Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the 10th annual XTERRA Beaver Creek off-road triathlon elite titles on a beautiful morning in the Rocky Mountains surrounding Avon, Colorado on Saturday, July 21, 2018.
It’s the third XTERRA win of the season for Mendez, the 2016 XTERRA World Champion, and the second for Paterson, who captured the ITU Cross Tri World Title just 11 days ago in Denmark.
MAU OF THE MOUNTAIN
The elite men’s race was one of the most exciting back-and-forth, all-out battles in XTERRA history. It all started with a one-mile swim in the 67-degree calm waters of Nottingham Lake. The air quality was good despite a light haze in the air from the wildfire smoke coming from the Lake Christine Fire still burning near Basalt, CO.
Brad Zoller was first out of the water in 17:55, followed closely by Mendez and Branden Rakita. The other key players on the day were roughly 1:40-to-2 minutes back with Sam Long (19:38), Ryan Petry (19:43), Kieran McPherson (19:59), and Josiah Middaugh (20:04) exiting the water in places 7th thru 10th.
At mile four on the bike Mendez, after nearly 2,000-feet of climbing, had 20-seconds on Rakita, 38-seconds on Long, :40 on Petry, and 1:10 on Middaugh.
“When we were on the bike I could tell this was going to be a super hard race,” said Mendez. “The whole race was hard because you didn’t know if it was about pacing or attacking, and I didn’t know how my body was going to respond.”
About one-mile later at the top of the climb (about 9,400-feet) Long passed Mendez for the lead.
“I just hammered the bike, I stayed on the gas the whole time,” said Long.
“He did,” replied Mendez. “Sam rode super hard, he was attacking, attacking, attacking the whole time.”
At mile 11 Long was still in the lead, Petry had moved into second 30-seconds behind with Mendez on his wheel, Middaugh was 50-seconds back, and Rakita was one-minute behind in fifth.
From there the race just got tighter and tighter. Middaugh, boosted by the fastest bike split of the day (1:09:17), finally caught Long as the two headed into the bike-to-run transition.
“It ended up being a tight race, which is unusual at high altitude,” said Middaugh. “It’s just a testament to how strong the field is. Everyone is getting better and better and there’s no margin for error.”
Middaugh turned on in the first half of the run and opened up a 15-second lead on Long at mile two, but Mendez was right there as well.
“About a mile into the run I took the lead. I knew it was the only chance I had. You know, I learned from XTERRA Victoria two weeks ago that I can’t get complacent and I had to run hard from the start. And I just ran that first mile as hard as I could because that was the only way. But I had nothing left. My reserves were empty for sure,” said Middaugh.
Mendez, however, still had something left.
“I passed Sam at around mile two, and I got Josiah at the end of the second climb crossing the river,” said Mendez. “I felt terrible because I was struggling, and I was worried Josiah might attack back so I just said let’s be strong and don’t look back. When I got close to the finish line I turned back and didn’t see Josiah and I was finally was able to breathe. Finally, after two hours of super hard racing. Today was super exciting. You didn’t know who was going to win until the very finish.”
The 22-year-old, who has had many big wins already in his young career, said this one was among the best.
“It was just racing. True racing. When we were six-kilometers into the run I felt like if I win this race, it will be one of my biggest wins in my career in XTERRA because it’s just about the mind. It wasn’t about strength or anything else today so I’m super excited and super happy.”
With the win Mendez, the 2016 XTERRA World Champion, upset Josiah Middaugh, the 2015 XTERRA World Champ, in his own backyard. Middaugh, who lives nearby in Eagle-Vail, had won this race in each of the last five years. Mendez took the tape in 2:07:35, less than one-minute ahead of Middaugh in second (2:08:31).
Sam Long finished in third for the second straight year in 2:09:22.
“I’m trying to win one of these, and if it could have been today, that would’ve been great. Still, best race I’ve ever had, for sure. It was fun out there,” said Long.
Petry, who last raced XTERRA in Maui in 2016, posted the second-best bike split of the day and finished fourth, while Brian Smith came in fifth.
ELITE MEN RESULTS
|1||Mauricio Mendez, MEX||2:07:35||100|
|2||Josiah Middaugh, USA||2:08:31||90|
|3||Sam Long, USA||2:09:22||82|
|4||Ryan Petry, USA||2:12:43||75|
|5||Brian Smith, USA||2:12:58||69|
|6||Branden Rakita, USA||2:15:48||63|
|7||Kieran McPherson, NZL||2:16:51||58|
|8||Tyler Butterfield, BER||2:17:56||53|
|9||Karsten Madsen, CAN||2:18:36||49|
|10||Brad Zoller, USA||2:20:20||45|
|11||Joshua Merrick, USA||2:23:47||41|
|12||Lewis Elliot, USA||2:26:47||37|
|13||Hans Ryham, USA||2:27:34||34|
|14||Alex Roberts, NZL||2:30:56||31|
|15||Will Kelsay, USA||2:31:35||28|
Also: Alex Willis
THE SCOTTISH ROCKET REPEATS
In the women’s race it was a duel between the last two women’s champions on this course. Julie Baker won it in 2016, and Lesley Paterson won it last year.
Baker posted the fastest swim of the day, about 1:20 in front of Paterson, and held the lead on the bike until the top of the climb.
“I started the race and felt like I was on the struggle bus the whole day,” said Paterson. “It really was a hard race for me today. Last year I came out 10 or 12 days before the race and this time it was only three or four days and it was brutal. It was really hard. I wasn’t my usual smiling self.”
Still, the “Scottish Rocket” posted the fastest bike (1:26:08) and run (45:10) splits on the day to take the tape in 2:34:21, nearly four-minutes ahead of Baker in second.
“In the end my body held together and I’m happy,” said Paterson. “I think it was more the mind, just pushing through that pain today and trying to stay positive. At the start of the bike I was not feeling very good and then all the demons started to come in, like, I can’t do this today. I think on this kind of course you just have to be super patient and know that the demons are there and say, you know what, I’ve done this before, I can do it again. Ultimately you just have to relax, keep fighting through it, and make it home.”
Kara LaPoint was third in 2:42:12, Allison Baca finished fourth, and XTERRA Pan Am Tour leader Fabiola Corona placed fifth.
Of note, Tess Amer, the overall amateur champ, posted the second-best time of the day and had she been racing in the elite field, would have finished in second ahead of Baker and less than one-minute behind Paterson.
“Everyone asked me why aren’t you racing elite,” said Amer. “But I hadn’t done a triathlon in two years since this race in 2016 and didn’t have what I needed for my elite license. That’s okay though, now I can get my pro card. Next, I want to go to Nationals in Ogden because I have never been, and then to Maui so that would be fun too.”
ELITE WOMEN RESULTS
|1||Lesley Paterson, GBR||2:34:21||100|
|2||Julie Baker, USA||2:38:16||90|
|3||Kara LaPoint, USA||2:42:12||82|
|4||Allison Baca, USA||2:46:52||75|
|5||Fabiola Corona, MEX||2:49:52||69|
|6||Heather Zimchek-Dunn, USA||3:08:26||63|
|7||Rebecca Blatt, USA||3:43:03||58|
ALL TIME XTERRA BEAVER CREEK ELITE CHAMPIONS
|2018||Mauricio Mendez||Lesley Paterson|
|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|
GONZALEZ, AMER WIN AMATEUR TITLES
Francisco Gonzalez from Santiago, Chile and Tess Amer from Boulder, Colorado captured the overall amateur titles in 2:20:01 and 2:35:12, respectively. Gonzalez was 10th overall male and Amer was second overall female. We will break down the age group races in further detail next week, but until then here is a look at today’s age group champs:
FEMALE AGE GROUP CHAMPS
|15 - 19||Sophie Allen||4:03:34||Lake Worth, FL|
|20 - 24||Abigail Bird||3:29:41||Cheyenne, WY|
|25 - 29||*Tess Amer||2:35:12||Boulder, CO|
|30 - 34||Amelia Van Dyke||3:05:30||Dillon, CO|
|35 - 39||Whitney Barrett-Kaucher||2:54:12||Golden, CO|
|40 - 44||Deanna McCurdy||2:48:16||Littleton, CO|
|45 - 49||Anne Nevin||2:47:31||Trondheim, Norway|
|50 - 54||Margo Pitts||3:16:20||Raleigh, NC|
|55 - 59||Sharon McDowell Larsen||3:03:07||Colorado Springs, CO|
|60 - 64||Martha Buttner||3:21:52||Boulder, CO|
|65 - 69||Jo Garuccio||4:09:33||Sandy, UT|
|PC||Jodi Petit||4:53:10||Littleton, CO|
MALE AGE GROUP CHAMPS
|15 - 19||Colin Szuch||2:41:45||Evergreen, CO|
|20 - 24||Ben Hogan||2:27:14||Louisville, CO|
|25 - 29||Chris Portugal||2:26:02||Arequipa, Peru|
|30 - 34||Andrew Hall||2:23:52||Salt Lake City, UT|
|35 - 39||* Francisco Gonzalez||2:20:01||Santiago, Chile|
|40 - 44||Garren Watkins||2:30:25||Boulder, CO|
|45 - 49||Henry Reed||2:36:41||Edwards, CO|
|50 - 54||Grzegorz Zgliczynski||2:44:34||Littleton, CO|
|55 - 59||Eric Long||2:53:46|
|60 - 64||Tom Monica||2:57:23||Thousand Oaks, CA|
|65 - 69||Dawes Wilson||3:31:35||Vail, CO|
|70 - 74||Laurence Goddard||3:58:13||Los Alamos, NM|
|PC||Michael Stone||3:59:39||Boulder, CO|
McPHERSON, CORONA TOP PAN AM TOUR ELITE STANDINGS
Kieran McPherson and Fabiola Corona remain in the lead of the XTERRA Pan America Tour elite standings after nine of 12 events.
Next up: XTERRA Mexico, August 4, Tapalpa
2018 XTERRA PAN AMERICA TOUR ELITE STANDINGS
|1||Kieran McPherson, NZL||562||67||75||DNS||67||100||69||51||75||58|
|2||Karsten Madsen, CAN||426||DNS||DNS||61||75||90||90||61||DNS||49|
|3||Branden Rakita, USA||421||61||56||DNS||DNS||75||58||47||61||63|
|4||Josiah Middaugh, USA||399||DNS||DNS||67||DNS||DNS||100||75||67||90|
|5||Alex Roberts, NZL||290||DNS||DNS||DNS||61||58||37||56||47||31|
|6||Rom Akerson, CRC||217||DNS||DNS||75||DNS||DNS||75||67||DNS||DNS|
|7||Rafael Juriti, BRA||204||51||43||DNS||47||63||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|8||Mauricio Mendez, MEX||175||75||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||100|
|9||Alejandro Sfriso, ARG||151||DNS||51||DNS||51||49||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|10||Brian Smith, USA||151||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||82||DNS||DNS||69|
|11||Sam Long, USA||145||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||63||DNS||DNS||82|
|12||Will Kelsay, USA||124||DNS||DNS||DNF||DNS||DNS||53||DNS||43||28|
|13||Maxi Morales, ARG||117||56||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|14||Ian King, USA||104||DNS||DNS||36||DNS||DNS||41||DNS||27||DNS|
|15||Will Ross, USA||96||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||45||DNS||51||DNS|
|16||Brent Mattison, USA||88||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||49||DNS||39||DNS|
|17||Alexandre Manzan, BRA||82||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||82||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|18||Humberto Rivera, USA||78||DNS||DNS||47||DNS||DNS||31||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|19||Ryan Petry, USA||75||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||75|
|20||Diogo Malagon, BRA||69||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||69||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|21||Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG||67||DNS||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|22||Ryan DeCook, USA||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28||DNS||33||DNS|
|23||Luis Piedra, CRC||56||DNS||DNS||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|24||Andres Darricau, ARG||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|25||Brent McMahon, CAN||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS|
|26||Felipe Moletta, BRA||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|27||Tyler Butterfield, BER||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53|
|28||Federico Venegas, CRC||51||DNS||DNS||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|29||Gustavo Torres, ARG||47||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|30||Lucas Mendez, ARG||47||DNS||47||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|31||Eduardo Lass, BRA||45||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||45||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|32||Brad Zoller, USA||45||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||45|
|33||Andres Zuniga, CRC||43||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|34||Gabriel Angeloro, URU||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||43||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|35||Fernando Toldi, BRA||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|36||Joshua Merrick, USA||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||41|
|37||Pericles Andrade, BRA||39||DNS||39||DNS||DNS||DNP||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|38||Harold Ramos, CRC||39||DNS||DNS||39||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|39||Rodrigo Braga, BRA||37||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||37||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|40||Lewis Elliot, USA||37||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||37|
|41||Nelson Hegg, USA||36||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||36||DNS|
|42||Paulo Cabrera, BRA||34||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||34||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|43||Victor Arenas, COL||34||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||34||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|44||Hans Ryham, USA||34||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||34|
|45||Gustavo Pereira, BRA||31||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||31||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|46||Jake Stollery, AUS||30||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||30||DNF|
|47||Wellington Santos, BRA||28||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||28||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|48||Timothy Winslow, USA||25||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||25||DNS|
|1||Fabiola Corona, MEX||429||67||75||DNS||DNS||DNS||82||75||61||69|
|2||Kara LaPoint, USA||413||DNS||DNS||DNS||67||75||75||67||47||82|
|3||Kelli Montgomery, USA||326||DNS||DNS||75||61||58||49||56||27||DNS|
|4||Carito Nieva, ARG||274||61||56||DNS||75||82||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|5||Julie Baker, USA||255||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||90||DNS||75||90|
|6||Allison Bacca, USA||254||75||61||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||43||75|
|7||Lesley Paterson, GBR||200||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||100||DNS||DNS||100|
|8||Rebecca Blatt, USA||155||DNS||DNS||56||DNS||DNS||41||DNS||DNS||58|
|9||Jessie Koltz, USA||153||DNS||DNS||61||DNS||DNS||69||DNS||23||DNS|
|10||Laura Mira Dias, BRA||146||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||90||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|11||Heather Zimchek-Dunn, USA||138||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||45||DNS||30||63|
|12||Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL||123||56||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|13||Katie Button, CAN||114||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||63||DNS||51||DNS|
|14||Sabrina Gobbo, BRA||100||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||100||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|15||Anne Usher, USA||92||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||DNS||39||DNS|
|16||Nike Matanza, USA||86||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||61||25||DNS|
|17||Luiza Zanini, BRA||69||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||69||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|18||Adilia Jimenez, CRC||67||DNS||DNS||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|19||Melanie McQuaid, CAN||67||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||67||DNS|
|20||Camila Nicolau, BRA||63||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||63||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|21||Erin Storie, USA||58||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||58||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|22||Suzie Snyder, USA||56||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||56||DNS|
|23||Tatiana Queiroz, BRA||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||53||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|24||Maria Lujan Soto, ARG||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||51||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|25||Ana Prade, BRA||49||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||49||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|26||Brisa Melcop, BRA||45||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||45||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|27||Vanessa Teixeira, BRA||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||41||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
|28||Lisa Helmer, CAN||36||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||36||DNS|
|29||Emanuela Bandol, CAN||33||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||33||DNF|
The 2018 XTERRA Beaver Creek Championship was presented by Paul Mitchell and Beaver Creek Resorts. Sponsors include the Utah Sports Commission, Gatorade Endurance, Suunto, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, XTERRA Boards, Oofos, City of Avon, Michelob Ultra, 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.