SA off-road triathletes head to XTERRA World Championship
XTERRA is the world’s premier off-road triathlon attracting more than 30 000 competitors from all 50 states and more than 50 countries worldwide. The XTERRA World Championship starts with a 1.5-kilometer rough water swim at D.T. Fleming Beach fronting the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. The mountain bike is one big 20-mile loop with 3,500-feet of climbing that goes up-and-down the lower slopes of the West Maui Mountains more than a dozen times, and the +- 10.5km trail run features more climbing (1,200-feet) along dirt trails, through oleander forests, and into 60-foot high ironwood evergreens.
All eyes will be on reigning XTERRA South Africa Champion, Bradley Weiss. “I am going to Maui to win,” says Weiss. “The Maui route suits me incredibly well. I am a smaller athlete and I really enjoy climbing of which Maui has much. The mountain bike leg has three big climbs allowing me to take full advantage of this strength. The run is basically 5km uphill and 5km back down. Once again this suits an athlete of my build. Heat and humidity will, however, be the biggest challenges on the day. Precise nutritional and body management will be vital.”
“South Africa has a decorated history within XTERRA,” continues Weiss. “Being a South African at the XTERRA World Championship comes with a degree of expectation. I am very proud to represent our country internationally. I hope I get the chance to live up to our strong heritage within this sport.”
Weiss will face many great competitors on the day, but Ruben Ruzafa (Spain) and Josiah Middaugh (Eagle-Vail, Colorado) are no doubt the favourites.
Michaele Van Den Heever will represent South Africa in the 20–24 age category. “I love the challenge of the terrain,” says Van Den Heever. “My goal will be to beat my personal best times in each discipline. After all, I am only competing against myself.”
Tanya Rabie will be flying the flag in the 45 – 49 age category. “I am really looking forward to the journey, the adventure and of course the race,” says Rabie. “I would love to win or at least be in the top three in my age category.”
Louis Goldberg will represent the men in the 35 – 39 age category. “I enjoy being out in nature, but I also really like the challenge. To do well at XTERRA you have to be physically fit and strong while possessing technical skills in both mountain-biking and trail running. I am looking forward to the entire trip and experience and am hoping for a top ten finish in my age category.”
Other South African triathletes toeing the line on the day will include: Johandri Leicester (25–29 age group), Lizl Hobson (50-54 age group), Ralf Fletcher (40-44 age group), Farouk Abrahams (45-49 age group) and Gustav Joyce (65-69 age group).
“We are extremely proud to have such a strong South African contingent at the XTERRA World Championship,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports. “We wish all entrants the best of luck. We’ll be monitoring the social media feeds with bated breath. After the World Championship we look forward to seeing you at the XTERRA South Africa series, sharing your experience with the rest of the XTERRA SA family.”
For further information or to enter the Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort, Nelson Mandela Bay or Grabouw visit www.stillwatersports.com