The inaugural Xterra in Port Elizabeth brought a sense of excitement to the PE locals and surrounding areas. Little did we know that the best off-road Triathlon Junkies in SA would also be present to show us how it is really done.
The event kicked off with the Xterra Full on Saturday the 30th of January. The field was strong with the likes of Bradley Weiss, Stuart Marais and Theo Blignaut in the mens race and Carla van Huyssteen, Andrea Steyn and Susan Sloan in the womens race.
A number of our very own MTD athletes were also in attendance and it was always going to be a tough day out for the majority that had raced exceptionally hard at the Ironman 70.3 Buffalo city one week prior. Nonetheless the guys raced like true champions and suffered it out to earn their Xterra finisher medals.
MTD PE coach Richard Lawrie tells us about his experience:
Being a 'Roadie' and someone that hasn't been on my MTB for quite sometime, I didn't quite know what to expect. It was the 1st Xterra in PE and I was adamant that I wanted to be part of it despite racing myself into the ground 6 days earlier. Sea conditions were reasonably tough, bike course was technical (for me) and hot and the run basically took place in a sauna with a slight breeze every once in awhile. I literally suffered it out from start to finish & crossed the line with a newfound respect for Xterra athletes. It was a challenging event for me but the bug did bite ever so slightly and I will be definitely be back next year to try and find my name amongst the single track shrubs.
There was a great atmosphere around the entire event. Many positive comments were made about the beautiful race route and the organisation shown by the Stillwater sports team. All in all PE turned out to be a great venue and this is definitely an exciting event that athletes want to be a a part of in 2016.