Bradley Weiss and Ben Allen gear up for another spirited duel for the men’s crown while Great Britain’s Jacqui Slack seeks redemption in the women’s side of the Xterra Off-Road Triathlon South firing off April 23 in Danao, Cebu.
Weiss bucked wet and slippery condition then pounced on Allen’s miscue in the bike stage to keep the title in last year’s staging of one of the toughest off-road races in Albay.
But the South African ace braces for a tougher challenge this time, not only from the expected charge from Allen and the rest of the elite field but also from the challenging course in Danao that will not only test the field’s stamina and power but also mental toughness.
“This event is one of the biggest in recent years for Danao City, which has hosted international MTB races. We’re happy and fortunate that Sunrise Events, Inc. has chosen us to host the event and we guarantee a triathlon to remember,” said Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI during the media launch of the event at the Coco Palms Beach Resort recently.
The event, featuring the 1.500m swim, 40km off-road bike and 10k trail run, will also showcase Danao as a top tourist destination, according to Durano.
Others who graced the event launch were Provincial administrator Atty. Mark Tolentino, DOT Region 7 officer-in-charge Judy Gabato and Galura along with triathletes Noy Jopson, Clark Gothong, TJ Mayol, Bernard Sia and Michael Randy Uy.
The event actually serves as the first of three Xterra races the city will host till 2019 as Durano and SEI general manager Princess Galura signed the three-year contract recently.
Galura said that around 300 to 400 triathletes are expected to join the event, sponsored by Alcoplus, Sanicare, The Philippine Star, 2GO Express, Cetaphil, Prudential Guarantee, Columbia, Garmin, Tri Life, Cignal Hyper TV, Rocktape, Gatorade, MNTC, Coca Cola Femsa, Powerade, Wilkins and Storck, which stakes $15,000 to the winners in the pro division and P120,000 in the Asian Elite class
Slack, meanwhile, tries to redeem herself from last year’s setback to Lizzie Orchard of New Zealand, who rallied in the run stage to snare the women’s crown on her very first try in the event backed by El Salvador and Coco Palms as hotel partners.
Joining Weiss, Allen and Slack in the early roster are Japanese Takahiro Ogasawara, Taylor Carlton, Sam Osborne, Jaqui Slack, Carina Wasle of Austria, Kiera Mcpherson, Myriam Boiset, Jacky Boiset and Brodie Gardner.
The race will start and finish at the Coco Palm Beach Resort with the bike and run stages to take the participants to the scenic mountain ranges of the city. It will feature individual and relay competitions.
For details, visit www.xterraphil.com or through social media accounts (FB) xterraNorthPH; (IG) xterranorthph xterrasouthph and hashtag.