If you think that the XTERRA Mountain region exemplifies the glory of XTERRA racing ... you would be right. Epic trails, altitude, and spectacular views are pretty much par for the course at races in the Mountain region.
What you might not realize is that some of the races in the XTERRA Mountain region are perfect for beginners as well as experts. We’re pretty proud of the course at XTERRA Lory, which opens the season on June 16th. The triathlon features a half-mile mile swim in the clear waters of Horsetooth Reservoir, Eltuk Bay. With canyon walls on both sides, it's one of the most scenic swims in the state. The next leg is a two-lap, beginner-friendly, 12.2 mile single-track bike course over rolling terrain and across valley bridges at Lory State Park. Racers then finish with a fun and challenging 4.8 mile (8k) run through the clouds on single-track trails.
XTERRA Lory is followed by XTERRA Beaver Creek on July 21st, which serves as a qualifier for the 2018 XTERRA World Championship, a gold level XTERRA Pan American Tour stop and a 100-point level XTERRA America Tour championship race. You’ll get to see some of the best off-road athletes in the world crush it on these mile-high trails, including Vail’s own XTERRA World Champ, Josiah Middaugh.
But again, don’t think that beginners don’t belong at XTERRA Beaver Creek too. Not only will you have a great introduction to the energy of the XTERRA Tribe, but Beaver Creek events also include a shorter distance XTERRA Sprint race as well as 5K, 10K, and 21K trail runs.
At the end of July, check out XTERRA Indian Peaks, which takes place at Eldora Nordic Center. One of most fun places to ski in the winter, in the summer, Eldora transforms into a hiking, running, and biking mecca. Located just outside of Boulder in the funky town of Netherland, don’t be surprised if you see some of XTERRA’s biggest stars flying under the radar here and getting in a final run before the XTERRA World Championship in Maui in October.
On August 4th, XTERRA Aspen Valley might be one of the most iconic triathlons you ever experience. The swim takes place on one of XTERRA’s only single lap courses: a 1200 meter swim in the crystal clear waters of Kodiak Ski Lake. The two-lap mountain bike course will take you over gorgeous single track as well as some crazy wood features and a serious booter or two. And if you aren’t quite dialed in for that, have no fear. Try the single-lap, six-mile option and then enjoy the three-quarter mile long wood bridge on the run course. Don’t miss this chance, because this course is only open twice a year – once for the pre-ride and once for the race.
On August 25th, XTERRA Iron Creek heads into Spearfish, South Dakota. The bad news? It’s the last race of the season to shred the gnar and earn points for 2018. The good news? You get to race in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The bike ride climbs from Iron Creek Lake up to the Old Baldy trail system in the Black Hills National Forest. The ride is entirely within forested areas, so bring your technical skills and expect lots of single-track paths.
At the final race of the year at XTERRA Fruita on September 8th, you should probably bring fireworks and a bottle of bubbly, because in the XTERRA World, this is like New Year’s Day. Why? September 8th is the first day that you can begin earning race points that count towards the 2019 season, so if you are in the hunt for an XTERRA Regional Championship, then get a jump on your competition and start the season early. Held at Highline Lake State Park in Loma, Colorado, this is your chance for a New Year, New You before you eat all the cookies.
While in some respects, the XTERRA Mountain region has courses found no where else in the world, we are still dealing with the same, amazing XTERRA Tribe vibing to rhythm of the trails. You’ll see standouts like Nelson Hegg, Jen Razee, Mike Dorr, Garren Watkins, Deanna McCurdy, Martha Buttner, Johnny Davis, and Craig Vogtsberger. And this year, we are going to introduce you to a whole new crew, including Paula Meresh, Kat Marks, Eric Snowberg, Karl Edgerton, Megan Riepma, and Dylan Friday.
The races in the XTERRA Mountain Region might literally leave you breathless, but you’ll be so invigorated, the only thing you’ll be asking for is how to sign up for the next race.
Learn more at www.xterraplanet.com.