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The United States’ Josiah Middaugh and Scotland’s Lesley Paterson claimed the Xterra U.S. National Championship titles in Ogden, Utah today.
It was Ben Allen (AUS) who led the men out of the water. He was followed by Branden Rakita (USA) and Craig Evans (USA) into T1. South Africa’s Conrad “the caveman” Stoltz quickly found his way to the front of the bike, but his lead did not last. Middaugh made up time and held the top spot by mile 10 of the approximately 17-mile bike course. Middaugh held the number one spot through T2, the run and all the way to the finish line. He earned the national championship in a time of 2:26:58. Allen ran his way to second, finishing in 2:28:46. Last year’s winner, Nico Lebrun of France, rounded out the top-three.
“I caught the leaders early, about mile six or seven,” Middaugh said. “That first downhill Conrad (Stoltz) got back ahead of me, and it wasn’t until about mile nine that I passed him again for the second time. But I was so tentative on the downhill, I was just so worried about flatting, or having something ruining a good performance. I knew my fitness was good, I just had to be careful everywhere. I was a little bit too nervous, but it worked out.”
As she always does, Christine Jeffrey (CAN) led the women out of the swim at Pineview Reservoir. Next into T1 were Jacqui Slack (GBR), Suzie Snyder (USA) and 2011 winner Melanie McQuaid (CAN). McQuaid quickly powered her way to the front of the race. She was eventually joined by Paterson and Snyder, and the three came into T2 together. Paterson used her running chops to run away from the rest of the field, taking the U.S. Championship title in 2:49:09. Snyder finished second in 2:52:43, with Canada’s Danelle Kabush taking third 13 seconds later at 2:52:56.
“It was awesome,” said Paterson after the race. “I did a lot of prep for this – came out 10 days early. It’s the first time in an Xterra race that I went into the lead on the bike and held it. So I went into the run actually in the lead, which is very unusual for me, so I think my bike is finally coming together.”
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Xterra USA Championships
Ogden, Utah – Sept. 22, 2012
1.5K Swim, 28K Mountain Bike, 10K Trail Run
1. Josiah Middaugh (USA) 2:26:58
2. Ben Allen (AUS) 2:28:46
3. Nico Lebrun (FRA) 2:29:03
4. Conrad Stoltz (RSA) 2:30:47
5. Branden Rakita (USA) 2:34:02
1. Lesley Paterson (SCO) 2:49:09
2. Suzie Snyder (USA) 2:52:43
3. Danelle Kabush (CAN) 2:52:56
4. Melanie McQuaid (CAN) 2:54:58
5. Renata Bucher (SUI) 2:56:10