2x World Champion Lesley Paterson signs up to race XTERRA England Championships.

Lesley PatersonScotland’s 2011 and 2012 XTERRA World Champion, Lesley Paterson, has today announced she will be making a racing return to the UK and will be competing at the inaugural XTERRA England Championships in Cranleigh, Surrey on the 8th September.

U.S-based Lesley Paterson is the marquee addition to what is already a world-class field that includes the likes of multiple XTERRA champion Jacqui Slack, former World Champion Nico Lebrun, the 2x Asia-Pacific Triple Crown Champion Ben Allen and 8x XTERRA Champion Sam Gardner. With Lesley Paterson on the start-list, the XTERRA England race could arguably claim to have the strongest elite line-up of any triathlon held in the UK outside of the Olympics.

The news that Lesley Paterson will race the XTERRA England Championships came soon after she sealed another title at the XTERRA East America Championships last weekend. This marked Paterson’s 6th consecutive victory which included that historic 2nd world title claimed in Maui, Hawaii last October. It is this form and her championship pedigree that has installed her as pre-race favourite, despite the fierce competition from a motivated and talented ladies PRO field.

Lesley Paterson said:

I am very excited to be racing at XTERRA England! I’m a British lassie at heart so to come and compete back home is simply amazing, not to mention the opportunity to be a part of helping grow XTERRA at home – it is such an amazing sport.

I’d love to win this race and will do everything to make this happen. You can never count anyone out in this sport, but I think I will have a particularly tough race against Jacqui Slack. I’ve been super impressed with her this year and she is a big contender!

Race Director Mark Davis said:

We are over-the-moon and honoured to welcome an athlete of Lesley’s calibre to XTERRA England and it is a mark of the level of prestige of this race that we have attracted the sports reigning world-champion.

I’m sure the hundreds of age-group athletes competing will be thrilled to be racing on the same course alongside the reigning world champion.

International off-road series, XTERRA, returns to the UK and will be raced at the Vachery Estate in Surrey on a course designed by top off-road athlete Sam Gardner. The XTERRA England Championship event offers 40 qualifying spots for athletes looking to qualify for the world championships held later in the year in Maui, Hawaii, with hundreds more competing for fun or for their own personal challenge.

XTERRA racing is fast and furious over challenging, but very fun courses that include off-road sections on the bike and the run leg. The XTERRA series is considered to be the pinnacle in off-road triathlon and attracts the very best in off-road competitors, yet it has a very warm and open attitude towards newcomers. The race itself is set within the open grounds of the Vachery Estate, which provide a very welcoming setting for young families and supporters whilst you race it out in the spring-fed lake and stunning woodlands.

World Champion Lesley Paterson has the following tip for first-timers:

Just relax. On a mountain bike, when you approach something fearful, you tense up. The handling then gets stiff and you could make a mistake, that’s when the falls and crashes come. Basically let go and you can do it!

As well as the XTERRA England Championship triathlon, the weekend of off-road sport also includes a ‘Try-an-Xtri’ sprint triathlon, 6-hour mountain bike race and 1.5km and 3km open water swims that are part of the H2open Water Swim Series. The event is being televised on Ch4, with regular repeats on the Ch4 network, Sky Sports and Eurosport throughout 2013 and 2014.

You can enter the XTERRA England race and all the other races occurring over the 7-8th September XTERRA England Championship Weekend here: http://xterra-england.co.uk/

View a course guide filmed by pro-triathlete and course designer Sam Gardner here: http://youtu.be/Cx3W8nYLmQk

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