July 18, 2015 (Beaver Creek, CO) – Josiah Middaugh and Flora Duffy captured the seventh annual XTERRA Mountain Championship off-road triathlon pro race titles on a picture perfect day at Beaver Creek.
It’s Middaugh’s third straight win on his home course and fourth in five years (2014 race | 2013 race). It’s also his second win in a row on the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series and puts him in prime position to capture his third straight Series title in Utah this September. Of note, Mid
daugh won his first-ever XTERRA major at the Mountain Championship when it was held in Keystone, Colorado in 2004. This is his 16th career XTERRA title.
The 36-year-old from Eagle-Vail, Colorado is living proof that you can’t win the race in the swim. He exited the 68-degree waters of Nottingham Lake about 2:30 back of rookie Eli Hemming and the established XTERRA core of racers Branden Rakita, Brad Zoller, Braden Currie, and Ben Hoffman.
At mile 3.5 Currie had 9 seconds on Hoffman, more than a minute on Rakita and Rom Akerson, and Middaugh was 1:35 back. By T2 after several thousand feet of climbing Middaugh had a 40-second lead on Currie and 1 minute on Hoffman.
Two miles into the run that lead had stretched to 2 minutes and he crossed the line in 2:07:26, followed by Hoffman in 2:09:10 and Currie in 2:10:50.
It’s Hoffman’s second straight runner-up here, and he was third in each of the previous two tries. With his third-place showing today Currie moves into second place in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series standings and could take the Series with a win at the USA Championship combined with a third-place or lower finish by Middaugh in Utah.
XTERRA Costa Rica Champion Rom Akerson finished fourth and Alex Modestou placed fifth for the second straight season.
|1||Josiah Middaugh||36||Eagle-Vail, Colorado||2:07:26||100|
|2||Ben Hoffman||31||Boulder, Colorado||2:09:10||90|
|3||Braden Currie||29||Wanaka, New Zealand||2:10:50||82|
|4||Rom Akerson||30||Tambor, Costa Rica||2:15:19||75|
|5||Alex Modestou||28||Durham, North Carolina||2:15:32||69|
|6||Ryan Ignatz||36||Boulder, Colorado||2:17:04||63|
|7||Chris Legh||42||Lyons, Colorado (AUS)||2:19:55||58|
|8||Brad Zoller||37||Avon, Colorado||2:20:17||53|
|9||Chris Ganter||36||Boise, Idaho||2:22:36||49|
|10||Thomas Spannring||39||Longmont, Colorado||2:23:14||45|
|Also: Chris Foster (41), Eli Hemming (37), James Hadley (34), Branden Rakita (31), Ben Torvik (28)|
In the women’s race the reigning XTERRA World Champion Flora Duffy’s reign of dominance continued. A week after finishing third at the PanAm Games road triathlon in Toronto, Duffy proved she’s just as strong on a mountain bike and trails.
The 27-year-old from Devonshire, Bermuda had the fastest swim, bike, and run to take the tape in 2:22:41, more than 6 minutes ahead of runner-up Emma Garrard. The victory marks her 11th XTERRA win in her last 12 tries since the start of the 2014 season.
Behind Duffy, Emma Garrard was having a great day of her own. She posted the third-best swim, got ahead of Sara McLarty early on the bike, and had the second-fastest ride and run times to finish in 2:28:43, nearly 6 minutes ahead of Schuler. It’s Garrard’s fifth straight runner-up finish this year and she’s now placed second at all eight regional championship races over the past two seasons.
Sara Schuler ran her way into third, Jaime Brede had a career-best day to finish fourth, and last month’s XTERRA East Champion Suzie Snyder finished fifth.
In a pre-race preview piece Garrard had predicted the podium quite nicely, saying “If there’s one athlete who suits this course it is mountain goat mamma Sara as she has the podiums here to prove it. If there’s a local gal for this race it’s Jaime Brede who I’m sure knows the course better than the rest of us and had a breakthrough race here last year with a fifth place. Based on her third place at the Go Pro Mountain Games and ample preparation at altitude she can certainly improve this year. Suzie, living closer to the mountains, will surely make her faster this year, plus coming off a win in Richmond. Then of course there’s Flora Duffy, who will be about a mile ahead with Sara McLarty before the rest of us even touch our bikes. Flora proved last year and early season this year she can dominate on any XTERRA course in any condition. She is back in action after injury placing third in last weekend’s Pan Am games doing most of the work at the front of the bike with a race best swim and solid run to match…”
|1||Flora Duffy||27||Devonshire, Bermuda||2:22:41||100|
|2||Emma Garrard||33||Park City, Utah||2:28:43||90|
|3||Sara Schuler||34||Boulder, Colorado||2:34:36||82|
|4||Jaime Brede||38||Breckenridge, Colorado||2:36:56||75|
|5||Suzie Snyder||33||Reno, Nevada||2:38:01||69|
|6||Tamara Donelson||39||Edwards, Colorado||2:42:21||63|
|7||Maia Ignatz||34||Boulder, Colorado||2:45:47||58|
|8||Sara McLarty||32||Clermont, Florida||2:55:51||53|
|9||Debby Sullivan||33||Rocklin, California||2:56:09||49|
|10||Caroline Colonna||52||Taos, New Mexico||3:04:32||45|
|Also: Rebecca Blatt (41)|
Middaugh, Garrard Lead XTERRA U.S. Pro Series
The men’s and women’s XTERRA U.S. Pro Series title chase will come down to the final race at the USA Championship in Ogden, Utah on September 19. Both current leaders — Josiah Middaugh and Emma Garrard — control their own fate and can secure the crowns with a win at Nationals (or by simply finishing in front of Currie and Snyder, respectively).
For Currie, a win combined with a third or worse from Middaugh would score him the Series win. For Snyder, a win in Utah would be enough to overcome Garrard, and there are several other possibilities based on outcomes that become fairly complicated.