OGDEN -- In early 2002, Utah hosted world-class athletes, world-class competitions and world-class parties.
Now it's time for all those things to converge again as Ogden's Snowbasin Resort hosts the Xterra USA Championship off-road triathlon on Saturday and the Xterra Trail Run National Championships on Sunday.
Utah not only hosts these world-class events but is also home to one of the world-class athletes with a chance at the podium.
David Henestrosa, a teacher at North Davis Preparatory Academy in Layton, lives in Clearfield. He came to Utah in 2009 from Moia, a small town outside of Barcelona, Spain.
The 2004 Xterra Italy Champion came to Utah to teach at the Spanish-immersion school and to experience a family-friendly community, not to race the Xterra USA Championships -- although he knew it was held close to his new home.
"I wasn't racing. I was exercising for fun and health," Henestrosa said.
"I went up to Snowbasin to watch the race because I have so many friends racing. Two years in a row, 2009 and 2010, I went up there to watch the race, and I felt like I was missing Xterra.
"I felt that it would be good to start training and try to race competitively, so last year, I raced up at Snowbasin, and this year, I've been doing the whole Xterra pro series."
Henestrosa is fourth overall in this year's Xterra pro series points race and placed eighth overall at last year's USA Championships.
He has been putting in solid race finishes since April and hopes to finish on the podium.
"I started Xterra this year in April in Vegas and finished in sixth place, but every month, I'm feeling a little better," Henestrosa said.
"Last month in Beaver, Colo., I finished fourth, racing with the same people," he said.
"I feel like I know this course; I've been training at Snowbasin all this summer, and I like the course and I'm feeling really well these days. If I could be top four, for me it would be a success."
Henestrosa has been racing triathlon since he was 16, but even since his last Xterra Italy win, his body, his life and his training have changed.
He said to keep his 35-year-old body in shape to complete the 1,500-meter swim, 28-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer trail run Xterra offers, his workouts are more aerobic and he has to fit them in around a full-time job and around family time with his wife and two daughters.
"I used to be a really good swimmer; back then, I used to always finish out of the water in first place, but now maybe there's not enough time to work out in the swimming pool," Henestrosa said.
"It's weird -- I used to be a good swimmer and decent biker, but normally I didn't perform well on runs. My body maybe changed. I'm swimming pretty well, biking really well, and what I'm doing really well is running. I might be a better runner now than I was before."
Henestrosa will be competing against the best of the best, with last year's champion -- France's Nico Lebrun -- returning to one of his favorite courses. Nine-time USA pro series winner Conrad "the Caveman" Stoltz will also be competing.
The women's race will include last year's champion, Melanie McQuaid, with a stacked field of renowned racers chasing her down.