PRACHATICE, CZECH REPUBLIC - a town rich in history and culture, has been officially named as the destination host for the 2024 XTERRA European Championship on August 9th next year. XTERRA Czech is one of XTERRA’s oldest races, dating back over two decades, and those familiar with the spectacle of the event will know that this will be a European Championship for the ages when athletes from arguably the most competitive region descend on the medieval town to compete for one of the most coveted titles in off-road triathlon.
Central to the festivities is Prachatice’s famed town square, which will transform into the heart of the championship, complete with live music, food trucks, entertainment and an unmistakable festival atmosphere. Enhancing the spectator experience, Red Bull pilot Martin Sonka will perform aerial displays, along with a live broadcast of the fast-paced Elite Short Track race, featuring an increased number of on-course cameras to capture the action in detail for fans around the world. The XTERRA Czech team have consistently raised the bar of every event since the first race 20+ years ago, and athletes, as well as the thousands of spectators the event draws, can expect the bar to be raised once again as the event prepares to host the 2024 European Championship.
The Championship race begins with a 1.5K swim in the pristine waters of Ktis Lake, followed by a challenging point-to-point 33K bike segment. This section weaves through historical and natural landscapes, including old panel roads from the 60s, the forested trails of the Golden Salt Path, and sleek singletrack. The race then culminates with a scenic 10K run into Prachatice’s old Great Square, promising a memorable finish amidst the town's original renaissance architecture.
Jan Bauer, the Mayor of Prachatice, shares his enthusiasm for the event: "XTERRA Czech is not just a race; it's a catalyst that brings our community together, energizes our businesses, and enriches our cultural fabric. Each year, we see an incredible impact, and hosting the European Championship is a great honor for us. We eagerly await to welcome athletes and visitors from around the world to experience the unique charm of Prachatice."
Frantisek Bican, Operations Manager of XTERRA Czech, speaks about the organizational efforts: "Organizing XTERRA Czech is a monumental task, made possible by the incredible support from landowners, local mayors, and the entire community. We are committed to preserving our natural landscapes and ensuring that the race leaves a positive footprint. Our focus is on sustainability, reducing waste, and ensuring that the beauty of our race course remains unspoiled for future generations."
Race Director Michal Piloušek elaborates on the race's design: "Crafting the XTERRA course in Prachatice is about striking the perfect balance. We aim to challenge athletes with technical sections while showcasing the region's natural beauty and historical landmarks. Our goal is to create a race that is not only demanding but also inspiring, leaving athletes with a sense of accomplishment and a deep connection to the spirit of Prachatice."
Seasoned XTERRA Czech competitor Tomas Peter remarked, “I found out about XTERRA Czech in 2015 and I fell in love with this sport of triathlon. It is such a special feeling every year to travel in shuttle to the start of the race. You feel a little bit like a NASA astronaut going for the launch of the rocket!”
The 2024 European Championship will also include multiple other races throughout the 2-day event, such as the Youth Sprint Triathlon and Youth Super Sprint races, offering an intense XTERRA experience in a condensed format. The introduction of the XTERRA Youth European Championship for young athletes aged 14 to 19 highlights XTERRA's commitment to nurturing future champions. The innovative XTERRA Camp near the race center allows athletes and fans with camper vans or tents to sleep just a few hundred meters from the finish line.
The festival atmosphere around the event will be palpable. Prachatice becomes a living, breathing XTERRA village, with local communities, restaurants, and shops fully embracing the championship spirit. The Food Trucks, Music Festival, and the expansive Expo area go beyond a traditional race setting, creating a rich cultural experience.
The 2024 XTERRA European Championship in Prachatice is set to be an unforgettable event, combining high-intensity sports with a deep cultural immersion. The Piloušek family, including race directors, Michal Junior and Senior, along with their local team dedication has transformed XTERRA Czech into a highlight of the EMEA Tour.
As the athletes prepare to face the course, the town of Prachatice readies to pulsate with the energy and camaraderie of XTERRA, ensuring an experience that will be cherished by all. For more information and to register, athletes and enthusiasts are encouraged to visit the XTERRA European Championship page.
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