The 2015 GoPro Mountain Games came to a close today amid a beehive of competition, events, and expos. Organizers are already calling this edition of the Mountain Games a ‘huge success’.
“The crowds were huge, the streets were full, and there’s little doubt these GoPro Mountain Games were the biggest, baddest, and burliest we've had yet,” said Tom Boyd, Director of Communications for the Vail Valley Foundation, organizers of the event.
More than 220 volunteers gave their time to help make the Mountain Games happen, and more than 200 members of the media came to cover the action.
For the first time, the 2015 GoPro Mountain Games also featured a full day of action on Thursday, June 4. As in previous years, the Coors Light Steep Creek Championships at Homestake Creek kicked off the four-day celebration of adventure, sports, art and music, but this year Gerber Gear Town and concerts kept the Vail Village vibrant all through the afternoon and evening.
“The Thursday lineup certainly gave the event some momentum heading into the weekend,” Boyd said. “Even though we had a bit of weather on Saturday, the energy just continued to build, and there was just a ton of enthusiasm at the events all day and the concerts at night.”
Sunday was a big day for the sport of Disc Golf, which joined the GoPro Mountain Games schedule for the first time this year.
The very first Mountain Games Disc Golf victory went to Brendan Hickman, who also took home $1000 in prize money for his effort. Sean Jack took second, and Shawn Jones took third.
The women’s Disc Golf crown, and $500 in prize money, went to Ashley Sloan. Kristara Lee took second and Cara Jones took third.
Competition at Disc Golf was unique in that it offered spectator-friendly qualifying rounds. Safely tucked away behind batting cages in the heart of Vail Village, disc golfers competed in skills tests Friday and Saturday to determine who would play the 9-hole course at Ford Park on Sunday to determine the winner.
“The fact that we had hundreds of people cheering on our guys, it just lit up our day,” said Vibram Disc Golf’s Steven Dodge. “People just couldn’t stop talking about how much fun that was. I’ve had more than a few people tell me that this has been the highlight of their life. This has been very, very cool.”
“Vibram is crazy excited to be a part of this event, and help push the sport forward another full step,” he added.
Ultimate Mountain Challenge
Perhaps the most grueling event of the weekend is the Ultimate Mountain Challenge, which combines results from Down River Sprint (or SUP sprint), the X-Country Mountain Bike, the Vasque 10K Spring Runoff, and the Volvo Road Bike Time Trial.
Vail’s own Josiah Middaugh was once again crowned the 2015 UMC Men’s winner. Middaugh has won it every year since the event was first held in 2007, this time taking it by a breathtaking 28:04.50 margin of victory. Middaugh was followed by Adam Wirth in second and Luke Jay in third.
The women’s UMC title was captured by Emma Garrard, who won by a 5:10.61 margin. She was followed by Heidi Rentz in second and Jaime Brede in third.
Vasque 10K Spring Runoff
The Vasque 10K Spring Runoff also saw a repeat male winner in Joseph Gray, who marked the fastest time of the day at 51:44.9. He was followed up by Andy Wacker (45:23.2) and Alex Nichols (46:49.8).
Megan Kimmel took second in the 2014 Spring Runoff, but found her way to the top of the heap this year with a winning time of 51:44.9. She was followed by Morgan Arritola (53:58.1) and Brandy Erholtz (55:21.7).
Jack Link’s International Slackline Invitational
The Jack Link’s International Slackline Invitational brought a large, vocal crowd to Gear Town at Soloris. Tauri Vahesaar won $4000 and first place with a score of 418.78, followed by Felix Carreira (376.24) and Kota Hayasaka (295.53.
Volvo Road Bike Time Trials
Annie Toth of Wyoming made her mark in the Women’s Road Bike Time Trials, taking first place with a time of 31:58.37. She was followed by two competitors from Boulder: Abigail Mickey (32:29.90) and Erin Huck (32:29.20).
Keegan Swenson of Park City, Utah took first place in the men’s event with a time of 28:04.36. He was followed by Michael Burleigh (29:19.77) and Andrew Clemence (28:39.78).
The bruising, bashing, 8-ball challenge delivered yet another year of punishment to the kayakers who dared to navigate the human obstacle course on Gore Creek in the Vail Village.
Nourish Newman prevailed for the win in the women’s category, followed by Claire O’Hara and Maya Rosecrance. The men’s division was taken by Greg Parker, followed by Brendan Wells and William Griffith.
Coors Light SUP Cross
Luke Hopkins won the Men’s Coors Light SUP Cross. He was followed by Bradley Hilton and Michael Tavares. Anna Fisher won the women’s event, followed by Natalia Zollinger and Camille Swan.
DockDogs and Flyfishing
DockDog and Flyfishing results were not in at the time of this release.
Full results from the final day of action can be found here as soon as they are available.