Morales and Guzmán Medina Make History at Inaugural XTERRA Colombia

May 29, 2024

PAIPA, BOYACÁ, COLOMBIA /ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – May 26, 2024 marked a significant milestone on the 2024 XTERRA World Tour with the launch of the inaugural XTERRA Colombia event. Set in the high altitudes of Paipa, Boyacá, this Full Distance off-road triathlon introduced athletes to the season’s highest elevation start at approximately 8,000 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level, challenging their endurance and acclimatization.

Paola Morales (COL) and Alejandro Guzmán Medina (COL) were the Elite Women’s and Men’s Full Distance race winners, respectively. In addition to the Elite competition, XTERRA Colombia offered 28 age-grouper qualifying slots for the XTERRA World Championship in Italy this September.

Course Layout

Swim (1.5K): Competitors started with a single 1.5K loop swim in Lake Sochagota. Encircled by lush vegetation and the towering mountains of Boyacá, the setting provided a pristine natural environment.

Bike (30K): Following the swim, athletes embarked on a challenging 30K mountain bike ride through Paipa’s rugged terrain. The course featured a mix of singletrack paths and tough climbs, weaving past traditional Colombian country houses and pastures with grazing animals.

Run (10K): The event culminated with a 10K trail run, appealing to those who appreciate top-tier scenic trails and challenging routes. The run took competitors through dense forests on winding paths, featuring a variety of technical terrains. It peaked with a climb to a mountain summit enveloped by forest, providing a panoramic view before they descended to the finish line.

Morales on a Mission

Paola Morales (COL) showcased an impressive performance, completing the Full Distance race in 3:05:18. She began with the swim, where despite not being her strongest segment, she felt very good, noting, “Swimming is not my best out of the three, but the water here in Paipa, Colombia is calm and very nice.”

Transitioning to the bike segment, Morales maintained a solid pace, covering the distance in 1:29:16. She described the bike course as “quite technical with all of the hills, challenging not just myself but all participants. I’m very happy with what I achieved today.”

Finally, in the run segment, where she excelled with a time of 56:22, Morales expressed her satisfaction, saying, “I’m a very good trail runner, and I did a very good job. I’m most happy with my trail run time.” She concluded her thoughts on the event by expressing her enthusiasm for the future: “I’m extremely happy; it was an amazing weekend. I really want to repeat it next year, and of course, we hope that XTERRA Colombia comes back and that many more athletes will join us again.”

Guzmán Medina’s Magnificence

In the men’s race Alejandro Guzmán Medina (COL) secured first place with a total time of 2:22:05. He was closely followed by David Guete (COL), who completed the race just 38 seconds behind at 2:22:43. Brian Moya finished third with a time of 2:30:35. This event, held for the first time in Colombia, showcased stellar performances from all competitors, with the athletes exhibiting both pride and tremendous effort.

In the swim segment, Brian Moya led with a time of 23:06, with David Guete and Alejandro Guzmán Medina following at 24:16 and 25:12, respectively. Moya commented on his performance, saying, “The swim is the best segment for me and I gave it everything I had. Finishing in third place is very good for me.” Guzmán Medina acknowledged his struggle in the swim, noting, “This swim was hard because I’m not a good swimmer. I just paced myself to get to the first transition and do it fast.”

For the bike segment, Guzmán Medina was the standout, leading with a time of 1:09:26. David Guete followed, overcoming initial difficulties by expelling too much effort during the swim segment, but he acknowledged his quick recovery to round out a total bike time of 1:12:32. Moya dropped back and finished in 1:19:02 describing the bike trails as “very hard,” particularly noting the challenge posed by the elevation. Guzmán Medina emphasized his strategy, “I’m mostly a road cyclist so I paced myself until I was in the front. Once I was 2 minutes ahead, I started to calm down a bit.”

During the run, David Guete posted the fastest time of 44:38, while Alejandro Guzmán Medina finished in 46:14. Brian Moya completed the run in 47:27. Guete shared, “The run was tougher than I thought. In the elevation and the uphills I wasn’t too strong, but I was very good on the downhill and flat parts.” Meanwhile, Guzmán Medina revealed his strategic focus, “My running ability is good, but not as fast as David Guete behind me. I knew that in the uphills I could beat him by pure strength so my strategy was to go all out on the uphills knowing he was faster in the flat sections.”

A Community Celebration

This event not only highlighted the athleticism of the participants but also the vibrant support of the community, emphasizing the cultural significance of hosting such events in Colombia, as noted by the first-ever XTERRA Colombia winner Alejandro Guzmán Medina: “It’s a culture where everyone comes together, not just the athletes but all the families and friends together.”

Manuela Kapitány, the event director of XTERRA Colombia and a committed triathlete from Xportiva, received widespread acclaim from the community and members of the XTERRA Americas team, who extended their support and commendations with an eagerness to host future events in the region for 2025 and beyond.

Images available for use here.