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XTERRA Southeast Championship- Paterson Claims What May be Her 2015 Series Farewell

Lesley Paterson won in Alabama. She now turns her sights toward Olympic Mountain Biking.  Photo - XTERRA
Lesley Paterson won in Alabama. She now turns her sights toward Olympic Mountain Biking.
Photo – XTERRA

Scotland’s two-time XTERRA World Champion, Lesley Paterson won what might be her last XTERRA for some time on Saturday at the XTERRA Southeast Championship.

Paterson used a mid-pack swim coupled with the fastest bike and run splits to claim her second XTERRA America Championship event in a row. Thus giving Paterson a strong lead in the XTERRA America Championship standings. However, XTERRA has reported ” this was likely her last race of the Series…Lesley will now switch focus to chasing her dream of making Great Britain’s Olympic mountain biking team. She’ll probably not race another XTERRA until Maui, aside perhaps from a European race”.

While Paterson was making the most of what might be her 2015 swan song there were several tight battles occuring behind her. With Paterson possibly out of the Championship picture the title is totally up for grabs.

Super swimmer and road tri convert, Sara McLarty lead out of the swim by one minute over Christine Jeffrey and Catherine Sterling.

On the bike carnage defined the day. The Oak Mountain course features IMBA EPIC Ride trails and can be quite technical if you attack the ride and push your limits. This is magnified for female riders as the rocky nature of parts of the course have a greater impact on lighter bodies, thus increasing the effect of the small errors we all make when pushing the envelope. The Pelham course is beautiful and very fun. However, if you’re racing on your limit and chasing an XTERRA Championship it can bite you. Yet, isn’t that why we race in the first place?

Emma Garrard jumps a rock garden at XTERRA Southeast Championships. Photo - XTERRA
Emma Garrard jumps a rock garden at XTERRA Southeast Championships.
Photo – XTERRA

On the day Emma Garrard fought through several crashes early in the bike to rally and claim second. Without her early bike issues which resulted in a bent and dragging brake rotor there is every possibility Garrard could have brought the fight to Paterson. Garrard shared “I flew off on the first slick bridge, twisted my seat around. Hit a root wrong, twisted my handle bar, smashed my head, roughed up my shoulder. I crashed like four times today, all before Blood Rock. After that I was fine”.

Behind Garrard third placer Suzie Snyder also suffered and early crash and had to gut out the rest of the race. Catherine Sterling and Maia Ignatz produced their best results in XTERRA Championship competition with 4th and 6th respectively while XTERRA media explained “Christine Jeffrey was brilliant in her first race of the year, riding in second until Emma and Suzie caught her late. She came with a bum ankle but still managed a solid fifth place finish”.

The pro ladies showed real toughness with the entire field having to fight through adversity. With Paterson out of the picture 2015 will see one hell of a Championship battle. We look forward to it with great excitement.

Find full results HERE

XTERRA Southeast Championship Women's Podium. Photo - XTERRA
XTERRA Southeast Championship Women’s Podium.
Photo – XTERRA

Ladies Pro Top Ten:

1 Lesley Paterson #31 :24:32 01:36:09 00:38:32 2:39:13
2 Emma Garrard #32 :24:14 01:39:39 00:40:17 2:44:10
3 Suzie Snyder #33 :22:52 01:41:32 00:42:28 2:46:52
4 Catherine Sterling #48 :21:37 01:45:50 00:41:50 2:49:17
5 Christine Jeffrey #45 :21:06 01:43:12 00:46:33 2:50:51
6 Maia Ignatz #37 :27:12 01:43:19 00:41:14 2:51:45
7 Sara Schuler #35 :25:44 01:44:53 00:42:17 2:52:54
8 Kara Lapoint #34 :25:33 01:44:50 00:42:58 2:53:21
9 Jaime Brede #43 :26:56 01:45:52 00:43:55 2:56:43
10 Sara McLarty #39 :20:09 01:52:54 00:48:11 3:01:14

XTERRA Report:

May 16, 2015 (Pelham, AL) – Braden Currie from Wanaka, New Zealand and Lesley Paterson from Sterling, Scotland won the 10th annual XTERRA Southeast Championship triathlon at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama this morning.

The men’s race came down to a sprint finish between Currie and last year’s champion, Josiah Middaugh from Vail, Colorado. The two ran stride for stride for the entire six-mile trail run, the final stage of the race, with Currie taking the tape in 2:18:23, just three seconds ahead of Middaugh.

In the women’s race two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson was the sixth pro woman after the one-mile swim in Double Oak Lake, took the lead about a one-third of the way through the 20-mile mountain bike stage, and won comfortably in 2:39:13, more than four-minutes ahead of runner-up Emma Garrard of Park City, Utah.

Today’s race also doubled as the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship race. As such, the top American finishers Middaugh and Garrard were honored as the USAT Elite National Champions.

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Jimmy Archer

Founder and Editor at DirtTRI.com. Jimmy has been a professional athlete for over 18 years as a runner, cyclist, mountain biker, cross country skier, and primarily, triathlete. Jimmy has a degree in exercise science from the University of Colorado and is a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling certified coach. Jimmy became a freelance writer in 2000 while competing and covering the ITU Winter Triathlon World Championship. Since that time Jimmy has been head editor at two magazines, been published in numerous publications within the endurance sport, recreation, and travel segments. Currently Jimmy is competing professionally in off-road multisport. In his spare time Jimmy passionately follows Formula 1, Moto GP, and is an avid cook.

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