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XTERRA Winter Headed to Europe
XTERRA WINTER HEADED TO EUROPE
Former XTERRA World Champ and two-time ITU Winter Triathlon World Champ Nicolas Lebrun (pictured) will serve as the race director for the inaugural XTERRA Winter European Championship to be held January 17 in Chabanon, France.
Styled after the first-of-its-kind XTERRA Winter Worlds format that debuted in Utah this March, the race will combine a 10km mountain bike with 5km trail run, 5km snowshoe, and 8km mountaineering segments.
The race site is nestled in the heart of "Vallee de la Blanche", an intimate family-size resort in the sunny south French Alps between Provence and Grenoble.
In addition to the 5,000 euro prize purse for professionals, the winner of each age group division will earn free entry into the XTERRA Winter World Championship on March 8 at Snowbasin Resort in Utah.
The "Endurance and Snow" weekend will also include an Alpinonaise evening ski mountaineering race that starts at twilight and runs on the lit alpine slopes of the resort, plus 10km and 17km snow trail races. For the truly adventurous organizers offer up special awards for those with the best combined results in all three events.
To learn more visit www.enduranceandsnow.com.
XTR WORLD CHAMPS COURSE DESCRIPTION
Set against the spectacular backdrop of Kualoa Ranch, the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship on Dec. 7 will provide the ultimate Hawaiian experience for visitors and locals alike. If you’ve ever seen Jurassic Park, Windtalkers, Pearl Harbor, Godzilla, Tears of the Sun, 50 First Dates, or some of the LOST episodes, you can imagine the scene. All those films used the steep, bright green mountain cliffs and adjacent sparkling Pacific Ocean to portray a wild, pristine island landscape - and that's exactly what you'll find at Kualoa Ranch.
The true adventure of this run lies in the fact that no one on the planet has run it before as there is no pre-running allowed. That said, here's a look at what runners will face:
Length - 21km/13.1 miles
Starting from the base of Kaaawa Valley, just around the corner from the main Kualoa Ranch house, the XTERRA Trail Running World Championship will start easy enough - taking runners on hard packed dirt roads uphill into the western side of the valley (the right side if you’re looking mauka).
After the first mile runners descend through a pasture and head back towards the ocean and just after mile two they’ll pop out at an elevation of 200’ just above the Pacific with views forever. The temptation running along the ledge overlooking the turquoise water will be to jump in and call it a day, but the real fun is just beginning.
Runners quickly drop back down on pasture roads and at mile three come into the petting zoo at the main Kualoa Ranch area. The next few miles head into heavy rainforest umbrella with green all around and several stream crossings (a few inches to ankle deep depending on recent rainfall) along rolling, twisting double track. At about mile eight the trail gets narrow and steep on a path leading straight up the mountain that separates Hakipu’u Valley from Kaaawa Valley. Here runners get a rare chance to be on the very narrow spine of a volcanic peak, again – with incredible views of the valley and ocean beyond.
Once at the top, a very neat trail winds its way sharply down into the back of Kaaawa Valley. At the bottom runners will find rocky dual track and twisting trails that traverse a few more stream crossings before a hard right turn takes them up to a long stretch of single track originally created by wild pigs.
Passing is possible, but competitors will want to watch their step as the trail is narrow and on a slanted slope. Sections of rocky, ankle bending chasms formed by the molten lave tens of thousands of years ago will test tired legs, but inspiration is soon to follow.
Arising from the cover of green forested trails runners will find the wide open unusual light green fields of Hawaii. Many will think they’ve got déjà vu, as their memories recall the original Jurassic Park scene where the professor and the kids run and hide from the dinosaur stampede – because that’s exactly where they are.
Near the end, the course cuts through the main start/finish area to the cheers of friends, family and spectators before heading out on a final loop in the valley before the sprint to the finish.
MEET SOME RUNNERS...
With the XTERRA Trail Running World Champs just a few weeks away we'd like to showcase a few of the runners.
Danelle is one of the fastest off-road triathletes on the planet, evident in her 2nd place finish at the XTERRA World Champs in Maui last month, but her real strength is running. In Maui, she had the fastest run split and when she was at the University of Washington she ran her way into the NCAA I 1500-meter finals. Despite taking last year off to have a baby, the 33-year-old from Canada has to be considered the race favorite in pursuit of XTERRA’s first Trail Run World Champ title.
This 15-year old 2007 XTERRA Trail Run Nationals age group silver medalist qualified for XTERRA Trail Run Worlds at the XTERRA Point Mugu Xduro in Oxnard, CA. If his young age weren’t impressive enough, Hunter was also born with a congenital heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot which consists of four distinct and serious malfunctions of the heart. With the help of his father Terry and a heart rate monitor, Hunter’s goal is to be crowned an XTERRA World Champion. He will be running to raise money for a local pediatric cardiac support group for parents called Kardiac Kids, of the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children in Honolulu.
KC has been racing in the triathlon world for 19 years. She has won several age group awards from cycling to triathlon, completed the 70.3 Ironman on the Big Island in 2007, and can recently add cancer survivor to her list of accomplishments. She is the owner of Try Fitness, operating programs designed for women’s fitness, a motivational counselor, and the race director for events such as the Na Wahine Sprint Triathlon, Hawaii’s largest all-women’s triathlon. This will be her first XTERRA experience.
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