Four-time ITU duathlon world champ Catriona Morrison is headed off-road to compete in the XTERRA England Championship race on August 30, 2015 at Vachery Estate in Surrey.
Morrison, who also collected eight Ironman 70.3 titles and a pair of long-distance IM crowns in her illustrious career on the road, will be taking to the dirt for the first time.
The 38-year-old from Scotland, who announced her retirement from professional racing in January, posted “Let’s be clear about this, not coming out of retirement, more enjoying new challenges in retirement!” to her twitter feed on Tuesday.
Morrison will join what is certain to be one of the strongest fields assembled for an XTERRA this season. With XTERRA UK doubling as the European Championship, and offering $25,000 in prize money, the best off-road elites from around the EU and overseas are expected to take part. The race has already received early confirmations from previous XTERRA UK Champs Emma Garrard (USA) and Jacqui Slack (GBR), along with Myriam Guillot (FRA), Alena Stevens (SVK), Jo Carritt (GBR), Louise Fox (GBR), Nienke Oostra (AUS), Elisabetta Curridori (ITA), Sara McLarty (USA), Emily Bashton (USA), Jessica Roberts (GBR), Genevieve Evans (USA), and Brigitta Poor (HUN).
The men’s race will include last year’s winner and seven-time world champion Conrad Stoltz (RSA), the reigning and three-time XTERRA World Champion Ruben Ruzafa (ESP), plus Ben Allen (AUS), Richard Stannard (GBR), Asa Shaw (GBR), Chris Ganter (USA), Stephen Bayliss (GBR), Jan Pyott (SUI), Henry Sleight (GBR), and many more.
Age-group triathletes will have the opportunity to race on the same championship course with the pros and compete for prestigious amateur National and European titles, as well as 50 qualifying spots into the 20th running of the XTERRA World Championship in Maui on Nov. 1.
XTERRA England offers the rare chance to swim, ride, run, race, eat, sleep, and dance in the serene and seductive ancient wooded countryside of Surrey. All on a private estate, no less, where huge open fields of grass welcome hundreds of campers, bands, caterers, and racers.
The championship distance is open to all triathletes and athletes of any ability and background and combines a 1.5K swim / 30K bike / 10K trail run on Sunday. There is also a half-distance sprint race option and athletes can join together to tackle either triathlon as part of a relay team.
The XTERRA England course starts with a swim in the strictly private and extraordinarily clean spring-fed Vachery Pond. The purpose built bike course has riders twisting in-and-out and up-and-down the dense tree-lined forests. The run is just as fun, crossing over creeks and hopping over logs.
Spectators are in for quite a treat as well with both the bike and run courses filter through the “arena” several times making it quite easy to track the action.
The event was dubbed the “Woodstock of XTERRA” last year in large part to the massive amount of camping available in the wide-open fields, live music, access to elites and a great beer and catering tent, and one can expect that atmosphere to get even better this time around.
To make things even sweeter, race weekend falls on the bank holiday (Monday off), there are trail runs and kids races on Saturday, and the annual Wings & Wheels celebration nearby treats the XTERRA crowd to amazing aerial displays from the Red Arrows and others.
Learn more at www.xterraengland.com