XTERRA Off-road Triathlon returns on June 13

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

EUREKA SPRINGS -- Anxious energy gives way to an adrenaline charged burst as racers surge into the cool, clear waters of Lake Leatherwood -- the race is on! Its XTERRA time again in Eureka Springs.

On Saturday, June 13, the XTERRA Eureka Springs Off-Road Triathlon and Trail Run will challenge endurance athletes from as many as 12 states around the country.

The city's 1600-acre crown jewel, Lake Leatherwood City Park, will host the 4th annual event. Race day consists of two races, the Trail Run and the Off-Road Triathlon.

Runners competing in the trail run will get a taste of the off-road action during the 4.1-mile race, that will take place before the start of the triathlon.

The triathletes will have a bit more on their plate. After completing the 0.5-mile swim, competitors must endure a 13-mile mountain bike ride that climbs and drops to the valley floor several times as it traverses the mountains within the park.

With hearts pounding and legs beginning to tire, the racers must then negotiate the 5-mile run which climbs and drops twice before making its way to the finish line.

The course at Lake Leatherwood is quickly developing a reputation as one of the most demanding on the 60 race XTERRA America Tour.

The steep mountainous terrain that characterizes the Ozarks is perfect for this type of event -- lots of punishing climbs as well as several, fun and fast descents. Check out all the details at the official Website at www.eurekaspringsoffroadtriathlon.

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

New for this year's event is a focus on sustainability and reducing waste. Race Director Nick Cross notes that, "in the past, we've had recycling and have always cleaned-up thoroughly, but this year we wanted to take it a step further."

Some notable changes include utilizing a paper-free online registration process, having posters printed on recycled paper with soy-based inks, choosing organic cotton for the race shirts and using re-usable grocery bags for the racer goodie bags.

Volunteers and spectators can expect to get up close and personal to lots of XTERRA action, with racers passing through the hub of race operations several times during the day. Live bluegrass, by area favorites Cletus Got Shot, will keep things festive and make for a genuine Ozark experience.

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 free gear for racers and door prizes.

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.

Anyone wanting to get involved by volunteering at the event can contact Assistant Race Director Heather Quinney at heatherquinney@eurekaspringsoffroadtriathlon.com, or (479) 244-5431

The 2009 XTERRA America Tour (now in its ninth year) boasts more than 60 events in 32 states across the country, plus the Commonwealths of Guam and Saipan.

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