Josiah Middaugh from Eagle-Vail, Colorado and Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the 15th annual XTERRA Pan American off-road triathlon elite titles on a beautiful morning at Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah on Saturday, September 15, 2018.
It’s the third win in four years for Middaugh at this race, and the second in a row for Paterson. Both have now won the championship in Utah four times in their careers.
More than 500 athletes from 30 countries took part in the event, which was the culmination of a 12-stop series of off-road triathlons spanning South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S.
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 Middaugh came out of the water less than one-minute behind the leaders, took the lead from South Africa’s Bradley Weiss at about mile eight on the bike, and took the tape in 2:26:34. Weiss finished second in 2:30:32, and Sam Long from Boulder, Colorado was third in 2:31:18.
One of the race favorites, 2016 XTERRA World Champion Mauricio Mendez, had to drop out during the mountain bike section due to a broken saddle on his bike that couldn’t be repaired.
Brad Zoller had the fastest swim of the day, but Mendez was second out of the water and was charging hard on the bike. Branden Rakita was next, followed by Ian King, Brad Weiss, Karsten Madsen, and Middaugh, who interestingly, didn’t know Mendez was out of the race.
“Going up Wheeler, Brad Weiss was riding off the front and Karsten was riding really well,” said Middaugh. “I caught them both and couldn’t see Mauricio. I thought he was a good minute or two ahead of me up the trail. I thought I was having a really bad day.”
It wasn’t until after the bike-to-run transition that Middaugh realized he was in the lead.
More than 30 elites from around the world are scheduled to compete at the XTERRA Pan American / USA Championship race in Ogden, Utah next Saturday, September 15.
As the culmination of a 12-stop series of off-road triathlons spanning South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S., the contenders are coming from near and far, and with $80,000 in prize money at stake and cameramen capturing all the action for a nationally broadcast one-hour TV show, the stage is set for XTERRA’s best to show what they can do.
The story lines run deep in the men’s elite race, and the best one belongs to Bradley Weiss. The 29-year-old from South Africa, once the prodigy of XTERRA Hall of Famers Conrad Stoltz and Dan Hugo, has an opportunity to do something neither of his fellow countrymen ever did – win the continental Grand Slam of XTERRA.
“So far in 2018 I have won the XTERRA African Champs, XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs, as well as most recently the XTERRA European Champs, so if I could win the Pan American Champs and hold all the continental titles in one calendar year, that would be pretty special,” said Weiss.
It would also be unprecedented, but to do it the reigning XTERRA World Champion will have to get past the 2016 XTERRA World Champion, Mauricio Mendez from Mexico, and the 2015 XTERRA World Champion, Josiah Middaugh from the U.S.
I’m grieving. The race I had been training all summer for, Xterra Aspen Valley, was cancelled because of the horrendous fire and mudslides that have occurred in the Basalt area.
I scheduled time off from work and hoped to make a mini vacation with my wife, Cindy. I trained hard all summer and looked forward to this race. But like all triathlons, they are subject to Mother Nature and sometimes she doesn’t cooperate the way we want her to.
The first reaction most of us have when a race is cancelled is anger. After all, we put a lot of time and energy (and money) into this race. Our bodies are pumped and primed to race and when we can’t do what our bodies are yearning to do, it’s FRUSTRATING!
Some people get angry at the race director but this is futile. He or she has also put a lot of time and energy into planning the race and the last thing they want to do is cancel it. It’s not their fault. The reality is, it’s no one’s fault. It’s the risk we all take when we sign up for an outdoor event and we need to remember that from Day 1 of training.
The second reaction is sadness. No, this is not the grief you experience when you lose a loved one or for those people in Basalt, who lost their homes. But it is still grief and the sooner we recognize it as such, the sooner we can get on with life.
What can you do about it? Here are some options:
Look for another race to do. For Xterra athletes consider another Xterra race such as the IronLake Xterra in Spearfish, South Dakota, August 24th, or Desert’s Edge in Fruita. Refocus and adjust your training plan so that the new race becomes your A race.
Volunteer at a local triathlon or outdoor event to ease some of the pain.
Look for something totally different and noncompetitive, but strenuous, like going for a hike or climbing one of Colorado’s mountains, to use up all that pent up energy!
Most importantly, just let it go. Move on. It’s not the end of the world. Watch five minutes of the news and you’ll quickly realize how unimportant a cancelled race is, in the big scheme of things. Remember how lucky you are to even be training for an endurance race!
For me, Aspen Valley was at the end of the season so I have chosen to throttle down the intensity of training and just maintain fitness. I’ll probably do a few local running races but will focus on planning out next year’s races. As my kids would say, it’s time to take a chill pill!
“Many people see Sam as simply a professional athlete. Many forget that he is still just 22 years old.
He has a bright future, the conversations we have are not about fitness, but execution of his training, racing and all the little details that make the difference when you are racing the top 1% of the sport. I can’t wait to see him in 5 years.”
-Eric Kenney Sam’s training advisor
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.
Have you ever thought about making the switch from road to off-road triathlon? Join us at Colorado Multisport for a fun evening with XTERRA to learn all about how you can do your first off-road triathlon.
We will have a panel of local triathletes, professional and amateur alike, who can speak to what it’s like to make the transition and why you should! We will be discussing topics such as what it takes to do an XTERRA, what equipment is required, and what skills you can prepare you to take on your first race. Panelist will include CMS’s own XTERRA professional triathlete and bike fitter-extraordinaire Ryan Ignatz, and Brett Tact, local coach, personal trainer, and XTERRA competitor. Follow this page for further updates on our panel attendees and event details.
XTERRA will be offering 15% off registration for both XTERRA Beaver Creek and XTERRA Indian Peaks for everyone who attends. One lucky person will win a free entry into the XTERRA Beaver Creek event on July 21st! Not only that, everyone who attends will get sweet swag from XTERRA.
Race a triathlon they said. It’ll be fun they said. Maybe you’ve heard that in your head in the middle of your swim. Or, maybe you just like to suffer and tell yourself how good it feels to burn! Regardless, our MADtastic triathlons are fun and challenging events that will require every ounce of your effort and determination to complete. In the end, when you cross the finish line, you’ll know you’re a true warrior-athlete who has what it takes to compete in one of the most challenging competitive sports MAD Racing Colorado hosts. Get ready to train. Get ready to show your grit.
Not sure if you’re up the challenge? Consider how you will feel when you surprise yourself by the boundaries you’ve pushed. Expand your comfort zone and find out what you are capable of! You’ll meet new people, improve your health, and earn some bragging rights!
The Desert’s Edge Tri Festival brings you two days of racing, a weekend of camping with other triathletes and their fans, and a fun end to the Colorado Tri Season. Desert’s Edge weekend includes your choice of XTERRA Sprint (not eligible for points) or XTERRA Tri on Saturday, your choice of Sprint or Olympic distance road tri’s on Sunday! The races will be staged at Highline Lake State Park, just 7 miles north of I-70 off the Loma exit. Camping is available right at the race site, just 200 yards from the start and finish line. Enjoy great post-race food, and a fun final tri weekend of the 2018 season. All just a few short hours from Denver and Salt Lake City!
Are you really good at running, but swimming isn’t your forte? Work better in a team? Build a team to compete in the relay categories! Single-sex and coed categories are available. Begin building your team by inviting friends, family, schoolmates, or coworkers to join you OR contact your local bike/running shop to find out about local clubs to recruit your team.
XTERRA / XTERRA Sprint (Saturday):
The XTERRA Fruita Triathlon starts off with a 600 meter swim with a 50 meter run on the beach, and another 600 meter swim in the awesome waters of Highline Lake, a 13 mile mix of single track and double track course on the beginner friendly mountain bike trails inside Highline State Park, and finishes with a 4.5 mile run that can be described as scenic and interesting! If the full XTERRA doesn’t appeal to you, you should do the XTERRA Sprint, but keep in mind that it’s not eligible for XTERRA points. We will start the Sprint wave after the XTERRA full triathlon athletes. XTERRA Sprint athletes will complete 600 m, 7.5 miles mountain bike and 2.8 miles. This is a great event for those of you not ready to compete in the full distance yet. You will not be scored for XTERRA points and will only be sorted overall for this category. You will still receive a finisher goodie!
The Desert’s Edge Tri Festival offers two road triathlon distance options on Sunday – a 1,500 meter swim, 40K (24.8 mile) bike, 10K run Olympic distance tri and a 750 meter swim, 13.2 mile bike, 5K run sprint tri. Both races are staged at Highline Lake State Park in Fruita, and feature spectacular courses in the heart of the Grand Valley. Post-Race Fun,
Results, and Awards: We’ll have plenty of good food to fill your belly at our post-race picnic! Participant meals are included in your entry fee. There will be a limited number of picnic lunches available for purchase by spectators on race day. We will also award lots of sponsor merchandise and gift certificates at random during our awards presentation – everyone is eligible for these random prizes, so be sure to stick around!!! Each finisher (all races) will take home a 2018 Desert’s Edge finisher glass! These will be given as you exit the finish chute.
For more info about the course and awards: www.desertsedgetri.com
This event is limited to 500 competitors combined fields; please register early to take advantage of the discounted pricing. Info on USAT license, event schedule, camping, hotels, awards details, registration discount info is available on the registration site: www.desertsedgetri.com
Earn up to a free entry by volunteering; email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details!
Why Volunteer? YOU are the smiles of MAD Racing Colorado! These events will not happen without your great help. The Race Director will handle any “problems”. All you have to do is to help fill roles and empower the participants during each event. Volunteering at a MAD Racing Colorado event is often times more fun than participating in the event itself!
The G’Knight Ride is a celebration of cycling, and is meant for cyclists of all ages, sizes, and abilities. The Ride is a great excuse to dust off that old 10-speed, mountain bike, or cruiser and hop on with 2,000+ other riders on a great evening tour. The G’Knight Ride helps to fun cycling education and bike refurbishing programs throughout the year by Bicycle Longmont, the area non-profit bike advocacy organization.