Bradley Weiss and Carina Wasle bucked the odds, including the punishing terrain in the mountain bike part, the excruciating heat in the trail run and the tough field to reign as XTERRA Danao champions the second time around in Danao, Cebu on Sunday.
Weiss rallied from third in the opening swim stage by topping the bike part then the South African ace sustained his charge in the closing run leg to retain the crown in the men’s pro division of the second of three XTERRA series slated here. He timed 02:16:28 with clockings of 0:19:09 (swim), 1:15:35 (bike) and 0:40:04 (run).
New Zealand’s Sam Osborne, who came in second to Aussie Ben Allen in the swim leg, struggled a bit in the bike part, enabling Weiss to seize control with the Kiwi settling for another runner-up finish in the premier endurance race billed as the Asia Pacific Championship and produced and organized by Sunrise Events, Inc. in 02:17:17.
SEI actually modified the course set-up in the bike (28k) and run (8k) parts with the 1.5k swim leg proving tougher with the strong current.
“The course last year suits me up a little bit more but I prefer this race because it is hard and intense and the gaps are short among racers, making it more exciting for us as well as for the spectators,” said Weiss, who beat Osborne by almost seven minutes in last year’s XTERRA edition set over 1.5k swim, 40k mountain bike and 10k trail run.
The weather was so searing that Weiss had wanted to wrap it all up as fast as he could.
“It was so hot I just wanted it to be over,” added Weiss after successfully defending his crown, actually his third straight counting his 2016 feat in Albay.
Another Kiwi, Kiera McPherson, finished strong in the run leg in 0:38:28 to claim third place in 02:19:47 as Allen hobbled in the bike and run stages and wound up fourth in 02:23:48.
Frenchman Fabien Combaluzier placed fifth in 02:25:35 followed by Aussie Brodie Gardner (02:31:31), New Zealand’s Alex Roberts (02:34:04), American Will Ross (02:46:53) and Kiwi Mark Williams (02:48:55).
Wasle of Austria, who dominated her side last year by almost 30 minutes, also kept the women’s tiara in 02:49:38 (00:21:43/01:35:40/00:49:53), banking on a strong performance in the bike stage to edge Aussie Penny Slater, who timed 02:52:38 with clockings of 00:21:39/01:39:37/00:50:07).
Weiss and Wasle’s feats came on the heels of their victories in the Fedhealth XTERRA South African Championship, considered as the world’s biggest XTERRA event in Elgin-Grabouw last February.
Myriam Boisset of France placed third in 02:56:33 while Leela Hancox of Australia came in fourth in 03:03:58 and Kiwi Kristy Jennings finished fifth in 03:09:35.
Topping the relays were Karen Mae Indaya, Jessie Sanchez and Josept Emia (02:24:46) in the mixed and Ralph Arche, Roger Niere and Jezerel Baguio (02:48:38) in the male division of the event, presented by the Province of Cebu and the City of Danao and backed by venue hosts Coco Palms Beach Resort and Cebu Technological U, and 2Go Express, David’s Salon, Intercare, Motor Ace, Hyper on Cignal, The Philippine Star, AlcoPlus, DeVant, Sanicare and Storck.