2017 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship

Finishline photo at ITU Multisport World Championship Cross Triathlon

I won the 2017 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship Elite title.  I dedicate this to all of the ladies in my 40+ age-category and beyond.  Your best races are not behind you -unless you are certain you have done everything possible to maximize your potential already.  Not everyone sees the potential they have and takes the opportunity.  I hope to continue demonstrating being in your 40s is an advantage, not an obstacle.

I am ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion for the second time.

After a perfect day at the Penticton ITU Multisport World Championship I took my fifth world title in off-road racing.  Mountain biking allowed me to become a professional athlete and triathlon gave me a viable career.  I have so much gratitude for everyone at XTERRA, the ITU, and all of the local off-road bike, run, and triathlon race organizers for supporting off-road racing.  Thank you!

Read more for my story… or here is a media report from Triathlon World for another perspective and the men’s story.

 

Finishline photo at ITU Multisport World Championship Cross Triathlon
2017 ITU Cross Triathlon World Champion

I was so proud.

To be on the podium with Jacqui Allen from Great Britain and Ladina Buss from Switzerland was such an honor.   I admire and respect the offroad girls so much.  Anyone who did not have the day they hoped should know that I am acutely aware of how painful the disappointment of a poor performance is.  Coming back from injury and/or disappointment is immensely satisfying and worth the struggle.

Cycling at the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship
Jacqui and I worked well together early on the bike.

A valuable lesson.

I realized that is is easier to find the “zone” in off road racing.  The course can demand all of your attention, so you stay mostly focused on the course, rather than your competitors.  This frees your mind to stay in the present, the process, and on yourself -maximizing your potential.  I have had some long course races almost in the zone but none like I have experienced off-road.  Without exception, the best race performances feel so easy and effortless and yet it is so difficult to reproduce the mindset and the form that allows those races.  It is amazing when you have that kind of day.

mountain bike penticton three blind mice trails
The trails were technical and fun.

Thank you.

Thanks to Michael Brown, Executive Director for Penticton 2017, for convincing me to race on Wednesday.  I owe him more than a few beverages for this and for his commitment to pro athletes in Canada.  We are so damn lucky to have him organizing awesome races.  Go race Great White North Triathlon.  Not racing this year is one of my huge regrets as I know we should always support race directors that support us.

Michael Brown ITU MUltisport World Championship
When the Executive Director is as excited as you are.  📸 Leslie Battle.

Good legs on the day allowed me to make the most of a World Championship course that suited me perfectly.  The video and photographs really show the area but don’t do the technical trails justice.

Running in the water ITU Multisport World Championship run.
I don’t know if the frankencankle was entirely prepared for this nasty little section on the run. I flipped my glasses up to see a bit better and promptly hit a tree and lost them.

I’m undefeated at XTERRA and ITU cross triathlon events in Canada. However, the great Jamie Whitmore beat me at an XTC local offroad triathlon in Campbell River in 2003.  I won XTERRA Canada that year and have won every other race since, but for the record, Jamie Whitmore is the only woman to beat me in Canada ☺

Thank you to the community of Penticton and all of the volunteers.  Thank you to the Dietrichs for hosting me (see ya Saturday🙋), Christine Cogger for babysitting me, and the rest of the age-group and professional off road community for welcoming me back.  It has been too long.

My coach and friend Kelly Guest.

I love seeingKelly’s Kids Triathlon and Livefit Coaching alumni Holly Henry with the junior world title.  My entire squad back in Victoria can take some confidence that their coach Kelly Guest is building the foundation for world class future performances and sport for life (which it seems I am taking quite literally😆).

Some thoughts on Sponsorship.

Thank you to Champion System, Powerbar, and Shimano for supporting me again in 2017 after my terrible year last year.

Thanks to Jamie Grimes at Synergy Wellness.  My TWICE WEEKLY visits are easily how I got back from my ankle injury.  Marcus at Leftcoast Health you are a wizard.  Thank you Kelly at Livefit Coaching for unwavering belief in my ability to come back.   Rudy Project, Asics Canada, and Blueseventy are great friends and supporters helping me continue my campaign to skew the bar curve as far as possible.  Hopefully female athletes behind me find a clear path of support and performance well into their 40s.

I am fortunate to still have sponsors after 18 months of injury, not only because I was injured, but also because many companies don’t think women past 40 are worth supporting.  In triathlon, I see advertising with men past 40 but not really with women.  I bet most women that can afford to go all in on triathlon, especially in Ironman, are past 40 so I wonder if this even makes marketing sense.

Let’s celebrate pro women staying in the sport for a long time.  I feel pushed towards forced retirement but still I persist… LOL!  Female athletes are performing at the highest level far past an age that is considered the norm (Gunn Rita Dahle, Sabine Spitz, and Jo Pavey to name a few Olympians).  So often women don’t find support to continue pushing those boundaries because it is unusual still.  I was led to the “coaches area” at the elite meeting before the race.   HAHAHAHA!!!!  Thank you to the companies who believe in us 40+ chicks.

MC doesn’t like me to post about him but I am still mentioning how much I love him and his whole extended family in Kelowna. Thanks baby, for keeping me between the ditches.  His brother David raced in the open wave and now he’s hooked so we are all going to have to go Maui to support him next year!  YAY!

I was stoked to have fellow Canadian Katelyn Button set second fastest bike split to take fifth and get emotional thinking about her support and friendship.  You’re the best Buttons.  Danelle retired but has been a main character in helping me become a runner almost, but still not, as fast as she was in XTERRA.  And lastly, our little Jennie who is the best all around athlete and person I know was the first person freaking out and blowing up my phone about her two super fast friends.  Friends are everything in this life and I have grateful for lifelong friends from cross triathlon.

I’m racing again before I get ITU tattoo glue completely off my arms.  Next up is the long course race on Sunday.  I am going to have a lot of fun doing what I do well at a big race in my home country.

I am sorry that I focused on the singletrack on the bike so intently I forgot to turn on the Shimano action camera.  No footage!  Here is an Instagram of some preriding:

Fun day riding the @itumultisport #crosstri course. Great #BFF reunion with @katelynbutton and @cwidney. Thanks @macsport for showing us the way. We had a fun biker #squad with @krissneddon and my kelowna crew all pounding that downhill testing the suspension. Almost 20' continuous descending!!! This is the dream World Championship course for a strong mountain 🚵🏻 biker. It reminds me of the @xterraoffroad race in Keystone Colorado – only 9500 feet lower 😂👌🏻. It is so fun. It's really refreshing to come out of off-road triathlon retirement for two weeks to race in my home country. Here's hoping it's a good warm up for Sunday's long course race smashing it up this hill👊🏻 #crosstri #triathlon #video #threeblindmicetrails #girlswhoridebikes #mountainbike #wymtm 📹 @rideshimano

A post shared by Melanie MCQUAID (@racergirlmel) on

And here is a YOUTUBE of some of the race highlights:

 

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