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Sat 1st Oct 2022
Mari Rabie: a welcome surprise in Maui
Posted by: Team Challenger World UK
Posted on: Monday 12th November 2012

Tags  Mari Rabie  |  Maui  |  Team Challenger World  |  XTERRA Maui

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Mari Rabie of Team Challenger World has been battling injuries for the past four years. An Olympian in 2008, Mari recently took something of a last minute trip across the Atlantic from Oxford where she is completing and MBA, to race in the Xterra World Championships in Maui. Collecting your mountain bike three days before the race isn't ideal, but it seemed to work - as Mari took a very welcome and surprising bronze medal.

Xterra World Champs 2012: A Welcome Surprise

A week before travelling to the other side of the world for Xterra World Champs as a wild card entry I was not convinced that missing a week of my Oxford MBA program was worth it.

It was an insane field, considered to be the most competitive Xterra World Champs female field to date. Furthermore, I was only getting my mountain bike three days before the race, traveling from 7°c British weather to 33°c Maui temperatures and training had taken a back seat since the start of the MBA. The math of having a good race just didn't work out in my mind.

Nevertheless I got on the plane to Hawaii super relaxed with the attitude “I have nothing to lose and can catch up on my Vitamin D.”

Despite Tsunami warnings the night before, race morning was beautiful with a welcoming choppy sea and a cool breeze. I had an absolutely amazing swim, swimming with the first men's pack on lap one. Exiting the water I was dumped by a wave and subsequently lost my goggles, consequently swimming the second lap blind. I still managed to lead out the swim and got out on my mountain bike first.

The mountain bike was definitely a climber's course, with the first five miles being extremely technical. I lost a lot of time in the first five miles (maybe because I hadn't been on a mtb in two years?), with both Lesley Patterson and Barbara Riveros passing me. I managed to descend like a kamikaze pilot and rode a minute back into Lesley and Barbara, but it was too little too late.

Heading out on the run I felt strong but not fast, but thought that I was comfortably in third place with Barbara too far up the rode to catch, so I just kept running steady. Only when I reached the last 400m along the beach did I realise that Heather Jackson (third, Ironman 70.3 Champs 2012) was chasing me down. So I had a little burst of speed over the last 600m to finish a VERY surprised third, behind Lesley and Barbara.

After four years of perpetual injuries, it was amazing to have a glimpse of what I could be capable of. A podium finish while reading for a MBA at Oxford also makes me a little proud. I am also extremely grateful for my sponsors from Team Challenger World who have stuck with me, despite my lack of racing.

Now for building on this result…

Skechers Activinstinct Team About the Author

The Challenger World UK Tri Team - formerly Team TBC Sports Aid and Team Activinstinct - is a professional development team, which aims to help nurture talented athletes wanting to make the leap from amateur to professional, whether they are talented juniors just below the funded Olympic performance programme or age groupers that have come to the sport late but have the promise to be top UK and international professionals. The team develops both Olympic distance, and also non Olympic talent – aiming for success in triathlon, duathlon, Ironman and 70.3 events

Read more on the team website:, or in the dedicated section on Tri247.

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