Age-group triathletes prepare to tackle the XTERRA World Championships in Maui, Hawaii

Xterra England Emily Iredale

Emily Iredale is one of the Xterra England athletes heading to Maui

Qualifiers from the recent XTERRA England championships, raced on the 8th September in Cranleigh, Surrey, are preparing to take on an even bigger challenge this coming Sunday 27th October at the XTERRA World Championships being held in Maui, Hawaii.

Described by many as one of the toughest physical challenges in the world, the XTERRA World Championships represent the pinnacle of off-road triathlon, with hundreds of the world’s best triathletes descending on the small Hawaiian island in order to battle it out to find out who is the best after previously qualifying at one of the 30 championship races worldwide.

Whilst the professional winners of XTERRA England, Australia’s Ben Allen and Great Britain’s Jacqui Slack are amongst the favourites to win the XTERRA world title, ten amateur athletes who qualified at the inaugural XTERRA England race will be representing their countries and battling for honours in the age-group race against fellow non-professionals for their own world honours.

The XTERRA World Championship course is fiendishly difficult and notoriously hard to complete, never mind compete, taking athletes across the 1.5km rough sea swim, 30km hard-core off-road bike up and down West Maui Mountain, before heading out for the 10km mountain run through the picturesque finale in the Oleander Forest.

XTERRA England qualifier, Claire Hayhurst (45) from Southborough, Tunbridge Wells, is looking forward to tackling her first ever XTERRA World Championships:

“I am really looking forward to racing in Maui. Qualifying at XTERRA England was a great surprise and it has given me the opportunity of a lifetime. It hasn’t really sunk in that I am going yet!”

Another qualifier from XTERRA England is Emily Iredale (32) from Midhurst, West Sussex:

“I’m really looking forward to the XTERRA World Champs in Hawaii, it’s a trip of a lifetime and it’s going to be an amazing experience, not only to compete with the world’s best off-road triathletes but to swim in the ocean, ride some amazing trails and finish with a spectacular run will be an unforgettable experience. It’s also my parent’s 40th wedding anniversary on the same day so they are coming out too!”

Emily Iredale and Claire Hayhurst are amongst the 40 qualifiers from XTERRA England who earned a place at the forthcoming world championships by either winning, or coming second in their age group and they will also be joined by, amongst others:

  • •                Andrew Bagnall (56), Cranleigh, Surrey
  • •                Fabrizio Bartoli (27) Castagneto Carducci, Italy
  • •                Jules Claridge (43) Epsom
  • •                Guillaume Federspield (33) Atun,
  • •                France Jackie Field (38) Hazelmere, Surrey
  • •                Nigel Gregory (48) Quorn, Leceistershire
  • •                Claire Hayhurst (45) Southborough, Tunbridge Wells
  • •                Emily Iredale (32) Midhurst, West Sussex
  • •                Alice Monk (28) Copford, Colchester
  • •                Andy Wright (51) Woodford Halse, Daventy

XTERRA England returns to the Vachery Estate in Cranleigh, Surrey for more off-road race action on 23/24th August 2014. With a prize pot if $15,000 and 40 world championship qualifying slots up for grabs, it is an unmissable event for mountain bike lovers and triathletes of all abilities. As well as the championship race, there is a full weekend of action including the XTERRA Sprint Triathlon, XTERRA Try-an-Xtri Women’s Only race, 1,500m swim and 3,000m swim, plus live music, bar and restaurant, entertainment for kids, an expo and free admission for all spectators and on-course nutrition being supplied by High-5. Find out more and enter XTERRA England at http://xterra-england.co.uk/ and www.facebook.com/xterraengland.

You can find out more about the XTERRA World Championships, including how to follow the race live, at http://www.xterraplanet.com