More than 500 professional and amateur triathletes are on the start list for the XTERRA Pan American / USA Championship races at Snowbasin Resort on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019.

As the culmination of a 10-stop series of off-road triathlons spanning South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S., the contenders are coming from near and far, and with $80,000 in prize money at stake for elites and cameramen capturing all the action for an internationally broadcast television show, the stage is set for XTERRA’s best to show what they can do.

The elevation at Port Ramp Marina for the 1.5K swim start is 4,900-feet, the 29K bike course climbs to 7,300-feet where the Sardine Peak Trail meets the ridgeline, then the 10K trail run goes right back up the mountain, so altitude plus climbing make this race one of the toughest challenges on Tour.

Photo: XTERRA

In the men’s elite race, Sam Osborne from New Zealand is the clear-cut favorite. He won XTERRA Brazil, XTERRA Oak Mountain in Alabama and XTERRA Victoria in Canada to start the tour. His only blemish was a second-place showing to 2015 XTERRA World Champion Josiah Middaugh on his home course at XTERRA Beaver Creek, which he quickly answered with a win at XTERRA Mexico in August. Osborne enters the event with 465 tour points and needs only to finish in the top 15 to secure the Tour title.

“Pressure around any race is only what you put on yourself, but Utah is a championship race and naturally I would like to perform well on Saturday,” said Osborne, who finished third at XTERRA Worlds last year. “I’ve got through some good training back in Boulder in the build-up to this race, and the group I’m training with is prepping for Kona and Maui, so everyone is very focused.”

With his chief nemesis, Middaugh, off racing in the Eco-Challenge Fiji that starts Thursday, Osborne’s focus turns to Canadian Karsten Madsen, who with 375 tour points is the only other man with a mathematical shot at the title.

In the women’s elite race reigning and three-time XTERRA world champion Lesley Paterson is looking to make it three-in-a-row in Utah.

“Bring it on is all I’m saying,” exclaimed Paterson, who has won this race four times, finished second twice, third twice, and was fourth in her first try way back in 2008. “I’ve got so many great memories from Ogden and I just love this course – the beauty, the climbing, and the community too.”

Paterson didn’t take much of a break after winning XTERRA Worlds last year, instead going straight into a build for the ITU Cross Tri World Championship which was held in April in Spain. She finished fifth there, won XTERRA Greece, and was second to Suzie Snyder at XTERRA Oak Mountain before taking a much-needed break to refresh both the body and the mind.
While Paterson has her sights set on the win, Samantha Kingsford and Suzie Snyder are looking for both that, and to secure the XTERRA Pan Am Tour title. Kingsford holds the advantage by 16 points, 432 to Snyder’s 416 points. To put that in perspective, the difference between first place (100pts) and third place (82pts) is 18 points. The difference between 2nd (90pts) and 4th (75pts) is 15.

With so many great athletes across both the men’s and women’s elite fields the XTERRA Pan American Championship is certain to deliver on excitement, and whomever comes out on top will have truly earned their place in XTERRA Utah history.

Read the complete preview at Xterraplanet.com.

Follow the elite race on twitter @XTERRAPlanet starting at 9am MST on Saturday.

Suzie Snyder. Photo: XTERRA

XTERRA Pan American Championship Start List

Pan Am Tour Rank – Name, NAT

Men

1 – Sam Osborne, NZL
2 – Karsten Madsen, CAN
3 – Branden Rakita, USA
5 – Will Ross, USA
11 – Evan Pardi, USA
12 – Brian Smith, USA
14 – Ryan Ignatz, USA
23 – Brad Zoller, USA
32 – Barret Fishner, USA
38 – Alex Willis, USA
NR – Dean Cane, AUS
NR – Chad Hall, USA
NR – Nelson Hegg, USA
NR – Stephen Kilshaw, CAN
NR – Andy Lee, GBR
NR – Mike Meehan, USA
NR – Benny Smith, USA
NR – Trevor Wurtele, CAN

Women

1 – Samantha Kingsford, NZL
2 – Suzie Snyder, USA
5 – Julie Baker, USA
6 – Kelli Montgomery, USA
7 – Fabiola Corona, MEX
8 – Maia Ignatz, USA
9 – Katie Button, CAN
12 – Lesley Paterson, GBR
22 – Nicole Valentine, USA
25 – Kara LaPoint, USA
NR – Jennifer Lentzke, CAN
NR – Marta Menditto, ITA
NR – Jennifer Smith, NZL
NR – Heather Wurtele, CAN