Haugans trudge through mud for top times in Hawaii

Both Bailey and Tate Haugan have also qualified for Cross Country Nationals in Kingston later this month

It was a bit of a stick in the mud experience for Tate Haugan in Hawaii.

The 15-year-old triathlete had hoped to draw on his 2015 World Xterra World Triathlon Championships this time around, but rain dashed the chance to reach the podium in 2016.

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“It went good, I could have done a bit better,” Haugan said modestly. “I had some bike issues. Just didn’t set it up properly. Other than that I was happy.”

For a full week there was mostly rain leading up to Haugan’s race on Oct. 23 in Maui, which wasn’t anywhere near the conditions he expected. The winning times in the race were some of the slowest in the history of the Xterra Worlds.

“(My bike) just stopped moving from all the mud,” he said.

 “I needed to get better mud clearing tires. I was just stubborn with them. Unprepared. I need to make sure my training goes more to plan too. The last three weeks in it was kind of scattered.”

Despite being bogged down in the mud, the Fort St. John teen still finished an impressive ninth in the 15-19 age category and was also the top Canadian in that age group.

Haugan was the second fastest athlete in his age group out of the 1.5 kilometre swim and the sixth fastest non-professional out of the 700 competitors.

“The swim was pretty fun, just because there was like 14-foot swells and you could body surf pretty well on the way in. It also wasn’t really hot in the water,” he said.

He fell behind on the 32km bike after some mechanical issues because of the muddy conditions.

“I think my bike training actually helped because I rode in snow the last couple weeks, so it was extra resistance,” Haugan said with a laugh.

He finished the 10.5km run in one-hour, four minutes and 33 seconds. His total time for the race was 4:03:41.

Tate also added that in his 16-year-old season next summer, he expects to compete in more triathlons.

“This will be my third actual season of racing and training properly, so I should be able to figure out the kinks by then,” he said. 

His sister Bailey, was also on the vacation to Hawaii and kept up the family tradition of success in a 5 km run. Bailey competed in the Hula Grill Xterra 5 KM Trail Run, and was the fastest female in the race and fifth overall out of 439 competitors.

“It was really good, it was nice,” Bailey also explained casually. “It was slippery. Really slippery and really slow.”

Despite the top finish, Bailey wasn’t too impressed with her 23 minute and forty-two second time.

“I knocked a guy over because it was so slippery. I felt so bad,” Bailey said after explaining most people weren’t very impressed with her winning 5k time despite running straight up and down a hill in the mud.

She also just returned to Fort St. John from the BC Cross Country Provincials in Nanaimo on Oct. 29 competing against some girls five years older, the 17-year-old finished 26th out of 70 girls with a time of 22:38 in the six km race. She finished eighth out of the juniors, once again running in rainy conditions.

“It was good, hard,” she said. “I raced up a class. I was supposed to race the 4k, but I did the six so I was up against university girls.”

Both Tate and Bailey will compete at the 2016 Canada National Cross Country Championships in Kingston on Nov. 26.

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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