Thursday, May 29, 2008

Catch the extreme action of Eureka's offroad triathlon

On Saturday, June 7, athletes from a twelve-state region will converge on Eureka Springs for a day of off-road competition that only XTERRA can dish out!

With the most significant topography between the Appalachians and the Rockies, the Ozark Mountains set the backdrop for one of the most challenging racecourses in the region.

The third annual XTERRA Eureka Springs Off-Road Triathlon and Trail Run will take place in the 1600-acre Lake Leatherwood City Park, located just west of Eureka Springs. The race will consist of a half-mile swim, a 13-mile mountain bike ride, and a five-mile trail run. A separate trail-running race of 4.1 miles will take place in the morning before the off-road triathlon. For all the details, check out the website at www.eurekaspringsoffroadtriathlon.com.

Event organizers are expecting as many as 200 athletes at this year's race. Race director Nick Cross said, "We are quickly developing a reputation as a top-notch stop on the XTERRA America Tour."

The off-road triathlon will utilize a wave start, with racers charging into the cool, clear waters of Lake Leatherwood from the sandy swim beach. Upon exiting the water, racers will scramble 200 yards to the transition area and the start of the mountain bike section. The mountain bike course consists of a mixture of single and double track trails which are semi-technical and include challenging rocky terrain, steep climbs, and several fun and fast descents. The run course follows the contours of the mountains on the west side of the park. The trails are mostly smooth, with some rocky and technical sections. There are two challenging climbs on this route. For a detailed route description and topographic maps with elevation profiles see the "Course Information" page of the website.

This race is the first in the Arkansas Triple Crown series, and male and female racers who compete in all three Arkansas XTERRA races can vie to be crowned Arkansas XTERRA champion!

Participants, spectators and volunteers can expect an exciting and fun-filled race day. The racecourse passes through the grassy meadow, which serves as the hub of the race operations, three times during the day, so spectators can expect to witness plenty of XTERRA race action. Live music by local favorites Mountain Sprout will keep the atmosphere festive and authentic to the Ozarks.

After the race, participants and volunteers will enjoy free food and more music. Awards will be given for the top three finishers in each age group, with prizes awarded to the top three overall finishers. As with any XTERRA event, there will be plenty of gear giveaways and door prizes. A post-race party will be held at the Pied Piper Pub downtown, with exclusive beer and food specials for XTERRA Eureka Springs participants.

Participants and spectators are encouraged to spend the entire weekend in Eureka Springs. With many great shops, spas and restaurants, Eureka provides the perfect opportunity to recover from a day of extreme off-road competition. Come for the race and stay for the charm and beauty of Eureka Springs!

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