Marais, Duffy win XTERRA South Africa Championship

Complete Results / Photos Part I / Photos Part II / Highlight Video

(Grabouw, Western Cape) – Stuart Marais and Flora Duffy took home the titles at the 12th annual TOTALSPORTS XTERRA South Africa Championship in front of a packed house at the magnificent Grabouw Country Club on Sunday.

Both Marais and Duffy grinded out convincing wins to claim the lions’ share of the new and improved R249,000 prize purse but the day’s story lines ran much deeper.

The drama started early with a magical African sunrise lighting up the skyline in bright orange and yellow coupled with word that four-time XTERRA World Champion Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz had pulled from the line-up due to a nasty cold.

With defending champion Dan Hugo also on the sidelines, missing his first showcase event since retiring in the off-season, the race was without not only the two biggest XTERRA stars in South Africa but perhaps the two biggest forces in off-road triathlon over the last decade.

In their place Mother Nature – the constant in all of XTERRA – showed up in full strength as if to express her displeasure with Stoltz and Hugo for not racing.  An unseasonable cold front complete with blustery winds rolled in overnight and dropped the water temps in the small lake by more than two degrees, turning a non-wetsuit swim into a wetsuit optional affair and sending unprepared elites scrambling to find some rubber to swim in.

Eventual winner Stuart Marias was the most notable of those affected but was saved by his mate Niel Swanepoel.

“In the buildup to the event I didn’t know it would be a wetsuit event and didn’t even pack my wetsuit in so when they announced it would be a wetsuit swim I was caught very off-guard.  Fortunately my mate, who finished second in his age-group today, relinquished his suit just so he could put me on the front foot today,” explained an appreciative Marais to the crowd at awarding.

Marias took full advantage and exited the water just 30-seconds or so behind the leaders then took off like a man possessed passing Bradley Weiss, Roger Serrano, and Theo Blignaut in the first 5K of the bike and built an insurmountable lead from there that was never truly challenged.

“Stuart was just one-notch up,” said Weiss, the winner of the XTERRA Philippines Championship earlier this month who came in 2nd today.  “He was in control the whole day, and he still had a few gears left that he could turn on for the run if he needed.”

In the three previous SA Championship races Marais had finished 2nd twice (last year and 2012) and fourth in 2013.  He said winning it all and joining a cast of local legends like Stoltz, Hugo, and Richard Murray is unforgettable.

“I spent a lot of time out here on this course getting to know every little rock and turn and bit of sand and I suppose that makes the difference between winning and losing.  I did my homework and the plan worked out pretty good,” said Marais.

It also seems Marais fits the proto-type of the “built tough” South African to the tee…

“I like to think of myself as a tough folk, I grew up on a farm in Eastern Cape and we were dairy farmers, citrus farmers, and always playing in the mud whether it was on bikes or running barefoot.  That’s our vibe and that’s what XTERRA is all about.  It’s a lifestyle event where the hard guy usually wins and I thought I was a bit harder than everybody else today maybe.”

Roger Serrano rode brilliantly all day to finish third, and also pulled off a classy move by sharing his bike bottle with Weiss on the course after Weiss lost his on the route.  Blignaut turned it on during the run and nearly caught Serrano at the finish, placing fourth just 15 seconds back.

Of note, Stoltz was on-hand cheering for his fellow countrymen and women and the visiting international elites he graciously hosted in the week leading up to the race.  Hugo, still in top shape, did the swim as part of a relay team then rode around on course in great support of his extended racing family.  And, the early morning chill burned off into bright sunshine and an absolute stunning day in Grabouw.

Here’s a look at the top 20 men’s finishers…

Place First  Last Time Division
1 Stuart Marais 2:32:47 PRO M
2 Bradley Weiss 2:35:42 PRO M
3 Roger Serrano 2:37:20 PRO M
4 Theo Blignaut 2:37:35 PRO M
5 Antoine Van Heerden 2:38:34 PRO M
6 Michael Szymoniuk 2:41:13 PRO M
7 Nico Sterk 2:42:35 PRO M
8 Jan Pyott 2:43:55 PRO M
9 Aidan Nugent 2:44:51 PRO M
10 Raoul de Jongh 2:46:48 35-39 M
11 Matt Daneel 2:48:49 25-29 M
12 Jim Thijs 2:50:12 PRO M
13 DESFARGES YANNICK 2:50:40 30-34 M
14 Michael Lord 2:51:14 20-24 M
15 Niel Swanepoel 2:51:48 30-34 M
16 nicolas tauty 2:51:56 30-34 M
17 Mitchell Ginsberg 2:52:22 PRO M
18 Charl-Stephan Nienaber 2:56:05 20-24 M
19 Daniel Manwwiler 2:57:20 35-39 M
20 Rohan Kennedy 2:57:54 35-39 M


In the women’s race the reigning XTERRA World Champion Flora Duffy was simply unstoppable.  She led everybody – men included – out of the water then rode and ran seamlessly to take the tape in 10th place overall with nearly 20 minutes to spare.

“Everything seemed to work out today.  It’s a very technical, challenging bike course so my biggest fear was flatting or having a mechanical so I was concentrating on keeping it smooth in the single track,” said Duffy, who has won nine of the 10 XTERRA Championships she has raced in since capturing the SA title last February.

“Fabulous day, this is my favorite XTERRA on the circuit. It’s the best organized, the biggest, it’s just amazing and I’m so glad I could come here and defend my title.  Last year this race kind of kicked off my year that culminated in winning Maui so to come back here as a World Champion was very special.”

Runner-up Mari Rabie, Olympian and XTERRA SA Champion in 2005 and 2010, also had a very special day but for much different reasons.

“I had myocarditis chronic heart disease for seven months and I got cleared three weeks ago now, so just happy to be back racing and I haven’t ridden technical in more than a year so my main aim was just to stay on the bike.” said Rabie, who was 3rd at XTERRA Worlds in 2012.  “It was a tough couple months, you know, when a doctor tells you that you can’t do what you want to do because you might die.   I think you appreciate this so much more when it’s taken away from you.”

Rabie said her projected window to heal was six months to two years, and she did it in just seven months.  Now she’ll chase the Rio Olympics dream before getting back into the dirt.

“If I don’t get it I’ll swap over to XTERRA to race.  I’m naturally better suited to this type of racing, and definitely after Rio I’ll be racing XTERRA,” said Rabie, who puts into perspective the huge appeal the sport has in South Africa.

“It has grown exponentially. You rock up at a race like this and see people who you went to school with and everyone who is in sport at all has been bitten by this XTERRA bug.  My Dads’ racing and he’s 63, my brother was part of a team, my uncle was part of a team, everyone is just so involved.  It’s grown massively and this is one of THE multisport events in South Africa right now.  We love being outdoors and love endurance sports.”

Carina Wasle, a two-time SA Champ (2009 and 2011), said she didn’t have her best day but still managed to finish third overall.  Wasle has made South Africa her perennial training grounds at this time of year.

“I stay here for six weeks from mid-January to early March,” said Wasle.  “It’s a great place for training and to get ready for the season.  I love this race.  The people here put so much into it.  You can see they love what they do.”

Indeed, the love for XTERRA amongst the organizers and crew is very apparent, and the attention to detail is remarkable all the way down to the hot-shower trailer they roll into the remote event.

Through word-of-mouth XTERRA South Africa has quickly turned in to a must-do event for every XTERRA racer.  The arena for it is perfect with epic, memorable trails and a well-rounded challenge.

“If you put all the best parts of the bike courses from Europe together into one you’d still come up short to this course,” said well-traveled elite Jim Thijs from Belgium.

“Twenty-years of racing around the world and this is by far, hands down, the greatest course and event I’ve been a part of,” added Jan Pyott from Switzerland.

With mainstream media coverage and a full-slate of TV shows that make stars out of XTERRA athletes the sport is in a perfect place in the Western Cape and poised to get even bigger.

The 2015 TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Grabouw presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT featured a 1.5km swim, followed by a 27km mountain bike discipline and a 12.5km trail run. For further information contact Stillwater Sports on 082 991 0045, email or visit

Here’s a look at the top 20 women’s finishers;

Place First  Last Time Division
1 Flora Duffy 2:45:27 PRO F
2 Mari Rabie 3:04:06 PRO F
3 Carina Wasle 3:06:38 PRO F
4 Nicolette Griffioen 3:08:22 PRO F
5 Sandra Koblmueller 3:08:43 PRO F
6 Ladina Buss 3:12:25 PRO F
7 Susan Sloan 3:19:26 PRO F
8 Louise Fox 3:19:30 PRO F
9 Adrienne Moolman 3:21:08 35-39 F
10 Natia Van Heerden 3:21:47 PRO F
11 Hanlie Booyens 3:23:56 40-44 F
12 Daz Parker 3:24:26 PRO F
13 Tanya Rabie 3:32:21 40-44 F
14 Amandine Galindo 3:33:18 30-34 F
15 Sylvia Van Tromp 3:34:03 PRO F
16 Rita Terblanche 3:34:59 35-39 F
17 AMY BURGER 3:35:14 25-29 F
18 Robyn Williams 3:36:48 25-29 F
19 Nicola Harcus 3:38:31 No Cat
20 Sandy Russell 3:39:54 35-39 F


The XTERRA South Africa Championship was the second of 42 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 20th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on November 1, 2015.

Jan-25 XTERRA Buffelspoort, Buffelspoort Dam, North West Province, South Africa
Feb-8 XTERRA Philippines Championship, Albay, Luzon+
Feb-22 XTERRA South Africa Championship, Grabouw, Western Cape
Mar-7 XTERRA Motatapu, South Island, New Zealand
Mar-28 XTERRA Saipan Championship, Micro Beach, CNMI+
Mar-29 XTERRA Malta, Mellieha, Malta*
Mar-29 XTERRA Costa Rica, Playa Reserva Conchal
Apr-11 XTERRA Guam Championship, Piti+
Apr-11 XTERRA New Zealand Championship, Rotorua
Apr-18 XTERRA Australia / XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia+
XTERRA Australia Championship
Apr-25 XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV, USA#
Apr-26 XTERRA Reunion, Saint Gilles les bains
May-2 XTERRA Malaysia / XTERRA Asian Tour Championship, Langkawi+
May-10 XTERRA Brazil, Ilhabela, SP
May-16 XTERRA Southeast Championship, Pelham, AL, USA#
USAT Cross Triathlon National Championship
May-16 XTERRA Portugal, Golega*
Jun-7 XTERRA Spain Championship, Plasencia, Extremadura*
Jun-14 XTERRA East Championship, Richmond, VA, USA#
Jun-20 XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
Jun-27 XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
Jun-27 XTERRA Norway
Jun-27 XTERRA Mine over Matter – Canadian Cross Triathlon Championships, Ontario, Milton, Canada!
Jul-4 XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI, USA =
Jul-5 XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
Jul-5 XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
Jul-18 XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO, USA#
Jul-11 XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
Jul-25 XTERRA Ontario Series – Parry Sound, McDougall, Ontario, Canada!
Jul-26 XTERRA Abruzzo, Lago di Scanno, Italy*
Aug-8 XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
Aug-8 XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
Aug-15 XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
Aug-16 XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
Aug-22 XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI, USA =
Aug-23 XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
Aug-29 XTERRA Ontario Series – Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!
Aug-29 XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
Aug-29 XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
Aug-30 XTERRA England / European Championship, Vachery Estate, Surrey*
Sep-13 XTERRA Woolastook, Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
Sep-19 XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah, USA#
Nov-1 XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* European Tour / + Asian Tour / # America Tour / ! Canada Series / = Hawaii qualifiers



Next up on the 2015 XTERRA Asian Tour are two tropical islands in the Northern Pacific – Saipan on March 28 and Guam on April 11.  Both islands are rich in World War II history and warm-weather delights.  Pros and age groupers will earn XTERRA Asian Tour Championship points, as will XTERRA’s “Asian Elite” athletes racing in this special category designed to highlight fast amateurs in the region.  $15,000 in prize money is on offer at each race as well as the famed hospitality of the islands.  Fittingly, registration and more information is available at!


Say Yes to XTERRA Greece at Lake Plastira

XTERRA Greece is making easy to say “yes” to travel to Lake Plastira on June 20.  Leading XTERRA European Tour competitors are offered special travel packages that include race entry and 3-nights of 4-star accommodation, daily breakfast, transportation to/from the Athens airport and their famed pre-race Pasta Party.  Special rates are available for pros and age groupers ranked in the top 20 of the 2014 European Tour.  For reservations and more information contact


Welcoming XTERRA Tahiti to The World

The newest member of the XTERRA World Tour will take participants across the heart of the island of Tahiti, French Polynesia, from the west to the east coast.

The inaugural XTERRA Tahiti Championship on April 25 will start at Mataiea Beach, then traverse up mountains, past lakes, through historic sites, and across rivers and fords to where the fun really begins on the run.

“It’s the steepest bike course I have ever done,” said 2010 XTERRA World Champion Shonny Vanlandingham, who won the TransTahitienne off-road triathlon last year.  “I had so much fun.  Jean Michel Monot and his team do a wonderful job, and it’s a stunningly beautiful country and race course.”

With the finish line at the Papenoo River and an awards dinner party featuring local dance troops that will “take you to another world,” organizers are planning to showcase all the beauty and excitement of French Polynesia.

In addition to the XTERRA triathlon, a Run/Bike over 36 kilometers of spectacular terrain will be offered for two person teams.  Team members must stay within 50 meters of each other throughout the event.

VSOP, the local club who produces the event, will donate a portion of the proceeds to support ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) research.

To learn more visit or download their brochure click here.

Ned Overend

Overend Again

Two-time XTERRA World Champion and uber-legend Ned Overend, set another milestone in a career of milestones by winning the inaugural USA Cycling Fat Tire Nationals at Powder Mountain Ski Resort, just outside of Ogden, Utah.

Ogden, of course, is also the home of the XTERRA USA Championship race and a wonderful spot in both summer and winter.  The conditions for the first-ever race were ideal, sunny with plenty of snow.

Results are here and you’ll see a number of familiar names listed.


TOTALSPORTS XTERRA South Africa Attracts a Stellar Field

The Grabouw Country Club will be a hub of excitement this coming weekend when multi-sport athletes young and slightly more senior gather to partake in the largest XTERRA triathlon in the world, the TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Grabouw presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT.

With reigning champion Dan Hugo announcing his retirement from racing earlier this year, competition will be rife in the men’s race with a number of top XTERRA Warriors toeing the line to take over the reins.  Top SA contenders will include four times XTERRA World Champion Conrad Stoltz, Stuart Marais, Bradley Weiss and Theo Blignaut.

According to Stoltz, this just might be his final year of racing at this level.  “Grabouw is the birthplace of XTERRA in South Africa.  The course is a fantastic all round course – the perfect balance between fun, fitness and adrenaline.  It has become an iconic event.  Of course I would like to step out with a win on my home ground”.

For Marais, the crowd at XTERRA Grabouw is a huge highlight.  “I love racing in Grabouw.  The crowd is super amped and the SA competition is unmatched in XTERRA worldwide.  I have always said that XTERRA Grabouw should be a world championship. It has climbs, single track, plenty of rocks and sand. Everything an XTERRA should be.  I never start a race without wanting to win the XTERRA SA Champs is no different”.

Weiss has had a superb start to the XTERRA Season, snatching the title of Totalsports XTERRA Buffelspoort Champion in January followed by the XTERRA Philippines Championship title earlier this month.  “My passion for XTERRA and Triathlon began at this venue,” says Weiss.  “Being a home race XTERRA Grabouw couldn’t be more special to me.   My goal is most definitely to win my first XTERRA SA Championship title”.

Reigning Totalsports XTERRA SA Women’s Champion and XTERRA World Champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda will be seen defending her title in Grabouw on Sunday.  “I wouldn’t miss XTERRA Grabouw for the world,” said Duffy.   “There are so many things that make Grabouw a special race. It is the best organized and biggest XTERRA on the circuit. I love that there is a children’s race, a trail run, an XTERRA Lite and an XTERRA Full.  The whole community can get involved.  My goal is to successfully defend my title”.

Top International XTERRA Warriors to look out for on the day will include:  Jan Pyott (Switzerland), Roger Serrano (Spain), Jim Thijs (Belgium), Carina Wasle (Austria), Louise Fox (UK), Daz Parker (UK) and Sandra Koblmuller (Austria).  There’s also a big contingent of XTERRA Warriors from Sweden that have made the journey to experience this iconic race.

The 2015 TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Grabouw presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT boasts with a whopping prize purse increase of R80 000, taking the overall prize purse to an impressive total of R249 000.



Endless Action at TotalSports XTERRA Kids Race Grabouw

The Grabouw Country club was buzzing with excitement on Friday, 20 February 2015 when just under 300 junior XTERRA Warriors toed the line to follow in the footsteps of their sporting heroes by taking part in the much anticipated Totalsports XTERRA KIDS presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT.

According to Nicola Collins, Event Manager, the excitement grows each year at the XTERRA Kids event.  “We were blown away by today’s turn out.  It really is special watching these junior warriors in action, not to mention seeing the phenomenal support that they receive from their parents. This is a key factor in any athlete’s sporting future.  The XTERRA Kids event is the ideal opportunity to introduce the younger generation to the sport of XTERRA.  One day we’ll be able to welcome these XTERRA Kids to the XTERRA Lite event and then eventually the XTERRA Full race, but for now we are happy that they were able to experience the XTERRA Vibe”.

With three age categories to choose from, 6 – 8 years (50m Swim, 1,5km Cycle, 1km Run), 9 – 11 years (100m Swim, 5km Cycle, 2km Run) and 12 – 14 years (200m Swim, 10km Cycle, 3km Run), the Totalsports XTERRA Kids Race is a source of much entertainment for both competitors and spectators alike!


Saturday, 21 February 2015:  PUMA TRAIL RUN

Forming part of the action of South Africa’s largest off road triathlon the PUMA Trail

Run incorporates the XTERRA trail run routes and will take place on Saturday, 21 February 2015.

Venue: Grabouw Country Club (Western Cape)
Distances: 6km and 12.5km
Start Time: 07:00 (both events)

Saturday, 21 February 2015:  Totalsports XTERRA Lite

Venue: Grabouw Country Club
Format: 400m swim, 12.5km mountain bike and 6km trail run
Start Time: 09:00

Sunday, 22 February 2015:  Totalsports XTERRA Full

Venue: Grabouw Country Club
Format: 1.5km swim, 27km mountain bike and 12.5km trail run
Start Time: 08:30

Follow us on Twitter:  @xterrasa

Like our FaceBook page:  XTERRA South Africa

For further information on the TOTALSPORTS XTERRA presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT please contact Stillwater Sports on 082 991 0045, email or visit

Westin Lake Las Vegas

Sweet Deal at the Westin for West Champs

The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa in Henderson, Nevada has been named the official host hotel of the 2015 XTERRA West Championship race to be held April 25-26, 2015.

Both the off-road triathlons and trail runs (and the parties!) will be based out of the Westin, with the swim start taking place lake side at the Reflection Bay Golf Club.

Rates are $119/night for athletes – with resort fee waived ($25/night). Rates are good Apr20-Apr29 and available through April 20.

Book now at

Learn more about the race at

Ben and Jacqui

Special for Sweethearts at XTERRA England

Pick up something dirty this weekend for Valentine’s Day … as in mud!

XTERRA England is offering a special Valentine’s Day promotion – half-off your partners entry fee – to couples who sign-up for the XTERRA England sprint or championship races, 10k or 20k trail runs.

XTERRA England returns to the Vachery Estate in Cranleigh, Surrey on August 29-30, and this year doubles as the XTERRA European Tour championship race.

2013 XTERRA England Champions Ben Allen and Jacqui Slack (pictured) are certain to be the highest-profile couple at this year’s race – but certainly not the only sweethearts with their sights set on Surrey.

To take advantage of the deal participants simply need to sign-up for XTERRA England between 00:01 and 23:59 on Saturday, February 14th. Those who enter in that time frame will automatically receive a chocolate treat and signed XTERRA poster (signed by legends) in their registration pack on the event weekend. To receive the discounted second entry contact with “Proof of Love” and he will write back with a 50% off discount code.

Fine Print: The code must be used within 14 days of the promotion. One discount code per couple. Issue is at the discretion of Richard Campbell.