Weiss returns to defend XTERRA title

Defending champion Bradley Weiss is set to return to the country as he defends his off-road triathlon title around the majestic Mayon Volcano as he banners a stellar field in this year’s edition of XTERRA Albay on Feb. 7 in the Province of Albay.

The 26-year old South African won last year’s event when the prestigious off-road triathlon race had its maiden run in Albay.

Out to foil Weiss’ bid are 2015 male pro third-placer Ben Allen of Australia, 2015 fourth placer Brodie Gardner also of Australia, Charlie Epperson of Guam, Joseph Miller of the Philippines and Michal Bucek of Slovakia, who are all returning to Albay.

In the distaff side, a new champion is set to be crowned as world titlist and last year’s winner Flora Duffy has opted to skip this year’s event to concentrate on her campaign in the Rio Olympics. Australians Jacqui Slack, the runner-up last year, and third placer Dimity-Lee Duke head the contenders along with Mieko Carey of Guam, who placed fourth last time.

Other pros competing for the first time in XTERRA Albay are Lizzie Orchard, Taylor Charlton, Cameron O’Neal, and Hsieh Chung Sing.

This multisport off-road race starts with a 1.5 kilometer swim that starts in the shores of Lidong in Mayon Rivera, where the water is calm and deep and the sands are black. The 35 kilometer bike course features wide and open trails and provides breathtaking view of Mayon. It is a single loop point to point race passing through fire roads, grass roads, sands and rocky trails. The 10 kilometer run follows the ATV route in Mayon passing through rocky and sandy areas, river bed, and grasslands with the finish line set at the famous Cagsawa Ruins.

Philippines hosts the first XTERRA event of the year. XTERRA gives endurance athletes around the world a chance to race in some of the most diverse, spectacular, and challenging natural environments on the planet – from tropical jungles to snow-covered alps. XTERRA also holds championship events in Saipan, New Zealand, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Brazil, Japan, Spain and Germany.

The 2016 edition of this prestigious off-road traithlon event is organized and produced by Sunrise Events, Inc. and backed by official venue partners Province of Albay, City of Legaspi, Municipality of Daraga, Bayan ng Sto. Domingo. 2Go Express is the official courier and logistics partner while other sponsors are Cetaphil, Columbia, Finisher Pix, Shotz Sports Nutrition, Timex, David’s Salon, Department of Tourism + Tourism and Promotions Board and media partner The Philippine Star.