Vail Teva Games: Middaugh, Anderson up to the challenge
VAIL, Colorado – Everybody returns to work today, and around the water cooler or the office coffee pot, the question will be asked, “So, what did you do this weekend?”
I grilled with the family. … I got some golf in with the guys. … Or I kayaked 3 miles down Gore Creek, biked 25 or so miles all over Vail Mountain, ran another 10 kilometers on that mountain and then biked up Vail Pass.
Kind of puts the grilling and golf to shame.
Josiah Middaugh and Sari Anderson conquered the mountain challenge, a two-day, four-event marathon, Sunday at the Teva Mountain Games, winning the professional individual titles. Fort Collins-based Better Late than Never captured the pro team competition.
“I think it’s a rewarding thing to do,” said Middaugh, whose win was his third in a row in this event. “I have a background of endurance training with the running and migrated into the triathlon. Living here, I’m gradually picking up some of the outdoors sports. It’s just fun. It’s a fun way to compete.”
Middaugh, though originally runner, ended up putting most of his distance between him and second-place finisher, Travis Macey, in Saturday’s mountain biking. And though Middaugh is accomplished endurance athlete, there were times this weekend he questioned himself.
“When I was running down Simba,” he said of Sunday’s 10K. “The uphill’s OK. The downhill tears me up.”
Anderson held off Gretchen Reeves in the women’s competition by just 2 minutes, 54 seconds, a very small margin, given the two competed for nearly 40 miles.
“I’m not very fast at one thing, but I have good endurance,” Anderson said. “It’s a great challenge and Gretchen’s a great competitor, so it was a good fun battle. … Every race, I think, ‘Maybe I don’t need to do this anymore. I’ve got a little 2-year-old at home. I could stay with her.’ But then I finish and it’s a lot of fun.
“I probably won’t go run 10 miles tomorrow, probably just take it easy. We’ll see how it feels. I may do a little recovery run or I may just sit on my butt at work.”
Better Late Than Never was not late. The team knocked off Dan Weiland’s bunch for the pro team title.
“This is great,” runner Rickey Gates said. “This was a last-minute thing. I knew we had some people we could throw together for the team.”
Better Late started with Gates and Alex Hagman (road biking) and picked up Todd Wells, who absolutely scorched the mountain biking. But this was a last-minute deal, so after the team picked up its medals Sunday, its members still didn’t know the last name of Eva, their kayaker.
In other divisions, Scott Rogers won the amateur men’s challenge, and Brown Dog won the amateur-team competition.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.