XTERRA Oak Mountain Amateur Race Recap

Two weeks ago, in honor of Mother’s Day, XTERRA published a story on the amazing Deanna McCurdy whose fighting spirit and unwavering positivity has been a source of inspiration for the XTERRA Tribe and all those affected by Angelman Syndrome.

In the article, McCurdy talked about FAST (the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics) an all-volunteer organization dedicated to finding a cure for Angelman Syndrome.

This week we’re talking about fast once again, as in, can you believe how fast McCurdy, a 43-year-old mother of two, can race XTERRA!

Watch the Videos from Oak Mtn / Pictures / Complete Results


On Saturday at the XTERRA Oak Mountain Championship race in Pelham, Alabama the reigning XTERRA Pan American 40-44 Champ posted the fastest amateur bike (1:46:32) and run (45:36) splits on her way to winning the overall amateur title in a time of 3:01:05, good for 8th overall female and ahead of 10 elite women.

“To be honest I don’t know what was more of an accomplishment, winning the race or putting my bike together successfully all by myself,” laughed McCurdy, who had come straight from snow in Colorado to the heat and humidity of Alabama.

Although the win was no surprise to those in the know (she was labeled as the front-runner to win the amateur race before the event even started) McCurdy didn’t realize she had such a big target on her back.

“Well, it was a mixed blessing that I dropped my phone in the toilet the day before the race because as a result I didn’t have internet and never saw the amateur predictions video before the race,” exclaimed McCurdy, who added that the “rice trick” saved the phone.

For McCurdy, being fast is good because it brings attention to Team Miles for Smiles, her own fundraising organization focused on finding a cure for AS, but just being present has its own rewards.

“We all want to gut it out and see what we can do out there, but it’s so much more than that. Foremost, it’s fun, and it’s so great to be surrounded by my favorite XTERRA people and friends. This trip was extra special because I’m from the South, and it’s great to be back here. The people are so polite, even on the trails.”

Several other women made waves at Oak Mountain State Park on Saturday, including Jessie Koltz, the amateur runner-up who posted the fastest swim split of the day among all women, not just amateurs.  Her 21:10 swim time in the warm water of Double Oak Lake was 8th fastest on the day behind only six pro men and amateur Andrew Kelsey.

Heather Zimchek-Dunn crushed it to finish third, 17-year-old phenom Heather Horton – the reigning 15-19 XTERRA World Champ – was fourth and Amanda Bayer rounded out the top five.

In the men’s race it was all about Nate Youngs from Oregon, the reigning 35-39 XTERRA Pan American Champion. That was, of course, until Nate passed out on the run due to heat exhaustion.  Thanks to the great support by the Pelham Fire Department race medics, Nate is doing fine, but left with nothing to show for his amateur best bike split of 1:32:20.

Instead, Humberto Rivera from Southern California ran away with the crown.

“It was a last-minute decision to come out here and race,” said Rivera, who won the XTERRA Renegade off-road tri in Los Angeles two weeks earlier. “I decked a tree in the first two miles of the bike, and from there I just had to calm myself done. I was happy to be able to do that, and run a smart race.”


Rivera said spectators told him he came off the bike in fourth, and about three miles into the run someone said he was in second, “but I have no idea when I got in front.”

At the bike-to-run transition the top five were Youngs, Karl Stover, David Dornaus, Rivera, then Marcus Barton.

Youngs held the lead through the first lap of the run before pulling, Stover dropped from second to eighth, and Dornaus was passed by Rivera and Barton but held on for third overall on the day. The best drama came down to Barton’s chase for Rivera.

“I almost got him,” said Barton, who finished 22-seconds back in second-place. “I could see him on the long straightaways and people were telling me I was closing the gap but I just couldn’t catch him.”

Barton had got the early jump on Rivera with a swim that was 38-seconds faster, but said “Rivera came flying past me on the long climb on the bike like I was sitting still.”

Michael Dorr posted the second-best run split to move into the fourth spot and Darren Cox rounded out the top five.

All told, 45 amateurs earned a qualifying spot to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.


Division Name Hometown
15-19 Heather Horton Draper, UT
25-29 Jessie Koltz Truckee, CA
25-29 Amanda Bayer West Hartford, CT
30-34 Heather Zimchek-Dunn Olympia, WA
30-34 Stephanie Brunnemann Salt Lake City, UT
35-39 Sue Finney Knoxville, TN
35-39 Jess White Easley, SC
40-44 Deanna McCurdy Littleton, CO
40-44 Kathy Waite Lakewood, CO
45-49 Angie Childre Milledgeville, GA
45-49 Karen Berube Marietta, GA
50-54 May-li Cuypers Largo, FL
55-59 Stephanie Landy Ballston Spa, NY
55-59 Wendy Ewing Shalimar, FL
60-64 Lucia Colbert Cordova, TN
60-64 Maureen Sanderson Nashville, TN
65-69 Linda Usher Upton, MA
65-69 Beverly Bickell Fayetteville, AR


Division Name Hometown
15-19 Will Stacey Nashville, TN
20-24 Caleb Baity Huntersville, NC
20-24 Joshua Looney Vinemont, AL
25-29 Humberto Rivera Chula Vista, CA
25-29 Donald Davis III Jacksonville, FL
30-34 Brett Tack Boulder, CO
30-34 Tyler Harbin Madison, AL
30-34 Jesper Smith Pensacola, FL
35-39 AJ Petrillo Blue Ridge, GA
35-39 Geoffrey Whitfield Decatur, GA
35-39 Gabriel Piriz Kent, OH
40-44 David Dornaus Wayland, MA
40-44 Michael Dorr Avon, CO
40-44 Patrick Clark Virginia Beach, VA
45-49 Marcus Barton Waxhaw, NC
45-49 Karl Stover St Louis, MO
45-49 Keith Schumann Williamsburg, VA
50-54 Darren Cox Toano, VA
50-54 Andrew Kelsey Irving, TX
50-54 David Ciaverella Happy Valley, OR
55-59 Ali Arasta Asheboro, NC
55-59 Cliff Millemann Davis, CA
60-64 Thomas Monica Thousand Oaks, CA
60-64 Ian Davidson Clemson, SC
65-69 Frank George Rome, GA
65-69 Alan Moore Ada, MI
70-74 Dale Vaughan Macon, GA

XTERRA Deuces Wild One of Best Triathlons on Earth

XTERRA Deuces Wild will take place on June 3rd on a very special course designed in 2004 with the help of the first-ever XTERRA World Champ, Jimmy Riccitello.

“Over the years we have seen thousands of racers compete on this iconic course,” said race director Seton Claggett. “At 6,300-feet and nestled in the pinion and juniper pine trees in the White Mountains of Arizona, this course has fantastic views and great weather.”

XTERRA Deuces Wild features an 800-meter swim, a 24K mountain bike, and an 8K run.

“The race is held at Fool Hollow Lake in the city of Show Low, Arizona,” said Claggett.  “The bike course has a varying mix of single track, jeep trail, and fire road with hard pack, patches of sand, and rocks.  The bike ride is moderately challenging and offers terrain for every rider level.

“The run is an out-back that features a monstrous climb called The Eliminator and has a few surprises toward the end that we throw in every year that the racers love.”

XTERRA Deuces Wild is part of the Deuces Wild Triathlon Festival, which also includes the Deuceman Long Course Triathlon, an Olympic Distance Triathlon, and a Youth Triathlon. The festival was included as one of the top-five triathlon festivals by Triathlete Magazine as part of their “100 Best Races” feature in 2010. It was also included in the top six “Outside-Endorsed Races” by Outside Magazine in 2014.

For more information and to register, visit www.deuceswildtriathlon.com

Ricard, Smit Win Inaugural XTERRA Way Over Yonder

The inaugural XTERRA Way Over Yonder off-road triathlon in Wawayanda State Park in Hewitt, New Jersey was the realization of a dream come true for race director, David Schwartz.

“Wawayanda State Park has always been a magical place for me,” said Schwartz, who has been riding the trails for years. “Sixteen years ago, I called this place ‘Way Over Yonder,’ and the name stuck. I really wanted a race near New York City. Since there wasn’t one, I decided to start one myself.”

Although Wawayanda State Park in Hewitt, New Jersey is located less than an hour outside of New York City, it feels more like it’s in the middle of nowhere.

“It’s a technical course which you may not expect,” said Schwartz. “But New Jersey rock is truly something special.”

As a testament to that statement, the start list included some die-hard XTERRA veterans – including Daryl Weaver, Charlie Redmond, Bob Horn, Tad Norton, and 2016 XTERRA Pan Am Champ Steve Croucher – as well as first time XTERRA competitors from the local mountain bike community.

Rob Ricard was the men’s champ with a blazing fast overall time of 2:06:03.

“I came out of the water third behind Matt Alford and Steve Croucher,” said Ricard. “I know these guys are good swimmers so I felt good that they were in sight as I clawed my way up the beach.”

On the bike, Ricard caught Alford and Croucher but had Daryl Weaver riding right behind him.

“At every race we are in together, whenever I’m on my bike and letting up, I say to myself, ‘Daryl is coming.’ I must have said that 100 times on Saturday. He caught me right before T2. The guy can run, so I knew I had my hands full as we started out together.”

The two ran together for the first three miles of the five mile course. “I managed to get a little gap on Daryl when we hit the narrow, rocky trail through the trees,” said Ricard “Once out of the woods, that last mile was long. The run course followed the same route we’d ridden earlier and I so wished I could have my bike back.”

Runner up Daryl Weaver finished in 2:10:42 and Steve Croucher followed him in 2:11:29 for third. First time XTERRA competitors and local mountain bikers Ryan Heerschap and Charles Gomes finished in the top 15. Team West Orange won the relay competition with a time of 2:30:10.

In the women’s race, Maria Smit, finished in 2:58:35 after overcoming a mechanical challenge.

“The trails at Wawayanda are notoriously rocky, and I never had a chance to pre-ride the bike course,” said Smit. “So my plan for the day was simply to have fun in the woods, which turned out well in the end!”

Smit added that the lake temperature was quite comfortable due to a recent heat wave.

“I was grateful that it was a two-lap swim so I could clear out my goggles on the beach run,” she said. “I saw a few fish in the weeds below me, who apparently wanted to join in the fun too.”

The 13-mile mountain bike course was technical and rocky. “We don’t have rocks where I live on Long Island,” said Smit, “So I tried to stay relaxed and focused. I stayed clean through the technical sections but dropped my chain towards the end. It took me longer than it should have to get it back on, but I tried to just do my own thing.”

At T2, Smit was a minute behind leader Celeste St. Pierre and passed her shortly after the course joined part of the Appalachian Trail. “I was fighting a leg cramp,” said Smit. “I was lucky to stay ahead. I hope the race continues because the course was really unique and it was so well-organized. I’ll be back!”

Celeste St. Pierre held onto second place until she finished in 2:59:05, and Megal Bilodeau was third in 3:14:34.

View complete results





Nelson Hegg Has No Doubts

Twenty year old Nelson Hegg did so well at the XTERRA Pan Am Championship race last year, he thought about turning pro. He was 19th overall in a very competitive field and the first American amateur to finish.

“In all honesty, the day didn’t feel that hard,” said Hegg, who was recently named “Men’s Off-Road Triathlete of the Year” by USA Triathlon. “I was in the zone for the majority of the race, that state of bliss and flow which limited the physical pain. It wasn’t until the second half of the run that I had to really buckle down and get to the finish.”

“So yeah, I thought about starting the process of going pro,” Hegg continued. “But then, Maui. After Maui, I decided to stay amateur at least another year. I’m really not a fan of that course.”

Hegg competed in the XTERRA World Championship race in Maui in 2015 and 2016. “The first year was alright,” he said. “But last year, the mud threw me for a little loop. I had a pretty good swim, which is unusual for me. Then it got super steep in the mud. Everyone was pushing their bikes and all of a sudden, I couldn’t keep up. My shoes had no traction and I kept slipping back even though I was totally anaerobic and going at about 95 percent.”

After the race, Hegg realized that he had worn road bike shoes in the race. “I didn’t even know they made mountain bike shoes. But after that race I did a lot of research. I bought these top of the line mountain bike shoes, and all of a sudden, it’s a different world.”

At the XTERRA Pan Am Championships last year, Hegg also ran in trainers. “I got some lightweight trail shoes for racing now. I’m flying.”

If Hegg didn’t have time to do research previously, it might have been because he’s been busy. He seems to want to fill each hour with as much high-quality living as possible – a trait he’s had all his life.

Additionally, he is self-coached, which means he has to learn everything on his own. Hegg hasn’t ruled out a coach at some point in the future, but he hasn’t had great experiences in the past.

When Hegg was 12, he joined a kids’ cycling team. “It was pretty intense,” he said. “I definitely got my butt kicked. One of the requirements was a century ride because we were doing a fundraiser. It was a disaster. Being 12, halfway through I was so tired, I ended up crashing a few times.”

In high school, Hegg ran on his high school’s track team. “I was the most injured guy on the team. I had three stress fractures in two years.”

The injuries led Hegg to cross-train in the pool and on the bike. “After high school I decided to pick up triathlon. But I don’t have a coach because ever since I’ve been injured, I like to listen to my own body. Some of the things my coaches had me do just weren’t right for me.”

There are downsides to being self-coached, Hegg admits. There is the shoe issue for one. Secondly, he doesn’t have a set training schedule.

“I do what I like to do,” he said. “I wake up and see what I feel like doing. And usually, that’s not swimming.”

Hegg lives close to XTERRA athletes – and strong swimmers – Craig Daugherty and Garren Watkins. “I race against them all the time,” said Hegg. “They always beat me out of the water. But inevitably we meet up in the race and say a few nice words or talk smack or whatever.”

Hegg is in his junior year at CU Boulder. He’s majoring in business with a minor in Spanish and has to balance his training with his job at the local bike shop, part-time work as a website designer, and a full load of classes.

“All my friends wonder why I take so many classes. Usually I have between 18 and 21 credits. I just really like electives. I took African Dance last semester, which was super fun. Next semester I’m taking jazz dance.”

Hegg also does heated yoga four times a week because it helps keep injuries at bay. “The primary reason I’m into yoga and dance is to improve my emotional intelligence. Lately I’ve really been into that. If I can advance my own emotional intelligence, it will benefit me in the future. Who doesn’t want to learn how to interact better and be more understanding?”

His race schedule for the rest of the season is also pretty full. His next race will be XTERRA Lory, which is one of his favorites and he is looking forward to the ITU Multisport World Championships.

“I’ll definitely do XTERRA Beaver Creek and Nationals, and hopefully Maui again. Despite that course.”

Hegg’s goals are high, and he wants to compete for pro spots even as an amateur. “I want to be the first amateur in every race I’m in,” he said. “Except for Maui. Maui is just unreasonable.”

Big Storm Can’t Stop XTERRA St. Louis

A major storm hit St. Louis on Friday, which felled trees and took out power just two days before XTERRA St. Louis.

“It looked like a tornado went through,” said race director, Mike Barro. “People were saying there was no way we could have the race. But we did what they said couldn’t be done because I didn’t want to cancel.”

Sixty mph winds left 60,000 without power in St. Louis and resulted in closed roads, early school dismissals, and many downed trees in Creve Coeur Park, where the race was to be held.

As you can imagine, the storm wreaked some havoc on the trails,” said XTERRA Age Group World Champ and XTERRA St. Louis Champ Mimi Stockton. “There were lots of downed trees and debris. Even on the rerouted course, we climbed over two gigantic fallen tree trunks while hoisting our bikes up over them. Only in XTERRA, right?”

“Luckily, the course dries well,” said Barro. “But the wet ground from the rain we’ve had meant that trees were just uprooted by wind. We had to leave two trees where they were and had dismount sections for the riders.”

“We got an email from park officials that one of the downed trees was beyond the scope of what the park could handle and he needed the US Forest Service to remove it,” said Barro. “For most of the other trees, we had some incredible volunteers with chainsaws and rakes, who made the course ridable.”

Race organizers and volunteers had to quickly reroute and remark sections of the course on Saturday.

The race director and his crew spent a lot of time on Saturday clearing the course for us,” said Stockton. “It was definitely appreciated.”  

Barro added that he received positive feedback about the dismount sections because they were well-organized and added an element of adventure.

“The course was a train wreck,” said Larry Kluetenkamper, who won the 55-59 age group. “And Mike cleared the track and got the train moving again. I want to get to Worlds this year and if XTERRA St. Louis was canceled, I would have had to find another one in the region. I so appreciate all that Mike and his crew did to get us all to the staring line.”

The race consisted of a 750 meter lake swim, a 14 mile mountain bike course, and a 4 mile trail run.

Mimi Stockton finished first in 1:44:56. Claire Beckmeyer was the runner up in 1:52:52, and Anne Pendygraft was third in 1:54:46.

In the men’s race, champ Jake Keehan crossed the line in 1:35:01 followed by Michael Drackert in 1:36:55. Dave Otto was third in 1:39:51.

View complete results at onlineraceresults.com




Middaugh, Snyder win XTERRA Oak Mountain

Reigning XTERRA Pan America Tour Champions Josiah Middaugh and Suzie Snyder successfully defended their titles at the 12th annual XTERRA Oak Mountain Championship race on a sweltering hot day in Pelham, Alabama.

Middaugh (Eagle-Vail, Colorado) has now won four of the last five races at Oak Mountain State Park and this is his second win of the season.  He won XTERRA Costa Rica last month.  For Snyder (Reno, Nevada) the win is her second straight in Alabama and third this season.  She also won XTERRA Argentina and Costa Rica earlier this year.

More than 350 triathletes from 12 countries and 42 U.S. states traveled to Shelby County for the race, which was the fifth of 10 events on the XTERRA Pan America Tour and the first of three majors on the XTERRA America Tour.  It combined a one-mile swim in the 77-degrees waters of Double Oak Lake with 20-miles of perfect single-track mountain biking and six-miles of twisting, rolling, tree-lined trail running.

Watch the Highlight Video / Pictures / Complete Results


Entering his 17th season of racing XTERRA, and his 12th year racing here in Alabama, Middaugh mixed an un-matched level of experience with unbelievable speed to take the win in 2:25:23.

The 2015 XTERRA World Champion was eighth out of the water, a full two-minutes behind the lead group of Ian King (USA), Karsten Madsen (CAN), Veit Hoenle (GER), Branden Rakita (USA), Francisco Serrano (MEX), and Jean-Philippe Thibodeau (CAN), and he trailed Kieran McPherson (NZL) by roughly 30-seconds.  By the time he got to the climb only two of those men were still ahead of him.

“I knew it was going to be a tough day, and it was even harder than I expected,” said Middaugh.  “I knew Francisco and Karsten were off the front early, and they were a long way out front. I just kept digging all day trying to catch up.”

Middaugh posted the fastest bike split in 1:26:00, nearly two minutes faster than the next best time posted by Madsen, but still didn’t reel in either Madsen or Serrano by the bike-to-run transition.

“I finally got close to Karsten and Francisco the last four or five miles of the bike but they were riding so well I couldn’t make up any time technically. I just had to dig really deep to make up time on the pedaling sections. I got in contact coming off the bike and the race was on.”

Serrano took the lead out of the bike-to-run transition, followed roughly 10-seconds later by Madsen and another 10-seconds by Middaugh.

“Josiah caught me on the run about a mile into it,” said Serrano.  “He was running so fast and on my best days I feel I can run with him.  I thought today was going to be one of those days. I was feeling good on the bike and I was feeling a lot of power.  I was not so fast on the technical parts, they’d always bridge the gaps there but every time I would hit a hill I would pull away. I thought I might have the legs for the run today, but I didn’t.  My energy levels were toasted.”

As Middaugh pulled away on the run the chase behind him for second was on.

“I thought I might be able to hold on for second-place but Karsten was just right on my heels the whole time, and I was running on fumes,” said Serrano.

For Madsen, who finished third last year at this race and crashed-out two years ago, it was a rewarding runner-up performance.

“I bled everything I had into this race today,” said Madsen. “I’m runner-up, but to the classiest guy in the sport, and I gave everything I could and that’s all that matters. I’ve wanted it here so badly for so long. You always wonder when its going to be your time and I just missed it by a bit with Josiah today but I gave literally everything I possibly could and that is just so satisfying.”

Brian Smith, one of many Coloradoans who is coached by Middaugh, outran his mentor by three seconds to post the fastest 10K of the day in 36:43 and finish in 4th place.  Branden Rakita, who was solid all day, rounded out the top five.

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:25:23 100
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 2:26:04 90
3 Francisco Serrano, MEX 2:26:52 82
4 Brian Smith, USA 2:28:29 75
5 Branden Rakita, USA 2:29:28 69
6 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:30:43 63
7 Chris Ganter, USA 2:31:47 58
8 Ryan Ignatz, USA 2:33:18 53
9 Veit Hoenle, GER 2:33:22 49
10 Cody Waite, USA 2:35:59 45
11 Cedric Wane, TAH 2:39:50 41
12 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 2:41:40 37
13 Ian King, USA 2:41:52 34
14 Michael Nunez, USA 2:50:16 31
15 Ryan DeCook, USA 2:56:30 28

Also Will Kelsay
Complete Results


For the second straight year at this race Suzie Snyder led from wire-to-wire. Today she posted the fastest elite swim, bike, and run times to take the tape in 2:45:29, more than six-minutes ahead of two-time XTERRA World Champ Lesley Paterson.

“This win gives me a lot of confidence,” said Snyder.  “I had the wins in Argentina and Costa Rica but the depth of the field wasn’t like today, so I was left wondering if I was really going that good or not. So, this is a bit of validation that indeed I am going well, and I feel really good about the future at this point. It’s big a confidence booster.”

Julie Baker, who upset Snyder last year at XTERRA Beaver Creek, was close out of the water but the gap Snyder put on Baker and the rest of the field simply grew throughout the day.

“Julie Baker was right behind me out of the water but I pulled away early, and I didn’t get any time checks out there so I had no idea where anyone was,” said Snyder.  “I was all over the place on the bike. I was washing out around every corner so I slowed down because I didn’t want to bake myself.  It was a head game, like “I’m going so slow I think I am losing so much time,” so on the run I just ran for my life. I thought for sure Lesley would be hot on my heads so I definitely came out too fast cause the second lap was brutal. But I just kept thinking about Maui and pushing all the way through, so I could get stronger for those races and not just the win today.”

For Paterson, who has a million-and-one things going on in her life from coaching, to promoting her book, to marketing and movies, there were no excuses.

“That’s what my mantra is all about. It doesn’t matter where you’re at, just go for it,” said Paterson, who had the word “attitude” written on one arm and “gratitude” written on another. “I’m super impressed with Suzie, she’s going great and is really strong. I’m pleased for her because she’s not only a nice person but she’s worked really hard for it and she deserves it.”

Baker, who rode the whole last half of the bike right behind Paterson, finished in third.  After the race, she half-jokingly said “after that run, I have no idea why I do this.”

Baker was referring to the relentless heat and humidity that zapped the strength of every competitor out on the course.

Snyder explained that a lot of what makes the run so hard is the bike. “Well, it’s definitely the heat but it’s also the nature of the bike course being so twisty and turny.  You’re constantly accelerating and decelerating so it takes a lot of power out of your legs.”

Middaugh, the men’s winner, added that the dehydration factor is also a result of the challenging bike course.  “It’s such a hard course to drink on,” he said.  “I got through mile 10 and had gone through maybe half a water bottle, and then there’s almost nowhere to drink the rest of the course. I had a little bit of Gel and a little bit of water but pretty much no drinking through the last 8 miles so I think that caught up to all of us on the run.”

Maia Ignatz handled the day seamlessly and put in a great run, the third-best split behind only Snyder and Paterson, to finish in fourth while Liz Gruber, a fellow Coloradoan, placed fifth.


Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 2:45:29 100
2 Lesley Paterson, GBR 2:51:36 90
3 Julie Baker, USA 2:54:42 82
4 Maia Ignatz, USA 2:55:49 75
5 Liz Gruber, USA 2:58:40 69
6 Katie Button, CAN 2:59:39 63
7 Kara LaPoint, USA 3:00:41 58
8 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 3:02:12 53
9 Katharine Carter, CAN 3:03:26 49
10 Emma Garrard, USA 3:03:30 45
11 Debby Sullivan, USA 3:04:10 41
12 Anne Usher, USA 3:06:17 37
13 Kellie Montgomery, USA 3:07:25 34
14 Annie Bergen, CAN 3:10:37 31
15 Caroline Colonna, USA 3:10:52 28

Also Jaime Brede, USA and Laura Mira Dias, BRA


With his strong fifth place showing today Branden Rakita moves into the pole position in the 2017 XTERRA Pan America Tour elite rankings. Jean-Philippe Thibodeau moves down a spot to No. 2 and Josiah Middaugh moves up into third with the win.

In the women’s chase Snyder moves into the top spot with the win, Kara LaPoint moves into 2nd place and Sabrina Gobbo jumps into third.

The next stop on the XTERRA Pan America Tour is XTERRA Victoria on July 9, followed a week later byXTERRA Beaver Creek in Avon, Colorado.


After 5 (As of 5.20)

1 Branden Rakita, USA 228 56 47 56 DNS 69
2 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 215 61 56 61 DNS 37
3 Josiah Middaugh, USA 175 DNS DNS 75 DNS 100
4 Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG 142 75 67 DNS DNS DNS
5 Felipe Moletta, BRA 136 DNS 61 DNS 75 DNS
6 Kieran McPherson, NZL 130 DNS DNS DNS 67 63
7 Maximiliano Morales, ARG 118 67 51 DNS DNS DNS
8 Ian King, USA 108 DNS 27 47 DNS 34
9 Ryan Ignatz, USA 104 DNS DNS 51 DNS 53
10 León Drajer, ESP 94 51 43 DNS DNS DNS
11 Karsten Madsen, CAN 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
12 Julien Buffe, FRA 82 43 39 DNS DNS DNS
13 Francisco Serrano, MEX 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
14 Felipe Barraza, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
15 Brian Smith, USA 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
16 Guiherme Goncalves, BRA 72 DNS DNS 36 36 DNS
17 Kris Coddens, BEL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS
18 Alexandre Manzan, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
19 Micheal Nunez, USA 61 DNS DNS 30 DNS 31
20 Chris Ganter, USA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58
21 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
22 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
23 Veit Hoenle, GER 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
24 Andres Darricau, ARG 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
25 Diogo Malagon, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
26 Cody Waite, USA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
27 Greg Schott, USA 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
28 Rodrigo Moreira, BRA 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
29 Cedric Wane, TAH 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
30 Federico Venegas, CRC 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
31 Silveira Silva, BRA 39 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS
32 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
33 Diego Moya, CHI 36 DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS
34 Guilherme Goncalves, BRA 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS
35 Gaspar Riveros, CHI 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS
36 Billy Gordon, PAN 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS
37 Anderson Ferreira, BRA 33 DNS DNS DNS 33 DNS
38 Benjamin Munizaga, CHI 30 DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS
39 Wellington Conceicao, BRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS
40 Ryan DeCook, USA 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28
41 Andres Zuniga, CRC 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS
42 Pericles Andrade, BRA 27 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS
43 Fernando Melo, BRA 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS
44 Leonardo Lisboa, BRA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 317 75 67 75 DNS 100
2 Kara LaPoint, USA 242 61 56 67 DNS 58
3 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 235 56 51 DNS 75 53
4 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 221 51 47 56 67 DNP
5 Morgane Riou, FRA 128 67 61 DNS DNS DNS
6 Liz Gruber, USA 120 DNS DNS 51 DNS 69
7 Annie Bergen, CAN 92 DNS DNS 61 DNS 31
8 Lesley Paterson, GBR 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
9 Julie Baker, USA 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
10 Barbara Riveros, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
11 Caroline Colonna, USA 75 DNS DNS 47 DNS 28
12 Maia Ignatz, USA 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
13 Katie Button, CAN 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
14 Isabella Ribeiro, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
15 Vanessa Cabrini, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
16 Fernanda Prieto, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
17 Katharine Carter, CAN 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
18 Brisa Melcop, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
19 Emma Garrard, USA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
20 Debby Sullivan, USA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
21 Anne Usher, USA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
22 Kellie Montgomery, USA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34


Humberto Rivera from Chula Vista, California and Deanna McCurdy from Littleton, Colorado captured the overall amateur titles and dozens of the fastest age groupers from around the nation punched their ticket to Maui today.  Here’s a look at today’s age group winners:

Age Group Men
Division Name Hometown Time
15-19 Will Stacey Nashville, TN 3:07:33
20-24 Caleb Baity Huntersville, NC 2:55:16
25-29 Humberto Rivera Chula Vista, CA 2:46:42
30-34 Brett Tack Boulder, CO 2:53:38
35-39 AJ Petrillo Blue Ridge, GA 2:49:34
40-44 David Dornaus Wayland, MA 2:47:45
45-49 Marcus Barton Waxhaw, NC 2:47:04
50-54 Darren Cox Toana, VA 2:49:06
55-59 Ali Arasta Asheboro, NC 2:54:49
60-64 Tom Monica Thousand Oaks, CA 3:12:59
65-69 Frank George Rome, GA 3:57:17
70-74 Dale Vaughan Macon, GA 3:45:50
Age Group Women      
Division Name Hometown Time
15-19 Heather Horton Draper, UT 3:13:45
25-29 Jessie Koltz Truckee, CA 3:05:05
30-34 Heather Zimchek-Dunn Olympia, WA 3:10:14
35-39 Sue Finney Knoxville, TN 3:31:39
40-44 Deanna McCurdy Littleton, CO 3:01:05
45-49 Angie Childre Milledgeville, GA 3:20:23
50-54 May-Li Cuypers Largo, FL 3:45:41
55-59 Stephanie Landy Ballston Spa, NY 3:23:12
60-64 Lucia Colbert Cordova, TN 3:39:26
65-69 Linda Usher Upton, MA 5:13:54



XTERRA Oak Mountain was presented by Paul Mitchell, and our great sponsors from Shelby County, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Muscle Milk, Gatorade Endurance, Suunto, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, XTERRA Boards, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Alabama, Oofos, and the Shelby County Reporter. Special thanks to our volunteers, the Pelham Fire Department for taking such good care of our athletes, and all the BUMP members for maintaining the trails we love to race on each May.


XTERRA Oak Mountain was the 18th of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25
Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4
Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18
XTERRA Saipan + Silver
Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25
Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1
Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1
XTERRA Chile # Silver
Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
Apr 2
XTERRA Malta * Silver
Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
Apr 8
Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
Apr 9
Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
Apr 16
Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
Apr 23
XTERRA Cyprus * Silver
Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
Apr 29
Apr 30
XTERRA Greece * Silver
Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
May 6
Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
May 13
XTERRA Brazil # Silver
Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
May 14
XTERRA Spain * Silver
Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
May 20
Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
May 27
Jun 10
Jun 17
Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18
Jun 24
Vallee de Joux
Jul 2
Jul 9
Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15
Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30
Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5
Aug 5
XTERRA Norway * Silver
Aug 6
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12
Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12
Ontario, Canada
Aug 13
Aug 13
XTERRA Poland * Silver
Aug 19
Aug 26
XTERRA Sweden * Silver
Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2
XTERRA Japan + Silver
Sep 3
Mons Klint
Sep 16
Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* XTERRA European Tour / # XTERRA Pan American Tour / + Asia-Pacific Tour
Silver = Min. $7,500 pro purse & 75-point scale // GOLD = Min $15,000 pro purse & 100-point scale

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 2017, XTERRA will offer more than 200 off-road triathlons and trail running events in 33+ countries worldwide and produce 10 adventure television shows for international distribution.  Learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterracontent.com.

XTERRA Portugal Next Saturday, May 27th

The XTERRA European Tour continues next Saturday, May 27th, in the unique city of Golega in Portugal.

It’s the fifth of fifteen stops on this year’s tour, and Jaime Rosa, the race organizer and his crew, promise to provide another great experience to the athletes of the XTERRA Tribe.

Golega is the town known as the ‘Capital of Horses’ located at the top of the Ribatejo and is home to many of the famous Lusitano Breeders. Every November and for ten days, it holds a festival dedicated to the worship of the Lusitano horse. This is one of the country’s most typical fairs, attracting thousands of people.

XTERRA’s European Marketing Director, Kostas Koumargialis provides his take on the race:

XTERRA Portugal will be the fourth time in the 2017 European season Helena Erbenova and Brigitta Poor will race each other. When the two met up previously, Helena Erbenova won XTERRA Spain and XTERRA Greece. Brigitta Poor won XTERRA Cyprus.

Helena was very strong in the last two races and Brigitta thought of not even coming to Portugal. She was going to stay home, put on some miles, and get back in shape. But at the same time, she knows that in Spain she felt great and was leading before she crashed on the mountain bike course.

Helena is a real warrior. She gives everything she has in every race and fights from the start till the end. In Portugal things might be little different for her. As this race might be a non-wetsuit swim, Brigitta will be faster and Helena will need to push harder to come back behind her during the bike. Additionally, the run in Portugal is flat and better-suited to the Hungarian. So although the odds are in Helena’s favor, this will be a chess game and nobody can predict the next move.

Two other girls will be contenders in the race as well. Ladina Buss will be at XTERRA Portugal for the first race of her season. Carina Wasle, who is returning to Europe after three wins in Asia this winter, will also be racing on May 27th.

Ladina was a surprise last year and was very strong in Greece, so we should keep an eye on her. Carina is more skilled and in better shape than the others. Additionally, she knows the course and was fourth last year just three minutes behind Brigitta.

It’s always good to see local athletes racing in their own country. Sheila Marques is one of them. She may know every corner of the course, have the crowd with her, and might surprise us all.

On the men’s side, who will be the guy to beat Ruben? Roger Serrano will be drinking beer with Ian Pyott in Switzerland as the first man at Ian’s wedding, so he won’t be in the running.

Yeray Luxem may be a contender. He loves Portugal. Yeray won XTERRA Cyprus earlier this year and looks stronger than ever, so this might be his day.

The second guy to keep an eye on is François Carloni. Carloni had a great day last year at XTERRA Portugal and he was able to follow Ruben for all the bike part and the beginning of the run. Not many can keep up for Ruben for that long. Carloni is coming from a third place finish at the French Championship, so maybe in Golega he might have a chance to be on the podium.

If we check back on the performance of some athletes back in Greece where there was a very strong field, Xavier Daflon stands out. In his first race as a pro, he came sixth in front of Carloni. Daflon is the amateur World Champion for 2016, he has a mountain bike background, and this mountain bike loop suites him well.

We should not forget the strong Portuguese field that is becoming stronger and stronger every year. Riou Dolores did an amazing job in Greece and Spain and finished in the top ten in both of those races. Portugal is his home turf, and I am sure that he is dreaming of finishing in the top five. Additionally, Tiago Maia and Octavio Vincente will be on fire as both have two XTERRA races already on their legs.

Some of the unique points of this race are the wooden sticks for the bikes in transition and the painted stones for the marking of the bike loop.

Follow XTERRA Europe on www.facebook.com/xterraeurope for more updates on race week and all the action live, on race day.

Paterson Will Hold Book Signing at XTERRA Oak Mountain

Two-time XTERRA World Champ. Coach at Braveheart Coaching. Actress.

If you’ve ever wondered how Lesley Paterson does it all, now is your chance to find out. She and husband Simon Marshall, Ph.D., have written a book entitled, The Brave Athlete. Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion.

Rather than discuss how to make and set goals so you can race like a champion, Marshall and Paterson have written about how to think like a champion.

“We wanted to address the 13 common problems that hold athletes back,” said Paterson. “Goal setting is great but it doesn’t take care of the inward journey. You have to set your life up for success before you can race successfully. To that end, our book is a guide to creating the environment you need to achieve positive results.”

Each of the 13 sections of the book is based on a common doubt, like:

I wish I felt more like an athlete.

I wish I looked more like an athlete.

I don’t handle pressure well.

Those who have seen Paterson race may be surprised to realize that when she won the XTERRA World Championship in 2011, she didn’t believe she deserved it.

“After the race, the bottom fell out,” said Paterson. “There was so much expectation. I worried that I didn’t deserve to win in 2011, and if that was true, then I wouldn’t be able to repeat it.”

Paterson spent the next year finding her way through her own mental landmines.

“I had to remember why I was racing in the first place,” said Paterson. “For me, ‘the why’ is because I love how my body feels when I’m fit and strong and moving through nature. It’s a primal thing. And it’s an ethereal thing. It wasn’t an external goal. It was all inside work.”

Once Paterson was able to let go of her own judgement and expectation, her approach became one of gratitude and self-discovery.

“After I found ‘the why,’ I could come back and win the XTERRA World Championship again in 2012. Rather than think about what everyone expected, I focused on how grateful I was for being able to have the life I had. As a result, 2012 was a much more joyous experience.”

Lesley’s husband, Dr. Simon Marshall, is an internationally renowned expert in exercise and health with a focus on changing negative behaviors. He has a bachelor’s degree in sports science, a master’s degree in kinesiology, and a PhD in sport and exercise psychology.

Marshall uses his expertise to coach athletes with Paterson through Braveheart Coaching.

“Ultimately, we want to help people with the embarrassing doubts that no one wants to talk about,” said Paterson. “What’s great is that all of this is transferrable to your life. Sport forces you to deal with who you really are. When you get better at sport, you get better at life.”

To learn more about Marshall’s and Paterson’s book, visit http://www.braveheartcoach.com

Paterson will have a book signing at XTERRA Oak Mountain on Friday, May 19th at 3 pm to introduce the book and answer questions.

Learn more at www.xterraplanet.com

XTERRA Rock Dallas Debuts May 27th

This is the first year for XTERRA Rock Dallas, but the race already has a great pedigree. It will take place on the site of the popular Rock Dallas Adventure Race.

“We’ve had so many requests from our adventure racers for an off-road triathlon to be held on the Northshore Trail on Lake Grapevine,” said race director, Kathy Duryea. “And this year, we obliged.”

XTERRA Rock Dallas includes an 800 m swim, a 13.1 mile mountain bike course, and a 3.1 mile run on one of the best trails in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

The Northshore Trail on Lake Grapevine is one of the most popular hiking and biking trails in North Texas. It runs for 9 miles from Rockledge Park to Twin Coves Park on the north side of the lake.

The swim will be held in a cove near an out-of-service boat ramp. After T1, mountain bikers will enter the course in a counter clockwise direction, heading west to the far end of the loop and back on a fast, technical, and challenging single track loop.

“If you can stay on your bike on this course,” said Duryea, “You can ride on any course in the US.”

After T2, runners will head east on a counter clockwise loop of flowy single track on the same amazing trails.

Check out the video below to get a sense of the trails at XTERRA Rock Dallas.

Learn more and register for XTERRA Rock Dallas at www.racedirectorsolutions.com