The Countdown to Maui is On

Oct. 8, 2010


Eneko LlanosThe 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.
$105,000 in prize money is at stake for a stacked pro field and for age groupers, the title of XTERRA World Champion.  All the action will be filmed for a one-hour TV special, and on race day, friends, family and fans from around the globe can log-on to for live updates.


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.

  • 92% of the field is from out-of-state and 45% are from out-of-country.
  • This will be the 15th straight year a nationally broadcast one-hour show will be produced on the event, which showcases Maui’s scenic south shore.
  • The 2009 XTERRA World Championship one-hour TV show has been seen by 5.2 million viewers via national syndication (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX), and the Fox Sports Network.  There have been 223 airings of the show since January 2010 and it is still being broadcast on Fox stations nationwide.
  • The TEAM TV crew has 30 cameras in operation on race day including point-of-view cams mounted on motorcycles, mountain bikes and jet skis, under-water cameras, and of course the camera on top of the helicopter hovering high above the action.
  • This year’s show will start its run in national syndication in mid-January 2010.
  • You can view the 2009 XTERRA World Championship TV show right now


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
Argentina (1), Australia (5), Austria (5), Belgium (2), Brazil (33), Canada (30), Chile (1), Colombia (1), Czech Republic (11), Denmark (1), France (20), Germany (20), Hungary (2), Italy (13), Japan (20), Malaysia (1), Mexico (3), Netherlands (2), New Zealand (27), Panama (2), Poland (2), Portugal (2), Singapore (7), Slovakia (3), South Africa (7), Spain (3), Switzerland (10), United Arab Emirates (1), United Kingdom (8), United States (300).

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:
Physically Challenged Men: 3
Men 15-19: 13
Men 20-24: 10
Men 25-29: 20
Men 30-34: 50
Men 35-39: 57
Men 40-44: 69
Men 45-49: 69
Men 50-54: 32
Men 55-59: 17
Men 60-64: 10
Men 65-69: 8
Men 70+: 2
Pro Men: 50
Women 15-19: 3
Women 20-24: 8
Women 25-29: 17
Women 30-34: 21
Women 35-39: 22
Women 40-44: 20
Women 45-49: 21
Women 50-54: 10
Women 55-59: 3
Women 60-64: 1
Women 65-59: 1
Pro Women: 25

Oldest Man: Ron Hill – Hayden, ID, 73
Oldest Woman: Charlotte Mahan - Lenoir City, TN, 65
Youngest Man: Damian Lavender – Rhinebeck, NY, 17
Youngest Woman: Hanna Rae Finchamp – Altadena, CA, 14