November 1, 2015 (Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii) â€“ Josiah Middaugh, 37, from Eagle-Vail, Colorado and Flora Duffy, 28, from Devonshire, Bermuda won the 20th XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon elite titles on an incredibly scenic day in Kapalua, Maui.
It’s the first XTERRA World Title for Middaugh after 15 attempts, and he becomes the first American to win Worlds since Michael Tobin back in 2000.Â For Duffy, the win marks a perfect season with five straight wins, her second XTERRA World Championship in a row, and 12th XTERRA major victory in her last 13 attempts since the start of 2014.
Middaugh and Duffy each received $20,000 for their respective victories.Â The total purse was $100,000, and the event was filmed for international television distribution.
More than 800 endurance athletes from 43 countries participated in the event, which started in the relatively calm waters of the Pacific Ocean at D.T. Fleming Beach, continued with a 20-mile mountain bike that traversed the West Maui Mountains, and finished with a grueling 6.5-mile trail run. There was more than 4,000-feet of combined climbing on the bike and run courses.
â€œI had the big target on my back, and I came here with a mission.Â I wanted to defend, and got away with that by the skin of my teeth today,â€ said Duffy.Â â€œI really struggled.Â Hit a tree, slide out on a corner, fell in a big mud puddle, and all the while the time gap between me and Lesley was getting smaller and smaller.â€
Duffy had the fastest women’s swim split (5th overall) and was 3:45 up on two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson out of the water.Â Paterson posted the best bike split to pull back a couple of minutes and was seemingly in striking distance heading out on the run.
â€œThere were moments out there when I questioned it,â€ said Duffy.Â â€œI really, really struggled on the bike this year, not sure why I just couldn’t stay on my bike, it wasn’t flowing. You have one of those days that everything goes wrong, that was my day. There were times on that run when I had no idea if I could hold on.â€
Paterson was in a similar spot in second place.
â€œI was going for it on the bike, that’s where my strength is,â€ said Paterson.Â â€œI came off on the run and went for it and then I blew.Â It was really hot, it was brutal, and I deal with heat pretty well.â€
In the end Duffy took the tape in 2:54:17, five minutes in front of Paterson.
â€œIt was a crazy day out there,â€ she said.Â â€œI had a good swim and set myself up perfectly.Â Â On the bike it was all about perseverance for me.Â I kept crashing and picking myself back up, and I had Lesley charging hard from behind.Â Every split I got it was closer and closer.Â It was a tough day.Â For everybody it’s tough. You have obstacles you have to get over.â€
Emma Garrard had a great race of her own to finish in third position, yet another step forward in her amazing progression through the years (she was 5th two years ago, and 4th last year).Â Garrard was once again the top American finisher.
Myriam Guillot-Boisset used a great run to move into fourth and Lizzie Orchard had the best race of her XTERRA career to finish in 5th.
More quotes from the women:
â€œIt was so great to come down the finish chute and repeat as world champion.Â I was pretty glad to put my hands up for the win.â€
â€œXTERRA has really given me a new lease into triathlon.Â I’m so glad I found it.Â I love racing XTERRA.Â Â Sometimes it’s not even about winning, it’s about getting through the course.Â The amount of challenges you have to go through, its character building.Â Intense, hard, fast racing which is what I love.Â I’m really, really thankful I stepped into the XTERRA realm.â€
â€œThat run is brutal, literally about survival.â€
â€œI spent a lot of matches on that bike.â€
Referring to Flora Duffy â€œShe doesn’t have a weakness.â€
â€œI am lucky, I’ve spent the last few years getting over injuries and illness.Â Felt honored just to be in the fight.â€
â€œFour minutes out of the water.Â Passed Jacqui to move into second at about mile two on the bike.Â We gave each other a little woohoo.â€
â€œI am totally happy, this time last year I was sitting in a hotel watching the race from San Diego and wishing I was there. I was smiling and whipping and hollering all the way around even though I was breathing out my arseâ€¦â€
â€œI think I had a fairly good swim, in front of Lesley, didn’t feel great on the bike, just one gear, she flew by me early on and I let her go.â€
â€œRode steady.Â Caught up with Jacqui to get into third about mile three/four on the ride.Â Jacqui caught me on the descent and we went back and forth â€“ which we’ve done the last few years.Â She wasn’t far behind me coming out of T2.â€
â€œI was worried about Carina and Jacqui on the run. I was pretty far back from Lesley and Flora, and I didn’t get any splits so I was worried about someone taking third from me.â€
â€œIt was tacky out there, but really hot.Â The run had a lot of shade, however, which was good.â€
â€œI’m super happy.â€
â€œI don’t believe it, it’s kind of a dream.â€
â€œI love hot weather, so I was happy with the conditions today.â€
â€œI passed a couple girls and then Myriam came flying past me on the climb.Â I could see Carina running fast coming up from behind.Â It was really exciting.Â Today went pretty well.â€
|Pl||Name – Age, Hometown||Final Time||Purse|
|1||Flora Duffy – 28, Devonshire, Bermuda||2:54:17||$20,000|
|2||Lesley Paterson – 35, Sterling, Scotland||2:59:16||$12,000|
|3||Emma Garrard – 34, Park City, Utah||3:03:28||$7,000|
|4||Myriam Guillot-Boisset – 36, Brindas, France||3:07:27||$4,000|
|5||Lizzie Orchard – 29, Epsom, New Zealand||3:09:57||$2,500|
|6||Carina Wasle – 31, Kundl, Austria||3:11:23||$1,500|
|7||Helena ErbenovÃ¡ – 36, Jablonec, Czech Republic||3:17:12||$1,000|
|8||Â Jacqui Slack – 32, Stoke-On-Trent, United Kingdom||3:18:04||$800|
|9||Renata Bucher – 38, Lucerne, Switzerland||3:19:34||$600|
|10||Susan Sloan – 34, Benoni, South Africa||3:20:44||$500|