Paterson, Mendez, And Hoffman Tame Wild 2015 Xterra World Championship: Weekend Wrap-up
The Human Interest Group congratulates professional triathletes Lesley Paterson, Mauricio “Mau” Mendez, and Ben Hoffman for their incredible performances at the 2015 XTERRA World Championship on Sunday, November 1st.
Taming the wild Maui terrain, Paterson stayed strong to claim 2nd place and the best bike split in the pro women’s field, while Mendez rocketed to 4th place thanks to the fastest race-day run. Hoffman took 10th among the pro men at the world’s ultimate off-road triathlon.
“XTERRA is hard, and so are the athletes, I don’t think this “version” of the sport gets enough attention,” said Michael Cardoza, Managing Director of Human Interest Group. “Most people did not know Lesley had an injury going into this race. I can promise, most people with that type of injury would never start, but Lesley still managed a 2nd place. And most twenty-year-olds just want to get to the Word Championships, never mind being the 4th fastest in the world like Mauricio. Ben pushing himself to take 10th place after racing IRONMAN Hawaii also was impressive.”
The three HIG athletes joined 800 endurance athletes from more than 40 countries. Starting at D.T. Fleming Beach with a 1 mile rough water swim, the race continued with a 20-mile mountain bike and 6.5-mile trail run. The powerful efforts of Paterson, Mendez, and Hoffman were even more impressive considering the seasons that brought them to the start line.
Lesley Paterson – 2nd Place Pro Women
Paterson exited the swim at 23:42 and settled into her strongest leg of the race – the bike. Paterson steadily moved past other competitors over the hard ride, finishing the bike leg with a 1:45:58 time. On the run, Paterson battled the course elements and crossed the finish line with a 49:36 run time, resulting in the total race time of 2:59:16.
“Lesley rode really well,” explained Cordoza. “She shaved time throughout the bike leg and got within about 1:30 of the lead. Lesley’s been dealing with an injury which really limited her true run ability. No excuses though as Flora raced brilliantly.”
Already a 2011 and 2012 XTERRA World Champion, Paterson arrived in Maui strengthened by wins at the 2015 XTERRA Costa Rica Championship, XTERRA West & Southeast (USA) Championships, and the 2015 XTERRA European Championship. She also placed in the top 10 at two US Cup (MTB) races this year. In her seventh appearance at the XTERRA World Championship, Paterson combined physical strength and course experience for an edge among the highly competitive pro women field.
Mauricio “Mau” Mendez – 4th Place Pro Men
A strong swimmer, Mendez exited the water with the lead pack at 19:56 to begin the bike leg. Mendez stayed steady over the long ride and ended the bike with a time of 1:40:07. On the run, Mendez showed the significance of his blistering run speed and endurance. He battled the course elements to move from eighth to fourth place with the race’s fastest run at 40:51. Mendez’s final race time was 2:40:54.
“Mauricio was in the front group out of the water, and he rode really strong, which is typically his Achilles heel,” commented Cardoza. “This set him up nicely to pluck runners off throughout the challenging run course. He was only 14 seconds short of Ruben (3X Xterra World Champion) in third place.”
At his pro debut at last year’s XTERRA World Championship, Mendez caught the triathlon world’s attention when he was first out of the water and moved up three places in the final 800 meters of the run, ultimately earning a 5th place finish. For this season, the twenty-year-old selected key competitions to accelerate his race experiences: taking third place at the XTERRA Mexico Championship and second place at XTERRA Philippines plus strong performances at 70.3/half IM races this year.
Ben Hoffman – 10th Place Pro Men
Hoffman exited the swim at 20:04 and moved past other competitors over the long ride, ending the bike with a 1:43:54 split. On the run, Hoffman solidly paced on the rough-and-tumble trail to cross the finish line with a 45:58 run time, resulting in 2:49:56 for the total race time.
“Hats off to Ben for hanging in there for 10th place,” said Cardoza. “He admitted after the race that he underestimated how challenging this course is. Ben is racing next weekend so he was really concentrating on staying upright on this challenging course, but still put in a solid race effort!”
Following a 2nd place finish at last year’s IRONMAN World Championship, Hoffman’s 2015 season included IRONMAN 70.3 St. George, IRONMAN Texas, and IRONMAN 70.3 Calgary. Most recently, Hoffman competed in the 2015 IRONMAN World Championship on the Big Island. Hoffman next travels to the Bahamas for the three-day Island House Invitational Triathlon, a unique time-trial-based race with only twenty contenders. He’ll then close the year out at Bahrain’s IM 70.3 even in December.
2015 XTERRA World Championship
1 Josiah Middaugh (USA) 2:35:32
2 Braden Currie (NZ) 2:38:30
3 Ruben Ruzafa (ESP) 2:40:40
4 Mauricio Mendez (MEX) 2:40:54
5 Courtney Atkinson (AUS) 2:42:27
10 Ben Hoffman (USA) 2:49:56
1 Flora Duffy (BMU) 2:54:17
2 Lesley Paterson (GBR) 2:59:16
3 Emma Garrard (USA) 3:03:28
See images below taken by Xterra and watch the recap of all the action on race day.