XTERRA winners not affected by rain

FROM STAFF REPORTS

PELHAM —  For the first time in six years, a face other than Conrad Stoltz’s posed for cameras in the winner circle of the XTERRA Southeast Championships May 18 at Oak Mountain State Park.

Instead, it was Vail, Colorado’s Josiah Middaugh who took first in the Pro Division when Stoltz dropped out of the race with a calf injury. Middaugh was able to close on the lead pack on the bike section of the event, eventually taking the lead in the run section.

“I asked if (Stoltz) was OK and he said his leg was hurting,” wrote Middaugh in a release.” When I came around the second lap to the finish he was there cheering me in.  He’s a good sport.”

In the Women’s Pro Division, Lesley Paterson came back from four separate bicycle crashes to take the overall victory.  Paterson, from San Diego, beat Melanie McQueen to the finish line by four seconds to claim her second-straight win at Oak Mountain.

Paterson said the rain-induced slick conditions affected how she approached the course.

“I was really nervous coming in because I’ve never ridden in slippery conditions like this in Southern California,” she wrote in a release. “The roots, those things are buggers, you hit them at the wrong angle and you’re off.”

In the 43K run held the following day, Huntsville’s Brandon Mader took the Men’s Division with a time of 3:01:43, finishing nearly 20 minutes ahead of second place Dink Taylor.

It was the first time Mader had raced since participating in the Boston Marathon on April 15.

“The last couple of weeks of training I thought about Boston a lot, “ he wrote in a release. “I was excited to get out here, get on the line and run, take a step away from the tragedy that happened out there.”

Ashley Dailey of Tallahassee captured the women’s division with a time of 3:53:28.

“It was fun. I loved it,” said Daily.  “I’m going to defend my dissertation in a month, and can tell you that dissertating is like running. It’s arduous, hard, and eventually it’s over.”