Athletes to watch: Pros and Local ‘Joes’ Square Off During 14th Edition of the GoPro Mountain Games

Four days of fierce competition return to Vail this Thursday, June 4 for the start of the 14th edition of the GoPro Mountain Games. Local “Joes” can test their skills against pros from around the world, and spectators can watch some of the biggest names in mountain biking, climbing, trail running and more. Along with a series of whitewater competitions (see the whitewater “athletes to watch” here), the mountains also play host to competitions like the Bouldering World Cup, the Vail Pass Half Marathon, the X-Country Mountain Bike Race and the Ultimate Mountain Challenge.

Alex “AJ” Johnson returns to the GoPro Mountain Games where she made history in 2008 by becoming the first American to win the Bouldering World Cup on U.S. soil. Nine-time American Bouldering Series champion Alex Puccio also will compete in this year’s competition. She placed third overall in the World Cup bouldering contest in 2011. Two Boulder-based climbers Angie Payne and Meagan Mascarenas also will make the trek to the High Country this weekend to compete. World-champion climber Sasha DiGiulian also is expected to be the GoPro Mountain Games, however she currently is not planning to compete.

IAAF World Mountain Running competitor Megan Iizotte will compete in the Vail Pass Half Marathon. Also in the field will be Colorado Springs-based competitor Peter Maskimow and nine-time USA National Mountain Running Champion Joseph Gray.

Mike Montgomery, best known for his freestyle mountain biking gnarr, will compete in this year’s X-Country Mountain Bike race. Montgomery is among a big field of athletes to watch in the mountain bike competition, which includes freeriding and slopestyle expert Kurt Sorge, cycling legend Aaron Chase and Olympic ski racer Steve Nyman, who also plans to compete in the SUP Sprint.

Vail Valley local Tamara Donelson is among the field of women competing in the X-Country Mountain Bike race. Donelson, and her husband Brett, are founders of the Cycle Effect girls mountain biking program in Eagle County. She will go up against pro racers such as Georgia Gould who has represented Team USA at seven World Championships, two Olympic Games and two continental championships. Erin Huck returns to the Mountain Games after winning the time trial in 2011 and placing a respectable 9th and 6th place at the National Championship XC and STXC races.

Josiah Middaugh returns to defend his Ultimate Mountain Challenge title. Middaugh is an eight-time winner of the title, 10-time XTERRA National Champion and eight-time Mt. Taylor Winter Quadrathlon Champion, to name a few accolades. XTERRA World Championship racer Emma Garrard also will compete in the women’s Ultimate Mountain Challenge.

The GoPro Mountain Games are the country's largest celebration of adventure sports, art and music and they return to Vail, June 4 - 7, 2015. Professional and amateur athletes from around the world converge upon the mountains and rivers of Vail to compete in nine sports and 25 disciplines for more than $110,000 in prize money.

For a complete event schedule, athlete registration and lodging information for the 2015 GoPro Mountain Games please visit


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About the GoPro Mountain Games/Vail Valley Foundation

The GoPro Mountain Games is a project of the Vail Valley Foundation. The Vail Valley Foundation is a Colorado 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, dedicated to enriching the Vail Valley and sustaining its unique spirit through the delivery of unparalleled arts, world-class athletics and inspiring education programs throughout the community. For additional information on the GoPro Mountain Games, please visit For the Vail Valley Foundation, please visit

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GoPro, Inc. is transforming the way people capture and share their lives. What began as an idea to help athletes self-document themselves engaged in their sport has become a widely adopted solution for people to capture themselves engaged in their interests, whatever they may be. From extreme to mainstream, professional to consumer, GoPro enables the world to capture and share its passion. And in turn, the world has helped GoPro become one of the most exciting and aspirational companies of our time.

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Link to Approved GoPro Mountain Games Images -