Vail Teva Games off and running |

Vail Teva Games off and running

TMG Dog Big Air 1 DT 6-4-10

VAIL, Colorado – If people are handing out caffeinated beef jerky, it’s got to be the Teva Mountain Games.

Yes, it’s Perky Jerky, whose website claims that “Coffee is so 2009.” Last year we had caffeinated gum, now it’s caffeinated cow. With the Mountain Games everything has to have caffeine.

This is really starting to remind me of an April Fool’s Vail Daily story which was something to the effect of “Starbucks to open inside of a Starbucks.” Everything’s new and improved and with caffeine.

This, of course, is the norm at the Teva Games. Somebody’s got to pay the bills for this sports-a-palooza. But then again, what is weird to most is pretty much normal at the Mountain Games and to life around here.

Today, we’ve got a half marathon going up Vail Pass. Most would consider this pretty crazy. Not here. It’s not the only half-marathon this summer. The Vail Recreation District will have one on Vail Mountain in July.

We start the Mountain Challenge today with four events over two days. It’s the down-river sprint, the mountain-bike race, the 10K running race and cycling up Vail Pass (if running up it isn’t enough for you).

Yeah, that’s a busy weekend, a little more than 36 holes on your favorite golf course, but we’ve got athletes who do endurance events all the time. (Josiah Middaugh, Anita Ortiz and Mike Kloser, just to name a few.) So-called whacky bike races aren’t novel. It’s every-other Wednesday from this week’s Eagle Classic to Davos Dash later this summer.

A 10K running race is a pretty standard thing too. The VRD’s running series starts in June with Beaver Creek.

This is just life here in Eagle County. The effect just gets amplified with the Teva Games.

Stand-up paddling and caffeinated beef jerky? Still a little weird, though.

And now a walk through the village, looking toward this weekend’s events:

• OK, oh flyfishers of the county, we love you. We’ve got qualifiers today at 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the village. Go watch these fine casters, and stop e-mailing me. A lot of you were grumpy that I didn’t mention you in Wednesday’s article explaining what the events of the Teva Games are. It wasn’t an insult, people. You say flyfishing, you know what that means. Freeride biking? No. Relax. Or chilax. Or just settle down with some Perky Jerky.

• The slopestyle-bike venue is up and going at Golden Peak. Riders were getting the feel of things Friday. The big-box-feature is back for 2010, but you have two options coming off it. The left path has less height, but has a ramp, whereas the right is high, but with no ramp. It’ll be interesting to see which path is taken.

What to expect this weekend?

“Lots of 720s,” said Tyler McCaul of Santa Cruz, California. “A couple of people will do some front flips and double tail-whips and all that good stuff. It’s set up for a lot of tricks and good times.”

• Nearby, the dogs are big. There were ton of canines and spectators watching qualifying Friday. Dogs were jumping any where from 2-feet and change to into the 20s. I liked the former. He just walked off the ramp and splashed into the water, seemingly more in the mood for a swim than actually jumping.

We caught up with Denver’s Michael Kosnet and Guido, a Bouvier de Flanders, who had just π

went 16 feet, 8 inches, a personal record by more than 3 feet.

“We named him Guido after a friend of ours, who’s a big Italian guy. Actually, he’s Jewish. Jews and Italians get along,” Kosnet said with a big smile. “He likes to play ball normally. He was just a natural for this. We’d like to do more training for this, but there’s not a dock in Denver. We’re going to try to get more training in.”

• Freeride biking – racing over an obstacle course -is all set for today’s finals. The course has new bumps to start. The old step-up, step-down feature has morphed into more angular jumps, capped by a triangle. The course still has cereal bowl or satellite dish, a concave feature, followed by the hump to finish.

• Over at International, Emily Jackson and Jason Craig took top honors in freestyle kayaking qualifiers. Tino Specht of Massachusetts said the hole was roaring and became more so as the day got warmer.

• Don’t miss the finals for freeride, freestyle kayaking, stand-up paddle and World Cup bouldering today.

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

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