There is a lot of XTERRA history to be found in Richmond – from wacky stories about the swim (walk, crawl, or run) in the James River, snakes and switchbacks in Forest Hills Park, hitting the wall at the Mayan Ruins, taking the right (or wrong) route through the “Dry Way”, the suffering to be had on Belle Isle, and of course the thrill of victory – even just the thrill of finishing - on Brown’s Island.
Fourteen years worth of racing (since 1999 in Richmond) on the most unique, most profound urban adventure XTERRA has ever created, can do that.
The man with perhaps the most history in Richmond is none other than Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz, who started his XTERRA career in the River City back in 2001. Stoltz has won six of the last seven in Richmond (Josiah Middaugh won in 2008) and captured the 2009 crown despite slicing his foot open minutes before the swim start.
Stoltz comes into this one as hot as a sizzling Richmond summer day. He just won his second straight ITU Cross Tri World Championship title (sixth WC combined) and seems unstoppable.
That said there is a quality cast of characters in the mens elite field who will attempt just that, led by seven-time XTERRA National Champ Josiah Middaugh, the only American to win in Richmond since Michael Tobin in 2000.
Dan Hugo has come close here in the city on a few occasions, and Craig Evans just put up a career-best runner-up performance to Stoltz in Alabama. With so much unpredictability in the urban jungle setting nothing is for sure, but smart money is on Stoltz.
Rank - Name - Age, Hometown
1 - Conrad Stoltz - 38, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2 - Josiah Middaugh - 33, Vail, Colorado
4 - Craig Evans - 34, Hendersonville, Tennessee
5 - Branden Rakita - 31, Manitou Springs, Colorado
7 - Dan Hugo - 26, Stellenbosch, South Africa
8 - Will Ross - 22, Anchorage, Alaska
9 - Cody Waite - 33, Lakewood, Colorado
11 - Will Kelsay - 30, Boulder, Colorado
15 - Adam Wirth – 33, Boise, Idaho
19 - Damian Gonzalez - 35, Stockton, California
21 - Ryan DeCook - 31, Rochester Hills, Michigan
26 - Patrick Valentine - 26, Colorado Springs, Colorado
NR - Tim Snow - 36, Brockton, Massachusetts
NR - Bradley Weiss - 23, Cape Town, South Africa
In the women’s field the tide is turning towards toasting Lesley Paterson as the sports leading lady. She’s the defending XTERRA World Champ, just won the ITU Cross Tri World Championship, fell just three-tenths of a second short of winning the first race in Nevada, and is running so fast that almost no lead off the bike is safe for the other elite women.
The Scottish star will be up against Richmond champions from each of the past three years with Shonny Vanlandingham (2011), Renata Bucher (2010), and Melanie McQuaid (2009) all in the hunt. Couple that with promising early season performances by Suzie Snyder (who was the top American at ITU Cross World and was third in Richmond a year ago), Emma Garrard, and Danelle Kabush and it is anyone’s guess who will win it all this year.
Follow it LIVE! Our partners at Luck Stone have secured athlete tracking devices for all the pros and will broadcast their every movement live via a link from their website at xterra.luckstone.com.
The pro race start is at 8am EST (5am PST) on Sunday, June 10.
Rank - Name - Age, Hometown
1 - Lesley Paterson – 31, San Diego, California
2 - Melanie McQuaid - 38, Victoria, B.C., Canada
3 - Renata Bucher – 34, Lucerne, Switzerland
4 - Danelle Kabush – 36, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
5 - Suzie Snyder - 29, Fredericksburg, Virginia
6 - Emma Garrard - 31, Park City, Utah
9 - Shonny Vanlandingham - 43, Durango, Colorado
13 - Shae Vaughn - 32, Austin, Texas
16 - Tamara Donelson – 36, Edwards, Colorado
17 - Courtenay Brown – 33, Boulder, Colorado
19 - Heather Holmes - 31, Pocatello, Idaho
21 - Caroline Colonna - 46, Taos, New Mexico
NR - Cheryl Sornson - 42, Fairfield, Pennsylvania