The XTERRA World Championship brought out the best in Flora Duffy with her fourth consecutive win in Maui, while Bradley Weiss of South Africa stirred an upset win in the professional field at Maui, Hawaii.
The world championship for off-road triathlon was held in Kapalua, Maui otherwise known as the birthplace of off-road triathlon. The world’s premier off-road triathlon combines a 1.5-kilometer swim that starts at D.T. Fleming Beach in front of the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, a 32-kilometer mountain bike that climbs 3,500 feet up and down the lower slopes of the West Maui Mountains, and finshies with a 10.5-kilometer trail run that traverses forest trails, and beach sand.
“We had a really hard day out there as always. So I just kept pushing hard all day. I just kept it positive. The course is really hard and brutal so even the best have a hard time out there.” said Duffy.
How the race was won
Duffy’s super fast swim of 19:15 over 1.5km was even faster than a lot of professional men, putting her in a 53 second lead over her nearest female rival. Never looking back, Bermuda’s pride and joy put the pedal to the metal and finished the 32km bike leg with a 1:41:01 split, pushing the gap to 3:40 over her strongest pursuer.
In the final 10.5km trail run, Duffy recorded her fourth straight win in the women’s fastest time of the day and crossed the finish line at 45:08 and over 2:47:48 in total. Chilean Olympian Barbara Riveros came in more than 8 minutes later, followed by Laura Philipp of Germany who completed the podium.
Duffy has now surpassed 3-time winners Julie Dibens of Great Britain and Melanie McQuaid of Canada and tied with XTERRA Men’s 4-time World Champion Conrad Stoltz of South Africa. Duffy’s XTERRA World Championship four-peat stands alone in the world of off-road triathlon.
Overall, Duffy’s time was the 13th best overall including the men and was just 15:38 behind Weiss’s men’s winning time – roughly 10 minutes better than the average difference between the men’s and women’s winners.
In the men’s race
Weiss began his day among the men’s top contenders in the swim, finishing at 19:21 swim split that was behind four men and one woman. Defending champion, Mauricio Mendez followed one second behind along with Ironman star Ben Hoffman of the U.S.
Although Weiss was not among the pre-race favourites at the World Championship, he put up a fast bike leg but was pipped by three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa of Spain into the second transition.
Even after recording the fastest run time of the day – 39:50 over 10.5km, defending champion Mauricio Mendez of Mexico could not make up the time gap from Weiss and had he managed to beat Ruzafa and settle into second place.
“I can’t believe it. I had the race of my life! This was the first time I ever made the lead swim pack. And Ruben pushed me so hard on the bike I fought back on the run with everything I had left. It was so hot, my left leg was cramping up and I was pretty much running on one leg.” said Weiss.
Weiss’ time was the third-best winning time at the Kapalua course, 5:20 behind Javier Gomez’s 2:26:50 in 2012.
The XTERRA World Championship race is the last in a series of more than 100 off-road triathlon races held in 30 countries and 38 U.S. States. The concept is to provide a bona-fide world championship for amateur and elite off-road triathletes. Professionals take home US$100,000 in prize money.
1. Bradley Weiss RSA S 19:21 B 1:28:46 R 41:40 TOT 2:32:10
2. Mauricio Mendez MEX S 19:22 B 1:32:01 R 39:50 TOT 2:33:25
3. Ruben Ruzafa ESP S 20:08 B 1:27:24 R 43:42 TOT 2:33:46
4. Francisco Serrano MEX S 19:28 B 1:30:216 R 42:43 TOT 2:34:30
5. Cedric Fleureton FRA S 21:04 B 1:29:52 R 41:15 TOT 2:34:51
6. Sam Osborne (NZL) S 19:21 B 1:31:56 T 42:48 TOT 2:36:23
7. Braden Currie (NZL) S 19:11 B 1:32:38 R 45:04 TOT 2:39:04
8. Josiah Middaugh (USA) S 22”17 B 1:30:51 R 44:01 TOT 2:39:33
9. Brice Daubord (FRA) 19:55 B 1:35:25 R 43:41 TOT 2:41:37
10. Rom Akerson (CRC) S 20:02 B 1:33:43 R 46:16 TOT 2:42:24
12. Ben Hoffman (USA) S 19:25 B 1:39:06 R 46:07 TOT 2:47:08
15: Ben Allen (AUS) S 19:10 B 1:39:18 R 48:46 TOT 2:49:41
1. Flora Duffy (BER) S 19:15 B 1:41:01 R 45:08 TOT 2:47:48
2. Barbara Riveros (CHL) S 20:08 B 1:46:23 R 47:01 TOT 2:56:12
3. Laura Philipp (GER) S 22:20 B 1:45:18 R 46:35 TOT 2:57:25
4. Brigitta Poor (HUN) S 22:46 B 1:44:48 R 51:35 TOT 3:02:37
5. Lesley Paterson (GBR) S 23:16 B 1:48:19 R 51:34 TOT 3:06:02
6. Suzie Snyder (USA) S 22:18 B 1:48:41 R 52:01 TOT 3:06:28
7. Elizabeth Orchard (NZL) S 23:17 B 1:49:25 R 51:05 TOT 3:06:41
8. Helena Karaskova (CZE) S 26:36 B 1:47:22 R 51:05 TOT 3:08:23
9. Carina Wasle (AUT) S 23:09 B 1:50:03 R 55:28 TOT 3:11:35
10. Emma Garrard (USA) S 24:25 B 1:53:51 R 51:22 TOT 3:12:46