Bermuda’s own World Champion Triathlete is back on a record-setting track with making history, once again, to become the first elite athlete to win five XTERRA World Championships when she won on Sunday.
Reclaiming her crown in Kapalua, Hawaii, Duffy finished the swim in 21:19, just over two minutes ahead of US competitor Amanda Felder, with Britanny Oliver; also of the US, a further 30 seconds behind.
Once out of the water, Duffy led the pack through to the end.
According to “Bradley Weiss from South Africa and Flora Duffy from Bermuda captured the 24th XTERRA World Championship off-road triathlon elite titles on a beautiful day at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Maui’s northwest coast.
“It’s the second title in three years for Weiss, who won it in 2017 and was second last year, and the unprecedented fifth XTERRA World Championship crown for Duffy, who won four straight from 2014-2017 before sitting out last year due to injury.
“Both earned $20,000 for their respective victories, their share of the $100,000 elite purse.

“In the women’s race it was Duffy all day long with the fastest swim, bike, and run times to take the tape in 2:49:23. With the win Duffy becomes the first elite – male or female – to win a 5th XTERRA World Championship, and she’s now won her last 12 XTERRA races and 17 of 20 since 2013.

Winning Photo Courtesy of XTERRA

“She had the fastest swim by over a minute, the fastest bike split by almost six minutes and the fastest run time by about three minutes,.

“This is especially impressive given that she spent most of this year focusing on getting healthy after suffering a tear in her post-tibial tendon, which attaches the bones in her calf muscle to the bones on the inside of her foot.”

After the race, Ms Duffy said: “Getting healthy has been the main thing this year. So it’s great to win the XTERRA World title in a year that has otherwise been quite disappointing.

“This is a huge, lovely highlight to end my year with.

“I felt pretty good coming out of the water and tried not to extend myself too much. On the bike, I knew I had to make the most of that first, three-mile climb because after that, the course gets technical, and that’s not really my strength.

“Despite the slick conditions, Duffy opened up a significant lead before the bike the run transition,” she added.

“During the run, I tried not to allow myself to say, ‘I’m going to win this,’ because this is XTERRA and anything can happen. However, once I got off the beach and headed towards the finish, it was a great feeling to know that I was going to win.

“It was stressful coming into XTERRA this year, because no one has ever won five XTERRA World titles. It’s a great feeling to be the first person to do that.”

Duffy crossed the finish line in a winning time of 2:49:24, ahead of Paterson, who finished in 3:03:36, followed by Karaskova Erbenova in 3:04:38, to reclaim the title she won from 2014 to 2017, when she relinquished her crown due to an injury.

Going into the race, she told Triathlonlive’s website that she was “a bit more nervous than normal this week”.

“I’ve been in a lot of high pressure races, so it’s not unusual for me, but the thought of winning something for a fifth time and being the only one to do it is pretty mind-blowing.

“I had a great swim, but the first lap of the bike was pretty slippy because it had rained a lot.

“I just tried to keep up and steady and then head into the run and try and enjoy it a little.”

The elite triathlete is due to return to Bermuda briefly next month before heading off to Stellenbosch, South Africa to begin preparing for the Olympic Games next summer in Tokyo.

  • Top Feature Photo Courtesy of Bermuda Memes