Akerson, Snyder win XTERRA Dominican Republic

Jul. 31, 2016

Barahona, Dominican Republic - Costa Rica’s Rom Akerson, and Pan Am Tour women’s leader Suzie Snyder (USA) took the wins today at the inaugural XTERRA Dominican Republic.  In the process, they introduced a brand new adventure destination at Casa Bonita in the beachside town of Barahona and an epic race course three hours southeast of Santo Domingo.

The win is Akerson's first on the XTERRA Pan American Tour.  A native of Costa Rica, the hot and humid conditions suited him to a tee.  For Snyder, this was her third win on the Tour following her victories at XTERRA Oak Mountain in Shelby County, Alabama, and XTERRA Mine over Matter in Ontario, Canada.

As the sun rose over the ocean this morning, it revealed intimidating surf (which local surfers were taking full advantage of), along with a wicked shore break onto a rocky beach.  When the gun went off for the elites they encountered strong cross currents, and huge sets that some estimated were ten to fifteen feet from top to bottom.  After two laps of a 750-meter course with no beach run between due to the shore break, Puerto Rico's Fabian Roman was first out leading a group that included Akerson, 16-year-old local DR elite Kevin Martinez, and American Branden Rakita.  Reigning world champion, Josiah Middaugh, was only steps behind in 5th.

Leaving transition for two laps of a gnarly 15.5k with 562m of elevation gain and loose, rocky downhills likened to Maui's famous "Plunge".  Middaugh took the lead early on the bike - was first to a closed gate which he opened for the rest of the field.  At the river crossing right before transition and the start of the second lap, Josiah had a minute and a half lead over Akerson with Rakita in 3rd about 2 mins behind Akerson.  The young kiwi, Kieran McPherson, trailed in 4th with American Ryan Ignatz in his first race back after a bad crash in June, in 5th.

About half way down the descent on the second lap, Middaugh was stopped by a flat which took him 15 minutes to repair.  "I was having a good time for a while," he quipped.  "And then I got a puncture.  I tried to plug it. I used my first CO2 to find the hole, but the hole was too big.  So I put a tube in and inflated it with my other CO2, but the tube had a hole in it, so then I had nothing.  I started running with the bike.  Rom and Braden went by and didn't have anything to give me...then finally somebody had a tube.  I put that in and then I couldn't find my through axle.  It was a half a mile back up the hill.  I left the bike and ran up the hill but couldn't find it.  I ran past it, looked everywhere and then finally, found it and ran back to the bike."

Akerson was first back to transition with the fastest bike of the day (1:39:55) and went out on the run with a lead of four and half minutes which he extended to nine and a half minutes to take the win in 2:45:30.

"This is a super hard course and very challenging.  This race will be known for its toughness but so is the XTERRA family," he said.  "I need the points, and this throws me up (in the Tour rankings where he moved from 7th to 4th)".

Rakita was very happy with second, "I really powered on the run.  I wanted to stay ahead of Kieran.  He ran well in Alabama and almost closed down on me, so I had to run hard not to let him catch me. I am happy with second, but it is bitter sweet with Josiah getting the flat."

McPherson took third and Middaugh 4th with the fastest run split at 41:26.  Ignatz was 5th in his first race back on XTERRA circuit since a bad crash in June.

Of note, local DR elite athlete Kevin Martinez was a DNF today.  He experienced a mechanical on the first lap bike.  He finished the race unofficially on a borrowed bike and completed the full run course.

Snyder Dominican Republic


In the women's race, it was Suzie Snyder's day.  She led from start to finish - and her finish was strong enough for 5th place overall.

"This win means a lot," she said.  Snyder broke her pelvis a year ago, and has had a long recovery.  "Thinking back to the beginning of the season when I didn't know if I'd be able to race the series, or what races I'd be able to do, and at what level.  I didn't think I could be winning races this year.  I trained really hard swimming and biking over the winter when I couldn't run.  Here it helped going into the run knowing I had a really strong swim and bike, but I ran hard regardless."

Finishing second, nine and a half minutes behind Snyder, was France's Myriam Guillot-Boisset.

"Kara (LaPoint) and I worked together on the bike although she knew I would be faster in the run. We made a gap on the other girls, but I couldn't stay with her and she dropped me.  But then I caught her at transition and we left together on the run.  I knew Suzie was very far in front, so I didn't really push hard, I just went for a good run," said Guillot-Boisset, who finished 2-1/2 minutes ahead of LaPoint in 3rd.

LaPoint said "the swim was very difficult as the waves were huge and getting out was a big challenge.  I was really tired and had swallowed gallons of sea water.  Myriam and I stuck together through almost the whole ride.  It was great to have someone else to share the suffering with, and it made it fun for me.  She's an amazing runner, so I knew I couldn't stick with her on the run, but it was great to have that carrot to guide me through.  I knew Maia (Ignatz) was somewhere behind me on the run. She is an awesome runner.  So I put my nose to the ground and charged as hard as I could.  I had enough of a gap to hang in there.  I'm excited with third."

American Maia Ignatz took 4th with Brazil's Sabrina Gobbo in 5th.


Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Rom Akerson, CRC 2:45:30 100
2 Branden Rakita, USA 2:55:03 90
3 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:59:01 82
4 Josiah Middaugh, USA 3:01:00 75
5 Ryan Ignatz, USA 3:22:21 69
6 Fabian Roman, PUR 3:24:13 63
7 Leandro Sanchez, DOM 3:56:03 58
Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 3:14:09 100
2 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 3:23:35 90
3 Kara LaPoint, USA 3:26:09 82
4 Maia Ignatz, USA 3:30:59 75
5 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 3:35:26 69
6 Katharine Carter, CAN 3:43:30 63
7 Debby Sullivan, USA 3:49:26 58
8 Laura Mira Diaz, BRA 4:00:42 53


Brazilian Luiz Escudero took 1st place for age group men in 3:50:36 and first place Men 50-54.  American Mimi Stockton won the age group women's race in 3:52:34. Here's a look at all of today's age group champs:

Men 20-24 Fernando Rosario 5:52:08
Men 30-34 Gaston Fischer 4:00:09
Men 35-39 Juan Carlos Arenas 4:14:55
Men 40-44 Luis Manuel Gonzalez 4:02:21
Men 45-49 Rene Lopez 4:10:04
Men 50-54 Loiz Escudero 3:50:36

Women 35-39 Mirtha Lucia Re Palacios 4:26:15
Women 40-44 Mimi Stockton 3:52:34


After eight of 10 events in the Pan Am Pro Series Josiah Middaugh and Suzie Snyder sit in the top spots as both have amassed 342 points, the result of two Gold-scoring race victories, one Silver-scoring race win, and one Silver-scoring race 2nd-place.

Many of the top 10 men and women are racing in the final two events at XTERRA Mexico (next weekend), and the XTERRA Pan Am Championship in Utah on September 17, so there's still a lot that can happen.

Pros count their best four scores (two Gold, two Silver) and whatever they get (or don't get) at the finale in Utah to determine their final score.

Learn more about the XTERRA Pan Am Tour at http://www.xterraplanet.com/xterra-pan-am-tour/

Here's a look at the elite standings after eight:

After 8 - 7.31.16
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 342
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 322
3 Branden Rakita, USA 273
4 Rom Akerson, CRC 243
5 Kieran McPherson, NZL 233
6 Chris Ganter, USA 169
7 Ian King, USA 153
8 Mario De Elias, ARG 112
9 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90
10 Thomas Spannring, USA 90
11 Sam Long, USA 90
12 Cody Waite, USA 89
13 Jonatan Morales, ARG 82
14 Karl Shaw, GBR 75
15 Oscar Galindez, ARG 75
16 Albert Soley, ESP 75
17 Ben Hoffman, USA 75
18 Lucas Mendez, ARG 69
19 Leon Griffin, USA 69
20 Ryan Ignatz, USA 69
21 Felipe Moletta, BRA 67
22 Paul Tichelaar, CAN 67
23 Fabian Roman, PUR 63
24 Diogo Malagon, BRA 61
25 Facu Medard, ARG 58
26 Greg Bennett, AUS 58
27 Leandro Sanchez, DOM 58
28 Francois Carloni, FRA 56
29 Bruno Silva, BRA 56
30 Alex VanderLinden, CAN 56
31 Brent McMahon, CAN 56
32 Brad Zoller, USA 53
33 Federico Venegas, CRC 51
34 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 51
35 Sean Bechtel, USA 51
36 Nathan Killam, CAN 51
37 Mauro Ayesa, USA 49
38 Greg Schott, USA 47
39 Raul Furtado, BRA 47
40 Daniel Molnar, USA 47
41 Victor Arenas, ARG 45
42 Michael Nunez, USA 45
43 Brian Smith, USA 45
44 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 43
45 Brian MacIlvain, USA 43
46 Clarke Lind, CAN 43
47 Parada Penagos, ARG 41
48 Eduardo Marcolino, BRA 39
49 Adam Morka, CAN 39
50 Michi Weiss, AUT 37
51 Rodrigo Altafini, BRA 36
52 Jimmy Archer, USA 36
53 Patrick McKeon, USA 34
55 Stenio Bezerra, BRA 33
56 Rogério Paula, BRA 30
57 Ramon Bustos, BRA 27
58 Cristiam Suzin, BRA 25
59 Juscelino Vasco, BRA 23
60 Wellington Conceição, BRA 21
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 342
2 Maia Ignatz, USA 289
3 Kara Lapoint, USA 278
4 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 274
5 Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA 265
6 Debby Sullivan, USA 227
7 Caroline Colonna, USA 202
8 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 202
9 Katharine Carter, CAN 194
10 Rebecca Blatt, USA 184
11 Sarah Graves, USA 150
12 Julie Baker, USA 100
13 Fabiola Corona, MEX 90
14 Erika Simon, ARG 75
15 Katie Button, CAN 75
16 Elizabeth Gruber, USA 69
17 Joanna Brown, CAN 67
18 Zoe Dawson, CAN 67
19 Isabella Ribeiro 61
20 Danelle Kabush, CAN 61
21 Caitlin Snow, USA 56
22 Luisa Saft, BRA 56
23 Jaime Brede, USA 56
24 Mayalen Noriega, ESP 53
25 Vanessa Cabrini, BRA 51
26 Lisa Leonard, USA 51
27 Maggie Rusch, USA 49
28 Fernanda Prieto, BRA 47
29 Annie-Claude Gaudet, CAN 47
30 Brisa Melcop, BRA 43
31 Julie Stupp, USA 41
32 Beatriz Granziera, BRA 39
33 Amanda Felder, USA 39
34 Melania Giraldi, BRA 36
35 Monalisa Vieira, BRA 33


XTERRA Dominican Republic was one of more than 30 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 21st annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 23.

7-Feb XTERRA Philippines Brad Weiss/Lizzie Orchard
21-Feb XTERRA South Africa Brad Weiss/Flora Duffy
5-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Olly Shaw/Mary Gray
12-Mar XTERRA Saipan Brodie Gardner/Carina Wasle
20-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Karl Shaw/Myriam Guillot-Boisset
26-Mar XTERRA Argentina Josiah Middaugh/Myriam Guillot
3-Apr XTERRA Malta Roger Serrano/Brigitta Poor
16-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
17-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa/Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Braden Currie/Lizzie Orchard
7-May XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour Championship Ben Allen/Jacqui Slack
7-May XTERRA Brazil Albert Soley/Sabrina Gobbo
7-May XTERRA Greece Roger Serrano/Helena Erbenova
14-May XTERRA Tahiti Josiah Middaugh/Lesley Paterson
21-May XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park Josiah Middaugh/Suzie Snyder
21-May XTERRA Portugal Ruben Ruzafa/Helena Erbenova
11-Jun XTERRA Belgium Kris Coddens/Helena Erbenova
25-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Ruben Ruzafa/Michelle Flipo
25-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Karsten Madsen/Suzie Snyder
3-Jul XTERRA France Ruben Ruzafa/Lesley Paterson
10-Jul XTERRA Victoria Karsten Madsen/Katie Button
16-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Josiah Middaugh/Julie Baker
31-Jul XTERRA Italy Mauricio Mendez/Lesley Paterson
31-Jul XTERRA Dominican Republic Rom Akerson/Suzie Snyder
6-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa
7-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow
13-Aug XTERRA Sweden Hellsgaarten, Stockholm
20-Aug XTERRA European Championship Zittau, Germany
3-Sep XTERRA Japan Hokkaido
4-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint
17-Sep XTERRA USA / Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA
23-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui
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