The Elgin Grabouw Country Club will be the hub of excitement next weekend with off-road adventure seekers of all ages putting their skills to the test at one of the largest XTERRA events in the World, the XTERRA South Africa Championship.
Ruan van Zyl (20) from Pretoria is one such athlete. “The sport of XTERRA has so many factors,” says van Zyl who is currently a 2nd year Design student at Inscape College.
“It encourages a healthy lifestyle, features healthy competition, introduces me to new people and allows me to improve on a daily basis. With XTERRA Grabouw being the biggest XTERRA in the world, there are a lot of lessons to learn within the race. Having it in South Africa just makes it more special as we are able to share our beautiful country with XTERRA athletes from all over the world.”
“I have many XTERRA heroes,” continues van Zyl. “My top three are all South African. Conrad “The Caveman” Stoltz is one of the most amazing athletes. His history of winning races just says it all. Watching Bradley Weiss become the world champion just gave me motivation to try to race up there with him one day. Dan Hugo was one of my favorite XTERRA athletes. I can only hope to be just as humble as Dan. I am really excited to be racing again and cannot wait to get out there with the big names of XTERRA.”
Junior adventure seekers can experience the action as well during the XTERRA Kids Race.
“The XTERRA Kids Race is always the source of much excitement,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director Stillwater Sports. “It is heartwarming to see moms, dads, grandparents and siblings supporting the junior XTERRA warriors from start to finish. The XTERRA Kids Race will be hosted on the Saturday after the XTERRA Lite which means junior XTERRA Warriors (whose parents are taking part in the XTERRA Lite) will get to watch mom and dad in action before experiencing the fun themselves. We look forward to hosting two fun-filled days for the entire family out in Grabouw.”
Organizers, as per tradition, have added new routes to the bike and run course to keep the challenge fresh and exciting for those experiencing it year-after-year. XTERRA South Africa has been around since 2004.
“XTERRA Full entrants can expect a brand new MTB and trail run experience,” said Meyer. “The MTB route will follow the Northern trails (new to XTERRA) for the first 12km before heading back towards single track heaven. An easier trail run route will take entrants around the dam and will also feature spectacular single track. The iconic beach run to the finish will still close off the race.”
“Although only half the distance of the Full Race, the XTERRA Lite routes should not be underestimated,” he added. “The mountain bike route will include its fair share of hills and single track. The trail run route will pose its own challenges, but the effort will be rewarded with spectacular views and a lasting feeling of accomplishment.”
In addition to qualifying amateur athletes for XTERRA Worlds, the 2019 SA Champs will also serve as a selection race for the ITU Cross Tri World Championships to be held in Pontevedra, Spain on April 30.
Learn more at xterraplanet.com.