With more than 70 races throughout the United States the XTERRA America Series offers many of the the most unique, challenging, and fun triathlon events you can find anywhere. The dirtTRI.com crew has done many of them and we’ve put together our picks for the 5 crown jewels of the series. If you disagree we’d love to hear your comments on what you’d choose for your top 5 American XTERRAs.
5. XTERRA Camp Eagle – Rock Springs, Texas
With a unique two part swim, beautiful yet challenging bike, and awesome run complete with a suspension bridge the XTERRA Camp Eagle is an early season must do. The race is March 28th in 2015, so you still have time to get it onto your 2015 schedule. Find more information HERE.
4. XTERRA Curt Gowdy – Wyoming
Surprising to some, Wyoming has created one of the best mountain bike trail systems in the US. Located halfway between Laramie and Cheyenne, the Curt Gowdy State Park is one of only 50 trail systems in the US to be awarded IMBA’s EPIC Trail designation. Raced entirely on singletrack trails winding through old growth forests, massive rock formations, and a creek carved box canyon the XTERRA Curt Gowdy offers stunning scenery and a challenging course. Add to all that the fact that it is produced by the always popular Without Limits Productions crew and you have a race every off-road triathlete must do.
If you want to do it, don’t drag your feet, the race sells out by early June every year. Find more information and enter HERE.
3. XTERRA USA National Championships – Snow Basin, Utah
An explosion of color from the Rocky Mountain autumn foliage combined with a phenomenal trail system, hyper supportive community and National Championship excitement give the XTERRA USA National Championship a unique atmosphere that is hard to match anywhere else in the world.
Set in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest trail system just outside of Ogden, Utah the XTERRA USA National Championship boasts a crisp clear swim followed by a challenging net-gain mountain bike/run course to the top of Sardine Peak before plunging down winding singletrack to Snow Basin Ski Resort. So be sure to bring your climbing legs. However, once you’re up there the views from the Wasatch ridge line are among the most stunning you’ll ever see.
Thanks to energized community involvement and coupled with a county fair atmosphere the city of Ogden hosts an after party downtown where you can trade war stories with your fellow competitors.
However, you’ll have to earn this jewel by qualifying for the race with XTERRA America Series points. So, while it will take a bit more commitment than some races on this list, it is well worth the effort.
2. XTERRA East Championship – Richmond, VA
What does it take to trump the National Championship for best race in the USA? Well, firstly, this was a very tough call, we actually considered giving a shared #2, but figured that was kind of a cop out. So, we’ll go ahead and make the controversial call, feel free to give your opinion in the comments below.
In the end the XTERRA East Championship got the nod based on the fact anyone can race (you don’t need to qualify), and the inner-city James River trail system is absolutely amazing and allows for plenty of crazy race fans, which is just plain FUN!
XTERRA Richmond and the USA Championship are actually quite different courses, but somehow both are flawless in their own ways. While the USA Championships are a climbers dream XTERRA Richmond offers super fun, windy, rolling, tree lined singletrack through the heart of Richmond. Add to that a unique run that will have you splashing and rock hopping through the shallows of the James River valley before traversing a suspension bridge over the river.
If you want our opinion race XTERRA Richmond as part of your qualifying process to get to the USA Championship.
1. XTERRA World Championship – Kapalua, Maui
The XTERRA World Championship celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. However, in only 2011 the race moved east to Kapalua from the previous west Maui course. In that move the XTERRA masterminds found a truly unique course worthy of the World Championship title. While the original course was not bad being extremely rigorous, hot, and hard on equipment, the new course offers literally everything one can look for from a course in a more aesthetically pleasing location that doesn’t place such a heavy demand of mechanical reliability.
With a wide variety of climbs and descents, plenty of singletrack, deep forests, truly epic views and most of all a well rounded, challenging, and fun course. Simply put, while arguments can be made against a stationary World Championship, the XTERRA Maui course is indeed World Championship worthy.
However, like the XTERRA USA Nationals, you’re gonna have to earn your privilege to race in Maui. Find all the info HERE. If you can earn your spot at Maui take it! This event is without a doubt one of the greatest World Championship sporting events in the world.