Due in part to a punctured tire on her bike, Paterson started the run course in fourth place – nearly six-and-a-half minutes behind then-leader Melanie McQuaid. Paterson quickly ran down the three women in front of her, fell flat on her face less than a mile from the finish, and still managed to take the women’s title by more than two minutes.
“I felt really good,” said Paterson, who is originally from Scotland, but now resides in San Diego, Calif. “I was so angry because I punctured on the bike, and I think that anger helped me to really sort of knuckle down and go as hard as I could and see where the chips would fall.”
Paterson, 31, finished with a time of 2:45:59, including a run time of 43:54, which was nearly three minutes faster than any of the other females. Her run time was the same as Weiss, and was topped by only 12 other males in the entire field.
“I had pre-run the course a lot,” she said. “I came out 10 days early just to make sure I knew the course really well, especially the run for me because that’s where I thought I could win it.”
Like Weiss, it was a breakthrough win for Paterson. She had three previous top-10 finishes, including a runner-up showing in 2009. She got so excited after passing McQuaid late in the run course that she fell on the rocks leading to the stretch run on D.T. Fleming Beach.
“What happens is your heart rate is super high, it’s at the end of the race, you’re dehydrated and your legs are not quite sure what you’re doing with them,” Paterson said. “And I just got in the lead, so you’re kind of nervous with anticipation.”
McQuaid had a large lead after the bike, but could not complete the race due to exhaustion. She collapsed just a few hundred yards from the finish line, and had to be assisted off the course. She said she was okay a few hours after the race.
Marion “Bubu” Lorblanchet of France took second with a time of 2:48:08. She also got passed by the roadrunner legs of Paterson during the run.
“On the run, I was good, then I see ‘beep, beep’ and it was Lesley,” Lorblanchet said. “I think it was not possible for me to follow her.
“I’m very happy because it was a good race for me. Last year, I was third, this year second, so maybe next year?”
Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic capped an impressive XTERRA rookie season with a third place showing at Worlds. She finished with a time of 2:51:51 in her first appearance on Maui. Erbenova is a former Olympic cross country skier.
Renata Bucher of Switzerland placed fourth in 2:52:02, and Danelle Kabush of Canada was fifth in 2:54:35.
Paterson and Weiss each received $20,000 for the victory. A total purse of $100,000 was awarded.
Shonny Vanlandingham, who won the 2010 XTERRA World Championship, did not compete this year due to a knee injury. Julie Dibens, the 2007, 2008 and 2009 women’s champ, also did not compete due to a foot injury.
1 Lesley Paterson 31 San Diego, Calif. (Scotland) 2:45:59 $20,000
2 Marion Lorblanchet 28 Clermont Ferrand, France 2:48:08 $12,000
3 Helena Erbenová 32 Czech Republic 2:51:51 $7,000
4 Renata Bucher 34 Lucerne, Switzerland 2:52:02 $4,000
5 Danelle Kabush 36 Calgary, Alberta, Canada 2:54:35 $2,500
6 Erin Densham 26 Melbourne, Australia 2:57:46 $1,500
7 Sara Tarkington 30 Boulder, Colorado 2:57:59 $1,000
8 Emma Garrard 30 Park City, Utah 2:58:42 $800
9 Brandi Heisterman 36 Brackendale, B.C., Canada 3:03:39 $600
10 Jessica Noyola 29 San Diego, California 3:04:25
11 Brigitta Poor 22 Sopron, Hungry 3:06:56
12 Kelley Cullen 31 New Castle, Colorado 3:07:15
13 Adriana Fabiola Corona 31 Mexico City, Mexico 3:08:54
14 Manuela Vilaseca 32 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 3:17:57
15 Suzie Snyder 29 Stafford, Virginia 3:19:18