‘Toughest’ Xterra

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Sunday, March 16, 2014


SUNRISE Events Inc. (SEI) has earned a reputation for putting up some of the toughest race courses in the world. The group just added another milestone after last Saturday’s 4th edition of the Vaseline Men Xterra Triathlon Series.

In fact, it was the tricky race course that cost two-time Xterra Philippines men’s pro champion Ben Allen his chance for a grandslam after crashing thrice and suffering four flat tires wasting an all-important lead.

South African Daniel Hugo took the title, while the women's crown went to Renata Bucher.

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Age grouper Jose Merdino Lim, who was able to race in the Xterra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii last year, said that the course in Lilo-an was more challenging than in Hawaii.

“Even if I finally won in my age group, I didn’t improve my time. I noticed that every year the course is getting harder and tougher,” said Lim.

Team Motor Ace Philippines’ Jose Mari “Tenggoy” Colmenares, who finished third in his age group, also felt that the course was very challenging.

Two-time men’s champion in the Filipino elite category Joseph Miller, an off-road biker before getting into triathlon, was also very impressed with this year’s course.

“I had a hard time in the bike segment. It was a very tough battle in my quest of retaining the title,” said Miller. He said he also felt weak with the intense heat of the sun.

SEI CEO Fred Uytengsu said he enjoyed watching the participants—whether pro, local or relay athletes— crossing the finish line with looks of relief and big smiles on their faces. after realizing they have survived the grueling race, then the look of pride after finally earning the right to brag that they are “Xterra Warriors.” With that, Uytengsu is convinced that they have indeed provided a world-class race.

SEI project director Princess Galura said they were overwhelmed with the success of this year's fourth edition especially with the support extended by Mayor Duke Frasco of the Municipality of Liloan.

“All our pros are very happy with the race and all these were made possible with the support of Mayor Duke. With the kind of reputation we are gaining from producing world-class events, we are actually on track in our goal to be known as the company that could stage world-class events that could help in in sports tourism,” said Galura.

Organizers could not yet promise if the fifth edition will still be held in Liloan.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 17, 2014.

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