It’s long been said that XTERRA is more than just a race, it’s a lifestyle. Perhaps nowhere on the planet is that more evident than in Ogden, Utah – home of the XTERRA Mountain Championship (Aug. 15-16). The locals in Ogden – who rallied the entire community from the Mayor’s office to the bike shop to bring the championship to their hometown three years ago - are everyday XTERRA people. They mountain bike and run in the mountains, eat well, laugh, and unpretentiously perpetuate the sports’ motto – “Live More”.
That’s why a month from now, hours after several hundred athletes of all ages and abilities have pushed their bodies to the very limit in the name of adventure, they’ll gather around in the outdoor amphitheater to eat great food, tell tall tales of their day out on the course, and dance the night away to a good ol’ Rock-n-Roll band.
And that’s why YOU should put this race and this place on your calendar.
Here’s a look at all the things you could get into at the Mountain Champs…find something that appeals to you and join the XTERRA family in Ogden…
THE CHAMPIONSHIP RACE
The race venue at Snowbasin is world-class, and was home to the downhill and super G races of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The race starts with a 1.5km swim in the calm and clean Pineview Reservoir (water temp should be about 65-degrees) situated at about 4,500 feet above sea level. The 30km mountain bike ride traverses dirt trails as it meanders into Wheeler Canyon, a spectacular slot canyon shrouded in oak, aspen and pine trees. From there the trail opens into a field splattered with a colorful array of wildflowers, and competitors will climb about 1,800 feet on the way to the Snowbasin lodge area where spectators will have a chance to see the bikers as they pass through on their way up the mountain for another seven mile up-and-down loop. The single-loop 10km singletrack run course then zigzags its way through aspen groves and fields of wildflowers before finishing in front of loads of spectators with great resort dining and a live band jammin’ away.
SPORT RACE & GU RELAY TEAM CHALLENGE
The XTERRA Sport race is a half-distance version of the long course, and athletes can forge together units of two or three people and challenge the course as a team in either the sport or championship race. Creating a relay team is the ultimate way to have some fun with your friends, and it can get as competitive as you want it to be. Challenge your co-workers, your business competitors, or simply challenge yourself! Pick your best discipline and have your partner, friend or family member pick up the rest. The XTERRA crew even helps pair up individuals, so if you are in need of a missing link for the relay race, simply send us an e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to hook you up.
XTERRA COLLEGIATE DIVISION
New for this year is the college category. Any collegian with a current photo ID can race for their school as an individual and get a break on Championship distance registration fees, and whenever there are three athletes from two or more schools entered they’ll race against each other for school pride in the college team division.
XTERRA KIDS ZONE
For the youngsters there are running and bicycle races as well as obstacle courses and agility drills. The Kids Zone will be active in Ogden on Friday and up at Snowbasin on Saturday. Every kid who participates wins a prize, and these events are super fun and totally free.
Get to know the pros and what the pros know at these free hour-long clinics where the topic of discussion ranges from swimming, mountain biking and trail running to guidelines on nutrition, goal setting and racing strategy.
PAUL MITCHELL CUT-A-THON
On Friday night and Saturday afternoon you’ll be able to get a professional haircut from the best Paul Mitchell stylists in Utah in exchange for a donation to the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
XTERRA WHEELER CANYON 21Km XDURO TRAIL RUN
As endurance trail runs go, the XTERRA Wheeler Canyon Xduro off-road half-marathon will no doubt go down in the books as one of the toughest around. The race starts at Pineview Reservoir and climbs roughly 1,800 feet to Snowbasin Resort. Mild, steady climbs on dirt, rock, and root-ridden mountain trails give way to more demanding climbs on a combination of sweet single track and rocky double track. The race will start at 10am after all the mountain bikers in the XTERRA off-road triathlons have hit the trails (yup, the same trails they are mountain biking up – this race runs up).
THE AFTER PARTY
Biker’s Edge, the official bike shop of the Mountain Championship, is rolling out the red carpet for XTERRA racers by presenting “The Great Ogden food, wine, beer, and Sundogs celebration” on Saturday night at the Outdoor Amphitheater in downtown. Local restaurants including Roosters Brewing Company, Bistro 258, Union Grill, Peddler's, Artisan Grill and Rickenbacker's Bistro will serve-up award-winning food at the Taste of Ogden's open-air dining extravaganza. A highlight video with footage from the day's race will play on a big screen and then a kick-butt rock-n-roll band from Atlanta, The Sun Dogs who are said to have "The Black Crowes in their souls and the Mississippi blues in their hearts" will keep the mojo flowing well after dark.
CRUISE FOR A CAUSE
Join the brigade of bikes led out by Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey for the “Cruise for a Cause” - a fun recreational bike ride (cruiser bikes and families welcome) along the Ogden River Parkway that should take about a half-hour. The “Cruise” is designed to support and give thanks to Weber Pathways, a non-profit organization in Weber County dedicated to hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and pathways for horseback riders, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, and other non-motorized trail users. All riders will receive a commemorative t-shirt and swag from GU, and 80% of the $25 entry fee ($50 for families) will be donated to Weber Pathways.
BREEDER’S CHOICE XTERRA K9 CHALLENGE
This is a made-for-fun event for dogs and their owners and it’s not limited to highly trained or specialized dogs. It’s a timed race with owner-dog teams competing against the clock on a combined trail run and obstacle course that features a 20-yard sprint, a speed-crawl through a tunnel, a bounding leap over a 2-foot-high block, a hairpin turn into a set of mixed sized step-overs, another cutting turn to a teeter-totter, up, over, one last jump, then a 15-yard sprint to the finish. The actual course is subject to race day course management but should take no longer than 20 seconds for fast dogs and a minute or so for the stragglers. The winner receives a year's supply of Avoderm dog food and all participants get a goody bag filled with treats for both the dogs and their owners.