Press and Media Center
The Countdown to Maui is On
The XTERRA World Championship is just 16 days away on Sunday, October 25. The 14th annual event is sold-out, and right now those 550 adventurous souls are getting ready to put their mental and physical toughness up against Mother Nature’s arsenal of sun, sand, water, kiawe, and lava on XTERRA's most grueling course.
When it’s all over they’ll don some of the weirdest and most wonderful costumes you’ve ever seen and dance the night away at what is surely triathlon’s greatest after party.
Athletes from 23 countries and 35 U.S. states are coming to Maui – the spiritual birthplace of XTERRA - having competed all season long for the right to be at the World Tour’s culminating event.
$105,000 in prize money is at stake for a stacked pro field and for age groupers, the title of XTERRA World Champion. All the action will be filmed for a one-hour TV special, and on race day, friends, family and fans from around the globe can log-on to www.XTERRA.TV for updates.
XTERRA WORLD CHAMPS QUICK FACTS
WHAT IS XTERRA: The world’s premier off-road triathlon, combining a 1.5-kilometer (1-mile) swim that starts in front of the Makena Beach & Golf Resort (formerly the Maui Prince)…a 32-kilometer (20-miles) mountain bike that climbs 3,000 feet up and down the lower slopes of Haleakala, and a 12-kilometer (7.5-miles) trail run that traverses lava rock, forest trails, and beach sand. Top pros finish in roughly two-and-a-half hours.
WHO RACES IN MAUI: A sold-out field of 550 racers including 75 professionals and 450 amateurs representing 23 countries & 35 U.S. states, ages 15 (Lucas Garzon from Piedade, Brazil) to 72 (Ron Hill from Hayden, Idaho).
WHEN: The XTERRA World Championship starts at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 25. (The XTERRA Makena Beach 5km and 10km trail runs which are open to the public are on Sat., Oct. 24 at 8:00 a.m.)
WHERE: At the Makena Beach & Golf Resort (formerly the Maui Prince) on Maui’s South Shore.
WHY: The XTERRA World Championship race is the last in a series of nearly 100 off-road triathlon races held in 12 countries and 32 U.S. States. The concept is to provide a bona-fide off-road world championship for amateur and pro athletes. For pros there is $105,000 in prize money at stake.
THE COURSE: Arguably the toughest and most scenic on the entire circuit, the Maui XTERRA course is a classic. From the crystal clear waters of the Pacific, to the sharp lava rocks and kiawe thorns of the bike and run - Hawaii’s natural obstacles are unlike anywhere else on earth.
HOW THEY QUALIFIED: Amateurs enter the World Championship through one of two means:
1. Earn a slot by qualifying as one of the top finishers in their age group at an XTERRA Championship race in Austria, Brazil, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Saipan, South Africa, and Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Nevada, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia in the United States. There is also a special Hawaii resident qualifier, the MountainMan, held on Oahu each year. 2. Enter through the at large drawing - a limited number of slots are offered on a first-come first-serve basis.
XTERRA BACKGROUND: This is year 14 for the XTERRA World Championship on Maui – the birthplace of off-road triathlon. The first XTERRA race was held here on November 3, 1996 with just 123 participants and was televised on Fox Sports Net. The demand for the sport of XTERRA exploded thereafter and there are now more than 30,000 competitors from all 50 states and more than 40 countries worldwide and each year a new one-hour TV show is produced and broadcast across the U.S. showcasing the scenic beauty of Hawaii.
1996: Jimmy Riccitello and Michellie Jones win inaugural event in Maui.
ECONOMIC IMPACT: In 2008 direct spending by out-of-town participants totaled $1.83 million, and the total economic impact was $4.7 million according to a web-based study conducted by Professor Robert Case, Ph.D, Old Dominion University.
DIVERSITY: 90% of the field is from out-of-state and 48% are from out-of-country.
XTERRA WORLDS ON TV: This will be the 14th straight year a nationally broadcast one-hour show will be produced on the event, which showcases Maui’s scenic south shore.
The 2008 XTERRA World Championship one-hour TV show has been seen by 4.4 million viewers via national syndication (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX), Fox Sports Network, and Comcast Sportsnet cable airings. There have been 190 airings of the show since January 2008 and it is still being broadcast on Fox stations nationwide. The TEAM TV crew had 30 cameras in operation on race day including point-of-view cams mounted on motorcycles, mountain bikes and jet skis, under-water cameras, and of course the camera on top of the helicopter hovering high above the action. As a result, producer Kevin Kau was able to bring viewers amazing shots of sea turtles gliding underneath swimmers, deer stampeding through the bike course dangerously close to riders on Haleakala’s lower slopes, top professional athletes descending the lava strewn downhill at break-neck speed, and runner after runner traversing the breathtakingly beautiful white sand beaches on a clear and sunny day. Note: This year’s show will start its run in national syndication in mid-January 2009.
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