New Zealand’s Scott Thorne and Nicola Leary won the men’s and women’s pro races at the eighth annual XTERRA New Zealand Championship in Rotorua today.
Leary, a mountain bike specialist from Raetihi, took the women’s title thanks to a 17 minute swim, a 1:24:22 (fastest of the day) bike, and a 53:22 run for a total time of 2:34:44.
“When I got to the bike racks mine was the only bike left on the rack – at that stage I knew I had a lot of work to do,” confessed Leary to the XTERRA Media. “I have been focusing solely on mountain biking really so as soon as I got to the single track I just let rip, I knew I had to get a good lead for the run so I just nailed it.” Leary leaves for Europe next week to compete in the Mountain Biking World Cup circuit, aiming to qualify for the New Zealand Olympic Mountain Biking team.
Thorne, a new father, overcame sleepless nights and the flu to win his first XTERRA championship, in 2:13:31 (14:13 swim, 1:14:55 bike, and the fastest run of 44:23).
“I’m really stoked to be able to complete my set of medals,” Thorne said to the XTERRA Media. “I got third in 2008 and second last year so to come here and take the win is just awesome. Things felt right from the get-go really – I was very pleased with my swim and then as soon as I hit the bike everything just clicked.”
XTERRA competitors swam 1 km, mountain biked 29 km, and finished with an 11 km trail run.
Top 5 Women
1. Nicola Leary 2:34:44
2. Monique Avery 2:36:26
3. Rebecca Rae 2:39:09
4. Suzie Wood 2:39:27
5. Elizabeth Orchard 2:44:12
Top 5 Men
1. Scott Thorne 2:13:31
2. Mark Leishman 2:14:30
3. Michael Poole 2:18:05
4. Axel Reiser 2:20:47
5. Cameron Durno 2:22:18
Full XTERRA individual results can be found here.