An Interview with Ben Allen – Aussie Xterra Off-Road Champion

On athlete Ben Allen talks to RankMyTri about the exciting world of off road triathlon.

Lets start with the obvious question first, what draws you to XTERRA over conventional triathlons?

BEN: Xterra racing is awesome..! Xterra always put athlete’s safety and wellbeing first. Everyone is there to race hard, but also enjoy what the race has to offer, (e.i course, culture, facilities, community & friends) which creates a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Congratulations on your Triple Crown victory! What did you learn from Guam, Philippines and Saipan that you will take forward to Ogden and Maui?
BEN: Winning the Asian Xterra Triple Crown was absolutely amazing. The experienced I gained from all three races gave me the confidence, belief and fundamental skills to help me develop into a better overall Xterra athlete. I will be doing everything possible to stand on the top spot in Maui…

Some people say that XTERRA is a niche sport and therefore the quality of athlete isn’t up to standard – what would you say to these dissenters?
BEN: The sport of Xterra is for everyone from Pro’s to people would love the outdoors lifestyle. Just look at the 2011 World Championship pro field.? Lance Armstrong (7 time TDF Winner), 2008 Olympic Triathlon Gold Medalist Jan Fedino and past Xterra World Champions Conrad Stoltz, Meline McQuiad just to name a few.

Which single event stands out for you the most and why?
BEN: In 2011 I raced at 13 Xterra World Tour Races and each one showcases amazing community support, its wonderful environment/nature and the beautiful people/culture that makes it unique to hosting an Xterra Race.

For those readers thinking of making the plunge into XTERRA, is there an accessible route for those that just want to dip a toe into the world of off road triathlon?
BEN: Of course Xterra World Tour races offer not only the full distance 1.5 Swim/30 Mountain bike/10 trail run, but also encourages the short distance races 750 swim/15 Mountain bike/ 5 trail run and has trail running events, mountain bike races and relay or team events. Something for the whole family to participate in…

If you had one bit of training advice for those new to XTERRA what would it be?

BEN: Xterra Races are full of Hills, Mountains and steep climbs, so I would recommend adding in a hill rep session into your program, so that when it comes to race day you will be ready.

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