XTERRA’s first-ever World Champion, Aussie Michellie Jones, was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame on Thursday. She’s just the second triathlete to be inducted, following another XTERRA legend (and your master of ceremonies next weekend) Greg Welch.
Jones was part of one of the most exciting women’s races ever that first year in 1996. She was the first woman out of the water that day but her lead didn’t last. She was picked off on the trails by Shari Kain whose expertise on the mountain bike earned her a seven-minute lead over Jones by the time she hit T2. But Michellie did not give up easily, and she chipped away at Shari’s lead and pulled alongside her only 800-meters from the finish. The two ran together across Wailea Beach and in the final steps of the race Michellie inched away to take the first ever XTERRA World Championship by only 12 seconds.
Beyond XTERRA, Jones is arguably the most successful, and certainly the most diverse female triathlete of all-time. She won a silver medal in the first-ever Olympic triathlon event, won an Ironman World Championship in 2006, two ITU World Championships, and dozens of iconic races from the Chicago triathlon to Escape from Alcatraz.