Big money, big adventure |

Big money, big adventure

Tom Boyd

There’s plenty of money to go around at the Teva Games this weekend. A total of 568 athletes will compete for $50,000 big bucks in the world of adventure sports.Everett Green, a climber from San Diego, says he’s making the trip to Vail to try and get a grip on some of the climbing competition’s cash.”The prize money is certainly very attractive,” said Everett, who competes in several national climbing series’ each year. “Even big events like the Phoenix Bouldering Blast (the nation’s largest outdoor climbing competition) can’t compete money-wise with the Teva Games.”Despite the amount prize money, entry fees are relatively low. The $10,000 prize purse in the Adventure Racing series, for example, comes with a three-person team entry fee of $250. Adventure races typically cost upwards of $700.Vail’s Billy Mattison, who won the Eco Challenge with Team Vail in 1998, will be directing the new event, which will include mountain biking, trekking, navigating, rappelling, and one amusing leg of the trek: inner-tubing down Gore Creek.”It’s going to have real adventure in it real navigating, rappelling, and yes, inner-tubing,” Mattison said. “But we went out and did it the other night and it’s not easy.”The adventure race is like a Games within a Games, combining multiple sports for one venue and taking on many of the greater characteristics of the larger event.For example, amateurs and spectators will be able to rub elbows with pros. Mike Kloser, the most successful Adventure racer in the world, will be on hand. As will Daniel Weiland, one of the sport’s up-and-comers.”Everybody’s really friendly, talking to the teams and stuff it’s a great time to ask questions and learn about it,” Mattison said. “Adventure racing is, though, a really gnarly sport. You’ve got to be the kind of person who likes to hike up in the mountains and ski, or ride long, muddy mountain-bike rides. That’s the kind of person that’s going to do well.”While Kloser and Weiland are competing in the adventure race, the world’s top female trail runner in history, Anita Ortiz, will be quietly chugging up and down Vail Mountain in the trail running race.”This is fun in part because it’s such a large event, and it’s a fun weekend in addition to just the running race,” Ortiz said. “People like to go where there’s a lot of things to do if you’re going to drive somewhere for a race you want to go where there’s other things going on.”And there will be plenty going on climbers will be leaping and jumping on climbing walls, kayakers will be flipping around in the river, rafters will be racing down the river, hired outdoor speakers will be holding conference on the banks of Gore Creek, a photo contest will be under way, music will fill the night, and somewhere, during all of this, VH1 will be doing a live version of their top-20 countdown.For more information surf to

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