USA Triathlon recently announced that the 10th edition of the XTERRA Southeast Championship to be held May 16 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.
“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, tons of lodging options, and the most welcoming locals you’ll find anywhere.”
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 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.
“Oak Mountain State Park is amazing, and I know I speak for all of us when I say we love racing there,” said four-time XTERRA World Champion Conrad Stoltz, who won six straight races in Alabama from 2007-2012. “It’s a true XTERRA course with a nice warm water swim in a beautiful lake, a real mountain biker’s course with climbing, technical sections, and fun corners, and a tough but scenic run.”
In 2012 Shelby County was selected to host the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship race in conjunction with XTERRA. It was the first-time ITU Worlds was held in the U.S.
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.
All races are open to everybody, and registration will open soon 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.
XTERRA competitors have been praising the trails at Oak Mountain since the first XTERRA staged there in 2006. Shonny Vanlandingham, the 2010 XTERRA World Champion, said “I’ve raced all over the world, and I just love coming back to Oak Mountain every year. It is perhaps the best course in the nation.”
To complement the races, Oak Mountain offers a wealth of family activities (wildlife center, swimming beach, fishing, horseback riding, golfing, boat rental, etc.) while lodging, eating and shopping opportunities abound right outside the park.