Middaugh, Snyder win XTERRA East Championship

June 14, 2015 (Richmond, VA) – Josiah Middaugh and Suzie Snyder captured the 17th annual 2015 XTERRA East Championship off-road triathlon pro race titles on a hot and humid day around the James River Park System in Richmond, Virginia this morning.Both came from behind out of the water, took charge on the bike, and held on during the run.  It’s the second career Richmond win for Middaugh, who last won it all in 2008, and the first-ever win on the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series for Snyder.The elite race started an hour earlier than the amateur race, right at 7:50am in the warm and shallow waters of the James River.  There was a spot in the middle of the river that had everyone running across water – quite a sight for those watching from underneath the CSX Railway line or across the river on Belle Isle.Craig Evans led the pro men out of the water on Belle Isle, midway through the swim, followed by Ben Collins, Brad Zoller, Braden Currie, and Branden Rakita.  Those five would post the quickest swim times (roughly 15 minutes) but Middaugh was only about one-minute back and got in the mix on the bike right away.

“This is a really challenging course for me,” said Middaugh, who lives and trains at altitude in Vail, Colorado.  “It’s really different than what I train on all the time so it’s always presented a really good, hard challenge for me.  I won it one year when Conrad (Stoltz) had a flat tire, it was on Father’s Day, but it’s been a while.  I wasn’t able to do much pre-riding but luckily I’ve done this race like nine times or something so I felt like I knew the course, just wasn’t practiced at race speed on it.  So I felt pretty good and surprisingly, I’ve worked on my technical skills a little bit and that’s starting to pay off. Keeping weight on my feet and getting around those corners. Today I had no problems, that’s the big thing. I’ve had a lot of mechanicals here in the past but today I made it through the course unscathed.”

Middaugh may have been one of the few racers today who didn’t go down at some point.  Runner-up Braden Currie from New Zealand said it was all he could do to stay on his bike.

“That was a tough day out, I tried to do what I could do and I just didn’t have it,” said Currie, who came in with three straight wins at XTERRA New Zealand, Australia, and the Southeast Champs.  “I’m a bit gutted really. I would have liked to been a lot closer to Josiah.  It’s a bit annoying to fall off so much at the end, but that’s racing.  Haven’t had the best few weeks so I’ll just take it as it is.”

Perhaps nobody in the men’s field could be as annoyed as Olly Shaw, who was in fine form and riding up front with Josiah about a third of the way through the bike before getting a flat that led to a DNF.

“Burped my tire, had a bit of a big crash, then I looked down and my Co2 canister wasn’t there.  It was a bit of a nightmare,” explained Shaw.  “I tried to keep riding with a really flat tire in hopes that someone would be generous enough to hand me something but everyone was focused on racing and it just got flatter and flatter.  I was really having a good race up there with Josiah and Braden and Craig and feeling really good on the bike.  Josiah was really super strong but I was pulling him back on the little descents and things, so pretty gutted to have that happen.”

Middaugh had the best bike split of the day, 1:24:56, to Currie’s 1:28:39 and Evans’ 1:28:49, and had nearly three minutes on Currie heading into the run.

“I wasn’t going to come here but decided on Wednesday I was going to try and strike while the iron was hot and come on out,” said Middaugh, who won the GoPro Mountain Games in his backyard for the eighth straight year last weekend.  “I’ve been racing well so thought maybe I had one more big race in me.”

Middaugh got into Richmond at midnight on Friday, then messed up his bike pre-riding on Saturday and credited Clint Kronenberger from Coqui Cyclery for getting him squared away.

“Great to have some last minute bike support from Clint, put a new shifter on there and did a bunch of other stuff last night,” said Middaugh.

Middaugh didn’t have the fastest run of the day, which went to Ryan Ignatz who shot into third place with a blistering 43:27 run split, but said he went as hard as he could.

“With this heat you never know when you’re going to just totally implode but I felt good at the start of the run so thought I’d run as hard as I could for as long as I could and actually felt pretty good the whole way,” he said.

Chris Ganter finished fourth and Branden Rakita rounded out the top five.

For all involved the course and all its character were the highlights of today’s race.

“The trails are amazing, and I love all the people out there,” said Ignatz.  “Lots of good cheering and great energy at this place.”

Currie was particularly taken with the fanatics at the “Rock Face” section, saying “It’s pretty awesome going through those crowds, it really amps you up.  Coming through the shoot by people with costumes and masks.  I just wanted to stop and hang out with those guys, but you’ve got to keep on punching it which was pretty annoying.  I’d have loved to sit down and have a beer and a BBQ with them.”

Middaugh added that the history around town makes Richmond a really compelling venue to race at.

“Just the setting, right in downtown.  We’ve got Belle Isle that was a POW camp during the civil war. There’s a lot of history here so it’s just very unique.  You don’t often get an XTERRA that has a downtown setting like this but still has really good single track and really good trails.”

Here’s a look at the top 11 elite men from today’s race:

PRO MEN          
Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh 36 Eagle-Vail, Colorado 2:24:53 100
2 Braden Currie 28 Wanaka, New Zealand 2:28:40 90
3 Ryan Ignatz 36 Boulder, Colorado 2:30:21 82
4 Chris Ganter 36 Boise, Idaho 2:31:31 75
5 Branden Rakita 34 Colorado Springs, Colo. 2:32:35 69
6 Alex Modestou 28 Durham, North Carolina 2:34:38 63
7 Karsten Madsen 23 Guelph, Ontario, CAN 2:35:24 58
8 Brad Zoller 37 Avon, Colorado 2:41:31 53
9 Craig Evans 37 Hendersonville, Tenn. 2:41:46 49
10 Ben Collins 31 Chicago, Illinois 2:43:05 45
Also: Ian King (41)


Without the seemingly invincible duo of XTERRA World Champs Flora Duffy and Lesley Paterson in the line-up today the spotlight seemed destined to shine on either Emma Garrard or Suzie Snyder.  Those two have finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively, at four of the last five regional championship races.

Garrard was coming off a brilliant effort winning last weekend’s Mountain Games in Colorado, while Snyder was still not 100% from her crash at last month’s Southeast Championship that bruised her ribs and strained her shoulder.

The two posted identical swim times and headed out on the bike behind Sara McLarty, Christine Jeffrey, and Catherine Sterling but it was all Snyder after that.  By midway through the first lap in Forest Hill Park (about mile four) she had passed everyone and put two minutes on Garrard.

“I knew the bike course was where I could make my move because I’m so familiar with it,” said Snyder.  “I rode it every week last year for two months. My confidence was good which was key.  I nailed the technical stuff.  I rode everything so clean, for the first time ever, which kept my confidence high and it was so exciting because when your mind is good your body is good.”

Snyder took a big lead into the run and would need almost every minute of it because Garrard was putting out a heroic running effort behind her. Garrard’s 45:36 effort was five minutes faster than Snyder, but still a minute short at the finish line.

“The run was tough,” said Snyder.  “Emma was coming, I knew she was, because that’s what she does.  I was just trying to run smart in the beginning because I knew the heat would take its toll later on.  Towards the middle I had to do everything I could to put it out there and then my legs started cramping so I needed to settle down before I blew it.”

Smart effort and a big win for Snyder, who now has a XTERRA World Tour major (New Zealand) and a U.S Series win to her name this season.

“Second again,” exhaled Garrard, who has been the runner-up at seven straight regionals since the start of last season.  “I made more mistakes on the bike then I should have but nothing really bad. I kept telling myself I could close the gap, but Suzie was riding a lot better than me today.”

A month after posting a career-best fourth-place finish in Alabama Catherine Sterling did one better and finished third today.  Maia Ignatz and Kara LaPoint also had career days in fourth and fifth, respectively.  LaPoint’s podium spot took some grit after twisting her ankle pretty badly on the “Dry Way” about two miles from the finish.

No woman had it worse than Christine Jeffrey, who crashed hard early and dislocated her elbow.  “They finally got it back in joint after a couple tries, very unpleasant,” said Jeffrey from the hospital.

All-in-all an amazing day packed with action and excitement.  The locals here in Richmond are awesome supporters of XTERRA and their leader Nathan Burrell, the James River Park System manager, has done an incredibly job with the trails – getting grants and making every inch of dirt as good as it can get.

Today’s race combined a one-kilometer swim in the James with a 20-mile mountain bike and seven-mile trail run. There was a $15,000 prize purse for elites as the third of five stops in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series.

Here’s a look at the top 10 elite women from today’s race:

PRO WOMEN        
Pl Name Age Hometown Time Points
1 Suzie Snyder 33 Reno, Nevada 2:48:58 100
2 Emma Garrard 34 Park City, Utah 2:50:10 90
3 Catherine Sterling 38 Ayer, Massachussetts 2:55:23 82
4 Maia Ignatz 34 Boulder, Colorado 2:56:59 75
5 Kara LaPoint 27 Truckee, California 2:59:38 69
6 Brittany Webster 27 Canmore, Alberta, CAN 3:05:04 63
7 Debby Sullivan 33 Rocklin, California 3:06:17 58
8 Emily Bashton 35 Richmond, Virginia 3:07:40 53
9 Sara McLarty 32 Clermont, Florida 3:21:18 49
10 Rebecca Blatt 35 Lakewood, Colorado 3:33:24 45


With today’s victory Middaugh is assured a shot at winning the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series in Ogden, Utah on September 19.  Pros count their best three scores in the first four, plus what they earn at Nationals regardless of how they do.   Currie could put himself in the same position with a second-place or better finish at the Mountain Championship next month.  For the women, Garrard is in the lead, but just by six points over Snyder, which makes next month’s showdown in the Rockies an important one for both.

XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Standings (After 3)
Pros count best 3-of-4 regionals, plus Nationals
PRO MEN              
Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 90 90 100 280
2 Chris Ganter, USA 82 82 75 239
3 Branden Rakita, USA 69 63 69 201
4 Braden Currie, NZL DNS 100 90 190
5 Craig Evans, USA 58 75 49 182
6 Ryan Ignatz, USA 45 53 82 180
7 Alex Modestou, USA 49 58 63 170
8 Brad Zoller, USA 53 49 53 155
9 Karsten Madsen, CAN 63 DNF 58 121
10 Francisco Serrano, MEX 100 DNS DNS 100
11 Ben Allen, AUS 75 DNS DNS 75
12 Olly Shaw, NZL DNS 69 DNF 69
13 Chris Foster, USA DNS 45 DNS 45
14 Ben Collins, USA DNS DNS 45 45
15 JP Donovan, USA 41 DNS DNS 41
16 Will Ross, USA DNS 41 DNS 41
17 Ian King, USA DNS DNS 41 41
18 James Hadley, GBR 37 DNS DNS 37
19 Jimmy Archer, USA 34 DNS DNS 34
20 Kyle Hughes, USA 31 DNS DNS 31
PRO WOMEN            
Pl Name West S’East East Mtn USA Totals
1 Emma Garrard, USA 90 90 90 270
2 Suzie Snyder, USA 82 82 100 264
3 Lesley Paterson, GBR 100 100 DNS 200
4 Maia Ignatz, USA 49 63 75 187
5 Kara LaPoint, USA 63 53 69 185
6 Catherine Sterling, USA DNS 75 82 157
7 Sara McLarty, USA 41 45 49 135
8 Debby Sullivan, USA 45 31 58 134
9 Brittany Webster, CAN 69 DNS 63 132
10 Sara Schuler, USA 58 58 DNS 116
11 Rebecca Blatt, USA 31 34 45 110
12 Emily Bashton, USA DNF 37 53 90
13 Melanie McQuaid, CAN 75 DNS DNS 75
14 Christine Jeffrey, CAN DNS 69 DNF 69
15 Katie Button, CAN 53 DNF DNS 53
16 Jaime Brede, USA DNS 49 DNS 49
17 Amelia McCracken, USA DNS 41 DNS 41
18 Lauren Thompson, USA 34 DNS DNS 34

Next up: The XTERRA Mountain Championship at Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, Colorado on July 18.


Daryl Weaver from Lititz, Pennsylvania won his second regional championship in as many months, finishing more than three minutes ahead of Billy Allen of Farmingdale, New York with a winning time of 2:38:51.  Young gun Greg Schott from Chesterfield, Virginia placed third.  In the women’s race Katharine Wilson from North Vancouver, Canada finished seven-minutes in front of Caroline Colonna of Taos, New Mexico with a winning time of 3:03:43.

Today’s race was an important qualifier for both the XTERRA USA and World Championship races. XTERRA’s chief racer correspondent Marcus Barton, who won the 45-49 division title in 2:47:16, will bring us a unique look at the amateur race from a first-person point of view coming soon.

Here’s a look at who won their respective divisions:

XTERRA East Champs (Men)    
Division Name Hometown Time
15 – 19 Greg Schott Chesterfield, VA 2:39:00
20 – 24 Spencer Ralston Hebron, CT 3:04:05
25 – 29 Billy Allen Farmingdale, NY 2:37:03
30 – 34 Michael Welch Bear, DE 2:53:40
35 – 39 Chris Edmonds Birmingham, AL 2:39:29
40 – 44 Daryl Weaver Lititz, PA 2:33:51
45 – 49 Marcus Barton Waxhaw, NC 2:47:16
50 – 54 Ali Arasta Asheboro, NC 2:46:43
55 – 59 Jean-Paul Martin Oakton, VA 2:53:27
60 – 64 Russell Clark Scotia, NY 3:51:08
65 – 69 Charlie Redmond Tenafly, NJ 4:13:08
Clydesdale Paul Flannigan Norfolk, VA 4:11:59
XTERRA East Champs (Women)    
Division Name Hometown Time
25 – 29 Katharine Wilson N. Vancouver, Canada 3:03:43
30 – 34 Emily Witman Ogden, UT 3:14:33
35 – 39 Maria Smit Syosset, NY 4:02:12
40 – 44 Beata Wronska Boynton Beach, FL 3:11:55
45 – 49 Katrina Dowidchuk Wilmington, DE 3:15:26
50 – 54 Caroline Colonna Taos, NM 3:11:35
55 – 59 Elaine Morison Lafayette, CA 5:12:15


The XTERRA East Championship was the 18th of 40 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the world can qualify to race at the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on Nov. 1, 2015.

8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship (Brad Weiss / Flora Duffy)
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship (Stuart Marais / Flora Duffy)
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu (Dougal Allan / Jess Simson & Simone Maier)
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship (Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack)
29-Mar XTERRA Malta (Nicolas Fernandez / Brigitta Poor)
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica (Rom Akerson / Lesley Paterson)
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship (Ben Allen / Carina Wasle)
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship (Braden Currie / Suzie Snyder)
18-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+ (Braden Currie / Flora Duffy)
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV, USA# (Francisco Serrano / Lesley Paterson)
25-Apr XTERRA Tahiti (Brice Daubord / Sarah Backler)
26-Apr XTERRA Reunion (Brad Weiss, Carla Van Huyssteen)
2-May XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asian Tour Championship (Brad Weiss / Myriam Guillot)
10-May XTERRA Brazil (DIogo Malagon / Sabrina Gobbo)
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship (Braden Currie / Lesley Paterson)
16-May XTERRA Portugal (Ruben Ruzafa, Kathrin Mueller)
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship (Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova)
14-Jun XTERRA East Championship (Josiah Middaugh, Suzie Snyder)
20-Jun XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Tri Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
25-Jul XTERRA Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Italy Championship, Abruzzo, Italy*
8-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
22-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
29-Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
30-Aug XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

The XTERRA East Championship was presented by Paul Mitchell and XTERRA Travel, and sponsored by Muscle Milk, Gatorade Endurance, PowerBar, XTERRA Optic Nerve, LifeProof, Greenlayer, XTERRA Coffee,  XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, Utah Sports Commission, Salming, XTERRA Boards, and Outrigger Resorts.

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 2015 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 35 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.




Jimmy Archer

Founder and Editor at DirtTRI.com. Jimmy has been a professional athlete for over 18 years as a runner, cyclist, mountain biker, cross country skier, and primarily, triathlete. Jimmy has a degree in exercise science from the University of Colorado and is a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling certified coach. Jimmy became a freelance writer in 2000 while competing and covering the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championship. Since that time Jimmy has been head editor at two magazines, been published in numerous publications within the endurance sport, recreation, and travel segments. Currently Jimmy is competing professionally in off-road multisport. In his spare time Jimmy passionately follows Formula 1, Moto GP, and is an avid cook.

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