Mauricio Mendez & Lesley Paterson Victorious at 2017 XTERRA Pan Am Championship
Decisively closing out this year’s XTERRA Pan American Tour series, XTERRA World Champions MAURICIO MENDEZ and LESLEY PATERSON were victorious at the XTERRA Pan Am Championship race in Ogden, Utah on September 16, 2017.
Mendez, the 2016 XTERRA World Champion, also took 5th place overall in the multi-race 2017 XTERRA Pan American Tour series. This win also was the third visit to the top of the XTERRA Pan Am Championship podium for two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson after back-to-back victories here in 2012 and 2013.
“Once again, Lesley and Mauricio showed why they are the top elite athletes competing today in off-road triathlons,” said Michael Cardoza, Human Interest Group Director. “Not only do they have the formidable speed – look at their runs – and power, but they have great personalities that you want to cheer for. Way to go, Mau and Les!”
On the Swim, Mendez simultaneously exited the water and quickly advanced on the bike to the front of the elite pack, a spot he successfully defended through the day.
“Today was just perfect. I mean, I felt good on the swim, we worked at having a good pace. When we were out of the swim, and we noticed we had a big gap – Ben Allen and me – I was just feeling confident about it, and when we hit the dirt, I made an attack, and I felt great,” the 21-year-old from Mexico told XTERRA.
Mendez clocked the day’s fastest run time at 38:28 with his swim (19:14) and bike (1:23:28) positioning him to cross the finish line first. Mauricio’s final time was 2:22:50, about two minutes faster than second place.
“Scottish Rocket” Paterson blazed past her competitors early in the race, eventually finishing seven minutes ahead of the other elite triathletes with a time of 2:51:13. Her strong performances on the bike, where she moved to the lead position at mile five, and the run were the fastest splits of the day. Paterson’s final times were: swim (23:39), bike (1:39:28) and run (45:57).
After the race, Paterson said, “Yeah man, I was really going for it today. The bike felt great, I attacked the whole time and just went for it. I felt strong so wanted to push it and keep those girls honest. And the conditions were just supreme. That descent was amazing on the bike, and I’ll tell ya, if I didn’t have to run I might have enjoyed that.”
Over 600 athletes from 30+ states and 15 countries competed in the XTERRA Pan Am Championship race, the final event for the off-road Pan American Tour which. This marquee and final race of the series consists of a one-mile swim, an 18-mile mountain bike leg featuring a 3,000 -foot ascent and 7-mile trail run.