Let’s face it, Vail. We live here because we are active people who love the outdoors. We can all get active with Vail Valley’s Summer Races. It’s nice to have a goal behind all that training we do! Whether it’s on the rapids, in your running shoes or on the mountain bike trail, this town has something for everyone!
Step to the starting lines of some local races this summer, and you’ll see what the competitive camaraderie is all about.
Check out some of the following local races to test your mettle this summer.
Vail Whitewater Race Series
The annual Whitewater Race Series is held in Vail Village every Tuesday from May 12 through June 9, beginning at 5:30 p.m. All races start at the Covered Bridge and end at the International Bridge.
All participants and spectators over 21 will receive a free beer from New Belgium Brewing Company.
“It’s a great opportunity to get on that water prior to the GoPro Games, so the athletes can get out on their own home ‘ice’ and play around in that water,” Tingle said. “And for visiting spectators, it’s definitely a cool chance for guests to get introduced to the sport.”
Vail Valor Races
The new venue of the Vail Valor is one of the stand-out elements for the local 5K, 10K, half-marathon and marathon races, held on Memorial Day, May 25.
The race will start at the International Bridge and run along Gore Creek Drive — right through the Vail Village core.
A portion of the annual race registration supports the Vail Veterans Program. Participants who are running in honor of someone will be given two race bibs at check-in — both with their 2015 race number. One bib is to be worn during the race, and the other is to be posted on the Wall of Honor where they write the name of who they would like to honor. For more informatoin, see www.speckled-hound.com.
Mountain Trail Running Series
Ninety percent of the Vail Recreation District’s annual mountain trail running series races are on singletrack, so the time you spend getting from your car to the race start may be the hardest, most even surface you see all day. This year, the La Sportiva event sponsor is teaming up with Kind Design to make the tech shirts even more worthy of re-wearing. The races are fun in their camaraderie, but innately challenging by their elevation-inspired mountain design.
“All the races are hard,” Tingle said. “Even the shortest one — it could be the hardest one — because it’s only a little over 3 miles, but it’s all uphill; you’re just pinned the whole time.”
Race date and locations:
• 9 a.m., Saturday, May 16 — Boneyard Boogie 11K Trail Run, Eagle
• 9:45 a.m., Saturday, June 20 — Summer Solstice 5K, 10K and Kids Fun Run, Beaver Creek
• 8 a.m., Sunday, July 5 — 39th annual Vail Hill Climb, Vail
• 8 a.m., Sunday, July 19 — Vail Half Marathon, Vail
• 8 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 2 — Berry Picker 5K, Vail
• 9 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 23 — 5K/10K @10,000 Feet, Vail
• 10 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 13 — EverGold 5K/11K, Vail
Individuals 13 and older can register to race. Pre-registration and day-of registration options are available. See www.vailrec.com/sports/trail-running-racing.
GoPro Mountain Games
Summer seems to start when the GoPro Mountain Games come to town. While you’re getting your four-legged athletes ready for the annual Dock Dogs competition during the Mountain Games this season, get your own limbs and lungs ready for mountain biking, climbing, disc golf, casting, kayaking, rafting, running, slacklining, stand-up paddleboarding and ultimate mountain challenge events — all on Vail turf from Thursday, June 4, through Sunday, June 7.
Amateurs and professionals are welcome to compete in the events. Spectators can watch for free. For more information, see www.mountaingames.com/summer.
Mountain Bike Town Series
In its 32nd year, this summer series caters to mountain bikers of all ages and experience levels. Even if you are a beginner, get out there for one race or the whole seven-race series (eight races, if you count the one that kids have one all to themselves). Just pedal fast, and, if you’re of age, you’ll even get a free beer when you finish.
“We’re thrilled to offer a new course for our adult racers and the first ever kids-only race,” said Beth Pappas, Vail Recreation District sports events manager and mountain bike series race director. “It’s fun to be able to mix things up for our participants to keep the series fresh and exciting.”
The races are held every-other Wednesday evening beginning May 27. On-site registration for the races begin at 4:45 p.m. The schedule is as follows:
• May 27, Eagle Ranch Classic, Eagle
• June 10, Berry Creek Bash, Edwards
• June 24, Battle at Bellyache, Eagle
• July 8, Vail Grind, Lionshead, Vail
• New this year: July 22, Son of Middle Creek Circuit, Vail
• New this year: July 29, Kids-Only Boneyard Brawl, Eagle
• Aug. 12, Davos Dash. Starts behind the Holiday Inn, West Vail
• Aug. 26, Beaver Creek Blast at the Centennial Chairlift, Beaver Creek
SOS Outreach Colorado River Ride
On Saturday, July 25, the valley’s annual River Ride is back for its three-route offering. Cyclists can choose between a 100-mile course, a 68-mile course and a 42-mile course, all from Beaver Creek Ski Resort and along the Colorado and Eagle rivers. Proceeds go to SOS Outreach, a youth development nonprofit, and Bicycle Colorado. See www.sosoutreach.org/page/colorado-eagle-river-ride.
Vail Kids Adventure Games/Mud Run
Kids from ages 6 to 14 can enjoy three full days of racing during the Vail Kids Adventure Games, from Thursday, Aug. 6, through Sunday, Aug. 9. Age categories are as follows: beginners (ages 6 to 9), intermediates (ages 6 to 11) and experts (ages 10 to 14). The free expo will include a climbing wall and a Cave of Confusion, and the Family Mud Run will be held on Saturday, Aug. 8, at 4 p.m. in Vail Village and is open to kids and adults of all ages.
Registration for the weekend events is open at www.kidsadventuregames.com.
Outlier Offroad Festival
From Friday, Sept. 25, through Sunday, Sept. 27, mountain bikers unite in the valley. The Vail Outlier Offroad Festival is “powered” by SRAM, a high-end cycling component company, and will feature a backcountry-inspired cross-country race, a downhill-driven enduro race and an all-road gravel gran fondo.
Registration is open for the cross-country and enduro races, and coming soon for the all-road event. It will be a great time to test out some demos, too.
Cyclocross Race Series
The Vail Rec District closes out the season with one final series — two cyclocross races made up of 1.5- to 2-mile laps for a timed duration. The courses feature a tricky surface combination of pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles that require riders to dismount and remount often — with bikes in tow — to move through obstructions. Registration opens at 4:15 p.m., and races begin with the kids event at 5 p.m.
• Sept. 2, Maloit Park, Minturn
• Sept. 9, Eagle County Fairgrounds, Eagle