Middaugh, Paterson win XTERRA Beaver Creek

Sunday 16 July 2017
Josiah Middaugh and Lesley Paterson captured the ninth-annual XTERRA Beaver Creek Championship race elite titles on a picture-perfect morning in the Rocky Mountains surrounding Avon, Colorado.

The win is Middaugh’s fifth straight here on his home course (he lives a mile from the start line) and his third in a row on the XTERRA Pan America Tour this year.  For Paterson, the two-time XTERRA World Champ, it’s her first XTERRA victory of the year and in her first try on this course.

The men’s elite race got off to a furious pace with reigning XTERRA World Champion Mauricio Mendez coming out of the 67-degree waters of Nottingham Lake 20-seconds ahead of Branden Rakita and Brad Zoller.  Middaugh was the eighth man out of the water about 1:40 back of Mendez.

From there Mendez pushed the pace on the bike and still had more than one-minute on Middaugh after the first four miles and 2,000 feet of climbing.

“Mauricio has gotten so strong in every discipline, I just had to turn myself inside out on the bike,” said Middaugh, who posted the fastest bike split of the day in 1:09:36, nearly four minutes quicker than Mendez and Sam Long.  “I’ve never done this bike course that hard.”

The hometown hero finally caught Mendez at about mile 12, “but he put up a really strong fight,” said Middaugh.  “I finally got a little gap I think because I know this trail so well I was able to put a little time on the twists and turns and was able to get a little cushion heading into the run.”

It turned out Middaugh would need that cushion, as he crossed the line in 2:07:00, just 41-seconds ahead of Mendez who put in the fastest run split of the day (35:41 to Josiah’s 36:58).

The “Scottish Rocket” Lesley Paterson called upon her alter ego “Paddy McGinty” to push her to perfection on the dirt today.

She was third out of the water just 25-seconds behind last year’s winner Julie Baker and two-seconds back of Suzie Snyder, passed Baker in transition, passed Snyder on the cart path less than a kilometer into the bike, and rode away from there.  She had the fastest bike split of the day, a 1:23:04 (next best was Suzie Snyder’s 1:28:26), the fastest run of the day, a 41:42 (again five minutes faster than Snyder) and finished with a winning time of 2:26:07, nearly 10-minutes ahead of Snyder.

“This course is my perfect course, I wish this was the Worlds’ course,” said Paterson.  “I’m smaller, I love climbing, I love the mountains, I love the people, I just love everything about this course. Everything felt good today and its been a while since I’ve felt that way.  I just had a lot of gratitude and joy, even though “Paddy” was out there fighting, I had a great time out there today. The body responded this week, and I’m so grateful.  I’ve had many ups and downs, so when you feel good like this it makes all the hard work worth it.”

ELITE MALE:
1 Josiah Middaugh, USA 2:07:00
2 Mauricio Mendez, MEX 2:07:41
3 Sam Long, USA 2:12:38
4 Brian Smith, USA 2:14:42
5 Ben Hoffman, USA 2:17:13

ELITE FEMALE:
1 Lesley Paterson, GBR 2:26:07
2 Suzie Snyder, USA 2:35:50
3 Julie Baker, USA 2:38:19
4 Morgane Riou, FRA 2:41:02
5 Kara LaPoint, USA 2:43:27
XTERRA Triathlon


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