After experiencing my first snow-bike criterion race at the Winter Teva Mountain Games earlier this year (see my report, “Fat-Bike Racer”), I’ve decided to return for more. But this time the mountains above Vail, Colo., lack snow and instead are stocked with hikers, bikers, and boaters in search of whitewater around town.
This weekend marks the 11th annual Teva Mountain Games, happening May 31 – June 3. It’s a festival that is touted as the “nation’s largest celebration of adventure sports, lifestyle and music.” We’ll be there to cover all of the above plus participate in a few events, too.
GearJunkie.com has long covered the Teva Games, including staff and editors competing in events over the years from an adventure race (2006) to the “All Mountain Challenge” in 2008. For this edition, I decided to tackle the Vail Pass Half Marathon to gain some further perspective on running at altitude. The 13.7-mile course climbs 2,900 feet from Vail to finish at 10,000 feet!
With the latest addition of slack-line competition, the Games now include 23 disciplines, with freeride biking, road cycling, sprint and “extreme” kayaking, “raft cross,” a World Cup Bouldering comp, trail-running races, a mud run and more.
The prize purse this summer is more than $100,000, promising to attract some top professional and amateur athletes from Colorado and beyond. With two free concerts, action sports movies and art, Vail should be hopping through the weekend.
—Sean McCoy is a contributing editor. Follow GearJunkie this weekend for live reports from the Teva Games.