The seventh stop on the XTERRA European Tour takes the Tribe to Aarhus on the east coast of the Jutland peninsula in Denmark on June 16.
While this is a new venue for the XTERRA Denmark Championship race, the Nordic crew has been selling out regional XTERRA events at this location for years and expect another 1,000+ competitors in 2019.
To tell us all about the place, the race, and the touristy options available for visiting racers we turn to Danish triathlon legend, former Aarhus winner, and three-time XTERRA World Champion Carol Rasmussen…
Aarhus is the second largest city in Denmark. It’s situated in Jylland, the main part of Denmark and a three-hour drive from Copenhagen.
The venue is Moesgaard Beach, a popular beach 8-kilometers south of the big city that is surrounded by the beautiful green and lush Marselisborg Forest. There is a lovely bike path through the forest all the way to the beach.
XTERRA Aarhus is always a great event, with a lot of coziness and a fun factor to it. We Danes are laidback people who love our sport, but love to have fun at the same time. The event hosts from Running26 are good at creating that environment with a lounge and party feeling. And don’t miss The Burger Shack, which will treat competitors to some great food after the race.
Here I’ll break down the course into the three disciplines.
The swim: Denmark is surrounded by water, and luckily, we’ll be swimming on the eastside of Jylland where the waves are usually less hostile, but then again, we could be surprised! Expect the water to be cold, this is Viking Land after all, so you could easily expect water temperatures around or below 16˚.
The bike: It’s one 28km loop through Marselisborg Forest. While Denmark has lots of great mountain bike tracks, this is one of my favorites as trail builders are constantly working on repairing and rebuilding it. We don’t have mountains here but expect some nasty steep hills and expect your pulse to go up and down like a rollercoaster. I advise some good interval training beforehand. Some parts of the trails are named after Nordic Gods, like Ymers Stomac, which offers all kinds of thrills, a steep climb, some narrow twists and turns, and some small drops. There is also a fast decent that will thrill many racers, and if you are lucky, you will climb the stairway to heaven as well. And don’t worry, where there are technical parts there are usually B-lines as well.
The run: If you have participated at XTERRA Denmark in the past, you know there is always a beach and a stair climb, and Aarhus has them too. You will run two 5K loops that start out on the beach in soft sand. Then you must climb some steep stairs up to reach the forest, and I promise you, your legs will hurt. My advice is to do some beach and stair training this spring.
Other race tips: Ride tubeless, there are hardly any stones and rocks on our ground, but there are lots of roots, so snakebites are common. We have small sharp flintstones that can give you a puncture as well, but this is more of a problem on asphalt on rainy days. Also use tires with bigger knobs. It often rains here, so the wet soil and clay can make it a bit slippery on the single trails.
Things to do and see while you are here: Visit “den gamle by i Åarhus” the old town in Åarhus. It’s a must and very popular. Or go see Moesgaard Museum, near Moesgaard beach, where you can walk on the roof which is like a big grass lawn with a beautiful view to the coast. Maybe take the car or train to Silkeborg, where there are even more great long mountain bike trails to ride, and beautiful nature walks around the lakes. Here you can climb our sky mountain, Denmark’s tallest hill, but don’t be fooled by the name, it is not even close of being a mountain, its just 147-meters above sea level!
See you in Denmark, the second happiest country in the world after Finland : )
For more info please visit XTERRA Nordic