78 athletes from Canada & Colorado events earn XTERRA World Championship Qualifying Spots in trio of races on August 14
XTERRA elite Karsten Madsen from Canada, long one of the fastest and most prolific racers in all of Canada, had been dreaming about Saturday’s XTERRA Quebec off-road triathlon since 2019.
“It was a massive shock to the system, you just can't replicate racing in training,” said Madsen after the race, which he won in two hours, 49 minutes, more than a minute ahead of fellow Canadian elite Edmond Roy. “Edmond Roy did not make my day easy, and to be honest, I came to Quebec in hopes for this exact kind of race.”
It was tight from the start, as the two jostled during the swim and most of the bike.
“We were 1-3 seconds away from one another the whole time, and he really proved he has everything you need to be a great XTERRA athlete,” said Madsen. “I, however, remember how I raced when I was 22 and knew a long hard course like this would add up on him. I used tactics for a smart race, with him hanging on my wheel. I made a quick mistake on the bike on a tight turn, so it allowed him to lead the bike. I chilled on his wheel and watched his riding, looking for things like pedals hitting rocks and other markers of fatigue, and with about 5k left in the bike I surged and got my 1:15’ish lead onto the run. It’s exactly what Josiah Middaugh has done to me so many times in my career, and even a couple times here in Quebec.”
Carolyne Guay won the women’s race in 3:36:01, more than 10 minutes ahead of the runner-up Ariane Carrier on a beautiful day in Quebec City.
“The guys here put on a great race and make sure all the athletes are taken care of, and really the best part of the weekend was catching with my XTERRA friends. Put this one on your bucket list people, it’s a must do,” said Madsen.
Whalen, McIlraith win XTERRA Conquer the Crater
This year’s running of XTERRA Conquer the Crater posed some unique challenges, as it has across the entire XTERRA family of events in regard to local and provincial COVID protocols.
“With strict restrictions on outdoor gathering numbers and three rounds of complete lockdown/stay at home orders many athletes were unable to fully train, especially finding water like a public pool to swim in,” explained co-organizer, James Kowalewski. “As a result, this year’s race offered a single hybrid race (distances between the more traditional full and short distance versions) with a single lap of the 750m swim in pristine Crowley Lake, followed by an 18k mountain bike and 7.5 k run through the technical single track and beautiful ski trails of Kivi Park.”
This year’s men’s winner was local hero Dan Whalen with a time of 1:45:55. Whalen managed to hold off a very fast charging Justin Attifield from Aylmer, Ontario with a time of 1:47:06, and another Sudbury local Marc Larochelle with a time of 1:4745.
“The times don’t demonstrate how close this race was, as the lead changed hands a number of times throughout the race with each athlete edging out time against their opponents in their respective specialties,” said Kowalewski. “Justin led out of the swim; Marc led into transition, but Dan took the win.”
In the women’s race another Sudbury athlete, Sara McIlraith, posted the fastest run of the day to take the tape in 2:02:26, followed by Shelley Peachell from Rossland, British Columbia three minutes behind, and Holly Brown from Ottawa, Ontario in third.
The coolest story from XTERRA Conquer the Crater was about the organizers and community in Northern Ontario, who have raised nearly $200,000 for Miles Against Cancer (MAC). Read that here.
Szuch, Presgraves win XTERRA Indian Peaks
Also on August 14, way up high in the Colorado Rockies, the young gun Colin Szuch proved once again he’s a future star in the sport. Just last month the 19-year-old age grouper finished 5th overall and top amateur against a stacked pro field at XTERRA Beaver Creek, and on Saturday he came out on top again after posting the fastest run split of the day. Brad Zoller and Jeffrey Dewitt were 2/3 for the men.
In the women’s race Amanda Presgraves led from wire-to-wire after blitzing the swim. She came out of the water with the lead men, Zoller and Eric Snowberg, and went on to post the second-best bike split and quickest run of the day. Irena Ossola and Sharon McDowell-Larsen finished 2/3 for the women.
Find upcoming races here.