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Sam Elias, of Boulder, climbs toward a win in the mixed climbing competition at the Winter Teva Mountain Games in Vail on Feb. 10, 2012.
Ryan Day Thompson, courtesy Vail Valley Foundation
Sam Elias, of Boulder, climbs toward a win in the mixed climbing competition at the Winter Teva Mountain Games in Vail on Feb. 10, 2012.
Get full results for the Winter Teva Mountain Games at

In the first Winter Teva Mountain Games — the popular summer games have been around for several years — over the weekend, Boulder athletes won several competitions, from ice climbing to snowshoeing to snow biking.

Mitch Hoke won the men’s snow bike criterium by completing 10 laps in the allotted time — more than any other racer — and Judy Freeman took the women’s race in seven laps. Hoke, who had only raced a snow bike once before the Teva Games, said snow biking is tricky since the bike slides around so easily, he said, but he kept the rubber on the snow the entire time and executed a fall-free race.

Emily Harrington took second place in the women’s mixed climbing competition after a fall in the finals. Sam Elias won the men’s competition.

Elias said it was a grueling, eight-hour day of competition. Climbers went head-to-head in brackets to race one another up mirror-image routes; they’d then switch routes and race again.

“It was really draining,” he said. “By the time it was over, I basically raised the roof 11 times.”

The head-to-head racing was unusual for an ice and mixed (using ice tools on rock) competition, Elias said, and he was surprised by how the format played out at the comp.

“It was much less about speed than I thought,” Elias said. “The route was fairly challenging. It wasn’t just mindless climbing upward. There were some sequences that were tricky and definitely ways to make them quicker.”

In his tenth time on the wall, Elias said he clocked a PR and the fastest time of the comp. In the final, he just hung on and tried to stay ahead.

“I had accumulated a pretty sizable lead over my opponent in the final, so I just tried not to make any mistakes,” he said. “I had 40 seconds on him, and I just tried to stay ahead of him.”

In other sports: 

In snowshoeing, Boulder’s Sara Tarkington took first overall in the women’s 10K cross-country race; Christina Person won the women’s age 20-29 race. 

In Nordic skiing, Lenka Palanova won third in the overall women’s 10K race, and several Boulder skiers took first in their categories in the Nordic freestyle 10K, including Daniel Weinberger in the men’s age 30 to 39 race and Nathan Schultz in the 40 to 49 race.

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