Colorado’s high country during the summer time is something to behold with its big blue skies, white aspens, majestic mountain ranges and cool, fresh air. It’s simply beautiful and Beaver Creek Resort in Avon, host to the XTERRA Mountain Championship since 2009, enhances the experience with world-class facilities and people. Then there is the course itself, which is an absolute beast.
It starts with a mile swim in the cold waters of Nottingham Lake situated at 7,400-feet elevation. Nottingham is just big enough to get a full mile swim with 2 laps, and Buck Creek flows into the reservoir so even though the lake is small, the water temp rarely tops 70 degrees.
The next step involves roughly 15 miles of mountain biking that climbs 3,500-feet into the thin air of the Rockies.
The bike course peaks out at above 9,400 feet above the Arrowhead and Bachelor Gulch ski slopes, then turns into some well-maintained single track that switches through the aspen trees and works its way to the village-to-village trail and down to Beaver Creek Village.
The final piece of resistance is a calf-burning, six-mile trail run which breaks down into essentially two challenging climbs that each have over 500 vertical feet of climbing (1,300 for the course).
Appropriately, America’s best XTERRA athlete Josiah “Beast Mode” Middaugh calls this place home, and has won three of the last four races here.
“Love having XTERRA here and the opportunity to showcase my backyard,” said Middaugh, the reigning XTERRA U.S. Pro Series Champion. “The whole reason I do XTERRA is because of the training grounds I have access to, 90% of which are right out my front door and up Beaver Creek. To me this place is what XTERRA is all about, the mountain lifestyle.”
As an athlete and coach Middaugh has personally exposed that lifestyle to a whole new generation of athletes in the valley and says he can see it taking hold.
“I think having XTERRA here has created a triathlon community, which is really cool for me to see. Kids are getting into it, adults are getting into it. We have a lot of swim teams, and open water swims in Nottingham Lake, which didn’t use to happen before. It’s the perfect place for it.”
So much so that Men’s Journal Magazine recently named it “one of nine scenic triathlons that are worth the trip.”
Here's a look at the 30 elites who have made the trip and are taking on all-comers this Saturday.
Follow the elite race live on twitter @xterraoffroad #xterrabeavercreek starting at 9am MST.
No. - Name – Age, Hometown
1 - Josiah Middaugh - 36, Eagle-Vail, CO
2 - Chris Ganter – 36, Boise, ID
3 - Branden Rakita – 34, Colorado Springs, CO
4 - Braden Currie – 29, Wanaka, NZL
6 - Ryan Ignatz – 36, Boulder, CO
7 - Alex Modestou – 28, Durham, NC
8 - Brad Zoller – 37, Avon, CO
13 - Chris Foster – 32, Redondo Beach, CA
15 - JP Donovan - 28, Incline Village, Nevada
18 - James Hadley - 35, Longmont, CO (GBR)
19 - Jimmy Archer - 42, Denver, CO
NR - Rom Akerson – 30, Tambor, Costa Rica
NR - Eli Hemming – 20, Kiowa, CO
NR - Ben Hoffman – 31, Boulder, CO
NR - Chris Legh – 42, Lyons, CO (AUS)
NR - Brian Smith – 39, Gunnison, CO
NR - Thomas Spannring – 39, Longmont, CO
NR - Benjamin Torvik – 29, Boulder, CO
NR - Noah Wright – 41, Austin, TX
No. - Name – Age, Hometown
2 - Emma Garrard – 33, Park City, UT
3 - Suzie Snyder – 33, Fredericksburg, VA
4 - Maia Ignatz – 34, Boulder, CO
7 - Sara McLarty – 32, Clermont, FL
8 - Debby Sullivan – 33, Rocklin, CA
10 - Sara Schuler – 34, Boulder, CO
11 - Rebecca Blatt – 35, Lakewood, CO
16 - Jaime Brede – 38, Breckenridge, CO
NR - Caroline Colonna – 51, Taos, NM
NR - Tamara Donelson - 39, Edwards, CO (AUS)
NR - Flora Duffy – 27, Devonshire, Bermuda
NR - Jennifer Gersbach – 35, Durango, CO
Learn more at www.xterrabeavercreek.com