Speak of the Devil - XTERRA Jersey Devil
Legend has it sometime in the 1700s a woman gave birth to a devil child who flew off into the swamps of the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. Ever since people claimed to have seen or heard the little devil and some even say they’ve found his cloven footprints in the snow.
“I’ve heard plenty of stories about the Jersey Devil as I sat around the campfire as a boy scout,” said XTERRA Jersey Devil race director Bob Horn. “Since the race is at a scout camp, I hope the competitors are lucky enough to see it for themselves this year.”
Sign-up for XTERRA Jersey Devil today (or by Friday, March 31) for a chance to see the mystic creature yourself all while locking-in the $70 early-bird rate.
“The course is perfect for dusting off those race cobwebs and getting the new XTERRA season underway,” said Horn. “For many veteran racers, it has become an early-season staple, and a true sign of who has put in the work over the long Mid-Atlantic and Northeast winter.”
This will be the seventh year for the race, which is held in Barnegat, NJ and benefits the Joseph A. Citta Scout Reservation, Wells Mills Park, Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore, and Amity Acres Day Camp.
“The half-mile swim begins in a cold, clear, cedar lake where the temperature last year was in the 50s so full wetsuits are encouraged,” said Horn. “To warm up, the 13-mile mountain bike section will wind through the famous Pine Barrens, where you can expect flat, sandy trails. The 3.1-mile run will take you through marshy creek areas and shady pine trails. The run has a lot of twists and turns and a few little punchy up hills. It is almost all in the shade, and the last quarter mile is really fast so if you have anything left you can certainly use your speed to kick it in.”
For those new to XTERRA and in the "I want to try something new" category this race is the perfect place to experience the "Live More" XTERRA atmosphere.
2016 Champ Matt Alford has yet to sign-up for this year’s race which will be on Sunday, April 30th, however, women’s winner Amanda Bayer will be back to defend her title.
“Most of the studs that show up for this race always seem to sign up about a week-out, but Iain Banks (pictured above) who was 2nd last year is already signed up and I expect he’ll be the guy to beat,” said Horn. “I also expect speedsters like Daryl Weaver and Josh Loren will give him a run for the crown.”
The Reservation is within a 2-hour drive of both Philadelphia and New York City, and about 30 miles north of Atlantic City, so you never know who might show up for the challenge. The course is known to be very fast for those expert racers and very forgiving to the "newbies."
“We are always pleased to offer an XTERRA Clinic on Saturday before the race, taught by veteran XTERRA Ambassador Tad Norton,” said Horn. “Tad always gives great tips for conquering the XTERRA Jersey Devil course and getting everyone excited about XTERRA.”
The XTERRA Jersey Devil is the first race in the Atlantic Region this season, and “for the past several years, unless you went down to the Southeast Region, you had to wait a good amount of time to get yourself excited about another XTERRA race close by,” said Horn. “Not this year! In 2017 XTERRA will once again have two great races in New Jersey as we welcome XTERRA Way Over Yonder to the Tribe. The race director, David Schwartz, has great passion for off-road racing so I'm sure his race is going to be awesome. It’s on May 20th, learn at rsgadventures.com.”
XTERRA Jersey Devil and Way Over Yonder give Atlantic Region racers looking to lock in some early season points a great head start. Remember, the "Every Race Counts" scoring system is in place for 2017, and you can find details here.
Learn more at xterrajerseydevil.com.