XTERRA Reunion Island

XTERRA on Reunion Island April 26

Reunion Island, a French island located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, will host XTERRA for the first time on April 26, 2015.

The inaugural XTERRA Reunion race will combine a 1,500-meter swim in the pristine waters of the west coast lagoon with a hilly 30km mountain bike course through the savannah and sugar cane fields and a 10km trail run by the coast.

“We guarantee a challenging course, an astonishing landscape, creoles vibes and intense emotions,” said Yannick Desfarges, the technical director and island’s most notable XTERRA enthusiast.  “Come and join this brand new stage of the XTERRA circuit and discover the amazing environment of Reunion Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

The event offers 18 qualifying spots into XTERRA Worlds for the fastest amateurs and roughly $15,000 USD in prize money to the top six elite men and women.

“I went to la Réunion in 1999 and can tell you it’s the perfect place for an XTERRA,” said former XTERRA World Champion Nico Lebrun.  “It’s a tropical island with lots of mountains and all kinds of climate … it’s the French Maui.”

It’s also home to the Piton de la Fournaise, one of the most active Volcanoes in the world, which erupted just recently (February 4, 2015).

“It’s a great destination for outdoor sports and I would recommend athletes to leverage their trip for the race to experience trekking volcanoes, paragliding above the lagoon, scuba diving on the coral reefs and canyoning in world famous canyons,” said Desfarges.  “Reunion Island also offers good options for laid back family time on the mythical west coast beaches and a great opportunity to discover the Creole culture.”

To learn more visit www.xterrareunion.com, or write toxterrareunion@gmail.com.

Mauricio Philippines

XTERRA Philippines This Sunday

The 5th annual XTERRA Philippines Championship race will take place this Sunday in Albay, a province located on the southeastern side of Luzon Island.

Reigning XTERRA World Champion Flora Duffy from Bermuda highlights the women’s elite field that also features two-time XTERRA Philippines Champion Renata Bucher of Switzerland, British stand-outs Jacqui Slack and Daz Parker, Guamanian Mieko Carey, Aussie Dimity-Lee Duke, and Alena Stevens of Slovakia.

The men’s race boasts three elites that finished in the top 10 at XTERRA Worlds last year – Aussie Ben Allen (a two-time XTERRA Philippines Champ), Mexico’s Mauricio Mendez, and South Africa’s Bradley Weiss.  Others in the mix include home grown hero Joe Miller, Charlie Epperson from Singapore, Fabrizio Bartoli and Simone Calamai from Italy, Brodie Gardner from Australia, and Michal Bucek from Slovakia.

XTERRA World Tour managing director “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas is on-site in Luzon to take in the first major on the 2015 XTERRA World Tour calendar and brings us this report …

XTERRA Philippines has made some big moves for 2015.  They moved its date to early February and changed the location from the island of Cebu to Albay on the far south of Luzon Island.

The feature of Albay – and it is huge – is the Mayon Volcano.  Sure there are a lot of big volcano mountains around, but this one is active!  Yes, one can see smoke coming from the top of its over 8,000′ peak.  Mayon is very active and had a major incident just last year.  The locals’ figure she blows up about every three years and nobody lives within about five miles of the crater.

The swim is on a beach about six miles from the crater and is the most stunning black sand beach one can imagine. Soft, deep and very black, the beach is huge. Peppered along the sand are dozens of volcanic rocks that were either tossed this far from one of the eruptions of Mayon or brought down by the streams of fresh water that meet the ocean.  Red, gray, white and the usual black of all sizes.  The water is warm, the surf is small.

I can’t say too much about the bike yet as it is not completely marked.  At noon on Friday the first “recce” is organized for all competitors.  The bike is point to point from the beach to T2 at the ruins of Cagsawa where an eruption in 1814 killed roughly 2,000 people.  The bell tower of the church still stands and it is a major tourism area in the Albay area.  The run starts out through rice paddies and peanut farms – again it won’t be marked until Friday – and loops back to a very neat finish area at the church bell tower with the volcano in the background.

It was fun today taking young pro Mauricio Mendez around with me.  The town of Legazpi has huge banners that cross the main roads with the names and photos of all our pros. Even one of an older gentleman!  We pulled to the side of the street to take a shot of Mauricio’s banner and immediately had a police vehicle stop to question us.  When I told him the young man taking the photo was the guy on the banner he smiled and had to have his photo taken with Mo.
Later, a dozen school girls saw him and started giggling and pointing.  Naturally I told them who he was and they all wanted their pictures taken with our own young star.

I have to say the new location is great.  Cebu was also wonderful and I hoped Albay would measure up.  From the first day on it has.

XTERRA PHILIPPINES ALL-TIME PRO WINNERS
Year – Men / Women
2011 – Sam Gardner / Shonny Vanlandingham
2012 – Ben Allen / Renata Bucher
2013 – Ben Allen / Lesley Paterson
2014 – Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher

Emma and Suzie

Last Chance to Save with Early Bird Rates

This Saturday, January 31, is the last day for early bird registration rates at select U.S. venues. It’s just $85 for the regional championships ($110 for teams), $55 for Sprint races ($75 for Sprint teams), $40 for 21km trail runs, $30 for 10km races, and $20 for 5km runs.

Follow the registration links below for more information:

April 25 – XTERRA West Championship – Lake Las Vegas, NV

May 16 – XTERRA Southeast Championship – Pelham, AL

June 14 – XTERRA East Championship – Richmond, VA

July 18 – XTERRA Mtn Championship – Beaver Creek, CO

Sep 19 – XTERRA Utah – Ogden/Snowbasin Resort, UT

Bradley Weiss

Weiss, Griffioen win Buffelspoort

Hats off to Bradley Weiss, winner of the XTERRA World Tour opener at Buffelspoort Dam in the Northwest Province of South Africa over the weekend. After three years of focused dedication to the sport and nearly 20 top 5 finishes around the world the 25-year-old took the top step.

“Couldn’t have asked for a better way to start 2015,” said Weiss, who will travel to the Philippines in search of his second XTERRA victory.

Nicolette Griffioen won the women’s race and several hundred racers kicked off the XTERRA season in style.

Here’s the official race report:

Tension was rife at the picturesque Buffelspoort Dam (North West Province) on Saturday, 24 January 2015 when over 400 adventure seekers toed the line to partake in the first XTERRA of the season, the TOTALSPORTS XTERRA Buffelspoort Full presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT.

Bradley Weiss claimed a long overdue victory in the men’s race completing the 1.5km swim, 26.5km mountain bike discipline and 12km trail run in a lighting fast combined time of 02 hours 35 minutes 31 seconds, while Nicolette Griffioen secured the women’s title in an impressive combined finishing time of 03 hours 18 minutes 35 seconds.

The third individual athlete to exit the water, it was on the run discipline that Weiss was able to capitalise. “I always struggle to swim at altitude,” said Weiss. “My transition was rusty. I entered the bike discipline behind Conrad Stoltz and Theo Blignaut. Conrad is stronger than me on the bike. So I decided not to overextend myself by trying to keep up. I caught Theo and rode with him for about ten minutes before building a gap. On entering transition two I was two minutes behind Conrad. Building up to the event I’ve done a lot of gym work and felt really strong on my feet. With about 1km to go on the run, I was now only 20 seconds behind Conrad, he made a wrong turn. I called after him, but he didn’t hear. It’s never a nice way to pass someone. Claiming my very first XTERRA victory today was intense, a surreal experience and I couldn’t be happier. My next event is XTERRA Philippines, which will be great preparation for XTERRA Grabouw”. Antoine Van Heerden came in second, while Conrad Stoltz finished third.

In the women’s race, Griffioen was pleasantly surprised by her victory. “The swim was choppy, I swallowed a lot of water,” laughs Griffioen. “I had a good bike ride. The course included some really nice technical sections. It was hot out on the trail run, with the course featuring a killer climb. I am really surprised to take the win today. The XTERRA is a great challenge, but the satisfaction at the end is worth it”. Natia Van Heerden came in second, while Sylvia Van Tromp finished third.

For further information on the TOTALSPORTS XTERRA presented by REHIDRAT® SPORT please contact Stillwater Sports on 086 138 3591 or email entries@stillwatersports.com.

Flora Duffy

XTERRA on ESPN International

The worldwide leader in sports is honoring the worldwide leader in off-road triathlon with several dozen broadcasts of the hour-long XTERRA USA and World Championship race shows.

ESPN International networks in the Caribbean, South America, Central America, Mexico, and Australia are featuring the shows this month and next, exposing the sport and its stars to millions of viewers.

“The international distribution of these shows is so cool for the sport, the destinations, and our athletes,” said XTERRA President Janet Clark. “Sports fans in Bermuda are going to be able to see how Flora Duffy captured XTERRA Worlds. In Chile they can watch Barbara Riveros tackle the trails, in Mexico they can marvel at Mauricio Mendez, and fans of Aussie pro Ben Allen can see him strut his stuff in Utah and Maui.”

In addition, existing XTERRA host countries in Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil, and Australia will be able to tune in to the XTERRA broadcasts.

“XTERRA is a worldwide phenomenon with momentum that continues to build and the shows do a great job of capturing the spirit and energy of the sport,” said Clark. “Last year we had more foreigners than Americans at XTERRA Worlds and I think it’s safe to say that trend will continue with exposure like this coupled with the magnificent racing opportunities available to athletes around the world.”

Upcoming international broadcasts include:

Network Date Time
ESPN2 Pacific Rim Tue 1/27/2015 12:00 AM
Pacific Rim Thu 1/29/2015 8:00 AM
ESPN Caribbean Thu 1/29/2015 8:00 PM
ESPN3 South Thu 1/29/2015 8:00 AM
ESPN Caribbean Fri 1/30/2015 2:00 AM
ESPN Caribbean Fri 1/30/2015 12:30 PM
ESPN2 Caribbean Sun 2/1/2015 8:00 AM
ESPN3 North Sun 2/1/2015 3:00 PM
ESPN3 North Mon 2/2/2015 1:00 AM
ESPN3 North Mon 2/2/2015 11:00 AM
ESPN3 North Tue 2/3/2015 4:00 AM
ESPN3 North Wed 2/4/2015 4:00 AM
ESPN Dos Mexico Thu 2/5/2015 7:00 PM
ESPN3 North Mon 2/9/2015 11:00 AM
ESPN Dos Mexico Thu 2/12/2015 7:00 PM
ESPN Latin HD Sat 2/14/2015 4:00 PM
ESPN Dos Mexico Sat 2/14/2015 2:30 PM
ESPN Latin HD Sat 2/14/2015 4:00 PM
ESPN+ Brazil Tue 2/24/2015 5:00 PM
ESPN Brazil Thu 2/26/2015 12:30 AM
ESPN Brazil Thu 2/26/2015 9:00 AM
Dan Hugo South Africa

Summertime in South Africa

Every year the XTERRA World Tour heats up in South Africa’s summer months with a pair of iconic events put on by Stillwater Sports.

It all starts this weekend in Buffelspoort, and on Feb. 22 the largest XTERRA weekend in the world will go down in Grabouw (Western Cape) where the South Africa Championship race will run for the 12th straight year.

“From the first time I heard about XTERRA, I knew it was something South Africans would love!” exclaimed Michael Meyer, the man behind the magic. “Not only does South Africa have perfect venues and routes for XTERRA but the people adopt a uniquely adventurous, active and outdoor lifestyle; making the fit with XTERRA perfect!”

To celebrate and share all they’ve accomplished organizers created a digital magazine: http://www.stillwatersports.com/emag/xterra/FlipBook.html#page/1

Inside you’ll find profiles on the South African greats, event descriptions, a little history, a compelling argument from “Kahuna Dave” Nicholas on why every XTERRA racer should go at least once, and some colorful images from races past.

Ben Allen - XTERRA Wetsuits

XTERRA Wetsuits Australia Swim Prime

The top swimmers at the 2015 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race to be held April 18 at Callala Beach in Jervis Bay (New South Wales, Australia) will be rewarded with some of the most buoyant rubber on earth … and some cash.

As the official swim sponsor of the event XTERRA Wetsuits will award full suits as prizes to the top amateur male and female swimmers, and dish out $300 AUD in cash to the top male and female pros to hit the beach.

Guided by a commitment to comfort, speed, buoyancy and value, XTERRA Wetsuits has been producing tri-specific wetsuits since 2001.

Considering last year’s inaugural Asia-Pacific Championship was a wetsuit-optional race for amateurs, having an XTERRA wetsuit at the ready would be a good idea and rentals will be available.

Learn more at xterrawetsuits.com and sign-up today for the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Champs.

XTERRA Woolastook

Introducing XTERRA Woolastook

The footprint of XTERRA in Canada continues to grow and the hardy racers on the East Coast will be delighted to know of another opportunity to race off-road and qualify for XTERRA Worlds.

XTERRA Woolastook is the latest addition to the World Tour Schedule. The race will take place on September 13 in Woolastook Park near Fredericton, New Brunswick.

“Thrilled to join the XTERRA Tribe and bring a race to our backyard,” said race organizer Clifford Worden-Rogers, who is an XTERRA racer himself. “Athletes can expect a unique swim course that requires racers to navigate around a suspension bridge.  The mountain bike course is comprised of single and double track through mostly shaded wooded areas of the park, and runners can expect a rolling course of grass and dirt trails.”

Winners of every division (10 year age groups 20-29, 30-39, etc…) will earn a qualifying spot into XTERRA Worlds and prize money will be awarded to the top three overall men and women in both the long and short course races (1st – $150, 2nd – $100, 3rd – $75).

There will also be a duathlon on offer and relay team divisions for all events, plus a bbq party after the races.

For more info visit xterrawoolastook.com or write to info@xterrawoolastook.com.

Flora Duffy

Flora Duffy Highlights Pro Field at XTERRA Philippines Championship

2014 XTERRA World Champion Flora Duffy will lead an all-star cast of elites into the shadows of the world’s most perfectly shaped volcano for the 5th annual XTERRA Philippines Championship race in Albay on February 8.

Other big names headed to the island of Luzon include three of the top ten elite men from Maui – Aussie Ben Allen (a two-time XTERRA Philippines Champ), Mexico’s Mauricio Mendez and South Africa’s Bradley Weiss, along with two-time women’s Philippines Champ Renata Bucher from Switzerland and XTERRA Malaysia champ Jacqui Slack from the UK. The tentative elite list also includes home grown hero Joe Miller, Charlie Epperson from Singapore, Fabrizio Bartoli and Simone Calamai from Italy, Dimity-Lee Duke and Brodie Gardner from Australia, Mieko Carey from Guam, and Daz Parker from England.

Mayon Volcano

The real star of the race, however, is sure to be the Mayon Volcano.   It’s one of the most active volcanoes on earth and certainly one of the most breathtaking to look at as well.

“I understand we’ll be climbing up the lower slopes of that volcano during the race so we’ll have a nice up-close look at it,” said Allen, who added that the Philippines is one of his favorite places in the world, “so to say I’m excited would be an understatement.”

The early race date adds intrigue to see just how fit everyone comes into it…

“I’ve been enjoying my time in South Africa, and slowly feeling like I am getting back into shape,” said Duffy, who has a busy year ahead of her defending XTERRA titles while chasing ITU points so she can race in her third Olympic games in Rio. “Quite a full race schedule so we’ll see how it goes! Luckily my ITU season ends early September which gives me enough time to properly prepare for Maui.”

For Ben and Jacqui the season never really ended, as the duo did a bunch of racing in their “off-season.”

“I’ll rest when I’m dead,” exclaimed Allen, while Slack elaborated a bit to say “We did a lot of racing during November and December but it was so much fun. It’s what we love doing.  We were able to compete in the races but also had the opportunity to relax and spend much more time than normal enjoying the culture of the places we went to. To be honest, I don’t have my race head on just yet, but I can’t bear missing out on all the fun. It’s no secret that Ben and I love the Philippines so I suppose you could say it’s a social catch up as well as a race.”

For the entire field just the chance to be part of a Sunrise Events production is reason-enough to race.

“It will be my 3rd visit to the Philippines and I have become great friends with Fred Uytengsu, Princess Galura, and the Sunrise Events crew,” said Weiss. “I am dead excited for the trip and the new location in Albay makes it an even more attractive race to start my international racing calendar.”

The thoughts are echoed by all who have had the pleasure to race XTERRA in the Philippines.

“Fred, Princess, and everyone involved at Sunrise events are some of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet,” said Allen. “Fred is an athlete himself and that allows him to understand the needs for all athletes. His passion, dedication and love for sport is infectious. So infectious, it brings the best out of me and we all come together after the race and cherish in the amazing memories we have had. Its one big family…”

“Fred is one of the kindest, most generous people I have ever met,” added Slack. “What he has done for triathlon in the Philippines is mind blowing.  Sunrise events go above and beyond to give competitors the whole package and that’s what destination racing should be about.”

Learn more at xterraphil.com.