XTERRA Trail Run World Championship Returns to Sugarloaf Mountain for 2024
Press Release / 14.11.2023
XTERRA has confirmed the return of the Trail Run World Championship to Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine for 2024. In a continuation of its tradition of challenging terrain and exceptional settings, the competition is set to unfold on these rugged slopes, promising another year of top-tier trail running.
The 15th edition of this ultimate event is set to take place over Labor Day weekend, from August 30 to September 1, 2024, offering a festival-like atmosphere and a world-class racing experience.
The XTERRA Trail Run World Series, a global competition with more than 20 races in over 15 countries, culminates in this championship event at Sugarloaf Resort. Elite professionals and amateur athletes, along with spectators, will converge once again on the resort for a weekend of competition and camaraderie. A total of $10,000 in prize money will be on the line for top performers, with world titles awarded to age group division winners in both the half-and-full marathon distance races.
Sugarloaf's challenging terrain, with over 96 kilometers of trails ranging from a base elevation of 432 meters to a peak of 1,292 meters, provides a perfect stage. The resort's reputation for hosting prestigious competitions, such as the Enduro World Series and the U.S. Alpine Ski Championships, sets the scene for another memorable XTERRA experience.
The weekend's festivities will kick off on Friday with clinics and social activities, followed by a shorter distance race, a Kids K, and an expo on Saturday. Sunday’s main event unites full and half marathoners taking their place on the starting line. The World Championship and open-to-all Sugarloaf races will happen simultaneously, with the day culminating at the championship awards dinner at night.
Last year's XTERRA Trail Run World Championship at Sugarloaf introduced a new era with its first-ever qualification-only format and the debut of the Full Distance Marathon races. Caitlin Patterson (USA), the 2023 Women’s World Champion, savored the race's start, saying, "the early morning temperatures" made for "a lot of easing into it." Britta Clark, who claimed third place, enjoyed the "fun mix of single track," the "nice and cool" conditions atop the mountain, and the "beautiful foliage," calling the entire experience "a great time." These testimonials from top finishers highlight the event's challenging yet scenic course, which offered a memorable race for elite runners.
Sheila Brennan Nee, Strategic Director of the Maine Sports Commission highlighted the event's impact: "Our Board of Directors and local organizing committee engaged in memorable conversations with runners from around the nation and world who shared their enthusiasm about plans to return." She added, "XTERRA's selection of our largest mountain and Maine helped elevate our state as a four-season sports destination."
XTERRA Americas Event Coordinator Emily McIlvaine, anticipates a vibrant future for the event: "We look forward to seeing this World Championship event thrive next season with new qualifying races and geographic expansions. We are excited to see both new and old friends at Sugarloaf in 2024.”
Steve Andrus, XTERRA Americas Tour Manager, is looking forward to building on the success of the previous year: "I am excited that we will be returning for year two of the Trail Run World Championship," he stated. "The recent event's success was based on a great collaboration between XTERRA, The Maine Sports Commission, Carrabassett Valley, and the Sugarloaf Resort's amazing team."
The event's atmosphere is also a draw for athletes like Richard Hardy in the 65-69 age group from the UK, who shared his personal connection with XTERRA: "Maine and Sugarloaf gave me the XTERRA experience I have long wanted, and I was not disappointed," he recounted, expressing his long-standing aspiration to be part of the XTERRA Community.
As XTERRA continues to champion the outdoor endurance enthusiast, the return to Sugarloaf for the 2024 Trail Run World Championship promises to be another chapter in the brand's storied history of adventure and competition.
Trail Run World Championship Qualification
Each race in the XTERRA Trail Run World Series offers a select number of championship slots and are awarded based on top performances within each age division.
The series races typically provide 58 World Championship slots for each distance category, Half and Full Marathon. However, larger and more competitive events may offer up to 116 slots. These slots are evenly divided between male and female competitors and are distributed across fourteen age divisions, segmented in five-year intervals.
Additionally, the XTERRA Pass program extends opportunities to trail runners participating in local races that align with the Half or Full Marathon distance requirements but are not yet part of the official World Series. This program allocates up to 28 XTERRA Passes per race, which are awarded to top-performing age group athletes. Races included in the XTERRA Pass Program, age group classifications and further details are available on the rules and criteria page.
Nestled in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, Sugarloaf is one of the largest ski areas in the Eastern United States offering an exciting network of trails. Sugarloaf is a year-round destination with a vibrant community and a passion for outdoor sports.
XTERRA is a leading global brand that has been inspiring off-road adventure since 1996 for all ages and skill levels. The brand is committed to adventure, community, and preserving the natural environment where its events take place.