More than the majestic Mayon Volcano as finish line backdrop, the elite cast of pros and the entire field will be in for a tough outing when the XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon makes its grand return to Albay, Legazpi City this Sunday.
The mountain biking and trail running stages, for one, offer a new set of unique challenges and thrills with the 28km bike course featuring wide and open trails and providing the breathtaking view of Mayon. It will be a two-loop course for swim, bike and run race passing through fire roads, grass roads, sands and rocky trails.
The closing 8km run follows the ATV route in Mayon passing through rocky and sandy areas, riverbed and grasslands with the finish line set at the famous Cagsawa Ruins.
Action fires off with the 1.5km swim in the shores of Embarcadero Blvd. with calm but deep water and the sands are black, giving no one an edge over the rest and ensuring a gripping battle for top honors in the event presented by the City of Legazpi and produced by Sunrise Events.
Three-peat seeking Bradley Weiss, for one, has said racing along the slopes of Mt. Mayon remains one of his most memorable experiences with the South African ace expressing his eagerness to do it again.
“Our number one goal is to give our athletes the best possible race experience. We want them to remember that they had a wonderful time coming to the Philippines,” said Wilfred Uytengsu, founder of the organizing Sunrise Events, Inc., which incidentally marks its decade-long staging of triathlon events in the country.
Spicing up the event is the duathlon (2km run, 14km bike and 4km run) and the lite XTERRA 750km swim, 14km bike and 4km run. For details, visit www.albay.xterraphil.com or hashtags #XTERRAAlbay or social media accounts facebook /XTERRAAlbay, twitter @XTERRAAlbay or Instagram @XTERRAAlbay.
But focus will be on Weiss, who is gunning for a follow-up to his XTERRA Danao victory last April but faces an elite cast out to foil his bid, including New Zealand’s Sam Osborne, who placed second in Danao, third placer Kieran McPherson, also of New Zealand, 2016 XTERRA Asia-Pacific titlist Ben Allen of Australia, Japanese Takahiro Ogasawara, the 2016 XTERRA Saipan winner, Akihiro Maeda, also of Japan, Kiwis Alex Roberts and Olly Shaw and local ace Joseph Miller.
Other backers of the event are Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines, Prudential Guarantee, @GO Express, Sanicare, AlcoPlus, David’s Salon, and media partners The Philippine STAR and HyperHD on Cignal.