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Looking ahead to the XTERRA West Championship

An early season showdown in Las Vegas on April 13.

The stars of XTERRA return to action in the continental U.S. when the first race of the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series takes place in the desert outside the Vegas strip in Henderson, Nevada next month.

Four-time XTERRA World Champion Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz and reigning XTERRA U.S. Champ Josiah Middaugh highlight the men’s field while current and two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson and 3x World Champ Melanie McQuaid lead the women’s field.

Here’s a look at the tentative start list for the April 13 XTERRA West Championship at Lake Las Vegas Resort.  Rank is where they finished in the 2012 XTERRA U.S. Pro Series final standings.

Rank – Men – Age, Hometown
1 – Conrad Stoltz – 39, Stellenbosch, South Africa
2 – Josiah Middaugh – 34, Eagle-Vail, Colorado
4 – Craig Evans – 35, Hendersonville, Tennessee
5 – Branden Rakita – 32, Colorado Springs, Colorado
6 – Will Kelsay – 31, Boulder, Colorado
9 – Will Ross – 23, Anchorage, Alaska
11 – Damian Gonzalez – 36, Stockton, California
12 – Ryan Ignatz – 34, Boulder, Colorado
28 – Chris Ganter – 34, Boise, Idaho
NR – Matt Lieto – 34, Bend, Oregon
NR – Jason Michalak – 35, Crested Butte, Colorado
NR – Erich Wegscheider – 27, San Jose, California

Rank – Women – Age, Hometown

1 – Lesley Paterson – 32, San Diego, California
2 – Melanie McQuaid – 39, Victoria, B.C., Canada
4 – Danelle Kabush – 37, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

5 – Suzie Snyder – 31, Fredericksburg, Virginia
9 – Caroline Colonna – 48, Taos, New Mexico
10 – Shonny Vanlandingham – 43, Durango, Colorado
12 – Emma Garrard – 30, Park City, Utah
14 - Christine Jeffrey – 40, Guelph, Ontario, Canada
22 – Brandi Heisterman – 37, Squamish, B.C., Canada

NR – Jamie Brede – 35, Breckenridge, Colorado
NR – Rachel Challis – 37, Carlsbad, California (NZL)


For the third year in a row, XTERRA Guam (March 23) will partner with the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Guam with the continuation of the “Corporate Challenge” relay team category.

A majority portion of the entry fees from this category will go directly to the local Make-A-Wish Foundation chapter. In addition, the corporations that field a team are challenged to use this event as a pledge drive to raise even more funds.

“The Make-A-Wish Foundation is honored to once again partner with XTERRA Guam. Last year 10 teams participated in the corporate relay, with many novice athletes testing their skills against a truly challenging course. The difficulty experienced in training and competing for triathlons pales in comparison to the struggle each of our wish kids and their families experience on a daily basis. Committing to the challenge of the race is a way for us all to pay tribute to these courageous wish kids while raising money to grant a child’s one true wish.”

“The rewards for this kind of partnership are twofold – first, there’s the tangible benefit of a financial donation to such a worthy organization,” says EricTydingco, XTERRA Guam race director, “secondly, there’s the intangible benefit of challenging individuals who might not otherwise participate in this endurance event, to step outside their ‘comfort zone’ for this good cause.”

In addition to supporting a great cause, relay team members will also be able to witness some of the most finely tuned professional triathletes in the world competing alongside them at this year’s XTERRA Guam Championship race.

More than a dozen professional triathletes are registered to compete in Guam, including returning champions Ben Allen (Australia) and Renata Bucher (Switzerland). In addition Jacqui Slack (UK), Dan Hugo (South Africa), Takahiro Ogasawara (Japan), Mieko Carey (Guam), Sam Gardner (UK), Carina Wasle (Austria), Rory Downie (Scotland), Bradley Weiss (South Africa), Arland Macasieb (Philippines), Daz Parker (UK) and Yasuko Miyazaki (Japan).

Numerous other professional and amateur triathletes alike have continued to show increased interest in the heralded race, which will correspondingly amplify the level of international exposure for the local Make-A-Wish Foundation chapter and showcase the beauty of Guam’s natural landscape to the world.

XTERRA Guam is an off-road triathlon that consists of a 1.5km swim in the waters of Piti, followed by a 31km mountain bike up Nimitz Hill, into the technical terrain atop Mt. Alutom and then down to Mannengon Hills before returning to the transition point at Port Authority Beach. The race finishes with a memorable 8.2km trail run that has athletes navigating through jungle rivers and down slippery waterfalls.

The run was described a “signature test of courage” by Inside Triathlon writer/photographer Tim Carlson in the May 2007 issue. The race was also selected as one of the “Top 5 Off-Road Triathlons” in the world in the March 2010 issue of Triathlete Magazine.

“I would offer that the Corporate Relay Challenge is a great way to experience this event as the seemingly daunting task of the race is shared between three people,” says Tydingco.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.  For more information  visit www.guamwish.org.