DANAO, Cebu: South African Bradley Weiss showed his top form in Danao’s sun-scorched, punishing terrain to run away with back-to-back titles in the XTERRA Philippines Off Road Triathlon series on Sunday.
Pacing himself well in the highly-challenging and lengthy course torched by 40 degree heat and humidity, Weiss pulled away in the mountain roads en route to annexing the XTERRA Danao Cebu diadem as a followup to his triumph in last year’s XTERRA Albay.
Weiss covered the challenging 1.5K swim, 40K mountain bike and 10K trail run course in 3 hours and 16 minutes, checking in nearly seven minutes ahead of runner-up Sam Osborne of New Zealand (3:23:33).
Kiwi Kieran McPherson took the bronze in the event organized and produced by Sunrise Events, Inc. with 3:24:27 while fancied Australian Ben Allen, who suffered a flat tire thrice in the bike, settled for fourth in the 11-man field with 3:44:26 followed by American Will Kelsay (3:50:48) and Pinoy Joseph Miller (3:52:04).
Austrian Carina Wasle, meanwhile, hit paydirt after two previous heartbreakers on Philippines soil, scoring a wire-to-wire victory in the women’s pro division. Wasle posted 4:07:49 to beat Aussie Penny Slater (4:36:21) and American Jessica Koltz (5:22:53) with plenty to spare.
“Very tough race. I’ve been racing professionally for six years now and this one’s probably the hardest and hottest race I’ve ever done,” said Weiss.
“It’s so challenging that if you finish, you’ve already done a fantastic job. So to come up with a win is absolutely an amazing result; I couldn’t ask for more,” he added.
Recognizing a long race ahead, Weiss swam conservatively at first then made his move in the steep mountains of barangay Sabang, catching up with the pacesetters towards the end of the first loop.
“Starting the second loop, I put the hammer down and went for it,” said Weiss, who established a six-minute gap heading into the run phase at Cebu Technological University Danao.
Meanwhile, Wasle finally erased the bitter memories of two losing campaigns in the country with a one-sided triumph.
“I had a very good race. I managed my speed and made sure I won’t overheat so I wasn’t very tired in the end,” she said.
The event is backed 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.