Three months from now on July 10, 2016 XTERRA Victoria (British Columbia, Canada) will take center stage on the XTERRA World Tour.
While the fresh air, perfect weather, epic trails and stunningly clean lake are reason enough to plan a trip to race around Durrance Lake on Vancouver Island, this year the event has become a “must-do” race for many more reasons.
Foremost it joined the inaugural XTERRA Pan America Tour and will award Silver-level points to both amateurs and professionals, it increased its pro prize purse to $7,500, will dish out 25 amateur qualifying spots into the XTERRA World Championship, award the top five Canadian athletes in each age group with a spot into the 2017 ITU Cross Triathlon World Championship, and name the top Canadian in each division its BC Provincial Cross Triathlon Champion.
"The Victoria XTERRA is presented at a world class venue, which is home to the National Mountain Bike center along with national sport centers for running and triathlon,” said three-time XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid. “A long list of world class athletes from triathlon, mountain biking, road cycling and running call Victoria home and I am excited for the global XTERRA community to visit the greatest endurance city in Canada and see our beautiful trails and lakes while enjoying the incredible restaurants and hospitality Victoria has to offer."
Now in its fifth year on the World Tour, all who have raced at Durrance Lake before have praised what it has to offer.
“XTERRA Victoria is one of my all-time favorite courses, a true off-road triathlon starting in a beautiful lake followed by fun, challenging single track and while the bike is technical, the run is even more so,” exclaimed XTERRA legend Danelle Kabush.
Canadian Olympian Brent McMahon, who grew up riding and training on the nearby trails, has won all four editions of the XTERRA Victoria off-road tri so far but will face a much deeper pro field due to the Pan America status this year.
“It's very exciting to hear that XTERRA Victoria will be included in the XTERRA Pan American series,” said McMahon. “The series will be highlighting some of the best destinations for mountain biking and triathlon and I think Victoria will be one of the best locales on this tour. This event will draw some of the best athletes in the world in their bid for World Championship qualification and series ranking. You can expect a great field and a challenging and fun course come July. I can't wait to race again and defend my title from last year.”
The cool waters are surrounded by narrow twisting trails lined by steep forest slopes. Submerged logs and dead trees on the boggy south side of the lake provide important breeding habitat and a foraging area for a number of wildlife species. Durrance Lake is also a popular fly-fishing spot with a population of smallmouth bass and cutthroat trout.
“As race director I am very excited to welcome athletes to XTERRA Victoria 2016, an international event that maintains its community vibe,” said Monique Moore. “You can't beat the beauty of Vancouver Island or the challenge of our west coast trails. And I want to thank Derek and Mark of Hopkins Prosthodontics for sponsoring this event for the third year. We feel an attachment to this race as we see in it parallels to our role in dental healthcare. XTERRA Victoria requires technical skill beyond conventional triathlon. The Victoria race is known for the most technical bike course in XTERRA. Victoria is a hotspot in the world of triathlon with many champion athletes and coaches calling it home. The promotion provided by this affiliation will draw more racers to experience the XTERRA Victoria challenge showcasing our endurance sport community.”
Vancouver Island, where Victoria is located, has been rated the top island in the continental U.S. and Canada and one of the top 10 islands in the world by Travel & Leisure Magazine. It’s even by named the top destination in all of Canada to visit.
After the race participants have their choice of magnificent food and beverage, even fine dining at the Butchart Gardens next door. Durrance Lake’s easily accessible parking and wash room facilities makes it a comfortable environment for both participants and spectators.
In addition to the championship event the Human Powered Racing team will also host youth and sprint triathlons, and a 14K trail run on Saturday that will award age-group champions with a complimentary entry into XTERRA’s Trail Running World Championship race at Kualoa Ranch (Oahu) Dec. 4.
“This year’s race promises to be one of the biggest and best events on the XTERRA World Tour. You’ll find one of the toughest courses at one of the most beautiful places anywhere, and the people are pretty friendly too!” smiled Moore.
To see last year’s Highlight video, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQyHHFsWg-k#action=share
For more information visit: http://www.xterravictoria.ca