Birmingham. St. Louis. Charlottesville. New York.
Let’s face it. XTERRA races are never in ugly parts of the country. The only downside of this is that many times, athletes don’t want to go back home. In fact, rather than rushing back to regular life, some XTERRA athletes are taking “racecations” instead of “vacations.”
Below are four XTERRA races, all on the same weekend - May 20 and 21 - that are perfect destinations for the whole family.
XTERRA Oak Mountain
Two words: Oak Mountain. The miles and miles of perfect single track, heart-pounding climbs, and flowy descents are enough to start us packing.
The 12th annual XTERRA Southeast Championship on May 20-21st will attract the country’s best off-road triathletes. Shelby County, just outside Birmingham, is also a terrific place for families to enjoy southern BBQ, baseball, and live music.
Register for XTERRA Oak Mountain
XTERRA Way Over Yonder
XTERRA Way Over Yonder is held on Saturday, May 20th in beautiful Wawayanda State Park, which will make you think you are hours away from civilization, even though the park is less than an hour from New York City.
“This is a Saturday race,” said race director David Schwartz. “So you can race in the morning and then head to New York for dinner and a show and a full day of site seeing on Sunday.”
Wawayanda Park is a great place for history buffs as well as athletes. An old iron furnace from the 1840’s can be seen near the start of the race as well as the rock walls of former subsistence farms and homesteads. The Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine, also runs through almost 20 miles of the park.
The XTERRA Way Over Yonder is the first New York City metro race and is the brainchild of Schwartz. “In 2015, I was competing in XTERRA Nationals in Utah, and I asked why there was no New York City race. I was told that no one had made it happen yet, so I decided to take that on.
“Near the park are the Long Pond Ironworks, which is contains the remnants of ironworks from the 1700’s. A visitor center and museum are on site. For art lovers,
Schwartz has been riding the trails in Wawayanda for years. “It was my first choice to have the race,” said Schwartz. “Sixteen years ago I started calling the park ‘Way Over Yonder’ and the name stuck.”
Racers are traveling to XTERRA Way Over Yonder from New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, and Texas.
For information about where to stay and what to see while you are in New Jersey, or to register for the race, visit: http://www.rsgadventures.com
XTERRA St. Louis
From the Gateway Arch to the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales, you might find so much to do in St. Louis, you would go even if there wasn’t a race (but we know you are really, really glad there is one).
"The course is fast and flowing with very little elevation change," said race director, Mike Barro. "When ridden slow, it is considered to be easy or beginner friendly. However, at race speed those trees jump out at you pretty quick."
Barro has been competing in XTERRAs since they were called "AquaTerra."
"I believe my first race was in 1999 when I racked my bike next to Ned Overend and Mike Pigg in Ruston, LA," said Barro.
XTERRA St. Louis will take place on Sunday, May 21st at Creve Coeur Park, which is the largest park in St. Louis. The course has been changed slightly this year, resulting in more single track on the run course and a longer loop on the mountain bike course.
“I have run a number of time simulations on Excel, and this route lowers the amount of lapped traffic significantly,” said race director, Mike Barro. “This is going to be a great race. People think of St. Louis as just an urban area, but there are so many parks, trails, and pubs and cafes to recover in after.”
Perhaps this is why XTERRA St. Louis finisher’s medals double as bottle openers.
You can watch a preview of the course:
For more information about XTERRA St. Louis, visit www.xterrastl.com
There isn’t a better time than now to visit Charlottesville, Virginia. From the historical University of Virginia campus to the farm to table restaurants that abound in this college town, you will not lack places at which to bike, hike, and eat.
XTERRA Charlottesville has a very special course, designed by Andy Guptill, who was a professional cyclist for 10 years. As a mountain biker, he rode in World Cup and other competitive races.
The race takes place at the Miller School of Albermarle, which has a varsity team of 8th to 12th graders that compete in road biking, mountain biking, enduro, cyclocross and triathlon.
Not only are these kids racing at elite races for their ages, they also had a hand in building and maintaining the XTERRA Charlottesville course.
A pre-ride of the course will take place on Thursday, May 18th from 4-7 pm and on Friday, May 19th from 1-8pm.
The entire course consists of a 1 km lake swim a 30 km mountain bike ride, and a 10 km run.
You can also watch a video of the course trails filmed with some of the Miller School students:
For more information or to register, http://www.adventureaddictsracing.com