A WORLD-CLASS field led by Pacific Triple Crown champion Ben Allen of Australia is expected to see action in the Vaseline Men Xterra Weekend starting tomorrow in Liloan, Cebu.
The race, with 300 participants representing 17 countries, is the first leg in the 2013 Vaseline Men Xterra Off-Road Triathlon Series.
Among countries represented in the event are Britain, France, South Africa, Canada, Singapore, United States, Switzerland, Japan, China, Taiwan and the Philippines.
The race covers a 1.5-kilometer swim, 35K bike and a 10K run. A side event is the Xterra Lite, which has a 500-meter swim, 20K bike and a 5K run.
A trail run featuring 21K, 10K and 5K distances for both male and female is slated Sunday.
Expected to crowd Allen for top honors are 2012 Xterra Global Tour Guam runner-up Olivier Marceau of France, 2011 Xterra Philippines champion Sam Gardner of Britain and 2012 Pico De Loro Triathlon champion Mathieu O’Halloran of Canada.
Top age group finishers for the Xterra Philippines will vie for the 41 slots to the Xterra Global Championships in Maui, Hawaii, while top age group finishers in the 21K trail run will qualify for the Xterra Trail Run World Championship in Oahu in October.
The field also includes South Africa’s Dan Hugo and Bradley Sean Weiss, Shahrom Abdullah of Malaysia and 2012 European U23 Cross Triathlon champion Rory Downie of Britain.
A strong field will also contest the women’s division title with two-time Xterra world champion Lesley Paterson of Britain looming as favorite. Cedelf P. Tupas