XTERRA East Championship & Richmond Sprint


XTERRA East Championship

The 2015 XTERRA East Championship marks the 17th year XTERRA has been held in the River City.

Richmond is widely regarded as the sport’s finest urban adventure. Events include the XTERRA Richmond 10k trail run, the XTERRA Richmond half-marathon trail run, free kids races, free clinics taught by proathletes, the Paul Mitchell Cut-a-thon to raise money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and two off-road triathlons – a half-distance XTERRA Sprint race (perfect for newcomers) and the XTERRA East Championship.





1000m swim / 32k mountain bike / 10k trail run

* The level of the James River will determine the exact length of the swim and run.



XTERRA Richmond Course Map

Click image for larger version.

Swim Courses

Must go around buoys. Championship racers keep first buoy on your right, second buoy on your left, third buoy on your right, jog across Belle Isle, jump back in and keep fourth and fifth buoys on your right and the last buoy on your left. Sprint racers keep first three buoys on your right and the last buoy on your left.

TIP: Our swim course guru Thom Stanton is a master at swimming the James. You should go to his free swim clinic on Saturday at 8am where the swim starts, and check out his “Charging Arc” Strategy below for best way to get around that fourth buoy.


Championship Swim Course

Sprint Course

Sprint Course

Charging Arc [  Blue = Thom's Course  |  Orange = Typical Pro  |  Red = Uninitiated Noobs  ]

Charging Arc
[ Blue = Thom’s Course | Orange = Typical Pro | Red = Uninitiated Noobs ]

Course Pre-Ride
Friday: OPEN
Saturday: After 11AM


500m swim / 12k mountain bike / 6k trail run


The Richmond course is classic, and renowned for having some of the most technical trails in XTERRA despite being in the heart of a big city.

The swim has become a poster child for the XTERRA creed that “Mother Nature is your toughest competitor”. It’s slated to start at the boat ramp at Brown’s Island, where competitors swim across the James River to Belle Isle, get out of the water—shuffle a few hundred feet across Belle—and then swim back. The James isn’t very cooperative, however, so expect the unexpected.

The Sprint race swim will not exit the water at Belle Isle. Sprint swimmers will complete a single loop in the water and return to the boat ramp at Brown’s Island.

Bike Course

The bike will be two laps of 10 miles each.  The biggest changes are rather than crossing the James River on the footbridge under the Lee Highway Bridge and riding around Belle Isle, the bike will now take the south bound on ramp to the top of the Lee Bridge.  “We will have the entire shoulder lane which is wide enough for a few bikes to ride side-by-side, coned off” said Dave Nicholas.  We’ll ride the normal XTERRA course on Buttermilk, Forest Hills across Boulevard Bridge and back on the north trail.  The difference is Sprint will do one lap and go to transition, Championship will have their bike marked and do a second lap.  We expect the finish time will go back over two hours for the winner.  The run remains the same for Championship, but Sprint will now incorporate the legendary “Dry Way” crossing of the James river rather than run back on top of Lee Bridge.

The run starts easy enough, a pleasant jog along the canal, across the river, and on top of the floodwall with a great view of the city. Then athletes turn onto a dirt trail and suddenly an 80-foot vertical climb up railroad ties stares them in the face. They call it the Mayan ruins because it looks just as gnarly as a 2000-year-old temple. After that quad burner, things get easy again for a little while but all kinds of climbs and twists and turns lie ahead. A cool section of forested singletrack meanders through the woods along the river, leading to a water crossing over a small island where athletes encounter rocky terrain and the legendary riverbed crossing “The Dry Way”. From there racers climb up an old iron ladder to Belle Isle, cross over the James on the footbridge, and head back to Brown’s for the finish.

Note: The James River is shallow in spots and has several natural and man made obstacles so keep you eyes peeled. It’s possible that we may alter the swim course as a result of low or high water.

USAT Swimming Conduct 

Swimming Conduct

4.1 Permissible Strokes. Swimmers may use any stroke to propel themselves through the water and may tread water or float.

4.2 Bottom Contact and Resting. A participant may stand on the bottom or rest by holding an inanimate object such as a buoy, boat, rope or floating object. Excluding the bottom, a participant shall not use any inanimate object to gain forward progress. A violation of this section shall result in a variable time penalty, unless the Head Referee in his/her sole discretion determines that (i) the violation was substantial and resulted in an unfair time advantage, or (ii) the violation constituted endangerment under Section 3.4(1).

4.3 Emergencies. A swimmer experiencing difficulty and in need of assistance shall raise an arm overhead, and pump it up and down, and call or seek assistance. A swimmer, who has received official assistance, whether voluntary or involuntary, must retire and withdraw from the remainder of the race unless such assistance did not aid the swimmer in making forward progress. No swimmer shall return to the race if the official rendering assistance requests that the participant withdraw from the race or receive medical assistance.

4.4 Wet suits. Each age group participant shall be permitted to wear a wet suit without penalty in any event sanctioned by USA Triathlon up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water temperature is greater than 78 degrees, but less than 84 degrees Fahrenheit, age group participants may wear a wet suit at their own discretion, provided however that participants who wear a wet suit within this temperature range shall not be eligible for prizes or awards. Age group participants shall not wear wet suits in water temperatures equal to or greater than 84 degrees Fahrenheit. The wetsuit policy for elite athletes shall be determined by the USAT Athletes Advisory Council. The AAC has set the wetsuit maximum temperature for elite athletes at 68 degrees for swim distances less than 3000 meters and 71.6 degrees for distances of 3000 meters or greater. Any swimmer wearing a wetsuit with a thickness measured in any part greater than 5 millimeters shall be disqualified.

4.5 Notice of Wet Suit Policy. The wet suit policy for any particular race shall be included on all race literature that is intended for distribution to potential participants. The wet suit policy shall conform to Section 4.4, unless a change is granted in compliance with Section 1.4. The wet suit policy on such literature shall include the following information, if applicable; a. Any changes from Section 4.4; b. Any specific restrictions on equipment; c. Any disparity between the wet suit policy for age group athletes and the policy for elite athletes.

4.6 Measuring Water Temperature. It is recommended, but not required that the water temperature for a race be finally determined by a measurement made within 2 hours of the race start. A water temperature measurement should also be taken prior to any pre-race meetings in order to forecast to the athletes as early as possible the likely water temperature on race day and the likelihood of whether wet suits will be allowed on race day.

4.7 Official Equipment. If provided by race management, a swimmer shall wear the proper official swim cap corresponding to his wave. The penalty for an infraction of this rule is a variable time penalty. For safety reasons if no official cap is provided, all swimmers should wear their own brightly colored swim cap.

4.8 Goggles. Swimmers may wear, but shall not be required to wear, swim goggles or face masks.

4.9 Illegal Equipment. Any swimmer wearing any artificial propulsion device, including but not limited to fins, gloves, paddles, or floating devices of any kind shall be disqualified.

Download full USAT competition rules

Please Note:

The trails are multi use and are used daily by hikers, walkers and dog walkers.  The trails are in an urban environment that have a diverse set of users with very technical terrain and have plenty of blind spots.  Fast moving bikes can approach unheard/seen and startle a hiker.  Please carry the XTERRA Spirit with you when training and practicing for the XTERRA East Championship and be curtious to others you are sharing these trails with. If you are unsure of what to do in multi-use trail situations please refer to the IMBA Rules of the Trail. Please read, understand and share these rules before you climb into the saddle. We would like to thank Richmond MORE for building and maintaining the trails that are used the XTERRA East Championship.

Spectator Spots

With nearly 1,000 athletes pushing themselves to the very limit of human potential, the emotion and expressions on their faces are incomparable. The entire course is open to the public so there are literally thousands of places to watch from, but here are the best spots:

BROWN’s ISLAND: Site of the start, finish, and transition areas—as well as the XTERRA Expo excitement—Brown’s Island is XTERRA central. Grab some BBQ, have a cool drink, browse through XTERRA village, and listen to the jams and live race reports while waiting for friends and family to cross the finish line.

FOREST HILL PARK: Located off Riverside Drive, between 22nd and 42nd Streets, Forest Hill hosts the tightest, twistiest, and toughest trails of the XTERRA course. The narrow bridge crossings and hairpin turns challenge bikers. Follow your ears to the “cheers” where fans camp to see how riders handle the steep downhill sections.


Coqui CycleryCoqui Cyclery is the official bike shop for the XTERRA East Championship and XTERRA Richmond Sprint events. They’ve got you covered for all your bike tech needs.

3416 Semmes Ave
Richmond Va. 23225

Mon – Fri: 10AM -PM
Sat: 10AM – 5PM
Sun: Closed

Phone: (804)231-FROG (3764)



XTERRA WetsuitsYou can rent the fastest and most flexible triathlon wetsuit on the market. XTERRA Wetsuits is offering full or sleeveless wetsuit rentals. Extended rental periods are available.

Check them out at http://www.xterrawetsuits.com/store/index.php/products/wetsuit-rentals.


DATE: Saturday, June 13 @ 8AM
WHERE: Boat Ramp (between Brown’s Island and Belle Isle walkway)
We are very fortunate to have a colorful assortment of local “river dogs” involved to setup a top notch race course and help assure the safety of the competitors.
Thom Stanton swims in Richmond’s whitewater for fun, and consults with TEAM Unlimited on the route and features for XTERRA swim courses each year. Thom’s focus is on how to swim efficiently in the XTERRA course’s swift current and ways to avoid hidden underwater hazards. 
The swim clinic begins promptly at the start time, and takes about an hour. Our general agenda includes:
  • Gathering – Meet at boat ramp by Tredagar Iron Works
  • Introductions – Get to know, assess experience, and identify who is in which race 
  • Overview – Safety, equipment, course layout, and general hazards in river
  • Current Events – Basic how to regarding swimming in moving water
  • Race Start – Considerations for positioning for solid start 
  • Coursework – Swimming from race start to island in two groups (full and short races)
  • Finish – How to exit course at boat ramp for run to first transition
  • Q&A – Additional tips and tricks 
All participants should be able to swim for at least five minutes continuously without need of assistance or added flotation. This is NOT a learn-to-swim clinic, and basic swim instruction is NOT included.
Form fitting swim suits that reduce drag and river shoes for foot protection are recommended. Due to close proximity of rocks on river bottom, goggles are required.



June 13-14, 2015


Friday, June 12:

6:00-9:30pm          “Friday Cheers” at Brown’s Island – Hurray for the Riff Raff (8pm) and Joe Pug (6:30pm) – $10 admission

Saturday, June 13

Note: Bike Course closed for pre-riding until 11am

6:30-7:30am          XTERRA Richmond 10K and 21K Packet Pickup and Late Registration

8-9am                    Swim Clinic – Free – meet at boat ramp/swim start near Brown’s Island

All participants should be able to swim for at least five minutes continuously without need of assistance or added flotation. This is NOT a learn-to-swim clinic, and basic swim instruction is NOT included. Form fitting swim suits that reduce drag and river shoes for foot protection are recommended. Due to close proximity of rocks on river bottom, goggles are required.

8:00am                  XTERRA Richmond 21K Trail Run start

8:15am                  XTERRA Richmond 10K Trail Run Start

9:00am-3:00pm    XTERRA Expo

9:00am-1:00pm    Paul Mitchell Cut-a-thon, a benefit for Challenged Athletes Foundation

9:00am-3:00pm    XTERRA East Championship and Sprint Registration and Packet Pick-up*

10:30am                XTERRA Richmond 10K / 21K Awards Ceremony

11:00am                Bike Course Open for Pre-ride

11:30am               XTERRA University and Race Briefing, presented by Paul Mitchell – featuring
XTERRA pros Branden Rakita and Suzie Snyder, and race director Chris Appleton.


Sunday, June 14:

6:00am                  Transition Open for Set-up and Body Marking, Late packet pickup

                              Tentative XTERRA East Championship Wave Start Times:

7:50am – Pros Only

8:45am – Wave 1 – Championship Age Group Men 54 and under

8:46am – Wave 2 – Championship Age Group Men 55 and over, Clydesdales, all Women, and Relays

9:05am – Sprint Race (all)

9:00am – 2:00pm  XTERRA Expo

9:00am-1pm         Paul Mitchell Cut-a-thon, a benefit for Challenged Athletes Foundation

10:15/10:30am      First place Pro Male/Female Expected

10:30/11:15am      First place Sprint Male/Female Expected

12:00pm                XTERRA Sprint Awards

1:00pm                  Cut-off at T2

1:00pm                  XTERRA East Championship Awards

7:00pm                  After Party – Location TBD



  • Pros race for a $15,000 pro purse
  • Age groupers battle for 50 slots to the World Championship (see chart below)
  • Top amateur finishers earn points toward their standings in the XTERRA America Tour

Top finishers at East Championship race are awarded slots to the XTERRA World Championship in Kapalua, Maui based on the following age group allocations.

Division Male Female
15-19 1 1
20-24 2 2
25-29 2 2
30-34 3 2
35-39 3 2
40-44 3 2
45-49 3 2
50-54 3 2
55-59 2 2
60-64 2 2
65-69 2 2
70-74 1 1
75+ 1


Distance: 500 meter swim / 12k mountain bike / 6k trail run

The XTERRA Sprint race is a half-distance race run on the same course and day as the championship race. The race is a great opportunity for new competitors, or for those who want a less-demanding XTERRA experience.

XTERRA Richmond 10/21km Trail Runs

The XTERRA Trail Runs in Richmond are adventurous and fun. From a crazy 10km to a grueling 21km – XTERRA has a challenge just for you.

The 10K is identical to the run course Sunday’s XTERRA racers will tackle on their way to the finish line. It’s definitely not your ordinary 10K! The 10K brings together some of Richmond’s greatest riverfront attributes including Brown’s Island, the Canal Walk, James River Park, Belle Isle, and the Floodwall. With features like the “Mayan Ruins” climb and rock hopping across the riverbed known as the “dry way”, runners are immersed in a truly unique XTERRA experience.

The 21K off-road half-marathon is for those with a little bit more endurance, as it dishes out a physical challenge more parallel to that of a road marathon, but with Mother Nature along for the ride. The top three competitors in each age group win awards.

Learn more about our XTERRA Richmond Trail Runs

XTERRA University

Paul Mitchell

Get ready to XTERRA with the sport’s best. XTERRA University, presented by Paul Mitchell, offers competitors a chance to take in last-minute advice and pointers from some of the best off-road multisport athletes in the sport.

The FREE sessions target improved swimming, biking and trail running techniques plus dealing with the specifics of the Richmond course. There will be time for Q&A with the pros during each session. All classes will be held at the race compound at Brown’s Island.

Paul Mitchell Cut-a-Thon

Racing makes you feel good – Paul Mitchell makes you look good! Make a donation to charity and get a professional cut on the spot. No appointment necessary, just come on down.


Host Hotel

Crown Plaza RichmondCrowne Plaza Richmond Downtown | 555 E. Canal Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Book your room online or by calling their toll free reservations line at 855-472-7802 and ask for the XTERRA rate of $139/night plus tax and $10 discounted self-parking per day.


Rental Car Discount for XTERRA Athletes

Avis nationalCarRental Budget




Join us for an exciting morning of XTERRA racing at the XTERRA

Please email or call the XTERRA Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@xterraplanet.com.  



Rick Kent and his team of photographers from Enduro Photo are the official athlete photographer of the 2015 XTERRA America Tour. Athlete photos will be available shortly after the race.

You can request to be notified when your photos will be ready at www.myxterraphotos.com.

The Green Takeover

For questions or more information, call toll-free 1-877-751-8880 or email info@xterraplanet.com


Registration fee includes an event T-shirt and post-race refreshments.

A USA Triathlon license is required. Single-day licenses are available for $12 through XTERRA registration.

Note: You must be present to receive your award. Awards will not be mailed after the event. Headphones are not permitted.