Mauricio Mendez from Mexico and Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the XTERRA Pan America Championship race on a beautiful day around Snowbasin Resort near Ogden, Utah on Saturday morning. Photos provided by XTERRA.
The challenge started with a one-mile swim in Pineview Reservoir (4,900-feet elevation), followed with an 18-mile mountain bike leg that climbed more than 3,000-feet to the top of Sardine Peak (7,300-feet elevation) and culminated with a 7-mile trail run featuring another 700-feet of climbing on trails in the Wasatch Range.
In the men’s elite race Mendez came out of the water with Australian Ben Allen, took the lead during the swim-to-bike transition and led the rest of the way, taking the tape in 2:22:50, nearly two-minutes ahead of last year’s winner Josiah Middaugh of Colorado.
“Today was just perfect,” said Mendez, the 21-year-old reigning XTERRA World Champion. “I mean, I felt good on the swim, we worked at having a good pace. When we were out of the swim, and we noticed we had a big gap – Ben Allen and me – I was just feeling confident about it and when we hit the dirt I did an attack and I felt great.”
In the women’s elite race Paterson, a two-time XTERRA World Champion, was the sixth elite female out of the swim, passed all five riders in front of her by mile five of the bike and never looked back. Her winning time of 2:51:13 was a full seven minutes ahead of runner-up Jacqui Allen from Great Britain.
“I came out of the water in second place, two-minutes down, got up into second place just after Wheeler Canyon, probably about half a mile into the next trail,” said Paterson. “I passed Julie about another mile after that but she’s strong, you know and kept with me for a bit.”
Read the complete race recap at Xterraplanet.com.