(Piti, Guam) – South Africa’s Dan Hugo led from wire-to-wire, posting the fastest swim (19:39), bike (1:24:41) and run (44:20) times of the day to capture the 10th annual XTERRA Guam Championship in 2:28:40 on Saturday. In the women’s race the “Swiss Miss” Renata Bucher edged fellow Aloha Racing team member and island favorite Mieko Carey with a winning time of 3:03:52.
The victory is Hugo’s 3rd straight on the XTERRA World Tour, as he also captured the XTERRA South Africa in February and the Philippines Championship two weeks ago in Cebu.
“It's been a stellar two weeks on Guam,” said Hugo. “It is a great training environment for Asian athletes needing to escape winter. Multiple running tracks, 50m pools, quiet roads. It has been great for both Brad and I, and that showed today.”
Hugo and his travel /training buddy Bradley Weiss, also of South Africa, pulled away from the entire field during the scenic, warm-water swim then tackled the signature hill climb right out of transition to bridge a gap that would never be contested.
“Did the first climb with Brad, setting up a good day for us both, and got time immediately onto the dirt which starts with a fun style of pump track riding that I enjoy,” said Hugo, who added that conditions were ideal for racing with “Sublime weather. Not much cloud, not much oppressive heat.”
By the time he got on the run Hugo could relax and enjoy perhaps the most adventurous route on the XTERRA Planet.
“I ran conservatively, especially down the waterfall sections. Unfortunately no camera gets down to the true magic of the run, where the creek meanders through thickets of old bamboo forest,” said Hugo. “The water pools were cool and joyous relief when going in neck deep.”
The post-race festivities in Guam are an event into themselves with great food and live music, and a community filled with the Live More spirit of XTERRA.
“These people are real home grown enthusiasts for the sport, and they produce an XTERRA with soul across a memorable swim-bike-run route,” said Hugo (read his race recap at dghugo.com). “It’s a bucket list race destination for certain.”
Weiss, who just turned 25-years-old, was in a world all his own on the day - finishing second with no one in sight, while Kiwi Olly Shaw followed in third. A deep, international elite field filled in behind with Nico Sterk (RSA), Markus Benesch (AUT), Guam-based elite Charlie Epperson - the top American on the day, placing 6th overall, and Mark Leishman (NZL) rounding out the top 7.
|1||Dan Hugo, RSA||2:28:40|
|2||Brad Weiss, RSA||2:35:43|
|3||Olly Shaw, NZL||2:39:12|
|4||Nico Sterk, RSA||2:43:52|
|5||Markus Benesch, AUT||2:45:30|
|6||Charlie Epperson, USA||2:54:05|
|7||Mark Leishman, NZL||2:55:18|
|8||Michal Bucek, SVK||3:15:33|
|9||Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN||3:23:53|
|10||Tyce Mister, USA||3:37:08|
BUCHER WINS AGAIN
Renata Bucher is the women’s Guam champ for the third time in five years and collected her 33rd career XTERRA championship title, but it didn’t happen the way she envisioned.
Austria’s Carina Wasle posted the fastest bike split of the day and had the lead into the run but missed an arrow and went off course, as did local favorite Mieko Carey, who was second out of transition.
“Carina was very strong today and when she passed me on the bike I could not keep up,” explained Bucher. “Mieko rode well too, she was so motivated for her home race. So I came into transition in 3rd position. On the run, I just kept it steady and safe through the waterfall and the jungle sections. I didn’t run that fast but I had good sight of all the arrows. I ran a lot with Chuck Fortier (Canadian age-grouper who won mens amateur title) and we quite enjoyed the run. When I came to the finish line, I really thought I was second because the only person I passed on the run was Mieko, who also got off-course but Chuck and I saw it and cried loud to let her know to come back. After I passed the finish line, they put the XTERRA Guam band in my hand and told me I won the race. I was so surprised and asked where Carina is, but nobody had seen her yet. Winning a race like that, it feels different, not like winning, more like a present from the island of Guam and the people here. I love this place.”
To be fair, there is no telling what would have happened had Wasle and Carey not gone off-course, as Bucher has a long-history of pulling off stunning runs to win races, especially on the Asia-Pacific Tour, and was certainly within striking distance just two minutes back of Wasle out of transition.
“A bit disappointed as I had a good lead in the run and then missed an arrow,” posted Wasle to her Facebook page. “Went much too far and got lost in the river. Not a big win for me today, but I'll be back next week at XTERRA Saipan.”
Carey, the reigning and 4-time XTERRA Japan Champion, finished 41-seconds behind Bucher in 2nd place. The trio will square off again next week at the XTERRA Saipan Championship.
|1||Renata Bucher, SUI||3:03:52|
|2||Mieko Carey, JPN||3:04:33|
|3||Carina Wasle, AUT||3:15:11|
2014 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING EVENTS
The XTERRA Guam Championship was the fourth of 37 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 26, 2014. Up next, the XTERRA Saipan Championship on April 5.
|23-Feb||XTERRA South Africa||Grabouw, Western Cape|
|8-Mar||XTERRA Motatapu||South Island, New Zealand|
|15-Mar||XTERRA Philippines Championship||Cebu|
|29-Mar||XTERRA Guam Championship||Piti|
|30-Mar||XTERRA Great Ocean Road||Angelsea, Victoria, Australia|
|30-Mar||XTERRA Costa Rica||Playa Reserve Conchal|
|5-Apr||XTERRA Saipan Championship||Northern Marianas|
|12-Apr||XTERRA New Zealand Championship||Rotorua|
|13-Apr||XTERRA West Championship||Lake Las Vegas, Nevada|
|26-Apr||XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship||Jervis Bay, New South Wales, Australia|
|17-May||XTERRA Southeast Championship||Pelham, Alabama|
|24-May||XTERRA Mauritius||Bois Cheri|
|25-May||XTERRA Spain Championship||Cieza, Murcia|
|8-Jun||XTERRA Brazil Championship||Ilhabela, Sao Paulo|
|15-Jun||XTERRA East Championship||Richmond, Virginia|
|21-Jun||XTERRA Greece||Lake Plastira|
|28-Jun||XTERRA Switzerland Championship||Vallee de Joux|
|5-Jul||XTERRA Ontario - Canadian Cross Tri Championship||Milton, Ontario, Canada|
|6-Jul||XTERRA France Championship||Xonrupt, Gerardmer|
|6-Jul||XTERRA Victoria||British Columbia, Canada|
|6-Jul||XTERRA Freedom Fest||Kualoa Ranch, Oahu, Hawaii|
|19-Jul||XTERRA Mountain Championship||Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, Colorado|
|20-Jul||XTERRA Ireland||Killaloe, County Clare|
|26-Jul||XTERRA Italy Championship||Abruzzo, Scanno|
|2-Aug||XTERRA Mexico Championship||Tapalpa, Jalisco|
|9-Aug||XTERRA Czech Championship||Prachatice|
|16-Aug||XTERRA Germany Championship||Zittau|
|17-Aug||XTERRA Canmore||Alberta, Canada|
|24-Aug||XTERRA England||Cranleigh, Surrey|
|31-Aug||XTERRA Quebec||Lac Delage, Quebec, Canada|
|7-Sep||XTERRA Sleeping Giant||Thundery Bay, Ontario, Canada|
|20-Sep||XTERRA USA Championship||Ogden/Snowbasin, UT|
|26-Oct||XTERRA World Championship||Maui, Hawaii|
About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA
TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988. It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2014 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 25+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990. View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterratrailrun.com.