In her first full season racing XTERRA Flora Duffy has been dominant. She won all three regional championships and now the USA Championship.
She posted the fastest swim (coming out of the water third overall behind only Ben Allen and Mauricio Mendez), had the fastest bike split (1:32:36) and the second-best run behind eventual runner-up Barbara Riveros from Chile to take the tape in 2:38:18, more than six-minutes in front of Riveros.
“It was a lot of fun, but it was hard. I never felt particularly stressed with my breathing but my legs were shot,” said Duffy, a two-time Olympian. “I was intimidated by this course, but apparently it suits me. The water was warm, but swimming at altitude is hard. I was redlining the entire swim trying to stay on feet.”
Duffy, who finished third at XTERRA Worlds last year, said the pro series title was just the first part of the plan.
“After Las Vegas in April I made it a goal of mine to win the series, so it’s pretty cool to do that. Now it’s time to get to work and be faster for Maui.”
Riveros, who wasn’t even sure if she’d make the starting line after crashing at the ITU Grand Finale in Edmonton three weeks ago, flatted towards the end of the bike – came into transition in third – but was able to chase down two-time World Champ Lesley Paterson for second.
“I’m pretty happy to finish, especially here. I’m very grateful. Beautiful venue, beautiful people,” said Riveros, who was also 2nd at this race last year. “I heard I was 53 seconds back halfway through the last downhill when I got a flat. I hit a rock but my tire didn’t explode for a while. It was kind of sketchy, I was happy to make it out okay.”
For Paterson, the defending USA Champion who’s been sidelined all season with injury, just getting back into the mix was a win.
“I’m truly back (pointing to blood seeping through the tip of her running shoes),” said Paterson. “My feet were killing me, I’m just not used to it. It all came back to me, like ‘Oh, yeah, this is what it feels like.’ But it feels awesome, so much fun just to be out there with those girls, they’re awesome and we were giving each other shouts out there. I was bummed Barbara got a puncture on the bike but on the run she ran past me like I was standing still so I guess it all worked out.”
“Today it was great to see Lesley back racing and up here on the podium,” said Duffy at the awards ceremony. “She’s an athlete I really respect and someone I think singlehandedly raised the bar for XTERRA racing on the women’s side. It’ll be exciting to watch the comeback and I hope to have many more battles with her in the future.”
Emma Garrard from Park City, Utah finished fourth and the National Champ (top American in the Series) for the second straight year, and Chantell Widney placed 5th.
The race combined a 1.5km swim in the 67-degree waters of Pineview Reservoir with a 28km mountain bike that climbed 3,400-feet up to Sardine Peak and back down to Snowbasin Resort, then finished with a 6.1-mile trail run that had another 600-feet of climbing. Altitude is 4,900-feet at Pineview, 7,300-feet at top of Sardine, and 6,400-feet at T2 and the finish.
|1||Flora Duffy||27||Boulder, Colorado (Bermuda)||2:38:18||100|
|2||Barbara Riveros||27||La Pintana, Chile||2:44:28||90|
|3||Lesley Paterson||33||San Diego, CA (Scotland)||2:46:24||82|
|4||Emma Garrard||31||Park City, Utah||2:48:10||75|
|5||Chantell Widney||34||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||2:50:10||69|
|6||Suzie Snyder||32||Fredericksburg, Virginia||2:52:04||63|
|7||Carina Wasle||29||Kundl, Austria||2:52:53||58|
|8||Danelle Kabush||38||Calgary, Canada||2:53:32||53|
|9||Sara Schuler||33||Boulder, Colorado||2:55:57||49|
|10||Shonny Vanlandingham||45||Durango, Colorado||3:01:40||45|
Also: Genevieve Evans (41), Maia Ignatz (37), Kim Baugh (34), Susan Sloan (31), Kara LaPoint (28), Catherine Sterling, Jaime Brede, Debby Sullivan, Caroline Colonna, Amelia McCracken, Rebecca Blatt
MIDDAUGH, DUFFY WIN XTERRA U.S. PRO SERIES
Josiah Middaugh and Flora Duffy capped off remarkable seasons on XTERRA’s U.S. pro circuit. Duffy went undefeated, while Middaugh’s only blemish was his runner-up performance today. They each received a check for $10,000 for taking the series title.
In the race for second Brad Weiss’ 4th place finish today was enough to secure his 2nd place standing in the overall – by one point! Weiss finished with 322 points, Mendez with 321.
In the women’s chase Emma Garrard’s 4th place finish also secured her 2nd place standing for the Series. Middaugh and Garrard took home the honors of XTERRA USA National Champions for having the best seasons of American’s on the tour.
2014 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Standings (Final)
Pros count their best 3-of-4 regionals, plus USA
DONOVAN, FINCHAMP WIN OVERALL AMATEUR TITLES
JP Donovan and Hannah Rae Finchamp captured the overall amateur XTERRA USA Championship titles today. It’s the third time Donovan has won Nationals, but his first overall victory, while it’s the second overall title in three years for Finchamp (who has now won the 15-19 division four straight times).
“It feels really nice to take the title back,” said Finchamp, who is in her freshman year at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. “I felt really smooth and really good today, maybe more physically ready than ever because I’ve been training with the collegiate teams and it has been so much fun being with other people training. It does take a toll on you mentally, however, having to come all the way from Missouri and flying by the seat of my pants.”
Finchamp is on the cross country, cycling, and swim teams at Lindenwood this season, and said “I love it there, nowhere else I’d rather be for school.”
There was an interesting twist in the men’s race as Matthew Balzer, the reigning USA Champion, looked poised to capture his second straight until another guy – wearing the same kit – stormed past. And it was his fault.
“I’ve got to give thanks to Matthew Balzer from the Reno Running Company,” said Donovan, 27, a lifeguard from Incline Village, Nevada who has been racing XTERRA since 2006. “He hooked me up with a kit, drove me out here, and really pushed me to train the last couple weeks. I wasn’t even going to do it this year but he conned me into it. While he’s not my coach, he is in my mind, kind of like the conscience on my shoulder.”
The two came into transition close together but Donovan charged hard on the first steep incline out of transition and never looked back.
“I wouldn’t want to give it up to anybody else,” said Balzer, who finished second. “At least we got the kit involved.”
Cindi Toepel from Littleton reached a milestone mark today, winning her unprecedented 10th XTERRA USA Championship crown.
David Rakita, father to XTERRA pro Branden Rakita, won his 5th title (he got his first in 2002).
Craig Vogtsberger, who was honored as this year’s Mr. XTERRA award winner for best exemplifying the “Live More” spirit of the sport, captured his fourth National Championship in the physically challenged division.
Donovan, Lucia Colbert, and Katherine Pollard each won their third USA Championships, while Balzer, Peter Lilley, Paula Maresh, and Meghan Sheridan captured their second each.
Here’s a look at all of this year’s National Champs:
XTERRA USA CHAMPIONS (WOMEN)
|15 – 19||Hannah Rae Finchamp (4)||3:03:09||Altadena, CA|
|20 – 24||* Katherine Pollard (3)||3:52:44||Roseville, CA|
|25 – 29||Amie Graf||3:40:54||Glenwood Springs, CO|
|30 – 34||Sian Turner||3:15:11||Truckee, CA|
|35 – 39||Meghan Sheridan (2)||3:14:28||Salt Lake City, UT|
|40 – 44||Kathy Waite||3:19:12||Lakewood, CO|
|45 – 49||Patty Smaldone||3:54:08||Portland, OR|
|50 – 54||Paula Maresh (2)||3:33:58||Littleton, CO|
|55 – 59||Lucia Colbert (3)||3:52:59||Cordova, TN|
|60 – 64||Cindi Toepel (10)||3:57:04||Littleton, CO|
|XTERRA USA CHAMPIONS (MEN)|
|15 – 19||David Duncan||3:02:36||Shingle Springs, CA|
|20 – 24||Billy Allen||2:52:23||Farmingdale, NM|
|25 – 29||*JP Donovan (3)||2:38:08||Incline Village, NV|
|30 – 34||Matt Balzer (2)||2:40:48||Reno, NV|
|35 – 39||Jeffrey Dewitt||2:53:37||Castle Rock, CO|
|40 – 44||Jack Cartwright||2:46:26||Austin, TX|
|45 – 49||Chris Phenicie||2:52:04||Lakewood, CO|
|50 – 54||Andrew Macnaughton||2:52:37||Newbury Park, CA|
|55 – 59||Dennis Brinson||3:03:48||Carson City, NV|
|60 – 64||Johnny Davis||3:24:25||Boulder, CO|
|65 – 69||David Rakita (5)||3:53:53||Durango, CO|
|70 – 74||Peter Lilley (2)||5:22:01||Charlotte, NC|
|PC||Craig Vogtsberger (4)||3:55:27||Littleton, CO|
|* TOP AMATEURS|
Now, it’s time to party at the Harvest Moon Celebration block party in downtown Ogden, Utah where the National Champs will be recognized on the main stage.
Tomorrow, it’s the trail runners turn as harriers from around the country will gather for the XTERRA Trail Running National Championship half-marathon at Snowbasin Resort at 9am. Learn more at www.xterrautah.com.
Of note, both the XTERRA Tri and Trail Run National Championship races are the culmination of 70+ race nationwide series and XTERRA TV is producing an hour-long, nationally broadcast television show on the USA Championship, highlighting Northern Utah as a mecca for outdoor adventure recreation (you can watch last year’s show right now at http://vimeo.com/84062339).
Highlight videos & images from today’s race can be found at https://www.facebook.com/XTERRAplanet
The 2014 XTERRA Nationals weekend is presented by the Utah Sports Commission, Paul Mitchell, and the XTERRA Live More Card. Sponsors include Snowbasin Resort, GOAL Foundation, Gatorade, PowerBar, ENVE, Utah Media Group, the U.S. Forest Service, XTERRA Wetsuits, Muscle Milk, Rockwell watches, XTERRA Fitness, LifeProof, XTERRA Coffee, Optic Nerve Sunglasses, Champion System, Greenlayer, and XTERRA Boards.
About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA
TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988. It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2014 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 25+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990. View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterratrailrun.com.
2014 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
The XTERRA USA Championship was the last of 35 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 26, 2014.
|Date||Race||Location / Pro Winners|
|23-Feb||XTERRA South Africa||Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy|
|8-Mar||XTERRA Motatapu||Braden Currie / Nicky Samuels|
|15-Mar||XTERRA Philippines Championship||Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher|
|29-Mar||XTERRA Guam Championship||Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher|
|29-Mar||XTERRA Costa Rica||Leonardo Chacon / Shonny Vanlandingham|
|30-Mar||XTERRA Great Ocean Road||Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack|
|5-Apr||XTERRA Saipan Championship||Ben Allen / Carina Wasle|
|12-Apr||XTERRA New Zealand Championship||Conrad Stoltz / Barbara Riveros|
|13-Apr||XTERRA West Championship||Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy|
|26-Apr||XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship||Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy|
|3-May||XTERRA Malaysia||Dan Hugo / Jacqui Slack|
|17-May||XTERRA Southeast Championship||Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy|
|24-May||XTERRA Mauritius||Sam Gardner / Karyn Southgate|
|24-May||XTERRA Spain Championship||Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova|
|1-Jun||XTERRA Portugal||Ruben Ruzafa / Coralie Redelsperger|
|8-Jun||XTERRA Brazil Championship||Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo|
|15-Jun||XTERRA East Championship||Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy|
|21-Jun||XTERRA Greece||Francois Carloni / Kathrin Mueller|
|28-Jun||XTERRA Switzerland Championship||Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller|
|29-Jun||XTERRA Norway||Dan Hugo / Cecilie Overbye|
|5-Jul||XTERRA Ontario||Sean Bechtel / Heather Pady|
|6-Jul||XTERRA France Championship||Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller|
|6-Jul||XTERRA Victoria||Brent McMahon / Melanie McQuaid|
|6-Jul||XTERRA Freedom Fest||Sergio Florian / Laurel Dudley|
|13-Jul||XTERRA Sweden||Braden Currie / Helena Erbenova|
|19-Jul||XTERRA Mountain Championship||Josiah Middaugh / Chantell Widney|
|26-Jul||XTERRA Italy Championship||Ruben Ruzafa / Helene Erbenova|
|2-Aug||XTERRA Mexico Championship||Irving Perez / Fabiola Corona|
|9-Aug||XTERRA Czech Championship||Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller|
|16-Aug||XTERRA Germany Championship||Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller|
|17-Aug||XTERRA Canmore||Mathieu Signoretty / Brittany Webster|
|24-Aug||XTERRA England||Conrad Stoltz / Emma Garrard|
|31-Aug||XTERRA Denmark||Conrad Stoltz / Kathrin Mueller|
|31-Aug||XTERRA Quebec||Jean-Philippe Thibodeau / Claude Godbout|
|7-Sep||XTERRA Sleeping Giant||Scott Hill / Charlotte McShane|
|20-Sep||XTERRA USA Championship||Ruben Ruzafa / Flora Duffy|
|26-Oct||XTERRA World Championship||Maui, Hawaii|