Stellenbosch athlete tackles extreme event in Hawaii

Bradley, front, during the mountain bike discipline.

A handful of South Africa’s adventurous off-road triathletes had the honour of representing their country at the XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon World Championship in Kapalua, Maui, last weekend.

Reigning Fedhealth XTERRA South Africa Champion, Bradley Weiss had his heart set on a podium finish at the event.

“I raced in Maui once before in 2014, so I had a pretty good understanding of the lay of the land and how the course would be set out,” says Weiss.

“This year, however, we had plenty of rain in the week leading up to the event. This was really a deciding factor in the end. Those athletes better suited to wet and slippery conditions would thrive while the rest of us would be left battling the elements and our own equipment.

“I had a great start to the swim, managing to avoid getting caught up in any of the big swells smashing onto the shore,” continues Stellenbosch residentWeiss.

“Exiting the water I was about two minutes down on the leaders. I struggled on the bike, the wet and muddy conditions resulted in me struggling to find traction,” he said.

“The mud in Maui is unique, almost like clay which just builds up on the tyres and gets caught up in all the working parts of a bicycle, especially after hitting the deck a few times. Onto the run I just found a steady rhythm and tried to get an accurate indication of my position.

“I was in 13th place and ultimately that is where I would stay despite passing a few athletes only to be caught by others. I crossed the line in one piece which I am grateful for, but the taste of disappointment and frustration was still raw and almost too real to come to terms with,” he said.