There is no shortage of trails to devour and certainly no time to rest. From New Jersey to New Caledonia, here’s everything that’s happening in the XTERRA World Tour, the World Cup, and the Trail Run World Series in the month of May.
Just over a month after the triathletes had their fun at XTERRA Malta, the trail running community will get their turn for a slice of mediterranean trail action, but this time on the island of Gozo, North West of Malta itself.
The headline race will be the Ultra, a full 53K for the true endurance enthusiasts that continuously serves up uninterrupted views of the island and the surrounding turquoise waters, with XTERRA Trail Run World Championship full-marathon slots on offer to those who lead their age category. The same goes for the 21K, where the views may be slightly fewer but an equal amount of championship slots will be up for grabs. And even for those without championship aspirations, who still want to get out and experience the challenge and adventure of an XTERRA trail run event, there is also a very friendly 11K that welcomes all first-timers and casual runners.
It’s the kind of run that will make you wish you signed up for a longer distance.
Venture just 50 miles outside of NYC, the biggest city in the U.S., and you’ll find Wawayanda State Park - a serene and tranquil forest featuring miles and miles of flowing single track around a scenic lake. It’s the ultimate getaway from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle and home to XTERRA New Jersey, the premier off-road sports festival in the northeast since 2017.
With 10 unique event offerings, from full and half-distance trail marathons to sprint and full-distance off-road triathlons, there’s a race for every taste and a chance to qualify for the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Maine and the XTERRA Triathlon World Champs in Italy.
New this year is the gravel tri option, the kickoff event in USA Triathlon’s National Gravel Series, alongside a swim-bike race, MTB duathlon, and a 10K.
Wawayanda is a historic site for Iron Mining, and racers will ride or run past the furnace that was built in 1846 and used until 1857. It’s a perfect spot to camp and race too, as you can pitch a tent for just $20.
Before or after the race, participants are encouraged to immerse themselves in local cultural history at the nearby Black Creek Site, where Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Indians of New Jersey have preserved artifacts dating back 10,000 years.
Only a week after the XTERRA Gozo Trail Run, yet another tantalising race-cation beckons for the trail running community with the XTERRA New Caledonia Trail Run offering a range of adventures through the tropical playground.
The longest of all is the 21K, which will wind through all the incredible colours that make it worthy of a postcard - the white sand beaches, the green palm trees, and the irresistible turquoise ocean and lagoon waters. It’s the perfect way to explore the destination and the best way to start a short vacation. Those fast enough will also walk away with the right to race at the World Championship in Maine later this year.
An inclusive event that fully understands community spirit, there is also a 12K and a 4K run/walk, as well as a 1K race for kids to get the youngsters in on the action.
After eight long years, XTERRA triathlon is back in the UK. Partnering with premier events company Always Aim High and the Weston Park Estate, the long-awaited return will see a full field of 500+ athletes make their way around a purpose-built course designed by XTERRA EMEA General Manager Doug Hall. The occasion will be immense, and athletes of all abilities can expect an unforgettable day out on the grounds of Weston Park.
“We’ve been working for some time now to bring XTERRA off-road triathlon back to the UK, and I couldn’t be more excited to welcome everyone to Weston Park,” said Hall. “We have a fantastic domestic elite field assembled, complete with a couple of surprises I can’t wait to announce.”
The full-distance off-road triathletes of the UK will no doubt be out in force after almost a decade without a local XTERRA race, but they’ll also be joined by those just getting started in the Sprint Triathlon and the Duathlon.
Imagine picking your way through bush-clad trails with hundreds of other bobbing head torches, all under a starlit New Zealand sky. There are no personal bests here, no championship slots, and no KOMs, just an unforgettable experience and a new way to explore Wellington’s great trails.
The event forms part of the community-driven XTERRA Wellington Trail Run & Walk Series, and this one is no different with two very achievable distances on offer to ensure nobody stays behind. The only requirements are a new set of batteries for your headlight, respect for the trails, and a great attitude!
XTERRA Chile is unveiling a new venue this year in Cachagua, a glamorous coastal community and resort town on the Pacific Ocean about two hours away from the capital in Santiago.
“It’s a beautiful location,” said XTERRA Americas technical director, Kirk Ermels. “We go to some incredible places with XTERRA so it takes a lot to amaze me, and Cachagua did.”
There are four races on tap with a 16K trail run that is part of the XTERRA Trail Run World Series and offers qualifying spots into Worlds, a 2K ocean swim race, plus a sprint and full-distance off-road tri that awards the winners of each age group with a spot on the start line in Trentino, Italy.
The swim starts in a cove area, protected from the big surf that often rolls into town, and the bike takes full advantage of the natural terrain which goes surprisingly up, up, and further up!
“The bike isn’t terribly technical, a lot of wide, sandy, singletrack, but it’s going to really challenge your fitness,” laughed Ermels. “The views from along the ridges are well worth it, however, and then on the run - I can’t get enough of the penguins on the island. It’s such a cool experience.”
You heard him right, penguins rule an island nature sanctuary site that participants will stride by on the run course. Add in some cool ocean breezes to go with the spicy, South American style food and entertainment on offer, and it’s a weekend not to be missed, a race-cation getaway for the truly lucky.
Perhaps the hardest part will be getting out of your beach chair to go race.
Stop 2 of the XTERRA World Cup is heading to Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, Alabama in grand fashion with the most action-packed endurance sports weekend of the year.
It’s four days of action with sprint, supersprint, short track and full-distance off-road triathlons, 5K and 10K fun runs, half-and-full distance trail marathons, the Ales & Trails Bike Festival, and live music in a family-friendly atmosphere built for athletes, spectators, and community members alike.
With $20 camping onsite there’s really no reason to leave the park, but if you do, you’ll find Shelby County’s unique array of wineries, craft breweries, restaurants, and stores create one of a kind opportunities to savor and enjoy after an unforgettable day in the outdoors.
“We take great pride in our parks and county, and look forward to showing athletes from all over the world what true Southern hospitality is all about,” said Kendall Williams, Shelby County Manager for tourism and events.
Discover XTERRA Short Track racing with free, open events on Thursday and then watch the World Cup elite showdown in-person or on the live stream with Hall of Famers Bob Babbitt and Jamie Whitmore.
The reigning XTERRA World Champions, Arthur Serrieres and Solenne Billouin, will be there. You should be too!
One of the most inclusive events on the APAC Tour, XTERRA Nenouekogen includes no less than 10 races spread over two days to combine challenge, adventure and community in a fully off-road festival designed to showcase the natural beauty of Japan.
Those wishing to explore the most of the signature Japanese landscape will be able to take part in one of the few long-distance courses on the circuit - a 2K swim, 60K mountain bike ride, and a 20K run. By no means an easy feat, but worth every inch in experience. The full-distance triathlon will take participants on an unforgettable adventure through central Japan and offer local and international triathletes the chance to qualify for the XTERRA World Championship in Italy this September.
Alongside these pinnacle races, there is also the Sprint Triathlon, Light triathlon, Duathlon, Light Duathlon, Aquathlon, Light Aquathlon, Open Water Swim, and Kids Race for a true festival of off-road racing.
The sleepy town of Golega awakes again for another edition of XTERRA Portugal. This race has perfected the blend of culture and toughness, as the traditional Portuguese town takes athletes on a journey through the local rivers, cork tree forests, open meadows, and woodland paths in what is known as Portugal's ‘capital of horses’.
The full-distance triathlon gets the weekend started on Saturday morning, offering the chance to qualify for XTERRA Worlds, with the sprint and kids triathlon rounding out the weekend on Sunday.
Complete the adventure with some of the best local food and drink on the circuit, known for its wealth of seafood, spices and olive oil, and experience the true flavour of one of the most unique races on the EMEA Tour.
For lovers of fun, adventure, and white sand beaches, the Tahiti SwimRun is easily one of the most memorable ways to experience the tropical island of Moorea.
Contested in teams of two that are connected together throughout the course, the race starts with a giant leap off the back of a ferry into the warm, turquoise water to get the action started. From there, teams navigate alternating run and swim sections around the island, traversing sandy bays and forest trails that offer unforgettable views of the pride and joy of French Polynesia.
There are two distances on offer. The ‘XL’ consists of 8 sections, meaning 8 swims and 8 runs, with a total of 6.5K in the water and 28.5K on the feet. Racing partners may only be connected for 35K, but it’s the kind of experience that will have you bonded for life. But for those looking for slightly less mileage, the ‘S’ consists of just 5 sections, with a total of 2.4K of swimming and 10.1K of running.
The best trail runners on the best trails, it’s a match made in heaven for the first-ever XTERRA Americas continental championship.
The expansive and picturesque Oak Mountain State Park is one of the few venues in America that can accommodate an epic, single loop, mostly single track full-marathon trail race, and it is spectacular.
Steve Sievert, who won the 2021 XTERRA Oak Mountain Marathon in 4:17:30, described the trails as “Rugged and amazing.”
The half and full-marathon trails award more than $5,000 in prize money, titles to runners in age group categories ranging from 15-19 to 80+, and XTERRA Trail Run World Championship qualifying spots to the top finishers in each division.
For visiting runners, it’s a chance to discover the trails Runner’s World Magazine called one of “America’s Crown Jewels - 25 best trails in the nation.”
Plus, as part of the XTERRA Oak Mountain extravaganza, runners can also revel at Brendan Young’s free outdoor concert in the park on Saturday night, and stick around to watch the Short Track off-road tri spectacle on Sunday.
The first of the Auckland Trail Run & Walk Series heads to Waitawa Regional Park, where outstanding views across the Firth of Thames await on every peak of the four distances on offer.
The short (7.4K), mid (11.5K), long (17.3K) and super long (21.5K) courses all begin on undulating single track through open farmland, followed by a stunning trail that descends through the bush with sea views along the way. Most of the single track has been designed with MTB riders in mind, so brace yourself for bermed corners and fast rolling sections that will allow the speedsters to open the tanks. From there, each course brings with it more rewards for runners going the extra distance, such as 360 degree views of Pakihi, Ponui and Waiheke Island.
But 360 views and open singletrack won’t be the only rewards on offer. Runners taking on the super long course will also stand the chance of earning a place on the start line of the half-marathon at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Maine.
The XTERRA Tahiti Trail Run is quickly finding itself on the bucket list of trail run enthusiasts around the world for the challenge it brings, the unparalleled views along the way, and the vacation that follows.
The mythical Vini Tupuna Trail, a favourite for top French runner Mathieu Blanchard, is not for the faint of heart. Coming in at 50K in hot and humid conditions and coupled with over 2,200m of vertical gain, time becomes irrelevant and the only goal is to finish. But the adventure through tropical jungles with consistent views of sharp green peaks and turquoise blue ocean water, and the feeling of crossing that hard-earned finish line will not soon be forgotten, and in all likelihood have you coming back for more next year.
But for those not quite ready to tackle ‘the beast’, the event includes a 21K that will also offer slots to the XTERRA World Championship, a 10K for newcomers and short-distance specialists, and a 3K for beginners.
The first of four XTERRA off-road triathlon events in Italy this year, XTERRA Lake Garda will be the first to offer a taste of what to expect at the 2023 XTERRA World Championship with its crystal clear lake swim, steep unrelenting climbing, and a scramble of a run course taking in the best trails in Toscalano Maderno.
With the race venue located in the heart of the town, you won’t have to walk far for some post-race Gelato which is just as well, given how tough this course is!
Saturday will feature the pinnacle race of the weekend, with the sprint triathlon following an hour later, while Sunday will see two open water swim races (3K and 1K) to close out the first Italian offering this year.
For one day only the Makara Mountain Bike Park will be open exclusively to runners, and the Wellington Trail Run & Walk Series invites runners of all abilities to come discover why the location is the jewel in Wellington’s inner city crown. The tracks are well-formed and not on the technical side, making it ideal for beginner and intermediate trail runners.
The long course (19K) will offer the fastest local runners in each age group the chance to race in Maine, USA at the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship, while the medium course (14K) and short course (7K) will offer the signature good times and community spirit that the series has become known for.
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