The XTERRA Gator Terra will be celebrating its 21st birthday by hosting the USA Triathlon (USAT) Off-Road National Championship for a second year in a row.
The 2017 USAT Off-Road National Championships in Arkadelphia, Arkansas on June 4th combines a 1.5km swim, 19.5-mile mountain bike, and 6.2-mile trail run and will qualify athletes for the 2018 ITU Cross Tri World Championships. The top 18 in each age group, rolling down to 25th place after applying the age-up rule, will qualify for the World Championships in Odense, Denmark.
Last year Chuck Sloan and Kelli Montgomery won the overall amateur national titles, and you can see the full lists of reigning age group champs below. Of note, Montgomery is now racing pro and will make her elite debut at XTERRA Thailand on April 1.
There is no pre-qualification needed to register to compete in this National Championship, and all those 17 years and older are welcome. The main event will also award valuable points for racers chasing XTERRA regional championships.
“Athletes in the northern section of the country will have a better opportunity to train for this year’s championship, as it has moved from early May in 2016 to June 4th for 2017,” said long-time race director Fred Phillips of DLT Event Management.
“If you are looking for clean and clear water to swim in, a truly championship mountain bike and run course, then you will find it here in Arkansas,” said Phillips. “DeGray Lake is rated as one of the top 10 ten cleanest, fresh water lakes in America. The Iron Mountain Trail System is truly a championship level providing a 19.5-mile single lap bike course. For 2017 we will be offering a new run course that will challenge you from the beginning to the end.”
Phillips will also be hosting the USA Cycling Mountain Bike Marathon National Championship at the same venue on May 7, a perfect warm-up event … “Deep woods single track with punchy climbs, great descents, many banked turns, awesome views and much more” he explained.
Companion events to XTERRA Gator Terra include the Lake Sprint Off-Road Tri (400 Yd Swim/9 Mile Mountain Bike/2.5 Mile run) on June 3 and a 1,500-meter open water swim in DeGray Lake on Sunday, June 4th … “both events provide a great opportunity for first-timers, friends, and significant others,” said Phillips.
When you get to Southwest Arkansas there is a ton to do within an hour's drive, three (3) IMBA Epic Mountain Bike Trails, Hot Springs National Park and an amusement and water park for you to take the kids. Hot Springs, about a 30-minute drive away from DeGray Lake, is loaded with "to do" items and the Crater of Diamonds State Park, about 45 minutes away, is a public diamond mine where if you find a diamond you get to keep it!
“Come on over and enjoy some good old Southern hospitality,” said Phillips. “The Gator Terra, it's the original XTERRA! 100 % genuine.”
2016 USA Triathlon Off-Road National Champions
Overall Female: Kelli Montgomery (Wallingford, Conn.), 3:47:56
Overall Male: Chuck Sloan (Tulsa, Okla.), 3:15:58
M17-19: Ben Wilson (Fayetteville, Ark.), 6:07:17
M20-24: Jace Chesson (Arkadelphia, Ark.), 5:10:50
F25-29: Samantha Kennedy (East Lansing, Mich.), 4:13:21
M25-29: Jon Hughes (San Diego, Calif.), 3:56:59
F30-34: Abby Johnson (Hudsonville, Mich.), 4:05:50
M30-34: Kyle Grieser (Marble Falls, Texas), 3:23:44
F35-39: Nikki Balderson (Lakeland, Tenn.), 3:50:24
M35-39: Chuck Sloan (Tulsa, Okla.), 3:15:58
F40-44: Kelli Montgomery (Wallingford, Conn.), 3:47:56
M40-44: Daryl Weaver (Lititz, Pa.), 3:27:40
F45-49: Christina Halioris (Crestwood, Ky.), 4:40:53
M45-49: Marcus Barton (Waxhaw, N.C.), 3:20:55
F50-54: Paula Maresh (Littleton, Colo.), 4:19:20
M50-54: Jay Curwen (Asheville, N.C.), 3:27:31
F55-59: Stephanie Landy (Ballston Spa, N.Y.), 4:16:18
M55-59: Casey Fannin (Birmingham, Ala.), 3:52:56
F60-64: Martha Buttner (Boulder, Colo.), 4:35:45
M60-64: Johnny Davis (Boulder, Colo.), 4:02:44
F65-69: Cindi Toepel (Pahrump, Nev.), 4:45:49
M65-69: Michael Orendorff (Pueblo, Colo.), 4:07:57
M70-74: Dale Vaughan (Macon, Ga.), 4:45:09