Crosstriathlon and the Wild East - a personal statement from Faris al Sultan (patron XTERRA EM 2018)
In my triathlon career I tried out a lot the last years and I did something less useful as well.
My trips on the mountain bike were most of the time painful and less successful, but nevertheless exciting and fulfilling.
I was always aware of my technical skills which were not completely formed yet. But when I did my first step into the “cross department” on the Lake Titisee, at the Cape Epic or at my last participation at the O-See Challenge it was a very special excitement.
Not only using your physical ability, like usual in triathlon, but to master terrain and to handle up and down parts even if they seem to be impossible.
I often failed. I even lost my courage on the O-See, where I had to walk down the most difficult point of the mountain bike course. I put my technical skills and my courage up to a new level, which helped me with mountain biking, Road Triathlon and as well with my daily bike tour to the Kindergarten.
And let’s be honest, it’s not about bike like Ruben Ruzafa or Sebastian Kienle or to run like Patrick Lange. It is about improving. To be a 2.0/3.0 or 4.0 version of yourself.
Cross triathlon connects the beauty of the nature, special challenges and economic difficulties. I will never forget when Kathrin Müller, who is an outstanding cross triathlete of the year and Winner of the Cross Triathlon Championships 2014, told me that she had to pay her Start money herself, because she had no sponsors or other support. In my opinion that was embarrassing.
Some regions of Germany, especially East Germany have to deal with economic problems, decreasing population and so - with resignation.
A good counterexample is triathlon with its high demand for self-motivation, on the site of athlete or the organiser. There is a way to fight for yourself as an athlete and to fight for your region as an organiser.
Maybe you won’t be a World Champion if you practise 5 hours a week and an event with just 250 participants won’t cause mass tourism, but there is a beginning and a chance to become something great and big.
Dr. Klaus Schwager and his team are a great example, that it is possible to achieve a lot with effort and diligence. Because of that O-Se Challenge became the World Championships 2014 and hosted an exquisite range of participants.
Even if the “O-See Challenge” is no commercial business, the organisation team and also the volunteers are part of the event and let it became a success.
I am happy to contribute and hope that many athletes and spectators are coming in August to be part of a great competition.
Faris al Sultan
Patron of the O-See Challenge and XTERRA European Championships 2018
Hometown hero Bradley Weiss and Austrian Carina Wasle captured the 15th annual Fedhealth XTERRA South Africa Championship elite titles on cool, cloudy morning at the Elgin-Grabouw Country Club in the Western Cape today.
It’s the second SA victory for the reigning XTERRA World Champion, who picked up his first home country win in 2016, and the third for Wasle, who also won here in 2009 and 2011.
“It’s my favorite race of the year,” exclaimed Weiss, who was wearing the World Champion rainbow stripes on his racing kit for the first time.
Weiss exited the water in third but took over the lead by the first big climb on the bike and never looked back, taking the tape in 2:28:55.
“Once I was in the lead I just settled into my own rhythm,” he said. “My lead kept building. I just focused on executing a good race. To win on home soil is very special. I would like to thank Fedhealth and Stillwater Sports for putting on an incredible show.”
Fellow South African Michael Lord finished second, while Brice Daubord from France finished third. Of note, Ironman star Sebastian Kienle withdrew prior to the event, citing a “minor crash that slightly bruised his ribs” on his twitter account @SebastianKienle.
“I had a very good race,” said Wasle. “I always start a race with the goal to win. My swim was perfect. I was first on the bike and just kept my lead. I am very happy to win today. It was a perfect race on a fantastic course!”
South African stars Hayley Preen and Johandri Leicester placed second and third, respectively.
Jeremy Yatt, the principal officer of the title sponsors from Fedhealth, said “The Fedhealth XTERRA Grabouw is a great event for the serious off-road triathlete, where you can clinch one of the various age group qualification slots for the XTERRA World Championships taking place later this year. Grabouw offers unforgiving, yet breath-taking terrain, and the chance to bring your family to either participate or spur you on across the finish line. It’s no wonder it’s the biggest XTERRA in the world.”
The main event, which was the first of 35 majors on the 2018 XTERRA World Tour, combined a 1.5-kilometer swim, 26K mountain bike and 12K trail run.
Schon gewusst??? Die XTERRA Germany hat inzwischen Zuschauer aus dem Weltall! :)
Was gibt es für eine Steigerungsform der internationalen Bekanntheit? ... Richtig, wenn man es geschafft hat, als erste Cross Triathlon/XTERRA-Veranstaltung weltweit (wenn nicht gar als erstes Triathlonevent überhaupt) sogar aus dem All sichtbar zu sein. ;). Und dieses Kunststück ist uns tatsächlich 2016 gelungen:
Offensichtlich haben wir unsere Aufbauarbeiten damals so getimt, dass das komplette Veranstaltungsareal am O-SEE inklusive der großen Wechselzone pünktlich zum Google Earth Fototermin fix und fertig aufgebaut war… das ist doch mal ein Timing! Planung in typisch deutscher Gründlichkeit eben ;-). Die Jungs von Google waren mit dem Bildmaterial offensichtlich auch zufrieden und so kann man seit 2017 ungläubig staunend die gestochen scharfe Abbildung des Olbersdorfer Sees im O-SEE Challenge Modus auf Google Earth bewundern.
Also wenn ihr gedanklich schon mal euren perfekten Wechsel visualisiert üben oder einfach von oben sehen wollt, wo die Party am Abend stattfindet, dann schaut bei Google Earth mal zum Olbersdorfer See herunter und staunt!
We are watching you :)