The first XTERRA off-road festival of the year took place in the North West Province of South Africa last weekend with Brad Edwards and Nicolette Griffioen taking top honors in the main event, which combined a 1.5km swim, 26km mountain bike and 12km trail run.
Edwards had a stellar day out on route, leading the men’s race from start to finish. “I’ve learnt not to desire one big outcome, but instead to focus on each discipline individually. On the swim I worked hard at having a good stroke. I know that if I tick all the smaller boxes the outcome will be good. I’ve dreamed about winning an XTERRA. Crossing the finish line first today can be likened to when I won the under 23 Cross Tri World Championship.”
“XTERRA has everything. It’s scenic, the routes are challenging and the organisation is amazing,” continued Edwards. “I’m looking forward to taking part at the XTERRA Grabouw next month. I know the course is challenging and the quality of athletes competing will be high. I will once again focus on the smaller goals. Hopefully I’ll be able to make top five.” Edwards completed the 2017 Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw in an impressive finishing time of 02 hours 43 minutes 26 seconds. Darryn Purtell came in second, while Adriaan Myburgh finished third.
Although plagued by bike mechanicals on the day, Nicolette Griffioen managed to regain composure and successfully defend her Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort title. “I’m not the fastest swimmer. So going into the race I just wanted to be consistent in the swim. I started to catch the leaders on the mountain bike discipline, but then my bike punctured at approximately 15km in. I first bombed the tyre and later plugged it, followed by another bomb. After that I decided to be more cautious. Going into the run I was in survival mode. I am very surprised that I managed to catch all the runners ahead of me. I am really happy with the win.” Griffioen completed the 2017 Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort in a deserving time of 03 hours 21 minutes 43 seconds. Johandri Leicester came in second, while Adrienne Moolman finished third.
Nico Sterk and Hayle Preen took top honors in the XTERRA Lite race, with winning times of 1:15:47 and 1:29:59, respectively. The Lite race featured a 400m swim, followed by a 19km MTB and then finally a 6km trail run. Featuring some exciting route upgrades, even the XTERRA regulars were kept on their toes.
“Many of us want to start living a more active life, but don’t always know where to start,” says Jeremy Yatt, Principal Officer of Fedhealth. “The Fedhealth XTERRA Lite offers just that: a well-organised swim, MTB ride and trail run that’s perfect for beginner triathletes. And, since the Fedhealth XTERRA also offers a Kids and Full event, there is something for every member of the family to do. We invite families to come make a weekend out of it!”
For further information visit www.stillwatersports.com.