Like many great ideas, this one started with a question: Why isn't there a long-distance XTERRA in France?
Welcome to XTERRA Graveman, which will feature a 1.9K swim, 60K mountain bike ride (with 2,400-meters of climbing), and a 20K run through the French Alps. It will be held July 28 in Arêches-Beaufort, France.
"XTERRA Graveman registration opened up on December 8th, and already, the race is almost sold out, with 150 people signing up on the first day," said XTERRA European Tour director Nicolas Lebrun.
The event is being produced by Bart Gruyere, CEO of Altifort Events, who says he draws his inspiration from the proven structure and staff of the highly-acclaimed XTERRA France off-road triathlon.
XTERRA Graveman will be held a month after XTERRA France (July 1st), giving XTERRA diehards the opportunity to for an XTERRA France + XTERRA Graveman "Double." To add intrigue, organizers of XTERRA France and Graveman are awarding an XTERRA World Championship slot to the amateur man and woman with the fastest combined times in the two events.
"We are excited to introduce a longer endurance event to our European contingent," said Dave Nicholas, the managing director of the XTERRA World Tour. "We’ve experimented with ‘epic’ distance XTERRA races in the past with varying success, so I’m eager to see how this event is received. Based on 150 sign-ups on day one, I’d say the market is ready for it.”
XTERRA Graveman will also feature a kids race on Saturday and a sprint distance race, the XTERRA Graveman Découverte, on Sunday July 29th. The Découverte features a 500M swim, 20K bike, and 7K run.
XTERRA Graveman will be held in alpine meadows near the village of Arêches-Beaufort, which in winter is a famous ski mountaineering hub and hosts the famous race, La Pierra Menta. In the summer, this "Beaufortain" course becomes an incredible venue for XTERRA.
The swim is in St Guérin Lake, where supporters can cheer for athletes from the Himalayan bridge. From there the Beaufortain is a wide and wild playing field for mountain biking and trail running. From pass to pass, across glacial valleys and alpine pastures and up to the ridges, these mountains offer terrific scenery.
For more information and to register, visit www.graveman.com.