Fear is what typically holds people back from taking action and if you do not take action you will not get results. Fear has a name and it’s Lesley Patterson. Patterson is a 2x past winner of the XTERRA World Championship and is always a contender but with 4x World Champ Flora Duffy out, Riveros chasing Olympic dreams, and Phillips not qualifying the question looming is who is there to contend with Patterson?
Consider this, two weeks ago she won the Pan-Am Championship by nearly 10 minutes which is over a mile if she kept on running. If that wasn’t enough, she laced up the next day and won the XTERRA Trail Run Nationals. And the scariest part of it all is the fact that she’s healthy. The last two times she was healthy she won back to back.
This sounds like an infomercial for Patterson because I’m about to say, “but wait there’s more!” If she wins and Mauricio Mendez win on the men’s side, Braveheart, her coaching company, would hold both titles at the the same time.
Before we hand her, her third title, she has her work cut out for her tomorrow morning. Here are the women standing in her way:
She’s already won the XTERRA World Championship three times. But she’s 45 years old….what is she here to prove? She came here to prove a point. That anything is possible, you can do whatever you put your mind to and that women are just getting warmed up after the age of 40. In fact, she’s sending a message to men to elevate their standards. As a past champion, the only thing that matters to her on Sunday is another title. As a former champion and the fact that she’s considered an “underdog” this year is only feeding the fire. A fire that if burning to hot could make the ‘rocket’ explode. So come Sunday, McQuaid could be a 4 time champion.
What to watch for: If she has a lead going into the run she has a chance. She needs a gap off the bike in order to keep it and bring home the title.
Patterson won everything this year, except for the time she raced Brigitta Poor. After Poor won XTERRA France she said, “It is like a dream, I cannot believe it. It is one of the biggest races of XTERRA in the world and I was able to win it.” It’s that victory in France that will give her the edge to bring home the title and make another dream come true. She’s the fittest and strongest she’s ever been and her humble attitude has her primed to dominate come Sunday and potentially bring home the World title.
What to watch for: She has to beat Lesley to Razors Ridge. If she has a lead going down hill she might be able to pick up so momentum but it’s going to take everything she has to hold off Lesley twice in a year.
The rest of the field:
The human spirit is a powerful thing and anything could happen. Come Sunday, could Suzy Snyder wake up and feel better than she has all year and more rested than years past? If both Julie Baker and Josiah Middaugh win the men’s side, Middaugh Coaching would hold both titles at once. Penny Slater, missing her friends and coaches Ben and Jacque, will need to dig deep even through injury, and if she does win you couldn’t write a better Disney movie about this years.
THE REST OF THE STORY: These Women
But the rest of the story isn’t who is going to win, the rest of the story isn’t about that woman it’s about these women! These women are leaders like Patterson who is one the best coaches in the world and Mendez is just one of the men she has helped develop into a World Champion. These women are timeless like McQuaid who is out there showing men and women that age means nothing and excuses are weak and to expect more from yourself. These women are resilient, like Snyder and Slater who are racing though pain because they will do whatever it takes to win and love what they do. These women are professionals like Baker who still has a professional job in addition to her pro triathlete role. This Sunday, it could be any one of these women who wins as they will show us all how to compete at the highest level but come Monday these women might be your coach, your boss, or your inspiration and they will all make us better people and teach us how to live more. These women are as diverse as they come and if one of them beats Patterson tomorrow they will go down as XTERRA legends and if Patterson wins then the 2019 showdown couldn’t come soon enough when Duffy and Patterson collide back on Maui. Tomorrow will show us what each of these women are made of and we will all be watching.
About Jordan Winar
The Rest of the Story series is contributed by off-road triathlete and freelance writer, Jordan Winar
Jordan competed in his first ever triathlon April 22, 2017. Prior to this, he had never competed in any triathlons, bike races, or outdoor swimming competitions. Jordan competed in 12 XTERRA events over the following 5 months, eventually qualifying for the XTERRA World Championships in Maui, Hawaii.
Jordan attributes his success to his newly found Vegan lifestyle and The Gazelle Mindset.