Xterra triathlon moving US Championship event out of Utah, into Avon this summer | PostIndependent.com

Xterra triathlon moving US Championship event out of Utah, into Avon this summer

World championship event for off-road triathlon series also moving out of United States as company makes big changes for 2022

John LaConte
Vail Daily

VAIL — The Xterra off-road triathlon circuit is moving its United States championship event out of Utah and into Beaver Creek and Avon as part of a larger effort to shift around the off-road triathlon circuit’s long-used championship venues.

The event will take place July 16-18.

It’s a big shakeup in the U.S. as the Xterra’s World Championship event, the Hawaii off-road triathlon on which the series’ foundations were built, is also moving in 2022 after 25 years in Maui.

The idea of taking a professional triathlon competition and moving it to soft surface mountain trails and rough water was born in Maui with the Xterra World Championship event, but will move to Italy in October.

That makes the Avon/Beaver Creek event the biggest Xterra off-road triathlon event in the U.S. in 2022, something which has officials in Avon excited.

“We are thrilled to have Xterra expand their footprint here in Avon and have more of a community focus here in Avon,” said Danita Dempsey, the town’s cultural arts and special events manager.

Steve Andrus, Xterra’s new U.S. tour manager, said the move is part of a global initiative for Xterra to rotate its championship venues every couple years, or even yearly, to provide new experiences and challenges for the Xterra family.

By moving the Xterra USA Championship to Colorado, Andrus said the tour has sought out a place that has “long been a mecca for Xterra athletes and outdoor recreation.”

While Xterra has hosted an event known as the Mountain Championship in the Avon/Beaver Creek venue, the 2022 race will be the first time Xterra has hosted its national championship in Colorado, following 12 years at Snowbasin Resort in Utah and eight years in Incline Village, Nevada.

“A change that’s going to be new for this year is a festival component happening in Avon,” Andrus said. “We want to put a lot of community emphasis on this event, not just how can we have a good race, but how can we involve community areas to go for these events? Creating a new festival-type atmosphere with other things, not just the race.”

In addition to the main event, Xterra is eyeing sprint and relay races, kids races, yard games, vendor booths, food trucks, beer gardens and live music in Nottingham Park.

Longtime Xterra public relations person Trey Garmin said while the Colorado event has always been successful, the fact that it’s now the U.S. championships will likely mean more athlete participation from around the country.

“Generally speaking, in Utah, we’ll get almost all 50 states represented, and with the increased prize money, we can expect some more foreign elites to be traveling in,” Garmin said.

The prize purse includes $25,000 awarded equally to the top 10 elite men and women, plus Xterra USA Championship crowns to age group division winners along with 51 qualifying spots into the 2022 Xterra World Championship to be held in Trentino, Italy, on Oct 1.

“We are reinventing ourselves in a lot of ways. One is by rotating championship venues, and even more important is our renewed focus on delivering exceptional event experiences for both the participants and the local community,” Andrus said. “To that end, we’ve reached out to our partners in Avon and Beaver Creek to source local musicians, restaurants, sustainability partners and charitable organizations in order to truly make this a neighborhood celebration.”

Dempsey said the Xterra USA Championship is currently working toward becoming a zero-waste event in which materials used are reusable, recyclable or compostable.

“Our sustainability issues and overall our climate action collaborative is a high priority for our town, so we’ve connected them with our appropriate partners here locally with the goal of eventually being a zero-waste event.”

Xterra said the company also had sustainability in mind when it made the decision to move the world championships.

“While several factors were considered, athlete accessibility and carbon footprint played a central role in the decision,“ Xterra said in a statement. ”But no destination stood out more to carry the torch of this pinnacle event than the spectacular foothills of Trentino, Italy. A must-visit destination for any outdoor adventurer and a bucket list location for every off-road athlete.“


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