Inventory for Teva Mountain Games
- 2 mountain bikes
- 2 road bikes
- 2 kayaks
- 2 paddles
- paddling gear
- 1 Chariot
- 1 Deuter Child Carrier
- 1 umbrella stroller
- 2 dogs
- 2 adults
- 1 baby
Holy cow. It’s a good thing we have a big F-250, because we filled it to the brim last Friday as we loaded up and shipped out for Vail. Mom had signed up for the second annual Ultimate Mountain Challenge competition. Basically, this is a stage race that combines four separate competitions (kayak sprint, mtn bike XC, 10K trail run, and road bike hill climb) over two days – the lowest combined time after the four races wins.
We left early on Friday afternoon so Mom could register and get in a quick practice run in her kayak. We spent the night at the Blair’s house in Eagle Vail (Joe Blair is one of the event organizers so his family stays at a condo in the village for the event).
Mom and me just before the start of the kayak race.
So anyway, we got up early on Saturday morning and dropped Mom off for the kayak race. Unfortunately, it turned out that her boat, an old, borrowed Prijon T-Slalom, was too long for the 12 foot boat limit. So, we had to scramble a little bit and borrow a boat from one of the other paddlers. Mom got to use one of the new Dagger Green River boats, which she discovered was plenty fast going downstream, but it also turned upstream really quickly. Despite a few unplanned spins, Mom came in second overall in the kayak race, just 45 seconds behind pro kayaker Nikki Kelly. Mom finished about 1:30 in front of the next Ultimate Mtn Challenge competitor.
Mom starts the kayak race.
After the kayak race, Mom had about 2 hours before the Mtn Bike Cross Country race. There was some pretty stiff competition in the bike race, including several nationally-ranked riders. But for Mom, her main competition in the UMC was her friend and pro cyclist Gretchen Reeves as well as pro runner Keri Nelson.
Mom and Dad posing before the bike race. I’m hiding in the pink hat.
The view from the finish line of the mountain bike race. Still plenty of snow up in the Gore Range. Mom had a good race, but Gretchen rode incredibly strong, putting 6 minutes on Mom and placing third overall in the bike race.
Mom (in red) at the start of the mtn bike race, hammering to catch Gretchen Reeves in the black.I had my own cowbell to cheer on Mom during the mtn bike race. It was a beautiful sunny day, so I had to put on lots of sunscreen. So, at the end of Saturday, Mom was less than 5 minutes behind Gretchen in the UMC and about 5 minutes ahead of Keri Nelson.
The start of the trail run in Vail Village.
On Sunday morning, we woke up to a few inches of fresh snow that started at about 9,000 ft. of elevation. It made for a pretty muddy 10K trail run. Mom had a great run, finishing about 1:30 behind Keri and 2:30 in front of Gretchen.
Mom charging downhill in the 10K trail run.
So, that left the final race in the UMC, the Vail Pass Road Bike hill climb on Sunday afternoon. Only a minute or two separated Mom and Gretchen for first place. Dad put me in the Chariot (a.k.a. my nap machine) and we rode up the Vail Pass to cheer on Mom.
But, once again Gretchen proved she’s a strong cyclist and finished the climb about a 1:30 in front of Mom to clinch the overall victory.
Mom at the finish line of the Vail Pass Hill Climb. I’m napping in the Chariot.
Mom and Dad. I took a nice nap in the Chariot while Dad towed me up Vail Pass. In the end, it was a great weekend for all of us. Mom won $1,500 total ($1K for the UMC, $500 for the kayak race) and Dad and me had lots of fun supporting her.
Mom on the podium.
Read the Vail Daily coverage of the race here with a great photo of Mom and Gretchen.