Exterra 2018 ‘super tough’

Ashburton multisporter Matthew Clough has finished ninth in his age group at the 2018 Xterra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii.

The 18-year-old Ashburton College student lined up at the start of the race earlier this week in what has been described as some of the muddiest, dirtiest conditions in the event’s 23-year history.

Given what competitors faced, Clough said he was pleased with his result of ninth overall in the 15-19-year-old section.

“Just getting to the finish line was a massive achievement in itself,” he said.

He crossed the finish line in a time of 4.14.32 hours, after completing the swim leg in 24.01 minutes, the bike leg in 2.40.38 hours and the run leg in 1.09.53 hours.

“I had a decent swim, out of the water fourth, a tough bike fighting the mud the whole way, having to stop many times to clear the mud from my frame so that my wheels would actually spin,” Clough said.

The run leg was slippery, but Clough was pleased with how it went overall.

Clough described the race as super tough and said it was a long day at the office, but he was happy knowing he’d left it all out there.

The Xterra World Championships are like an off-road triathlon, with the road bike switched out for a mountain bike and the road run exchanged for a cross-country run.

Earlier this year Clough travelled to Denmark to compete at the ITU Multisport World Championships.

In Denmark Clough, 17 at the time, won silver in the under-19 aquathlon and silver in the 18-19 year age group in the cross triathlon.

-Ashburton Guardian.