The XTERRA Tennessee Trail Running Series and the XTERRA Knoxville Off-Road Triathlon are coming to Knoxville, TN on June 3rd and 4th for a fun filled race weekend at Ijams Nature Center, near downtown Knoxville.
"Knoxville's Urban Wilderness presents a unique urban playground for mountain bikers, trail runners, rock climbers, and paddling enthusiasts alike," said race director, Ryan Roma. "The stunningly beautiful Ijams Nature Center and Mead's Quarry provide the perfect backdrop for XTERRA Knoxville with many miles of natural surface trails connecting five parks along with public and private lands."
Proceeds from the XTERRA Knoxville weekend will help Ijams Nature Center in keeping the trails beautiful, our waterways clean, and nature untouched.
The XTERRA Knoxville Half Marathon and 4.6 Mile Trail Run will explore some of the best single track trails that Knoxville has to offer. Winding through the Urban Wilderness, runners will encounter plenty of rocks, roots, and climbing to test their grit. The half marathon, a singe loop course, will take participants through all five parks, featuring the old quarries and hills of East Tennessee with a perfect balance of neighborhood backyard feel. The 4 mile trail run highlights the wooded forests of South Knoxville and ends with a challenging climb around Mead's Quarry.
The XTERRA Knoxville Triathlon will begin with a mass start from Mead's Quarry. Swimmers will navigate a one lap swim course (.75 miles) inside the bluffs of the quarry before exiting for transition.
The bike course (16.6 miles) starts from the gravel parking lot at Mead’s Quarry and heads down a paved bike trail for nearly a half mile before funneling down into single track trails. The trails vary from technical single track to moderate jeep roads and contain a little bit of everything. There are plenty of opportunities to pass other bikers throughout the bike leg. There is a brief segment of neighborhood road riding after the bike aid station, which will allow spectators to line the course and cheer on the athletes.
The run course (4.6 miles) heads in the opposite direction from the bike course, and will lead runners past the bike finish. A moderate run for the first half of the course yields to a much tougher finish. Runners will start an out and back loop before heading back past transition for the final stretch. A punishing climb around Mead’s Quarry will then bring runners back down towards the finish line.
In last year's triathlon, Caleb Baity won the men's race in 2:29:38 and Katie Rowinski won the women's race in 3:35:12.
Brad Higdon won the trail half marathon in 1:55:57 and Karen McNeany won the women's division in 2:08:28.
For more information, visit www.dirtybirdevents.com
Photo Credit: Alba Barton