It's the first XTERRA championship title for Murray and second straight SA crown for Van Huyssteen.
As expected Murray led out of the water with four-time XTERRA World Champ Conrad Stoltz roughly 30 seconds back. Murray was able to hold the lead though the first third of the bike before Stoltz caught up and pulled away with the lead.
"I was uncertain going into the bike and really expected Conrad to catch me sooner," said Murray. "It was only on the 10km mark that he caught me and then proceeded to pull away. He just has so much power in his legs."
Stoltz took a 40-second lead into the bike-to-run transition but was caught by Murray roughly half-way into the 11-kilometer run.
"From there I just kept it together till the end," said Murray. "It was a big day for me. This is my first South African title. The Totalsports XTERRA is definitely the most contended race in South Africa. I had so much fun and will definitely be back next year," says Murray.
Stoltz ran into the finish in 2nd place, however, course marshals reported that he deviated from the run route and as a result official rules were applied and Stoltz was disqualified. Dan Hugo therefore took second place on the day, with Nico Pfitzenmaier finishing third.
2013 XTERRA South Africa Championship Results:
Grabouw, WC, South Africa - February, 24, 2013
|Pro Men Results||Time||
|Pro Women Results||Time|
|Richard Murray, RSA||2:23:02||
|Carla Van Huyssteen, RSA||2:51:01|
|Dan Hugo, RSA||2:25:20||
|Susan Sloan, RSA||2:55:42|
|Nico Pfitzenmaier, GER||2:30:06||
|Shonny Vanlandingham, USA||2:56:03|
|Stuart Marais, RSA||2:32:23||
|Carina Wasle, AUT||2:59:13|
|Bradley Weiss, RSA||2:40:13||
|Sylvia Van Tromp, RSA||3:12:28|
"I had to work hard the entire race," said Van Huyssteen. "The swim was a bit chaotic in the beginning with me choosing the wrong line. I still had a good swim though, entering transition first. I knew I had to work hard as Shonny Vanlandingham is an amazing mountain biker. I managed to find good rhythm on the bike. Going into the run I knew I had to give my all as my husband wouldn't be impressed with me if it looked like I was taking it easy. Today's race was great. I had a knot in my stomach the whole way as I really wanted this win".
Susan Sloan came in second, while Vanlandingham finished third.
Next on the XTERRA World Tour: The XTERRA South Africa Championship race was the first world tour event to qualify amateur athletes into the XTERRA World Championship to be held in Kapalua, Maui (Hawaii) on October 27, 2013. Next up, the XTERRA Triple Crown in the Western Pacific featuring the XTERRA Philippines, Saipan, and Guam Championship races in March. The first of two Maui qualifying events in New Zealand is also in March, with XTERRA Motatapu taking place on the South Island on the 9th.