Rom Akerson from Costa Rica and Valentina Carvallo from Chile captured the XTERRA Chile off-road triathlon elite titles with winning times of 2:30:21 and 3:22:24 on a sunny day in San Bernardo, Chile.
This is the second win in two weeks for reigning XTERRA World Champ, Rom Akerson, who won XTERRA Argentina on March 23rd. He was first out of the water and was uncontested for the rest of the race, which consisted of a 1500-meter swim in the lagoon “Lago Maipo” followed by a 30K mountain bike segment, and a 10K trail run that included several intense climbs.
“I had a solid swim and opened up a little light there,” said Akerson. “We had a little rain last night so the bike track was amazing and super fun, super rideable, and super fast. I had a solid race with good climbs. I had a little lead into the run and took off on the first 3K, which was super flat. I ran out pretty hard and then kept on running as hard as I could into the mountains.”
Akerson will return home to Costa Rica for some hardcore training blocks before he heads to race in Europe at the end of April.
“This year I’m going to dedicate most of my year to racing and organizing to defend my XTERRA World Title in October,” he said.
But it’s not just about winning for Akerson, who remains committed to spreading the Pura Vida spirit.
“I’m trying to be as helpful as I can,” he said. “I want to do my part and smile and spread the good vibes to the XTERRA Tribe. I try to represent myself and Costa Rica as best as I can.”
XTERRA Pan Am Champ, Kieran McPherson finished second, less than two minutes behind Akerson, just as he did last week at XTERRA Argentina. McPherson had some bad luck with course markings this week and lost time about five kilometers into the bike course.
“I was second out of the water and the chase group was behind me until I ran into a misstep with the course marking,” said McPherson. “But my swim was good and I rode well. Moletta caught me after I got lost and he was very strong today on the bike.”
McPherson has been training in Colorado all winter and was cheerful about the frigid weather because he's able to do what he loves most, which is to swim, bike, and run.
“The heat here in South America is different for me, but there’s no altitude so the racing is always faster at sea level. I really like to support the Silver races and they are good stepping stones for the bigger races down the line.”
|1||Rom Akerson, CRC||2:30:21||75|
|2||Kieran McPherson, NZL||2:32:56||67|
|3||Felipe Moletta, BRA||2:34:12||61|
|4||Will Ross, USA||2:39:50||56|
|5||Rafael Juriti, BRA||2:41:10||51|
|6||Alejandro Bulacio, ARG||2:44:16||47|
|7||Alex Roberts, GBR||2:46:14||43|
|1||Valentina Carvallo, CHI||3:22:24||75|
|2||Johandri Leicester, RSA||3:24:54||67|
|3||Laura Mira, BRA||3:29:58||61|
|4||Javiera Gainza, CHI||3:40:16||56|
In the women’s race, Chilean triathlete Valentina Carvallo fought hard and finished less than a minute in front of Johandri Leicester from South Africa, who had the fastest swim and bike splits of the day. The two were very close coming out of T2 until Carvallo took off on the run course.
“I swam well,” said Carvallo, a former long-distance road triathlete. “The mountain bike is so hard all the time. I felt good but not very good. But when I started running, I felt so well! After about five kilometers I passed Johandri. It was very difficult on the hills, but then I finished and I’m so happy for first place.”
Even more remarkable than winning on this difficult course was that Carvallo had a baby on December 29th.
“I exercised during my whole pregnancy at a very low intensity, and when my son turned one month old, I began training for XTERRA Chile.”
Carvallo hopes to race at XTERRA Brazil in May and then travel to Maui for the XTERRA World Championship on October 28th.
XTERRA Chile was the second of 10-stops on the 2019 XTERRA Pan American Tour, which continues on May 11th with XTERRA Brazil in Ilhabela.
The XTERRA Pan American Tour features Gold and Silver level events, where Gold events award points on a 100-point basis and Silver races award points on a 75-point basis. The XTERRA Pan American Championship race in Utah on September 7, 2019 will offer $20,000 USD for the race and distribute an additional $60,000 USD in prize money to the top 10 men and women in the final XTERRA Pan American Pro Series rankings.
Learn more at xterraplanet.com.
All-time XTERRA Chile Elite Race Champions
Year Elite Winners
2017 Felipe Barraza/Barbara Riveros
2018 Mauricio Mendez / Alison Baca
2019 Rom Akerson / Valentina Carvallo
XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Series Schedule
XTERRA Chile was the fifth of 30 races around the world where amateur athletes could qualify for XTERRA Worlds.
Up Next: XTERRA New Zealand in Rotorua.
Date Race / Location - Winners
24-Feb XTERRA South Africa - Brad Weiss/Hayley Preen
9-Mar XTERRA Motatapu / Flavio Vianna/Emma Weston
23-Mar XTERRA Argentina / Rom Akerson/Erika Simon
30-Mar XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship / Brad Weiss/Penny Slater
31-Mar XTERRA Chile / Rom Akerson/Valentina Carvallo
6-Apr XTERRA New Zealand + Silver / Rotorua
7-Apr XTERRA Cyprus * Silver / Akamas
21-Apr XTERRA Greece * Silver / Vouliagmeni
11-May XTERRA Brazil # GOLD / Ilhabela
18-May XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD / Pelham, Alabama, USA
18-May XTERRA Malta * Silver / Majjistral Nature Reserve
26-May XTERRA Italy - Lake Garda * Silver / Toscolano
31-May XTERRA Tahiti + Silver / Moorea
1-Jun XTERRA Portugal * Silver / Golega
8-Jun XTERRA Belgium * Silver / Namur
16-Jun XTERRA Denmark * Silver / Aarhus
29-Jun XTERRA Switzerland * Silver / Vallee de Joux
7-Jul XTERRA France * GOLD / Xonrupt
7-Jul XTERRA Victoria # Silver / Victoria, B.C., Canada
14-Jul XTERRA Quebec # Silver / Quebec City, QC, Canada
20-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD / Beaver Creek, CO, USA
21-Jul XTERRA Italy - Scanno * GOLD / Abruzzo
3-Aug XTERRA Mexico # GOLD / Tapalpa
3-Aug XTERRA European Championship * GOLD / Prachatice, Czech Republic
4-Aug XTERRA Conquer the Crater / Sudbury, ON, Canada
17-Aug XTERRA Germany * GOLD / Zittau
18-Aug XTERRA Canmore / Alberta, Canada
24-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant / Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
25-Aug XTERRA Hawaii Island / Hapuna, Big Island
1-Sep XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver / Samana
1-Sep XTERRA Luxembourg * Silver / Rosport
14-Sep XTERRA Netherlands * Silver / Ameland Island
07-Sep XTERRA Pan Am / USA Championship # GOLD / Ogden, Utah, USA
15-Sep XTERRA Japan * Silver / Marunuma
22-Sep XTERRA Kunming + GOLD / Yunnan Province, China
22-Sep XTERRA Altifort (Long Distance) / Megeve, France
27-Sep XTERRA Korea / Wonju City
28-Oct XTERRA World Championship / Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii