XTERRA Taiwan: The Countdown to Kenting

by Sam Joyner on 03/22/2022

Ready to ring in the start of summer and 5 years of off-road adventure, this weekend XTERRA Taiwan welcomes the 2022 athletes back to tropical Kenting for an event that features more races, new initiatives, and all the grit and glory that’s come to be expected from Taiwan’s premier off-road race.
On March 26-27, the off-road community of beautiful Formosa will once again be headed south for the highly-anticipated 5th anniversary of XTERRA Taiwan. 

Since introducing a brand-new race format to endurance enthusiasts back in 2018, XTERRA Taiwan has continued to grow alongside a rapidly expanding adventure-sport community, and now sits as the pinnacle event of the local off-road calendar. 

Held in the heart of the country’s #1 beach destination, this year XTERRA Taiwan will celebrate 5 years of off-road adventure with new initiatives that combine culture, community, and challenge to showcase the full potential of off-road sports in Taiwan, and unite a brimming community of adventure seekers.

More than just a local highlight, XTERRA Taiwan has also become a stand-out event in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Series, attracting growing attention to the series via the idyllic location, challenging course, and event execution. 

Commenting on the event, Landry Benoit, XTERRA Asia-Pacific Marketing and Technical Director, said “We can’t wait to welcome the XTERRA community back to Kenting, and for newcomers, we can’t wait to give them this experience. The energy here is just incredible.”

“2022 will mark the 5th year of bringing different groups of athletes together to experience the fun, energy, and challenge of XTERRA racing, and seeing the community growing larger year after year is fantastic.”
Mixing technicality and flow, the full-distance triathlon course begins in the crystal waters of the pacific ocean before passing over the white sand beach of Little Bay and weaving its way through the rocky riverbeds, sloping jungles, and open grasslands of Kenting National Park. 

But as with all XTERRA races, contestants will be up against the elements. 

“For all its beauty, the course may not alway be kind to athletes as they will have to compete in hot and humid conditions and conquer a particularly challenging MTB course,” explained Landry Benoit. “The course will also test a wide range of technical skills through an ocean swim, river beds, jungle, and hills. This course really has it all.”
All eyes this year will be on last year’s winner, Sam Hsieh, who returns to defend his title in the full-distance triathlon. But he’ll have to contest against Carson Christen who returns for his redemption race after an unfortunate fall in 2021 saw him exit the race from a leading position. 

Also at stake for all full-distance triathletes are the highly coveted slots to the XTERRA World Championships, which will for the first time ever be hosted in Trentino, Italy. Already a bucket-list destination for any off-road athlete, the new World Championship location recently added yet another feather to its cap when the inaugural XTERRA Trentino Dolomiti Paganella off-road triathlon was named the 2021 Event of the Year.
XTERRA Taiwan will also be using its 5th anniversary to begin testing new initiatives that will bring the brand’s values of discovery, diversity, and sustainability to the forefront and lead as an example for future events. 

J-D Cousens, XTERRA VP of Operations & Marketing, explained, “In Taiwan and countries across the world, we’re seeing that people are more keen than ever to get outdoors, get active, and connect with others. This is what XTERRA has always been about, so we're now in the process of transforming our events to welcome a wider range of athletes and spectators into our community. By bringing more newcomers into the sport through more accessible race formats and working with local businesses to increase community support, we plan to bring a festival-like feel to each event that will leave a lasting impression on the athletes, spectators, and local community, with as little impact on the environment as possible.”
Apart from the full-distance triathlon, XTERRA Taiwan 2022 will also include a duathlon, trail runs (30K, 14K, 7K), and a run and pushbike kids race for newcomers to get a taste of the XTERRA race experience.

And for fans, family, and spectators, a free shuttle bus will run regularly on Saturday and Sunday from both the Kenting Youth Activity Centre and the Dawan Lawn to the event location for anybody and everybody to join in on the action. 

To learn more about the event, visit the XTERRA Taiwan event page