By Wendy Osher
Famous pro surfer Sunny Garcia is adding off-road triathlete to bucket list, taking on the XTERRA Worlds in Kapalua on Maui this Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014.
The former world surfing champion tells race organizers that he has been wanting to do the XTERRA for years but says that “now is the time” to test out his new Cannondale 29er bike.
The 44-year-old professional surfer already has six wins from the Tripple Crown of Surfing under his belt, and has done a few trialthlons, but is new to off-road racing, according to organizers of the Maui XTERRA event.
The XTERRA World Championship drew 800 athletes from around the world during last year’s event. This year, the event will attract just as many professional and amateur athletes from 28 countries and 42 US states.
The off-road race includes a 1 mile rough water swim, an 18.89 mile mountain bike ride, and a 5.9 mile trail run through the pineapple fields and forests of West Maui.
XTERRA organizers say the race is the last in a series of nearly 100 off-road triathlon events held in 16 countries and more than 30 US states.
Athletes participating in the event are vying for the title and bragging rights, while professionals are competing for a share of the $105,000 event purse.
Last year’s winners were Ruben Ruzafa of Spain in the men’s race, and Nicky Samuels of New Zealand in the women’s race.
The XTERRA World Championship event kicks off with a 9 a.m. start on Sunday, Oct. 26, at the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua.
Other community runs leading up to Sunday’s big race include the XTERRA Kapalua Trail Runs on Saturday, Oct. 25, as well as Kimo’s XTERRA Keiki K (11 a.m. 10/25/14) for kids twelve and under. Duke’s Beach House XTERRA 10K (9:20 a.m. 10/25/14) and Hula Grill XTERRA 5K (9 a.m. 10/25/14) races are open to all ages with competitors experiencing the famed XTERRA World Championship run course.