Once the weather turned the course in Maui to mud, the 2018 Xterra Triathlon World Championships on Sunday (28 October), was always going to be survival of the toughest. And Scotland’s Lesley Paterson is tough.
Lesley completed the 1-mile (1.5-kilometer), 20-mile (32-kilometer) mountain bike leg and 6-5-mile (10.5-kilometer) trail run in 03:29:07, bringing the race home ten minutes ahead of her nearest rival, with the fastest bike and run legs overall. The win is Lesley’s third world title, but the first in six years after battling back from injuries and debilitating Lyme disease.
“Crossing the finish line was pure joy.” Lesley said after the race. “There’s just a lot of satisfaction that the plan came together – to share it with my family and friends after a long fight to get back on top.”
Lesley admits there were times when she was not sure if she would ever get back to competing at all.
“To be honest, I thought that I might not even race this season. There have been times when getting out of bed was hard, so to finally get back on top is so satisfying."
"I’ve chased doctors and specialists all over the world to help me with my illness and injuries and I think it’s the same tenacity that’s kept me going in pursuit of the title again.”
While many of her rivals struggled in the muddy conditions, Lesley was determined not to let the terrain affect her race.
“It was so tough but I kept shouting at myself ‘it’s tough for everyone.’ It’s just a matter of who can cope with it best.
I know I’m tough and can battle through anything, so I could rise above the conditions.”
On the technical run leg, Lesley relied on the Cloudventure Peak to help her keep a hold on her lead.
“The conditions were so slippy, yet the my Cloudventure Peaks had the grip to get me seamlessly through the run course with the fastest split.”
Now, the Scottish star, who lives in the US, is looking forward to some hard-earned downtime. And refuelling…
“What now? I want to spend some time catching up with my friends. When you’re preparing for races like this, everything else just falls away. And chocolate, lots of chocolate!”