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GoPro Mountain Games registration now open

VAIL — Registration is now open for more than 30 events featured at the 2017 GoPro Mountain Games, set for June 8 through 11.

Registration opened at midnight on Tuesday, and by noon on Wednesday the Vail Valley Foundation had already logged more than 300 entrants.

Athletes interested in testing their skills can sign up at mountain games.com, a new website designed for the event and created in collaboration with local firm 970 Design.

"We want everyone to have a great experience with the Mountain Games, and to be able to check out all the great stories and images surrounding this event. A quality website does so much toward achieving that goal," said Dave Dressman, Vice President of Sales for the Vail Valley Foundation. "Whether you're here in person and need quick access to results or a venue map, or you're an overseas athlete who wants to register for the whitewater kayak events, we want your experience on the website to be easy, informative and enjoyable."

The website has been updated to be much more mobile friendly, which will make it easier for the thousands of people who take part in the event annually, to sign up and register for events.

CHANGES FOR 2017

There have been a few changes to the Mountain Games lineup for 2017.

Those who register this year at mountaingames.com will notice a few new bells and whistles for this year's event.

This year, for the first time, the event will include a second dog tank in the ever-popular Blue Buffalo DockDogs competition zone, located in Dog Town at the base of Golden Peak. That means the DockDogs jumping competitions will be going on side-by-side, with the new dueling dogs competition seeing two dogs race head-to-head on a retrieve.

Mountain Games has also joined forces with Yoga Journal magazine to welcome yogi Kathryn Budig to the event, along with instructors Gina Caputo, Mark Steffanowski of Outlaw Yoga, plus local teachers Ivonne Schwarz, who launched the Eagle Yoga Festival and Bobby L'Hereux of the Vail Vitality Center, who unwittingly gained star status last summer when he was captured on Fox News saving a stranger's dog from raging waters in Utah.

The Vail Valley Foundation in 2016 brought the GoPro Mountains of Music back to the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater for one night only. The event was a success, and now three nights of free concerts are planned at the Amphitheater for 2017. On Thursday, June 8, the Amphitheater will feature Bonfire Dub from 6 to 6:40 p.m.; White Denim from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m.; and Moon Taxi from 9 p.m. to close. On Friday, June 9, the Ford Amphitheater will feature Brother's Keeper from 6 to 6:40 p.m.; The Marcus King Band from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m.; and Keller Williams Grateful Grass from 9 p.m. to close. On Saturday, June 10, the Amphitheater will feature Town Calvary from 6 to 6:40 p.m.; Trevor Hall from 7:15 to 8:30 p.m.; and Nahko and Medicine for the People from 9 p.m. to close.

Stay Tuned

In 2017, the GoPro Mountain Games will say goodbye to the Vail Pass Half Marathon. Beloved by the few, the proud and the extremely fit, the event will be re-incarnated with a hill climb in Vail that will wet the whistles of vertically inclined runners and yet will also take place in Vail Village, where thousands of spectators can experience the suffering.

The Vail Valley Foundation is expecting to release more details about this event in early March.

Every year, the toughest of the tough have taken on the challenge of the TriggerPoint Ultimate Mountain Challenge at the GoPro Mountain Games. The challenge includes kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, running, mountain biking and road biking: four races in two days, to the winner go the spoils.

After 10 years, organizers say that updates in scoring and results technology are now able to help take this event to the next level. Starting this year, everyone who registers for the GoPro Mountain Games will automatically be entered in the TriggerPoint Ultimate Mountain Challenge. It will be graded on a points system, and finishing any of the athletic events will gain a competitor points in the UMC.

Each event will be given a 1x, 2x or 3x multiplier based on difficulty, and athletes will be given points according to their finish ranking. Finish first in a most-difficult event (3x), and you'll get nine points. Participate in a fun, untimed event such as the mud run, and you'll get one point. Bonus points will be given for cross-discipline participation. A leaderboard will track the event throughout the weekend, and fans will get to cheer on the event's most active athletes from all age groups and disciplines.

To take part, check out the list of events at mountaingames.com; create an itinerary for your Mountain Games weekend, or choose from several paths to victory packages based on your areas of expertise; and finally paddle, run and bike hard for your piece of the $8,000 prize purse. DockDogs, IFSC World Cup bouldering and the Slackline Industries Invitational will not be included in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge.