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Xterra is back in Cebu!

In 1996, mountain biking and triathlon met in a duel of the fittest on the island of Maui, Hawaii. The race was called Aquaterra. It consisted of an open-ocean swim, a mountain bike race, and a trail run. It represented a bold new racing format that attracted outdoor enthusiasts, mostly mountain bikers and triathletes. The mountain bikers brought their laid-back styles and bold self-assurance. The triathletes brought their hardcore training and avid dedication. They soon discovered a common spirit and attitude that pulled them together. For as different as they are, neither could resist the challenges and thrills this new multi-sport offered.

The thrill of running on pure adrenaline through the mountains, the chill of fresh ocean waves streaming over a swimmer’s back and the awesome view mountain bikers get at the top of a dormant Hawaii volcano. These are the elements of a race called TERRA.

Xterra finally came to the Philippine soil on March 6, 2011. It was held in Amara in Liloan north of Cebu. It was the ultimate triathlon event as this is what I call the race that separates men from the boys.  It was a world class event participated by world champions and triathletes from 12 countries namely Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Scotland, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

Xterra Off-Road Triathlon stayed in Cebu for the next 4 years, before moving to the Province of Albay. Now after 3 long years, it is finally back home in Cebu. Tomorrow, over 200 athletes will take centerstage in the most brutal triathlon race in the country. Actually the word brutal is an understatement. I had the chance to try to bike route last Tuesday with captain Junel Borromeo, Filipino pro Joseph Miller and Omega Tri team of Paul Jake Castillo and Jezryl Villarette. Mountain biking is my favorite leg ever since I was introduced to this sport back in 1998. During the bike track reading, I was greeted with a very technical bike course in which some sections you need to carry your bike. Some of the steep sections will last almost a kilometer that will make your heart pound faster than your favorite disco beat! Even with lightest gear ratio, your crank arm feels like a rock. But funny thing was, as I was churning the pedals, Xterra pro Joseph Miller just zoomed past me on his way to his second loop,  making this steep section uphill look like a downhill. This route was reminiscent of the 2013 Xterra race (wherein I finished  in a measly 6 hours and 30 mins) but double the fun.

 And making sure of not committing the same mistake twice, I registered for the lite category which is half the distance only but still an equally brutal race still.

Good luck to all participants and to the Metafit Tri  Team headed by co-captain Fritz and Zusette Co, Christian Marc Demoral, Lem Co and Jod Dabon. Doing the relay are the Metafit Teens edition with Kenji Co on the swim, Carlisle Choachuy on the run and guest biker Jhonel Tibay, who still looks and feels like a teenager. Last relay team is composed of the Pimentel siblings Pimco on the run and brother on the bike. Completing their lineup is Kintoy, who will be doing the swim. The team will be sending its lone entry for the duathlon in the name of Danny Loquias, whose wife had an eye surgery yesterday but still has the energy to race tomorrow. The status of yours truly will be decided on race day as I’m still recovering from a knee injury.

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Last minute reminders for participants:bring lots of water, double check your bikes, make sure your brakes and brake pads are in good condition, don’t forget to lube your chain, check tire pressure, extra tire interior, tools and air pump. Also prepare nutrition like gel and cereal bars. Most of all, get a good night sleep and be early on race day.

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On Tuesday, April 25, the biggest fitness boot camp gets underway at the Ayala Terraces. It will be a 6-week boot camp to be held every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 6:00 to 7:30 a.m. Aside from  the regular workout at the terraces, this year’s boot camp will have three exciting additions like the swimming pool workout, trekking along the Cabang falls and the Inflatable’s challenge. Today will be the last day of registration. Our booth is located at the Ayala Active Zone right beside ROX. There are only 10 slots remaining for the free jersey so hurry up and join us.

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