Vail Teva Games a go, start today |

Vail Teva Games a go, start today

SPT Teva prep 1 KA 6-1-11

VAIL- The 2011 Teva Mountain Games are a go.

After a snowy and rainy cold spring, if one calls it that, all of the events – whitewater, biking, running, climbing and fishing – that encompass the four-day sports festival are on schedule to proceed, according to Vail Valley Foundation spokesman John Dakin.

“Thanks to a lot of hard work on the part of Vail Resorts and the Foundation staff, who were literally hand-shoveling singletrack to try to make sure X-country mountain biking and the 10K (Spring Runoff) were not just going to be run on the mountain roads, and thanks to Mother Nature, who seems to be a lot more cooperative mood lately, I think that we’re looking good on all fronts,” Dakin said.

The Mountain Games start today at 10 a.m. with the steep-creek championship kayaking race up at Homestake Creek near Red Cliff. New Zealand’s Sam Sutton and Australia’s Tanya Faux are the defending champions.

The Colorado Department of Transportation was even pitching in, helping clear the trail up Vail Pass for Saturday’s half-marathon.

The biggest question entering the Mountain Games is whether Sunday’s events on Gore Creek – stand-up paddle cross, raft cross and 8-ball kayak – will run. Last year, lots of late snow, followed by temperatures in the 80s, caused the Gore to rise to unsafe levels and the popular events were canceled.

“Again, Mother Nature seems to be in a little bit of a cooperative state of mind,” Dakin said. “The cool evenings and not getting exceedingly hot days in a row helps. We’ll see. We’ll keep a close eye on the water and the temps and what it’s doing and what the forecast is. Right now everything is a go.”

And, knock wood, has a forecast of sunny with highs in the mid-60s, which should auger well for the aforementioned water events.

After today’s steep creek, the focus shifts to slopestyle biking on Friday night. Look for some serious air at Golden Peak, starting at 6 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday have multiple finals and also features the mountain challenge, a multi-event endurance competition for teams or individuals in paddling, running and cycling. The weekend also has several opportunities for weekend warriors to compete themselves. Saturday has the half-marathon up Vail Pass, the X-country mountain bike race and the ever-popular mud run. Sunday, there’s the road-bike time trial up Vail Pass and a 10K running race.

“Granted we’re all not Mike Kloser, but this is an incredibly active community,” Dakin said. “People find a lot of different ways to utilize the outdoor environment that we’re fortunate enough to live in. Whether, it’s climbing or biking or taking the dog out, to a certain extent, it is reflection of the Vail lifestyle.”

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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