Excitement was rife at the mesmerising Kings Beach on Saturday, 30 January 2016 when eager adventure seekers and multi-sport enthusiasts gathered to participate in the action of Nelson Mandela Bay’s very first Fedhealth XTERRA Full race. The men’s race was dominated by Stellenbosch based XTERRA Warriors Bradley Weiss, Stuart Marais and Theo Blignaut. According to Weiss, he didn’t expect to have to race too hard on the day: ‘This past week my training was a bit more intense in preparation for XTERRA Philippines. I then heard that Stuart would be racing, which was definitely a curve ball for me. The ocean swim was more technical, with bigger swells than expected. Theo was in the lead, but Stuart and I closed the gap in the second lap fighting for Theo’s feet. Exiting the swim/bike transition, Stuart went out hard. Instead of major climbs the mountain bike discipline featured a few 20 – 30 second kickers. I managed to catch Stuart on one of these and broke away on the single track. By the time I reached the turnaround point I had approximately 1 minute on Stuart, but he made up time on the flat sections. Entering the bike/run transition I ran down the wrong chute, as a result my lead decreased to 25 seconds going into the run. It was only at the 6 – 7 km mark that I managed to open the gap. I was chuffed running down the beach to the finish, it was beautiful.’
Bradley Weiss completed the 1.5km ocean swim, 23km mountain bike discipline and 10.2km trail run in a combined time of two hours one minute 50 seconds. Stuart Marais came in second, while Theo Blignaut finished third. Carla Van Huyssteen took the lead in the women’s race crossing the finish line first in a combined time of two hours 21 minutes 42 seconds.
According to Van Huyssteen the Fedhealth XTERRA Nelson Mandela Bay course was amazing: ‘I had a really good race. The route included the perfect combination – the ocean swim was amazing, the mountain bike route was just long enough and the run through Happy Valley had such a nice vibe to it with people cheering for you all the way. I am really happy to have been part of the first XTERRA in Port Elizabeth. This event will definitely go from strength to strength.’ Andrea Steyn came in second, while Susan Sloan finished third.
The XTERRA action continues on Sunday, 31 January 2016:
Sunday, 31 January 2016:
PUMA Trail Run (6km & 12km)
Sunday, 31 January 2016:
Fedhealth XTERRA Lite: 400m swim, 12km MTB, 6km trail run
Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg