Pace Bend Park, located in far western Travis County in the Hill Country of central Texas, takes center stage on Saturday. The entire park is on a peninsula jutting into Lake Travis, with steep bluffs on one side offering spectacular views and gentle grassy slopes descending to the water on the other side.
The trails at Pace Bend Park include limestone ledges, challenging rock gardens, some steep climbs, technical drop offs with “plenty of smooth trail in between to help you recover before reaching the next obstacle,” said race director Joel Grimmett of Race Revolutions.
“It all starts with an 800-meter swim in the waters of Lake Travis, continues with 13 miles of 90 percent classic Texas Hill country single track, and finishes with a mostly flat 6K run weaving along the lakeshore. At the finish line racers will find some cold post-race beer provided by NXNW Restaurant and Brewery, Austin.”
ATX is the second of five races in the XTERRA Texas Off-Road Triathlon Series, and those who win their regional title at the end of it all earn a qualifying spot to the XTERRA World Championship in Maui.
On Sunday the America Tour heads to XTERRA Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to a family-oriented and beginner-friendly experience.
Starting with a one of a kind swim start, beginning with a boat ride to the starting line, competitors will swim 1000-meters in the Intercoastal Waterway and find themselves running up a boat ramp into transition 1. The bike portion will surprise many, with a challenging and technical course that will engage racers over two laps to cover 14 miles. The bike is a hidden gem among our coastal geography! The run continues to change things up, with a flat and fast five miles. The route is still on dirt, and is a traditional out and back style which is closed to traffic. Drawing beginners and experienced racers alike, the XTERRA Tri and Myrtle Beach is a race like none other.
The defending men’s champ Marcus Barton will return to defend his title and says he’s got his work cut out for him in this early-season test.
“Gonna be tough as there are some fast boys showing up like Daryl Weaver and newcomer Dwayne Dixon who’s an experienced road triathlete,” said Barton.
“When I first rode the trails there I went in with low expectations, thinking “What could they have built at the beach?” Boy was I surprised. These guys and gals have done an outstanding job building some pretty awesome trails. Last year the run was a flat, out and back on a gravel road. This year, they’ve built more trail so the run is 95% trail. As for the swim, it’s a straight shot up an intercostal waterway, so plenty of room to spread out and no fighting over buoys.”
You can read all about Barton’s experience at last year’s race here: https://speedylizard.com/2015/05/07/root-beer-swimming-and-big-green-guys-xterra-myrtle-beach/