The Wonderful World of XTERRA

Feb. 1, 2013

While only a handful of actual races dot the XTERRA schedule over the winter months the “Live More” lifestyle is a year-round phenomenon. As proof, here is just a taste of XTERRA news and notes from races and racers around the world.

Italy Heart Shaped LakeScanno, Italy: Nico Lebrun, the current and four-time XTERRA European Tour Champion, is designing a new XTERRA course in the beautiful mountain regions of Abruzzo.  The inaugural XTERRA Abruzzo triathlon is set for July 20 with the swim start, finish and transitions areas based at Lago di Scanno – aka “XTERRA’s Heart”

“You can see that the Lake has the shape of a heart, the heart of XTERRA immersed within a spectacular fauna of Abruzzo; an eldorado for lovers of outdoor sports, especially mountain biking, trail running and hiking.” See more at

For some truly blessed XTERRA racing enthusiasts exists the possibility of racing across Europe with XTERRA Switzerland (Valle de Joux) on June 29, XTERRA France (Gerardmer) on July 7, ITU Cross Tri Worlds in Den Hague (July 14), then Abruzzo on July 20.

Atlanta, Georgia: Ken Ono, one of America’s greatest mathematicians, says running and mountain biking in the woods allows him to think deeply and eliminate distractions.

Ken Ono“I especially love running in the woods,” said Ono, in this eScienceCommons article. “When I’m alone with my thoughts, just me and the sounds of birds and a stream, it gives me clarity and focus. On those rare occasions that you hit upon an idea to prove a theorem that you’ve been struggling with, it’s a rush, like a runner’s high.”

The Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Emory University is also an avid XTERRA racer who ranked 10th out of 82 in the 40-44 Southeast Division last year.

“Theoretical math and endurance exercise go together like paper and pencil, each activity makes me better at the other," said Ono.

Liloan, Cebu: The first proto type of the finishers medal for the XTERRA Philippines Championship (March 2) is shared with staff at XTERRA headquarters.

“In our effort to always come up with something unique and memorable every race, this medal is made out of Liloan Oyster Shells,” explained Princess Galura, the General Manager of Sunrise Events. “We try to get what is unique from the host city/province. This year both medals and trophies will be made from Oyster Shells from Liloan and designed by a young Cebuano designer.  It is also a way of giving back to the community that hosts us.”

Queensland, Australia: From his home in Petrie, a suburb north of Brisbane, Jeffrey Smith, aka “Coach Jeff” recorded his 287th podcast, which was also his 12th edition of the XTERRA Podcast.  In this episode Coach Jeff catches up with 2012 XTERRA Warrior Award winners Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack as they train in Australia in preparation for another year of racing on the XTERRA World Tour.

“When we sat down to make our plans for 2013 we started with the XTERRA Triple Crown that includes the Philippines, Saipan, and Guam,” said Allen, who won all three races last year. “The organizers at these events are passionate and put the athlete first.  It makes for an electric atmosphere and keeps us coming back year-after-year.”

Mpumalanga Province:  Four-time XTERRA World Champion Conrad Stoltz shares stories of training and pool-building from the beauty of his family farm in South Africa in this video posted by Specialized.  Watch now.

Vachery Estate, Cranleigh:  Mark Davis of Brave Events surveys the 2013 XTERRA England course only to find it’s frozen over.  Trust that by September 8 Vachery Pond, a spring-fed paradise in the heart of the Surrey Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty yet only minutes from London, will be ready for the Tribe. It’s the last of eight majors on the XTERRA European Tour this season, and will also include MTB endurance racing, swim races, free kids races, camping and a festival experience with music and great food.

Powless SiblingsRoseville, California: Hometown of 19-year-old cycling phenom Shayna Powless, who just received her pro mountain bike license from USA Cycling.  Shayna did her first XTERRA in Jacksonville, FL when she was 11 and became the youngest racer to ever complete the XTERRA USA Championship when she was 13 back in 2007.  She’s now a freshman at UCLA and a member of the U.S. Olympic Development team that will travel to world cups this year in China, Czech, Italy, France, Argentina, and elsewhere.  Her brother Neilson, a 16-year-old high school sophomore, became the youngest racer ever to win the XTERRA World Championship amateur division in October.

Angelsea, Victoria:  Producers of the inaugural XTERRA Great Ocean Road triathlon to be held April 7 in Australia (a week before XTERRA New Zealand on April 13) booked the local YMCA camp which sleeps 160 to utilize as the central hub for the event.  The camp is just five minutes from the race start.

“We booked the entire camp, so it will just be XTERRA participants and their family and friends staying there which should create a real XTERRA community feel,” said Karla Bunney of Limelight Sports. “Plus we’ll host the race briefing there and you should see the spread they put on as their ‘carbo loading’ night the night before – it’s amazing!”

Jim LovellHonolulu, Hawaii: Jim Lovell of JTLTiming signs a contract to time all of XTERRA’s 2013 U.S. Championship races. He’ll also time the XTERRA Philippines, Saipan, and Guam races, and 100 others over the course of the year.  He’s timed every XTERRA World Championship race since the inaugural event in 1996.  We asked him what season was the most memorable and what was his favorite XTERRA finish line moment of all-time...

“I remember being amazed at Michael Tobin’s incredible season of 1999.  He won nine out of 10 races during the season, and the one he didn’t win he didn’t race,” said Lovell.  “As for a finish, that might be last year’s photo-finish at the XTERRA West Championship in Vegas where Lesley Paterson and Renata Bucher went stride-for-stride all the way through the tape.  That was amazing.”

Tapalpa, Jalisco: The old-style mountain “magic” town in central-western Mexico is celebrating their confirmation to host the XTERRA Mexico Championship for the third straight year on August 3, 2013. The course itself mixes a cold-water swim in a private lake nearly 7,000-feet above sea-level, with a mountain bike that heads from the lake through serene forests and into the bustling little town, and a grueling “super steep” two-loop run that passes through town where spectators are packed four-deep yelling “andale! Arriba!”

For 2010 XTERRA World Champion Shonny Vanlandingham, going to XTERRA Mexico is an annual tradition. "This event is the best fun, and it’s easy to get to it.  If you want to go to an international race, this is easier logistically than a lot of the U.S. events. The organizers are great and treat racers like royalty, the course is well marked, and it’s very professional.  Plus, its good mountain biking and the venue is beautiful - both the lake and the town.  You get to experience the culture, and see the excitement in town.  It’s definitely one of my favorite XTERRA’s anywhere,” said Vanlandingham.  “Not to mention the fiesta they host after the race is the best post-party ever.”

Welsch Sisters30 Rock, New York: Producers for “Rock Center with Brian Williams” put the final touches on a segment about the Welsch sisters, which centers around footage obtained at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch (Kaaawa, HI).  The piece will be broadcast next Friday, February 8, at 10pm EST.  Kaytlynn (12) and Heather (10) finished first and second, respectively, at both the XTERRA USA and World Trail Run half-marathons.  They were featured in the Sunday, November 4 edition of the New York Times in a piece titled “Too Fast, Too Soon?

Ogden, Utah: ENVE Composites, producers of the finest carbon road, mountain and triathlon wheels and components, signed two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson this week. ENVE Marketing Manager Jake Pantone commented, “Aside from being one of the world’s best in her sport, Lesley is a great personality that represents the values that ENVE is founded upon.  Her work as a coach and mentor to other athletes is as valuable to a brand like ENVE as her multiple world championships.  She is a very exciting addition to our family of athletes.”

The ENVE family of athletes also includes XTERRA athletes Nicolas Lebrun, Josiah Middaugh, Cody Waite and Adam Wirth.  ENVE designs and manufactures 100% of their rims in America.