OMSP gearing up for 11th XTERRA

XTERRA, which will be held May 21, features swimming, mountain biking and trail running events held at Oak Mountain State Park. (Contributed)

XTERRA, which will be held May 21, features swimming, mountain biking and trail running events held at Oak Mountain State Park. (Contributed)

FROM STAFF REPORTS

PELHAM— Shelby County’s XTERRA event is returning to Oak Mountain State Park for its 11th year on May 21, serving as a qualifier for the 2016 XTERRA World Championship, according to Xterraplanet.com.

In addition, Oak Mountain’s XTERRA is also a gold level Pan American Tour stop and a 100-point level XTERRA America Tour championship race.

The website states XTERRA will feature $15,000 in prize money for elite athletes, who will swim more than 1.5 kilometers (about a mile), bike 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) and complete a 10-kilometer trail run (about 6 miles).

For amateurs, there will be 51 spots up-for-grabs for the XTERRA World Championship, which will be held Oct. 23 in Maui.

XTERRA will also offer a shorter distance sprint race consisting of a 750-meter swim, 15-kilometer mountain bike and a 5-kilometer trail run. Participants may also enter relay teams and compete in 5-, 10- and 21-kilometer trail runs.

The race starts in Double Oak Lake, and sprint racers swim a 750-meter loop while championship competitors double that with two 750-meter laps separated by a short beach shuffle in-between.

From there, the single-loop 20-mile mountain bike course starts at about 500 feet elevation and rolls through the forest for seven miles to a 700-foot climb to the summit at Johnson Mountain.

The 10K championship run course, 5k for sprinters, goes around Double Oak Lake on hard-packed trails with scenic views.

Paul Mitchell stylists will be on-site giving professional haircuts in exchange for a $15 or more donation to the Challenged Athletes Foundation. All proceeds benefit CAF.

Registration starts at 2 p.m. on May 20. For a full schedule of events, to register or for more information, visit Xterrapelham.com.