We at dirtTRI are working on a more intriguing format for our Weekend Race Roundup. We realize many of you will follow XTERRA’s excellent race reports at XTERRAplanet.com or, if you must, you can find a reworked press release on various outlets. However, dirtTRI.com is the off-road multisport authority and we want to give you something you can’t get anywhere else, we just didn’t quite have time to get it done for this week. Ah, the challenging early days of a start-up.
This past weekend marked the unofficial start of the global off-road triathlon season. We’ve had a few XTERRA World Tour races thus far in South Africa, New Zealand, and the Philippines, but nothing like the seven races from almost every continent on Earth of the past weekend. Off-road triathlon, particularly XTERRA, has truly become a global phenomenon. This was perfectly exemplified by the fact that the XTERRA Saipan Championship, the most remote of the weekend’s offerings, saw the top 8 athletes in the men’s field come from 8 different countries, and 5 different countries represented in the women’s top 6. That’s some serious frequent flyer milage!
Arguably the most interesting of the weekend’s races was the ITU Pokhra ASTC Cross Triathlon South Asian Championships at the Himalayan Rush triathlon in Pokhra, Nepal. Not only was the race significant in that it brought off-road triathlon to a new and developing region, but it just looks awesome. Yeah, sure it was a breathtaking course nestled at the foot of the massive Himalaya. But, more importantly (ok, maybe not) the race producers really knew what they were doing by offering not only an amazing course, but sponored beer at the finish and perhaps the coolest race awards we’ve ever seen in the form of mini Khukuri knives.
We’ll have more from this event later in the week. But for now accolades went to:
As for XTERRA we know we can’t do better than the reports from XTERRA themselves, so we’ve listed the three majors with links below. But, we will have a deeper analysis soon, as there was a lot of interesting developments. Roadies trying their hand off-road, Champions making comebacks, new venues…wow, so much to cover.
(Saipan, Northern Marianas) – Ben Allen from Australia and Jacqui Slack of Great Britain won the 14th annual XTERRA Saipan Championship race in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on Saturday.
It’s the fourth year in a row Allen won the title, matching Olivier Marceau’s streak from 2004-07.
For Slack, it’s her second Saipan victory in three years. Both led from wire-to-wire in wet conditions that made the already difficult jungle bike and run courses all the more treacherous.
“Some of the worst conditions I’ve ever raced in. The rain didn’t let up and it made for super slippery conditions,” explained Allen.
Allen, one of the sports best swimmers, used those skills to bridge an early one-minute gap over Bradley Weiss and backed it up with the fastest bike and run splits of the day to win in convincing fashion with a time of 2:40:25, more than six-minutes ahead of Weiss…
|1||Ben Allen, AUS||2:40:25||15:57||1:29:54||54:34|
|2||Brad Weiss, RSA||2:46:45||17:10||1:33:03||56:32|
|3||Takahiro Ogasawara, JPN||2:48:19||19:59||1:32:06||56:14|
|1||Jacqui Slack, GBR||3:02:01||18:34||1:42:59||1:00:28|
|2||Carina Wasle, AUT||3:07:33||20:06||1:48:56||58:31|
|3||Mieko Carey, JPN||3:20:45||19:25||1:57:03||1:04:17|
|1||Nicolas Fernandez, FRA||2:09:28||75|
|2||Roger Serrano, ESP||2:11:37||67|
|3||Brice Daubord, FRA||2:11:52||61|
|1||Brigitta Poor, HUN||2:37:40||75|
|2||Sandra Koblemueller, AUT||2:40:13||67|
|3||Maud Golsteyn, NED||2:43:16||61|
(Mellieha, Malta) – Nicolas Fernandez and Brigitta Poor took home the elite titles at the inaugural XTERRA Malta off-road triathlon on Sunday.
It’s the first major XTERRA win for both, and puts them atop leader board of the XTERRA European Tour standings as the first race of the season.
XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to take in all the action and brings us this report:
“Look Out there is a new Nico in town. No sooner does Nico Lebrun retire to become XTERRA’s technical director than Nico Fernandez puts in a dominating performance winning his first XTERRA here on Malta…
|1||Rom Akerson, CRC||2:19:04|
|2||Josiah Middaugh, USA||2:19:57|
|3||Mauricio Mendez, MEX||2:20:09|
|1||Lesley Paterson, GBR||2:44:43|
|2||Emma Garrard, USA||2:46:22|
|3||Sara McLarty, USA||3:10:32|
In the women’s race two-time XTERRA World Champ Lesley Paterson overcame a shoulder injury, slow swim, and ravaged feet on the run to win her first XTERRA major since 2013.
Her winning time of 2:44:43 was more than a minute faster than Emma Garrard, who took the lead about three miles into the bike and held it through the mid-point of the run when Paterson went flying by.
“I simply couldn’t match Lesley’s pace on the run,” said Garrard, adding that Costa Rica was beautiful and although it was hot, the race started early so a lot of the course was in the shade.