Couple sweeps Xterra Albay race titles

Rhadyz B. Barcia

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Couple sweeps Xterra Albay race titles


Sam Osborne and Samantha Kingsford of New Zealand rule one of the toughest off-road triathlon competitions in the country


LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – A couple from New Zealand completed a sweep of the Xterra Albay race titles here on Sunday, June 17.

Sam Osborne and Samantha Kingsford – who have been competing in international races together – conquered one of the toughest off-road triathlon competitions in the country to rule the men and women’s professional categories.

“We’ve been racing together in triathlons in New Zealand and Tahiti, though we won in 2nd and 3rd posts, but this is the first time for us to bag the championship title,” said Osborne after the couple known as “Sam Sam” topped the grueling 1.5km swim- 28km bike-8km run. 

The 26-year-old Osborne spoiled Bradley Weiss’ bid to cop a 3rd straight men’s pro crown after finishing the course in two hours, 16 minutes and 58 seconds.

Osborne completed the open-water swim in Albay Gulf in 18:50 minutes, the rigorous bike leg in 1:19:03 and the run leg in 39:05.



The South African Weiss, who settled for a runner-up finish with a 2:19:26 clocking, kept pace with Osborne in the swim (18:53) and bike (1:19:08) legs but faded on foot (41:25). 

Olly Shaw, also of New Zealand, wound up 3rd with a 2:19:43 clocking. 

Filipino triathlete Joseph Miller (3:04:24) and Japanese Akihiko Maeda (3:12:08) rounded out the top 5. 

Osborne waited for Kingsford at the finish line and immediately hugged her and poured water on her head to douse off the heat.

Kingsford dominated the women’s pro with a time of  2:54:18. 

“The race is awesome. The people are wonderful and the scenery is stunning only that the (Mayon) volcano is hiding in the clouds, hopefully, it will appear tomorrow,” said Kingsford.

Penny Slater checked in second with a time of 2:59:36, while Leela Hancox wound up 3rd with a 3:17:04 clocking. 

Former New Zealand beauty queen Kristy Jennings, 39, completed the race in 3:23:24 but failed to join the top finishers.

“It’s a difficult course and extremely hot but exciting and fun, with welcoming and cheering people. The place is very beautiful with the gulf within the city and mountain [and the] iconic Mayon volcano,” said Jennings, who has been competing in world Xterra off-road triathlon races for 4 years.

In the lite category, Luis Jose Embate, John Paul Juson and Nino Mancita emerged as the top 3, while Jhep-poy Juson, Danilo VIllamer and Allan Jamila ruled the duathlon.

Simon Direen, a 44-year-old Australian who competed in the pro category, suffered a shoulder injury after falling off his bike while negotiating the tricky course over the rugged terrain of Legazpi City’s mountain.

“It’s the most challenging course ever here in Albay,” said Direen, who was immediately assisted by the locals and medics. 

Paul McCalman, 47, also an Australian who joined the pro category, said he doesn’t mind coming back for the next Xterra race.

“I will go back here for a vacation it’s a very beautiful place. I hope that the next Xterra will be done again here in Albay,” he said.

Close to 200 participants joined the professional, lite and duathlon categories of  Xterra Albay. –

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