MORE than 500 participants from all over the country are expected to take part in one of South Africa’s leading off-road triathlons, the Fedhealth XTERRA, which will make its debut in Nelson Mandela Bay this Friday, 29 until Sunday, 31 January.
The full triathlon takes place on Saturday comprising a 1.5km ocean swim, 28km mountain bike and 12km trail run.
The triathlon will be held at Kings Beach and will rely on the Kings Beach Surf Lifesaving Club to ensure the water safety of all participants over the weekend.
Paul Lynch, Vice Chairman of Kings Beach Surf Lifesaving Club, said that hosting the Fedhealth XTERRA, cements the Bay as a “fantastic city for iconic events.”
“Our qualified lifesavers will be in the water monitoring the competitors. We will also make use of boats as an additional safety option,” Lynch said.
The event provides adrenaline rushing fun for the whole family, with the Fedhealth XTERRA Kids event taking place on Friday.
There will also be a Fedhealth XTERRA Lite comprising a 400m swim, 12km mountain bike and 6km trail run for those who want to participate in a less strenuous challenge.
Participants can enter individually or as part of a team of three, where one participant will swim, one will ride the mountain bike route and the other will participate in the trail run.
Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism CEO, Mandlakazi Skefile, said the Bay is ideal for any sports enthusiast and it is a privilege to become a host city for the Fedhealth XTERRA event that is recognised as South Africa’s premier off-road triathlon.
“Many national sporting heroes have started their careers or found ideal training grounds here and the city is fast becoming a lifestyle destination of choice.”
“Through hosting iconic flagship events the destination is able to gain an increase in sports tourism while having a global and national platform to showcase the destination’s world-class facilities and attractions,” Skefile said.
Last year’s Fedhealth XTERRA winner, Stuart Marais (30), who will be taking part in this week’s triathlon, said he is excited about the event, especially since he is originally from Port Elizabeth.
Carla van Huyssteen (31) from Pietermaritzburg, who is one of the participants for the full triathlon, said she is looking forward to being in Port Elizabeth.
“I don’t know what to expect because it’s the first XTERRA in PE but we’re excited to see what PE has to offer.”
Bradley Weiss (26) from Stellenbosch, who will also be participating in the full triathlon, said that out of the three triathlon challenges, he is looking forward to the mountain biking.
“Preparation for the event is going really well. I plan to be in PE a few days before the event to prepare. In previous XTERRA challenges, we were used to swimming in a dam; this year, it’s in the sea so it’s a different challenge,” Weiss said.