For the second year in a row, Lesley Paterson claimed the Xterra Pan American off-road triathlon elite title in Ogden, Utah. She finished with a time of 2:52:01, over nine minutes ahead of her closest competitor.
Saturday’s championship race consisted of a one-mile swim in the Pineview Reservoir, 18 miles of mountain biking on a route which took the athletes 3,000 feet straight up to the top of Sardine Peak, and a 7-mile trail run – all at elevation. Paterson came into the race prepared after a training block at altitude in Boulder, Colorado. Still, she found herself seventh out of the water, farther back than she would have liked.
Out of T1 and onto her Liv Obsess Advanced, Paterson lived up to her nickname “Scottish Rocket” and blasted past the majority of the competition on the first climb of the 18-mile course. By the end of the bike leg, Paterson found herself hammering into T2 with a 3-minute gap. She cemented her victory by literally running away from the competition. Her victory comes after a five-year battle with Lyme’s disease as well as several injuries.
“Having spent the last five years dealing with terrible chronic nerve pain, this has been the first seven months I’ve actually done consistent training,” said Paterson. “It’s paying off. I danced over the rocky terrain to finish 9.5 minutes ahead of second place!”
Paterson now looks forward to her final race of 2018, the Xterra World Championships in Maui, October 18th. Last year, Paterson finished fifth after powering through a stress fracture. This year, she’s looking forward to an injury-free lead up to the race that will allow her to perform at her best.