The 2018 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour finale takes place this Sunday, June 17, in the shadows of the famous Mount Mayon volcano of the Philippines, the iconic landmark of Legazpi in the province of Albay. Plus, racing news and notes from around the XTERRA Planet.
The 2018 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour finale takes place this Sunday, June 17, in the shadows of the famous Mount Mayon Volcano of the Philippines, the iconic landmark of Legazpi in the province of Albay.
XTERRA Albay was originally scheduled for March 4, but the active volcano with the symmetrical cone was erupting and disrupting the island of Luzon, forcing organizers to postpone the race and allow Mother Nature to take its course and allow the local government to address the needs of those who were affected by the volcanic activities.
With the date change, XTERRA Albay became the fourth of four events in the Tour this year. There will be a $15,000 USD prize purse for the race, and a $10,000 tour bonus to the top five in the elite standings, plus 50 Maui spots for amateurs vying to compete at XTERRA Worlds.
The men’s elite race is highlighted by another showdown between XTERRA World Champ Bradley Weiss and his sparring partner Sam Osborne. Those two went toe-to-toe at the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race in Danao this past April with Weiss coming out on top. Indeed, the South African has won three races in a row since his world title, and currently owns three of the sports four major crowns – the XTERRA European, Asia-Pacific, and World Championship titles (Mauricio Mendez won the XTERRA Pan American Championship last year).
And in the Philippines, Weiss seems unstoppable, having won the last two races in Albay and the last four majors held in the Pearl of the Orient Seas.
“I can’t wait to race amidst such dramatic scenery again,” said Weiss. “It’s really going to be fun and a memorable experience racing at Mt. Mayon.”
To keep the winning streak alive Weiss will have to overcome a lingering injury and a motivated Kiwi (Osborne) who has won six XTERRA majors of his own in the last year and is poised to wrap up the APAC Tour title on Sunday.
“100%, I’m off to Albay, not going to let the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour go from underneath me,” said Osborne, after finishing as the runner-up to Mendez at XTERRA Tahiti last month.
Other elites in the men’s chase include former XTERRA Japan Champion Takahiro Ogasawara, his countryman Akihiro Maeda, and local star Joe Miller.
The race combines 1.5km swim, 28km mountain bike and 8km trail run. In addition to the main event, a duathlon (2km run, 14km bike and 4km run) and lite XTERRA (750km swim, 14km bike and 4km run) will be held on the same day.
In the women’s elite race the title is up for grabs between a group of Aussies and Kiwis, with Penny Slater and Leela Hancox representing Australia, and Samantha Kingsford and Kristy Jennings coming from New Zealand.
Slater, who sits atop the tour standings, can walk away with a tour title should she put together a solid performance on Sunday.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” she exclaimed. “I had a nasty crash about three weeks ago but I’ve recovered pretty well and am keen to get out and race on Sunday. Also really excited to be leading the tour and hope I can build on my consistent performances from previous races.”
Slater credits her coach, Jacqui Allen, for putting her in the position to contend this year.
“If you asked me if I could achieve this last year, I probably would have said no. But over summer I put in some really hard work and I feel like a completely new athlete this year, not just physically but mentally. Working on my mental game, being confident in my abilities, and believing I can take on these top girls has really helped. Full credit to Jacqui, my coach, and Ben, who’s also had some really great insights into helping work on these things.”
Both Slater and Hancox also expressed that their biggest excitement is seeing the volcano in person for the first time.
“From the pictures I’ve seen it looks pretty impressive,” said Hancox, who sits in second place on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour standings. “I have enjoyed every race and the experiences that have come with them on the tour this year and feel blessed to have this opportunity to race and be part of the tour.”
As for the race itself, she added “As always, I’m nervous going into the race and feel like I’m batting way above my weight class; however, I have nothing to lose, so I’ll give it everything I have on the day. The goal is to walk away a winner; but we will just have to see how it all plays out on the day. I plan to do the best I can and if I do that with all my heart, then I’ve achieved the race goal.”
More information on the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour can be found at xterraplanet.com.
For more on XTERRA Albay visit www.albay.xterraphil.com, and search for hashtags #XTERRAAlbay on social media at facebook/XTERRAAlbay, twitter @XTERRAAlbay, and instagram @XTERRAAlbay.
LAST WEEK: The lone XTERRA World Tour major last week took place in the historic city of Namur, where XTERRA Belgium greeted thousands upon thousands of racers and spectators along the cobblestone streets and lush green forests surrounding the old Castle that dates back to the Roman era. Francois Carloni and Morgane Riou won the main event, perhaps the most notable in the careers for both.
XTERRA AMERICA TOUR UPDATES
The XTERRA America Tour, which features 50 races in 30 states across the country, heads to California and Colorado with a couple of classics this Saturday, June 16, just a few days before the summer solstice.
XTERRA Tahoe City starts in arguably the clearest, cleanest, and deepest lake in North America – Lake Tahoe – for a two-lap, 1500 meter swim. Tahoe City is also home to some of the area’s most treasured mountain biking trails. On the bike course, participants will ride 22 miles on some of the country’s most treasured single track and double track, through fields of wildflowers, and along breathtaking vistas, then are tasked with traversing even more of these great trails on the five-mile run. Read More on this race.
Also on June 16, XTERRA Lory opens the XTERRA Mountain region racing season with a half-mile mile swim in the clear waters of Horsetooth Reservoir, Eltuk Bay. With canyon walls on both sides, it’s one of the most scenic swims in the state. The next leg is a two-lap, beginner-friendly, 12.2 mile single-track bike course over rolling terrain and across valley bridges at Lory State Park. Racers then finish with a fun and challenging 4.8 mile (8k) run through the clouds on single-track trails.
Read more about the XTERRA Mountain Region races here.
Looking back on last weekend, there were three races on the XTERRA America Tour and one massive event in Europe, XTERRA Belgium.
In the historic city of Namur thousands upon thousands of racers and spectators took to the cobblestone streets and lush green forests surrounding the old Castle that dates back to the Roman era.
Francois Carloni and Morgane Riou won the main event, perhaps the most notable in the careers for both.
In the U.S., XTERRA Cameron Park doubled up as USA Triathlon’s Off-Road National Championship race, which awarded national titles and qualifying spots into ITU’s Cross Tri World Championship next year in Spain.
Deanna McCurdy won it again, and Nate Youngs took the amateur men’s title. Hans Ryham, who went pro after finished second amateur overall at XTERRA Oak Mountain last month, won the overall crown and wrote a detailed account of his race day. Read his account here.
Over in Hanna City, Illinois racers and race directors alike conquered some wicked weather that forced a re-route of the course and
Karl Stover and Mimi Stockton won the race, XTERRA Illinois Wilds, but organizer Laura Bertsch was credited with saving the day and keeping competitors safe by adjusting the route to keep everyone out of harm’s way – all while braving thunderstorms that ripped through the park.
And in Show Low, Arizona former elite Lewis Elliott and Maryanne Heald took the top spots at XTERRA Dueces Wild.
Elliott broke the tape in 1:54:10 with Sarikas behind him in 1:55:53. Kyle Herrig was third in 2:03:48. In the women’s division, Maryanne Heald took the title in 2:15:25, about four minutes ahead of Shawna Glazier, who finished in 2:19:02. Kristin Corbett was third in 2:19:36.
Glazier and Corbett also competed in XTERRA Renegade in May. Glazier was third in the 35-39 age group at XTERRA Renegade while Corbett was second in the 45-49 age group.
Learn more and keep up-to-date on all the action from the XTERRA America Tour at www.xterraplanet.com. #XTERRAADVENTURES #LiveMore
XTERRA is a sports lifestyle brand that produces authentic race experiences and apparel for the outdoor enthusiast. In 2018, XTERRA will offer more than 300 off-road triathlon and trail running events in 30+ countries. XTERRA also offers premium, performance apparel and accessories for the trail and beyond. Learn more at xterraplanet.com.