FLORA DUFFY WINS A RECORD 4TH XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN A ROW

Flora Duffy wins XTerra
Flora Duffy, shown winning the 2016 Xterra World Championships, produced another superb performance for her 4th XTerra World Champions in a row 

Flora Duffy continued her astonishing season with another totally dominant display in the Xterra World Championships in Maui today, Sunday 29th October. Flora established another record by winning four world championships in a row, the only athlete to have achieved that feat.

Flora emerged from the water with the leading men in just over 19 minutes with Chilean Barbara Riveiros a minute back and the other leading contenders such as Laura Philipp of Germany a further two minutes back. Once on the bike Flora extended her lead in near perfect course conditions and by T2 had almost 5 minutes on Rivieros. Flora then maintained her lead to the finish and once again beat a large number of the male professionals. Rivieros came in 2nd with Laura Philipp in 3rd.

To add to the day, Bradley Weiss of South Africa, one of Flora’s training partners and close friend of her fiance, Dan Hugo won a very tight men’s race holding off last year’s winner Mauricio Mendez who produced a very strong run to move through the field on to the podium with former winner Ruben Rufaza in 3rd.

As she has done all season, Flora showed that she is strong in all three disciplines and led from start to finish in a performance that more than matched her leading from the front record setting performances on the ITU World Series circuit this season. Repeating as both  ITU World Series and XTerra champion in such competitive fields has already established Flora as one of the legends of the sport at the age of thirty.

Flora will now race in Thailand in her first long distance road race in Ironman 70.3 Thailand. Many think that Flora’s extraordinary mental and physical strength are ideally suited for this type of long distance racing so her debut in this race is eagerly anticipated.

MAJOR CORRECTION : ASHLEY ESTWANIK WAS THE WOMENS’ NATIONAL OLYMPIC DISTANCE TRIATHLON CHAMPION AND NOT ALLISON PETTY

ashley-estwanik
Ashley Estwanik

My apologies to Ashley Estwanik and Allison Petty for this oversight. I am travelling and was relying on the results posted on Bermuda Timing which showed Allison Petty as the womens’ champion. I did query the result as I understood from Ashley that she was racing and from Allison that she was on a team,  but I did not hear back.

MY PREVIOUS BLOG POST HAS NOW BEEN AMENDED !!

Thanks to Jen Wilson for the correction.

GEOFF SMITH AND ASHLEY ESTWANIK TAKE NATIONAL OLYMPIC DISTANCE TITLES

Geoff Smith XL Catlin 2017
GEOFF SMITH CROSSES THE LINE TODAY TO TAKE THE 2017 MEN’S NATIONAL TRIATHLON TITLE

Geoff Smith rolled back the years and defending champion Ashley Estwanik again dominated to take the 2017 XL Catlin Olympic Distance National Triathlon 2017 titles today ( Sunday 29th Ocotber).

51 year old Geoff used his excellent swim / run to give himself enough of a cushion over his nearest rivals going into the 10km run to hold off the fast finishing Corey Brunton. Steve Smith lost time on the swim to Geoff but matched him on the 40km bike with both of them posting sub 63 minute times. However Steve dropped back on the run and was eventually passed by Corey but held on for a solid 3rd place podium finish.

Geoff, who finished in 2:14:07, also had to contend with a fast closing Ashley Estwanik who not only took overall female honours but also finished an impressive 2nd overall less than a minute behind Geoff and almost repeating last year’s 1st place overall finish. Ashley exited the water in 26 min 05 secs just 2 seconds ahead of Maddie Durkin, who finished 2nd in last week’s National Sprint Championships. However, once on the bike Ashley wasted no time in dropping her rival with a quick 1:06:31 bike split to Maddie’s 1:15:03. As expected, she then ran one of the fastest times of the day ( 40:54) to win comfortably in 2:14:56. Maddie was a solid 2nd, and 8th overall, in 2:28:50 with Becky Shepherd 3rd in 2:32:47.

For full results and swim / bike /run splits and age group, team and junior results use the link on this blog to Bermuda Timing.

 

FLORA STARTS AS FIRM FAVORITE FOR XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Such has been the focus on Flora’s performances in the ITU World Series this season that you would be forgiven for forgetting that Flora is also the queen of XTerra racing, having won the past three world championships. And this Sunday, 29th October, Flora will once again swap her road bike for a mountain bike as she goes for her 4th win in a row.

Flora has astonished the world of triathlon by the margin of her victories in ITU racing but over the past few years her winning margin in these XTerra championships has been even more astonishing. Last year, for example, she produced the fastest swim, bike and run and in the process beat 25 of the men’s elite field finishing the the 1 mile swim, 20 mile bike and 6.5 mile run in 3 hrs 15 minutes. Former winner Lesley Paterson of Scotland finished 2nd ten minutes back in 3 hrs 25 mins.

Although Flora will start as the favorite XTerra racing is also unpredictable in particular as the bike leg in this format is far more likely to produce mechanical problems or crashes. Touch wood, Flora will avoid those two scenarios on Sunday.

Flora Duffy wins XTerra
FLORA DUFFY WILL BE LOOKING FOR HER 4TH CONSECUTIVE MAUI CROWN ON SUNDAY

Flora’s focus this year has been on ITU racing and on Sunday she will come up against a host of talented triathletes who have been racing the international triathlon circuit all season and will be race hardened. However, Flora’s absence from the circuit should not affect her performance as she is renowned for her bike handling skills and has had time since Rotterdam to hone those skills before these championships.

Nevertheless this year’s women’s championships has attracted a particularily strong field and two athletes stand out in that field :

Lesley Paterson has been one of the most consistent athletes at these championships having won it twice and finished 2nd four times in her last 7 attempts. Paterson has battled Lyme Disease and other issues over the past years but the Scottish Rocket is known as a tough competitor and wants that crown back.

Laura PHILIP
LAURA Philipp

Laura Philipp of Germany, better known as an Ironman 70.3 racer, has been the surprise package in XTerra racing this year as she appeared at XTerra France, her only XTerra race to date, and took the title with the second fastest swim, fastest bike and fastest run to beat established XTerra Tour stars Brigitta Poor and Helena Karaskova by eight minutes. Philipp finished an impressive 3rd at Ironman 70.3 Worlds this year and won four other 70.3 races so comes into this race with very impressive road credentials and clearly the endurance qualities needed to succeed in this type of racing. Since 70.3 Worlds she had focused solely on her preparation for this race and may pose the biggest challenge yet to Flora.

Others to watch will be Susie Snyder of the USA, 3rd last year, Helen Karaskova, who took the European tour title in September after four wins and Brigitta Poor, who won 6 races in Europe this season including the European Championships in Denmark. This will be her first appearance in Maui.

After alot of rain, the course conditions this year are likely to be especially tough with practice on the bike course being cancelled ealrier this week. Follow the action on Sunday on  http://www.xterramaui.com starting at 9AM Hawaii time which is 4PM Bermuda time.

Ironman 70.3 New Orleans cancelled

triathlon bad weather
New Orleans Ironman 70.3 competitors were spared from these conditions as the event was cancelled 

There was real disappointment for Ashley Cooper and Phil Mace as a severe weather forecast resulted in the cancellation of the Ironman 70.3 New Orleans on Sunday ( 22nd October).

With 60mph winds, hail and electrical storms forecast the organisers had no choice but to cancel the race.

The New Orleans race has had its fair share of weather problems including being turned into a duathlon in both 2011 and 2012 but had gone ahead as planned from 2013-2016.

 

ZOEY AND WENDA ROBERTS COMPLETE IRONMAN MIAMI 70.3

Last Sunday’s ( 22nd October) Ironman 70.3 Miami fetured two Bermuda triathletes.

Competing in the  40-44 Age Group , Zoe Roberts finished  in 6:14:34.

Zoe emerged from the 1.2 mile swim in 40th place in her age group in 55 min 11 sec but by the end of the 56 mile bike she had moved up to 15th with a time of 3 hrs 41 sec. Zoe then fell back three places on the run with a 2:11:57 for the 13.1 miles to finish a strong 18th in her age group.

wenda roberts
Wenda’s  bike ability helped her with a strong result on Sunday

Wenda  finished an impressive 5th in her 50-59 age group . Wenda  set herself up for a strong race as she was 5th after the swim in 51:07. A renowned cyclist on the local bike scene, she then moved into 3rd with a 3:04:26 bike. Her efforts took their toll in the run as Wenda clocked  2:48:16 to finish in 6:49:00.

Potts and Smith master the elements to win Aon National Sprint Triathlon titles

In very tough conditions Alan Potts and Karen Smith took overall male and female honours respectively in the 2017 Aon National Sprint Triathlon Championships.

Alan POTTS Aon 2017
Alan Potts took the overall men’s title. Photo courtesy of Island Stats

Potts, who has consistently been in the top 5 in recent local events, took his first major title to win the 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run in 1 hr 4 secs to hold off Geoff Smith ( 1: 01:26), and another 50-59 athlete, former national champion Neil de ste Croix ( 1:02:02).

Karen Smith aon 2017
Karen Smith adds another title to her impressive list of national championship titles. Photo courtesy of Island Stats.

Karen Smith once again became national female champion finishing 7th overall in 1:05:08 ahead of the ever improving Maddy Durkin who despite crashing on the wet roads came home 2nd in 1:08:02. Becky Shepherd completed the top three in 1:12:13.

There were some close races for age group honours with Steve Petty ( 1:17:04) holding off a fast finishing Charlie Duffy (1:17:08) by four seconds for 60+ honours.

Maria Duffy had an impressive time of 1:20:33 to take the female 60+ title.

Other winners were :

Female Age Group

Rebecca Harrison (16_19), Maddie Durkin ( 30-39), Karen Smith (40-49), Sharon CRAIG (50-59)

Male Age Group

Alan Potts ( 30 – 39), Steve Smith ( 40 – 49 )

First across the line and winners of the team open category were Team Potato in 58:10 with Jacks, Yorst, Jenks taking female team honours and Aon appropriately the first company team.

The Tri – a Tri winners were Stacey Hoyle and Garth Fleming

The poor weather conditions meant a number of individuals and teams did not make the start line and the wet roads also took their toll with pre race favorite Matt Thompson having to withdraw after  suffering a hairline crack to his fibula in a bike crash. Liz Stewart, who has been racing so well this season and very promising junior Tommy Marshall were two others who crashed on the bike and were unable to finish.