The east side of town is surrounded by 3000 foot mountains. The west side of town is bordered by a nordic ski park with 60 kilometers of trails. Then you have the ocean.”

Duenow’s XTERRA Hammerman will take place this Saturday in Little Campbell Lake, the nordic ski trails of Kincaid Park, and hand-built trails made by local single track advocates.

To register, visit www.hammermantriathlon.com.

 

Middaugh Coaching Corner – Rest, Evaluate, and Get Back to Work

Presented by Suunto

At this point in your racing season you have probably completed nearly half of your season’s races. Hopefully, you are right on track to reach your goals and crush your “A” race in a month or two. The physical and mental strain of consistent training can take its toll and maybe your performances have even dipped a little. It might be time to take a step back, refresh the body and mind and prepare for the final push.

Refresh your mind and body
A rest week does not mean that you don’t do anything. It means you don’t do anything structured. This is a great time for social workouts, but don’t get pressured into competing with a group or going too long. In general, try not to go over the 60 min. mark for your rest week. For some, it might mean avoiding groups so that you don’t go too hard. Triathletes and endurance athletes in general often end up on an island doing many of their workouts on their own. Your planned rest week is a great time to throw out structure, zone goals, and just enjoy the activities you do. Spend extra time with your family and friends just cruising and taking in the scenery. It’s amazing how well you will feel both physically and mentally after a week with no structure and a little more social contact.

Evaluate the first half of your season
Breaking your season into two sections like this makes it easier to push through and concentrate on reaching your season goals. The rest week also allows you to reevaluate the first half of the season and revise your plan for the second half based on your performances thus far. Look at your performances in each leg compared to your competition. Are there one or more areas that you seem to be consistently losing ground? If there are, can this be explained by injury or consistent missed workouts? I always go back and see if athletes are hitting their power, heart rate, or pace goals during their big interval sessions. It is common to see interval sessions missed or cut short when performance dips.

Nail the second half of your season
You’ve evaluated the first half of your season, now it’s time to implement a plan. The goal during this last stretch is to link together focused, uninterrupted training blocks that prepare you for the unique demands of your most important race.

The years Josiah has delivered his best performances in Maui, he had mostly uninterrupted training and stayed injury free for that final 12-week stretch. Include a few benchmark workouts or races along the way to make sure you are on track, but remember these should not be epic events that tear you down too much and cause too big of an interruption in your training.

For many of you, this big race might be the XTERRA Pan Am Championships or the XTERRA World Championships. There is absolutely no excuse to get within a few weeks of these races and realize you haven’t gotten in any climbing. Try to have at least one weekly workout that helps prepare you for some aspect of that “A” race. Is your big race generally wetsuit legal? Is it longer than other races you do? How much climbing is involved on the bike and run? What is the weather generally like? Is it at altitude?

With a proper training outline, thoughtful planning, and enough rest to stay happy and injury free, you can generate peak performances at the right time and place to meet your goals.

Josiah Middaugh is the reigning XTERRA Pan America Champion and the 2015 XTERRA World Champion. He has a master’s degree in kinesiology and has been a certified personal trainer for 15 years (NSCA-CSCS). His brother Yaro also has a master’s degree and has been an active USAT certified coach for more than a decade. Read past training articles at http://www.xterraplanet.com/training/middaugh-coaching-corner and learn more about their coaching programs at http://middaughcoaching.com.

About Suunto

Suunto builds the tools to help you reach your goals. With an award-winning line up of GPS sports watches, heart-rate monitors, and mobile apps, Suunto helps athletes train smarter and perform better. Sophisticated design and rugged construction ensure each Suunto watch is ready to tackle whatever you (and mother nature) throw at it.

Learn more at www.suunto.com.

 

 

XTERRA Norway, August 5th

On August 5th, XTERRA will head to the Norefjell Ski & Spa in Norway for the 11th stop on the XTERRA European Tour.

The main event consists of a 1500 meter swim, a 30k mountain bike, and a 10k run. The swim will take place in Krøderen and will consist of two, 750 m loops. The mountain bike course will begin in Noresund and climb to the Norefjell Ski & Spa through the beautiful forests and single track the country is known for. The run will head through the natural beauty at the top of the mountain and will test athletes with steep downhills

Athletes will compete for 26 qualification spots for the XTERRA World Championships in Maui in October and for precious points in the XTERRA European Tour.  There is also a duathlon on offer and even a kids’ triathlon, which will take place in the water beneath the hotel so parents can follow their children’s progress. Youth will swim for 150 m, ride for 5k, and run for 2k.

XTERRA European Director and former World Champion Nico Lebrun gives us his thoughts on how XTERRA Norway will play out on Saturday.

It’s the first time in Europe that we will have a “climbing” race like we have in U.S. at Beaver Creek and Ogden. A lake in the Valley to swim, a loop about half way up, then a long climb to the ski resort on the bike and then T2 and the run up around the hills nearby. So, athletes who don’t really like downhills will enjoy this one.

For the women, Maud Golsteyn (NED), who is 4th in the rankings, can move into the 3rd spot if she can simply conquer the course.  She needs 50 points to move into 3rd and with five pro women starting in Norway and 51 points awarded to the 5th place finisher all she needs to do is cross the line!  Maud is here with her husband Lars on holiday to do a nice bike trip in this country that they really like.

Facing her will be Louise Fox, our XTERRA Finland Champion. They both only raced once together this season, and Maud won the duel.  But Louise won her XTERRA, and that brings some confidence.  She has also raced less and seems to be focusing on few races to be stronger.  I don’t know the other three athletes racing elite with them.  Nicoline Sorensen from Denmark, Tanja Hultengren Larsson DK was second in Tilsvilde part of the XTERRA Danish tour this year and Lucie Materova CZE who has raced with XTERRA as an age group athlete for several years.

Elite Women
2017 Rank Name, NAT
4 – Maud Golsteyn, NED
11 – Louise Fox, GBR
NR – Lusie Materova, CZE
NR – Tanja Hultengren Larsson, NOR
NR – Nicoline Rahbek Dam Sorensen, NOR

In the elite men’s race “The Boss” is here.  I’m not talking about Kahuna Dave or Bruce Springsteen, but I’m talking of the racing Boss, Ruben Ruzafa.  And why has Ruben come so far up north to race here? I have many answers, first, Norway is a fascinating country, somewhere you want to go.  We all saw so many photos from this place.  Second, he knows that a Running 26 event is always top quality.  It may because of our points system this season where all races count.  Knowing he will not be able to race Poland and Germany he had to get a few more points and make sure the Tour is in his pocket.  Even with a big lead on François Carloni and Dafflon they could still catch him with wins in Germany and Denmark.  So, yes, it’s also a strategic move.

Jan Kubicek (CZE), who was recently 3rd at the ETU European Cross triathlon championship, looks in very good shape.  His last XTERRA was in Finland and he took second place, so he has had some strong results recently.  He is 13th in the tour and will get back in the top 10 after this race.  Oivind Bjerkseth from Norway is 12th in the tour, and will be the local hero. He was second at XTERRA Cyprus and 4th in Finland where he was not yet 100% fixed from a broken finger.  You all know it’s not easy to ride a MTB with that, and Oivind is also helping to manage this XTERRA Norway, so he could a little bit tired.

Oivind is also educating me about the local pros. Kristian Rød is one of them. He won the Norway national cross triathlon champ in front of Oivind, but it was on a very fast and non-technical MTB course. Strong swimmer and runner, he might struggle a little bit on this more technical MTB track. This will be his first race as an elite. Danish Anders Bregnhøj has the same profile as Oivind, coming from MTB racing and struggling a lot in the swimming session.  He already raced elite last year in Mons Klint for the tour final and in Maui where he was 18th pro. He has won some Danish XTERRA’s like Tilsvilde and Anders might be the top Nordic racer.

Geert Lauryssen from Belgium raced in this country where he did is best with an 8th place, Malta and France. Peter Lehmann will also race in Norway, and I am hoping he will be strong, he had so much trouble this season; injury, flat tires and last week in Italy he passed out during the bike, maybe hit by the sun, but had to DNF again. This young talented and motivated German needs some luck now!

Elite Men
2017 Rank – Name, NAT
1 – Ruben Ruzafa, ESP
12 – Oivind Bjerkseth, NOR
13 – Jan Kubicek, CZE
36 – Peter Lehmann, GER
NR – Tomas Matera, CZE
NR – Geert Lauryssen, BEL
NR – Anders Bregnhoj, NOR
NR – Kristian Rod, NOR

We also have some compelling amateur match-ups in store for us on Saturday.  We presented you last week about who is fighting for the age group Euro Tour Jersey.  One of the best of these contests will keep going in Norway with Didier Bucheler BEL vs Olivier Felmann LUX in the 50/54 category. Didier led from April to July but Olivier took over with a win Sunday in Scanno. They will be both here!  Also, the 45/49 is very close with Arthur Winter from Austria vs David Boulous from France and Christophe Maury FRA in third all here in Norway.

Asking Oivind who else we need to look at, he said “Lasse Heino, Anders Mostue, Daniel Trøen and Kenneth Blinderen.” These guys were part of a TV show here in Norway called “Ekte Menn” (Real men) which aired in March and April.  Four unhealthy guys who were challenged to change their lifestyle and as the final challenge they took on XTERRA South Africa. They will be back for another XTERRA here. Their coach from the program Stig Færø-Landlie will be racing and so will Truls Wagener, a well-known triathlete in Norway.

To learn more about XTERRA Norway, visit www.XTERRAnorway.com.

Follow XTERRA Europe on Facebook at www.facebook.com/xterraeurope for all the latest updates and coverage on race day!