No other sport in the world can take you to the places XTERRA can.

Whether you are scrambling over the rocks at XTERRA Malta, racing into the shadows of the Mayon Volcano at XTERRA Albay, or looking up at the chalk cliffs at XTERRA Denmark, you will all at once lose your breath and find your place.  

And that place will be beautiful.

Rainforests and oceans. Fjords and mountains. Canyons and forests. Welcome to XTERRA, 2018.

The adventures begin at XTERRA East Gippsland in Australia on February 10th, head to XTERRA South Africa for the 15th annual event in Grabouw on February 24th, then race into the Mayon Volcano for XTERRA Albay in the Philippines on March 4th.  From there, it’s one epic destination after another with off-road triathlon races almost every weekend of the year leading up to the 23rd annual XTERRA World Championship in Maui on October 28th.

There are more than 100 races on the schedule including 50 in the XTERRA America Tour alone, from Oxford, Massachusetts to Laguna Beach, California. In 2018, you can choose from 18 major races in Europe, 12 championship events on the XTERRA Pan America Tour, four exotic challenges in the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Tour, six fierce battles in Canada, and dozens of other adventures around the globe. In Brazil, XTERRA has grown into a massive series of weekend off-road festivals that visits cities such as Fernando de Noronha, Ponta Grossa, and Paraty, among others.

There are new races in Garda, Italy, Transylvania (XTERRA Romania), Madrid (XTERRA Spain), Stockholm (XTERRA Sweden), Punta del Este (XTERRA Uruguay), and Quebec City (XTERRA Quebec). 

If you want to stick to your roots, rest assured that all of the classics are back too, from XTERRA Oak Mountain in Alabama to XTERRA France in the Vosges Mountains.

This year, the XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship race will be held in Danao, Philippines on April 22; the XTERRA European Championship is back in Zittau, Germany on August 18; and the Pan American Championship will once again be staged at Snowbasin Resort outside Ogden, Utah on September 15.

Of note, the inaugural XTERRA China off-road triathlon originally scheduled for April 28-29, 2018 has been postponed until further notice but will be rescheduled at a future date. To receive the latest status updates on XTERRA China enter your email address at www.xterrachina.com.

Here’s a look at the tentative 2018 schedule, and be sure to check back in the new year for updates and additions.

Date Event Location
12/17–9/1 XTERRA Australia Series NSW, VIC, Townsville QLD
24-Feb XTERRA South Africa Grabouw, Western Cape
10-Mar XTERRA Motatapu South Island, New Zealand
4-Mar XTERRA Albay Legaspi, Philippines AP1
18-Mar XTERRA Chile San Bernardo, Santiago PA1
24-Mar XTERRA Argentina Dique Ullum, San Juan PA2
25-Mar XTERRA Costa Rica Playa Reserva Conchal PA3
7-Apr XTERRA New Zealand Rotorua AP2
8-Apr XTERRA Reunion Reunion Island
15-Apr XTERRA Malta Majjistral Nature Reserve E1
22-Apr XTERRA Cyprus Akamas E2
22-Apr XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship Danao, Cebu, Philippines AP3
29-Apr XTERRA Greece Vouliagmeni E3
5-May XTERRA Uruguay Punta del Este PA4
11-May XTERRA Tahiti Moorea AP4
13-May XTERRA Brazil Ilhabella, Sao Paolo PA5
19-May XTERRA Oak Mountain Pelham, Alabama, USA PA6
27-May XTERRA Garda Lake Garda, Italy E4
2-Jun XTERRA Portugal Golega E5
3-Jun XTERRA Dominican Republic Samana PA7
9-Jun XTERRA Belgium Namur E6
16-Jun XTERRA Mine over Matter Milton, Ontario, Canada
17-Jun XTERRA Sweden Stockholm E7
23-Jun XTERRA Switzerland Vallee de Joux E8
1-Jul XTERRA France Xonrupt E9
8-Jul
15-Jul
XTERRA Victoria
XTERRA Czech
Victoria, B.C., Canada
Prachatice
PA8
E11
21-Jul XTERRA Beaver Creek Beaver Creek, Colorado, USA PA9
22-Jul XTERRA Abruzzo Abruzzo E20
4-Aug XTERRA Mexico Tapalpa PA10
5-Aug XTERRA Romania Tirgu Mures, Transylvania E12
12-Aug XTERRA Poland Krakow E13
18-Aug XTERRA European Championship Zittau, Germany E14
18-Aug XTERRA Quebec Quebec City, Quebec, Canada PA11
25-Aug XTERRA Sleeping Giant Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
26-Aug XTERRA Finland Imatra E15
1-Sep XTERRA Norway Norefjell E16
2-Sep XTERRA Canmore Canmore, Alberta, Canada
9-Sep XTERRA Denmark Mons Klint E17
15-Sep XTERRA Pan Am Championship Ogden, Utah, USA PA12
15-Sep XTERRA Korea Wonju City
16-Sep XTERRA Spain Madrid E18
28-Oct XTERRA World Championship Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, USA

AP = Asia Pacific Tour / E = European Tour / PA = Pan Am Tour

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Going long with XTERRA Graveman

Like many great ideas, this one started with a question: Why isn’t there a long-distance XTERRA in France?

Welcome to XTERRA Graveman, which will feature a 1.9K swim, 60K mountain bike ride (with 2,400-meters of climbing), and a 20K run through the French Alps. It will be held July 28 in Arêches-Beaufort, France.

“XTERRA Graveman registration opened up on December 8th, and already, the race is almost sold out, with 150 people signing up on the first day,” said XTERRA European Tour director Nicolas Lebrun.

The event is being produced by Bart Gruyere, CEO of Altifort Events, who says he draws his inspiration from the proven structure and staff of the highly-acclaimed XTERRA France off-road triathlon.

XTERRA Graveman will be held a month after XTERRA France (July 1st), giving XTERRA diehards the opportunity to for an XTERRA France + XTERRA Graveman “Double.”  To add intrigue, organizers of XTERRA France and Graveman are awarding an XTERRA World Championship slot to the amateur man/woman with the fastest combined times in the two events.

“We are excited to introduce a longer endurance event to our European contingent,” said Dave Nicholas, the managing director of the XTERRA World Tour. “We’ve experimented with ‘epic’ distance XTERRA races in the past with varying success, so I’m eager to see how this event is received. Based on 150 sign-ups on day one, I’d say the market is ready for it.”

XTERRA Graveman will also feature a kids race on Saturday and a sprint distance race, the XTERRA Graveman Découverte, on Sunday July 29th. The Découverte features a 500M swim, 20K bike, and 7K run.

XTERRA Graveman will be held in alpine meadows near the village of Arêches-Beaufort, which in winter is a famous ski mountaineering hub and hosts the famous race, La Pierra Menta. In the summer, this “Beaufortain” course becomes an incredible venue for XTERRA. 

The swim is in St Guérin Lake, where supporters can cheer for athletes from the Himalayan bridge. From there the Beaufortain is a wide and wild playing field for mountain biking and trail running. From pass to pass, across glacial valleys and alpine pastures and up to the ridges, these mountains offer terrific scenery.

For more information and to register, visit www.graveman.com.

Catching up with Croucher

XTERRA amateur standout Steve Croucher loves two things that most of us try to avoid. The first is swimming. The second is failure.

“I can’t tell you the number of times I still trip over a root or ski over a snow snake,” says Croucher. “I did five XTERRAs this year, and in one of them, I dropped my chain. I had never dropped a chain in my life and I thought I broke it. So I ran my bike the three miles in. Afterwards, I took it to the bike shop and they were like, ‘Croucher, you just dropped your chain buddy. You know how to put that back together.’ And I totally do, but I was nervous, it was the middle of the race, and it hadn’t happened before.”

This year at the XTERRA World Championship in Maui, the nozzle on his liquid reservoir broke and he lost two liters of water and 400 calories in about 30 seconds. As a result, the 2016 XTERRA Pan Am Champ finished significantly farther down in his age group than he should have given his training and fitness.

“OK, so really, I love failure about a week later,” admits Croucher. “But truly I cherish it. It’s like, OK, that’s out of my system, that’s not happening again.”

This attitude towards mistakes and learning is part of what makes Croucher such a good athlete and a good coach. An excellent swimmer in high school and then at Ithaca College, Croucher used to coach the masters swim program at the Westin Beaver Creek, where some of his swimmers included Josiah Middaugh, Jen Razee, and Peter Dann.

“What made it really fun was taking the first 15 minutes and going person by person and giving every athlete just one thing to focus on for the next two weeks,” says Croucher. “That’s it, just one thing. Josiah had his thing and Jen did too.”

Often, Croucher would hold his breath and watch the swimmers in the water under the lane lines to analyze their rotation, body position, and technique.

“You can get to know a swimmer if you are right next to them. A good coach can give you the building blocks you need to get better, and you give an athlete just one building block at a time. You fine tune one and then you move onto something new. You can’t be scared of breaking swimming down into its elemental levels.”

This time of year, Croucher believes, is an excellent time to jump into the pool and focus on technique.

“If there’s a time to throw out the clock it’s in December and January,” says Croucher. “Just throw it out. Intervals come at the end of the season.”

His next piece of advice may not be so comforting – but maybe not surprising coming from Croucher.

“The mantra I live by is that you gotta be comfortable being uncomfortable,” he says. “The way I apply that now, is that I hit the reset button on my season. You have to be willing to take two weeks off from swimming and be OK with it feeling weird when you jump back in. You gotta go through that process and feel what it feels like and be willing to start fresh.”

Croucher believes too many off-road athletes focus heavily on volume and sacrifice technique.

“This isn’t the time to got to the pool to get your 3000 meters in,” says Croucher. “No, get back in and have fun. Play water polo. Get a feel for the water again. Then do your drills. Work on body positioning, rotation, that natural catch in the water. If you can fine-tune those skills while you are fresh and your base is gone, you can build a better base. Why the hell would you want to build your house on sand, right?”

Next year, look for Croucher to be first out of the water in both the XTERRA and ITU Cross races he enters. At 28, he is only getting stronger and faster, and his “failures” are leading to success.

“Maybe it’s not failure if you’re learning,” says Croucher. “And that’s the great part about triathlon – you are always learning.”

Meet our newest World Champ, Dani Moreno

Dani Moreno has been running for as long as she can remember.

“Starting in eighth grade, we did a half mile each week in PE at school. At first, I wanted to beat all the girls in my grade. Then, when I could beat all the girls, I wanted to beat all the boys in my grade. Then, I just wanted to beat everyone in the school.”

Moreno’s talent was soon visible to anyone who watched her run. During her freshman and sophomore years in high school, she was already being recruited by some of the top running schools in the country.

Then, Moreno went through a growth spurt and the letters stopped coming. Because she gained some weight, she was even bullied by other coaches.

“Other coaches said that I was all washed up and that I was never going to be fast again,” remembers Moreno. “But my high school coach and my parents never lost faith. They told me that I was just getting stronger and my body would adapt. I just kept focusing on hard work until I was able to excel again.”

Moreno is now passionate about promoting healthy weight and body image among female athletes. In her senior year of high school, she found the cadence between speed and health and the letters from college coaches came flooding back in. She finally accepted a letter from the University of California, Santa Barbara and ran for the infamous Pete Dolan, who is now in his 30th year coaching for the Gauchos.

“The culture of the UCSB team and Coach Dolan was perfect for me. I wanted to be by the beach and run on the dirt, so Santa Barbara was a natural fit.”

In college, Moreno continued her winning ways, running 16:33 and 34:17 for the 5K and 10K, respectively.

After college, however, running became more difficult.

“I had always run for family and friends,” said Moreno. “In college, I did the 10K, which no one wants to do. I started this thing in my sophomore year, where I would write people’s names on my hand. Like, this lap is for my mom. This lap is for my friend, Amanda. Even in bad races, I thought about those people who helped me, no matter what.”

Running for other people motivated Moreno, but after college, she suffered from a period of burnout. (After all, the 10K is 25 laps around the track.) To recoup, Moreno tried rock climbing, backpacking, and was a kayak guide.

Immersing herself in nature, Moreno found herself inadvertently on trails – on which she decided to run.

“About five months after college, I was running again, and I realized that I didn’t just run for other people,” said Moreno. “I also run for me. Running on the trails was a whole new world of dirt. I started wondering if there were races like this. Intuitively, I went right back to that raw feeling that first overtook me as a middle schooler. Trail running is just a revised version of that.”

Inspired by a whole new world of dirt, Moreno applied for a spot on the USA Long Distance Mountain Running Team. To her surprise, she discovered she made the team while she was on crutches, recovering from a rock climbing accident.

“My coach and I only had six weeks to get ready for the race,” said Moreno. “At the start of my training, I was like – what do I do? My coach and I decided to make endurance more important than speed and we went for it.”

What Moreno remembers most is standing on the starting line, wearing a USA jersey.

“That’s one of those moments,” remembers Moreno. “When you realize your team is also your country.”

In the end, Moreno placed 21st at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship despite a tiny training window. This made her realize that not only does she have endurance, but she also has speed.

“This is a different dirt than I was running on in college,” said Moreno.

Because of her natural speed, she is being pushed back towards the roads, but Moreno is holding strong to the trails.

“People try to push me to the roads, but at this point in my life, I’m not going to do something unless it truly excites me,” said Moreno.

Winning XTERRA Trail Run Worlds was one of those moments.

“I would love to do XTERRA again next year,” said Moreno, who is sponsored by rabbit running apparel and Hoka One One. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot this year and next year, I want to take it up to another competitive level.”

Happy Holidays! #One Tribe

 

 

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