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LOS ANGELES, CA, February 27, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Off-road triathlon phenom Lesley Paterson has capped off a sensational 2012 season by winning the Off-Road Athlete of the Year, which was presented to her at the Endurance Live Sports Awards Gala on February 23 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles. The red carpet event is seen as the Oscars for endurance athletes, with previous award winners including Chrissie Wellington, Craig Alexander and Meb Keflezighi.
Three-time off-road triathlon world champion, and current Xterra world champion, Lesley Paterson, ended a year of domination by repeating as Xterra World Champion in Maui in October 2012. She began 2012 by winning the ITU cross world championship, and in between those world championship book-ends, won both the Xterra USA National championships in addition to the season-long Xterra Pro Series.
"This award caps an incredible year for me," says Paterson. "I was able to remain injury free for the season, for the most part, which was huge. I just went from strength to strength, both mentally and physically. My confidence grew and, as a result, I eventually stopped over-thinking my races and just went out to enjoy myself."
Paterson, historically the fastest runner on the Xterra racing world circuit, also demonstrated how far her mountain biking has come in the past two years by posting the fastest bike leg at the Xterra world championships on Maui in October to win her second consecutive crown, along with the fastest run leg.
Paterson is no stranger to triathlon, having been a Scottish and British international since she was 15 years of age and winning a silver medal at the Duathlon Junior World Championships in 2000. With so many years spent in the sport, Paterson is the first to acknowledge how much she owes to supporters and what she refers to as "Team Paterson."
Says Paterson, "I couldn't have done what I did this past season without the incredible support I get from my husband, family, friends, fans and sponsors. My parents gave me fantastic support when I was young, driving me all over to races and camps. That same dedicated support has continued from so many people over the years."
After taking a break from triathlon for a couple of years in the mid-2000s, she rediscovered her love of the sport with a vengeance, steadily improving on her fitness and global results both on and off the road every year since, culminating in 2012's off-road triathlon dominance.
For Paterson, at this point in her incredibly successful triathlon career, it is all about giving back to the sport by encouraging young people to try it. "It is really important to now give back to the sport after it has done so much for me," she says. "Triathlon has helped me to grow as a person and as an athlete and I want to take that message out to youngsters that are struggling to find their way in the world."
Paterson is planning a full schedule of Xterra races again in 2013, continuing to pursue her great love of both the outdoors and off-road triathlons.
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