Backflips and Slacklines: Teva Mountain Games

GearJunkie’s Sean McCoy is reporting from Vail, Colo., this week at the 11th annual Teva Mountain Games.

Day two of the Teva Mountain Games saw incredible competition under blue skies as athletes launched bikes skyward, climbed tricky boulder problems, conquered whitewater, and whipped back-flips off a two-inch-wide slackline. Man’s best friend even got into the act in a dog “big air” competition.

Big air on bikes in Slopestyle event

In the only final of the day, Sam Pilgrim of Essex, England, put it all on the line in front of 1,000 or more fans as he won the Teva Slopestyle competition to outshine 17 of the world’s best freeriders. (And brought home $3,000 for the effort!)

Englishman (and Teva Slopestyle winner) Sam Pilgrim, now $3,000 richer

The Games continue throughout the weekend with a Bouldering World Cup comp, kayak and mountain bike races, more dog stuff (the “Eukanuba DockDogs Extreme Vertical Competition”!), as well as concerts featuring the likes of The Expendables.

Slackline comps and accompanying crowd

It’s late Friday as I file this report. While many athletes and fans will be partying into the night in Vail, I’m turning in early in preparation for the Vail Pass Half Marathon. The lung-burning run climbs 2,900 feet over 13.7 miles to finish above 10,000 feet.

Wish me luck! Check back throughout the weekend for updates, a report after my half-marathon, and more coverage live from the Games.

—Sean McCoy is a contributing editor.

Rider busts into the wild blue over Vail

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.