XTERRA is celebrating its 10th year of racing at Oak Mountain State Park in style on May 16. This year the XTERRA Southeast Championship in Shelby County, Alabama will double as the 2015 USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championship race.
As such athletes will have the chance to be crowned USAT National Champions as well as XTERRA Southeast Champions. The race will also serve as a qualifier for both the 2015 XTERRA World Championship and the 2016 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship races.
For amateurs, there will be 50 spots into the XTERRA World Championship to be held November 1 in Maui up-for-grabs; and the top 18 racers in each age group will qualify for the 2016 Cross Tri World Championship.
The event is also the second of four regional championship races and will feature $15,000 USD in prize money for elite athletes, who will compete over a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run.
“One of the must do championship races,” said XTERRA Pro Branden Rakita. “The swim is in a great cool lake, and as long as it isn’t hot and humid I have a smile on my face as we twist and turn through the trees on the bike. The run can be a challenge depending on how warm it may get but the two loop course is spectator friendly and a great mix of rolling hills.”
XTERRA will also offer a shorter distance sprint race – 750m for the swim, 15km mountain bike and a 5km trail run – as well as relay team opportunities and 5, 10, and 21-kilometer trail runs.
“Bama is my favorite race on the US Tour because of the hidden gem that is Oak Mountain State Park,” exclaimed XTERRA Pro Suzie Snyder. “The single track is phenomenal and the conditions are always an unknown which makes the technical aspect of the course so much more of a factor in the outcome of the race.”
All races are open to everybody, and registration is open at www.xterrapelham.com.
Oak Mountain State Park was honored as one of America’s best trail destinations in Runner’s World Magazine, where the twisting, rolling trails made the “Crown Jewels – 25 best trail runs in America” list. BUMP, the local trails advocacy group, has spent more than 100,000 hours in design and construction of new trails over the past 20 years.
To complement the races, Oak Mountain offers a wealth of family activities (wildlife center, swimming beach, fishing, horseback riding, golfing, boat rental, etc.) while eating and shopping opportunities abound right outside the park.
Learn more at www.discovershelby.com.
“We’re excited to bring the USAT National Championship to Oak Mountain State Park,” said XTERRA World Tour managing director Dave Nicholas. “The course itself is one of the best in the world and provides an honest challenge for participants. It’s also a great location to host a big event with a wealth of amenities; great food, and the most welcoming locals you’ll find anywhere.”