xterra worlds return to maui for 19th straight year: october 25 – 26

XTERRA_swimIn 1996, mountain biking and triathlon met in a duel of the fittest on the island of Maui. The race consisted of a rough water swim, a mountain bike race, and a trail run. It represented a bold new racing format that attracted outdoor enthusiasts, adventure seekers, mountain bikers and triathletes. The mountain bikers brought their laid-back style and bold self-assurance. The relationship flourished into an internationally-recognized brand called XTERRA, and today there are tens of thousands of athletes not only taking part in the races, but truly living the lifestyle.

While there are XTERRA races in more than 25 countries worldwide, the ultimate race is the World Championship held annually in Maui. This year’s race is October 26, 2014.

A fitting representation of the “XTERRA Tribe” – 800 athletes from 30 countries and 40+ U.S. states – will gather at Kapalua Resort on Maui’s northwest coast to put their mental and physical toughness up against Mother Nature at the 19th running of the XTERRA World Championship.

The race course, considered one of XTERRA’s toughest and most grueling, will consist of a 1.5-kilometer roughwater swim, a grueling 30- kilometer mountain bike, and a 10-kilometer trail run.

For the fourth straight year the XTERRA Worlds course will traverse Maui Land & Pineapple Company’s private 22,000-acre oasis.

The race starts with a 1.5-kilometer rough water swim at D.T. Fleming Beach fronting the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Once on the bike riders will navigate from the Ritz to a ridgeline – down to a ravine – and back up again, “like a tropical roller-coaster ride through pineapple fields and forests.”

The bike is one big 18.8-mile loop with 3,100-feet of climbing that goes up-and-down the lower slopes of the West Maui Mountains more than a dozen times. This year several technical single and double track sections have replaced dirt jeep roads.

“The new stuff has tight, twisting, sharp corners, space just wide enough for your handlebars, places if you don’t get it right you’ll hit your shoulder on a tree,” said Nicholas. “Almost all of the dirt roads have been eliminated on the way to the top and this will appeal to the better bikers. At about the five-mile mark you will pop out on a narrow ridge trail with hundred foot drop offs on either side. Don’t panic – the top is at least 15’ wide and the views of the surrounding forest and hills are simply spectacular. If I didn’t fall off – neither will you. In fact, if you come early and preview the course, bring your camera with you. The scenery is something that not many people get a chance to see.”

Once on the run competitors will be faced with a whole lot of climbing while they weave along dirt trails, through Oleander forests, and into 60-foot high ironwood evergreens to an unexpected mountain lake at the 700-foot level.

“It descends like a slalom course through high green Bermuda grasses and opens up in spots to expose fantastic views of the Pacific,” said Nicholas. “Obstacles are everywhere, including a technical, steep downhill into a gully where racers will have to jump over and duck under fallen trees, navigate a rocky dry creek, head through thick elephant grass, into a Cook pine nursery, up a short rope-assisted scramble and along a narrow single track trail with switchbacks that drop all the way down to the beach. The final test of skill and endurance is a calf-busting 250-meter white sand beach run.”

WHAT IS XTERRA: The world’s premier off-road triathlon, combining a 1.5-kilometer (1-mile) swim that starts in front of the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua … a 30-kilometer (18.3-miles) mountain bike that climbs more than 4,000 feet up and down the lower slopes of the West Maui Mountains, and a 10-kilometer (6.1-miles) trail run that traverses forest trails, and beach sand. Top pros finish in roughly two-and-a-half hours.

WHO RACES IN MAUI: A capacity field of 800 racers including 75 professionals and more than 700 amateurs representing 25+ countries & 40+ U.S. states. More than 90% of the field is from out of town.

WHEN: The XTERRA World Championship starts at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 26. The XTERRA Kapalua 5km and 10km trail runs (which are open to everyone) are on Saturday, Oct. 25 at 9:00 a.m.

WHERE: At the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Maui’s northwest coast.

WHY: The XTERRA World Championship race is the last in a series of more than 100 off-road triathlon races held in 20 countries and 38 U.S. States. The concept is to provide a bona-fide world championship for amateur and pro off-road triathletes. For pros there is $100,000 in prize money at stake.



WHERE TO WATCH: For spectators the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is the place to be for both transitions, the finish line, video feeds from around the course, and live race reports. Plus, there’s great food, the Paul Mitchell cut-a-thon, XTERRA Souvenirs, Kona Brewing Liquid Aloha Lounge, and a front row seat to one of the greatest spectacles in all of sport – the spontaneous, ecstatic, and sometimes tear-jerking displays of emotion at the finish line.

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