What: Teva Mountain Games
When: Friday through Sunday
More info: tevamountaingames.com
This weekend’s Teva Mountain Games, in Vail, will attract athletes from all over, and quite a few from Boulder.
The Teva Mountain Games gathers a wide cross-section of outdoor athletes, because it offers competition in so many sports — trail running, mountain biking, kayaking, climbing, paddle boarding and more — for professionals and amateurs alike.
Before she got into cycling and became a pro mountain biker, Sonya Looney, of Boulder, was a runner. So for this year’s Teva Mountain Games, Looney decided to take advantage of the opportunity and register for both the cross-country mountain bike race and the 10K trail run, which is after her bike race.
“This is something I’m jumping into again,” she said. “But I haven’t been running trails, and I’m terrible at downhill.”
She said she wouldn’t be doing the run if it weren’t the day after the mountain-bike race.
“This race pays out really well, so all the really, really fast pros show up for this one,” Looney said. “Most of the women right now who are dominating the World Cup are from Colorado, so if they’re not on a World Cup race, they’ll probably be at the Teva race this weekend.”
Though Looney signed up for her two races individually, the Games have an official multidisciplinary competition, the Ultimate Mountain Challenge, which includes trail running, mountain biking, road racing and kayaking.
This is the second time Per Larsen, of Boulder, will compete in the Ultimate Mountain Challenge. He said he likes the camaraderie that comes with doing the Ultimate.
“You don’t have to be super competitive in any one sport, you can just have fun doing all four,” he said. “And it doesn’t attract a huge field, which makes it a little more fun to me — it makes it a more intimate race.”
Larsen said he has been trying to ride his bike more to get ready for the Teva Games, but really, he hasn’t been training much — but it is a good excuse to train for something.
“It is hard to train for four sports. I just got on my kayak for the first time on moving water (Wednesday). But the kayak is not a very difficult course. It’s essentially a class 2 with some play waves in the middle.”
The atmosphere at the Games is fun, he said, and it’s nice to hang out with pros in so many sports.
“Even the pro athletes aren’t so big that they’re unapproachable,” he said. “Most of the pro athletes in kayaking, climbing, even cycling, they’re not like NFL stars who show up in Cadillacs to the game. They’re approachable — they’re fun people to be around.”
Boulder climber Daniel Woods usually doesn’t have his family around for his competitions on the World Cup circuit, but this weekend, his parents and sister, Amanda, will all be there — they’re all competing. Amanda and parents Steve and Carol all registered for the citizen’s competition on Sunday, which is held on the same wall the pros (like Daniel) compete on. The family has been coming to the Teva Mountain Games for years.
“We just like to climb, and we have friends from all over the country that we see here once a year,” Steve Woods said.
“It’s really fun, it’s good to have the parents back you up and stuff,” Daniel Woods said.
“And you gotta rep the name.”