Xterra World Championships: stories from the Xterra Tribe (inclusief mijn verhaal)

Xterra bestaat 20 jaar en dat vieren ze met een uitgebreid programma rondom de wereldkampioenschappen. En met een bundeling van verhalen van atleten aan de hand van drie vragen. Onderstaand mijn bijdrage aan deze bundeling.  aan de hand van drie Xterra-vragen. Klik hier voor de 40 geselecteerde verhalen. De wedstrijd is via internet met een live stream te volgen: www.xterramaui.com op zondagavond 1 november vanaf 19.55 uur Nederlandse tijd. Ook op Facebook is veel informatie over de race te vinden: https://www.facebook.com/XTERRAplanet.

Why do you race XTERRA? 

There are many reasons I race XTERRA. And they still add up. When I was planning my 2014-season I decided that would be the year for the off-road triathlons. In the Netherlands we have a competition of nine off road races, but unfortunately none of them is a XTERRA race (we used to have a XTERRA race, but that’s several years ago). So I planned these nine races to get experienced in off road triathlon and choose one international XTERRA race at the end of the season to participate. This would be the grand final of my season. And it was. I was immediately hooked. And what’s more: working towards the Xterra race I became addicted to the Xterra videos on Vimeo and Youtube, so I could dream the races. And dreamed of them.

Planning my 2015-season was easy: this had to be the season of XTERRA races all around Europe, participating in the European Tour. Why? Because I love to race in beautiful places, in nature parks, in cities I’ve never been, on tracks that are challenging, to meet athletes with the same passion, to hear the stories of past races, of the history of XTERRA. And to feel part of a group of likeminded. XTERRA would say: to be part of the family.

What is your personal motivation?

Looking to the XTERRA World Championship I’m a proud father to race with my sixteen year old son. What can be more motivating? We train a lot together and spend hours running through forests, cycling on Dutch mud and sand and looking forward to our next race in mountainous places. And of course the XTERRA World Championship is like a crown on this year’s races. Especially when you race it together with your son.

What is your favourite XTERRA memory?

What’s makes my XTERRA races one of my favourite memories is that my family travels with me. In this way it becomes more than race. I would say: a family XTERRA experience. And the moment the race starts, is the moment I learn about myself and the way you sometimes have to struggle, in the race and in your life. I remember XTERRA Spain as the race that seemed endlessly, and XTERRA Germany that I feared because of the rain and cold the previous year (but this year the conditions were quiet different), and XTERRA England that was really muddy and made me feel like home in Holland. And I’m always looking forward to see familiar faces and old acquintances.


Mark Bike Mark's son

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