XTERRA Warrior award winner Ben Allen from Australia and two-time XTERRA World Champion Lesley Paterson from Scotland captured the third edition of the XTERRA Philippines Championship at the seafront of Barangay Jubay in Liloan (Cebu Province) on Saturday.
For Allen the victory marks a successful title defense and fourth straight win in the Western Pacific having swept last year's Triple Crown of championship events in the Philippines, Saipan, and Guam.
"Very proud and honored to defend my title here in the Philippines, loved every minute of it," said Allen.
He needed every minute of it, too, as South Africa's Dan Hugo finished just 51 seconds back thanks to the fastest run split of the day.
"Thrilling event, in many ways," posted Hugo to his twitter account Saturday. "Two flat tires, a crash and a meltdown. Ran into lead, but lost to a class effort by Benny Allen."
It's Hugo's second straight second-place, having finished in same position at the XTERRA World Tour opener in South Africa last week.
2010 XTERRA Philippines Champion Sam Gardner from the UK posted the fastest bike split of the day to take third-place, with young-gun Bradley Weiss in fourth, and triathlon legend Olivier Marceau in fifth.
Marceau, a three-time Olympian who finished 2nd here in the Philippines last year, didn't arrive into Cebu until late Friday night due to travel delays.
2013 XTERRA Philippines Championship Results:
Cebu, Philippines - March 2, 2013
|Pro Men Results||Time||
|Pro Women Results||Time|
|Ben Allen, AUS||2:37:40||
|Lesley Paterson, GBR||2:45:41|
|Dan Hugo, RSA||2:38:31||
|Renata Bucher, SUI||3:00:03|
|Sam Gardner, GBR||2:48:19||
|Darelle Parker, GBR||3:17:03|
|Bradley Weiss, RSA||2:48:46||
|Jacqui Slack, GBR||3:55:21|
|Olivier Marceau, SUI||2:56:54||
In the women's race it was all Lesley Paterson, the recently crowned 2013 Off-Road Athlete of the Year, who posted the fastest bike and run times by far and finished 15 minutes ahead of 2012 Philippines Champ Renata Bucher, and third overall behind only Allen and Hugo.
"Just finished THE most epic XTERRA race ever," posted Paterson to her twitter account right after the race.
"My new On running shoes, SCOTT Sports bike, Enve Composites wheels, 2XU North America race suit, PowerBar gels took me to the win. XTERRA Philippines is seriously hard core, like nothing I've ever experienced. I almost ran over a chicken, a goat, a cow and plenty more."
Bucher, who said she was happy with second, added that it was "one of the hardest races ever, the heat was brutal!"
Jacqui Slack, who posted the fastest swim split but dealt with a series of mechanicals on the bike, toughed-out to take fourth with fellow Brit Darelle "Daz" Parker placing 3rd here for the second straight year.
"What a race, what a place. Lovely crowd support, amazing heat and a super tough race. Award ceremony was amazing too," said Parker, one of three female pros - along with Bucher and Carina Wasle - to have competed in all three Philippines races.
Wasle suffered bike mechanicals for the second straight year here in the Philippines, and while last year she was ultimately able to finish, this year she was not.
Next weekend the core of this elite group - minus only Paterson - will head to the Northern Marianas for next Saturday's XTERRA Saipan Championship race.
Next on the XTERRA World Tour: The XTERRA Philippines Championship race was the second world tour event to qualify amateur athletes into the XTERRA World Championship to be held in Kapalua, Maui (Hawaii) on October 27, 2013. Next up, the XTERRA Triple Crown in the Western Pacific continues with XTERRA Saipan next Saturday and XTERRA Guam on March 23. The first of two Maui qualifying events in New Zealand is also next weekend, with XTERRA Motatapu taking place on the South Island.
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