The "Planet's Coolest Kids Race" Returns This Weekend, Includes New Family Adventure Expo, Race-Day Spectating
On Aug. 10-11, over 430 children, ages six to 14, will navigate an adventure course in Vail Village and on Vail Mountain that will include a mud pit, rope obstacles, a zip line, a giant slope-n-slide, tubing and more during the Vail Recreation District's 4th Annual KEEN Vail Kids Adventure Race. The challenging competition will not only offer exciting opportunities for spectators to share in the excitement, but plenty of chances for everyone to get in on the action.
New this year, the Family Adventure Expo will kick off the festivities from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Aug. 8-9 in Solaris Plaza in Vail Village. The Expo will feature kid-friendly, family fun happenings and vendors, including activities from KEEN, meet and greets with Vail Mountain Avalanche Rescue Dogs, a free climbing wall, a helmet safety zone with Vail Valley Medical Center, a spirit station to create signs to cheer racers on and more. Additionally, during Friday's expo, everyone can hop in the "Gondola Photo Booth" for a free photo with friends and family to share and keep. The free KidSPORT Strider Cup also will return for its second year for ages two to five and take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 9 during the Expo. Approximately 50 racers will compete during the Strider Cup, which will be an opportunity to watch Vail's youngest competitors strut their stuff on their no pedal bicycles in Solaris Plaza.  
According to Beth Pappas, VRD Sports Event and Partnership Manager and KEEN Vail Kids Adventure Race Director, this year's four-day adventure weekend is an event not to be missed. "We're growing the event from one day to two days of racing and adding the Family Adventure Expo," said Pappas. "Whether you're racing in the event or just visiting, everyone has an opportunity to be part of the adventure experience. We're so excited to offer this event, it's going to be an amazing four days."
Registration for Saturday and Sunday's race is sold out with waiting lists, but children and adults who want to share in the race excitement will have ample spectator opportunities from locations all over Vail Village and Vail Mountain. The exact route and the specific challenges the kids will face will not be revealed until just before the competition start, but spectators can check out the action at any of these key spots:
  • Mountain Plaza at the base of Vail Mountain in Vail Village will be abuzz with activity throughout the event as teams set off and return to their staging areas between challenges. Young racers will be getting outfitted with gear for their next sport.  
  • From Mountain Plaza, sports fans can access (by foot) several different exciting activities, including the giant slope-n-slide, located on Pepi's Face on Vail Mountain.
  • During Sunday's race, a number of spectator-friendly challenges will take place around Ford Park and the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens.
  • Watch the tubing challenge from anywhere along the bank of the Gore Creek between the Covered Bridge to the International Bridge in Vail Village.
  •  Watch children throughout Vail Village and Golden Peak who may be passing by on bicycles or on foot running, carrying their tubes, etc.
  • At 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, an after party and awards ceremony will be held in Mountain Plaza where all race participants will receive pizza from Vendetta's and special awards for their accomplishments. Winners of each age group will climb onto the winner's podium and receive a medal and a raffle for all participants will conclude race day.
  • Additionally, KEEN Vail Kids Adventure Race Spectator Guides will be distributed throughout Vail, including athlete check-in headquarters at KidSPORT for the most up-to-date information. The guides include spectator viewing areas for each race day, a kid-friendly dining and shopping guide, as well as fun information about adventure racing, healthy habits for kids and more. 
"I love the kids adventure race," said three-year participant Scout Mattison, who will be racing next weekend. "love the slope-n-slide and Gore Creek is exciting. I have fun doing it with my partner Emma (Reeder)."
In addition to title sponsor KEEN, the 2013 KEEN Vail Kids Adventure Race is presented by the Town of Vail, Vail Mountain and KidSPORT. Other partners include Vail Valley Medical Center, Vail Marriott Mountain Resort and Spa, FlyVail.com, Sonnenalp Hotel, Evergreen Lodge, The Parent's Handbook, KZYR 97.7, Timberline Tours, The Tavern on Gore Creek, Yetis Grind, Thump Audio, Vendettas and Andylinke.com.
If families missed this year's registration deadline, they can sign up to receive information and registration deadlines for the 2014 race, which will be held August 7-10, 2014 in Vail, at www.vailkidsadventurerace.com. Registration for the KidSPORT Strider Cup is available on a first-come, first-served basis by going to www.vailkidsadventurerace.com. To find out more about the race, visit www.vailkidsadventurerace.com or call 970-479-2280.  


Jamie Gunion, VRD Marketing Director, 970-479-2246, jgunion@vailrec.com
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