The exotic destinations of XTERRA are enticing competitors from around the world to get it in shape early and enjoy some warm weather racing.
XTERRA Miami next Sunday, March 11, is a prime example, with participants traveling to the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida from 15 states, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.
“This is easily one of the top five courses in the series and the weather down here has been amazing lately,” said race organizer David Gomez, who has been producing the XTERRA Points Series race since 2005.
“The course is phenomenal,” said past winner Casey Fannin (pictured) from Birmingham, Alabama. “Florida isn’t where you’d expect to find great mountain biking, but you’d be wrong. The course is tight, technical, and has an insane mangrove tree root section.”
Fannin can expect tough same strong competition for the top spot from 2010 winner Frank Fernandez among others, and Jennifer Moos is back to defend her women’s crown.
The race, which featured a half-mile swim in a salt water lagoon with a 16-mile mountain bike and six-mile trail run, is held at Oleta River State Park, - Florida's largest urban park located on Biscayne Bay in the busy Miami metropolitan area. The park is best known for miles of off-road bicycling trails, and at the north end of the park there is a large stand of beautiful mangrove forest preserve, native to South Florida plants and wildlife.
Gomez is excited to showcase a new feature this year... “The results will be fed live on a giant LCD scoreboard so when racers come across the finish they’ll know instantly how they did and where they placed.”
Andy Steiner, who did his first-ever XTERRA at this race in 2010, said that running on the single track was awesome and finishing with a sprint on the beach was a highlight.
“It’s very primal to see people in the woods and chase them down,” explained Steiner. “This was an awesome race, so much fun and a really cool atmosphere. Racers were actually encouraging me on the bike to hold their wheel and were friendly. It was a great break from the ultra competitive on-road races.
Learn more at www.atacteam.com/xterramiami.