Legazpi City – Sam Osborne and fiancée Samantha Kingsford of New Zealand bucked tough condition and challenging terrain to emerge the new XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon champions here yesterday.
Osborne endured the heat and the demanding bike and run courses to get back at XTERRA Danao tormentor Bradley Weiss, clocking 2:16:58 over the 1.5km swim-28km bike-8km run race to capture the men’s pro crown in the event presented by the City of Legazpi and produced by Sunrise Events, Inc.
“It was hot and the terrain was very challenging with its uphill and downhill trails,” said Osborne, who barely wrested control in the swim and mountain bike legs before pouring it all in the trail run to win pulling away.
Weiss, winner here in 2015-16 who also fueled his three-peat bid with a victory in Danao last April, timed 2:19:26, his drive for another crown stymied by poor showing in the culminating run stage.
He was behind by just three seconds after the swim and by five seconds in mountain bike but lost by two minutes and 20 seconds in the closing run leg now held at Legazpi City Blvd. and the hilly villages Lamba, Puro and Taisan overlooking the Albay gulf from the previous route at the foot slopes of Mayon Volcano from Legazpi to Sto. Domingo.
“I was used to running at the foot slopes of Mayon but now it’s a different terrain,” rued Weiss.
Organizers had to change the mountain bike and trail run routes after the event, originally scheduled last March, was moved to a June date owing to the irregular behavior of Mayon Volcano then.
Another Kiwi Olly Shaw placed third in 2:19:43 while Filipino ace Joseph Miller clocked 3:04:24 and Japanese Akihiko Maeda timed 3:12:08 for fourth and fifth, respectively, in the event held as part of SEI’s decade-long staging of triathlon events in the country.
Kingsford, on the other hand, also led from start to finish and turned in a 2:54:18 clocking to nail the women’s pro crown, besting Aussie Penny Slater, who clocked 2:59:36, while Leela Hancox, also from Australia, came in third in 3:17:04 followed by Kiwi Kristy Jennings, who timed 3:23:24.
“We hope that the success of this XTERRA would pave the way for the staging of bigger events here in the future, including the Ironman,” said Legazpi City Mayor Noel Rosal.
Meanwhile, Filipino Roman Bonagua topped the XTERRA Elite (750m swim-14km bike-4km run) in 1:43:20 while Jhep-Poy Juson ruled the XTERRA Duathlon (2km run-14km bike-4km run) in 1:40:30.
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