XTERRA Mine over Matter brought some heat to Milton, Ontario last weekend. On an unusually hot and humid day, Karsten Madsen and Heather Pady kept their feet to the fire and claimed top spots on the podium.
"Both Karsten Madsen and Heather Pady have won this event several times before, although they both do it in a different manner," said race director James Kowalewski. "Today Karsten led right from the gun, exiting the water about 20 seconds ahead of former training partner, Sean Bechtel, followed by amateur Steve Good - who had the race of his life - and French Polynesian pro Cedric Wane."
From there, Karsten put down the hammer on the first and shorter mountain bike lap, opening up the gap from seconds to minutes over Sean and the rest of the field.
"On lap two, Sean returned the favor and started to close the gap," said Kowalewski. "Sean entered into transition only two and a half minutes behind Karsten, but in the end, that extra effort on lap two caught up to Sean. Karsten put in the fastest run time of the day to go along with the fastest swim and bike splits. He broke the tape in 1:56:29 with Sean finishing in 2:03:38."
Cedric Wade made up a lot of time on the run, but experienced pro Sean Bechtel was able to hold him off in the final kilometer of the course, crossing the line only 12 seconds ahead of a charging Cedric Wane, who finished in 2:03:50.
On the women's side, returning amateur champion Heather Pady did what she has been able to do for so many races before.
"Heather put in a very strong swim followed by an absolutely crushing performance on the bike, finishing four minutes faster than her next competitor" said Kowalewski. "She followed that up with the fastest run split for the women too. This proven formula was more than enough for her to finish over 10 minutes faster than runner up Molly Hurford."
Age-grouper and XTERRA Ambassador Brad Scholtz finished eighth overall and first in his 45-49 age group. He shared his race experience:
XTERRA Mine over Matter was a blast! I came out of the water in the middle of the lead pack and moved quickly through T1. As I started the brutal climb out of the quarry, my heart rate was through the roof, but I knew it was crucial to hit the single track in front of as many bikes as possible due to limited places to pass. The bike course has two loops, but each is a different set of trails and it's all single track.
Despite the heat, I settled into my rhythm and was able to pick off a couple of people on the bike course. I was so impressed with how friendly everyone was.
The climb out of T2 was particularly painful as I tried to stay with the faster runners. But as I settled into my pace at the top of the quarry, I had a huge smile on my face as we twisted and turned through all the trails! I ran step for step with another guy in my age group for the first 3.5 miles.
At that point I was feeling pretty good and decided to take a chance and try and gap my "new friend" who, incidentally, was celebrating his birthday. When I took a glance over my shoulder I could see two athletes closing fast as we worked our way around the quarry toward the finish line. I dug in deep for all I had, and pushed it all the way home, barely hanging onto my spot.
Since 2010, XTERRA Mine Over Matter has gone from a small, local race to the largest off-road triathlon in Canada. It is the first of two races in the XTERRA Ontario Points Series, in which athletes can compete for 14 spots at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui.
The second race in the series is XTERRA Parry Sound on August 12, 2017.
View complete results for XTERRA Mine Over Matter at www.elementracing.ca
Photos courtesy of Christina Nolan, Dick Winters, and Nance Fleming. For copies of the photos, visit www.christinanolanphotography.com.