The 2016 Fedhealth XTERRA South Africa racing season kicks off this month with the much anticipated Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort race in the North West Province on the weekend of January 22-24, followed by an exciting introduction to Port Elizabeth with the Fedhealth XTERRA Nelson Mandela Bay Jan. 29-31.
The 13th annual XTERRA South Africa Championship race follows Feb. 19-21 at the Grabouw Country Club, about 40 minutes outside of Cape Town.
Veteran XTERRA South Africa star Carla Van Huyssteen will kick off her racing season by partaking in all three XTERRA SA events.
“XTERRA is a challenging off road triathlon, this is what attracts me to the sport,” says Van Huyssteen. “The nature of the sport sees the events being held in uniquely beautiful parts of the country. XTERRA SA events can be likened to a well-oiled machine. The organization is very professional, you know that you won’t be disappointed from registration, to on route experience, venue set up and finish. I cannot wait to see what Stillwater Sports has planned for us at XTERRA Nelson Mandela Bay. The more XTERRA’s the better. It’s a really nice change to once again have an ocean swim at an XTERRA SA event. The stronger swimmers will definitely have a bit of an advantage if they can read the sea conditions well. It is going to be great.”
According to Stellenbosch based trail runner/multi-sport athlete, Antoine van Heerden, in order to thrive at XTERRA one needs to be committed on many levels. “One major difference is the technical aspect that mountain biking and trail running brings to the sport. Every XTERRA course is different and will suit a certain athlete more than the other. I enjoy this added dimension that XTERRA racing brings. I enjoy both the mountain bike and run route of XTERRA Buffelspoort. The bike route is fairly flat and fast, with one or two short and steep climbs at the end. The run route crosses under the Buffelspoort dam wall, which is a beautiful sight. I am also excited about the introduction of the Fedhealth XTERRA Nelson Mandela Bay. I really like the concept of combining all three races to form a series. It’s a big step for the sport of XTERRA in South Africa.”