Pro Team Race Reports
Shonny wins XTERRA Japan- without a wetsuit!!
Kan Ko So Resort, Marunuma, Gunma Prefecture, Japan (August 25, 2012) 2010 XTERRA World Champion Shonny Vanlandingham won the ninth running of the XTERRA Japan Championship, held in the Nikko National Forest about three hours from Tokyo.
This is Shonny’s second international championship victory this year. She also won XTERRA Brazil.
According to Shonny’s report:
The race started with blue skies and bright sunshine. Competitors swam two 600-meter laps in the lake fronting Kan Ko So Resort, a traditional Japanese Inn with magnificent onsen (hot springs baths). The water temperature was 22.3 Celsius, wetsuit legal for age groupers, but no wetsuits allowed for elite athletes.
The focus of the women's race was between Mieko Carey, 3 Time XTERRA Japan Champion and Shonny Vanlandingham, 2010 World Champion. The women battled the cold water without wetsuits, along with fast wetsuit clad age groupers swimming over them. Mieko Carey, was first out of the water, with NORBA's (National Off Road Bicycling Association) most successful mountain biker ever, Shonny Vanlandingham, two-and-a-half minutes back.
“Without my Orca wetsuit, I got really cold and was numb when I came out of the water," said Vanlandingham. "I guess I need to eat more sashimi and rice."
Carey’s lead was short-lived as Vanlandingham passed her early out on the 25-kilometer bike course, which is considered the most technical on the XTERRA World Tour.
“This is real mountain biking…it brings me back to my roots”, said Vanlandingham. She came into the bike-to-run transition with a comfortable lead and built it on the run, despite slippery conditions caused by the rain-storm.
Vanlandingham ultimately finished minutes ahead of Carey to take the win in 2:52:22.
Next up for the long time LUNA Pro: XTERRA Show Low, AZ, then the USA Championship to conclude the America Tour, ... and the XTERRA World Championship on Maui in October.
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