Although he teamed up in January with XTERRA rival Braden Currie to win an early season adventure race in New Zealand, XTERRA Costa Rica was Josiah Middaugh’s first triathlon on his 2017 schedule. In the preceding three years, Middaugh walked away with 2nd place finishes at the XTERRA Costa Rica event but this year Middaugh triumphed to take home the win at the 3rd stop of the XTERRA Pan American Tour.
To lead the swim, Ian King exited in 19:59, a slim 4 seconds in advance of First Endurance triathlete Branden Rakita with Middaugh positioned just 1:09 back in 5th, well within striking distance for the accomplished mountain biker and runner. With a solid start to the race, Middaugh said “My training has been going well this winter. I would like to say it was a breakthrough swim but it was more of a swim to my ability. I made up that time quickly in the first 2 miles so I fooled them into thinking I had a great swim.”
Making significant ground in the early miles of the mountain bike to reach the front, Middaugh continued to build his advantage on the strong riding and eventual second place finisher, Belgian, Kris Coddens. Finishing the bike with a race best split of 1:08:34, Middaugh crafted a 2-minute buffer on Coddens, who had the second fastest ride.
Feeling great on the run Middaugh explained “With some half Ironman training this winter I have a little more endurance and more consistent run mileage so I think that helped me later in the race.” Charging home with the fastest run split, Middaugh took his first win at XTERRA Costa Rica in a time of 2:06:51, 4 minutes ahead of second place Coddens and 9:39 on Canadian Jean Philippe-Thibodeau.
Travelling from his still wintery home state of Colorado to kick off his XTERRA season with a win, Middaugh commented “The heat this time of year is intense, especially with the contrast coming from a blizzard at home.” “
“The heat can play a factor in the run so it was important to take in proper fluids, electrolytes and calories on the bike. EFS-PRO was perfect for the job.”
Following a long winter of intense training, Middaugh was happy to net his first win at the Costa Rica stop expressing
“It feels good to come out of winter hibernation and post a good result.”
“I suppose I shouldn’t call it hibernation though since I put in some very focused training in the winter months. Indicators are good but there is still a lot of work to do.”
Having missed the first 2 stops in the XTERRA Pan American Tour, Middaugh is sitting in 8th with fellow First Endurance team member Branden Rakita 2nd in the overall standings with seven races remaining.
1 Josiah Middaugh 2:06:51
2 Kris Coddens 2:10:51
3 Jean Philippe-Thibodeau 2:15:30
4 Branden Rakita 2:17:29
5 Ryan Ignatz 2:18:31