For the second year in a row, the XTERRA Gator Terra will serve as the USA Triathlon Off-Road Championship race. Held on June 4th at DeGray Lake in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, the distances for this year’s race include a 1500m swim, a 32K mountain bike ride, and a 10K run.
“Last year’s race was an epic adventure,” said race director Fred Phillips. “In the days leading up to the race, we had five inches of rain at the race site. At 2 pm on the day before the race, we received a call from the Army Corp of Engineers, who told us that the area for the start, finish, and transition would be under water in a few hours. In a 30 hour time period, the DeGray Lake rose 12 feet.”
Phillips immediately secured a second venue about six miles down the lake and worked hard to complete the set up of the new transition, finish area and swim course by 9 pm.
“Next, we had to reconfigure the bike course, including the signage. This took us until about one in the morning. The best news is that we were still able to start on time at eight AM for the race briefing. I really hope we don’t have rain this year, but if we do, we are ready for it! Nothing can stop the XTERRA Gator Terra.”
Feedback from the athletes last year was that the new course was “a true championship course.” Last year’s XTERRA Gator Terra Champ was Chuck Sloan, who finished in 3:15:58. Runner up was Pan Am Champ Nate Youngs (3:18:15), who was followed by Marcus Barton (3:20:55), Joshua Loren, and Kyle Grieser.
Kelli Montgomery was the first female finisher in 3:47:56. She was followed by Nikki Balderson in 3:50:24 and Kristen Wade, who finished in 4:00:48.
The XTERRA Gator Terra is the oldest* XTERRA branded race on the World Tour other than the World Championship race in Maui and will be celebrating its 21st birthday this year. (*Original XTERRA Gator Terra race was in Ruston, LA)
In addition to the Gator Terra USAT Championship on Sunday, there will also be a Sprint Distance Off-Road Triathlon (500 yd swim/9 mile bike/2.5 mile run) on June 3rd and the Rusty Iron 1500m Open Water Swim on June 4th.
For more information and to register, visit DLTmultisport.com.