A great beginner xterra race is XTerra Jersey Devil at the end of April. 2 loop course on wide and sandy trails (think C&O canal trail).
A lot of people getting into Xterra also choose to try Xterra EX2 at Rocky Gap for some reason, but I would consider that a fairly challenging course (think Fountainhead).
I would say the rest of the Xterra courses (King of the Hill, Richmond, C-ville, Dirty Grizzly) in the region are on par with the trails at Fountainhead as well.
Not quite sure what my schedule will be but at a minimum I'll try and hit Jersey Devil and Richmond.
Xterra is a blast!
I will have to agree with Andy on this one. Jersey Devil is a really safe bet. I think several of us are hitting that up again this year, another really flat race is Xterra Smith Lake, although it is one hell of a trip to get ou there. Also, what size MTB bike do you need. I have a mountain bike I am about to get rid of, that is in GREAT shape. Specially since its only a year old. I just bought me a new one.
hardtail 29er, Mark???
thanks guys! The Jersey race looks promising; I like Barnegat.
In April I'm also looking at one of the Rev3 adventure races in Shenandoah - paddling vs swimming plus a little game playing, but otherwise it sounds like triathlon fun to me.
Mark, mountain bike size I would guess about a 15. I'm 5'4" - I think my hybrid is a 17, but a bit smaller for trails seems appropriate?
I'm looking at getting back at some off-road stuff this season. I really liked xterra EX2 at Rocky Gap in 2010. Trisha, my friend Kerry did it as her first off-road tri and had a blast despite being a tentative on gnarly sections.
Jersey Devil sounds like it might be fun as does Richmond.
FYI, the Rev3 AR is the same weekend as Greenhorn AR put on by EX2.
I did a 45 mile MTB tour of MoCo (moco epic) this past Sept. By the end of the ride, my butt bones felt like it had been chiseled down with an industrial sized file. I swore I wouldn't ride my mtb for A LONG time.... but I like peer pressure :)
Trisha- I'd be nice to have another female to do an off-road one with! Do you know which one you will be doing? the NJ one seems good.
I want one that isn't super technical for my first one... Rocky Gap:Fountainhead. That scares me!
props on the MoCo epic, Elaine! I am brand new to the MTB scene myself, but MAY have been convinced to try the Jersey Devil in April (peer pressure will get you, huh?!). It seems like the perfect opportunity to test out the Xterra waters, and knowing that there would be a solid newbie contingency there from DC Tri makes it all the more appealing. I've had the chance to sit back & spectate at a bunch of Xterras...it might be time to get a piece of the action! they look far too fun.
Thanks for posting about Jersey Devil everyone. I went ahead and signed up for it. I also did that MoCo Epic and that was actually 52 miles instead of the 45 that was advertised. I also did Richmond last year and they went to a 20 mile bike which is a true challenge especially on Father's Day weekend in June which has been over 90 the past two years. I will also agree that EX2 in Flintstone Md is a challenging ride/run. The Appalachia race near Pittsburgh in early August might be good for a first time MTB Xterra experience. I'll be sure to wear my DCTri jersey (if I can still fit into it by the end of April).
Yeah, we did Xterra Appalachia last year and it was a good time - but it rained a ton the night before making the trails, wooden bridges, and roots an ice rink. If dry, I'd rate the course a little easier than EX2.
I want to try the late season race at Big Bear Resort in WV if they hold it this year, looks fun!
So thrilled there are other new-to-trails types thinking about this! We may have to have a little happy hour chat :)
Anyone going to be at Xterra Jersey Devil this weekend??
Hope you had fun and your race went well up in NJ Andy!
Leaning towards racing xTerra Rocky Gap, July 15 which is the weekend after General Smallwood.
Hah, it was a good time.
The water temp was in the upper 50's, and they weren't able to re-fill the lake entirely after doing some work on the dam. So we did 2 swim loops in about 3-4 feet of cold, muddy water - half of the folks were trying to swim it, and half elected to attempt a deep water wade through the course. Must have been entertaining to the spectators...good news is that age groups awards were 6-packs of beer and bottles of wine.
Just another xterra!