Triathlete Europe - The world's best off-road triathletes--725 of them, including 65 pros--gathered on Maui's northwest shore on Sunday, Oct. 28, for the Xterra World Championship that included a 1.5K rough water swim, 30K bike ride that climbed more than 3,000 feet into the West Maui mountains, and a 10K trail run that finished with a stretch of deep beach sand. London Olympics silver medalist Javier Gomez of Spain captured the men's world title in his Xterra debut, and Scot Lesley Paterson executed a flawless race to defend the title she first earned here a year ago.
The race kicked off under cloudy skies, calm winds and with smaller-than-anticipated surf after the tsunami warning the day before left race organizers and racers alike wondering what the impact, if any, might be from the earthquake near Canada that generated the risk.
Both champions had been evacuated from their hotels the day before--Paterson sleeping most of the night in her rental car, and Gomez stuck in a parking lot until 2 a.m. The tsunami alerts were lifted in the early morning hours, and the surf was strong but not what had been feared for the day.