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Aaron Royle and Kate McIlroy win ITU Oceania Sprint Championships

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Photo credit: Mike Heydon/Triathlon NZ

(Full results table below article)

New Zealand and Australia shared the honours at the Oceania Triathlon Championships at Kinloch, Lake Taupo today with Kate McIlroy (Wellington) winning the women’s elite title and Aaron Royle (Australia) the men’s.

Brilliant conditions greeted over 900 participants at the latest round of the Contact Tri Series at Kinloch. Racing covered everything from the children’s Contact 1:2:1 to the beginners 3:9:3 race, national age group sprint championships and of course the elites who chased not only national titles but Oceania honours as well.

Kate McIlroy in action during the 2012 Kiloch triathlon

Kate McIlroy won the women’s race in a most impressive first hit out of the season, running away from the ever improving Dutch pair of Rachel Klamer and Danne Boterenbrood with Debbie Tanner running home fourth.

These four plus Nicky Samuels established a strong lead early on the bike after exiting the 750 swim together, with the field trailing behind as the pace went on around the tight and demanding multi-lap 20km bike course.

On to the 5km run it was Samuels who faded first, leaving the two Dutch and two Kiwis to hammer away in front of a huge crowd lining the Kinloch course.

Into the home straight for the final time it was McIlroy who proved strongest, pulling away in a great display of strength and leg speed, especially for so early in the season.

“I’m really happy, it was a really hard race, we pushed the whole way,” said McIlroy. “The bike was aggressive and on the run there was a group of us pushing the whole way. Team tactics didn’t come into it at all; I think we all had a plan of trying to bike really hard and keep the chasing group away from us and maintain that gap.

“Once on the run the pace was on the whole time, Danne went out quickly so there was no time to rest. There were a few surges on the last lap from Rachel, I made sure I stayed with her the whole time and got ready for the sprint, it isn’t the strongest part of my racing but I managed to find enough today.”

The Dutch have spent the summer training in New Zealand under the watchful eye of former NZ Coach John Hellemans, now running the Dutch national programme. That work under the eye of triathlon legend Hellemans is paying dividends with Klamer finishing second to Andrea Hewitt in Wanaka and now a close second to McIlroy and in doing so, taking out the U23 race category.

In the men’s race drama struck favourite and winner at the Barfoot & Thompson ITU World Cup race in Auckland last November when Kris Gemmell retired due to mechanical failure on the bike. Gemmell’s derailleur  broke, bringing his race to an abrupt end.

Aaron Royle winning Kinloch triathlon 2012

It was Aaron Royle (AUS) who went one better than his runner up finish at the 2011 Oceania standard distance championships in Wellington, winning comfortably from a chase group that included New Zealand’s Martin van Barneveld.

Royle rode superbly, exiting onto the run alongside Tom Davison (Christchurch) and Edward Rawles (New Plymouth), the two Kiwi youngsters riding superbly in elite company. The 3rd seeded Aussie held on in front of fast finishing Jan Van Berkel (NED) and Jamie Huggett (AUS), with Van Barneveld in fourth in his first race since Beijing last year.

“I came into this race confident, it is my first race for the year and I know I am probably the fittest I have ever been,” said Royle. “I was able to get a good swim and really take it out on the bike; it was really the bike that got me the win today.

“We had a good group, Rawles, Davison and for a while Richard Vargas (Slovakia). I was concerned knowing that there were a few good guys that could bridge the gap on the run if my legs didn’t keep me going but I was able to push through to the end and hold the lead.

“The crowd was awesome, even though they were mostly going for New Zealand. I heard the odd cheer for me, I’m sure they love Australians!”

Van Barneveld took the NZ Championship honours as first Kiwi in fourth place, a result all the more meritorious given it is his first race for almost 5 months.

“I’ve just come back from overseas and this is my first triathlon since Beijing in September last year. I had 5 weeks holiday after Beijing and decided to go to Kenya, working at 2,400m with New Zealand athletes Jake and Zane Robertson to focus on my running. It has gone really well, two weeks ago I ran 8:12for 3,000m on the track so I’m happy with where I am at.

“I am totally committed to triathlon in 2012; my time away was just a focus to do something where I can compete with the best in the sport. The Brownlees are just destroying the run at the moment and even our own Ryan Sissons had a great year running.

“I decided I had to do something about the run if I am going to compete and so went to Kenya to work solely on my running. It has certainly worked, I am probably in shape to run 8:05 for 3k on the track but now I need to make sure I can swim and bike to get myself in contention and in good shape to run those sorts of times.”

Under 23 and under 19 titles were also on the line with strong fields assembled in all races categories.

Contact Tri Series
Kinloch, Lake Taupo
ITU Oceania Sprint Championships (also NZ Sprint titles for eligible triathletes)
750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run

Elite Women
1          Kate McIlroy                          NZL                1:03:53
2          Rachel Klamer (U23)          NED               1:03:57
3          Danne Boterenbrood          NED               1:04:03
4          Debbie Tanner                     NZL                1:04:15
5          Nicky Samuels                     NZL                1:04:49

Elite Men
1          Aaron Royle                          AUS                58:24
2          Jan van Berkel                     NED               58:28
3          Jamie Huggett                      AUS                58:32
4          Peter Kerr                              AUS                58:40
5          Martin van Barneveld          NZL                58:46

U23 Women
1          Rachel Klamer                     NED               1:03:57
2          Natalie Van Coevorden      AUS                1:09:10
3          Rebecca Kingsford              NZL                1:10:54

U23 Men
1          Sam Franklin                        NZL                1:00:24
2          James Chronis                     AUS                1:00:44
3          Edward Rawles                    NZL                1:00:52

U19 Women
1          Mikayla Nielsen                   NZL                1:08:22
2          Tamsyn Moana-Veale         AUS                1:09:31
3          Maddie Dillon                       NZL                1:10:32

U19 Men
1          Marcel Walkington               AUS                59:56
2          Sam Ward                             NZL                1:00:40
3          Troy McAlister                       NZL                1:02:52

 

Full details of Contact Tri Series click here

More info on Tri Sport Taupo click here

Triathlon New Zealand click here

 

Pos Name Time Swim Bike Run
1 Aaron Royle AUS 0:58:24 0:08:51 0:35:09 0:14:24
2 Jan Van Berkel NED 0:58:28 0:09:13 0:34:57 0:14:18
3 Jamie Huggett AUS 0:58:32 0:09:25 0:34:57 0:14:10
4 Peter Kerr AUS 0:58:39 0:09:05 0:35:18 0:14:17
5 Martin Van Barneveld NZL 0:58:46 0:09:07 0:35:14 0:14:25
6 Chris McCormack AUS 0:59:05 0:09:41 0:34:43 0:14:41
7 Ryan Bailie AUS 0:59:17 0:09:41 0:34:39 0:14:54
8 Jesse Featonby AUS 0:59:38 0:09:41 0:35:39 0:14:18
9 Richard Varga SVK 0:59:39 0:08:50 0:35:40 0:15:09
10 Bryce McMaster ITU 0:59:55 0:09:06 0:35:25 0:15:24
11 Marcel Walkington AUS 0:59:56 0:09:09 0:35:22 0:15:24
12 Tom Davison NZL 1:00:02 0:09:25 0:34:35 0:16:02
13 James Elvery NZL 1:00:18 0:09:39 0:35:36 0:15:04
14 Matt Franklin NZL 1:00:24 0:09:20 0:35:12 0:15:51
15 Marco van der Stel NED 1:00:32 0:09:05 0:35:27 0:16:00
16 Sam Ward NZL 1:00:40 0:09:53 0:35:25 0:15:22
17 James Chronis AUS 1:00:43 0:09:36 0:35:39 0:15:28
18 Edward Rawles NZL 1:00:52 0:08:52 0:35:09 0:16:51
19 Kane Simpson AUS 1:00:58 0:09:28 0:35:51 0:15:38
20 Sam Osborne NZL 1:02:06 0:09:50 0:35:26 0:16:51
21 Lachlan Davey NZL 1:02:20 0:10:05 0:35:13 0:17:02
22 Nick Kastelein AUS 1:02:41 0:09:38 0:37:30 0:15:33
23 RODOLPHE ALEXANDRE VON BERG ITA 1:02:46 0:10:06 0:36:54 0:15:47
24 Troy McAlister NZL 1:02:51 0:10:00 0:36:47 0:16:05
25 Cameron Goldsmid NZL 1:03:06 0:09:20 0:37:44 0:16:02
26 Lukas Hollaus AUT 1:03:10 0:10:31 0:36:33 0:16:06
27 Tom Mclaughlin NZL 1:03:21 0:10:07 0:36:51 0:16:23
28 Cooper Rand NZL 1:03:27 0:10:06 0:36:52 0:16:29
29 Dylan Evans AUS 1:03:49 0:10:40 0:37:34 0:15:35
30 Zac Barber NZL 1:04:23 0:10:15 0:37:55 0:16:12
31 Josh Kenyon NZL 1:04:28 0:10:32 0:36:33 0:17:23
32 Hamish Hammond NZL 1:04:33 0:10:04 0:38:12 0:16:17
33 Nick Berry NZL 1:04:43 0:09:35 0:38:41 0:16:28
34 Michael Perree NZL 1:04:54 0:10:02 0:37:06 0:17:47
35 Owen Miller NZL 1:06:24 0:09:51 0:39:28 0:17:05
36 Andrew Lloyd NZL 1:07:26 0:10:12 0:40:09 0:17:05
Pos Name Time Swim Bike Run
1 Kate McIlroy NZL 1:03:53 0:10:09 0:38:03 0:15:41
2 Rachel Klamer NED 1:03:57 0:10:12 0:38:01 0:15:43
3 Danne Boterenbrood NED 1:04:02 0:10:07 0:38:03 0:15:52
4 Debbie Tanner NZL 1:04:15 0:10:07 0:38:04 0:16:04
5 Nicky Samuels NZL 1:04:49 0:10:05 0:38:09 0:16:34
6 Maaike Caelers NED 1:06:12 0:10:21 0:39:54 0:15:56
7 Anne Haug GER 1:06:20 0:10:36 0:39:39 0:16:05
8 Mikayla Nielsen NZL 1:08:22 0:11:00 0:40:13 0:17:09
9 Natalie Van Coevorden AUS 1:09:10 0:10:12 0:42:01 0:16:56
10 Tamsyn Moana-Veale AUS 1:09:30 0:10:24 0:42:04 0:17:03
11 Ashlee Bailie AUS 1:09:47 0:10:49 0:40:30 0:18:28
12 Rebecca Clarke NZL 1:09:50 0:10:07 0:41:13 0:18:30
13 Courtney Gilfillan AUS 1:10:24 0:10:31 0:43:04 0:16:49
14 Maddie Dillon NZL 1:10:32 0:10:27 0:42:07 0:17:57
15 Rebecca Kingsford NZL 1:10:54 0:10:37 0:41:52 0:18:25
16 Laura Wood NZL 1:10:57 0:10:20 0:42:12 0:18:25
17 Charlotte McShane AUS 1:11:07 0:10:25 0:43:07 0:17:36
18 Sarissa De Vries NED 1:11:31 0:10:09 0:44:51 0:16:31
19 Maddy Brunton NZL 1:11:50 0:11:09 0:42:24 0:18:15
20 Elise Salt NZL 1:11:51 0:10:28 0:43:08 0:18:14
21 Steffie Holcroft NZL 1:12:46 0:10:43 0:40:36 0:21:27
22 Danielle Mckenzie NZL 1:13:14 0:10:08 0:42:26 0:20:41
23 Emily  Pearce NZL 1:16:45 0:10:52 0:46:39 0:19:14

 

Karl is a keen age group triathlete who races more than he trains. Good life balance! Karl works in the media industry in Australia and is passionate about the sport of triathlon.

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Training

Strength Training for Age-Group Triathletes

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Strength is important for endurance athletes and takes time to generate, but there are a few tricks, that will help you maximise your training time.

I drive my coach crazy asking to train more, but I am slowly learning that training smarter is better than training harder. There are many days when the body just isn’t up to the task of training, and sitting at your local cafe will be of more benefit than flogging a dead horse, so to speak.

For the majority of age-group triathletes who have full-time jobs and a family, it is important to make the most of any training time. While it is important to do long, slow sessions to build endurance, there are a few tricks of the trade’ that I have picked up over the years to build strength endurance without having to swim endless laps of the pool, ride for hundreds of kilometres and run for hours on end. Here are a few for your consideration.

Swim

Swimming strength is important, as, come race day, it will allow you to combat choppy seas and the whitewater of a mass swim start. A big part of my swimming involves using a band to hold my ankles together with a pull buoy and hand paddles to build strength. Doing a one-kilometre swim of 10 times 100-metre efforts with just five seconds rest will give you the same strength workout as swimming 1.5 kilometres.

Bike

Long rides are great to build up strength and muscular endurance; however, for those wanting to improve, big-gear hill repeats can also replicate the aforementioned training effects. Triathletes have been using this type of session for years, as doing seated climbing in a big gear (usually 60-to-70 cadence) helps to build leg strength, which usually only comes from long hours out riding.

Run

A great way to get more out of your run is to add interval repeats. These are great to do on the treadmill and help to improve your speed and leg turnover. A simple speed session of 10 times one-minute on and 30 seconds off at just over race pace speed will help you to run faster come race day.

Recovery

The biggest part of endurance sports training is doing the right recovery. Your ability to recover plays a big role in injury prevention and how well you can back up for your next session. Stretching, sleeping and hydration are the key points to focus on. If you are feeling particularly tired, then often a simple stretch session will be much more beneficial for you than a training session on an already tired and fatigued body. Often the hardest thing for any triathlete is knowing that you might just need a day or two off in order to help the body recover and refocus.

The important message is that more is not always better. If you can learn to train smarter and make the most out of every session, then you will see big gains. After all, everyone can do the work but it is those who train smarter who see the biggest improvement.

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News & Racing

Challenge Family Announce Details Of The Championship 2018 Live Stream

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With THE CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 fast-approaching, CHALLENGEFAMILY is excited to announce that the exhilarating race, taking place on the 3rd June, will once again be live-streamed on the official CHALLENGEFAMILY website. This exclusive stream will allow triathlon fans from around the world to be a part of THECHAMPIONSHIP and follow the action live as it unfolds.

CEO of CHALLENGEFAMILY, Zibi Szlufcik, said: “CHALLENGEFAMILY has always championed the support of triathlon fans worldwide, and our live stream of THECHAMPIONSHIP 2018 gives those who cannot make it to Samorin, the chance to follow the pro athletes and AG athletes live as they compete.”

THECHAMPIONSHIP race, now in its second iteration, will again be held at the spectacular x-bionic® sphere in Samorin, Slovakia, and host an outstanding line-up of pro athletes including returning champions, Lionel Sanders and Lucy Charles.

Lionel Sanders of Canada celebrates winning The Championship Challenge Triathlon on June 3, 2017 in Bratislava, Slovakia. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images for Challenge Triathlon)

In addition to enforcing the 20 metre no drafting rule on the bike leg, THECHAMPIONSHIP 2018 also operates staggered race starts to ensure both the professional and and age group athletes have a fair race. THECHAMPIONSHIP will also play host to a number of family-friendly side events set to captivate the entire family into the triathlon spirit.

“Live streaming the race not only highlights the remarkable athletes racing, but also showcases the incredible venue, in addition to the wonderful electric atmosphere of THECHAMPIONSHIP 2018 as a whole. The inaugural event was watched by a global audience of 100,000, so we are confident that this year’s race will surpass this figure and set a new standard in triathlon.”

The course of the middle-distance race (1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run) has been meticulously designed so that the start, transition and finishing stages of the race each give spectators outstanding views of the x-bionic® sphere.

To follow all the action as it happens please visit: www.challenge-family.com/live/

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Gear & Tech

HUUB release third version of Aegis wetsuits

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Explicitly designed for triathletes, the Aegis /// is perfect for the beginner to the serious or expert triathlete who want both comfort and performance on race day.

The Aegis was HUUB’s first mid-range wetsuit family to take inspiration and key features from the brands’ top-end names such as Aerious and Archimedes, making it a best seller, always offering both performance and value for money, and therefore commanding the market at that price point.

HUUB’s founder and owner Dean Jackson, commented, “The Aegis family of suits offer much more than the price would suggest, with features descending from our flagship Archimedes it has created a price point defining suit that delivers more than expectations.” 

So what do you get for the Aegis///’s price tag of £299.99? The brands exclusive X-O Skeleton™ for exceptional alignment and stroke efficiency, superior panel patterns offer Rotational Freedom™ and ease of stroke, plus a Breakawy Zipper™ delivering the fastest transition. The wetsuit provides you with HUUB’s exclusive buoyancy levels of 3:5 for men and 3:3 for women. A sleeveless version is also available.  

Explicitly designed for triathletes, the Aegis /// is perfect for the beginner to the serious or expert triathlete who want both comfort and performance on race day.

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News & Racing

Ironman Announces First Full Distance Event In Ireland

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Ironman announced today the addition of its first full distance event in Ireland, Ironman Ireland, Cork. The inaugural race will take place on June 23, 2019.

“Ironman is an incredibly prestigious sporting competition held in locations throughout the world. Now, for the first time in Ireland, Cork will host a full-distance Ironman competition starting in 2019. Youghal will be centre stage for the next three years as we showcase our beautiful beaches, historic towns and world-renowned hospitality to a world-wide audience. I am delighted to welcome Ironman to Cork,” said Cllr Declan Hurley, Mayor of the County of Cork.

The race will be held in Youghal, Co. Cork which is located approximately 45 minutes west of Cork city and Cork International Airport. Youghal is a coastal fishing town on the southern coast of Ireland and a fortified seaport since the fifth century. It is also Ireland’s second oldest town. Cork International Airport offers direct transatlantic services in addition to its extensive European access routes, along with modern motorway access from Ireland’s capital city, Dublin (2-hour drive). Youghal is perfectly situated to stage an iconic triathlon.

The race will get underway with a 3.8km (2.4-mile) swim with a rolling start from the golden and sandy, Claycastle beach in Youghal Bay, that gently shelves into the Celtic Sea. This is within walking distance of Youghal Town.

A two-lap 180km (112-mile) bike course is next. Starting off through the centre of Youghal town, a climb of the famous Windmill Hill awaits the cyclists as a first challenge, which undoubtedly will also become a spectator hotspot. The cyclists will then encounter a combination of flat country roads and undulating coastal roads with magnificent sea views of Youghal Bay, Ballycotton Island and Cork Harbour. This breathtaking course goes around County Cork, into the town of Midleton (home to the famous Jameson Distillery) and will rise to a max elevation of 190m above Midleton before a technical drop back into Youghal.

The 42km (26.2-mile) run course will be the highlight of this event. This will be a flat four-lap run course through the centre of the historical town of Youghal, taking in Youghal Harbour and the famous Clock Gate Tower. Athletes will run under the arch of the Clock Gate Tower in the centre of town during each lap before finally running under the Ironman finishing arch in Market Square.

Speaking about the event, Tim Lucey, Chief Executive Cork County Council said: “Cork County Council is especially proud to join forces with Ironman which will bring an economic boost estimated to be over seven million Euro to the local economy. But the impact is much more than that; we have the opportunity to promote East Cork but go even further into all that Cork has to offer. We will showcase sport but most importantly of all, we will showcase community spirit. This will be an event that invests in both people and place and I look forward to what will be an amazing experience.”

“It has always been our goal to establish a full-distance event in Ireland. Now, building on the success of Ironman 70.3 Dún Laoghaire we are excited to add Ironman Ireland, Cork,” said Oliver Schieck, Regional Director Ironman UK & Ireland. “This race is a remarkable combination of a stunning race course with a beautiful landscape as a backdrop. We are looking forward to welcoming Irish and international athletes to the inaugural edition in June 2019.”

Ironman Ireland, Cork will be a qualifier for the 2019 Ironman World Championship being held in Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i.

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News & Racing

Elite Field Of Professional Triathletes Set To Compete In 2018 Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon

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The pro field for the 2018 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon set to take place on Sunday, June 3. The line-up includes 2016 Rio Olympian Ben Kanute, Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker (USA), Olympian Ryan Fisher (AUS), Olympian Paula Findlay (CAN), 2018 Surf City Escape Triathlon winner Jason West and more.

The new official coach of the Escape Triathlon Series Andy Potts will also be competing. Potts represented the United States in the 2004 Olympics, is a seven-time IRONMAN champion, 28-time IRONMAN 70.3 champion, and a six-time Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon champion.

“I am super excited about my new role as the Escape Triathlon Series coach and look forward to competing this year and supporting all levels of participants as they work to accomplish their goals,” said Potts.

The pros will join 2,000 amateur triathletes for the 38th year of this annual event. Athletes have qualified to race through the newly-formed Escape Triathlon Series. 2018 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon Champions Ben Kanute and Lauren Goss will attempt to defend their titles. The full list of professional triathletes set to compete in the 2018 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon includes:

Men

  • Kevin Collington (USA)
  • Brian Duffy Jr. (USA)
  • Robbie Deckard (USA)
  • Cameron Dye (USA)
  • Ryan Fisher (AUS)
  • Ben Kanute (USA)
  • Eric Lagerstrom (USA)
  • Garrick Loewen (CAN)
  • Andy Potts (USA)
  • Jarrod Shoemaker (USA)
  • Jason West (USA)
  • Timothy Winslow (USA)
  • Matthew Wisthoff (USA)

Women

  • Liz Baugher (USA)
  • Paula Findlay (CAN)
  • Lauren Goss (USA)
  • Sarah Haskins (USA)
  • Alicia Kaye (CAN)
  • Caroline Shannon (USA)
  • Erin Storie (USA)
  • Lindsey Jerdonek (USA)

Top triathletes from around the world will take over the streets and waters of San Francisco for the 2018 Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon on a course showcasing the beauty of the city. Triathletes will hit the water at 7:30 a.m. to embark on a challenging 1.5-mile swim from Alcatraz Island to the shoreline of Marina Green, an 18-mile twisting bike ride through the Presidio, and an 8-mile trail run out to Baker Beach and up the infamous 400-plus step Sand Ladder. To finish the race, triathletes will follow a path back under the Golden Gate Bridge, pass Crissy Field, and finish on the grass at Marina Green. Fans can experience the excitement at Marina Green, where the swim exit, athlete transition area and finish line are easily visible.

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News & Racing

Middaugh, Paterson win XTERRA Oak Mountain

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Josiah Middaugh and Lesley Paterson captured the 13th annual XTERRA Oak Mountain off-road triathlon elite titles on a beautiful day at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama this morning.

It’s the third straight year Middaugh has won this race and his fifth win in six years on this course.  For Paterson, it’s her fourth victory here since 2012, and for both, their first big XTERRA win of 2018.

In the men’s race Ian King was first man out of the water in 21:11, followed closely by Karsten Madsen, Branden Rakita, Rom Akerson, and Victor Arenas.  Middaugh came of the 1.5-kilometer swim in 23:56, nearly three-minutes behind the leaders, and quickly went to work on the bike.

“I had quite a deficit out of the swim and had to remind myself to just keep pushing all the time,” said the reigning XTERRA Pan Am Tour Champ, who posted the fastest 30km bike split of the day in 1:20:56.  “For me to get to the front, it’s max effort every chance I get.”

Middaugh was able to pass six of the eight guys ahead of him by the end of the bike, all but race leader Rom Akerson (pictured below) and Karsten Madsen.

“Toward the end of the bike, I was hearing I was within one-minute but I still couldn’t see anybody, and then I heard I was 35 seconds behind but still couldn’t see anybody, and then finally I saw Karsten at the very end there,” said Middaugh.  “I thought Rom must have been another minute up the trail, but when I came out of the bike-to-run transition we were all in there together, 1,2, 3.”

When Middaugh speaks of Max effort, the final quarter-mile of the bike was a perfect example, as he reeled-in 10-15 seconds by hammering the final stretch.

“You have take time whenever you can,” he said.  “Coming in on the road, I saw Karsten starting to take his shoes off and I thought, I’m going hard for another 10 seconds.”

At the start of the two-lap 10km trail run around Double Oak Lake it was an exciting three-man chase and then another all-out effort by Middaugh propelled him into the lead about half-mile into it.

“Right away on the run we were all pushing hard but I was able to take the lead just before the start of the single track. Karsten and I were pretty much sprinting to that spot,” he said.  “I was thinking if I can get in first then I can hit all those little rollers and start working the hills and just hope to wear him down. So, it worked. I wanted to put a gap on him early because when you’re feeling good, you don’t know how long it’s going to last. You can go from feeling real good to real bad, real quick.”

Middaugh crushed the run in 39:04.  The only other sub 40-minute run came from XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series leader Kieran McPherson, who had the best split of the day in 38:50 and ultimately finished 5th.

His winning time was 2:23:56, more than one-minute ahead of Madsen who finished in second for the second straight year behind Middaugh.

“That was by far the worst I’ve felt all through a race, but I persevered,” said Madsen, who won XTERRA Uruguay two weeks ago and was second to Kieran McPerson at XTERRA Brazil last week.  “Three races in three weeks is just about one of the hardest things I’ve done. All this week I could barely train because my legs were so sore and tired, but this course gives me confidence and I used the ability I have in single track riding to keep in contention. I was trying to best Josiah today but he’s such a veteran racer and he found that extra gear.”

Madsen, who sits in second on the Pan Am Pro Series after six events, added that the bump-n-grind style of racing at the park today was a thrill … “That’s XTERRA,” he said. “When it’s close and competitive like that, it’s absolutely phenomenal.”

The battle for third was equally amazing. Rom Akerson, who beat Josiah and Karsten to win XTERRA Costa Rica in March, was in position to finish third but went the wrong way for a few strides just before the finish chute and ended up in a sprint finish with Brian Smith.

“Rom and I were pretty close together all the way around until we got a quarter of a mile into the single track on the second lap,” said Smith. “He went by me and I said, “Great job, go ahead,” and I thought it was all over at that point. Then we got to the dam and he stopped to get water and I was close again, but he was still 10 seconds ahead. The finish wasn’t even going to be close, but he went left and had to run back towards me to get back on course and we ended up together down the finish chute. I gave it everything I could and got it by a lean at the line.”

Akerson, who was the first man into the bike-to-run transition, felt like he let one slip away today.

“I came off the bike and into transition first and then went out on the run and Josiah and Karsten caught me and they were running hard, but nothing I can’t normally keep up with. It was a fast pace, but nothing too hard, and then a couple hundred meters before the end of the first lap I got this pain in my chest, like a cramp or something.  I had to stop and sit down and put water on my head. I couldn’t even breath,” Akerson explained.  “I started running again and then Brian caught me and we ran together and ultimately he beat me over the line at the end there. It was a race I should have won today. I had it in my pocket.”

McPherson, who won at XTERRA Brazil last week, finished just 21-seconds behind in fifth.

Elite Men

Place  Name Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:23:56 100
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 2:25:16 90
3 Brian Smith, USA 2:27:25 82
4 Rom Akerson, CRC 2:27:26 75
5 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:27:46 69
6 Sam Long, USA 2:30:41 63
7 Branden Rakita, USA 2:33:05 58
8 Will Kelsay, USA 2:34:36 53
9 Brent Mattison, USA 2:34:58 49
10 Will Ross, USA 2:37:44 45
11 Ian King, USA 2:38:35 41
12 Alex Roberts, NZL 2:38:49 37
13 Victor Arenas, COL 2:42:25 34
14 Humberto Rivera, USA 2:44:41 31
15 Ryan DeCook, USA 2:45:14 28
16 Jimmy Archer 3:08:44 NP

 

In the women’s race Erin Storie, who was competing in her first-ever XTERRA, posted the fastest women’s swim of the day in 21:26, better than all but five elite men. Fabiola Corona, Jessie Koltz, and Julie Baker were next, a little over two minutes back, then Paterson in fifth.

It didn’t take long for the two-time XTERRA World Champ to get into the mix upfront.

“I got out there and felt really good and I had a lot of fight in me today,” said Paterson, who was second to Jacqui Allen at XTERRA Tahiti last week.  “I caught up to Julie Baker who had the lead at the top of the climb and then we went back and forth on a bunch of the trail until we got to the road and I put in an attack down Johnson Mountain trail and kind of managed to get 30 seconds coming into transition.”

Paterson added to her lead by posting the fastest run split of the day and finished in 2:47:50, more than three minutes ahead of Baker.

“I tried to give Lesley a little race,” smiled Baker (pictured above).  “We traded a bit on the bike but she was really strong, and had a super run. I just do the best I can.  But ya know, it’s fun.  It’s like a vacation coming here, I just felt great as soon as I got here.”

Paterson was quick to agree, adding that “It’s so beautiful, the terrain is amazing, the people are amazing. It’s just an incredible place.”

Corona, a four-time XTERRA Mexico Champ, went back-and-forth with Kara LaPoint on the run and was able to pull away to take third by about 30 seconds. She was ecstatic with the result.

“It was amazing, I love this course, the bike is awesome,” she exclaimed.  “Kara passed me on the first lap of the run and I was like, OK, I’m in 4th place, but then I thought, no, all my family is here and they spent too much for the hotel and the flights for me to finish fourth. Fourth place is like a chocolate medal for me, not bronze. So, I caught a second wind and caught Kara then threw down a big sprint. For me, third place here is like first place, like gold.”

With the win Corona moves into third place in the Pan Am Pro Series behind Carito Nieva and Kelli Montgomery with six races to go.

LaPoint had a great race and gave it everything she had to finish in fourth, while Jessie Koltz finished in fifth.

Elite Women

Place Name Time Points
1 Lesley Paterson, GBR 2:47:50 100
2 Julie Baker, USA 2:51:25 90
3 Fabiola Corona, MEX 2:56:31 82
4 Kara LaPoint, USA 2:57:03 75
5 Jessica Koltz, USA 2:59:26 69
6 Katie Button, CAN 3:01:15 63
7 Erin Storie, USA 3:02:04 58
8 Anne Usher, USA 3:08:12 53
9 Kelli Montgomery, USA 3:10:54 49
10 Heather Zimchek-Dunn, USA 3:14:08 45
11 Rebecca Blatt, USA 3:44:25 41

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