Welcome to the XTERRA Indian Peaks Triathlon. On Saturday July 28th, 300 brave souls will depart in a time trial start on a chilly 1000 meter swim, followed by a 600 meter run to the transition area, a very hilly but beautiful 22km bike ride on the roads and single track of the Eldora Nordic Center, and finally a 7km run on the eastern trails of the Eldora Nordic Center.
Twenty age-group national champions crowned in Arkadelphia, Arkansas
ARKADELPHIA, Ark. – Deanna McCurdy (Littleton, Colo.) and Dane Baldini (Bentonville, Ark.) raced their way to overall titles on Sunday at the USA Triathlon Off-Road National Championships, held at DeGray Lake and Iron Mountain in conjunction with XTERRA Gator Terra.
The course covered a 1500-meter swim, 32-kilometer mountain bike and 10-kilometer trail run. Athletes battled heavy rain and muddy conditions, racing over deep woods single-track featuring steep climbs and descents, large banked turns and more.
McCurdy was the top finisher for the women, clocking in at 3 hours, 5 minutes, 22 seconds to claim the overall win and the women’s 40-44 age-group title. She crossed the line more than 10 minutes ahead of Courtney Kaup (Richmond, Vt.), who placed second overall in 3:16:00 and successfully defended her women’s 35-39 title. Jane Zeigler (Tulsa, Okla.) rounded out the overall podium in third with a time of 3:18:04.
“It was so much fun. Running and biking upstream made for an exciting day,” McCurdy said. “The bike was a blast, it was a roller coaster out there. In Colorado we’re used to climbing for miles and miles, but here it was fast, it was flowy. The run course was fun, splashing through puddles. You just had to be a kid. If you think about how much it hurts and how tired you are, your race is over. But if you just play, it’s an adventure.”
Baldini had the fastest time of the day, with a final time of 2:49:34. In addition to the overall title, he also claimed the top spot in the men’s 30-34 age group. Baldini finished nearly four minutes ahead of runner-up Ryan Terry (West Sacramento, Calif.), who took the men’s 35-39 title in 2:53:33. Marcus Barton (Waxhaw, N.C.) was third in 2:55:30, successfully defending his men’s 45-49 title.
“I’ve been racing here seven years now, and this is the best venue around,” Baldini said. “The single track is fast, there’s a little bit of climbing which helps me out, and man, that run course was perfect for me. A little bit of road, a little bit of dirt. I got a nice lead and made sure second place couldn’t see me – that way they’d have to really pick it up.”
In total, twenty athletes captured age-group off-road national titles at DeGray Lake on Sunday. The top 18 finishers in each age group, rolling down to 25th place after applying the age-up rule, qualify to represent Team USA at the 2018 ITU Cross Triathlon (Off-Road) World Championships. The top-20 off-road triathletes per age group in the USA Triathlon off-road triathlon annual rankings as of Dec. 31, 2017, will also qualify for the World Champions
On Sunday June 11th at 10am the coaches of Sessions6 Sports Performance lead by XTERRA Professional Cody Waite will be leading a pre-ride for 25 athletes. Event is FREE, you’ll just need to pay the one-day park entrance fee upon arriving. All registered athletes will meet at Soldier Canyon (Finish Line Area) after buying a one-day pass at the main ranger station.
Cody and his coaches will ride the entire bike and run course with the athletes, giving them tips and tricks on how the transition area will flow, the finish line and parking set-up, and any event question you may have! Don’t miss out on this limited opportunity to get a sneak peek at the XTERRA Lory Course!
Athletes can register during the race sign up process or by clicking on this direct link
Please note that XTERRA Lory is over 75% full and expects to be sold out by the end of March, so if you’re thinking of trying your first off-road triathlon don’t delay! For more information please visit Without Limits website
Meeting location: At Soldier Canyon (Event Finish Line) – Please note all athletes will be required to pay the normal Lory State Park Entrance Fee Limited availability: Pre-ride is limited to first 25 athletes who RSVP.
To RSVP: If you’re not registered you’ll be given a sign up option during reg process or you can use this direct link – CLICK HERE!
The XTERRA Aspen Valley on August 19th is Colorado’s most unique off-road triathlon! After years of searching for the perfect mountain venue a private property owner, with a passion for water skiing and mountain biking, has created a one-of-kind venue. The swim starts out on a single lap 1200m swim in the crystal clear waters of Kodiak Ski Lake.
Once out of the water athletes will transition to their mountain bikes for the most iconic part of this event. The ride is a two-lap course (12 miles), or a NEW 1-Lap (6 mile) option that takes riders on flowing single-track and over wood features never before seen in an XTERRA event. The pictures on the course maps page only offer a mild snapshot on the one-of-a-kind experience this course offers.
The 5k run course starts out by taking triathletes on one of the most unique features on the property; a 3/4 mile long winding wood bridge over a pond. This run will fly by as you run through wild flower corridor and over a canal before hitting the finish line! And the kicker – riders will only get to experience this course two times per year, once on Friday for preview and then on RACE DAY!
The XTERRA World Championship race debuted in 1996. Overall winners that year were Jimmy Piccitello and Michellie Jones. As you scroll forward through time, the names that layer the podium are familiar as masters of triathlon, both on road and off, including Mike Pigg, Conrad Stotlz, Michael Weiss, Sibylle Matter, Shari Kain and Flora Duffy. Results history here.
The XTERRA World Championship athlete field is much smaller than the IRONMAN World Championship field, with just under 800 slots for the Maui-bound athletes as opposed to 2300 in Kona. Certainly it has much to do with the nature – and differences – in the courses.
Because the field is so much smaller, number crunching is easier. So, let’s take a look.
300 of the 794 athletes registered to race are from the USA; that’s nearly 40%.
55 of those 300 are from Colorado, including pro’s. That’s two more than IRONMAN. Though the number is similar, the overall percentage is not: 18.3% of Maui’s athletes are Coloradoans, as opposed to 2.3% of Kona’s athletes.
71 pro athletes, 50 men, 21 women. 19 US pro’s, 6.5 from Colorado. This includes reigning World Champion Josiah Middaugh from Vail, part time Colorado resident Flora Duffy, also reigning World Champion and full fledged Boulder resident Maia Ignatz from Boulder, whose husband Ryan is one of the men’s pro athletes.
Ok, so while the pro’s are cool, at 303Triathlon we pride ourselves on highlighting the age group athletes. Most of these athletes got their start in road tris, and continue to race both on- and off-road.
Sixteen AG women from Colorado will be racing. All of these women are badasses! Some women to keep an eye on would be Libby Harrow of Fruita and Cindi Toepel from Littleton. Libby will be defending her 65-69 AG win from last year but she’s got some tough competition because Cindi won the 60-64 AG last year, and aged up. The only other two women in the 65-69 AG this year are from New Zealand.
32 AG men will be toeing the line in Sunday. Many of these men have raced at National and World Championship level road tri races. And for more than a few, this is a return trip to Maui.
Stay tuned for more XTERRA news this week, including some Colorado athlete profiles, and be sure to watch our twitter feed on race day Sunday!