Over the years, Australians, similar to triathletes around the globe, have regularly made remarks that it is hard to be a dedicated “off-road only” triathlete due to the lack of events in their region. There may be a couple races close by, but to create a full season, athletes would have to travel to fill their calendar. As much fun as it is to travel to an event, it’s understandable that the average racer can’t hop around the globe on a regular basis. Having enough events close to home is key if an athlete wants to become an “off-road only” triathlete.
Despite being basically synonymous with the word triathlon, Australia has not had a consistent XTERRA presence over the years. Focusing solely on off-road triathlon wasn’t really feasible if you wanted to race more than about four times a season. The XTERRA Asia Pacific Championship was hosted on the shores of Jarvis Bay from 2014-2016 by Elite Energy, an event production company based in Norwa, New South Wales, but prior to that, the XTERRA brand has been off and on in the land down under. The race company In2Adventure produces top notch off-road triathlon races in Australia, but they are the only ones who have held the off-road torch consistently over the years. A sizable number of off-road triathlons just hasn’t been something that Australia has seen… until now.
2017 was nearly an “off” year for XTERRA in Oz, but thanks to Elite Energy pulling things together, XTERRA will make an appearance in December of 2017 and beyond. Elite Energy’s XTERRA events, in conjunction with In2Adventure’s quality events, now give athletes lots of off-road triathlon options.
We caught up with Elite Energy to learn more about the new XTERRAs in the land where “women glow and men plunder”.
DirtTRI: What XTERRA events do you have planned for Australia this coming season?
Elite Energy: Our first event will be in Callala, New South Wales on December 9, 2017. We are currently in the final stages of council negotiations to take XTERRA to Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia, as well.
DirtTRI: Will these events be part of an Australian series?
Elite Energy: Yes, there will be an XTERRA Australian Series. The Callala event may even be a qualifier for the 2018 XTERRA World Championship in Maui.
DirtTRI: What type of terrain can we expect at your courses?
Elite Energy: A mixture of hills, flats, dirt roads and of course a fair bit of single track.
DirtTRI: Similar to other XTERRA’s around the world, will you be including additional events at your triathlons?
Elite Energy: Yes, there will be multiple events such as trail runs included at our XTERRA triathlons.
DirtTRI: What has your experience been with off-road triathlon and what sparked your interest in getting the license for XTERRA in Australia?
Elite Energy: We have been putting on a wide variety of events for the past 13 years that include races like MTB101, Mogo Resurrection, and a number of trail runs. We produced the XTERRA Asia Pacific Championship for 3 years and saw there is a growing interest in the sport. We like to do all sorts of triathlons, and variations to triathlons, to keep the sport fresh and interesting.
Ben Allen at the XTERRA Asia Pacific Championship. Photo: XTERRAElite Energy: Both Ben Allen and Brodie Gardner have raced with us for the last 2 years at XTERRA Callala and we value their feedback. We also use a wide variety of input from local mountain bike clubs to pro athletes, age groupers, and other adventure race operators when selecting courses. Many of our staff already race off road. We are very keen that there is a big difference between on road and off road culture and events.
Make sure to check the Elite Energy website for the upcoming schedule of XTERRA triathlons and other great events.