Elite road triathlete James Cunnama will make his first foray into offroad triathlon at the Xterra South Africa Championships on February 20.

The South African is based an hour’s drive away from the race site in Grabouw and considers it his back yard. He has also been cross-training on the mountain bike as a break from Ironman training. “While the swim and run are nothing new, the fat tyres and narrow trails on the bike route promise to challenge me,” he says. “I have watched from the sidelines too many times now. Here’s hoping I can keep the rubber side down the whole way! Who knows, maybe I’ll surprise some guys — and myself — by staying upright and getting in the mix on the run.”

While Cunnama specializes in Ironman racing, he doesn’t back down from a challenge — and the Grabouw course will have plenty of it. He says, “Xterra Grabouw is one of the toughest and most technical courses on the circuit, so I am jumping in the deep end with this race.”

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