Middaugh, Paterson win XTERRA Beaver Creek

Jul. 15, 2017

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Josiah Middaugh and Lesley Paterson captured the ninth-annual XTERRA Beaver Creek Championship race elite titles on a picture-perfect morning in the Rocky Mountains surrounding Avon, Colorado.

The win is Middaugh’s fifth straight here on his home course (he lives a mile from the start line) and his third in a row on the XTERRA Pan America Tour this year.  For Paterson, the two-time XTERRA World Champ, it’s her first XTERRA victory of the year and in her first try on this course.


The men’s elite race got off to a furious pace with reigning XTERRA World Champion Mauricio Mendez coming out of the 67-degree waters of Nottingham Lake 20-seconds ahead of Branden Rakita and Brad Zoller.  Middaugh was the eighth man out of the water about 1:40 back of Mendez.

From there Mendez pushed the pace on the bike and still had more than one-minute on Middaugh after the first four miles and 2,000 feet of climbing.

“Mauricio has gotten so strong in every discipline, I just had to turn myself inside out on the bike,” said Middaugh, who posted the fastest bike split of the day in 1:09:36, nearly four minutes quicker than Mendez and Sam Long.  “I’ve never done this bike course that hard.”

The hometown hero finally caught Mendez at about mile 12, “but he put up a really strong fight,” said Middaugh.  “I finally got a little gap I think because I know this trail so well I was able to put a little time on the twists and turns and was able to get a little cushion heading into the run.”

It turned out Middaugh would need that cushion, as he crossed the line in 2:07:00, just 41-seconds ahead of Mendez who put in the fastest run split of the day (35:41 to Josiah’s 36:58).

“I’m worked, more so than I have been in a long time,” said Middaugh.  “The way I race, I go so hard on the bike the run is sometimes a crapshoot.  I feel like I’m a strong runner but sometimes it’s not there when I give everything on the bike.  Today was one of those days, and at altitude that makes it so much harder, you don’t feel like you have it and you just have to go to a really dark place and dig a little deeper.”

For Mendez, just to give the champ a good fight was all he could ask for.

“It’s beautiful to race him,” said Mendez.  “He pushed me to my limit, and I feel great to start the second part of the year in good form.  I wanted to know how I’d do on the mountain bike and I think it went well, I have to work a little harder on the technical stuff, and it’s going to be a lot of work for Utah and Maui, but I’m super excited.”

Sam Long, who finished 2nd at this race last year in his elite debut, finished in third place five minutes behind Mendez.

“I went a minute faster than I did last year and I was third, but those two guys are the best in the world so I’m happy with that,” said Long, who is a 21-year-old like Mendez and in his last semester of college (CU) as a double major in physiology and psychology.  “I had a decent swim, a minute faster than last year, pounded the bike hard but not enough to get up with Josiah and Mauricio so I found myself in third all by myself by that first aid station and that’s where I was the rest of the day.”

Brian Smith caught 12 guys on the bike and Branden Rakita and Ben Hoffman on the run to move into fourth place, his second fourth-place showing in as many races.

“Trying to hang with these young boys isn’t easy,” said Smith.  “I thought I might get top three because I got Ben and Branden on that first climb of the run and I was feeling really good but Sam is so fit.  I’ve got a little work to do for the next couple races, but Josiah (his coach) has been doing some great things for me so it’s just a matter of sticking to the program and keeping it rolling.”

Ironman great Ben Hoffman finished 17-seconds ahead of Rakita to round out the top five. It’s Hoffman’s sixth straight top 5 finish at this race.

“I drew blood, so it’s an official XTERRA,” said Hoffman, pointing to a cut on his forearm.  “I love doing XTERRA and getting out here. It’s a different kind of suffering. It feels like an Ironman packed into two hours, especially up here.  The altitude really stings, and it kinda feels like you’re going in slow motion. It was good to bust the cobwebs out and get back into racing for the second half of the year, and nice to test myself against the best guys. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a factor at the front of the race today. I would like to put a focus on XTERRA one year to see what I could do, but right now, the focus is on trying to win Kona.”


Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:07:00 100
2 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 2:07:41 90
3 Sam Long, USA 2:12:38 82
4 Brian Smith, USA 2:14:42 75
5 Ben Hoffman, USA 2:17:13 69
6 Cedric Wane, TAH 2:17:30 63
7 Branden Rakita, USA 2:17:55 58
8 Mario de Elias, ARG 2:19:34 53
9 Veit Hoenle, GER 2:19:42 49
10 Ryan Ignatz, USA 2:20:17 45
11 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:20:35 41
12 Thomas Spannring, USA 2:21:07 37
13 Joshua Merrick, USA 2:30:59 34
14 Michael Nunez, USA 2:37:03 31
15 Taylor Charlton, AUS 2:37:28 28
Also: Ian King, Brad Zoller


The “Scottish Rocket” Lesley Paterson called upon her alter ego “Paddy McGinty” to push her to perfection on the dirt today.

She was third out of the water just 25-seconds behind last year’s winner Julie Baker and two-seconds back of Suzie Snyder, passed Baker in transition, passed Snyder on the cart path less than a kilometer into the bike, and rode away from there.  She had the fastest bike split of the day, a 1:23:04 (next best was Suzie Snyder’s 1:28:26), the fastest run of the day, a 41:42 (again five minutes faster than Snyder) and finished with a winning time of 2:26:07, nearly 10-minutes ahead of Snyder.

“This course is my perfect course, I wish this was the Worlds’ course,” said Paterson.  “I’m smaller, I love climbing, I love the mountains, I love the people, I just love everything about this course. Everything felt good today and its been a while since I’ve felt that way.  I just had a lot of gratitude and joy, even though “Paddy” was out there fighting, I had a great time out there today. The body responded this week, and I’m so grateful.  I’ve had many ups and downs, so when you feel good like this it makes all the hard work worth it.”

Despite the big lead, Paterson said she gave it everything.

“For me its’ about pushing and fighting all the time and never giving up so regardless of where I’m at, in the front or at the back, I want to feel like I’m committed to the race every single second.”

Snyder finished in second place for the second time this year.  She’s won the other four races she’s done, and despite being stronger than everyone but Paterson, is still frustrated to not have found an answer to this course.

"I had such a good attitude and I was relaxed, but this course just doesn’t like me,” smiled Snyder. “I was trying to stay calm early on and hope that I could find a rhythm and gain strength but through the whole bike I didn’t feel too strong.  I couldn’t eat anything, my stomach was a mess, I couldn’t breathe, I wanted to throw up, and on the run I was suffering really bad.  It happens every year and I don’t know what to do about it. But that’s not to take anything away from Lesley, this is her kind of course.  Her power to weight is amazing, she just flies. And, I know this is not my strength of a course so I’m happy with second.”

Julie Baker, last year’s ‘surprise’ winner here on this course, finished in third roughly two minutes behind Snyder, and was thrilled with her performance.

“It feels really good, I can’t believe it and third is amazing,” said Baker.  “These women are so awesome.  I rode behind Suzie for a while on the bike and she gradually pulled ahead but just to know that I’m getting to the point where I can stay with her for a while, it feels really good.”

Morgane Riou from France was solid all day and finished fourth, saying “this altitude is not for me,” after the race, while Kara LaPoint rounded out the top five.


Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Lesley Paterson, GBR 2:26:07 100
2 Suzie Snyder, USA 2:35:50 90
3 Julie Baker, USA 2:38:19 82
4 Morgane Riou, FRA 2:41:02 75
5 Kara LaPoint, USA 2:43:27 69
6 Emma Garrard, USA 2:51:58 63
7 Annie Bergen, CAN 2:54:04 58
8 Heather Zimchek-Dunn, USA 2:59:13 53
9 Jessie Koltz, USA 3:05:14 49
10 Caroline Colonna, USA 3:07:22 45


Year Man Woman
2017 Josiah Middaugh Lesley Paterson
2016 Josiah Middaugh Julie Baker
2015 Josiah Middaugh Flora Duffy
2014 Josiah Middaugh Chantell Widney
2013 Josiah Middaugh Shonny Vanlandingham
2012 Conrad Stoltz Shonny Vanlandingham
2011 Josiah Middaugh Danelle Kabush
2010 Nico Lebrun Shonny Vanlandingham
2009 Nico Lebrun Shonny Vanlandingham


Of note, Josiah Middaugh’s 13-year-old son Sullivan won the XTERRA Sprint race this morning, and at the award ceremony Josiah said “that’s amazing, and I’m so happy for him. I heard that he won it when I was in transition, and from there I just felt like I couldn’t let the family down. I had to win.  What’s funny is Sullivan is a lot closer in age to Mauricio (8 years apart) than I am (17 years apart) so maybe I can start relaxing pretty soon and hand over the torch to him to chase Mauricio.”

“Great,” replied Mendez with a smile. “I’ll never get rid of the Middaugh’s.”


Branden Rakita, Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, and Josiah Middaugh are still the top three men in the Pan Am Pro Series standings, but with the win Middaugh closed the gap quite a bit.  With three races remaining, XTERRA Mexico, Dominican Republic, and the finale in Utah, anything can happen.  Kieran McPherson moved up three spots into the No. 4 position with Karsten Madsen rounding out the top five.

In the women’s chase Suzie Snyder built on her commanding lead at the pole position, Kara LaPoint is still strong in the second spot, and Morgane Riou jumped three spots from No. 5 to No. 3, leapfrogging past the Brazilians Sabrina Gobbo and Laura Mira Dias.

Next up: XTERRA Mexico (August 5 in Tapalpa, Jalisco)


After 7 - July 15, 2017

1 Branden Rakita, USA 347 56 47 56 DNS 69 61 58
2 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 282 61 56 61 DNS 37 67 DNS
3 Josiah Middaugh, USA 275 DNS DNS 75 DNS 100 DNS 100
4 Kieran McPherson, NZL 171 DNS DNS DNS 67 63 DNS 41
5 Karsten Madsen, CAN 165 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 75 DNS
6 Cedric Wane, TAH 155 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 51 63
7 Brian Smith, USA 150 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS 75
8 Ryan Ignatz, USA 149 DNS DNS 51 DNS 53 DNS 45
9 Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG 142 75 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
10 Felipe Moletta, BRA 136 DNS 61 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
11 Maximiliano Morales, ARG 118 67 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
12 Chris Ganter, USA 114 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 56 DNS
13 Ian King, USA 108 DNS 27 47 DNS 34 DNS DNP
14 Veit Hoenle, GER 98 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS 49
15 León Drajer, ESP 94 51 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
16 Micheal Nunez, USA 92 DNS DNS 30 DNS 31 DNS 31
17 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
18 Julien Buffe, FRA 82 43 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
19 Francisco Serrano, MEX 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS
20 Sam Long, USA 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
21 Felipe Barraza, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Guiherme Goncalves, BRA 72 DNS DNS 36 36 DNS DNS DNS
23 Ben Hoffman, USA 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69
24 Kris Coddens, BEL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS
25 Alexandre Manzan, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
26 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
27 Mario de Elias, ARG 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53
28 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
29 Andres Darricau, ARG 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
30 Diogo Malagon, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS
31 Cody Waite, USA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS
32 Greg Schott, USA 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
33 Rodrigo Moreira, BRA 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS
34 Federico Venegas, CRC 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS
35 Silveira Silva, BRA 39 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS
36 Thomas Spannring, USA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
37 Diego Moya, CHI 36 DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
38 Guilherme Goncalves, BRA 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS
39 Joshua Merrick, USA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34
40 Gaspar Riveros, CHI 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
41 Billy Gordon, PAN 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS
42 Anderson Ferreira, BRA 33 DNS DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS
43 Benjamin Munizaga, CHI 30 DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
44 Wellington Conceicao, BRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS
45 Ryan DeCook, USA 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS
46 Taylor Charlton, AUS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28
47 Andres Zuniga, CRC 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS
48 Pericles Andrade, BRA 27 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS
49 Fernando Melo, BRA 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS
50 Leonardo Lisboa, BRA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS


1 Suzie Snyder, USA 482 75 67 75 DNS 100 75 90
2 Kara LaPoint, USA 362 61 56 67 DNS 58 51 69
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 270 67 61 DNS DNS DNS 67 75
4 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 235 56 51 DNS 75 53 DNS DNS
5 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 221 51 47 56 67 DNP DNS DNS
6 Lesley Paterson, GBR 190 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS 100
7 Annie Bergen, CAN 177 DNS DNS 61 DNS 31 27 58
8 Julie Baker, USA 164 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS 82
9 Katie Button, CAN 124 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 61 DNS
10 Liz Gruber, USA 120 DNS DNS 51 DNS 69 DNS DNS
11 Caroline Colonna, USA 120 DNS DNS 47 DNS 28 DNS 45
12 Maia Ignatz, USA 118 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 43 DNS
13 Emma Garrard, USA 108 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS 63
14 Jessie Koltz, USA 88 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 49
15 Heather Zimchek-Dunn, USA 83 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 30 53
16 Barbara Riveros, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
17 Debby Sullivan, USA 74 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 33 DNS
18 Kelli Montgomery, USA 70 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 36 DNS
19 Isabella Ribeiro, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS
20 Vanessa Cabrini, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS
21 Zoe Dawson, CAN 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
22 Fernanda Prieto, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS
23 Katharine Carter, CAN 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS
24 Brisa Melcop, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS
25 Ladina Buss, SUI 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
26 Anne Usher, USA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS


Brett Tack from Boulder, Colorado and Genevieve Evans from Carnelian Bay, California captured the overall amateur titles this morning.  Tack led nearly from start to finish and crossed the line in 2:23:10, more than five-minutes ahead of runner-up Garren Watkins and 13th overall ahead of several elites.  Evans crossed the line in 2:43:53, nearly five-minutes in front of Anne Nevin and 6th overall ahead of several female elites.  In addition, dozens of the fastest age groupers from around the nation qualified for the XTERRA World Championship based on their performance today. We’ll have the full story on the amateur race in next week’s XTERRA Tribe News. Here’s a look at today’s age group winners:


Division Name Time Hometown
15  - 19 Heather Horton 3:08:15 Draper, UT
20 - 24 Sarah Horen 3:34:01 Avon, CO
25 - 29 Katarina Marks 2:53:34 Durango, CO
30 - 34 Amelia Vonesh 3:11:08 Avon, CO
35 - 39 Courtney Kaup 2:57:45 Richmond, VT
40 - 44  Genevieve Evans* 2:43:53 Carnelian Bay, CA
45 - 49 Lisa Isom 2:54:12 Edwards, CO
50 - 54 Margo Pitts 3:15:55 Raleigh, NC
55 - 59 Janet Soule 3:13:44 Davis, CA
60 - 64 Martha Buttner 3:19:59 Boulder, CO
65 - 69 Jo Garuccio 4:03:04 Sandy, UT
PC Christy Williams 4:29:22 Littleton, CO


Division Name Time Hometown
15 - 19 Benny Smith 2:40:15 Glenwood Springs, CO
20 - 24 Nelson Hegg 2:31:54 Boulder, CO
25 - 29 Victor Manuel Arenas 2:34:49 Itagui, Columbia
30 - 34  Brett Tack* 2:23:10 Boulder, CO
35 - 39 Benjamin Lokie 2:43:19 Gunnison, CO
40 - 44 Garren Watkins 2:28:27 Boulder, CO
45 - 49 Rife Hilgartner 2:35:44 Denver, CO
50 - 54 Grzegorz Zgliczynski 2:37:51 Highland Ranch, CO
55 - 59 Charlie Wertheim 2:40:42 Carbondale, CO
60 - 64 Johnny Davis 2:58:12 Boulder, CO
65 - 69 Laurence Goddard 3:55:19 Los Alamos, NM
70 - 74 Mike Judd 4:48:37 Ogden, UT
PC Andre Szucs 3:24:50 Encinitas, CA



XTERRA Beaver Creek was the seventh of 10 races on the XTERRA Pan Am Tour, and 25th of 40 on the XTERRA World Tour where amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
25-Feb XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
4-Mar XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
18-Mar XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
25-Mar XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
1-Apr XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
1-Apr XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
2-Apr XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
8-Apr XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
9-Apr XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
16-Apr XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
23-Apr XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
29-Apr XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
30-Apr XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
6-May XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
13-May XTERRA Brazil # Silver Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
14-May XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
20-May XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
27-May XTERRA Portugal * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Brigitta Poor
10-Jun XTERRA Belgium * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
17-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Karsten Madsen / Heather Pady
18-Jun XTERRA Finland * Silver Pavel Andreev / Louise Fox
24-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Arthur Forissier / Michelle Flipo
2-Jul XTERRA France * GOLD Ruben Ruzafa / Laura Philipp
9-Jul XTERRA Victoria # Silver Karsten Madsen / Suzie Snyder
15-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Lesley Paterson
30-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
5-Aug XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
6-Aug XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
12-Aug XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
13-Aug XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
19-Aug XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
26-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
2-Sep XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
3-Sep XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii


The 2017 XTERRA Beaver Creek Championship was presented by Paul Mitchell and Beaver Creek Resorts.  Sponsors include the Utah Sports Commission, Outrigger Resorts, Muscle Milk, Gatorade Endurance, Suunto, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, XTERRA Boards, Oofos, City of Avon, and Beaver Creek mountain lodging.  Special thanks to all the great locals, volunteers, mountain ops, and medical staff for an amazing job. This great event would not be possible without their generous support.

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