The 16th annual XTERRA New Zealand off-road triathlon and sports festival returns to Rotorua and the enchanting Whakarewarewa Forest surrounding Lake Tikitapu on April 6.
If you’ve ever seen Lord of the Rings you can imagine the place. The trails seem heavenly made with magic dirt and the course twists and turns through towering redwoods and monstrous ferns.
The lure of this mythical place annually attracts some 2,000 XTERRA Warriors for a festive day of events that include family-friendly 5.5, 11, and 21km trail runs, mountain bike races, and short-and-championship distance off-road triathlons.
It’s no surprise that some of XTERRA’s brightest stars hail from Rotorua, guys like Sam Osborne and Lewis Ryan, and a host of others.
“The home race is always something special, it's not so much my home course that makes it but the people,” said Osborne. “Racing past all the downhillers waiting for the shuttle bus that you see most weekends out riding, they get right in behind us and know how to give a good heckle. And then all the people out on the course marshalling and at the lake, the home atmosphere is what is awesome.”
XTERRA New Zealand is the second of five stops on the 2019 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour, awards $10,000 NZD among the top five elite men and women, and dishes out XTERRA World Championship qualifying slots to the winners of each age group.
Learn more at xterraplanet.com.