_ 2017 Xterra Oak Mountain Triathlon & Trail Run:
The 12th edition of the XTERRA in Shelby County, Alabama will be held May 20 at Oak Mountain State Park.
The race will serve as a qualifier for the 2017 XTERRA World Championship, a gold level XTERRA Pan American Tour stop and a 100-point level XTERRA America Tour championship race.
The event will feature $15,000 USD in prize money for elite athletes, who will compete over a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run. For amateurs, there will be 51 spots into the XTERRA World Championship to be held October 29 in Maui up-for-grabs.
XTERRA will offer a shorter distance Sprint race – 750m for the swim, 15km mountain bike and a 5km trail run.
Relay teams may race the Sprint or Full distance.
For beginners, we’re introducing the Xticer – a doable and fun 200m swim, 10k mountain bike and a 2km trail run.
And runners will revel in our 5, 10, and 21-kilometer trail runs.
Paul Mitchell stylists will be on-site giving professional hair cuts in exchange for a $15 (or more) donation to the Challenged Athletes Foundation. 100% of the proceeds benefit CAF.
The course at Oak Mountain State Park in Shelby County, located in the southernmost part of the Appalachian Chain, is praised by competitors as being one of the most fun, fast, scenic and difficult on the XTERRA schedule.
“This place is amazing, and I know I speak for all of us when I say we love it here. It’s a true XTERRA course with a nice swim in a beautiful lake, a technical, fun mountain bike and a tough run,” said Stoltz, “It’s heaven on earth.”
The largest park in the Yellowhammer State, Oak Mountain has 52 miles of trails spread among 9,900 lushly forested acres and includes rolling hills, stream crossings and the technical, pine-studded ridges of Double Oak Mountain.
The race starts in Double Oak Lake, a long narrow warm water lake. 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 long, single-loop 20-mile mountain bike course starts at about 500 feet elevation, twists, turns, and rolls through the forest for seven miles then begins a gradual 700-foot climb to the summit at Johnson Mountain – named after former XTERRA competitor and tireless local trail volunteer Bill Johnson.
The descent is a fast, wild ride highlighted by the notorious “blood rock” section – a series of tricky to maneuver, uneven and jagged rocks followed by more fun sections on the west side of the lake filled with rolling rights and lefts. (Sprint race follows an easier 13K route that rolls up the road before dropping down into some gradual downhill singletrack sure to have you smiling).
“I think this is the best race venue ever,” once said XTERRA Pro Jamie Whitmore. “It mixes East Coast mountain biking with tight turns, roots and rocks with a fast descent and rock garden area that’s totally West Coast. It’s just a blast!”
The 10K championship run course (5k for Sprint) goes around Double Oak Lake on hard-packed, tight, and twisty trails with scenic views at every turn and passes through the main arena at the midway point so spectators can follow the action and cheer for their favorites.
Runner’s World Magazine called the trails one of America’s “Crown Jewels – 25 best trails in the nation,” and the International Mountain Bicycling Association granted them the prestigious EPIC Rides Hall of Fame designation – given only to those rare trails “guaranteed to blow your mind.”
Credit belongs to the Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (BUMP) and Shelby County for the continued development of world class trails. BUMP has spent more than 100,000 hours in design and construction of new trails over the past 20 years in conjunction with the efforts of County Manager Alex Dudchock and Oak Mountain Superintendents.
2016 Results: XTERRA S.E. CHAMPS / Xterra Sport
2007 Results at athlinks.com: Olympic
Central NYC Stadium