XTERRA PORTUGAL CHAMPIONSHIP - SATURDAY
An incredibly strong pro field is gathering in the small town of Figueira da Foz on Portugal’s central coast this week for Saturday’s XTERRA Portugal Championship.
There are 25 pro men and 11 pro women including defending 2009 XTERRA Euro Tour champs Franky Batelier from France and Renata Bucher from Switzerland on the start list.
The race is the first-ever XTERRA championship in Portugal, and the first of six championship events in the 2010 XTERRA European Tour.
Perhaps the most intriguing match-up is in the men’s race where Batelier (pictured) – who was perfect in Europe in 2009 with XTERRA victories in Italy, Czech, Germany, and Austria – faces off against three-time Tour champ (‘06-’08) and fellow countryman Nico Lebrun. Lebrun, who raced in the America Tour last year and won the XTERRA USA Championship, fell just 55 seconds shy of winning his second XTERRA World Title in Maui last year.
Also of note are Lieuwe Boonstra, the 2009 XTERRA South Africa Champ, and Sam Gardner who was third in the Euro Tour last year and fresh off his second straight XTERRA Saipan title.
Men’s Pro Start List:
BELGIUM - Yeray Luxem, Jim Thijs
ENGLAND - Sam Gardner, Peter Hawkins, Llewellyn Holmes, Tim McDowell, Graham Wadsworth
FRANCE – Franky Batelier, Fabien Combaluzier, Cedric Lassonde, Nico Lebrun
GERMANY - Jens Buder, Ronny Dietz
NETHERLANDS - Lars Eerden
PORTUGAL – Custodio Antonio, Lino Barruncho, Tiago Coutinho, Sergio Dias, Rafael Gomes, Nuno Neves
SOUTH AFRICA - Lieuwe Boonstra
SPAIN - Jesus Colas, Borja Figueroa, Francisco Jimenez, Guillermo Oliva
In the women’s field you’ll find four of the top five performers in last year’s Euro Tour (Bucher, Carina Wasle, Maud Golsteyn, Myriam Guillot), and a compelling battle brewing between Bucher (4-time Euro Tour Champ with 20 career XTERRA wins) and Wasle (pictured) - who defeated Bucher at XTERRA Czech last year and had a breakout 4th place performance at XTERRA Worlds.
Women’s Pro Start List:
AUSTRIA - Carina Wasle
ENGLAND - Darrelle Parker
FRANCE – Alexandra Borrelly, Myriam Guillot, Marion Lorblanchet
NETHERLANDS - Judy Berg, Maud Golsteyn
PORTUGAL - Maria Areosa
SPAIN - Gabriel Faci, Yolanda Vallejo
SWITZERLAND - Renata Bucher
“Kahuna Dave” Nicholas – the managing director of the XTERRA World Tour – is on site in Portugal and will feed us race reports and photos after the race.
Race organizers have a full slate of events on tap including an XTERRA Kids race, Beach Run, Night Bike Challenge, half-distance sport race, relay team competition, and of course the main event – the XTERRA Portugal Championship - that dishes out 34 qualifying spots to XTERRA Worlds and 15,000 Euros for pros.
For more info visit xterraportugal.com.
XTERRA MIAMI FROM AN XTERRA NEWBIE
Frank Fernandez-Posse and Jennifer Moos won the men's and women's titles at the XTERRA Miami off-road tri at Oleta River State Park on Sunday, but perhaps nobody had a better time at that race than Andy Steiner. For Steiner, who has been doing road triathlons for four years now, this was his first XTERRA, and this is his story on how the day unfolded (as first reported on the forums at slowtwitch.com)...
This was my first ever XTERRA and first ever mountain bike race of any kind. The race went pretty much as planned, although it was way harder than I thought it would be. I haven’t mountain biked a lot this year, and haven’t rode 16 miles on a mountain bike in years. I was totally gassed when I got off the bike.
One of the first things I noticed was the people were way chiller and more relaxed/laid back than at on-road races. There’s way more camaraderie and “just out to have a good time” attitudes rather than “PR or die.”
The ½ mile swim was two loops and I found some decent legs to pull me. It was a mass start, but only around 80 people or so. I was 7th out of the water, 2nd in 30-34 (13:47).
The 16-mile two loop bike course is mostly flat but technical. A few waves of riders passed me quickly and they were all really cool. Most would tell me they were behind, and then I would slow down and let them pass as soon as possible. About 1.5 miles in at an obstacle, I failed to make it up and came off my bike. Somehow I must have pinched my rear derailleur cable and it was almost severed. When I got back on, I only had two gears in the back. Oh well, they were the good gears and it’s South Florida, not Colorado. The rest of the bike was very exhausting and I was ready to get off the bike. My bike time was 2:09:42 and 53rd overall.
The 6-mile run was mostly singletrack with three deep water crossings. I swam the crossings, but the longest had a rope to pull yourself along and that was faster. Running on the singletrack is awesome! It’s very primal to see people in the woods and chase them down. Again, it’s mostly flat with some very short and very steep ups and downs. My legs felt better after ½ mile or so on the run. It was fun to run with no mile markers and having to look for the signs on where to go. I finished the run in 45:55, 16th overall and 4th in my age.
On the day I finished 7th out of 8 in M30-34 and 37th overall. Not a great performance, but fun as hell. I found it really challenging, and possibly from my lack of time in the MTB saddle, way harder than any Olympic race I’ve done. The post race spread was awesome with tons of stuff including hummus and homemade pasta salad. This was an awesome race, so much fun and a really cool atmosphere. Racers were actually encouraging me on the bike to hold their wheel and were friendly. It was a great break from the ultra competitive on-road races. I think I’m hooked.
Find full results at multirace.com
GARDNER, BUCHER WIN AGAIN
Sam Gardner and Renata Bucher continued their winning ways in the Marianas over the weekend by capturing the XTERRA GUAM off-road triathlon crowns.
Bucher toppled Shonny Vanlandingham with a winning time of 2:52:07 while Gardner bested Japan legend Taro Shirato with a winning time of 2:43:55.
Photographer Rich Cruse was on hand to capture the beauty of this event, and to truly appreciate what Mother Nature has to offer on the island, check out his images.
For more information on the race and complete results visit xterraguam.com.
LIETO, POWLESS GET REAL
Road tri pro Matt Lieto (yes, Chris’ younger brother) crossed over to the dirty side of tri last weekend and won XTERRA REAL – the first XTERRA of his career – in 1:42:16, edging long-time XTERRA amateur standout Dave Cloninger. Both guys are from Bend, Oregon.
Cloninger, the 2005 XTERRA 35-39 National Champ, led off the bike and halfway through the run before “Lieto caught me at the half way point and since he runs like a gazelle all I could do is watch him dance away.”
In the women’s race XTERRA phenom Shayna Powless (pictured here courtesy James Pratt Photography), a 16-year-old future super power in the sport, took the overall in 2:02:07, more than a minute ahead of Janice Brod.
For complete results visit tbfracing.com.
XTERRA PARTNERS WITH
TRAIL RUNNER MAGAZINE
Trail Runner magazine, the country’s only magazine dedicated to the off-road running community, has been named the official print publication of the XTERRA Trail Run Series.
As part of the three-year agreement, Trail Runner will provide promotional support for the XTERRA Trail Run Series in exchange for integrated marketing opportunities and a visual presence at XTERRA trail running championship events.
“We’re delighted to connect our brands and mutually support the sport of trail running,” said Cynthia Bruggeman, the associate publisher of Trail Runner magazine. “We share the same passion and focus, which is encouraging runners of all ages and skill levels to engage in a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle.”
XTERRA started a stand-alone Trail Run Series to complement its off-road triathlon “XTERRA America Tour” in 2005 and have since grown into a 55-race nationwide circuit. The Series culminates at the XTERRA National Championship half-marathon in Bend, Oregon, on September 18, followed by the XTERRA World Championship half-marathon at Kualoa Ranch on the Hawaiian island of Oahu on December 5.
“Bringing Trail Runner into the XTERRA family is a big win for us and our athletes,” said Emily McIlvaine, the XTERRA Trail Run Series manager. “Trail Runner reaches our core market and together we’ll be able to create a bigger footprint for our ‘Live More’ philosophy.”
About Trail Runner Magazine
Big Stone Publishing produces Trail Runner magazine, the authority on off-road running. Trail Runner magazine inspires and informs with accurate, intelligent and in-depth writing and compelling photography. Written by trail runners (our staff has logged races and runs from 5K to 200-plus miles) for trail runners, we are the voice of the sport, and beginners and veterans alike depend on our well-researched articles. For more information visit trailrunnermag.com.
About the XTERRA Trail Run Series
TEAM Unlimited, a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, owns and produces the XTERRA Trail Run Series. In 2010 there are 66 races in eight countries, including 55 events in 16 states across the U.S. The America circuit is comprised of 13 regional series, each hosting 3-to-7 races where runners compete and accumulate points towards their regional championship. Race distances range from 5km fun runs to full-blown trail marathons, while the featured distance is the 21km half-marathon. More at xterratrailrun.com.
Apr. 2 - XTERRA Portugal Beach Run Challenge 4/8km
Apr. 3 - XTERRA Portugal Championship
(Figueira da Foz)
Apr. 10 - XTERRA Rotorua Half-Marathon Trail Run
Apr. 10 - XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Rotorua)
Apr. 10 - XTERRA Bethpage 5k (Bethpage, NY)
Apr. 17 - XTERRA Muleshoe 10/20km Trail Runs (Spicewood, TX)
Apr. 17 - XTERRA Doug Harris Memorial Trail Run 10k (Clemson, SC)
Apr. 18 - XTERRA Redwood Peak 5/15k (Oakland, CA)
Apr. 18 - XTERRA Muleshoe (Spicewood, TX)
Apr. 18 - XTERRA Caloosahatchee (Ft. Myers, FL)
Apr. 24 - XTERRA Fort Yargo (Winder, GA)
Apr. 24 - XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 5k/10k/21k
Apr. 24 - XTERRA Vulture's Knob 11k (Wooster, OH)
Apr. 25 - XTERRA Crystal Cove 5/17k Trail Run (Newport, CA)
Apr. 25 - XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Duathlon (Henderson, NV)
Apr. 25 - XTERRA West Championship
MORELAND, RAITTER WIN 21K
Jeffrey Moreland and Sarah Raitter won the XTERRA Chanoko off-road half-marathon in Granite Bay, California on Saturday with winning times of 1:22:24 and 1:41:06, respectively.
The event was the first of three races in the 2010 XTERRA NorCal Trail Run Series. To see complete results and learn more about the series visit www.xterratrailrun.com or call 877-XTERRA-1.
MELRAD, EPC SQUADS SET
XTERRA Pros Melanie McQuaid and Cody Waite have set their team rosters for the 2010 racing season.
MelRad Racing, aka Mel's Rad Racing Team, includes two fellow female pros in Sara Tarkington and Emma Garrard and 11 amateurs. Cody’s EPC squad features 16 amateurs, including seven designated as “elite amateurs”.
For the complete release on Mel's team visit melrad.com, and for more on Cody's squad visit epcmultisport.com/blog.
ALSO OF NOTE...
XTERRA Pro Lesley Paterson (pictured below) took 2nd at the Ironman 70.3 California last weekend (remember she was 2nd at XTERRA Worlds in 2009) and 50-year-young Casey Fannin won the off-road Duathlon on his hometown trails of Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama.