XTERRA returns to Oak Mountain for triathlon and marathon events

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

PELHAM — Athletes from across the world flocked to Oak Mountain State Park from May 8-9 for the XTERRA Oak Mountain off-road triathlon elite and trail marathon events, which featured a number of runners competing in a variety of different challenges.

This event was XTERRA’s first major event since the 2019 World Championship in Maui, and is the kickoff for a series of events throughout the world to showcase runners.

For the off-road triathlon elite events on May 8, the winners were Sam Osborne and Samantha Kingsford with winning times of 2:29:00 and 2:56:17, respectively.

The two winners both hail from New Zealand and have come off recent victories in their home country last month. This marks the 15th XTERRA World Tour win for Osborne, the sixth for Kingsford and their second overall victory this year.

This event combined a number of challenges including a one-mile swim, a 21-mile mountain bike and finally a 6-mile trail run.

“It’s so good to be back,” Osborne said.  “Domestic racing is cool, but it always leaves you wanting more, you know, it feeds the addiction but not like this where you turn up and there’s two world champs and the field is so deep.  What a race.”

Kingsford blew out the competition for the women’s elite triathlon with the second-place finisher, Amanda Felder, four minutes behind her.

“I was running scared, I didn’t know where anybody was, so I was pretty stoked to get this one,” Kingsford said. “It feels a bit surreal that we’re actually back here in the U.S.  It was a hard decision to come or not, and for Sam and me both to win like this, that tops it off, and I’m glad we made the right call.”

Winners in the Amateur titles included Will Allen with a time of 2:46:54 and Deanna McCurdy with a time of 3:12:12.

This year’s marathon saw Steve Sievert capturing the men’s marathon title with a time of 4:17:30 and Nikki Harvey winning the women’s title with a time of 5:11:02.

Sievert paced himself throughout the race, having just competed in another event the past weekend.

“It was a good call, because I needed it,” Sievert joked. “Second half was tough–rugged course, but just amazing. XTERRA is known for going to unbelievable places and challenging us with really difficult courses and today was no different. It’s exactly what I expected and then some, and I really enjoyed it out there.”

For Harvey the day carried a special significance, as she got an opportunity to spend Mother’s Day with her family, while competing for this title. Her husband David, and her daughter Madison both competed and placed highly in their respective events.

“It was beautiful day, the wind was blowing, and the trails were in great condition,” Harvey said.

Other winners included Griffin Oaks and Jennifer McGranahan in the 20k race, Conrad Taylor and Alevtina Rihtar in the 10k race, Jonathan Hernandez and Callaway Wheeler in the 5k race and the Relay Peak Performance Running team won the 5x5k event.

Complete results from the trail runs can be found at Results.chronotrack.com/results/event/event-61194.