Ben Hoffman, Looking to be The Best in Both Worlds
American triathlon legend Ben Hoffman is the reigning and two-time Outrigger Resorts Double award winner and tomorrow, at the Ironman World Championship in Kona, he’ll take the first of thousands upon thousands of steps towards defending that crown.
“I’m feeling strong and confident for the second half of my season,” said Hoffman, who won Ironman South Africa for the second straight year in April with a 7:58 clocking. “All Kona preparations have gone smoothly, and I am looking forward to the Ironman event and Maui two weeks later.”
The Outrigger Resorts Double award is given annually to the elite and amateur man and woman with the fastest combined XTERRA World Championship and Ironman Hawaii Championship time. It’s a challenge fit for the world’s leading endurance athletes as the two events are held just two weeks apart. Elites are awarded $2,500 and the top amateur man and woman win a 4-night stay at a Maui Outrigger Resort.
Last year, Hoffman finished 4th at Ironman Worlds in 8:13:00 and then 7th at XTERRA Worlds in 3:01:41 to win the double in a head-to-head battle against fellow Ironman and XTERRA great, Sebastian Kienle from Germany. Kienle was three minutes faster than Hoffman in Kona, where he finished second, but Hoffman was six minutes faster than Kienle in Maui. His combined time was 11:14:41, while Kienle combined for a 11:17:46.
“It’s almost the same amount of pain as Ironman, but packed into three hours instead of eight,” said Hoffman after last year’s XTERRA World Championship race. “It was crazy. It might as well have been an Ironman. It felt like some of those moments out there were slow-mo and a real grind. I was definitely calling on the Ironman strength that I had to get through that one.”
Hoffman, who grew up mountain biking and has been racing XTERRA since 2008, says his love for nature is what keeps calling him back to XTERRA.
“I have always looked at mountain biking as a good escape. No roads or cars, just open trails. It’s something I grew up doing in western Colorado, and something my wife and I love to do together,” said Hoffman, who married his longtime girlfriend Kelsey in May. “It’s always a good mental break to hit the trails and the beauty of XTERRA is you really feel like you are getting intimate with the landscape, seeing a side that you otherwise wouldn’t. Plus, its always fun to go off road against the best guys in the world and see what I can do. There are so many interesting variables in XTERRA racing, and it makes for such an engaging and challenging day. Can’t wait to get down and dirty again!”
This year Hoffman has a new rival for the double, New Zealand XTERRA great Braden Currie, but the goal is the same, to defend his double title on October 29 in Kapalua, Maui.
“I would love to have a good performance and defend the double title from the past two years, and hopefully improve on my 7th place in Maui from last year,” said Hoffman. “A top five would be a great day for me in Maui, and I believe I am the fittest I have ever been. I enlisted the help of a new coach, and my running has reached a new level so I’m excited to put everything to the test.”
Currie, who won Ironman New Zealand in his long-distance debut this year, will be doing the double for the first time but he’s no stranger to XTERRA. The 31-year-old from Wanaka placed 4th at XTERRA Worlds last year, was 2nd two years ago, and is the 2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champion.
While Hoffman and Currie are the only two elite racers qualified to compete for the Double award this year, there are 30 amateur racers from all over the world who are hoping to tackle the challenge, including last year’s amateur men’s champion Pablo Ureta from Argentina.
First up, Ironman Worlds on October 14, and we’ll publish a complete list of double contenders and their finish times in Kona next week. For further information visit www.xterramaui.com.
2016 Outrigger Resorts Double FinishersName Hometown Division IM XTERRA Total Ben Hoffman Boulder, CO, USA Elite M 8:13:00 3:01:41 11:14:41 Sebastian Kienle Muehlacker, Germany Elite M 8:10:02 3:07:44 11:17:46 Michi Weiss Gumpoldskirchen, Austria Elite M 8:49:54 3:11:19 12:01:13 Pablo Ureta Cordoba, Argentina M35-39 9:37:49 3:38:13 13:16:02 Filipe Aragao Brasilia, Brazil M30-34 9:50:35 3:37:49 13:28:24 Andrew Sellars Vernon, B.C., Canada M45-49 9:58:10 3:48:10 13:46:20 Arnaud Bouvier Digne les Bains, France M50-54 10:12:45 3:50:50 14:03:35 Olivier Lyoen Pertuis, France M35-39 9:43:46 5:10:37 14:54:23 Karsten Olsen Fredericia, Denmark M60-64 11:52:00 4:26:13 16:18:13 Virginia Sellars Vernon, B.C., Canada F40-44 11:34:44 4:50:12 16:24:56 Janie White Paradise Valley, AZ, USA F55-59 12:04:27 5:38:42 17:43:09 Megan Arthur Hamilton, New Zealand F40-44 12:42:24 5:13:20 17:55:44 Scott Perrine Gilbert, AZ, USA M45-49 13:58:41 5:43:03 19:41:44 Mitchell Wendorff Wailuku, HI, USA M30-34 13:29:15 6:39:13 20:08:28 Marcy Fleming Kailua, HI, USA F55-59 15:29:44 6:12:36 21:42:20
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