Xterra World Championships in Maui is known for its gnarly nature. Fraught with challenges, racers set out on a one-mile swim in the rough Hawaiian surf, 20 miles of demanding mountain biking in the mountains of West Maui, and finish with a brutal 6.5-mile trail run. It is a race that requires months of preparation, intense training and determination. But, when Lesley Paterson lined up for the start of the swim, she wasn’t even sure she would finish.
Just five weeks before arriving in Maui, Paterson suffered a pelvic stress fracture that prevented her from doing any running and limited biking and swimming before World Championships. Paterson’s first test of her running legs game the night before Sunday’s main event.
But when the guns went off on race morning, it was on. Paterson bolted off the beach and into the waves, putting down a solid effort on the swim that had her out of the water in 10th place, four minutes behind the lead. Known for her ability to reel in the competition on the bike and run, Paterson heading up the beach to T1, but found herself already battling intense pain in her hip. Still, she caught four racers by riding a smart and smooth mountain bike leg aboard her Obsess Advanced.
“I held tough and used my Obsess to its max and sailed through the corners and descents seamlessly, coming in to T2 in sixth position,” said Paterson.
Even though the pain of running had her limping and dragging her leg in an unnatural way, Paterson passed one more competitor on the challenging run course in the hot Maui sun. She crossed the finish line, just cracking the top-five.
“There’s no better way to get out of your comfort zone in these circumstances than facing the tough terrain of Maui with the best triathletes in the world!”