Race Director Bill Driskill wants athletes to be prepared for this year’s XTERRA Real off-road triathlon on March 25th in Granite Bay, California.
“The water will be cold, the air might be colder, and if it rains, it won’t be a warm rain,” he warns with a laugh, suggesting once again that in XTERRA, Mother Nature is your toughest competitor.
XTERRA Real is the first of 50 races on this year’s XTERRA America Tour, and one of the longest tenured events on the schedule now in its 14th year, but did you know the story behind the name XTERRA Real?
“There was another sprint-distance off-road triathlon in Folsom, but the bike was on a flat path along the main bike trail,” says Driskill. “We called ours the ‘Real Mountain Bike Triathlon’ because our course is extreme single track, and extreme off-road riding, just the way we like it.”
The race begins with a brisk half-mile swim in Folsom Lake, where the temperature will be between 50 and 60 degrees, followed by a challenging two-loop, sixteen-mile course around the lake that traverses sand, packed decomposed granite, and lots of climbs and steep descents, and finishes up with a rugged four-mile run over mixed terrain.
With all the great racers in the West Region athletes can count on a stacked field to toe the start line again this year. Tim Helms, who placed fourth overall in 2016 with a time of 1:51:43, looks to be the top returner from last year. He will be joined by local speedster Scott Miller, veterans like Dennis Lloyd, 64, who won a regional title in 2012, and newcomers like 17-year-old Dewight Winchester, a talented triathlete from Bryson City, North Carolina.