Vail Today: Man of the Cliff event in Avon not just for the guys; women toss the tools, too (video)
Throwing axes and tossing kegs may sound like a man’s job, but at Man of the Cliff the ladies were a big part of the annual fall event held at Nottingham Lake in Avon on Oct. 14 and 15. In its ninth year, Man of the Cliff now draws people from across the region, and women are stepping up and tossing anything from axes to hammers — and they’re sometimes beating the guys. “Almost every event is more about finesse then strength, so a lot of the women do very well,” said Amanda Williams, who co-founded the event with her husband, Adam. “We always made sure there were different accommodations for women such as having the hammer be a little lighter in weight in the hammer throw event. Same thing for the keg toss, so it’s a little easier as far as the strength portion, but it’s still all about finesse.” Katie Kennedy has participated in the event for eight years and has taken home the top prize two years in a row. “The top male competitor gets a chain saw, and I get a barbeque smoker,” Kennedy said. Kennedy encourages other women to try it. “Everybody is here to help you learn how to shoot a bow or get the rotation on your hatchet. Just come out and give it a shot, nobody is here to judge, we’re just here to have fun,” Kennedy said. Man of the Cliff gives 100 percent of proceeds to First Descents, a nonprofit started in the Vail Valley in 2001 that provides life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer. “We are so thankful for what Adam and Amanda Williams and all the volunteers and participants have created,” said Ray Shedd, director of development and marketing for First Descents. “The vision for the event is to get some new partners on board, raise some more revenue, but I think it’s important to keep its grassroots nature, that’s what makes it so special.” Visit http://www.manofthecliff.com to learn more and put the event on your calendar for next October.