12-time Xterra World Tour Race Champion Ben Allen and 6-time Xterra World Tour Champion Jacqui Slack are confirmed to race the second annual X-Adventure off-road triathlon in Dunsborough, Western Australia, on 22-23 March, 2014.
Allen and Slack bring with them a wealth of off-road racing talent and results to Western Australia’s South-West, where they will take on the 1500m ocean swim, 12km coastal trail run, and a 25km mountain bike course.
“I’m really looking forward to the breathing views and sceneries that I will have the opportunity to see whilst competing in the X-Adventure.” Said Allen, who finished 3rd at the 2013 Xterra World Championships in Hawaii last October.
“It’s great to have a different format of racing with the X-Adventure where we’ll swim, run and ride compared to a traditional triathlon (swim, ride and run) and it’s definitely going to challenge both my mental and physical ability.” Allen said.
Slack who is the 2013 National British Xterra Champion will experience racing in Western Australia for the first time.
“I always wanted to visit WA and what better way than to tee this up with the thing I love doing most…off road triathlon racing with a twist.” Slack said.
Set on a spectacular course taking in Dunsborough’s wilderness paradise, X-Adventure is the ideal mix of triathlon and adventure racing combining ocean swimming, trail running and mountain bike riding; and offers a long, short and kids courses.
Event organisers Rapid Ascent caught up with Allen and Slack to get their thoughts on racing X-Adventure and visiting WA. Full interview below.
Entries are open online; however make sure you grab a spot early as organisers are expecting entries to reach capacity well in advance of race weekend. More information at www.xadventure.com.au
BEN ALLEN AND JACQUI SLACK FULL INTERVIEW
(Rapid Ascent - RA) Have you been to WA’s ‘south west’ before? What are you looking forward to?
Ben: I raced the Anaconda Adventure WA Race back in 2007 and was amazed by how beautiful the South West Coast is… “A hidden Gem”. I’m looking forward to swimming in crystal clear waters, running and riding on some of Australia’s most challenging and unique terrain with people that have a sense of adventure.
Jac: I never been there before; I can’t wait to swim in the crystal clear ocean as it looks stunning when you see it in the photos.
(RA) What interests you about the X-Adventure race in Dunsborough?
Ben: Having an event that is run at a World-class standard on Aussie soil with its unique format of racing a swim, run & ride compared to a traditional triathlon. I’m also looking forward to the breathing views and sceneries that I will have the opportunity to see whilst competing in the X-Adventure.
Jac: For a start I’ve heard amazing things about Rapid Ascent events and I can’t wait to experience my first Rapid Ascent race. I have always wanted to visit WA and what better way than to tee this up with the thing I love doing most…off road triathlon racing with a twist!
(RA) Coming from a successful Xterra World Series off-road triathlon background, what are your thoughts on the X-Adventure mixing up of the traditional order of an off-road triathlon? (ocean swim, trail run, then mountain bike)
Ben: It’s great to have a different format of racing. It creates a unique feeling for each competitor and spectator. It’s going to really test your mental ability and throw challenges at you left, right and centre that you will least expect. It’s how you overcome those challenges that will allow you to cross the finish line a champion…
Jac: I think it’s a great idea! The different format will mix the race up and it will be exciting to experience something new.
(RA) What gets you excited about off-road triathlon racing?
Ben: The unknown factor, the thrill of adventure and challenging myself beyond my limitations.
Jac: The people you get to meet, the challenge of the off road terrain and the beautiful places you get to visit.
(RA) What’s your favourite discipline and why?
Ben: I enjoy all three disciples. I pride myself on being strong and well rounded in all three. But if I had to choose I really LOVE riding my Giant XTC 27.5, it’s an absolute weapon!
Jac: I love mountain biking. And I love the fact that you get to test and challenge yourself with nature. I love the challenge of a new course too as there is always a high sense of satisfaction when you come out of your comfort zone to take on the obstacles of nature.
(RA) What other races do you have on your schedule for early 2014?
Ben: Xterra World Tour Races- Philippines, Australia, New Zealand, Saipan, Malaysia, Guam.
Jac: The first half of my season will be based around Asia. It will start with Xterra Philippines, Xterra Great Ocean Road, Xterra Saipan, Xterra New Zealand, Xterra Asian Pacific champs and Xterra Malaysia. I will then head back to Europe to take part in the European Xterra Tour and end the season in America with USA Xterra Champs and Xterra World Champs in Maui.
(RA) Most memorable moment from your off-road racing career?
Ben: Standing on the podium at the recent Xterra World Championships in Maui, Hawaii.
Jac: Winning my first Xterra race in Sardina and realising that I loved off road racing and this is what I wanted to do for many years to come. I also met my boyfriend Ben Allen on the Island of Sardina so it’s a very special place for me.
(RA) How did you get into the sport of off-road triathlon racing?
Ben: I started as a Surf Life Saver and progressed through the ranks winning numerous State, Australian & World medals. I was given the opportunity by Triathlon Australia as having the potential as a World Class Triathlete to compete at the elite level. However, something was missing… I have an adventuress, exploring nature within me and that led me into the sport of Off-Road triathlon. I competed in an Xterra Race and fell in love.
Jac: I started road triathlons about 9 years ago as an age grouper but didn’t compete in Xterra until about 6 years later. I loved mountain biking and thought I would give Xterra a go. In my first ever race I finished 6th at the European Championships in Italy it was a hard race but I wanted to do better. I then met Ben and we decided that this was the sport we both loved so we decided to live the dream and make off road triathlon racing our life. /
BEN’S NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
2x Xterra Asian Triple Crown World Tour Champion, 12x Xterra World Tour Race Champion, Xterra Trans Tasman Champion, Ironman 70.3 Podium, 3rd Xterra WORLD Championships, Xterra Warrior Award Champion
JACQUI’S NOTABLE PERFORMANCES
6 x Xterra World Tour Champion, British National Xterra Champion