Mendez, Baca win XTERRA Chile and more from the XTERRA Planet

March 19th, 2018

Mendez, Baca win XTERRA Chile and more from the XTERRA Planet

2016 XTERRA World Champion Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and Allison Baca (formerly Linnell) from the U.S. captured the 2nd annual XTERRA Chile off-road triathlon elite titles Sunday, March 18, at San Bernardo with winning times of 2:16:31 and 2:52:36, respectively.

2016 XTERRA World Champion Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and Allison Baca (formerly Linnell) from the U.S. captured the 2nd annual XTERRA Chile off-road triathlon elite titles Sunday, March 18, at San Bernardo with winning times of 2:16:31 and 2:52:36, respectively.

It’s the sixth career XTERRA championship title for Mendez, who is also the reigning XTERRA Pan America Champ. For Baca, its her first big win and it was just her second-ever XTERRA (she finished second to Kara LaPoint at XTERRA Fruita in her inaugural XTERRA last season).

In the men’s race, it was Mendez from wire-to-wire as he posted the fastest swim-bike-and-run times of the day.

“I’m happy for how it went today and excited to start my 2018 season like this,” said the 22-year-old phenom from Mexico City who finished second at last year’s XTERRA World Championship.  “The event was incredible, the course is amazing, and I’m so appreciative for the opportunity to participate in XTERRA races like this around the world.  I’m really going for the World Championship this year, so this is a good start, and I look forward to the rest of the season.”

With Mendez out in front early it became a race for second right away. Last year’s Pan Am Tour runner-up Branden Rakita had the early edge, as he swam on the heels of Mendez and did his best to stay connected on the bike.

“I was sitting on Mau’s feet during the swim, playing it smart,” said Rakita.  “I exited T1 with him and worked with him through the first 7k in the vineyards, but as soon as we hit the first hill he floated up it, and just took off from there and continued to put time on everybody.”

It wasn’t until the second of three big climbs on the bike when the Kiwi, Kieran McPherson, caught up to Rakita.

“As soon as he caught me I tried to go with him, but he pulled away fast,” said Rakita.  “From there it was just about racing smart and focusing on keeping hold of third position.”

McPherson, the reigning XTERRA Thailand Champ, had visions of closing in on Mendez but never did pull within striking distance.

“I caught Branden after the first climb, but Mauricio had got away,” explained McPherson.  “After the bike I had a good lead on Branden, but Mau was three minutes away.”

As for the venue, McPherson said, “The course is beautiful.  Its at an awesome private lake with great facilities all around.  The mountain bike course is incredible.  The climbs are very steep, very hard, and the descents are technical and fun. On the run, it starts flat and you feel like you are flying and then you get to that first big climb and wonder where your legs have gone. It’s a tough run. All in all, happy with today.  Now it’s on to Argentina to race next week, and hopefully I can win over there.”

Argentina’s Maxi Morales finished fourth, Brazils’ Rafael Juriti was fifth and local favorite Gustavo Torres placed sixth and was the home country champ.

Pl Name, Country Pts Final Swim Bike Run Purse
1 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 75 02:16:31 00:16:36 01:22:44 00:36:09 $1,200.00
2 Kieran McPherson, NZL 67 02:20:31 00:18:19 01:23:45 00:37:18 $900.00
3 Branden Rakita, USA 61 02:26:25 00:16:39 01:27:41 00:40:38 $700.00
4 Maximiliano Morales, ARG 56 02:27:42 00:18:56 01:26:26 00:40:48 $550.00
5 Rafael Juriti, BRA 51 02:34:41 00:19:42 01:28:20 00:44:50 $400.00
6 Gustavo Torres, CHI 47 03:19:30 00:22:21 01:52:46 01:00:15
Pl Name, Country Pts Final Swim Bike Run Purse
1 Alisson Bacca, USA 75 02:52:36 00:19:46 01:43:12 00:46:57 $1,200.00
2 Fabiola Corona, MEX 67 02:58:07 00:19:38 01:43:55 00:52:41 $900.00
3 Carolina Nieva, ARG 61 03:02:32 00:24:22 01:46:33 00:49:38 $700.00
4 Anne-Sophie Marechal, BEL 56 03:18:56 00:24:53 01:59:38 00:52:22 $550.00

The women’s race was a whole lot more exciting, as Baca and former Olympian Fabiola Corona from Mexico played cat-and-mouse all morning.

Corona was first out of the water but not by much, and the two headed out on to the bike together.

“It was so hard,” said Baca, who fractured her patella last summer doing a backflip off a rope swing but is all healed up now. “I was battling with Fabiola on the bike all day. I would pass her on the climbs and then on the descents she would blow past me. We traded the lead a lot, and I was trying so hard to stay with her. We left on the run almost together, and I passed her shortly into it and went as hard as I could. I hadn’t pre-run the course and didn’t realize how hard it was with three really hard climbs. I had to stop and walk a lot.”

Baca, who back in September married Tony Baca – a national mountain biking champ and coach from Mexico – said she’s excited to be racing XTERRA.

“Tony has been helping me learn to mountain bike to prepare for XTERRA, and I’m still trying to convince him to race too,” she said.

Baca went on to post the fastest run of the day to finish more than five-minutes ahead of Corona. With the win she takes the early lead in the 12-stop XTERRA Pan America Tour standings, and will look to add on to that at next week’s XTERRA Argentina Championship race.

“This race in Chile was one of the most beautiful races I’ve ever done, also one of the hardest. And I did not expect to win so that was an amazing surprise,” said Baca. “I’ve had such a blast here in Chile enjoying the views and the mountains. It was great organization, great crew. I’m so excited to come back next year and looking forward to racing in Argentina next week too.”

Carolina Nieva, who won the 25-29 division XTERRA World Championship last year, placed third in her first race as a pro, while Anne-Sophie Marechal from Belgium finished fourth.

Next week, there are two races on the XTERRA Pan America Tour with XTERRA Argentina on March 24 and XTERRA Costa Rica on March 25.

Learn more about the XTERRA Pan America Tour at

2018 – Mauricio Mendez (MEX) / Allison Baca (USA)
2017 – Felipe Barraza (CHI) / Barbara Riveros (CHI)

Twitter: @xterraoffroad / Instagram: @xterraoffroad
Facebook: XTERRA Planet / XTERRA Chile

Upcoming XTERRA races around the world…
3/24  XTERRA Argentina, Dique Ullum, San Juan​
3/24  XTERRA Real, Granite Bay, CA
3/24  XTERRA Bluebonnet, Lake Bryan, Texas
3/25  XTERRA Costa Rica, Playa Reserva Conchal  ​
4/07 XTERRA New Zealand, Rotorua
4/08 XTERRA Reunion, Saint-Gilles
4/15 XTERRA Malta, Manikata
4/21 XTERRA ATX, Austin, TX
4/22 XTERRA Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, SC
4/22 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship (Danao)
4/22 XTERRA Cyprus, Akamas

Allan, Alizue win XTERRA Motatapu

On March 10th on the South Island of New Zealand, Kiwi’s Dougal Allan and Paties Alizue took the top spots at the XTERRA Motatapu off-road triathlon on Saturday with winning times of 3:22:47 and 3:59:54, respectively.

It’s the third win in four years for Allan at Motatapu, and the first for Alizue.

The XTERRA Motatapu course, which combines a 2km swim with a 47km mountain bike, and 8.5km trail run is one of the longest and most difficult courses on the entire XTERRA World Tour.

The race was the third of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 23rd annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 28. Here’s a look at the 17 athletes who punched their ticket to paradise on Saturday:

Female 18-24: Paties Alizue 25-29: Florence Van Dyke 30-34: Emily Harper 35-39: Andie Lowry 40-44: Penny Wilson 45-49: Bridget Leonard 50-54: Bridget Grafton 55-59: Josie Sinclair 60+: Louise O’Connell 60-64: Male 18-24: Sam Coupland 25-29: Pete Smallfield 30-34: Dougal Allan 35-39: Mark Prutton 40-44: Craig Nieper 45-49: Hamish Pepper 50-54: Chris Gordon 55-59: Martyn Reesby 60-64: Bruce Law 65+: Alan Pattle.

More than 4,000 competitors were treated to a brisk autumn morning in the Queenstown Lakes District day for the 14th hosting of the Macpac Motatapu, New Zealand’s iconic one day multi-sport race with walkers, runners, triathletes and mountain bikers competing in a variety of races from the 15km Miners Trail, to the 51km Ultra-Run.

In the men’s race the expected battle between Allan and Braden Currie didn’t eventuate, with Currie not making the start line, leaving Allan to dominate the race and add another title to his 2015 and 2017 victories.

With the course changing from previous editions to this time include the 8.5km Sawpit Trail instead of the 15km Miners Trail, Allan established a benchmark of 3:22:47 over the new distance.

“My biggest competition was the terrain,” said Allan. “It is a tough honest course and that is the first time I have done that run, it is shorter but no less difficult than the previous run and there is no let up to the finish line, anyone that can do that swim bike run today deserves their medal.

“Macpac Motatapu has a huge profile, and rightly so, it is one of the biggest races in the country and what I love about it is the finish line where people of all ages and backgrounds come together having gone through different journeys to get here, it is one of the races I look forward to most each year.”

After a mechanical took Allan out of last week’s IM New Zealand, he admits to being on edge through most of the bike ride today.

“Anytime I heard a little squeak or a hiss I had a little panic, worried that my bike might be doing it to me again, but no, I had no issues today, everything went smoothly, and it was great to see the finish line.”

Complete Results / Photos

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XTERRA Couch to Trail Training Tip

Breaking down the build phase

By 5x XTERRA Amateur World Champ Mimi Stockton

Last month, we discussed the four different phases of periodization training and how each one has their respective place in the overall plan. Now I’m here to delve into the second phase – the build phase.

Did you know that what happens during the build phase has a greater influence on your race performance than any other phase in your training plan? For some, the build phase can be a daunting and uncertain period of training. And while it’s a bit more difficult to describe the details of the build phase than it is the base phase, it’s paramount to understand the nuances of this phase and to get it right.

As we discussed last week, base training is relatively straightforward and has similarities across the board for all athletes regardless of the race distance and sometimes even the sport. There is a lot more wiggle room to play around because the focus is typically about accumulating general fitness– by working on aerobic endurance, building strength and fine-tuning technique.

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Mendez, Baca win XTERRA Chile and more from the XTERRA Planet

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Trey Garman

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