Behind every World Championship competitor lies the story that led them to the starting line. This series serves to share the stories, messages, and motivations of those set to compete in the biggest race of them all when the XTERRA World Championship returns to the Dolomite mountains in Trentino, Italy this September.
Roaring down the rugged tracks of life, an adrenaline-fueled triathlete from Austria, refuses to be tamed. Christina Herbst is a trailblazer with a heart full of fire and a fierce call to action because her goals aren't meant to be caged – they're meant to be chased down with a vengeance.
Her infectious passion for XTERRA races fueled a series of visits and victories across the globe. Christina clinched her maiden victory at XTERRA Scanno in 2014, ascending her to the top of the game at the World Championship in Maui that year.
The sizzling Spanish sun bore witness to her prowess as she seized 1st place at XTERRA Spain, booking her ticket to Hawaii once more in 2015. The long course, sweltering heat, and technically demanding bike course not only became her playground, she revelled in it.
"Every race is special, every race has its own story. It's more than a competition; it's a family."
Christina weaves the tapestry of diverse landscapes, stories, and connections throughout XTERRA events over the years where winning took a backseat and living in each moment prevailed. ”I got a few slots the next [few] years, but mostly for second place.” Christina emphasizes, "Every race is special, every race has its own story. It's more than a competition; it's a family. If you travel to an XTERRA event, it is a feeling like ‘coming home’.”
Evolving with the times, XTERRA introduced the Long Distance format and Christina seized the opportunity. XTERRA Sumava in 2022 is where Christina battled technical setbacks and defied self-doubt, but the community rose up around her. “A technical bike defect while at my check-in made my heartbeat rise so high, but some other athletes helped me to fix that problem. I thought I needed to quit before the start line," she admits.
Her resolve propelled her through the swim, determined pedalling with a damaged rear derailleur on the MTB course, and a trail run where she raced with abandon. "I ran for my life, had fun, and was laughing nearly all the time," Christina describes, underlining the exhilaration that fuels her journey.
Qualification for the XTERRA World Championship in Molveno 2023 wasn't a straightforward path. It was a hard-fought victory that transformed into an opportunity. "I will be on the start line at Lake Molveno well-prepared, knowing that I am able to win my [40-44] age group," she asserts.
From the scorching heat of XTERRA Extremadura in Spain to the mud-soaked XTERRA Switzerland, each race tells Christina’s story of resilience and camaraderie. "We are family, cheering each other and wishing the best," Christina's voice resonates. “Don’t forget XTERRA Germany, with the whole XTERRA Family, BBQ at the campsite together and the biggest afterparty.”
"If you travel to an XTERRA event, it is a feeling like ‘coming home'."
"Winning the title is a big goal. Maybe a dream, a big dream," she confesses with humility. Training, setbacks, and successes paint her canvas. Her XTERRA tattoo speaks of her unwavering commitment. "It still motivates me during every race, every training, every exhausting moment," Christina shares, revealing a visual reminder of her quest.
"I want to inspire people, that they should only do what they love," she concludes, the heartbeat of her mission resonating in her words. As Christina Herbst charges towards Molveno, she carries with her the grit of a warrior and the soul of a true XTERRA champion.
Cristian Pérez-Adasme is a force of nature hailing from the rugged landscapes of Chile. Since childhood, the steep inclines of nearby hills echoed freedom amidst the rain-soaked trails where his steed for conquering the wild was none other than his bicycle. "Since I was a child, I liked cycling and even more, triathlon," he declares. His journey took him far from these well-worn paths, as he dove into triathlon territory in 2019. XTERRA Chile became his arena and elevated him to newfound heights as he exclaims, "Swimming, mountain biking and trail running in the same race in the hills is something so unique!"
Then came 2020, a year that draped the world in uncertainty. Yet Cristian's determination refused to bow. XTERRA Chile was his inauguration, but this time the desert became his training ground, a stark contrast to the lush trails he used to embrace. "The lack of vegetation and humidity were not an impediment to diminish my desire to run," he proclaims with his positivity blazing as brilliantly as the towering sand dunes.
Race day dawned on XTERRA Chile 2022 where Cristian reached the culmination of his tenacity. "I got second place in my [30-34 age] category and got a long-awaited qualification for the World Championship, a true dream!" The thrill in his words reverberates, but the story doesn't halt at victory; it surges forward, ready to conquer new lands, new challenges.
As the XTERRA World Championship in Molveno, Italy awaits, Cristian has to confront a massive shift from the desert to the Dolomites. "It will be a huge challenge to adapt to the cold and humid Europe [conditions]," he reveals with a spirit that is unwavering, ready for the grind.
For Cristian, triumph isn't just personal; it's an homage to his parents: his pillars of determination and perseverance. He proclaims. "My parents have always been very disciplined and have achieved their goals with a lot of work, despite all the adversities that have come their way in life. It will be very exciting to cross the finish line of the XTERRA World Championship and embrace them.”
Through the grit, the sweat, the unyielding spirit, one truth stands tall – Cristian Pérez-Adasme is ready for the ride. “Italy has always been a place that I want to know, its landscapes, mountains and history in cycling are recognized worldwide, and Molveno lake is a beautiful place.”
"My parents have always been very disciplined and have achieved their goals with a lot of work, despite all the adversities that have come their way in life. It will be very exciting to cross the finish line of the XTERRA World Championship and embrace them.”
Cristian's journey extends beyond this story; it serves as a call to action, knowing that the pursuit of dreams holds significance and that triumphing over challenges yields the ultimate satisfaction.
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