This Saturday for the second straight season XTERRA Motatapu, an “epic distance” off-road triathlon, will take place at Lake Wanaka - New Zealand's alpine wonderland on the South Island.
The race, produced by Iconic Adventures, combines a 2km swim in Lake Wanaka with a 47km mountain bike through three high country stations to Arrowtown before finishing up with a 15km mountain run over the historic Miner?s Trail. It’s the longest-distance XTERRA World Championship qualifying race (14 slots to the top finishers) on the planet.
Last year’s winning times were 3:48:05 for Braden Currie and 4:45:09 for Fleur Latimore.
This year Currie will be up against two-time XTERRA New Zealand Champ and adventure racing legend Richard Ussher.
"Another fun weekend of racing on the cards," posted Ussher to his twitter account. "Form slowly coming back - might start getting serious soon!"
Iconic Adventures Director Tom Pryde, who has been instrumental in bringing a number of high profile races to Queenstown, says he is delighted to bring the world championship-qualifying event to the area.
"It’s a great boost for triathlon and multisport in this region, and will give triathletes and multisporters of all ages something to aim at," he said.
“The event was amazing,” said Mexico’s Leo Ricardez, a long-time and well-traveled XTERRA Warrior, after last year’s race. “The scenery is just incredible. It’s like riding in the Lord of the Rings movie. And the run was even more epic than the ride, very tough and technical with lots of climbing and lots of very steep descending. The trail went through alpine environments so it was grassy, wet, dry, steep, and super scenic. All in all, this was one of the best XTERRA runs I´ve ever done, and I’ve done a lot of them!”