Kieran McPherson from New Zealand and Fabiola Corona from Mexico captured the XTERRA Japan off-road triathlon elite titles in Marunuma on Sunday, September 15, 2019.
It’s the first win of the season for McPherson and the second in three weeks for Corona, who won at XTERRA Dominican Republic on September 1.
In the men’s elite race McPherson was up front from start to finish.
“The course is so good, it was easy to enjoy even though I was hurting,” said McPherson. “I had a good swim and tried to push the pace early on but the faster you go on this course the harder it is and the more mistakes you make, so today was more about riding smooth than fast.”
The 2018 XTERRA Pan Am Tour Champ posted the fastest swim in 17:02, was never challenged on the bike except for by the course itself and had the quickest run split by far to take the tape in 2:41:54, more than 14 minutes ahead of Japan’s Yoshitaka Nahakara in second.
“It’s good to be back at it, and I’m happy to come home with my first win of the season after not racing since May,” said McPherson. “XTERRA Japan put together a fantastic course, it’s amazing, and the hospitality here is incredible. I can’t thank Makoto and his team enough.”
Nakahara had the fastest bike split of the day and was able to hold off Alex Roberts from New Zealand on the run to finish in second, with Roberts in third another minute later.
“This was one of the best mountain bike courses I’ve ridden in XTERRA,” said Roberts. “I had a good first lap, but on the second lap Nakahara rode past me going really strong. And that trail run was brutal. I felt like I was going well but just ran out of room to catch him. It’s been a long New Zealand winter of injury for me so great to be back racing here in Japan. Now it’s time to relax, recover, and get ready for next weekend at XTERRA Kunming.”
Akihiko Maeda finished fourth and Yuan Keng Hsu fifth for the men.
Elite Men’s Results
|1||Kieran McPherson, NZL||2:41:54||75|
|2||Yoshitaka Nakahara, JPN||2:55:59||67|
|3||Alex Roberts, NZL||2:57:06||61|
|4||Akihiko Maeda, JPN||3:28:48||56|
|5||Yuan Keng Hsu, TWN||3:30:29||51|
|6||Yen-Ching Chiang, TWN||3:36:22||47|
In the women’s elite race Corona continued her incredible string of racing around the world. This was her third race in three weeks since winning in the Dominican Republic on Sept. 1 and finishing third at the XTERRA Pan Am Champs in Utah last Saturday.
Today she posted the fastest swim and bike times and strided home with the victory in 3:14:15, more than a minute ahead of Leela Hancox from Australia in second.
“XTERRA Japan is one of the best XTERRAs in the world because it’s an adventure race, and I suffered but enjoyed it,” said Corona. “The food here is in incredible, and the people are all so nice, and the location is amazing. I’m enjoying these moments.”
Corona heads to Kunming next for her fourth race in four weeks.
“I’m ready for China next weekend, and four races in a row will be tough, but I feel good, and the XTERRA Family gives me all the energy I need.”
For Hancox, the second place showing marks her best-ever performance as an XTERRA elite.
“Yup, best result since I started racing XTERRA so I’m very happy, and I’d like to think that’s a result of some good work leading into this one,” said Hancox, who posted the fastest run split of the day. “I loved the descents on the run, it was incredible coming down the river, what a fantastic course. And the bike here is phenomenally hard but so good.”
Mieko Carey, the 5x XTERRA Japan Champ, finished third in her return to the sport since giving birth to twins three years ago.
“I loved it and the weather was perfect, probably the best weather we’ve ever had here,” said Carey. “The trail was dry, and I was smiling the whole time. Everybody says Marunuma is like a power spot for the soul, and you could feel that today. It wasn’t my best race, but I’m in the best shape I’ve been in for a long time, so it feels great.”
The XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour culminates at the inaugural XTERRA Kunming off-road triathlon next Sunday, September 22, in the Yunnan Province of China.
Elite Women’s Results
|1||Fabiola Corona, MEX||3:14:15||75|
|2||Leela Hancox, AUS||3:15:49||67|
|3||Mieko Carey, JPN||3:43:02||61|
XTERRA ASIA-PACIFIC TOUR FINALE SUNDAY IN CHINA
The fifth and final stop on the 2019 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour takes place Sunday in Kunming. Both the men’s and women’s elite titles are up for grabs. Pros count their best three scores of the year, plus what they got (or didn’t get) at the Championship race earlier this year in Kenting, TW.
ASIA-PACIFIC TOUR ELITE STANDINGS, as of 9.15
|1||Sam Osborne, NZL||165||90||75||x||x|
|2||Brice Daubord, FRA||157||82||x||75||x|
|3||Yen-Ching Chiang, TWN||139||41||x||51||47|
|4||Ben Allen, AUS||131||75||56||x||x|
|5||Yuan Keng Hsu, TWN||131||37||x27||43||51|
|6||Maxim Chane, FRA||125||69||x||56||x|
|7||Chung-Yi Lin, TWN||121||31||x25||47||43|
|8||Lewis Ryan, NZL||114||63||51||x||x|
|9||Bradley Weiss, RSA||100||100||x||x||x|
|10||Brodie Gardner, AUS||86||53||33||x||x|
|11||Taylor Charlton, AUS||85||49||36||x||x|
|12||Kieran McPherson, NZL||75||x||x||x||75|
|13||Ryan Sissons, NZL||67||x||67||x||x|
|14||Cedric Fleureton, FRA||67||x||x||67||x|
|15||Yoshitaka Nakahara, JPN||67||x||x||x||67|
|16||Olly Shaw, NZL||61||x||61||x||x|
|17||Arthur Serrieres, FRA||61||x||x||61||x|
|18||Alex Roberts, NZL||61||x||x||x||61|
|19||Doug Hall, GBR||58||58||x||x||x|
|20||Akihiko Maeda, JPN||56||x||x||x||56|
|21||Sam Clark, NZL||47||x||47||x||x|
|22||Luke McKenzie, AUS||45||45||x||x||x|
|23||Cameron Paul, NZL||43||x||43||x||x|
|24||Flavio Vianna, NZL||39||x||39||x||x|
|25||Joe Miller, PHI||34||34||x||x||x|
|26||Clark Ellice, NZL||30||x||30||x||x|
|1||Penny Slater, AUS||167||100||67||x||x|
|2||Jacqui Allen, GBR||165||90||75||x||x|
|3||Carina Wasle, AUT||157||82||x||75||x|
|4||Fabiola Corona, MEX||144||69||x||x||75|
|5||Samantha Kingsford, NZL||136||75||61||x||x|
|6||Morgane Riou, FRA||119||63||56||x||x|
|7||Leela Hancox, AUS||116||49||x||x||67|
|8||Lydia Hale, NZL||105||58||47||x||x|
|9||Mieko Carey, JPN||61||x||x||x||61|
|10||Nicole Walters, GBR||53||53||x||x||x|
|11||Rachel Challis, NZL||51||x||51||x||x|
Here’s a look at who’s racing next week in China:
XTERRA Kunming Elite Start List - Men
XTERRA APAC Tour Rank – Name, NAT
2 - Brice Daubord, FRA
3 - Yen-Ching Chiang, TWN
4 - Ben Allen, AUS
5 - Yuan Keng Hsu, TWN
6 - Maxim Chane, FRA
7 - Chung-Yi Lin, TWN
12 - Kieran McPherson, NZL
18 - Alex Roberts, NZL
NR - Jacky Boisset, FRA
NR - David Escolar, ESP
NR - Ruben Ruzafa, ESP
XTERRA APAC Tour Rank – Name, NAT
1 - Penny Slater, AUS
2 - Jacqui Allen, GBR
3 - Carina Wasle, AUT
4 - Fabiola Corona, MEX
7 - Leela Hancox, AUS
NR - Myriam Guillot-Boisset, FRA
NR - Kate Bramley, AUS
NR - Johandri Leicester, RSA
NR - Elizabeth Orchard, NZL