Shonny Vanlandingham courtesy XTERRA Mexico

Perez, Corona win XTERRA Mexico

Irving Perez and Fabiola Corona captured the XTERRA Mexico Championship in Tapalpa last weekend. It’s the first-ever championship race win for Perez and the third (second in a row) for Corona.

More than 600 racers took part in one of the World Tour’s most festive events.

“Great race, great fun,” said Rachel Challis, a pro from New Zealand who finished third on the day.  “Everyone was so nice, we had an amazing time.  And that mountain bike course was crazy, but really fun!”

Corona, who won her first Mexico title in 2010, had a high praise for the new race location in Tapalpa.   “It was great! New place and race venue near last one. The name is Los Reflejos. Incredible view, mountains, forest, excellent weather, valleys with good horses and cows, even wild boars.”

The day started with a two-lap swim that went through two different lakes and featured four exits.  They ruled it a non-wetsuit swim for pros, and that might have made all the difference for two-time Mexico Champ Shonny Vanlandingham (pictured above courtesy XTERRA Mexico).

“I froze!” exclaimed the former World Champ.  “I wore my swim speed suit for entire bike and really didn’t warm up till the run.”

Vanlandingham still finished 2nd and you can read her full account of the day at lunachix.com.

Corona caught swim leader Christine “Big Fish” Jeffrey, who ended up in fourth on the day, on the bike course and never looked back.

“I felt strong on the bike course with my new Fate S-works by Specialized,” said Corona.  “All my family and friends were there so I was pretty motivated. The run was two laps with a river crossing, trails going up and down, it was súper nice. I love this place and course.  Nothing better than having Mariachis at the finish line.”

Challis, who was visiting XTERRA Mexico for the first time, said the whole experience was excellent.

“Even my kids had an absolute blast, playing with match sticks that sparked in the centre square of Tapalpa for hours! The awards party was amazing. I especially like Leo (Moreno), one of the organizers. His smile and welcoming personality would attract anyone to the race.”

Two-time men’s winner and long-time XTERRA racer Francisco Serrano, who placed 3rd overall, said Perez and Sarmiento were just too tough.

“Those guys were pretty fast all-around, I didn’t have the bike legs and altitude kills me very time in there,” said Serrano.  “Great new venue in Tapalpa, and if you weren’t at the after-party – you missed it!”

Photos from XTERRA Mexico

Top 5 Pro Men
1 Irving Perez, MEX 2:22:49
2 Sergio Sarmiento, MEX 2:27:15
3 Francisco Serrano, MEX 2:28:48
4 Pablo Voigt, MEX 2:30:46
5 Fabian Villanueva, MEX 2:33:13
Top 5 Pro Women
1 Fabiola Corona, MEX 2:45:47
2 Shonny Vanlandingham, USA 2:58:50
3 Rachel Challis, NZL 3:00:59
4 Christine Jeffrey, CAN 3:02:55
5 Adriana Garcia, MEX 3:21:31

ALL-TIME XTERRA MEXICO CHAMPIONS
2014 (Tapalpa) Irving Perez, Fabiola Corona
2013 (Tapalpa) Leonardo Chacon, Fabiola Corona
2012 (Tapalpa) Francisco Serrano, Renata Bucher
2011 (Tapalpa) Seth Wealing, Shonny Vanlandingham
2010 (Valle de Bravo) Seth Wealing, Fabiola Corona
2009 (Valle de Bravo) Seth Wealing, Shonny Vanlandingham
2006 (Puerto Vallarta) Francisco Serrano, Jamie Whitmore