In the men’s race it was chaos from the start with four top-level elites all exiting the 1.5km swim together. Ben Allen registered the fastest split in 18:06.
Allen was strong on the bike and looked comfortable until he suffered a flat tire which he wasn’t able to fix and was forced to ride it 10km into the transition area before heading out on the run.
Allen said, “I’m bummed I couldn’t challenge for the title today, I felt strong and was prepared to do anything to hurt more than the others today!”
Next time for me, that’s sport and I’ll be back for sure!” Allen said.
In the women’s race Jacqui Allen was able to erase the memories of a crash during the bike in Danao that left her unable to finish and shaking her head. It turns out, the rest required from that mishap might have been just what the doctor ordered.
“I’m thrilled. I guess a little bit of forced rest does me good,” smiled Allen, who twisted her arm and banged up her elbow and toe in the fall a few weeks ago.
Indeed, the former XTERRA Warrior award winner seems to thrive on adversity. “I was sort of happy that the rain came down, as I seem to go well in muddy adverse conditions,” she explained. “There was a solid female field here and I knew it would take a perfect race to take the win. I had a good swim exiting first with Samantha (Kingsford) hot on my heels.”
Kingsford, who was second to Allen at XTERRA New Zealand, took the early lead on the bike but then the course start climbing.
“As we hit the first hill I rode away,” said Allen. “I technically rode well but did have a few minor offs through a couple of the creaks. It was tough out there and the mud zapped your energy. Still, I loved it.”
All the while Lesley Paterson was working, but she came out of the water two-minutes behind Allen and lost another two minutes on the bike.
“When I came off the bike I heard I had a 5-minute lead, but knew that may not be enough to keep Lesley at bay,” said Allen. “I thought if I could make it to the 5k mark I might stand a chance.”
Allen not only made it to the 5k mark, she made it to the 10k mark and took the tape in 3:12:15, more than two-minutes ahead of Paterson.
“I’m delighted to take the win here in Tahiti again,” she said. “It’s such a fantastic event with super volunteers and a passionate crew with a fantastic course and the most stunning scenery. It really is a world class event.”