Ultimate Trail Running Tour

The Ultimate Trail Running Tour

Mix four days of half-marathon distance trail running with an immersive African cultural experience and you get the 2nd annual MOSI-OA-TUNYA Victoria Falls Trail Tour.

“Our partners Patrizio Bogni and Rosella Stramare have organized a dream tour for trail runners,” said XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas. “The itinerary is amazing and provides a true once-in-a-lifetime type of experience.”

It all starts August 12 in Livingstone, a small tourist town in Zambia named after the famous British explorer David Livingstone who was the first European to explore the area.

“The first impression is one of sheer awe, as you see and feel the world’s longest sheet of falling water at Victoria Falls, one of the world’s most famous waterfalls. Victoria Falls is double that of Niagara Falls: they extend for 1700 m from Zambia to Zimbabwe,” said Bogni, who has years of experience running trail tours in Africa. “It’s an incredible environment, and a very secure and safe place.”

The first day’s race is 23-kilometers through the Zambian wild, starting and finishing in the traditional Simonga Village. After, runners are offered the chance for Lion and Elephant encounters.

Day two is 15km through Zambezi canyon followed by a grilled lunch along the Zambezi River, then some rafting. On day three the 21km stage rolls along the river and through traditional, remote villages, and afternoon touring could include a microlight Falls tour. The fourth and final race is 19km cuts through the Batoka gorges to Taita Falcon Lodge, then through the bush to Mukuni Village where the chief of all the local tribes resides.

“The MOSI-OA-TUNYA Trail will allow the participants not only to run or walk but also to have very special experiences: rafting, bungee Jumping, walking safaris, helicopter or deltaplane flights,” explained Bogni. “The last day is dedicated to a Botswana Chobe park safari, one of the most interesting parks in Africa to see the Big Fives! This Trail is a real African experience: you will be back with the dream of African spaces, African people, culture, traditions and of Safari!”

To learn more visit http://www.runandtravel.it/

The Green Takeover

XTERRA Joins Paul Mitchell® in The Green Takeover

Honolulu, HI – In an effort to plant 500,000 trees by the end of 2016 as part of its “Tea Tree The Green Takeover” campaign, John Paul Mitchell Systems will plant 30,000 trees with its partner Reforest’Action on behalf of every XTERRA triathlete and trail runner taking part in the XTERRA America Tour this season, and create opportunities for thousands more in the XTERRA community to get involved.

“The Live More lifestyle that XTERRA embodies, and the fundamental belief in taking care of the environment are important to us, and I know it’s important to XTERRA athletes,” said Julie Solwold, the Vice President of Global Sports and Events for John Paul Mitchell Systems.

On Earth Day, April 22, 2015, Paul Mitchell and Reforest’Action will start planting thirty-thousand trees in Peru on behalf of all U.S. XTERRA athletes, and Paul Mitchell is inviting all XTERRA athletes, race directors, families, and friends to plant an additional free tree by using the code XTERRAME at http://xterra.co/PMreforest.

Join The Green Takeover conversation online.  Spread the word about Paul Mitchell’s mission and your contribution by posting our Green Takeover graphic, or upload your own image with the hashtag #GreenTakeover and don’t forget to tag @PaulMitchellUS.

“The XTERRA Tribe cares about nature and preserving it, and preventing global warming and deforestation,” said Janet Clark, XTERRA President.  “I think we’re all very lucky to have Paul Mitchell in our corner, activating for our environment and that of future generations.”

Paul Mitchell’s eco-inspired Tea Tree brand has long supported healthy forests, and for the second straight year in conjunction with Reforest’Action – a Paris-based environmental organization that plants trees worldwide to reforest areas in need –will plant Maya Nut trees in San Martin Province, Peru.

Located in the upper part of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, San Martin Province is being deforested due to logging, mining, agriculture and an influx of settlers. While tropical forests like these only take up 6% of the world’s surface, they house an enormous volume of plant and animal life—approximately one half to three-quarters.

The Tea Tree Green Takover program will also serve to sequester more than 85,000 tons of CO2 during the trees’ lifetime, support rainforest conservation, benefit local communities through better health and nutrition, and protect soil from depletion and erosion caused by deforestation.

Paul Mitchell is the longest-tenured sponsor in the history of XTERRA, with the relationship dating back more than 20 years.  The 2015-2016 Paul Mitchell XTERRA Trail Run Series will feature more than 100 runs in 20+ states across the U.S. ranging from 5 kilometers to 50 kilometers.  Paul Mitchell is also a presenting sponsor of the 2015 XTERRA America Tour, Asia-Pacific, and World Championships.

About John Paul Mitchell Systems
John Paul Mitchell Systems®, a top manufacturer of salon-only professional hair care products, has been serving the professional beauty industry for over 30 years. The company currently produces over 150 professional and consumer products (including the brands Paul Mitchell®, MITCH®, Awapuhi Wild Ginger®, Tea Tree, Paul Mitchell® Pro Tools™, and Neuro™ Tools) that have won over 45 beauty awards. John Paul Mitchell Systems products are sold through distributors to over 100,000 hair salons in North America, and internationally, to thousands of hair salons in 84 countries.  John Paul Mitchell Systems offers complementary education to stylists through a national network of over 1,000 educators, and Paul Mitchell Schools trains over 10,000 future professionals in over 100 locations nationwide. John Paul Mitchell Systems does not test its products on animals, nor has it ever done so. In accordance with CEO John Paul DeJoria’s motto, “Success unshared is failure,” The company has a strong commitment to giving back, supporting a wide range of philanthropic causes both domestically and internationally. For more information, please see our website http://www.paulmitchell.com or visit us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.  For more information about Paul Mitchell® Tea Tree, please contact Lindsey Provost at 310.248.3888 or visit PaulMitchell.com.

About Reforest’Action

Among the leading reforestation organizations in the world, Reforest’Action is a social business that enables companies to concretely act in favour of the environment thanks to an unequalled model. On reforestaction.com, a unique web platform, companies, their colleagues and clients plant trees in Senegal, Peru, India, Guatemala or France. They measure the social and environmental benefits and share this experience on the social media. Since its creation in 2010, Reforest’Action has planted more than 460,000 trees and generated a positive impact on the livelihood of more than 10 000 people. For more information, please see our website, http://www.reforestaction.com.

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2015 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 30+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 350 adventure television shows since 1990.  View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com, xterratrailrun.com, and xterraasiapacific.com.

XTERRA Resorts Collection

Introducing the XTERRA Resorts Collection

Honolulu, HI – TEAM Unlimited LLC, owners of the XTERRA World Tour, announced a new travel related initiative today aimed at the active lifestyle sports target market. The XTERRA Resorts Collection is a marketing membership consortium for resorts destinations and properties that feature the activities, facilities, adventure and services attractive to active lifestyle travelers.

Tom Kiely, TEAM Unlimited CEO, said “One of the things we have learned about XTERRA participants is their love of travel and ‘active travel’ and that is a key element to our endurance sports events because every course and every experience is different. Beyond that, this group has a high inclination to travel any number of times each year, and they actively search for destination resorts which offer an array of activities such as fitness, hiking, biking, skiing, surfing, adventure and more. This target market generates an annual economic impact of $600 billion just in the U.S., and it continues to grow. Therefore, we have created a membership marketing platform for destination resorts and properties that appeal to this active travel group.”

The XTERRA Resorts Collection is supported by a major marketing campaign featuring national television, digital / social network marketing, PR / communications, advertising, and event promotions. The www.XTERRAResorts.com URL will be the portal through which travelers will find information, promotions, and descriptions of the benefits and activities of destination resorts and properties. Key points of the XTERRA Resorts plan:

  • Member destinations will be invited to join based upon the sports/recreation activities, facilities, and services they offer in or nearby their respective resort area.
  • Member destinations must demonstrate a commitment to this active lifestyle traveler demographic target market
  • The initial marketing launch of XTERRA Resorts will be a $3 million campaign of national television, events, digital media, social networking and marketing communications.

“I have seen an array of travel related membership marketing programs and the concept is a very viable part of the promotion of hotels and resorts,” said George Ramirez, the President of Partnerships Unlimited, a tourism-focused consulting company.  “The XTERRA Resorts plan goes one step further because it specifically targets travelers that desire sports related/recreation activities and adventure as a key part of the vacation experience. This demographic group is highly valued by destinations, resorts, and properties.”

About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA

TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988.  It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2015 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 25+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows since 1990.  View samples at www.xterraresorts.comwww.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com, xterratrailrun.com, and xterraasiapacific.com.

Tom Kiely

The Business Behind XTERRA

Two of the most influential men in the endurance sports industry – the Voice of Ironman Mike Reilly and XTERRA CEO Tom Kiely – got together recently to talk triathlon for “The Business Behind : Endurance” blog.

The result is an entertaining QnA that revealed some tasty insight into XTERRA’s background.

When Reilly asked Kiely if he had any idea when it all started that he’d end up with more than 300 events around the world, he replied in part “When we first did Aquaterra in 1996, we just thought it would be another one of our local Hawaii events.”

Of course, as time unfolded that “local event” turned into a full-fledged lifestyle, one that was embraced by thousands of athletes in the Western Cape of South Africa and South Island of New Zealand in just the last couple weekends alone.

Read the full interview here.

Lake Las Vegas Trail Runs

XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Runs

A strong run and a little bit of luck can go a long way in Las Vegas. On April 26, it could help runners in the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 21K Trail Run get to Hawaii.

Every age-group winner in the XTERRA Lake Las Vegas 21K Trail Run on April 26 will earn a free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Kualoa Ranch, Hawaii, in December.

The XTERRA Lake Las Vegas Trail Runs will take place on a desert course just outside The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa, which is 17 miles off the famous Las Vegas Strip. The event is open to runners of all ages and skill levels.  There are three courses to accommodate the various levels of runners – a 21-kilometer long course, as well as a 10K and 5K.

The 21K course at Lake Las Vegas has drawn positive reviews from past runners for its unique terrain and breathtaking views.

The combination of hard-packed sand, loose rocks of various sizes, and a lack of forestation has led some runners to describe it as “like running on the moon.”

The runs will be held the day after the XTERRA West Championship off-road triathlon, giving XTERRA families a great opportunity to make it a “Live More” weekend.

Registration for all three distances of the event is open at www.xterralakelasvegas.com.

Super Sunday Trail Runs

Super Sunday on the Trails

Some people consider Super Bowl Sunday a holiday of sorts – or at least a day to stay in and watch the football game. Not the runners in the XTERRA SoCal and Arizona Trail Run Series. Both of those series will host races this Sunday – the same day as Super Bowl.

The Arizona Series will host the XTERRA McDowell Mountain 7 and 24K Trail Runs in Fountain Hills, Ariz., less than an hour away from where the big game is being played in Phoenix.

The SoCal Series will host the XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run in Santee, Calif., near San Diego. Several hundred runners are expected to participate … and some of them may even run in football gear in honor of the day.

Both the SoCal and Arizona races will be run in the morning, allowing runners ample time to get home in time to watch the Super Bowl later in the day.

For more information on the XTERRA Mission Gorge Trail Run, please visit www.trailrace.com. For more information on the XTERRA McDowell Mountain Trial Run, please visit www.aztrailrace.com.

XTERRA Atlantic Series

XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series Garners Accolades

By Donald Quinn IV
XTERRA Trail Run Intern

Photo: Adventure Geeks Racing

XTERRA Atlantic Trail Run Series

The XTERRA Atlantic trail run series has been garnering a lot of well-deserved attention lately, including one of it’s races being named one of Competitor magazine’s “21 Must-Do Mid-Atlantic Races”.  Accolades are not the only unique thing about this thriving race series, however; their incredibly singular animal-totem pole T-shirts (one of which the author has earned after racing in this series) is just one of the things that helps to distinguish the Atlantic series from it’s competitors. When asked what makes their races unique, race directors Jefferson and Kristen Nicholson had this to say:

Both Kristen and I are runners and have years of experience as participants. This gives us the unique perspective of knowing what our participants want and expect. We are runners catering to other runners. We really want every single participant to feel like they are part of our XTERRA Atlantic family. We accomplish this through unique and thoughtful race gifts, friendly staff and volunteers, hand-picked courses, hand marked courses with enough signage that everyone can find their way, family friendly finish line production, and an a genuine excitement for being outdoors and encouraging all to run and have fun.

We all strive to keep costs down and encourage everyone to participate. We have special youth pricing, we run specials for reduced entry fees, when appropriate we dedicate our time and craft skills to making awards and race gifts, and we do all the timing and production ourselves.

Although it is not all that exciting or apparent to the participants, I think the fact that we handle everything from preparation, course marking, production, and timing ourselves makes our races unique. While it is a lot of work for us, it helps us keep the costs down for our participants, and it allows each race and the entire series to run as one smooth and coherent event. Results are posted quickly, questions are answered efficiently, and we always know exactly what is going on in every aspect of the event.”

I can attest from personal experience that Jefferson and Kristen’s races are very well organized. The courses are always well laid out, and the volunteers and staff are very efficient and friendly.

Even if you don’t like trail running you should race in the Atlantic series just to get one of their T-shirts. I have personally never seen a race shirt so decorative, so I asked Jefferson and Kristen how they came up the idea for the shirts.

We always try to incorporate the race venue’s history, landscape, and/or wildlife into the race’s logo and story. Each of last year’s XTERRA Atlantic Trail Running Series was represented by an animal which we then molded into a totem pole. The idea of this year’s race logos was inspired by European soccer team logos but we added a modern family crest twist to that approach. Each race has its own family crest with features that are unique to each venue. We plan to use this year’s logos in conjunction with the XTERRA brand to make our t-shirts, awards, and race gifts truly one of a kind.”

Of course, every race director knows races aren’t about the course, or the cool T-shirts. Races are about the runners, and the Atlantic series has a vibrant community of racers. When asked who were some of the racers who stand out to them, the Nicholsons had this to say:

Can I say all of them? We’ve made some amazing friends with our race participants the last two years. But a few that really stand out are Don Quinn and his whole family who not only raced with us at multiple events last year but they also came out to help set up, manage race’s, and then helped with post-race clean up. We have a small production crew so any extra help is definitely noticed and very much appreciated. (It’s ok, you can brag about yourself. We think you are all awesome!)”. (Author’s note: I didn’t solicit the shout-out; it was a pleasure to be part of the race series.)

“Steven Leibowitz has also been a huge part of our series the last two years. He’s a fierce competitor and a dedicated fan of the series who’s helped get the word out through his awesome running blog. Last year he and his wife had their first child and then dealt with a house fire (yes, they’re safe and sound), and he still ran most of the races in the series. That’s dedication! We also had one participant that ran all five of our races last year: Benjamin Hall. The running community is growing so rapidly, and that is great, but it means that on any given weekend you can have your pick of many races. For Ben to show up at every one of our races really gives us confidence in our series. For at least one person, our races are the place to be on a Saturday or Sunday morning. We appreciate his dedication, and hope he inspires many more repeat participants in 2015.

The Atlantic series certainly attracts an upbeat type of runner. The Nicholson’s describe their race series as “Fun, festive, and relaxed with support and encouragement for runners of all skill levels. Each race has its own unique course and local flair, to keep the series exciting from one race to the next. There is real value in participating in multiple events.”

If that sounds like you, the first race of the series is March 15th in Wilmington Delaware. I can tell you from personal experience, if you like well designed courses, great T-shirts, and a supportive racing environment, the XTERRA Atlantic series is the place to go.


XTERRA Ushers in 20th Year

From a one-off race held on the most remote island chain in the world XTERRA has evolved into an endurance sports lifestyle with worldwide appeal.

Over the past 20 years XTERRA transcended its status as ‘just a race’ to become a bona fide way of life for thousands of intrepid triathletes and trail runners across the globe.

In 2015 revelers of the “Live More’ spirit will have more opportunity than ever before to pursue their passion.

Download the tentative 2015 XTERRA America Tour off-road triathlon schedule featuring more than 65 races nationwide.  The nature of each location – from the people to the weather to the terrain – is totally unique.  Some races are at sea level, some at altitude – there are swims in lakes, rivers, and oceans – races in big cities and small towns, in the mountains and the desert.  The one constant in XTERRA is that Mother Nature is always your toughest competitor.

Beyond the U.S. the XTERRA World Tour provides athletes with a chance to race in some of the most diverse, spectacular, and challenging natural environments on the planet – from tropical jungles to snow-covered alps.

For those looking to get to Maui and celebrate the historic 20th running of the XTERRA World Championship there are an unprecedented number of qualifying races this year.

Here’s a look and links to the 37 events where racers can qualify to compete in Maui on November 1.

8-Feb XTERRA Philippines Championship, Albay, Luzon+
22-Feb XTERRA South Africa Championship, Grabouw
7-Mar XTERRA Motatapu, South Island, NZL
28-Mar XTERRA Saipan Championship, CNMI+
29-Mar XTERRA Malta, Mellieha*
29-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica, Playa Reserva Conchal
11-Apr XTERRA Guam Championship, Piti+
11-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Championship, Rotorua
18-Apr XTERRA Australia
XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship, NSW, Australia+
25-Apr XTERRA West Championship, Lake Las Vegas, NV#
2-May XTERRA Malaysia
XTERRA Asian Tour Championship,Langkawi+
10-May XTERRA Brazil, Ilhabela, SP
16-May XTERRA Southeast Championship, Pelham, AL#
USA Triathlon Off-Road Nationals
16-May XTERRA Portugal, Golega*
6-Jun XTERRA East Championship, Richmond, VA#
7-Jun XTERRA Spain Championship, Extremadura*
20-Jun XTERRA Greece, Lake Plastira*
27-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Championship, Vallee de Joux*
27-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter, Milton, CAN!
4-Jul XTERRA Freedom Fest, Oahu, HI=
5-Jul XTERRA Victoria, B.C., Canada!
5-Jul XTERRA France Championship, Xonrupt, Gerardmer*
18-Jul XTERRA Mountain Championship, Beaver Creek, CO#
11-Jul XTERRA Sweden, Hellasgaarden, Stockholm*
25-Jul XTERRA Ontario Series – Parry Sound, Canada!
26-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo, Lago di Scanno, Italy*
Jul/Aug XTERRA Japan, Hokkaido+ (start 2016 Asian Tour)
1-Aug XTERRA Mexico, Tapalpa
8-Aug XTERRA Czech Championship, Prachatice*
8-Aug XTERRA Adventure Fest Maui, Kapalua, HI=
15-Aug XTERRA Germany Championship, Zittau*
16-Aug XTERRA Canmore, Alberta, Canada!
23-Aug XTERRA Quebec – Quebec City, Quebec, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant, Thunder Bay, Canada!
29-Aug XTERRA Denmark, Tilsvilde*
30-Aug XTERRA England
XTERRA European Championship, Surrey*
13-Sep XTERRA Woolastook – New Brunswick, CAN!
19-Sep XTERRA USA Championship, Ogden/Snowbasin, Utah#
1-Nov XTERRA World Championship, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii

* XTERRA European Tour // + XTERRA Asian Tour
# XTERRA America Tour // ! XTERRA Canada Series
= Hawaii resident qualifiers


Top 10 XTERRA Tales of 2014 – Top 2

The top two XTERRA Tales of 2014. Trust that we only scratched the surface with this list.  The XTERRA Tribe is filled with some of the greatest people on earth and we are humbled to provide them with a sport they can thrive in.  Here’s to many more adventures in 2015!


DESANTIS. Our good friend David Desantis led the way on inspirational stories about XTERRA racers facing adversity and crushing all odds this year. He was diagnosed with Cancer last fall and the oncologist gave him 9-to-12 months to live.  Not only did he beat those odds, he fought every day and found his way to the start line at XTERRA Worlds for the sixth straight year.  To make it even sweeter he raced in Maui alongside his niece Rachael, a nurse who pushed him mentally and physically all year. His last batch of scans/MRI all came back negative, and he’s headed to race at the XTERRA Philippines Championship on February 8 to get 2015 started in style.

Read about more inspiring XTERRA racers in this feature; More than Just a Number



BRANORA. As in BRAd weiss, daN hugo, and flORA duffy. Really, each of the three are worthy of holding their own spot in the top 10 but in deference to the magic they created as a crew we’ll honor them all together on the top step of stories for 2014.  It was the year of Branora for so many reasons.  Duffy was dominant, capping a near-perfect season in the dirt by taking home the first world championship in triathlon to Bermuda.  Hugo had arguably his best and most adventurous season ever – racing on six continents and winning majors on five of them. He won seven titles overall in 2014, including the inaugural XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship on the hallowed grounds of triathlon in Australia against two Aussie Olympians (Courtney Atkinson, Brendan Sexton), their best off-roader (Ben Allen), and the sports only seven-time world champ Conrad Stoltz.  Weiss, meanwhile, established himself among the South African greats with a dozen top four finishes around the world, and a runner-up showing in the XTERRA U.S. Pro Series. As individuals they were remarkable, as a group they were unrivaled.  To add intrigue to this piece, Hugo announced his retirement from racing last week.  We’ll have more from and about the Man in the New Year.

XTERRA Top 10 of 2014 – Numbers 10-9

XTERRA Top 10 of 2014 – Numbers 8-7

XTERRA Top 10 of 2014 – Numbers 6-5

XTERRA Top 10 of 2014 – Numbers 4-3


Honorable Mentions: Award winners Christoph Maury (XTERRA Warrior), Rob Ricard (ENVE Performer of the Year), and Craig Vogstberger (Mr. XTERRA) took home the trophies with amazing performances in 2014. Jody Mielke, the spirit of XTERRA in Australia, un-retired to crush it at the Asia-Pacific Championship.  Surfing legend Sunny Garcia took his talents from the ocean to the dirt, and survived Maui.  Men’s Journal called the XTERRA Mountain Championship (July 18, 2015) at Beaver Creek Resort one of the nine scenic triathlons that are “worth the trip.” Kathrin Mueller won six races in Europe to take the XTERRA European Tour title.  The New York Times talked about XTERRA “Taking triathlons into the Wild.”  Josiah Middaugh was the best in the U.S. yet again – humble and kind with a family first mantra – he’s an icon beyond all others.  The Alabama AP Wire touted the news about the XTERRA Southeast Championship doubling as the 2015 USA Triathlon Off-Road Nationals (May 16, 2015).  Paul Mitchell took on the title sponsorship of the XTERRA Trail Run Series.  XTERRA TV went international with ESPN distribution of shows in Caribbean, Latin America, and Oceania. Brett Hales’ took a fun and curious route to XTERRA trail run stardom.  Long-time XTERRA pro Adam Wirth retired “for love of the game.”  Patrick Smyth doubled-up on XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, becoming the only other runner aside from Max King to win multiple titles.  Eighteen-year-old Hannah Rae Finchamp won her fifth XTERRA World Championship in the 15-19 division and 4th National Title all while competing on the cross country, cycling, and swim teams in her freshman year at Lindenwood University.  Cindi Toepel won her unprecedented 10th XTERRA National Championship in the 60-64 division while Steve Cole captured his unprecedented 14th consecutive XTERRA Regional Championship crown.