XTERRA returning to Shelby County

Published 11:42 am Thursday, May 19, 2011


The XTERRA America Tour returns to Oak Mountain State Park this weekend for the sixth straight year.

The international event weekend features athletes from 23 states and several countries coming to swim, run, and ride mountain bikes in Pelham.

The main event on Sunday (8:30 a.m. start) combines a one-mile swim in Double Oak Lake with a grueling 20-mile mountain bike on the highly acclaimed Oak Mountain “red trail” and a twisty, turny, up-and-down 10k off-road run.

The challenge lures professional athletes from around the world and amateurs from across the nation to Pelham, and the accompanying two-day XTERRA Sports Festival provides local athletes and outdoor enthusiasts an opportunity to join in the fun.  More than 600 runners and 200 triathletes are registered for the Saturday and Sunday races.

The XTERRA Southeast Championship is the fourth of six regionals leading up to the XTERRA USA Championship in Utah on September 24.  For the top 15 pro men and women, a $10,500 prize purse and points towards the overall series title will be awarded.  Amateur athletes compete for the Southeast Champs age group titles, one of the 34 qualifying spots into the XTERRA World Championship in Maui, and for points in the XTERRA USA Championship Series.

Aside from the XTERRA Championship and half-distance XTERRA Sport off-road triathlons, on Saturday there’s a 5km walk, 5km and 10km mud runs, a 21km off-road half-marathon, and new this year the XTERRA Oak Mountain trail marathon – 26 miles of single track trail running.  The marathon starts Saturday morning at 7:30am, 21km race at 8am, 10km race at 8:10am and 5km race at 8:15am.