XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, Callala Beach, NSW
April 23-24, 2016
Last year the boys from 220 dusted off their trail shoes and took on their first ever off-road triathlon at the Xterra Asia-Pacific Championships with varying degrees of success. You’ll have to flick back to issue #31 to catch up on how they went, but despite taking a wrong turn in the bush and ultimately coming last, a fantastic day of muddy hair, soggy feet and victory beers was had by all.
It goes to show that in between the spills (and there will be many of them) there are always plenty of thrills. When the routine of a regular triathlon begins to grind, it could take an off-road adventure full of mud, grit and a community like none other to get your adrenalin pumping again.
Now in its third year on the World Tour the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship held at Jervis Bay just a few hours outside of Sydney has quickly become an Aussie favourite. Combining a 1.5-kilometer ocean swim at Callala Beach with a snaking 30-kilometer mountain bike course and muddy 10-kilometer trail run. This year the rowdy Xterra owners out of Hawaii has put up $50,000 in prize money and has attracted a world-class field of elite athletes including off-road champs such as Ben Allen and Courtney Atkinson.
For many off-road racers around the world, the biggest off-road triathlon in the world takes place just outside Cape Town, South Africa with more than 3,000 participants breaking free from the shackles of a flat and fast bitumen road for the gnarled and gritty bush trails. But Australia looks to be rivaling Cape Town.
10 years ago, South Africa was poised and ready to become the home for off-road racing, but today Australia has emerged as a new player on the world stage. With a triathlon and an outdoorsy spirit running through our veins, Xterra has a place to spread its roots for many years to come.
Courtney Atkinson and Ben Allen are two Aussies who have embraced their dirty side tackling Xterra over the last few years.
“I came down twice on the bike on some slippery stuff. There were times on the bike when I was thinking that I could get off and run faster than this.. I know overseas they have sloppy, jungle XTERRA’s but this is probably the first time I’ve experienced this level of mud. I ran as quick as I could but the thing with XTERRA is the bike kills your legs. It was a tough day at the muddy office.” Atkinson says.
“I love the laid back, easy going and friendly nature of everyone being able to enjoy the outdoors and explore nature as one big happy family,” said Ben Allen, a multiple XTERRA winner from Wollongong.
Luring amateurs and professional athletes alike from around the world Xterra Asia-Pacific has become a huge event for both racers and locals. The off-road sports festival weekend also includes a sprint distance off-road triathlon, trail runs, and relay team competitions attracting more than 500 competitors of all ages and abilities.
For more information visit www.xterraasiapacific.com