The December 2, 2015 announcement of the new XTERRA Pan America Tour created a lot of excitement, and a lot of questions. We’ll try to set the record straight in this first set of “Frequently Asked Questions” …
Question: Does the Pan Am Tour replace the America Tour?
Answer: No, the XTERRA America Tour is still on with more than 50 races confirmed for 2016 and more to be added. There is also a new XTERRA Pan American Tour with 10 races that amateurs from around the world can take part in. Two different series, two sets of rules. Both can be found in this PDF: http://www.xterraplanet.com/uploadedfiles/XAT_RULES.pdf.
Q: Will this new structure hurt the local XTERRA Points Series?
A: No. The XTERRA America Tour is designed to support local races. We do this by requiring you to compete in at least one event in your region. We require you to count 2 in region. Your best 4 scores count and if you win your regional championship you qualify for Maui. That opens doors for racers who aren’t the fastest, but are into the sport and want to race.
Q: How can you let Richmond go, it’s one of the oldest and most popular races?
A: The Richmond race is one of the all-time greats, no doubt. It’s at our roots, and is our longest-running race outside of Maui at 17 years. We helped start and establish those trails. Some of our best friends in life are there. Trust us, it hurts. Without a destination sponsor to offset the production and marketing cost we can’t continue. We are forever grateful for the support of Salary Shield and Luck Stone which kept RVA alive over the last several years. We’re open to support for next year and the future, and are also exploring opportunities with other organizations to produce that event. Until then, heed the advice of Dr. Seuss … “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Q: WTH? XTERRA isn't XTERRA without Richmond!
A: We hear ya. But would add that XTERRA is a lifestyle, a spirit. And, there is nothing stopping you from riding those sweet trails in Richmond whenever you want. The James River Park System is expertly managed and well kept year-round.
Q: Have the costs of hosting events at Brown's Island gone up significantly and made it cost prohibitive? Perhaps there are too many other events happening at the venue for XTERRA to get the date they wanted?
A: There is some truth to the first part. It’s expensive to rent and operate on Brown’s Island. And there are all sorts of logistic problems to try and stage the event at another RVA spot and use the same trails. We’ve considered, reviewed, evaluated, and kicked dirt around at numerous alternative spots with no success. As for the second part of question, getting the date wasn’t a problem.
Q: So, now with Richmond and Vegas out, will they offer more Maui slots at each regional event?
A: We now have more qualifying spots and opportunities available for Americans than ever before. There are 51 Maui Qualifying spots available at XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama, XTERRA Beaver Creek in Avon, CO, and the XTERRA Pan American/USA Championship in Ogden, Utah. New this year, we have 208 qualifying spots available to every regional champion – man and woman ages 15-19 thru 75+ in all eight regions.
Q: I assume the Vegas event just wasn't big enough?
A: We raced in Vegas for seven years and while participation numbers were fairly steady, we were not able to secure a destination partner and registration fees do not cover the cost of operation.
Q: In theory, Richmond and/or Vegas could come back if a promoter wants to take it over, right? It just won't be a regional championship?
A: In theory, yes, and we’re actually working on that now and hope it will happen.
Q: For AG athletes who may not be traveling to the Pan Am events are there "replacement" events for Richmond and Vegas in the same regions that are in the works (particularly in the North East)?
A: No, but we’re always reviewing and considering destinations interested in joining the XTERRA Tour. And as a side note for Americans in the Northeast looking at other race opportunities to secure a Maui spot, try Quebec or Ontario, eh.
Q: Why can't you make an existing XPS race into a championship race for each region?
A: We have actually tried this in the past. In 2009 we created the Cup Series with this format and it just didn’t work out for the athletes or the organizers.
Q: Do I have to race outside the U.S.?
A: No, the America Tour still exists. Read rules doc here: http://www.xterraplanet.com/uploadedfiles/XAT_RULES.pdf
Q: Did you just make it harder for Americans to get to Maui?
A: No, there are more qualifying spots and opportunities available for Americans than ever before. There are 51 Maui Qualifying spots available at XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama, XTERRA Beaver Creek in Avon, CO, and the XTERRA Pan American/USA Championship in Ogden, Utah. New this year, we have 208 qualifying spots available to every regional champion – man and woman ages 15-19 thru 75+ in all eight regions.
Q: How do I qualify for Utah?
A: You don’t need to. No qualification necessary. All countries welcome.
Q: What happens if I win in Utah?
A: If you’re an American, you’ll be both the XTERRA USA and XTERRA Pan American Champion. You’ll also be the USA Champion if you’re the top American in your division. This is how it works at our European and Asia-Pacific Championship races as well.
Q: I have a question about qualifying for Worlds. I see that the Regional Champs can get a slot but are there still slots for Worlds available at the U.S. Pan Am Tour races? And how many for each age group?
A: There are 51 Maui Qualifying spots available at XTERRA Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, Alabama, XTERRA Beaver Creek in Avon, CO, and the XTERRA Pan American/USA Championship in Ogden, Utah. Here’s the breakdown on the 51 spots available in Alabama, Colorado, and Utah…
Q: Do amateurs need to do at least two gold events? ...Pelham and Beaver Creek, or maybe Dominican Republic race for us South Floridians.
A: Neither the Pan Am or America Tour requires amateurs to race in two gold events. It is required in the Pan Am Series to race any 2 of the 10 to be eligible for Pan Am Tour honors. It is required in the America Tour to race in at least one event in your region to be eligible for regional honors.
Q: Best 4 (2 Gold & 2 Silver) Pan Am Events count for points? Not many Age Groupers have the budget/time to compete in that. Will these Pan AM Tour Races in the states (Pelham & Beaver Creek) at least still count for XPS Points like they have in the past?
A: Yes. Amateurs competing in the XTERRA Pan American Tour count their best four scores (two Gold, two Silver) from the first nine events PLUS whatever they get, or don’t get, at the XTERRA Pan American Championship race which will be scored at the 100-point level. Five Scores Total. Thus, the final point total combines an athletes best two Gold scores, best two Silver scores, plus their XTERRA Pan American Championship race points.
We agree and understand that not many amateurs have the budget/time to do five races, but some do and will have a blast at it. And, we hope by the time the Pan Am Championship race happens there are several amateur divisions that are close enough in points that it will come down to that race, a bona-fide playoff.
Yes to last part of the question, Pelham and Beaver Creek count at 100-point level in America Tour like they have in the past, and if you do both, just your highest score counts at 100pt level. The other would count at 75-point level.
Q: One question I see is it says “If you race at both Alabama and Colorado 100-point XPAS races, only your best finish counts at 100 points – any other finishes earn points at the same rate as XTERRA Point Series (XPS) events.” … Does that mean that if you do both events only 1 of them will count as Gold Races? Meaning that someone has to go out of the United States to have 2 Gold Event points to be considered a Regional Champ?
A: No, you don’t have to leave the country to be a regional champ. This question actually refers to two different series, the America Tour and the Pan America Tour. To be a regional champ (America Tour) you MUST do one race in your region. You must count 2 races in your region. You can count your best four scores. If you do both Alabama and Colorado championship events you can only count one at 100-point level. The other will revert to 75-point level.
For the Pan America Tour, amateur’s count their best four scores (two Gold, two Silver) from the first nine events PLUS whatever they get, or don’t get, at the XTERRA Pan American Championship race which will be scored at the 100-point level. Five Scores Total. Thus, the final point total combines an athletes best two Gold scores, best two Silver scores, plus their XTERRA Pan American Championship race points. However, amateurs need only race in any 2 of the 10 Pan Am events to be eligible for Pan Am Tour honors.
Q: Isn’t it expensive to travel to all these Pan American Tour stops?
A: Well, travel costs vary depending on airport, dates, etc…but do some searches before you give up. As an example, from Miami you can fly to Guadalajara cheaper than to Las Vegas.
What’s your question? Email info [at] xterraplanet.com.