More than 800 endurance athletes – including six physically challenged athletes – from 52 countries competed in the event, which started with a one-mile rough water swim at D.T. Fleming Beach, followed by a 20-mile mountain bike ride that traversed the West Maui Mountains, and finished with a tough 6.5-mile trail run in the hot sun. In total there was more than 4,000-feet of combined climbing on the technical bike and run courses.
However the women’s race was all about Flora Duffy. She led the swim, the bike, and the run for the women by a remarkable lead. By mile 15 on the bike, Duffy had an almost six-minute lead on runner up Barbara Riveros from Chile.
“I did my first XTERRA World Championship in 2013, and I can vividly remember almost falling over running on that beach down there,” said Duffy.
“So, to be here today after winning four in a row is pretty unbelievable and pretty crazy to think about where I started. It’s a very special day for me, and what made it even cooler was that Bradley Weiss – Bad Brad I like to call him – won his first world title [men’s elite race]. We’ve done a lot of training together over the years. He helped me in my final prep to Rotterdam and I would like to think I helped him today.”
The 2017 Xterra Chile Champion, Barbara Riveros was in second place for most of the race after a solid swim. She finished in 2:56:11, about eight minutes behind Duffy. Laura Philipp was third in 2:57:24.
“On the bike, Flora was on another level, we all know that,” said Riveros, a three-time Olympian, who missed the last two years at Maui because of injury. “I’m very happy to be at the finish in one piece and I’m happy to be back. I definitely need to spend more time on the mountain bike to get to the next level.”
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