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Countdown to the XTERRA World Championship – Sunday October 27

On Sunday October 27th, 775 athletes from 35 countries will take on the 18th edition of the XTERRA World Championship at the Kapalua Resort on Maui’s northwest coast.

Pro Update (by XTERRA) – Brent McMahon is out

Brent McMahon at the 2012 XTERRA World Championship.

Two of the contenders in the men’s race have pulled due to illness and injury. Brent McMahon, who twice finished 3rd in Maui, is recovering from a bug that left him unable to train and thus unprepared for the rigors of the challenge and Hector Guerra, the XTERRA European Tour Champion, suffered a grade 2 sprain and bone edema in his ankle at XTERRA England on September 8 that will keep him out of the line-up.

“Because of this it would be impossible to enjoy Maui so I have decided to wait until 2014 to fight for the title of XTERRA World Champion,” wrote Guerra.  “I’m disappointed because XTERRA has been the best thing that ever happened to me in sports, but trust that I will continue to enjoy it next year.”

In the women’s race there are two notable first-timers in Maui racing, a pair of Olympians with Flora Duffy from Bermuda and Nicky Samuels from New Zealand.

Duffy, a 2x Olympian who recently graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a degree in sociology, has been injured (stress fracture) for much of the year and hasn’t done much racing but did manage a 6th-place finish in her first-ever XTERRA at the Mountain Championship in July.

Samuels, a 30-year-old from Wanaka comes to Maui with some big credentials.  This year she won the XTERRA Motatapu off-road tri in March and the 5150 in Columbia (USA) and was second at St. Anthony’s and Boulder 5150s. She was the 2012 World Aquathon Champ, NZ Road Race Cycling Champ, and ITU World Cup Tongeyong Champ, and in 2011 won the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon and ITU World Cup Mooloolaba.

There are 10 Olympians in the pro race. Nicky and Flora mentioned above, who raced in London (35th and 45th respectively), plus Barbara Riveros who was 17th.  Helena Erbenova, the two-time XTERRA European Tour Champ, is a Winter Olympic veteran – placing 29th in the Double Pursuit back in 2006, and Julie Dibens competed in the 2004 games.

For the men we have 3x Olympian Olivier Marceau (best finish was 7th in Sydney), two-time Olympians Conrad Stoltz (who led off the bike in Sydney), and Courtney Atkinson, plus Richard Murray and Leonardo Chacon.  Murray, Atkinson, and Chacon placed 17th, 18th, and 48th, respectively, in London last year.

Here’s a look at the updated start list for the XTERRA World Championship:
MEN’S PRO START LIST (Alpha by Country)

AUSTRALIA: Ben Allen, Courtney Atkinson
BELGIUM: Kris Coddens, Yeray Luxem, Jim Thijs
BRAZIL: Felipe Moletta, Bruno Silva
COSTA RICA: Leonardo Chacon
CZECH: Jan Francke, Jan Kubicek
FRANCE: Francois Carloni, Brice Daubord, Marvin Gruget, Nico Lebrun
GERMANY: Dennis Kruse, Felix Schumann
GREAT BRITAIN: Asa Shaw, Richard Stannard
ITALY: Fabio Guidelli
NEW ZEALAND: Braden Currie
SOUTH AFRICA: Dan Hugo, Richard Murray, Conrad Stoltz
SPAIN: Ruben Ruzafa
SWITZERLAND: Olivier Marceau
USA: Brian Astell, Grant Bovee, Chris Ganter, Ryan Ignatz, Andy Lee, Kyle Leto, Jason Michalak, Josiah Middaugh, Branden Rakita, Will Ross, Tim Snow, Adam Wirth
Past XTERRA World Champs in Bold

WOMEN’S PRO START LIST (Alpha by Country)

AUSTRALIA: Tamara Donelson
AUSTRIA: Carina Wasle
BERMUDA: Flora Duffy
BRAZIL: Laura Mira Dias
CANADA: Katie Button, Brandi Heisterman, Christine Jeffrey, Danelle Kabush, Melanie McQuaid, Chantell Widney
CHILE: Barbara Riveros
CZECH: Helena Erbenova
DENMARK: Nienke Oostra
GERMANY: Kathrin Muller
GREAT BRITAIN: Julie Dibens, Daz Parker, Lesley Paterson, Jacqui Slack
ITALY: Genziana Cenni
JAPAN: Mieko Carey
MEXICO: Dunia Gomez
NEW ZEALAND: Sarah Backler, Elizabeth Orchard, Nicky Samuels
SOUTH AFRICA: Carla Van Huyssteen
SWITZERLAND: Renata Bucher
USA: Caroline Colonna, Emma Garrard, Heather Jackson, Suzie Snyder, Shonny Vanlandingham
Past XTERRA World Champs in Bold

Canada’s Lisa Helmer, 36, is one of the age groupers competing at the XTERRA World Championship and XTERRA provides this quick profile:

Lisa Helmer – The mother, wife, triathlete, cross-country skier, mountain biker, biologist, farmer, chef, and outdoor educator is passionate about living and working outside.  To give you a sense of who she is, here is how she describes her ideal day…

6am – Morning 2km swim in the lake, slipping out of the house before kids and husband wake up.  Back home to a latte pulled from our beloved Cellini Rocket Espresso machine with locally roasted Drumroaster bean, home-made honey-oat bread with local hazelnut butter & jam, and a cruise through the newspaper (being a fish & wildlife biologist, I keep close tabs on industry’s efforts to develop in pristine areas of BC).  Draw pictures, play lego, ride bikes with my two kids, age 3 and 6.  Visit the farmer’s market, stock up on fresh greens and whatever catches our eye to dictate tonight’s dinner plans.  Pack a picnic, wander through the woods with the kids, allowing our natural rhythms and the lay of the land to lead us where it may.  Afternoon 10km run while the family rests, mainly trail, and a few laps around the gravel track to remind my legs of goal pace for the weekend’s upcoming race. Home for a smoothie (kale added, always), then late afternoon swim with the kids in the lake.  Dinner prep – everyone helps, shaping our new treasures picked up earlier in the day into a glorious meal.  Sitting around a big table enjoying our food and each other, savouring every bite.  I truly believe that my food choices dictate my athletic potential. You are what you eat. And sleep. Off to bed.