This Sunday’s second annual XTERRA Reunion off-road tri has lured an XTERRA Hall of Famer out of his retirement cave to join in the fun.
“I’ve circled the globe many times to race in some of the world’s most idyllic triathlon locations but almost unbelievably, I never raced in Reunion,” said Conrad “the Caveman” Stoltz, who will bring his family and make a race-cation out of the trip while also documenting the experience for TriathlonPlus Magazine.
Reunion Island, a French island located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar, is indeed a worthy destination.
“I’ve always wanted to travel there,” said Stoltz. “I speak fluent French, I love unique cultures and unspoiled nature, and Reunion has a very strong triathlon culture.”
That culture will get even stronger this weekend when some of the world’s best XTERRA racers, including three-time World Champ Ruben Ruzafa, descend upon the island.
Other elite men in the field include Euro Tour runner-up Francois Carloni, last year’s XTERRA Reunion runner-up Yeray Luxem, age-group World Champ turned pro Christophe Betard, and a bevy of South Africans with Theo Blignaut, Antoine Van Heerden, Aiden Nugent, and Charl Stephan.
The defending men’s champ Bradley Weiss will be in New Zealand to take on the Kiwis and fight for the Asia-Pacific Crown in the coming weeks, leaving the Reunion title for another to grab.
In the women’s race Carla Van Huyssteen returns to defend her crown but will have her work cut out for her with Carina Wasle, Sandra Koblmueller, Susan Sloan, and Natia Van Heerden also on the start list.
The race combines a 1,500-meter swim in 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. To learn more visit www.xterrareunion.com, or write to xterrareunion [at] gmail.com.