Mendez, Paterson win XTERRA Pan Am Championship

By XTERRA
Sep. 16, 2017

Find XTERRA Trail Run Nationals Story (Paterson, Hales win) here

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Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the XTERRA Pan America Championship race on a beautiful day around Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah this morning.

The challenge started with a one-mile swim in Pineview Reservoir (4,900-feet elevation), followed with an 18-mile mountain bike leg that climbed more than 3,000-feet to the top of Sardine Peak (7,300-feet elevation) and culminated with a 7-mile trail run featuring another 700-feet of climbing on trails in the Wasatch Range.

In the men’s elite race Mendez came out of the water with Australian Ben Allen, took the lead during the swim-to-bike transition and led the rest of the way, taking the tape in 2:22:50, nearly two-minutes ahead of last year’s winner Josiah Middaugh of Colorado.

“Today was just perfect. I mean, I felt good on the swim, we worked at having a good pace. When we were out of the swim, and we noticed we had a big gap – Ben Allen and me – I was just feeling confident about it and when we hit the dirt I did an attack and I felt great,” said Mendez, the 21-year-old reigning XTERRA World Champion.

“I was just attacking the whole time because I knew that I’d have big sharks behind me and they could catch me at any time so I was trying to push as hard as possible. Then when I hit the run, and someone told me I was leading by one minute I just knew that, I mean, I am so used to chasing Josiah the whole time and now that I had him behind me I knew that I had made a good effort on the bike but now I was worried to be caught by him.”

The 2015 XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh came out of the water about 1:40 behind Mendez, made up 30 seconds of that by posting the fastest bike split of the day (1:24:37), but couldn’t close the gap on the run.

“Mauricio was out in front from the get go and he put an attack early on the bike and you know I did everything I could to try to try to reel him back in but I just wasn’t making back the time very quick,” said Middaugh, who overtook Branden Rakita to win the XTERRA Pan America Tour title with his second-place showing today.  “I was pushing hard but not making the time.  Hats off to him, he was riding really strong and had just a killer pace up that climb and it was everything I could do to just keep it close.”

Asked if he thought he could catch Mendez on the run, Middaugh added, “Yeah, I thought you never know what can happen. Maybe somebody gets tired or pushed too hard on the bike but Mauricio, I’ve never seen him give up a lead so I knew it was a tall ask but I thought if I kept my head down and ran hard I’d make back a little bit of time.”

Bradley Weiss, two weeks removed from winning the XTERRA European Championship in Denmark, rode with Middaugh practically the whole bike and was second into T2 just ahead of Middaugh.

“Coming into altitude I knew it was going to be tough to reach that top 5% you need racing against these guys,” said Weiss.  “I had no pressure on myself and I’ve never been so relaxed before a race. I was super chill. Coming in with that relaxed mindset did help me a little, but still the swim was such a shamble. Swimming at altitude you can’t breathe. So, I just tried to limit my losses a bit but I was within a minute of the leaders so I’m pretty happy with that. Considering I didn’t feel like I was moving very well. Onto the bike I settled into a pretty good pace and then Josiah caught me super early so I was like quite surprised about that. When he came past I thought ‘OK this isn’t too bad I can hang on to this’ and then we rode together all the way to the end. Then he caught a rear flat on the last descent so that slowed him down a bit, that’s how I got past, otherwise we would have come in together which we did basically.”

Weiss finished third nearly two minutes behind Middaugh.

“Starting the run, I felt like my run legs were pretty descent,” said Weiss. “I had a little bit of a lead on Josiah going up and I thought hey, maybe second place is in the cards but then once he got going, I was like, OK. I’ll settle for third today. And Mauricio coming from Mexico City had been training at 3000 meters so he’s very well acclimatized to altitude. It’s always going to be tough to race against them but it’s very promising leading into Maui.”

In fourth was another young-gun, a 20-year-old from Taupo by the name of Kyle Smith and in fifth was Ben Allen from Australia.

PATERSON DOMINATES

In the women’s elite race Paterson, a two-time XTERRA World Champion, was the sixth elite female out of the swim, passed all five riders in front of her by mile five of the bike and never looked back.  Her winning time of 2:51:13 was a full seven-minutes ahead of runner-up Jacqui Allen from Great Britain.

“I came out of the water in second place, two-minutes down, got up into second place just after Wheeler Canyon, probably about half a mile into the next trail.  I passed Julie about another mile after that but she’s strong, you know and kept with me for a bit,” said Paterson.

The “Scottish Rocket” posted the fastest bike and run splits of the day, and looked dominant.

“Yeah man, I was really going for it today,” said Paterson.  “The bike felt great, I attacked the whole time and just went for it. I felt strong so wanted to push it and keep those girls honest. And the conditions were just supreme. That descent was amazing on the bike, and I’ll tell ya, if I didn’t have to run I might have enjoyed that.”

Julie Baker, who works a full-time as a soil scientist, had a brilliant race and the lead through the first five miles of the bike.

“I was in front for a little bit which was fun, but I kept waiting for Lesley to steamroll by me,” she said.  “Lesley came by me by the bridges at mile five I guess, and she opened up a little gap on me and then on that little rocky mountain hill I caught her again. Then as soon as we started up again, she took it away. She just goes insanely hard, and she breathes like a freight train coming by and I don’t know how she goes that fast and that hard for so long. It’s incredible.”

Baker then had Jacqui Allen on her wheel about 15K into the bike and said “I kept her in sight for quite a while on the bike but I didn’t see her on the run.  I was hoping, because I think I’m a comparable runner to her so I tried to stay close enough but then when I started running I was cramping so I had to dial it back a little.”

The former amateur XTERRA World Champ gives a lot of credit to her coach, none other than Josiah Middaugh.

“Oh my god, that was awesome, I’m super stoked about today,” said Baker.  “That was a really strong field this year, and I have to thank Josiah for being my coach this year. I’ve learned a lot about bike training and how to balance everything. On the bike, I’m fitter than I’ve ever been.”

Jacqui Allen is also in fine form, and finished in second-place about one-minute ahead of Baker.

“I felt really, really good, like I got past this altitude stuff,” said Allen.  “I was pretty confident going into the race actually. I was on the course the other day and felt good and I probably rode it faster in practice than I did in the race a few years ago.  Today I had a really good swim. It took a bit of time on the bike to get going and Julie passed me early on and then Lesley came past and after that I got into my groove and passed Julie back and towards the end I could push on a lot more, I was out of the saddle, really ripping it. I love the downhill here, and then on the run I said in my prerace thing that as soon as I got off the first hill I’d smile, so I just kept reminding myself of that. But that’s the longest, hardest downhill I’ve ever done I think. But it was amazing. I felt awesome.”

Suzie Snyder was solid in all three disciplines to finish in fourth and secure her second-straight XTERRA Pan America Tour championship, and Morgane Riou from France rounded out the top five.

Middaugh and Baker earned XTERRA USA Champion honors as well today for being the top Americans in the race.

MIDDAUGH, SNYDER WIN XTERRA PAN AMERICA TOUR ELITE TITLES

As the culmination of a series of off-road triathlons spanning South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S., and with $60,000 in Tour bonus money at stake, today’s race was one of the true marquee events on the XTERRA World Tour.

In the men’s chase Josiah Middaugh jumped past Branden Rakita and Suzie Snyder held on to her lead as both won the XTERRA Pan Am Tour for the second straight year.

Brian Smith, who place 6th today, made a big jump to move from 7th to 4th in the standings, and by virtue of winning today Mendez made a huge leap from 19th to 5th.

In the women’s chase the top four women in the standings all held position, with the biggest move coming from Paterson’s win that bumped her into the fifth spot.

2017 XTERRA PAN AM TOUR FINAL ELITE STANDINGS
ELITE MEN

PL NAME, NAT TOT ARG CHI CRC BRA OAK VIC BVR MEX DOM USA
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 630 DNS DNS 75 DNS 100 DNS 100 100 75 180
2 Branden Rakita, USA 564 56 47 56 DNS 69 61 58 63 56 98
3 Kieran McPherson, NZL 426 DNS DNS DNS 67 63 DNS 41 82 67 106
4 Brian Smith, USA 334 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS 75 58 DNS 126
5 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 290 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS DNS 200
6 Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG 285 75 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 DNS 68
7 Cedric Wane, TAH 282 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 51 63 53 DNS 74
8 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 282 61 56 61 DNS 37 67 DNS DNS DNS DNP
9 Felipe Moletta, BRA 198 DNS 61 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 62
10 Sam Long, USA 198 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS 116
11 Julien Buffe, FRA 182 43 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 51 DNP
12 Francisco Serrano, MEX 172 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS DNS 90 DNS DNS
13 Chris Ganter, USA 170 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 56 DNS DNS DNS 56
14 Karsten Madsen, CAN 165 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS
15 Bradley Weiss, RSA 164 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 164
16 Kyle Smith, NZL 150 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 150
17 Ryan Ignatz, USA 149 DNS DNS 51 DNS 53 DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS
18 Ben Allen, AUS 138 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 138
19 Maximiliano Morales, ARG 118 67 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
20 Ian King, USA 108 DNS 27 47 DNS 34 DNS DNP DNS DNS DNP
21 Veit Hoenle, GER 98 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS 49 DNS DNS DNS
22 León Drajer, ESP 94 51 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Micheal Nunez, USA 92 DNS DNS 30 DNS 31 DNS 31 DNS DNS DNS
24 Alex Modestou, USA 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
25 Walter Schafer, USA 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
26 Felipe Barraza, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Guiherme Goncalves, BRA 72 DNS DNS 36 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Ben Hoffman, USA 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS
29 Leonardo Mata , MEX 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 69 DNS DNS
30 Kris Coddens, BEL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Alexandre Manzan, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
32 Leonardo Chacon, CRC 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
33 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
34 Mario de Elias, ARG 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 53 DNS DNS DNS
35 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
36 Andres Darricau, ARG 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNP
37 Diogo Malagon, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
38 Cody Waite, USA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
39 Esteban Rosas, MEX 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS DNS
40 Greg Schott, USA 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
41 Rodrigo Moreira, BRA 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
42 Daniel Ramirez, MEX 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 DNS DNS
43 Federico Venegas, CRC 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
44 Silveira Silva, BRA 39 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
45 Thomas Spannring, USA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS
46 Joaquin Pereda, MEX 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS
47 Diego Moya, CHI 36 DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
48 Guilherme Goncalves, BRA 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
49 Joshua Merrick, USA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 DNS DNS DNS
50 Gaspar Riveros, CHI 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
51 Billy Gordon, PAN 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
52 Anderson Ferreira, BRA 33 DNS DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
53 Benjamin Munizaga, CHI 30 DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
54 Wellington Conceicao, BRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
55 Ryan DeCook, USA 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
56 Taylor Charlton, AUS 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 DNS DNS DNS
57 Andres Zuniga, CRC 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
58 Pericles Andrade, BRA 27 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
59 Fernando Melo, BRA 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
60 Leonardo Lisboa, BRA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS

ELITE WOMEN

PL NAME, NAT TOT ARG CHI CRC BRA OAK VIC BVR MEX DOM USA
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 732 75 67 75 DNS 100 75 90 100 DNS 150
2 Kara LaPoint, USA 630 61 56 67 DNS 58 51 69 75 67 126
3 Morgane Riou, FRA 565 67 61 DNS DNS DNS 67 75 82 75 138
4 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 409 51 47 56 67 DNP DNS DNS 58 56 74
5 Lesley Paterson, GBR 390 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS 100 DNS DNS 200
6 Julie Baker, USA 328 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 DNS 82 DNS DNS 164
7 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 303 56 51 DNS 75 53 DNS DNS DNS DNS 68
8 Annie Bergen, CAN 246 DNS DNS 61 DNS 31 27 58 69 DNS DNP
9 Emma Garrard, USA 224 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45 DNS 63 DNS DNS 116
10 Katie Button, CAN 222 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 61 DNS DNS DNS 98
11 Jessie Koltz, USA 221 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 39 49 DNF 51 82
12 Jacqui Allen, GBR 180 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 180
13 Heather Zimchek-Dunn, USA 173 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 30 53 DNS DNS 90
14 Caroline Colonna, USA 173 DNS DNS 47 DNS 28 DNS 45 53 DNS DNF
15 Genevieve Evans, USA 167 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 61 106
16 Liz Gruber, USA 120 DNS DNS 51 DNS 69 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
17 Maia Ignatz, USA 118 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75 43 DNS DNS DNS DNS
18 Anne Usher, USA 99 DNS DNS DNS DNS 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS 62
19 Fabiola Corona, MEX 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 DNS DNS
20 Barbara Riveros, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
21 Debby Sullivan, USA 74 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 33 DNS DNS DNS DNS
22 Kelli Montgomery, USA 70 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 36 DNS DNS DNS DNS
23 Dunia Gomez, MEX 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 63 DNS DNS
24 Isabella Ribeiro, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
25 Holly Henry, CAN 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56
26 Vanessa Cabrini, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
27 Zoe Dawson, CAN 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS DNS DNS DNS
28 Fernanda Prieto, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
29 Katharine Carter, CAN 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNP
30 Brisa Melcop, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS
31 Ladina Buss, SUI 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS


HAUGAN, MCCURDY WIN XTERRA PAN AM CHAMPS AMATEUR TITLES
Tate Haugan from Canada and Deanna McCurdy from Colorado won the overall amateur XTERRA Pan America Championship titles today. All of the age group winners below (aside from Haugen) won both the XTERRA Pan America and USA Championship crowns. In the men’s 15-19 division, Michael Loutzenheiser from Lagrange, Georgia, won the XTERRA USA Championship as the top American in the division. We'll have more on how the amatuer race unfolded, the Pan Am Tour winners, and all the weekend events this week in the XTERRA News.

XTERRA PAN AMERICA CHAMPIONS (FEMALE AGE GROUP)
Division Name Hometown Time
15  - 19 Sophie Allen Lake Worth, FL 4:32:26
20 - 24 Madalyn Lee Ogden, UT 4:15:16
25 - 29 Alexa Turzian Sun Valley, ID 3:19:46
30 - 34 Megan Riepma Lafayette, CO 3:26:58
35 - 39 Courtney Kaup Richmond, VT 3:17:18
40 - 44 *Deanna McCurdy Littleton, CO 3:12:07
45 - 49 Kiki Silver Boulder, CO 3:23:44
50 - 54 Paula Maresh Littleton, CO 3:39:36
55 - 59 Janet Soule Davis, CA 3:33:41
60 - 64 Martha Buttner Boulder, CO 3:49:33
65 - 69 Jo Garuccio Sandy, UT 4:27:11
PC Christy Williams Littleton, CO 5:07:29
XTERRA PAN AMERICA CHAMPIONS (MALE AGE GROUP)
Division Name Hometown Time
15  - 19 *Tate Haugan Fort St. John, Canada 2:37:20
20 - 24 Nelson Hegg Boulder, CO 2:44:39
25 - 29 Lukus Klawitter Alamosa, CO 2:50:43
30 - 34 Brett Tack Boulder, CO 2:39:07
35 - 39 Matthew Balzer Reno, NV 2:50:00
40 - 44 Michael Door Vail, CO 2:52:08
45 - 49 Andy Lee Lakeway, TX 2:52:42
50 - 54 Joe Cooper Ashland, OR 3:08:08
55 - 59 Karl Edgerton Vail, CO 3:07:59
60 - 64 Tom Monica Thousand Oaks, CA 3:19:02
65 - 69 Clyve Cousins Salt Lake City,  UT 3:57:37
70 - 74 Daniel Rose Truckee, CA 5:01:59
PC Craig Vogstberger Aurora, CO 4:18:50
* TOP AMATEURS

2017 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

The XTERRA Pan America Championship was the last of the World Tour stops where amateur athletes could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Oct 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 Xavier Dafflon / Helena Karaskova
5-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
5-Aug XTERRA Norway * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Maud Golssteyn
13-Aug XTERRA Dominican Republic Josiah Middaugh / Morgane Riou
13-Aug XTERRA Poland * Silver Sam Osborne / Brigitta Poor
19-Aug XTERRA Germany Sam Osborne / Brigitta Poor
2-Sep XTERRA European Championship Bradley Weiss / Brigitta Poor
16-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship Mauricio Mendez / Lesley Paterson
29-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

The 2017 XTERRA Pan Am Championship is presented by Paul Mitchell and the Utah Sports Commission. Sponsors include Outrigger Resorts, Muscle Milk, Gatorade Endurance, Suunto, XTERRA Wetsuits, GOAL Foundation, Oofos, XTERRA Boards, Utah Media Group, Maui Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Hub 801, U.S. Forest Service, and XTERRA Fitness.

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