Strong Women's Field Stirring for XTERRA Oak Mountain
has a great training plan for me and it’s feels good to be back outside doing what I love.”
Maia Ignatz, the runner-up on the Pan America Tour last year, is looking super strong and was contending for the XTERRA Costa Rica title with Snyder on April 9, and Annie Bergen from Canada - who was 3rd at Costa Rica, will be in the mix.
XTERRA Oak Mountain promises a strong turnout with some of the best pro and amateur triathletes in the world.
“The course was unlike anything I had ridden before,” said Christy Fritts, who won her age group last year as well as an entry to XTERRA Worlds in Maui. “The bike was smooth, fast, tight, and twisty with gnarly rooted sections, a few rock gardens and some fun downhill sections.”
XTERRA Oak Mountain will serve as a qualifier for the 2017 XTERRA World Championship, a gold level XTERRA Pan American Tour stop and a 100-point level XTERRA America Tour championship race. XTERRA will also offer a shorter distance sprint race – 750m for the swim, 15km mountain bike and a 5km trail run.
The race starts in Double Oak Lake, a long narrow warm water lake. Sprint racers swim a 750-meter loop while championship competitors double that with two 750-meter laps separated by a short beach shuffle in-between.
From there the long, single-loop 20-mile mountain bike course starts at about 500 feet elevation, twists, turns, and rolls through the forest for seven miles then begins a gradual 700-foot climb to the summit at Johnson Mountain – named after former XTERRA competitor and tireless local trail volunteer Bill Johnson.
The descent is a fast, wild ride highlighted by the notorious “blood rock” section – a series of tricky to maneuver, uneven and jagged rocks followed by more fun sections on the west side of the lake filled with rolling rights and lefts.
The event will feature $15,000 USD in prize money for elite athletes, who will compete over a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run. For amateurs, there will be 51 spots into the XTERRA World Championship - to be held October 29 in Maui - up-for-grabs.
Learn more and register at www.xterrapelham.com.