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Why off-road races rock!

Sports — 2 June 2014

Love triathlon but want to see more fun? Get some fat tires, put some suspension in those forks and cross to the dirty side, says XTERRA champion Conrad Stoltz.

Triathlon may be growing in popularity but road races are not the only ones out there. No one knows better than Suunto ambassador Conrad Stoltz, who crossed to XTERRA after competing at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

“After Sydney I was a bit burnt out and thought I'd just do one or two off-road races just to clear my head for fun. But I fell in love after my first race,” he says.

“Road triathlon is all about following the white line and taking as much pain as possible,” he explains. “The reason I love off-road triathlon is the adrenaline rush and sense of adventure you get – as well as the lactic acid!

Nothing beats the feeling of flashing through the woods at top speed, railing turns perfectly and that rush you get when you clear that hectic drop-off or rock garden. Plus you need to memorise the course, pick fast lines, make tire and suspension selections and mentally and physically overcome a wide variety of obstacles depending on where in the world the race is. 

And of course, you get to go 100% flat out! The people are also quite laid back, relaxed and no one takes themselves too seriously which makes for a nice 'family atmosphere' at races. It's really a great life style sport,” he adds.

To follow Conrad's XTERRA adventures, check out his website: