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The Countdown to Maui is On
The XTERRA World Championship is just 17 days away on Sunday, October 24. The 15th 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.
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 30 countries and 30 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.
XTERRA WORLDS 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 … 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 30 countries & 31 U.S. states, ages 14 (Hanna Rae Finchamp from Altadena, California) to 73 (Ron Hill from Hayden, Idaho).
WHEN: The XTERRA World Championship starts at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 24. The XTERRA Makena Beach 5km and 10km trail runs are on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 8:00 a.m.
WHERE: The Makena Beach & Golf Resort in Maui
WHY: The XTERRA World Championship race is the last in a series of nearly 100 off-road triathlon races held in 15 countries and 37 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 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 Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Portugal, Saipan, South Africa, Switzerland and Alabama, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Virginia in the United States. There is also a special Hawaii resident qualifier, the MountainMan, held on Oahu each year, or... 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 15 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.
ECONOMIC IMPACT AND TV SHOW FACTS: In 2009 direct spending by out-of-town participants totaled $1.9 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.
XTERRA WORLD CHAMP COMPETITOR STATISTICS
The XTERRA World Championship is truly an international affair with just 5% of the field hailing from the island of Maui. Here’s a look at the numbers:
Countries Represented: 30
States Represented: 32, plus Guam (2), Saipan (2), and Puerto Rico (1).
Breakdown: Alabama (2), Alaska (7), Arizona (13), California (60), Colorado (37), Connecticut (2), Florida (7), Georgia (5), Hawaii (60), Idaho (4), Illinois (3), Indiana (1), Massachussets (2), Michigan (3), Missouri (1), Montana (1), North Carolina (4), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (2), New York (10), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (3), North Carolina (4), Oregon (5), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (1), Texas (18), Tennessee (4), Utah (5), Virginia (11), Vermont (1), Washington (15).
Men: 400 Women: 150
By Age Group:
Oldest Man: Ron Hill – Hayden, ID, 73
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