According to Duffy, she’ll definitely be going for her fourth victory. “This is my favourite XTERRA on the circuit,” says Duffy. “I am looking forward to the course. The bike discipline offers everything you would want- climbing, twisty single track, rock gardens and beautiful views. The run is also really cool. At the highest point of the route you can see the entire race village and the surrounding mountains. It’s quite breath-taking. My favourite part of the run is the final kilometre along the beach. This section literally looks like a gritty, white sandy beach. The contrast between the water, beach and mountains is really cool.”
A former XTERRA SA Champion, Carina Wasle (Austria) is no stranger to XTERRA Grabouw. “This is the first event on the World Tour Calendar,” says Wasle. “I’ve been racing it for many years and always love to come back to South Africa. The swim in the coca cola coloured water of the Eikenhof Dam is really special, while the bike course with all the single trails is amazing and great fun. It reminds me why I love this sport so much. The atmosphere also makes the event special. My goal will be to give my best on the day. Hopefully I’ll be able to make the podium.”
Dutch professional triathlete Rachel Klamer will make her XTERRA debut in Grabouw. “I heard that XTERRA Grabouw is a great event,” says Klamer. “I thought it would be something new and exciting to do. The swim discipline will be the ‘most normal’ to what I’m used to doing. The bike is sure to be the toughest discipline for me as I’ve never done an XTERRA or mountain bike race before. I am really looking forward to experiencing the course, while challenging myself.”
The men’s race will be hotly contested with reigning champion Bradley Weiss fending off attacks from Olympian Richard Murray, Stuart Marais, Theo Blignaut, Brice Daubord (France), Jan Pyott (Switzerland) and Kris Coddens (Belgium).
Friday, 24 February 2017
Fedhealth XTERRA Kids
6-8 years (60m Swim, 2km MTB, 600m Trail Run)
9-11 years (100m Swim, 3km MTB, 1.5km Trail Run)
12-15 years (250m Swim, 5km MTB, 2.5km Trail Run)
Saturday, 25 February 2017
Fedhealth XTERRA Full: 1.5km swim, 26km MTB, 12.5km trail run
MTB: The route starts off with jeep track and features a variety of riding surfaces, but mostly hard packed surfaces. The majority of the climbing is done in the first half. There is, however a tester of a climb after the 16km mark. The second half of the race is mostly single track. Expect a few sandy patches due to the recent fires. The infamous rock garden is still included.
Trail Run: Expect a variety of running surfaces, mostly single track in the first 6km with a refreshing water crossing. There is a loose climb between 6 -8km, followed by a sweeping jeep track down hill, some more single and jeep tracks before reaching the ‘beach run’ which will take runners back to the finish.
Sunday, 26 February 2017
XTERRA Trail Run: 12.5km and 6.5km
Fedhealth XTERRA Lite: 400m swim, 15km MTB, 6.5km trail run
MTB: The first half of the route is mostly jeep track with the majority of climbing happening in the first 7km, followed by mostly single tracks back to transition. The XTERRA Lite route incorporates less technical single tracks. The rock garden also does not feature here.
Trail Run: Look forward to all the fun single tracks, without the big climbs. The infamous ‘beach run’ will still take runners to the finish.
The Bos Sport Recovery Zone will be a welcomed oasis for XTERRA Warriors when they cross the finish line.
The Prize Purse for the Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw has increased to a whopping R154 000. The top five finishers in the XTERRA Full open men’s and women’s races will receive prize money, with the first place winners each taking home R30 000.