Middaugh, Snyder defend titles at XTERRA Oak Mountain

May 23rd, 2017

Middaugh, Snyder defend titles at XTERRA Oak Mountain

Reigning XTERRA Pan America Tour Champions Josiah Middaugh and Suzie Snyder successfully defended their titles at the 12th annual XTERRA Oak Mountain Championship race on a sweltering hot day in Pelham, Alabama. Middaugh (Eagle-Vail, Colorado) has now won four of the last five races at Oak Mountain State Park and this is his second win of the season. He won XTERRA Costa Rica last month. For Snyder (Reno, Nevada) the win is her second straight in Alabama and third this season. She also won XTERRA Argentina and Costa Rica earlier this year.

Reigning XTERRA Pan America Tour Champions Josiah Middaugh and Suzie Snyder successfully defended their titles at the 12th annual XTERRA Oak Mountain Championship race on a sweltering hot day in Pelham, Alabama on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Middaugh (Eagle-Vail, Colorado) has now won four of the last five races at Oak Mountain State Park and this is his second win of the season.  He won XTERRA Costa Rica last month.  For Snyder (Reno, Nevada) the win is her second straight in Alabama and third this season.  She also won XTERRA Argentina and Costa Rica earlier this year.

More than 350 triathletes from 12 countries and 42 U.S. states traveled to Shelby County for the race, which was the fifth of 10 events on the XTERRA Pan America Tour and the first of three majors on the XTERRA America Tour.  It combined a one-mile swim in the 77-degrees waters of Double Oak Lake with 20-miles of perfect single-track mountain biking and six-miles of twisting, rolling, tree-lined trail running.

Watch the Highlight Video / Pictures / Complete Results


Entering his 17th season of racing XTERRA, and his 12th year racing here in Alabama, Middaugh mixed an un-matched level of experience with unbelievable speed to take the win in 2:25:23.

The 2015 XTERRA World Champion was eighth out of the water, a full two-minutes behind the lead group of Ian King (USA), Karsten Madsen (CAN), Veit Hoenle (GER), Branden Rakita (USA), Francisco Serrano (MEX), and Jean-Philippe Thibodeau (CAN), and he trailed Kieran McPherson (NZL) by roughly 30-seconds.  By the time he got to the climb only two of those men were still ahead of him.

“I knew it was going to be a tough day, and it was even harder than I expected,” said Middaugh.  “I knew Francisco and Karsten were off the front early, and they were a long way out front. I just kept digging all day trying to catch up.”

Middaugh posted the fastest bike split in 1:26:00, nearly two minutes faster than the next best time posted by Madsen, but still didn’t reel in either Madsen or Serrano by the bike-to-run transition.

“I finally got close to Karsten and Francisco the last four or five miles of the bike but they were riding so well I couldn’t make up any time technically. I just had to dig really deep to make up time on the pedaling sections. I got in contact coming off the bike and the race was on.”

Serrano took the lead out of the bike-to-run transition, followed roughly 10-seconds later by Madsen and another 10-seconds by Middaugh.

“Josiah caught me on the run about a mile into it,” said Serrano.  “He was running so fast and on my best days I feel I can run with him.  I thought today was going to be one of those days. I was feeling good on the bike and I was feeling a lot of power.  I was not so fast on the technical parts, they’d always bridge the gaps there but every time I would hit a hill I would pull away. I thought I might have the legs for the run today, but I didn’t.  My energy levels were toasted.”

As Middaugh pulled away on the run the chase behind him for second was on.

“I thought I might be able to hold on for second-place but Karsten was just right on my heels the whole time, and I was running on fumes,” said Serrano.

For Madsen, who finished third last year at this race and crashed-out two years ago, it was a rewarding runner-up performance.

“I bled everything I had into this race today,” said Madsen. “I’m runner-up, but to the classiest guy in the sport, and I gave everything I could and that’s all that matters. I’ve wanted it here so badly for so long. You always wonder when its going to be your time and I just missed it by a bit with Josiah today but I gave literally everything I possibly could and that is just so satisfying.”

Brian Smith, one of many Coloradoans who is coached by Middaugh, outran his mentor by three seconds to post the fastest 10K of the day in 36:43 and finish in 4th place.  Branden Rakita, who was solid all day, rounded out the top five.

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:25:23 100
2 Karsten Madsen, CAN 2:26:04 90
3 Francisco Serrano, MEX 2:26:52 82
4 Brian Smith, USA 2:28:29 75
5 Branden Rakita, USA 2:29:28 69
6 Kieran McPherson, NZL 2:30:43 63
7 Chris Ganter, USA 2:31:47 58
8 Ryan Ignatz, USA 2:33:18 53
9 Veit Hoenle, GER 2:33:22 49
10 Cody Waite, USA 2:35:59 45
11 Cedric Wane, TAH 2:39:50 41
12 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 2:41:40 37
13 Ian King, USA 2:41:52 34
14 Michael Nunez, USA 2:50:16 31
15 Ryan DeCook, USA 2:56:30 28

Also Will Kelsay

Complete Results


For the second straight year at this race Suzie Snyder led from wire-to-wire. Today she posted the fastest elite swim, bike, and run times to take the tape in 2:45:29, more than six-minutes ahead of two-time XTERRA World Champ Lesley Paterson.

“This win gives me a lot of confidence,” said Snyder.  “I had the wins in Argentina and Costa Rica but the depth of the field wasn’t like today, so I was left wondering if I was really going that good or not. So, this is a bit of validation that indeed I am going well, and I feel really good about the future at this point. It’s big a confidence booster.”

Julie Baker, who upset Snyder last year at XTERRA Beaver Creek, was close out of the water but the gap Snyder put on Baker and the rest of the field simply grew throughout the day.

“Julie Baker was right behind me out of the water but I pulled away early, and I didn’t get any time checks out there so I had no idea where anyone was,” said Snyder.  “I was all over the place on the bike. I was washing out around every corner so I slowed down because I didn’t want to bake myself.  It was a head game, like “I’m going so slow I think I am losing so much time,” so on the run I just ran for my life. I thought for sure Lesley would be hot on my heads so I definitely came out too fast cause the second lap was brutal. But I just kept thinking about Maui and pushing all the way through, so I could get stronger for those races and not just the win today.”

For Paterson, who has a million-and-one things going on in her life from coaching, to promoting her book, to marketing and movies, there were no excuses.

“That’s what my mantra is all about. It doesn’t matter where you’re at, just go for it,” said Paterson, who had the word “attitude” written on one arm and “gratitude” written on another. “I’m super impressed with Suzie, she’s going great and is really strong. I’m pleased for her because she’s not only a nice person but she’s worked really hard for it and she deserves it.”

Baker, who rode the whole last half of the bike right behind Paterson, finished in third.  After the race, she half-jokingly said “after that run, I have no idea why I do this.”

Baker was referring to the relentless heat and humidity that zapped the strength of every competitor out on the course.

Snyder explained that a lot of what makes the run so hard is the bike. “Well, it’s definitely the heat but it’s also the nature of the bike course being so twisty and turny.  You’re constantly accelerating and decelerating so it takes a lot of power out of your legs.”

Middaugh, the men’s winner, added that the dehydration factor is also a result of the challenging bike course.  “It’s such a hard course to drink on,” he said.  “I got through mile 10 and had gone through maybe half a water bottle, and then there’s almost nowhere to drink the rest of the course. I had a little bit of Gel and a little bit of water but pretty much no drinking through the last 8 miles so I think that caught up to all of us on the run.”

Maia Ignatz handled the day seamlessly and put in a great run, the third-best split behind only Snyder and Paterson, to finish in fourth while Liz Gruber, a fellow Coloradoan, placed fifth.

Pos Name, NAT Time Points
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 2:45:29 100
2 Lesley Paterson, GBR 2:51:36 90
3 Julie Baker, USA 2:54:42 82
4 Maia Ignatz, USA 2:55:49 75
5 Liz Gruber, USA 2:58:40 69
6 Katie Button, CAN 2:59:39 63
7 Kara LaPoint, USA 3:00:41 58
8 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 3:02:12 53
9 Katharine Carter, CAN 3:03:26 49
10 Emma Garrard, USA 3:03:30 45
11 Debby Sullivan, USA 3:04:10 41
12 Anne Usher, USA 3:06:17 37
13 Kellie Montgomery, USA 3:07:25 34
14 Annie Bergen, CAN 3:10:37 31
15 Caroline Colonna, USA 3:10:52 28

Also Jaime Brede, USA and Laura Mira Dias, BRA


With his strong fifth place showing today Branden Rakita moves into the pole position in the 2017 XTERRA Pan America Tour elite rankings. Jean-Philippe Thibodeau moves down a spot to No. 2 and Josiah Middaugh moves up into third with the win.

In the women’s chase Snyder moves into the top spot with the win, Kara LaPoint moves into 2nd place and Sabrina Gobbo jumps into third.

The next stop on the XTERRA Pan America Tour is XTERRA Victoria on July 9, followed a week later byXTERRA Beaver Creek in Avon, Colorado.


After 5 (As of 5.20)

1 Branden Rakita, USA 228 56 47 56 DNS 69
2 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 215 61 56 61 DNS 37
3 Josiah Middaugh, USA 175 DNS DNS 75 DNS 100
4 Gonzalo Tellechea, ARG 142 75 67 DNS DNS DNS
5 Felipe Moletta, BRA 136 DNS 61 DNS 75 DNS
6 Kieran McPherson, NZL 130 DNS DNS DNS 67 63
7 Maximiliano Morales, ARG 118 67 51 DNS DNS DNS
8 Ian King, USA 108 DNS 27 47 DNS 34
9 Ryan Ignatz, USA 104 DNS DNS 51 DNS 53
10 León Drajer, ESP 94 51 43 DNS DNS DNS
11 Karsten Madsen, CAN 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
12 Julien Buffe, FRA 82 43 39 DNS DNS DNS
13 Francisco Serrano, MEX 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
14 Felipe Barraza, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
15 Brian Smith, USA 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
16 Guiherme Goncalves, BRA 72 DNS DNS 36 36 DNS
17 Kris Coddens, BEL 67 DNS DNS 67 DNS DNS
18 Alexandre Manzan, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
19 Micheal Nunez, USA 61 DNS DNS 30 DNS 31
20 Chris Ganter, USA 58 DNS DNS DNS DNS 58
21 Frederico Zacharias, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
22 Henrique Lugarini, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
23 Veit Hoenle, GER 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
24 Andres Darricau, ARG 47 47 DNS DNS DNS DNS
25 Diogo Malagon, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
26 Cody Waite, USA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
27 Greg Schott, USA 43 DNS DNS 43 DNS DNS
28 Rodrigo Moreira, BRA 43 DNS DNS DNS 43 DNS
29 Cedric Wane, TAH 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
30 Federico Venegas, CRC 39 DNS DNS 39 DNS DNS
31 Silveira Silva, BRA 39 DNS DNS DNS 39 DNS
32 Jean-Philippe Thibodeau, CAN 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
33 Diego Moya, CHI 36 DNS 36 DNS DNS DNS
34 Guilherme Goncalves, BRA 36 DNS DNS DNS 36 DNS
35 Gaspar Riveros, CHI 33 DNS 33 DNS DNS DNS
36 Billy Gordon, PAN 33 DNS DNS 33 DNS DNS
37 Anderson Ferreira, BRA 33 DNS DNS DNS 33 DNS
38 Benjamin Munizaga, CHI 30 DNS 30 DNS DNS DNS
39 Wellington Conceicao, BRA 30 DNS DNS DNS 30 DNS
40 Ryan DeCook, USA 28 DNS DNS DNS DNS 28
41 Andres Zuniga, CRC 27 DNS DNS 27 DNS DNS
42 Pericles Andrade, BRA 27 DNS DNS DNS 27 DNS
43 Fernando Melo, BRA 25 DNS DNS DNS 25 DNS
44 Leonardo Lisboa, BRA 23 DNS DNS DNS 23 DNS
1 Suzie Snyder, USA 317 75 67 75 DNS 100
2 Kara LaPoint, USA 242 61 56 67 DNS 58
3 Sabrina Gobbo, BRA 235 56 51 DNS 75 53
4 Laura Mira Dias, BRA 221 51 47 56 67 DNP
5 Morgane Riou, FRA 128 67 61 DNS DNS DNS
6 Liz Gruber, USA 120 DNS DNS 51 DNS 69
7 Annie Bergen, CAN 92 DNS DNS 61 DNS 31
8 Lesley Paterson, GBR 90 DNS DNS DNS DNS 90
9 Julie Baker, USA 82 DNS DNS DNS DNS 82
10 Barbara Riveros, CHI 75 DNS 75 DNS DNS DNS
11 Caroline Colonna, USA 75 DNS DNS 47 DNS 28
12 Maia Ignatz, USA 75 DNS DNS DNS DNS 75
13 Katie Button, CAN 63 DNS DNS DNS DNS 63
14 Isabella Ribeiro, BRA 61 DNS DNS DNS 61 DNS
15 Vanessa Cabrini, BRA 56 DNS DNS DNS 56 DNS
16 Fernanda Prieto, BRA 51 DNS DNS DNS 51 DNS
17 Katharine Carter, CAN 49 DNS DNS DNS DNS 49
18 Brisa Melcop, BRA 47 DNS DNS DNS 47 DNS
19 Emma Garrard, USA 45 DNS DNS DNS DNS 45
20 Debby Sullivan, USA 41 DNS DNS DNS DNS 41
21 Anne Usher, USA 37 DNS DNS DNS DNS 37
22 Kellie Montgomery, USA 34 DNS DNS DNS DNS 34


Humberto Rivera from Chula Vista, California and Deanna McCurdy from Littleton, Colorado captured the overall amateur titles and dozens of the fastest age groupers from around the nation punched their ticket to Maui today.  Here’s a look at today’s age group winners:

Age Group Men
Division Name Hometown Time
15-19 Will Stacey Nashville, TN 3:07:33
20-24 Caleb Baity Huntersville, NC 2:55:16
25-29 Humberto Rivera Chula Vista, CA 2:46:42
30-34 Brett Tack Boulder, CO 2:53:38
35-39 AJ Petrillo Blue Ridge, GA 2:49:34
40-44 David Dornaus Wayland, MA 2:47:45
45-49 Marcus Barton Waxhaw, NC 2:47:04
50-54 Darren Cox Toana, VA 2:49:06
55-59 Ali Arasta Asheboro, NC 2:54:49
60-64 Tom Monica Thousand Oaks, CA 3:12:59
65-69 Frank George Rome, GA 3:57:17
70-74 Dale Vaughan Macon, GA 3:45:50
Age Group Women      
Division Name Hometown Time
15-19 Heather Horton Draper, UT 3:13:45
25-29 Jessie Koltz Truckee, CA 3:05:05
30-34 Heather Zimchek-Dunn Olympia, WA 3:10:14
35-39 Sue Finney Knoxville, TN 3:31:39
40-44 Deanna McCurdy Littleton, CO 3:01:05
45-49 Angie Childre Milledgeville, GA 3:20:23
50-54 May-Li Cuypers Largo, FL 3:45:41
55-59 Stephanie Landy Ballston Spa, NY 3:23:12
60-64 Lucia Colbert Cordova, TN 3:39:26
65-69 Linda Usher Upton, MA 5:13:54


XTERRA Oak Mountain was presented by Paul Mitchell, and our great sponsors from Shelby County, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Muscle Milk, Gatorade Endurance, Suunto, XTERRA Wetsuits, XTERRA Fitness, XTERRA Boards, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Alabama, Oofos, and the Shelby County Reporter. Special thanks to our volunteers, the Pelham Fire Department for taking such good care of our athletes, and all the BUMP members for maintaining the trails we love to race on each May.


XTERRA Oak Mountain was the 18th of 41 events where amateur athletes from around the world could qualify to race at the 22nd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 29.

Date Race Elite Winners or Location
Feb 25 XTERRA South Africa Richard Murray / Flora Duffy
Mar 4 XTERRA Motatapu Dougal Allan / Josie Wilcox
Mar 18 XTERRA Saipan + Silver Sam Osborne / Carina Wasle
Mar 25 XTERRA Argentina # Silver Gonzalo Tellechea / Suzie Snyder
Apr 1 XTERRA Thailand + Silver Kieran McPherson / Renata Bucher
Apr 1 XTERRA Chile # Silver Felipe Barraza / Barbara Riveros
Apr 2 XTERRA Malta * Silver Roger Serrano / Brigitta Poor
Apr 8 XTERRA New Zealand + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
Apr 9 XTERRA Costa Rica # Silver Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
Apr 16 XTERRA La Reunion Ruben Ruzafa / Carina Wasle
Apr 23 XTERRA Danao + GOLD Bradley Weiss / Carina Wasle
Apr 23 XTERRA Cyprus * Silver Yeray Luxem / Brigitta Poor
Apr 29 XTERRA Langkawi + GOLD Osborne,Allen,Weiss,McPherson/Wasle
Apr 30 XTERRA Greece * Silver Ruben Ruzafa, Helena Erbenova
May 6 XTERRA Tahiti + Silver Sam Osborne / Jacqui Allen
May 13 XTERRA Brazil # Silver Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo
May 14 XTERRA Spain * Silver Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova
May 20 XTERRA Oak Mountain # GOLD Josiah Middaugh / Suzie Snyder
May 27 XTERRA Portugal * Silver Golega
Jun 10 XTERRA Belgium * Silver Namur
Jun 17 XTERRA Mine over Matter ^ Milton, Ontario, Canada
Jun 18 XTERRA Finland * Silver Imatra
Jun 24 XTERRA Switzerland * GOLD Vallee de Joux
Jul 2 XTERRA France * GOLD Xonrupt
Jul 9 XTERRA Victoria # Silver Victoria, B.C., Canada
Jul 15 XTERRA Beaver Creek # GOLD Beaver Creek, CO, USA
Jul 30 XTERRA Abruzzo * Silver Scanno, Abruzzo, Italy
Aug 5 XTERRA Mexico # GOLD Tapalpa
Aug 5 XTERRA Norway * Silver Norefjell
Aug 6 XTERRA Canmore ^ Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Aug 12 XTERRA Quebec ^ Quebec City, Canada
Aug 12 XTERRA Parry Sound ^ Ontario, Canada
Aug 13 XTERRA Dominican Republic # Silver Barahona
Aug 13 XTERRA Poland * Silver Krakow
Aug 19 XTERRA Germany * GOLD Zittau
Aug 26 XTERRA Sweden * Silver Hammarbybacken, Stockholm
Aug 26 XTERRA Sleeping Giant ^ Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
Sep 2 XTERRA Japan + Silver Hokkaido
Sep 3 XTERRA European Championship (DEN) * GOLD Mons Klint
Sep 16 XTERRA Pan Am Championship / USA # D-GOLD Ogden, Utah, USA
Oct 29 XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* XTERRA European Tour / # XTERRA Pan American Tour / + Asia-Pacific Tour
Silver = Min. $7,500 pro purse & 75-point scale // GOLD = Min $15,000 pro purse & 100-point scale

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited LLC, founded in 1988, is the Hawaii-based television, events, and marketing company that brought off-road triathlon and trail running to the world under the brand name XTERRA.  From a one-off race held on the most remote island chain in the world XTERRA evolved into an endurance sports lifestyle with worldwide appeal. Over the past 20 years XTERRA transcended its status as ‘just a race’ to become a bona-fide way of life for thousands of intrepid athletes as well as an emerging brand in the outdoor industry.  In 2017, XTERRA will offer more than 200 off-road triathlons and trail running events in 33+ countries worldwide and produce 10 adventure television shows for international distribution.  Learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterracontent.com.



Middaugh, Snyder defend titles at XTERRA Oak Mountain

Contact Info

Trey Garman

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