The Many Sides of Lesley Paterson

May. 31, 2013

There’s never a dull moment in the life of Lesley Paterson.

To say the athlete, coach, producer, director, model, mentor, speaker, philanthropist, and entrepreneur is marvelously multifaceted would be an understatement.

Lesley PatersonSince finishing third in Richmond last June she has won every XTERRA she’s entered, including the USA and World Championship, and the XTERRA Philippines, West, and Southeast titles.

But that’s just XTERRA.

In the last three months alone the “Scottish Rocket” has done 13 races (3-XTERRA, 2-70.3’s, 3-pro mountain bike races, 4-running events, 1-Oly distance tri) and won nine of them.

And that’s just racing.

Lesley is also a film producer that recently signed a movie deal and has a reality series in the works; a coach that leads 27 athletes every week; a fitness guru who just shot a workout DVD; a beautiful model that graced the cover of three magazines recently; a volunteer at four charity events, a business woman who just inked a few new sponsors (including Paul Mitchell and Sony), and a corporate motivational speaker.

As the old saying goes, “if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.”

With all the things on her upcoming ‘to-do’ list one event sticks out above the rest. This July, Paterson is hosting a fully-funded three-day Braveheart Bootcamp triathlon challenge for young adults 18-to-22 who are at a crossroads in their lives and for participants from the Challenged Athletes Foundation.  The goal is to help them overcome fears and reach their full potential and ultimately compete in a race this October.  Beyond just the camp, the athletes will be teamed-up with adult mentors for an entire year.

“It’s so emotionally fulfilling to do these kinds of camps and it just puts everything in perspective.  For me, giving back and helping others embark on an emotional and physical journey like this is what it’s all about,” said Paterson.  “What’s funny is that you’d think that putting something like this on my schedule would add to the exhaustion, but it’s the opposite, it’s rejuvenating.”

On Tuesday Paterson will make her way to Richmond, Virginia for the 15th annual XTERRA East Championship race.  It is one of the few events she has yet to conquer. In her first year in the River City back in 2008 – still new to mountain biking – she placed 7th.  Last year, after “crashing all over the place” on the bike, she was 3rd.

“Really excited for another go at that course,” said Paterson, whose improvement on the mountain bike was highlighted by leaving world cup mountain bikers in the dust at a Pro XCT event earlier this year.  “Richmond is a tough course for me because there is not a lot of climbing and a bunch of tricky little sections.  I just plan to go out there, have a solid swim, be aggressive on the bike, and be within spitting distance of the leaders for the run.”

Should that plan succeed, the women’s field will be racing for second-place as Paterson is the best trail runner in the sport right now.  She might also be the best at personifying XTERRA’s motto - “Live More”

To read more about Lesley’s fabled background as a pint-sized Rugby player on an all boys’ team growing up in Scotland, check out Susan Grant Legacki’s terrific cover story featured in the May issue of LAVA Magazine.

There’s also a fun video of Les posted on, and for the really ambitious – you can try to keep up with the champ on her website,