“The place, the race, the organization, and the people are just incredible,” says three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa. “I like to come back every year to see more and more of this beautiful island.”
2018 marks the fourth year of racing at XTERRA Reunion, a French and African island located east of Madagascar that features terrain similar in climate and geography to Maui.
“La Reunion Island was a volcano, just like Hawaii, so competitors can expect a course like XTERRA Worlds,” said race director, Yannick Desfarges, a die-hard and very fast XTERRA racer himself. “We are once again looking forward to sharing our idyllic landscape and our authentic Creole culture, but don’t expect an easy course.”
XTERRA Hall of Famer Conrad Stoltz, a well-know course snob, said “I love to race in pristine natural settings like La Reunion, which also has a very strong triathlon culture. But for those who think the relatively tame distances of 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run, may seem like a bit of a cake walk, you are mistaken!”
Stoltz, a four-time XTERRA World Champion, added that while a typical professional triathlete will finish a 30K road ride in about 40 minutes, the fastest time on XTERRA Reunion’s 30K cycle leg was 1:12 by three-time XTERRA World Champ Ruben Ruzafa.
The course includes two 750-meter loops in a calm, warm (27C) lagoon that is so full of fish and coral, it will seem like you are swimming in an aquarium. Following the swim, the 30K mountain bike course is a combination of single track, dirt road, and highly technical sections that finishes down the famous Ravine Tabac.
“Use that downhill to catch your breath,” said Desfarges, “Because the run is another challenging mix of boulder hopping, a waist-deep river crossing, a forest, and a big climb up the volcano.”
The event offers 26 qualifying spots into XTERRA Worlds for the fastest amateurs and roughly $9,000 USD in prize money to the top six elite men and women.
XTERRA Reunion also includes a 10.5K trail run and an XDUATHLON consisting of a 5K beach run and a 27.5K mountain bike leg.
Watch highlights here.