Vail Kids Adventure Race was biggest yet
The eighth-annual Vail Kids Adventure Games wrapped up on Sunday and was the biggest weekend of kids adventure racing Vail has ever seen.
More than 900 kids participated in the event, and about 250 more kids and adults who couldn’t get into the competition participated in the family mud run on Saturday, a side spectacle which was recently made a part of the event.
Spokesperson Jamie Gunion said this year’s adventure games were made more adventurous by the weather.
“When the thunderstorms rolled in on Friday, these kids just tackled through it,” Gunion said. “It was hailing and raining and all the kids made it down and made it through, so that was really awesome to see, their grit and resilience.”
Grit and resilience are among the traits that kids participating in the adventure games have to call on to get through the race, and those traits can’t really be practiced, Gunion said. Seeing Friday’s competitors take on the course, which is the most difficult in the entire Kids Adventure Games nine-event circuit, is impressive enough, not to mention how much more technical and tricky it becomes in rainy conditions.
“At seven miles long, it’s definitely a challenge,” Gunion said of the advanced course. “It’s already the hardest we do of all the races across the nation, and the weather these kids faced made it even more challenging.”
On Saturday, the intermediate competitors had an easier time.
“They just cruised through the course,” Gunion said. “We had a lot of younger kids who were first year racers last year who took on the harder course.”
By Sunday, organizers were ready to relax and enjoy what the event is all about.
“The little kids racing Sunday were so cute, the six to eight year olds,” Gunion said. “These guys are so little, and so cute, and they take on the features just like the bigger kids. I think there was only three or four kids who were too small to do the slope ’n’ slide.”
SELLS OUT QUICK
Organizers were not surprised to see this year’s competition turn into the biggest to date as it sold out in record time.
“It opened March 1 and was sold out by May this year, which is really quite quick,” Gunion said.
More than 100 volunteers per day were required to pull off the event.
“We don’t necessarily need that much support at a lot of the other venues,” Gunion said. “That’s what makes the Vail event so special, the way the community rallies around it. We’re so lucky to get the support from Vail Mountain, the town of Vail, the Vail Recreation District and the community.”
The Kids Adventure Games head to Stevens Pass, Washington, for the next stop, from August 25-27, and wrap up September 2-4 in Big Bear, California. For more information visit kidsadventuregames.com.