Following a highly successful debut into southwest China in 2019, the XTERRA Kunming off-road triathlon and sports festival returns to OCT Yangzong Lake Resort in Yunnan Province on the weekend of August 29-30, 2020.
XTERRA Kunming is the fifth of six majors on the 2020 XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour, offering up $25,000 USD elite prize money, 100-point scale scoring, and 51 qualifying spots for amateurs into the 2020 XTERRA World Championship race in Maui.
The event, which combines a 1.5-kilometer swim in the azure-colored Yangzong Lake with a 30K two-loop mountain bike through the regions’ famous purple sage flowers, and a 10K trail run that twists along mountain and lake trails, received rave reviews from participants in last year’s race.
“It was a great race and a great experience,” said 7x World Champ Ruben Ruzafa from Spain. “The swimming was in an incredible 24ºC water lake at 1,900-meter altitude, it’s a beautiful lake. The mountain bike part is two laps with fast climbs and technical trails inside and outside the forest, and near the lake, and it was incredible to run through the purple orchards. The coolest thing, though, was visiting the markets and monuments and discovering the Chinese style of life.”
Fabiola Corona from Mexico, who won the women’s race last year, was quick to agree with Ruzafa, adding;
“XTERRA China is a must do. Not just because the race venue is amazing, but because it’s a perfect chance to visit and discover a new world, a new country full of traditions. It was a fantastic XTERRA adventure!”
Triathlete Magazine recently touted XTERRA Kunming as one of four unique race destinations “full of mystery and intrigue,” sure to give racers some stories to tell after they cross the finish line.
“One of the most faraway off-road triathlon races in the world, XTERRA Kunming is set in China’s south-central Yunnan Province, where the remains of an ancient walled city and a bronze temple date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The earliest civilizations of Kunming date back to 279 B.C., but it has been a thriving transportation and industrial center since the early 20th century, when a rail line was connected to Hanoi, Vietnam,” wrote Triathlete Magazine contributor Brian Metzler.
Registration is open now through May 31 and features three-tiered pricing; early-early bird thru 1/31, early bird thru 3/31, and regular price thru 5/31.
Learn more about XTERRA and the Asia-Pacific Tour, get tips on traveling to Kunming, and find race, destination, and registration information online at www.xterraplanet.com.
Thoughts from the field on the inaugural XTERRA Kunming:
“I loved it, and recommend it to others. I always like to see different cultures and food, and explore new places. After the race we went to see the Shilin Stone Forest. It's like a huge stone labyrinth and fun to walk through.”
- Carina Wasle, Austria
“The venue was amazing, especially the start and finish area. The organization was incredible, and they worked very hard to make everything look like a work cup series. They treat you like a super star. The locals are very friendly and despite the language barrier, they make you feel at home. The accessibility of the main venue from the hotel was very convenient, and what a view through the purple fields! The bike course looks easy but when you are racing, there is no place to rest, it’s a rollercoaster. I really enjoyed the downhills and single tracks.”
- David Escolar, Spain
“I love this race because it is completely different. We had an awesome time not just at the race venue, but also trying all the traditional Chinese food, music, dance, the experience was so unique. All the people we met there were super hospitable, the scenery was lovely, the purple carpet with those beautiful flowers, the little town we went to buy some groceries, we made so many incredible memories.”
- Fabiola Corona, Mexico
“The local village was awesome and very cool. We got to meet several locals, swim in the local pools, and try the local cuisine. Running through the local villages on a flat and fast paced run was also a highlight.”
- Kieran McPherson, New Zealand
“Getting to experience the traditional Chinese food was great, but the best part was definitely the bike course. I really enjoyed the fact that an effort had been made to cut trails and create flow.”
- Penny Slater, Australia
“The bike course was fast and fun, and had a little bit of everything. I really enjoyed the trail run, passing through the local vegetation and abandoned buildings, and I enjoyed racing at altitude. And the food was great!”
- Ben Allen, Australia
“Everything was very well organized and communication for travel, entry, visas, etc. was excellent and made it very stress free for all the professionals athletes involved, and the local fresh food which was delicious.”
- Jacqui Allen, Great Britain
“Visiting a country I'd never been to before; I was welcomed like family and able to reconnect with the other Asia-Pacific competitors. It was a great bike loop, and the run is especially hard at altitude. Loved the local restaurants and amazing pool complexes too.”
- Lizzie Orchard, New Zealand
“The place, the environment, the organization … it’s one of the best I’ve ever experienced.”
- Ruben Ruzafa, Spain
“The course was fantastic. The water is super nice, calm and fresh. You swim in a straight line, big buoys so it’s impossible to get lost. The bike course is 4K up, then a super fun downhill, zigzag, single track, ups & downs in a cross-country style race and between the purple flowers and the lake view, it was breathless! Finally on the run, I felt like I was in a movie running to escape from the other girls along the coast and into the finish line.”
- Fabiola Corona, Mexico