Countdown to XTERRA 

Course to challenge the most hardcore athletes

There really is something for everyone at the XTERRA Canadian Open Championship, taking place this Sunday. There's a hardcore Championship distance, a short Sport distance, a team championship distance event, a duathlon (no swimming plus championship distance), a team duathlon and a trail running race where you can do either the Championship course (two laps for 12km) or the Sport course (six km).

The Championship athletes will do two laps of a 750-metre course on Alta Lake, starting and finishing at Rainbow Park, with a short run over land in between laps. From there, they will follow a selection of mountain bike trails including Whip Me Snip Me, Rainbow Flank, Bob's ReBob, Get Over It, Mel's Dilemma, Emerald Forest and A River Runs Through It back to Rainbow Park - and will do it all twice, with an approximate distance of nine km per lap. The run leg includes Rainbow Flank, Danimal North (uphill), Beaver Pond, 99er, Middle Danimal and Lower Sproatt, then back up Lower Sproatt to 99er and Middle Danimal.

The Sport races will do half - one lap of the lake course, one lap of the bike course, and will cut out of the run after the first time on Lower Sproatt to head back to Nita Lake Lodge.

Registration is still available online and last minute registration will be available on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. at the Nita Lake Lodge alongside the package pickup. There will be a mandatory race briefing after 5 p.m.

Body marking and chip pick-up starts at 7 a.m. on Sunday at Rainbow Park, followed by another pre-race briefing at 8:30 a.m. The swim gets underway with a mass start at 9 a.m. The post-race barbecue fires up at 11 a.m. and awards are at 2 p.m.

All pros in the race are eligible to win a share of the $10,000 prize purse, while the top athletes in the age categories could win a spot in the Xterra World Championships in Hawaii on Oct. 23. The top trail runners from the Whistler event can also gain entry to the Xterra Trail Run World Championships on Oahu in December.

If you can volunteer, the course will need a few marshals. All marshals will get an Icebreaker Merino wool shirt, Kicking Horse coffee and a ticket to the barbecue at the Nita Lake Lodge following the event. Email routley@shaw.ca if you can spare some time.

 

 

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