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May 22, 2015 Comments (0) In the News, Off-Road Triathlon

Ruzafa, Duffy, win XTERRA USA Championship

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.

Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
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


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

Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Josiah Middaugh 100 100 x82 100 90 390
2 Bradley Weiss 90 82 75 DNS 75 322
3 Mauricio Mendez 82 75 x63 82 82 321
4 Dan Hugo 58 63 100 DNS 69 290
5 Craig Evans 69 90 69 DNS 53 281
6 Branden Rakita 75 69 58 x53 41 243
7 Chris Ganter 53 x45 53 58 49 213
8 Ryan Ignatz 45 58 DNS 63 37 203
9 Alex Modestou DNR 41 DNS 69 45 155
10 Ryan Petry 63 DNR DNS 75 DNP 138
11 Brad Zoller DNS DNS DNS 49 63 112
12 Jeff Smith 37 37 34 DNS DNP 108
13 Cody Waite DNS DNS DNS 45 58 103
14 Ruben Ruzafa DNS DNS DNS DNS 100 100
15 Karsten Madsen DNF 49 49 DNS DNR 98
16 Ben Hoffman DNS DNS DNS 90 DNR 90
17 Ryan DeCook 31 DNR 45 DNS DNR 76
18 Nick Fisher DNP 53 DNS DNS DNR 53
19 Matt Lieto 49 DNR DNS DNS DNR 49
20 Thomas Spannring DNS DNS DNS 41 DNR 41
21 Justin Thomas 41 DNR DNS DNS DNR 41
22 Takahiro Ogasawara DNS DNS 41 DNS DNR 41
23 Alex Libin DNS DNS DNS 37 DNR 37
24 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau DNS DNF 37 DNS DNR 37
25 Joshua Merrick DNS DNS DNS 34 DNR 34
26 Will Kelsay 34 DNR DNS DNS DNR 34
27 Ben Allen DNS DNS DNS DNS 34 34
28 Gavin Anderson DNS DNS DNS 31 DNR 31
29 Charlie Epperson DNS DNP 31 DNS DNR 31
30 John O’Neill DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 31
31 Will Ross 28 DNR DNS DNS DNR 28
32 Noah Wright DNS DNS 28 DNS DNR 28
33 Adam Wirth DNS DNS DNS DNS 28 28
Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Flora Duffy 100 100 100 DNS 100 400
2 Emma Garrard x90 90 90 90 75 345
3 Chantell Widney 69 69 DNS 100 69 307
4 Suzie Snyder 75 82 82 x63 63 302
5 Shonny Vanlandingham 82 DNF 75 75 45 277
6 Danelle Kabush 63 63 DNS 82 53 261
7 Kara LaPoint 58 58 41 x28 28 185
8 Christine Jeffrey DNR 75 69 41 DNS 185
9 Jaime Brede 49 49 DNS 69 DNP 167
10 Amelia McCracken 37 53 49 DNP DNP 139
11 Sara Schuler DNS DNS DNS 58 49 107
12 Debby Sullivan 45 DNR 58 DNP DNP 103
13 Caroline Colonna DNR 45 45 DNP DNP 90
14 Barbara Riveros DNS DNS DNS DNS 90 90
15 Lesley Patersno DNS DNS DNS DNS 82 82
16 Rebecca Blatt 41 DNR 37 DNS DNP 78
17 Maia Ignatz DNS DNS DNS 37 37 74
18 Kim Baugh DNS DNS DNS 34 34 68
19 Catherine Sterling DNS DNS 63 DNS DNP 63
20 Carina Wasle DNS DNS DNS DNS 58 58
21 Katie Button 53 DNR DNS DNS DNR 53
22 Mieko Carey DNS DNS 53 DNS DNR 53
23 Rebecca Dussault DNS DNS DNS 53 DNR 53
24 Kelley Cullen DNS DNS DNS 49 DNR 49
25 Heidi Rentz DNS DNS DNS 45 DNR 45
26 Genevieve Evans DNS DNS DNS DNS 41 41
27 Rachel Challis DNS DNS DNS 31 DNR 31
28 Susan Sloan DNS DNS DNS DNS 31 31


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:


Division Name Time Hometown
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
Division Name Time Hometown
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

Complete Results

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

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

Highlight videos & images from today’s race can be found at

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, and learn more at and


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

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