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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 4:32 p.m., Sunday, October 29, 2006

New Zealand's Carter, Canada's McQuaid win Xterra

Associated Press

Hamish Carter of New Zealand won the Xterra World Championship on Maui, finishing the nearly 27-mile, off-road triathlon he called "the meanest and most brutal" in 2 hours, 42 minutes and 36 seconds Sunday.

"It was really tough, a lot tougher than I thought," said the 35-year-old from Auckland, winner of the 2004 Olympic triathlon gold medal. "At one point during the run I didn't even know if I could finish."

Carter, who rode the last mile of the bike stage with a flat, was the fourth person to start the run and caught Olivier Marceau of France a mile before the finish. Marceau was second in 2:42:55.

Melanie McQuaid of Canada won her second consecutive and third overall women's title in 3:07:53.

"Every year I get better and better," said the 33-year-old old from Victoria, British Columbia.

Carter and McQuaid each received $25,000.

The Xterra course included a 1.5-kilometer ocean swim; a 32-kilometer bike ride over mountain trails to a height of 1,400 feet on the slopes of Haleakala; and a 10-kilometer trail run. The swim also included a 150-meter beach sprint between the two laps of the triangular course.

A total of 575 triathletes from 36 states and 22 countries registered for the race. The field included 90 professionals. About 40 of the Xterra competitors finished the 140.6-mile Ironman Triathlon World Championships eight days earlier in Kona on Hawaii Island.