XTERRA Worlds: A Celebration of the Human Spirit #6

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.

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Lizl Hobson - The Ageless Athlete Revolution 🇿🇦

Lizl Hobson's journey to the XTERRA World Championship is not just about a race; it's a beacon of inspiration for women over 50, particularly those navigating through menopause. Lizl, a proud South African and a 56-year-old age group qualifier, carries a message of hope and vitality for all who dare to believe in the power of agelessness.

Lizl Hobson’s words below are respectfully given their space and time to shine in her open letter to XTERRA athletes, readers, fans, friends, family and beyond:

Dear Triathlon Community,

Have you ever felt that the sands of time were slipping away faster than you could catch them? That you have limited time left to enjoy life? As a Health Coach specializing in Longevity, I see myself as an "Ageless Athlete" to whom age is just a number. We can all become one, no matter the stage of life we find ourselves in.

At the age of 56, I am now leaner, fitter, and stronger than I have been in a decade. And the secret of my change is not a magic bullet, but rather, diet and lifestyle changes. I have adopted scientifically proven Blood Sugar Balancing principles and followed a “Younger You” programme. I have discovered that our biological clocks can be slowed down, and we can embrace a future of healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives.

For many middle-aged individuals, menopause often becomes a perceived barrier to achieving our dreams, whether it’s in sport or any other aspect of life. I want to motivate you that menopause can be a new chapter to a new you. 

Having qualified for the 2023 World Xterra Championship was only the beginning and the true work, dedication and discipline starts now. I have discovered that exercise is a powerful anti-aging elixir that can reshape our bodies and minds, allowing us to break free from the constraints of age-limitations. 

The “Ageless Athlete” philosophy is not just about participating in sports, it’s about embracing a lifestyle that nurtures our bodies and minds to thrive. As we age, we may encounter certain physical changes, but they need not define us. We can adapt, overcome, and excel, and in doing so, inspire others to break free from self-imposed limitations.

Let's radically rethink aging together. Instead of accepting it as an inevitable decline, let's view it as an opportunity to embrace a healthier, more rewarding life. Let's redefine what middle age can be and show that menopause need not be an excuse, but that we can live our best life after 50.

Let’s use this World triathlon to embrace our age and inspire one another to lead healthier, more active lives. Together, we can prove that it's never too late to take on new adventures and achieve personal milestones that enrich our lives and those of our loved ones. Let’s stay younger together. 

With humble determination and a passion for an Ageless Athlete revolution,

Lizl Hobson

Health & Longevity Coach and Triathlon Enthusiast

Stellenbosch, South Africa

We thank Lizl on her mission to inspire others by breaking free from self-imposed limitations, to radically rethink aging as an opportunity for a healthier, more rewarding life. Together, through the 2023 XTERRA World Championship, she hopes to inspire healthier, more active lives, proving that it's never too late to take on new adventures and achieve personal milestones.


Shao Yung Chung - From Wheelchair to Podium 🇹🇼

In XTERRA’s rugged playground, resilience reigns supreme and the inspiring journey of Shao Yung serves up a whirlwind from travesty to recovery. He is a true competitor from the island of Taiwan where Shao Yung's quest for glory at the 2023 XTERRA World Championship in Molveno, Italy, all began. 

"I'm Shao Yung from Taiwan, and this is my story – from a wheelchair to the podium!"

In early 2021, Shao Yung was on the cusp of XTERRA triumph, securing second place in his 30-34 age group at XTERRA Kenting and a ticket to the World Championship. But fate had a different plan. A devastating accident left him wheelchair-bound and his goals and gears came to a grinding halt. 

“On Oct. 2021, I crashed during the Team Pursuit on the velodrome. My ACL and PCL [were torn], I had no choice but to sit and rest. It was very upsetting because I couldn’t exercise anymore.”

The cruel reality that he could no longer partake in the activities he cherished was a bitter pill to swallow. Guided by his doctor's counsel, he threw himself into the grueling process of rehabilitation for six months, followed by a relentless three-month training regimen, all with one objective – to conquer the unforgiving trails of Kenting, Taiwan.

Against all odds, he crossed the finish line with a qualifying spot, reigniting his dream to conquer the 2023 XTERRA World Championship. For Shao Yung, crossing that finish line marked more than just the culmination of a race; it symbolized the rekindling of his dream – competing in the XTERRA World Championship and setting his sights on global glory.

Today, Shao Yung stands tall, a valued part of XTERRA’s community that helped fuel his recovery. He passionately shares, "I hope my story can serve as an inspiration to those who, much like me, are fighting their battles. We can make it!"

"I hope my story can serve as an inspiration to those who, much like me, are fighting their battles. We can make it!"

In this ultimate playground where challenge and triumph converge, Shao Yung's story is a brutal example of human resilience and toughness. From adversity to excellence, he embodies the fortitude and fearlessness necessary to compete at the highest level. See you in Molveno Shao Yung!

XTERRA Worlds: A Celebration of the Human Spirit is an ongoing series, with part #1, #2, #3, and #4, and #5 more stories still to come from those currently preparing for the XTERRA World Championship.















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Spread throughout Europe, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific, the XTERRA content team is a passionate group of racers, writers, photographers, and videographers working to capture the endless adventure of the XTERRA Planet.

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