SNOWY MOUNTAINS, NSW—With an industry leading AU$40,000 prize purse on offer, TreX has announced pro triathletes and off-road specialists Ben Allen (AUS) and Jacqui Slack (GBR) will be racing the Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships over the weekend of February 28 to March 1 at the Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa in the picturesque Snowy Mountains, NSW.
Both Allen, 29, who took third at the Australian Cross Triathlon Championship in Bendigo in December, and Slack, 31, who finished sixth, are keen to place higher after enjoying a much-needed end-of-year break following a 2014 race schedule that included 26 different countries in one year.
“There’s a lot riding on this race, that’s for sure,” Allen told In2Adventure. “For Jacqui and I, it’s the first real test of the 2015 season.”
“While we were disappointed with not winning the national title last month, we are happy we were able to finish at such a competitive race after such a long 2014 season.
“We were both pretty fatigued going into that last race and for me personally, the result has lit a fire in my belly and I’m going to use that as motivation to get me through these next couple of weeks of intense training in the lead up to Oceania”
Off-road power couple, Allen and Slack, have combined for 22 Xterra off-road triathlon titles between them, and Allen took third at the 2014 Xterra World Championships in Maui, while Slack finished inside the top 10 (ninth).
When asked what lured them to the inaugural event aside from the hefty prize purse, Allen was quick to point out both the course and the competition is a huge draw.
“My strengths rely on a really hilly technical course and really technical swimming,” said Allen, of the 1500m swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run course. “The Oceania course in the Snowies will be really quite technical with a lot of single track and you really have to pay full attention in order to race as well as you can on the bike course.”
As far as competitors go, Allen said his biggest threat will be long-time friend and rival Braden Currie, who is fresh off a second place finish to three-time Ironman world champion Craig Alexander (AUS) at the Port of Tauranga half ironman in early January, and claimed the New Zealand long course title in the process as the first elite male Kiwi to cross the line.
Currie is a former adventure race world champion, and was a top three finisher at the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Germany last year.
“Most definitely the level of the competition will be very stiff, especially with the international competitors,” said Allen. “One of my good friends and rivals Braden Currie is definitely one to keep an eye out for. Braden and I have a serious rivalry and we are currently tied at one win apiece in head-to-head competition. Coming into that race I expect him to be the toughest competitor.”
The Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships is one of three events in Australia that are qualifying rounds for the World Cross Triathlon Championships in 2015 to be held in Sardinia, Italy on 26th September, 2015.
The Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
About the Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships:
The Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships is a Continental Championships awarded by the Oceania Triathlon Union (OTU), and is one of three events in Australia that are qualifying rounds for the World Cross Triathlon Championships in 2015 to be held in Sardinia, Italy on 26th September, 2015.
The race will be hosted at Lake Crackenback Resort & Spa in the spectacular Snowy Mountains (NSW), featuring the trails, rivers, hills, lakes and bushland of this iconic region. The Championships includes events for the entire family, while the feature race consists of 1500m swim, 30km XC mountain bike and 10km trail run.
For seven years TreX has positioned itself as the pinnacle of the cross – or off-road - triathlon racing series in Asia-Pacific. Presented by the premier outdoor adventure event specialists In2Adventure, TreX consists of a reservoir swim, mountain bike and trail run. While each TreX event features an elite category with industry-leading prize purses, including $10,000 for the Australian Cross Triathlon Championships and $40,000 for the Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships, the TreX Cross Triathlon national series invites participation from all ages and skill levels. For more information visit TreX here
In2Adventure are Asia-Pacific’s premier adventure event specialists. With a full calendar of national events scheduled throughout Australia, including adventure races, cross triathlon, XC Mountain Bike, trail runs and corporate events, In2Adventure fully embraces all things ‘off road’ and ‘off the beaten track’ and offers a unique, individual experience for all ages and skill levels. For more information visit In2Adventure here
Upcoming Events (2014/15):
- Snowies MTB Stage Race – Snowy Mountains, NSW, 21/22 February 2015
- Oceania Cross Triathlon Championships – Snowy Mountains, NSW, 28 Feb-1 March 2015
- TreX Cross Triathlon Championships – Sunshine Coast, QLD, 2/3 May 2015
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Photo Credit: Courtesy In2Adventure