The 2016 Fedhealth XTERRA South African Championships got off to a spectacular start at the picturesque Grabouw Country Club on Saturday, 20 February 2016. Elite road triathlete James Cunnama set a blistering pace in the swim, exiting the water in first place with Bradley Weiss, Michael Lord, Antoine Van Heerden and New Zealander Aiden Dunster chasing hard. Weiss says: ‘I exited the swim with Michael, Antoine and Aiden close behind me. Although my transition was slower, by the time that I reached the first climb on the mountain bike discipline I managed to work my way up into third place. I caught Michael Lord on the crest of the climb. By the second portage climb I could hear that James and Michael were breathing hard. I jumped onto my bike, pushed as hard as I could and opened a gap. I didn’t have the best bike to run transition with my gloves and shoes getting caught, but my run felt solid. I don’t think the win has sunk in yet. It’s been approximately five years since I started taking part in XTERRA Grabouw. I started out in the XTERRA Lite. If I think back to then, I would never have dreamt about winning at the XTERRA SA Champs. It’s such a surreal feeling. I couldn’t be more proud.’
Weiss claimed victory in a well-deserved time of 02 hours 30 minutes 42 seconds. James Cunnama came in second, while Aiden Dunster finished third. Reigning women’s XTERRA World and South African Champion, Flora Duffy had a superb start to her race, exiting the water in an overall second place position, just behind Cunnama.
A delighted Duffy says: ‘Getting my third victory in Grabouw is really cool. I won my very first XTERRA here. As I spend five months out of the year in South Africa, XTERRA Grabouw is an unofficial home race for me. The XTERRA Grabouw course is phenomenal. It’s a true XTERRA course. You have to know how to ride a mountain bike. The crowd and community involvement really makes this race special. I’m happy with my overall seventh place and my third XTERRA Grabouw title.’ Duffy’s impressive winning time was 02 hours 39 minutes 08 seconds. Carina Wasle came in second, while Susan Sloan finished third.
The 2016 Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw Full saw off-road multi-sport athletes having to complete a 1.5km swim, followed by a 28km mountain bike discipline before finishing off with a 12.5km trail run.
Sunday, 21 February 2016
Fedheatlh XTERRA Lite ~ Swim: 400m; MTB: 12.5km; Trail Run: 5km
Sunday, 21 February 2016
PUMA Trail Run ~ 6km and 12km
Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg