Reunion Island, a French island located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, will host XTERRA for the first time this Sunday.
The men’s race features XTERRA Philippines Champion Bradley Weiss from South Africa, last year’s XTERRA Greece Champion Francois Carloni of France, perennial contender Yeray Luxem from Belgium, multiple World Tour race winner Sam Gardner from the UK, Jan Kubicek from the Czech Republic, and Theo Blignaut from South Africa.
Of particular note is the inclusion of hometown triathlon hero David Hauss, who won the ITU World Cup race at Mooloolaba earlier this year.
”It’s always great and very motivating to see international races in Reunion Island that can attract worldwide athletes,” said Hauss. “We can see that Reunion Island can shine abroad and that even here we can organize prestigious events. It also shows the variety of incredible playground we have. For local athletes it’s a great way to compete against the best racers and also improve their level in a quite recent sport, which will, in few years, increase and develop. You can see trail running and mountain biking are becoming more popular.”
The women’s race features the reigning XTERRA European Tour Champion Kathrin Mueller along with two-time XTERRA South Africa Champ Carla Van Huyssteen.
It starts with a 1,500-meter swim in the pristine waters of the west coast lagoon, follows on a hilly 30km mountain bike course through the savannah and sugar cane fields, and finishes with a 10km trail run by the coast.
“It’s a challenging course, an astonishing landscape,” said Yannick Desfarges, the technical director and an XTERRA racer himself who won the 30-34 division and finished 13th overall at XTERRA South Africa earlier this year.
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.
To learn more visit www.xterrareunion.com, or write to xterrareunion [at] gmail.com.