Evoe Outlasts in Ixtapa
We have been pretty spoiled as far as Colorado weather goes, even in the late fall, but our pros have learned that they have to race in whatever conditions occur on race day. That’s just sports! A couple of weeks ago, Colorado pros Davide Giardini, Patrick Evoe, and Guilherme Campos traveled to Mexico for Challenge Ixtapa half iron distance race where the heat and humidity were in full effect.
In what’s becoming a common trend these days, Giardini led the pro men out of the water and quickly headed out on the bike, where the athletes were greeted with over 5,000 feet of climbing. Evoe came out a few minutes back in 27:53 in a solid seventh place before jumping on the bike to try and catch the leaders. Boulderite Guilherme Campos began the race, but exited after the swim. We know he’ll be back out there soon ready to rock n’ roll and we can’t wait to watch him!
Once on the bike, Giardini was not able to fend off eventual first and second place finishers Rodrigo Gonzalez and Raul Tejada, but came into T2 in third place. Not far behind Giardini was Evoe who had the third fastest bike split of the day in 2:24:11. By mile two, Evoe caught Giardini and continued to stay strong, holding onto a third place podium finish in 4:23:33, thanks to the third fastest run split of the day, 1:27:39.
“It was a very challenging run due to the heat and humidity. Everyone was slowing down so it was just a matter of holding on and trying to slow down the least. I was happy to hold onto the final podium spot in the tough conditions,” said Evoe.
Unfortunately, the heat got the best of Giardini and he dropped out during the run, but we know he’ll be back in full force soon!
New Mom Hammond Podiums
As a new mom, I am barely busting out a 5K these days without feeling like I am going to keel over. However, super fit new mom Christine Hammond hasn’t lost a step! The Boulderite took the second place spot on the podium in Ixtapa in a time of 4:58:15. Hammond came out of the water in 28:07, setting herself up to battle for the front as she headed onto the difficult, hilly bike course. After a solid bike, 2:59:28, Hammond turned on the jets and turned in the fastest run time in the women’s race, 1:35:53, which catapulted her into second place where she would stay until the finish line. Congrats Christine!
XTERRA World Champs Represented by Colorado Pros
I know, it’s been awhile since the XTERRA World Championships in Maui, but I am getting to know the pros that compete in this unique and challenging world of off-roading triathlon and find out what it’s all about.
Back on October 23, a slew of Colorado pros competed in the world’s premier off-road triathlon, combining a 1-mile rough water swim, a 20-mile mountain bike and a 6.5 mile trail run, which the race describes as “a tropical roller-coaster ride through pineapple fields and forests.” In other words, the race may be on a relaxing, Hawaiian island, but the race is nothing but brutal and unforgiving.
On the women’s side, Boulderite Flora Duffy backed up her 2014 win with a repeat in 2015 in a time of 2:54:17, which was just shy of five minutes faster than the second place finisher. Also representing Colorado’s pro field were 12th place finisher Maia Ignatz, 3:23:34, and 20th place finisher Elizabeth Gruber, 3:26:44. Congrats to our female pros on a great race with the world’s best off-roaders!
The men’s champion also hails from the great state of Colorado. Josiah Middaugh of Vail was the men’s winner in a time of 2:35:32, followed by Boulderite and recent Kona-finisher Ben Hoffman, who was 10th on the day in 2:49:56. Our final male pro, Branden Rakita of Colorado Springs, finished in 20th, with a time of 2:57:06.
I was able to catch up with Rakita via Facebook and here is some insight to his world championship race experience:
“This was my eighth trip to Maui for the XTERRA World Champs. Being from Colorado, the Maui course is a very different surface than what I am used to training on; and the heat and humidity is always tough when acclimating. The swim was somewhat choppy this year, but not bad and we did not have any surf to deal with like in other years. The bike was brutal as always and we climbed 3,000 feet over the course of 20 miles, but we do about 2,600-2,700 of that in the first eight miles. To give you some perspective, Ironman Kona has 5,800 feet of elevation gain over 112 miles.
“There are a lot of Europeans that we don’t race at all during the year and that always mixes things up since we don’t know how strong those guys race. The run is brutal, as there is almost 1,000 feet of elevation gain and 95% of that is in the first three miles of the run. We then bomb back down before slugging across the beach to the finish. You can go from feeling great and flying to walking in no time. The atmosphere at an XTERRA is very relaxed and I think the nine o’clock start time helps. It’ easy for the racers to joke around. Although my race was not exactly what I wanted it to be, it was a big step forward from what I did last year. I felt like I had made some big strides in training leading up to the race.”
Not only did our current pros race well, but former pros Julie Dibens and Patrick Brown competed in the Legends Division. This division allows those elite ex-pros to go head-to-head while enjoying some healthy competition. Congrats to all of our Colorado pros who participated in the XTERRA off-road World Championships!