Shelby County, Alabama, USA (16 May 2012) - Last year was a historic one for Cross Triathlon, after four years of continental championships ITU hosted its first world titles in Extremadura, Spain. Over 400 athletes competed across the elite, junior, age-group and paratriathlon categories in the swim, mountain bike and cross country run discipline. This year, the sport takes another step forward as ITU partners with XTERRA for the second edition for the 2012 Shelby County ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships and XTERRA Southeast Championships.
Canada's Melanie McQuaid and South Africa's Conrad Stoltz are both back to defend the inaugural ITU Cross Triathlon titles they won in Spain last year, but both will be tested with strong Elite Men's and Elite Women's fields.
Located in the southernmost part of the Appalachian Chain, it boasts a trail praised by competitors as one of the most fun, fast, scenic and difficult with credit attributed to the work of Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers (BUMP) along with Alabama's DCNR State Park Division, Shelby County and the City of Pelham. BUMP has spent more than 100,000 hours in design and construction of new trails over the past 20 years. The elite athletes will compete over a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike and 10km trail run.