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Xterra to return, moved to Dec. 5

Off-road triathlon makes change to allow more time for vaccine rollout, loosened restrictions

Elite division competitors break from the starting line at D.T. Fleming Beach in the Xterra World Championship on Oct. 27, 2019. The off-road triathlon, which was canceled last year due to the pandemic, is being moved to Dec. 5 this year. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The Maui News

The Xterra World Championship, like most other events, was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But soon triathletes, trail runners and outdoor adventurers will again have the chance to take on Xterra’s wide array of races.

The 25th edition of the world championship off-road triathlon is slated for Dec. 5, moving from its original tentative Oct. 31 date, at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. Race officials pushed the event back from its usual October date to allow more time for global vaccination rollout efforts and possible relaxation of travel restrictions.

“It’s our 25th year and we want to go big. We want the best possible athletes in the world on the start line, and our Xterra family and friends from across the globe to be there with us,” Janet Clark, Xterra World Tour president, said in a news release last week. “This move gives us the best chance to get all that done this year, and we are excited for the opportunity to make it happen.”

Additionally, the Xterra Trail Run World Championships 21-kilometer race, which was held at Kualoa Ranch on Oahu from 2008 to 2019, will now be held on Dec. 4 on Maui.

Flora Duffy celebrates with spectators as she nears the finish line for her fifth Xterra title at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua on Oct. 27, 2019. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The 3.3K, 5K, 10K, and Keiki K trail races will also join the weekend of events, according to the release.

No qualification is necessary to compete at Xterra Trail Run Worlds.

All events will be conducted using COVID-19 health and safety protocols that are in accordance with state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Clark said that organizers are “optimistic international travel conditions will improve dramatically in the coming months.”

An interisland vaccine passport program is anticipated to launch May 11, Gov. David Ige announced last week. The Safe Travels Hawaii pre-travel testing program will still be available for those who are not vaccinated.

The Xterra World Championship triathlon starts with a 1-mile rough water swim at D.T. Fleming Beach, followed by a two-lap 20-mile mountain bike that climbs 2,800 feet up and down the lower slopes of the West Maui Mountains, and finishes with a 6.5-mile trail run through forest.

The last few minutes of the triathlon takes competitors on a long stretch of sand before crossing the finish line.

The “challenging new course” in the Kapalua rainforest is being filmed for a TV special broadcast across the U.S. and internationally, according to the press release.

Elite athletes will be racing for the Xterra World Champion title and their share of $100,000 in prize money.

Brad Weiss from South Africa and Flora Duffy from Bermuda won the 2019 Xterra World titles. Joseph Gray and Grayson Murphy won the 2019 Xterra Trail Run World titles when the event was on Oahu.

There are 34 Xterra World Championship off-road triathlon qualifying races in 21 countries remaining in the 2021 season, including four events– Xterra Arizona, Xterra Taiwan, and two in New Zealand– that have already taken place.

For more information, visit xterraplanet.com or call toll-free to 1-877-751-8880.

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