Rotorua's Sam Osborne and Samantha Kingsford are quickly becoming the power couple of off-road triathlon.

The pair have dominated the Xterra Pan Am Tour this year and continued their dream run at the Xterra Pan Am Championship in Utah at the weekend.

Osborne was the first man home while Kingsford finished second in the women's race. It was the final event on the tour and for both athletes, their results were enough to claim Pan Am Tour elite titles.

Osborne finished the 1.5km swim in Pineview Reservoir, 30km mountain bike which climbed to 7300 feet elevation and 10km trail run in 2h 28m 38s ahead of Canada's Karsten Madsen (2h 32m 6s) and South Africa's Branden Rakita (2h 34m 23s).

Advertisement

Osborne, who won the Xterra Asia-Pacific Tour last year, said the switch to Pan Am this year came down to timing.

"I raced myself into a bit of a hole end of Europe last year and when I looked at the calendar the Pan-Am Tour was spaced out much better. I could commit to three races back-to-back but then I could go back and get a few weeks of really good work together.

"Did I think it would go like this? Absolutely not. The thing with off-road racing is the courses change so much race to race so by no means will every course play into your strengths.

Osborne set a fast pace on the bike. Photo / Supplied
Osborne set a fast pace on the bike. Photo / Supplied

"It's hard to just try and get the body right to perform on the day and then you have to be even more on your game on a course that doesn't suit all your strengths. It's what makes winning one of these tours so tough, you really do have to be so consistent across the board."

When asked which win he was most proud of on the tour, he said Xterra Alabama stood out.

"I had reaction to the anti-fog spray in my goggles and I could literally barely see much past my front wheel. It could have been really easy to let that slip away, play it really safe or pull the pin on the day. I'm still a little puzzled about how I pulled it off but maybe it was a bit of desperation - I'd just committed to this tour, it was the second race in and I wanted to make this work for me that badly."

Meanwhile, Kingsford finished the race in 2h 56m 48s, behind first-placed Lesley Paterson (2h 55m 10s), of Great Britain, and ahead of third-placed Mexican Fabiola Corona (3h 4m 3s).

Kingsford had a decent lead when she transitioned from the bike to the run but she knew Paterson was an exceptional runner.

Advertisement

"I knew I had to run at my own pace. I didn't want to go out too hard and blow up, and still, halfway through the run I hit a bit of a bad patch and then I turned around and there was Lesley.

XTERRA Pan Am Championship Elite Race Recap

XTERRA Pan Am Championship elite race recap. #xterraplanet

Posted by XTERRA on Sunday, 8 September 2019

"She was looking strong and just flew past me on the hill somewhere around mile four or five. I tried to hold on but couldn't and regardless I'm absolutely stoked with my race and how the season's gone for only being my second year on the circuit.

"My goal was to get top two on the tour, so to win it is absolutely amazing."

The pair now switch their focus to the big dance; the Xterra World Championships in Maui next month.

Osborne said he would love nothing more than to take the win.

"Finishing third last year was amazing but It also showed me how close the next two steps were. A lot needs to go right on the day but I believe it really is possible on my day."

Sam Osborne's Xterra Pan Am Tour Results
Brazil: 1st
Alabama: 1st
Victoria: 1st
Beaver Creek: 2nd
Mexico: 1st
Utah: 1st

Samantha Kingsford's Xterra Pan Am Tour Results
Brazil: 1st
Alabama: 3rd
Victoria: 1st
Beaver Creek: 4th
Mexico: 1st
Utah: 2nd