Four-time XTERRA European Tour Champion Renata Bucher from Switzerland has confirmed her participation in the inaugural XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship scheduled for April 26, 2014 in Australia.
The race will be held just a few hours south of Sydney in the beach side town of Callala, on pristine Jervis Bay, New South Wales.
It’s no surprise that Bucher, perhaps the most well-traveled XTERRA professional in the last decade, has put the first-time event on her docket. She has been a regular at XTERRA’s Asia-Pacific races, and during last year's tour placed second at XTERRA Philippines, Saipan, and Guam before winning three straight at the XTERRA Great Ocean Road off-road tri in Australia, XTERRA New Zealand, then XTERRA Malaysia (and would go on to win the first European Tour race of the year at XTERRA Spain).
This will be Bucher’s 10th year of XTERRA racing, as she got her start in the sport at XTERRA Germany in 2004. During that stretch the “Swiss Miss” has won 31 XTERRA Championship races in 14 countries, the U.S. Territory of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (Saipan).
We caught up with Bucher to get her thoughts on racing in New South Wales.
XTERRA: You trained during the off-season in Australia, and will again this year…why Down Under?
Renata Bucher: Australia...what a huge country. The people are open minded, and is one of the biggest triathlon nations. Every time I go to Australia I discover a lovely place to train, to explore, and to enjoy. I’ve had great times in Caloundra, Noosa, Gold Coast, and then Torquay, which is my training base this year again, and I totally love it there. The conditions for training are perfect (if it is not raining) - training outside, swimming in the ocean, every weekend a race if you want to, there is lots of sunshine, markets on the weekends, BBQ's, good wine, and an abundance of beautiful beaches.
XT: Why do you think XTERRA is a good fit for Australia?
RB: Aussies are a bit crazy about endurance stuff :) And, they are very helpful and in general "good mates!"
XT: Have you been to Jervis Bay?
RB: No, but I have heard great things about it and the pictures are looking very nice.
XT: Are you excited about this new XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship?
RB: Yes! A lot of the XTERRA pros are doing a several races on the Asia-Pacific Tour so having a big finale race in Australia makes the Tour more attractive and interesting. For sure, it is hard work. At the end it is not all about who is the most super fit athlete, it is a lot about how to manage the travel, to recover quickly, and to get through these crazy races injury free and happy.
XT: What is your schedule like for 2014; will you race all the Asia-Pacific events?
RB: Yes, that is always my favorite tour, the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour. An XTERRA season without a stay in Saipan, it just wouldn’t be the same.
XT: What do you like about XTERRA?
RB: Not sure what it is exactly, but I'm still totally passionate about it. I have already spent so many years doing it, and I just don’t ever want to miss-out on XTERRA in my life.
XT: You've traveled all over the world with XTERRA, is it a fun way to adventure?
RB: Oh yes, I have traveled a lot, and for sure it is a fun way to adventure. It’s not always easy, but traveling and especially traveling solo, you can learn some good life lessons. It helps to prioritize what really matters, and I’ve learned to have more patience. I know I can’t control everything, like delays, missing bags, extra bike charges, etc... And sometimes in a race you also can’t control everything (weather, mechanical.....).
XT: Why should other people join you at Asia-Pacific Champs?
RB: It is the chance to join a high-class XTERRA event in a beautiful area, not too far from a big city, Sydney, with tough competition, good timing before the XTERRA Euro Tour, plus I’ll be there : ) ... there are thousands of reasons!
Follow along with Renata and her “Aloha Racing” team at www.aloha-racing.com.