Recent Ironman South American Championship winner, two-time Canadian Olympian and local Victoria resident, Brent McMahon, headlines a solid pro field at the sixth stop of the XTERRA Pan American Tour at Durrance Lake in Victoria, British Columbia this Sunday. The race course personifies “tough” with a 1.5K fresh water swim, followed by a 24K mountain bike on the world class trails of Mount Work Park, and 9.2K trail run through Partridge Hills scenic wilderness.
“It's fun to get back to some dirt racing here in Victoria,” said McMahon. “I spend the winters training and having fun on the trails so it's a blast to be able to go race on them with some friendly competition. It is a great location to swim and a challenging and a bit tricky of a bike course, especially if we get some west coast rain in the mix. The run has only a few hundred meters of non-technical and all the rest is a test for your feet and mind. After long hours of Ironman training and racing the constant stimuli of an XTERRA course will surely wake my senses up for the rest of the seasons build to Kona.”
McMahon has yet to be defeated on his home turf at XTERRA Victoria but will face stiff competition from a strong group of North American racers fighting for valuable tour points to solidify their ranking.
Guelph, Ontario’s Karsten Madsen, currently ranked second on the Pan American Tour, is a top contender. He is fresh off a win at XTERRA Mine Over Matter and finished 2nd to reigning World Champion, Josiah Middaugh at XTERRA Argentina and 3rd at XTERRA Oak Mountain in Pelham, Alabama. With national pride on the line, fellow Canadians Paul Tichelaar, 2008 Canadian Olympian and Nathan Killam who recently placed 6th at Wildflower will also be looking to unseat McMahon and Madsen.
Americans Chris Ganter, Ian King and newly-turned pro Dan Molnar, all head north of the border looking to make moves up the tour rankings. The young Kiwi pro, Kieran McPherson, currently ranked 11th in the Tour, is looking to improve his ranking as well. McPherson finished ahead of the three Americans in Pelham, Alabama in May at the first U.S. race of the Pan American Tour and is expected to do well.
In the women’s race, Victoria’s Katie Button, who placed third here last year and a consistent XTERRA podium finisher, will use her experience to fend off a number of ranked Pan Am Tour women including Americans Caroline Colonna, Rebecca Blatt and Sarah Graves. Appearing for the first time on the circuit is "wee Scottish lass" turned Las Vegas resident, Lisa Leonard, who is coached by fellow country-woman and XTERRA World Champ Lesley "the Scottish Rocket" Paterson.
The pull of the XTERRA Pan American Tour and this spectacular venue have more than doubled the entry over last year.
For age groupers, twenty-five slots to the prestigious XTERRA World Championship are up for grabs, and for Canadians the top five age groupers in each division will qualify to race at the 2017 ITU Cross Tri Worlds to be held in Penticton, BC. This, combined with the pull of US$7,500 in prize money and a possible Pan American Tour title, has attracted truly international competition.
Of note, one of the youngest on the start line will be 16-year old Heather Horton (Draper, UT), looking to solidify her quest for a XTERRA Pan American Tour title, and 17-year old Lewis Ryan (Rotorua, New Zealand) who is aiming for the top age group spot at XTERRA Worlds this year. The race will also see the return of former XTERRA pro and local girl, Danelle Kabush, who has had strong performances on this course in the past. Multi-time XTERRA age group World Champion and XTERRA Canada pioneer, Cal Zaryski, will also compete, along with Mat Signoretty who finished 4th overall for the past 2 years.
Learn more about XTERRA Victoria at www.xterravictoria.ca.
Pro Start List as of 7.7.2016
Brent McMahon (CAN)
Karsten Madsen (CAN)
Chris Ganter (USA)
Ian King (USA)
Kieran McPherson (NZL)
Daniel Molnar (USA)
Jimmy Archer (USA)
Nathan Killam (CAN)
Paul Tichelaar (CAN)
Katie Button (CAN)
Caroline Colonna (USA)
Rebecca Blatt (USA)
Sarah Graves (USA)
Annie Bergen (CAN)
Jaime Brede (USA)
Lisa Leonard (USA)
The inaugural XTERRA Pan American Tour is a 10-stop series for both amateur and professional athletes. Racers count their best four scores (two Gold, two Silver) plus what they earn at the XTERRA Pan American Championship race September 17 in Utah.
Learn more about the XTERRA Pan Am Tour at http://www.xterraplanet.com/xterra-pan-am-tour/