On September 9th, in Fruita, Colorado, XTERRA will officially kick off the 2017-2018 season. It's the perfect time of year for new beginnings - as our kids head back to school, we can get back to the trails.
XTERRA Fruita will begin on Friday at 3 pm with a Q&A session with Colorado athletes, Branden Rakita and Libby Harrow.
Rakita is a professional triathlete and the current XTERRA Pan Am Pro Series points leader. Harrow is an eight-time XTERRA Regional Champ and a three-time World Champ in her age group. She is celebrating the new season with a brand new hip - but we always thought she had bionic powers, even before her surgery.
XTERRA Fruita will be part of a The Desert's Edge Tri Festival, which will include two days of racing, a weekend of camping with athletes and their families, and a celebration of Colorado racing.
"This is a great first-timer course, but it's still fun for veterans too," said Harrow. "The bike course is rolling very smooth single and double track. I take first time mountain bikers there, because except for one steep, short climb, some exposure, and a few tight turns, the course is quite easy and conducive to going fast."
Held at Highline Lake State Park, XTERRA Fruita will start off with a 600 meter swim, a 50 meter run on the beach before the second lap, and another 600 meter swim in the waters of Highline Lake, where the water is about 70 degrees.
The mountain bike course will consist of a 13-mile mix of single track and double track on the beginner-friendly mountain bike trails inside Highline State Park. You will finish with a 4.5 mile run.
"XTERRA Fruita is only a few hours from Denver, making it a perfect late summer getaway," said race director, John Klish. "We will have live music from Jack + Jill, plenty of great food at our post-race picnic, and even a roving course mechanic if you need any emergency repairs."
Klish also added that when you register you'll be asked to rank your mountain bike ability between Pro/Expert and Intermediate/Beginner. This is to place you in the appropriate waves for the race day.
"We will be starting in two waves separated by 40 minutes," said Klish. "This will give the faster first wave athletes time to clear their first lap before the second wave hits the course."
Camping within Highline Lake State Park will be available for race participants for $30 per night per group (a maximum of 6 people per group). Sites are located just 100 yards from transition and the start and finish areas.
Campsites within the park have been removed from the state parks online reservation system for the weekend of the race so that Desert's Edge participants will not have to compete with the general public for camping space. Instead, you will be given the option of reserving a site when you sign up for the race online. Please note, there will be no refunds of camping fees for any reason.
If you have questions, you can contact race director John Klish at madracingcolorado [at] gmail.com.
To register, visit www.desertedgetriitsyourrace.com.