XTERRA Global, the owner and producer of the XTERRA World Tour, has announced the inaugural XTERRA Taiwan off-road triathlon and accompanying sports festival to be held on September 29-30, 2018 at Kenting National Park in the southern part of the country.
Events include an XTERRA championship distance event, an ‘Xticer’ beginner distance off-road triathlon, as well as 5K, 10K and 21K trail runs.
“We are thrilled to bring XTERRA to the people of Taiwan and introduce the sport and lifestyle to athletes of all ages and skill levels,” said Brian Wei, Vice President of Marketing at XTERRA Global. “We also look forward to having XTERRA Tribe members from around the world join us in Taiwan to discover a truly remarkable location in Kenting, and the fabulous culture and community that is found here.”
Kenting is on the southern tip of Taiwan and noted for its warm, turquoise water and white-sand beaches that give way to mountains and natural reserves.
The main event starts with a one-mile swim at Little Bay beach with a short run in between two-laps. The swim-to-bike transition is at the Kenting Youth Activity Center, which is comprised of 17 different styles of old-world buildings and is a tourist destination all by itself. Then, the 26K mountain bike course takes competitors from coastal terrain to rocky riverbeds to uncharted territory high atop MenMaLou mountain. And the final test of endurance is a 10K trail run through the ‘enchanted forest’ of Chihniuling, considered ‘one of the eight wonders of Hengchun’.
The XTERRA Taiwan Championship event offers an elite prize purse of US$15,000 split among the top seven men and women, and also 49 qualifying spots for amateurs vying to compete at the 2019 XTERRA World Championship race in Maui.
The Xticer tri is positioned as an introductory race with a manageable 200m swim, 10km mountain bike and 2km trail run. Relay teams of two-or-three people are also encouraged to race in the full distance event.
In addition to the off-road triathlons there is a ‘race for everyone in the family’ during the 5km, 10km and 21km trail running races. The XTERRA team adds that, for the fast runners, NTD 20,000 (approx. US$700) will be awarded to the top three men and women in the half-marathon distance race.
“XTERRA has had a presence in the Asia-Pacific region since 2000 and hosts events in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, Korea, Tahiti, and New Caledonia; however, this is its first foray into the burgeoning endurance sports market of Taiwan,” said Janet Clark, President of XTERRA World Tour.
Nico Lebrun, the XTERRA European Director, helped design the course. He also returned to Taiwan to host local coaching clinics to help leaders in the area teach the various disciplines of XTERRA as well as champion the XTERRA motto to ‘Live More’ through a healthy, active, outdoor lifestyle.
“After two trips to Kenting I can tell you it’s a beautiful place, and the perfect location for XTERRA,” said Lebrun, who is also part of the organizing committee producing the event. “If you like hot weather, warm water, fresh local food, and strong culture, you will love it here.”