The endurance community gathered to honor 2012 performances in Los Angeles on Saturday.
The red carpet rolled out in athletic style on Saturday night at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles for the Endurance LIVE Awards, the biggest night of the year in endurance sports.
Presented by REFUEL | Got Chocolate Milk, the annual gala, which celebrated its 21st year, brought together top athletes from the running, cycling and triathlon for one night to recognize the most notable performances of 2012.
Reigning Ironman world champions Pete Jacobs (AUS) and Leanda Cave (GBR) took home the top triathlon awards of the night, earning the nods for male and female Triathlete of the Year. Two-time Xterra world champion Lesley Paterson (SCO) grabbed the award for Off Road Athlete of the Year.
Jacobs finished second at the 2011 Ironman World Championship before struggling with injury through much of the 2012 season. He got healthy just in time to build up to the 2012 Kona race where he powered through the bike to take his first Ironman World Championship title.
“I still get chills every time I start an Ironman,” Jacobs said as he accepted his award. “I get chills just watching the movie of Hines [Ward] talking about how he’s going to complete the Ironman. You will, Hines, you will. It’s that sense that we all have of what an Ironman is, this accomplishment that we set out to achieve. I think all of us in the room are similar in that way. We all have similar qualities, we all have similar goals, we want to be the best we can be. “
Like Jacobs, Cave also had a 2011 Kona podium finish and then struggled through the early months of 2012 with injury. She won the 2012 Ironman 70.3 World Championship before coming to Kona to take her first Ironman World Championship, becoming the first woman to win both titles in the same year.
“Many athletes dream many months or years about racing in Kona,” Cave said. “It was pretty much many years for me—it was six years in the making for this moment. I felt like it was never going to happen. And there I am, something magical happened and it happened for me that day. Just believe enough and your dreams will come true. For me, it’s been a journey of perseverance. I’ve been plugging away at this sport for a while now. It’s been a while and I’ve given up to be a lot to be here right now and I’d say it’s totally all worth it.”
Paterson won the Xterra World Championship in 2011, heading into 2012 with great momentum. Last year proved to be her best season to date as she won the ITU World Cross Triathlon Championship and the Xterra USA National Championship before defending her Xterra world crown in Maui at the end of the year.
“You know it’s funny when I found out I was getting this award, pretty much every friend I had said ‘I can’t wait for the F-bombs.’ I said it was one of those events where everyone’s dressed up, I can’t possibly drop one of those,” Paterson said in her acceptance speech. “And then I thought fuck it, I think I can drop as many fucking fucks as I can in one sentence.’”
…”Our sport of triathlon is truly amazing,” she continued. “When you’re in the sport and you’re going through the adversity and the pain and torture of the training and racing, you really get to see inside yourself and face all your demons. And from that you get to grow mentally and physically. A huge thing of mine is to take that message our to our youth and have them come and join in this amazing sport.”
See the complete list of award winners below and check back to Triathlete.com for photos and videos from the event.
Female Triathlete of the Year – Leanda Cave
Male Running Performance of the Year – Leo Manzano
Challenged Athlete of the Year – Haven Shepherd
Off Road Athlete of the Year – Lesley Paterson
Male Triathlete of the Year – Pete Jacobs
Celebrity Athlete of the Year – Phil Keoghan
Competitor of the Year – Galen Rupp
Cycling Performance of the Year – Ryder Hesjedal
Female Running Performance of the Year – Amy Hastings
More About Pete Jacobs
– Photos: On Location With Pete Jacobs
– Podcast: Ironman World Champion Pete Jacobs
– Gallery: Jacobs Delivers, Cave Doubles in Kona
– Video: Post-Kona Interview With Winner Pete Jacobs
– Video: Pete Jacobs Crosses The Kona Finish Line
– Taper Secrets of Ironman’s Fastest Runner
More About Leanda Cave
– Leanda Cave’s Plans For Finishing Her Best Season Ever
– Photos: Leanda Cave Takes The Double
– Leanda Cave: “Not In My Wildest Dreams”
– Video: Leanda Cave’s First Kona Win
– Leanda Cave: “I Know What I Need To Do”
– Leanda Cave: “I Didn’t Expect To Win”
More About Lesley Paterson
– Lesley Paterson’s Mountain Bike Tips
– Video: Don’t Be THAT Triathlete
– Inside Triathlon’s Photo Shoot With Lesley Paterson
– Stoltz, Paterson Earn World Titles
– Sh*t Triathletes DON’T Say
– Photos: Lesley Paterson