Brad Edwards and Nicolette Griffioen claimed gold at the first XTERRA race of the season, the Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort in the North West Province on Saturday, 21 January 2017.
The Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort pitted athletes against a 1.5km swim, followed by a 26km mountain bike course before finishing off with a 12km trail run.
Edwards had a stellar day out on route, leading the men’s race from start to finish. “I’ve learnt not to desire one big outcome, but instead to focus on each discipline individually. On the swim I worked hard at having a good stroke. I know that if I tick all the smaller boxes the outcome will be good. I’ve dreamed about winning an XTERRA. Crossing the finish line first today can be likened to when I won the under 23 Cross Tri World Championship.”
“XTERRA has everything. It’s scenic, the routes are challenging and the organisation is amazing,” continues Edwards. “I’m looking forward to taking part at the XTERRA Grabouw next month. I know the course is challenging and the quality of athletes competing will be high. I will once again focus on the smaller goals. Hopefully I’ll be able to make top five.” Edwards completed the 2017 Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw in an impressive finishing time of 02 hours 43 minutes 26 seconds. Darryn Purtell came in second, while Adriaan Myburgh finished third.
Although plagued by bike mechanicals on the day, Nicolette Griffioen managed to regain composure and successfully defend her Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort title. “I’m not the fastest swimmer. So going into the race I just wanted to be consistent in the swim. I started to catch the leaders on the mountain bike discipline, but then my bike punctured at approximately 15km in. I first bombed the tyre and later plugged it, followed by another bomb. After that I decided to be more cautious. Going into the run I was in survival mode. I am very surprised that I managed to catch all the runners ahead of me. I am really happy with the win.” Griffioen completed the 2017 Fedhealth XTERRA Buffelspoort in a deserving time of 03 hours 21 minutes 43 seconds. Johandri Leicester came in second, while Adrienne Moolman finished third.
“The Fedhealth XTERRA takes place early in the year, and as such, it is great preparation for serious triathletes training for events like Ironman or the Cape Epic, or the triathlete just looking to step up his or her game. It also means you can bring the family along for the Kids or Lite events and spend some quality time together!” says Jeremy Yatt, Principal Officer of Fedhealth.