Grabouw — For some entrants it is an adventure, for some it is a tough challenge, a few will find it easy, and a small portion of the competitors will be racing for glory. The reasons for entering the Woolworths X Tri on December 1 are varied, but participants are sure to find out why the event is one of the most popular off-road triathlons in the Western Cape.
The scenic Paul Cluver Estate in Grabouw is a perfect venue for an off-road triathlon with conditions and terrain ideal to provide swimmers, trail runners and mountain bikers with a great test of their fitness and ability.
The event includes four events, with the X Tri and X Tri Lite the main attractions while the #Run4Fun fun run and #WalkForGood hike ensure a full day of fun for every member of the family.
The longer X Tri event consists of a one-kilometre swim in the Groenrug Dam, a 27km mountain bike ride along some of the sublime Paul Cluver trails and a 12km run through the vineyards of the famous estate.
The route is ideally set up to test the speed, strength, fitness and skills of the elite competitors who will be fighting for victory.
Last year Dean Hopf emerged as the champion after a superb all-round performance saw him record quick times in all three legs. Despite his consistent dominance, Hopf was not a runaway winner and only ended up just over a minute ahead of Gary Thomas, with David Sher a distant third.
In the women’s race, Robyn Williams established an early lead with a strong swim and then held the advantage over Tanya Rabie to the finish.
In the shorter X Tri Lite, over a 400m swim, 12km MTB ride and 5km trail run, Christoff van Heerden and Amy Goodwin emerged as convincing winners in the men’s and women’s races respectively.
Behind the elite racing snakes, there will be hundreds of other competitors who may not be in contention for prizes, but who will be taking part to achieve their own personal or team goals.
Competitors can enter as individuals or in teams of two or three.
Two other events which are held in conjunction with the two cross triathlons are the 5km #Run4Fun and 3km #WalkForGood hike.
The walk is an opportunity for individuals or groups to take part for charity. In a unique concept, participants can either walk on the designated route at Paul Cluver Estate, or participate at a location of their choice and connect via social media. Registration fees for this event are donated towards the Woolworths Trust.
For parents, the supervised Faircape Kids Zone offers a cordoned-off play space for children to enjoy while the adults are taking part in their respective events. In this children’s area there will be jumping castles and other activities to keep the children occupied.
“The Woolworths X Tri really is an event for everyone” said Lana Roets, the race spokesperson from Woolworths. “We have the X Tri full distance event which caters for those entrants who are experienced and can handle themselves on a mountain bike and can conquer the climbs and descents.
“Then we have the X Tri Lite which is aimed at the entry-level athletes and those who are maybe looking for something a little less strenuous. And of course riders, runners and swimmers can team up with others in teams of two or three for the relay version of the events.
“For those looking for something even more gentle there is the trail run only or the 3km hike â€¦ so it really is a family event.”
Online entries close on November 15 at bit.ly/WoolworthsXTri.
FinishTime will time the event.