The XTERRA West Championship off-road triathlon proclaimed Conrad Stoltz and Shonny Vanlandingham victors at the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort, Hendersonm Nevada.
Stoltz retells how difficult the Vegas course was, with its steep uphills and downhills that could have easily daunted any athlete. “I rode as hard as I could today on this very rough and rocky and slippery desert surface.”
Stoltz took away the gold from Josiah Middaugh with a time of 2:06:47. The 39 second gap between the two was for the stop Middaugh had to make to fix a flat tire on his bike. Middaugh also recently recovered from an injury. “It felt really good out there and I think it’s safe to say that I’m back,” said Middaugh.
Rounding up the podium at third place was Brian Smith, who mirrored his performance this year with his results at the 2008 West Championship.
Seth Wealing took the fourth place and Nico Lebrun finished fifth. Lebrun was glad that he finished the race without any mechanical complications.
At sixth place was Cody Waite, Craig Evans came in seventh and amateur Jason Michalak finished eighth. Making a return from an injury last season was Trevor Glavin who claimed the ninth place.
In the women’s pro race, four minutes ahead of runner-up Melanie McQuaid was Shonny Vanlandingham who in 2:24:14 took the finish line.
Vanlandingham, a two-time XTERRA National Champion, sprinted on the bike the fastest at 1:17:45 to cope up for the time loss out of the water. Christine “Big Fish” Jeffrey led the women’s swimming and finished more than five and a half minutes ahead of Shonny V, while McQuaid was comfortably more than three minutes in front heading for her bike.
Vanlandingham thought she was the last pro out of the water and this worried her. However, she was able to catch up on the bike. She confided, “I caught McQuaid with about two miles left in the bike and we were within 30 seconds of each other at the bike-to-run transition so it set-up a nice battle on the run.”
As for McQuaid, she deemed the race a good fight and was glad for her second place finish. She is looking forward on getting into the right form for September and October events.
“I wasn’t feeling very good in the heat, which comes with high end fitness that I just don’t have that yet, and that’s by design so I’m happy that I was able to hold off the other girls,” said McQuaid.
Rounding up the top 5 are Lesley Paterson for third, Jeffrey at fourth place and Rosemarie Gerspacher of Canada at fifth.