After one of the most brutal winters on record over the last 50 years, XTERRA Atlantic athletes are more than ready to shed their layers and pin on some bib numbers. Luckily, both blue skies and XTERRA racing are coming soon. Well … at least XTERRA racing season is coming soon with the season opener of the XTERRA Atlantic Season on May 6th at the XTERRA Jersey Devil.
The XTERRA Atlantic races keep their momentum with both XTERRA Charlottesville and XTERRA Way Over Yonder on May 19th and XTERRA EX2 in Maryland on July 15th. The season wraps up in August when XTERRA heads to the hills for XTERRA Appalachia in Pennsylvania.
The Atlantic Region races attract a wide variety of athletes from the eastern seaboard, the northeast, and the southern states. Because of that, the races are often highly competitive and a fun surprise to see who is setting up next to you in transition. Look for Atlantic Region standouts such as Daryl Weaver, David Uber, Rob McCoy, and Don Morrison to be on the podium again this year. On the women’s side, look for Americia Weber, Jessica Rigelman, and Dale Hollerbach. However, with incredible athletes to the north and south, expect the XTERRA Atlantic Series to be completely unexpected.
XTERRA Jersey Devil
On May 6th, XTERRA Jersey Devil will celebrate its eighth year at the New Jersey Shore. After the cannon sounds, athletes begin the half mile swim in a clean cedar lake. There is a bit of a run to transition, so you may want to leave some shoes by the lake. After hopping on your bike, expect the 13-mile course to be flat, fast, and true to its New Jersey roots of packed sand and pine needles.
“Given the harsh winter the east coast has had this year, I’m sure there will be a lot of mud bogs on the course,” said race director Bob Horn, also an XTERRA athlete. Last year, Horn placed third in his age group at XTERRA Sky High, XTERRA French River, and XTERRA Way Over Yonder. “The 3.1 mile run twists and turns you through the Scout Camp, so good trail runners can really make up a lot of ground during the run on this course. Because the weather has not been great this spring on the east coast, this race will really show who has been toughing it out this spring and gotten themselves in good early season form.”
In this year’s race, look for two-time XTERRA Northeast Regional Champ Amanda Bayer to be at the front of the women’s pack.
“Last year, Amanda was second to XTERRA elite athlete Debby Sullivan, and she wasn’t second by much,” said Horn, referring to the 69 second difference between the athletes. Bayer competed in the XTERRA World Championship in Maui last October and finished fifth in her very competitive 25-29 age group.
On the men’s side, 2017 XTERRA Northeast Regional Champ Colin Cook is entering his sophomore year racing XTERRA and Tad Norton, a six-time XTERRA Northeast Regional Champ, will be back to show the rookies how it’s done.
On May 5th, the day before XTERRA Jersey Devil, Norton will lead the XTERRA Clinic on Saturday at 12 noon. He will do a pre-ride loop of the bike course and will share his tips for how to navigate the course.
XTERRA Way Over Yonder
Just 50 miles outside of New York City, the “Beast of the East” returns to Wawayanda State Park on May 19th. Once in the park, you would never guess that Manhattan is less than an hour away.
The race begins with a beach run that leads to a 1000-meter swim in a beautiful, clear lake. The following 13 miles of mountain biking will take racers through some of the best trails in the park including Pickle, Pines, Tombstone, Timber, and Sitting Bear. The six-mile trail run has been redesigned for 2018 and will send racers up the Pump House Trail and around the lake.
XTERRA Way Over Yonder began because David Schwartz loved XTERRA so much, he wanted a race closer to home. Last year, Schwartz raced in XTERRA Syracuse, XTERRA Sky High, XTERRA French River, and XTERRA Jersey Devil.
Schwartz’s passion for XTERRA is evidence by the offerings at this year’s race.
“We have a kinder and gentler XTERRA Sprint,” said Schwartz of the shorter race, which includes a 500-meter swim, seven mile mountain bike, and three mile trail run. “Well, it’s somewhat kinder and gentler,” he added. “After all, it’s still XTERRA.”
For non-swimmers, XTERRA Way Over Yonder includes a 2K SUP or kayak start in both the Full Course and Sprint Races. There is also Way Over Yonder Duathlon which includes a three-mile trail run, a Full Course or Sprint mountain bike option, and another trail run.
Ready Set Go Adventures is offering a special discount code to the XTERRA Tribe. Save $15 off registration with the code XTERRA15 which is good through April 30th.
If you need to rent a mountain bike, you can contact race sponsor Tenafly Bicycle Workshop, largest mountain bike demo fleet in the Tri-State area. The demo fleet features bikes from Yeti, Ibis and Devinci which can be reserved by calling the shop at (201) 568-9372.
Snug in the Blue Ridge Mountains, XTERRA Charlottesville on May 19th offers one of the most unique courses on the America Tour. Normally off-limits to the public, the beautiful and challenging course at the Miller School of Albemarle is a chance to experience challenging climbs, miles of sweet singletrack trails, and spectacular vistas of the Blue Ridge mountains.
Because the Miller School grounds are normally closed to the public, there are several pre-rides of the course, which are led by Andy Guptill on the following dates:
Saturday May 5th: First preview of this course will take place Saturday, May 5. - meet at 9:00am to preview the bike course; meet at 11:00am to preview the run.
Thursday May 17th: The course will be open for riding from 4 to 7pm.
Friday May 18th: The course will also be open for riding and running Friday May 18th (the day before the race).
Before he became the Director of the Endurance Program at the Miller School, Guptill raced as a mountain biker and cyclist for years. He got his start as a mountain biker and raced nationally and internationally. Now he teaches World Geography and coaches the elite cycling team at the Miller School and leads a special group of 8th to 12th graders who 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.
The entire course consists of a 1K lake swim, a 30K mountain bike ride, and a 10K run. The Sprint distance includes a 500 meter lake swim, a 15K mountain bike, and a 5K run. XTERRA Charlottesville will also include a duathlon consisting of a 2K trail run, 30K bike, and a 10K run. Additionally, a 10K trail run will be offered.