Endurance sports festival hits Avon starting Friday | VailDaily.com

Endurance sports festival hits Avon starting Friday

People cheer on runners during the Major League Triathlon on Saturday, Aug. 4, in Avon.
Chris Dillmann | cdillmann@vaildaily.com

AVON – 970 AvonFest hits town Friday for a first-ever two-day festival of endurance races.

The event is an expansion of Major League Triathlon’s annual event in Avon, where Nottingham Park becomes a showcase of the super-sprint mixed relay format of triathlon, and how appealing it can be for fans.

Major League Triathlon pioneered the shortened triathlon format, which features both men and women competing together on teams of four, and the popularity of the more spectator friendly competition grew quickly with the discipline gaining approval as an Olympic discipline for 2020.

And as that discipline of triathlon continues to grow in popularity, so too has its top-level showcase events in the United States, including the Avon competition. Heading into 2019, it was time to expand the event into a full-on festival, said Daniel Cassidy with Major League Triathlon.

“The whole concept of this is to create an event that’s Avon’s event, something we’re building for the long haul in Avon,” Cassidy told the Vail Daily in May. “The hope is that everyone in the Vail Valley has an opportunity to do a race that they’re interested in or try something new that they haven’t done before, but it’s also something that we’re hoping is going to get people to come in from outside of town so they’re not just showing up to do one race, they can spend more time in Avon.”

The event starts Friday evening in Nottingham Park with a super sprint time trial at 5 p.m., and at 6:30 p.m. the dog-friendly Bark in the Park – a 3.1 mile run with your dog.

Saturday starts with the Major League Triathlon Non-Draft Sprint, a 500-meter swim, 12-mile bike and 3.1-mile run, open to all. There will be qualification rounds and a championship. Kids events start at 1 p.m. with the Youth Splash and Dash, and the adult-only beer mile will take place at 6:30 p.m.

The main event – the professional level triathlon competition – starts at 5 p.m. on Saturday and will last until approximately 6:20 p.m.

There will also be kids zones (inflatables and games), food vendors, interactive expo, a beer and wine garden, lawn games and free concerts at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Larry Keel Experience will play Friday and Trout Steak Revival plays Saturday.