732 Kids Crossed a Mudpit, Navigated a River and Survived Other Mountain Challenges
The Vail Recreation District's fifth annual KEEN Vail Kids Adventure Games, presented by KidSPORT, Horizon Organic and the Vail Valley Medical Center, pitted 366 successful teams of two, ages six to 14, on an obstacle course in Vail Village and on Vail Mountain this past weekend, Friday through Sunday. Throughout the action-packed weekend, children worked together to navigate an adventure course that included hiking, biking, ziplining, tubing, a Tarzan rope, water balloons, rock climbing, balancing on a slack line over a mud pit and sliding down a giant Slope-n-Slide at the base of Vail Mountain.  
Friday's races for the less experienced racers, ages six to nine, resulted in Team Fearless to The Finish, from Parker, Colo., taking top honors in the girl's ages six to seven category with Ellie Dermer and Zoe Warr beating the rest of the field with a time of 1:30:30. Tate Ames and Luke Bakken, better known as Team Mini Bolts from Lonetree, Colo., finished the course in 59:43 for first in the boy's ages six to seven division, while Team Flying Unicorns from Edwards, Colo., Reese Malboeuf and Joseph Dekanich, ended in the top spot in the ages six to seven coed division with a time of 1:01:53. The Strikers, Sydney Dantas and Lindsey Keihl from Avon, Colo., took the top spot for the girl's ages eight to nine division with a speedy time of 1:03:36. Jakub Pecinka and Hunter Salani with Team Ahoy from Edwards, sped through the course into first place for boy's ages eight to nine category with a time of 51:21. Team Brother/Sister Adventure from Minturn, Colo., Brandon and Carla Lorenti, flew into first place for the coed ages eight to nine division with a time of 1:02:35. Team Southlake Speed from Southlake, Texas and Edwards, Houston and Hogan Bryan slayed the course winning with a time of 54:55 for the open division.
On Saturday intermediate racers, ages eight to 11, took to the course with, Team Crank Brothers from Lonetree and Vail, Jack Bakken and Benno Scheidegger flying across the adventure race into first place with a time of 43:08 for the boy's ages eight to nine division. Team  Mountain Girls, Isabel Glackin and Avery Forstl from Vail, finished first in the girl's ages eight to nine category with a blistering time of 44:15 and Holland and Cooper Carey, Team Fire Breathing Epic Pandas from Paradise Valley, Ariz., finished on top of the coed field for ages eight to nine with a time of 54:01. Team Stinky Winkies, Kate Twede and Abigail Batterson from Colorado Springs, Colo., won top honors for the girl's ages 10 to 11 category with a time of 46:59. The Middaugh Monkeys, Sullivan and Porter Middaugh from Vail, zoomed into first place for boy's ages 10 to 11 division with a time of 42.27. Ava Surride and Noah Topka, also known as Team Surge 2 from Vail and Littleton, Colo., burned rubber to the finish line with a time of 50:26 for first in the coed division for ages 10 to 11. Rounding out the field, Team Travelinators from Evergreen, Colo., Evan and Alexa Brown, hustled into first place for the open division with a time of 48:07.
Finishing up the competition on Sunday were both expert and more adventurous racers, ages 10 to 14, with Scout Mattison and Emma Reeder of Team Cheetah Girls from Vail, edging out the other girl's teams ages 10 to 11 with a time of 1:02:34. The Lightning Dogs, Ryan Moore and Ari Dennis from Vail and Minturn, finished the course in 53:10 winning the boy's ages 10 to 11 division, while Seamus and Francs Farrell, Team Super Siblings from Vail, won the coed title for ages 10 to 11 with a time of 1:17:18. Teammates Cassi Kelchner and Lilly Demuth, Team Berry Creek Kab from Edwards, edged out the other teams with a time of 1:03:08 to win the girl's ages 12 to 14 division. Team Too Inspired To Be Tired, Michael Resnick and Fletcher Holm of Vail, sprinted into first for boy's ages 12 to 14 with a time of 56:30. Winning the coed division for ages 12 to 14, were teammates Bri Trudeau and Ethan Pyke, The Boss Bros from Edwards and Eagle, Colo., with a time of 1:013:17.
Complete results can be found by going to www.vailkidsadventuregames.com.  
An awards ceremony was held at Mountain Plaza at the base of the Vail Mountain each day where participants and their families enjoyed Mac & Cheese hosted by Horizon Organic. Prizes, including KidSPORT certificates and KEEN shoes for the top teams and all racers received a medal for their participation. Additionally, teams were recognized for Environmental Stewardship, with one team picking up over 100 pieces of trash along the course during their race. Other awards were given for teamwork, sportsmanship and spirit.  

This was the fifth Kids Adventure Games to be held in Vail and VRD Race Director Beth Pappas says this year continued to illustrate how successful the event is and possibilities for the future. About 50 percent of the 366 teams registered came from outside the Vail Valley, with kids racing from all over Colorado, as well as from Arizona, Texas, Wisconsin, Virginia, Missouri, California, New York, Iowa, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Oklahoma and South Carolina, plus Venezuela and Mexico. "This weekend's race was a fantastic chance for kids to use problem solving skills, learn teamwork and challenge themselves physically throughout the course," said Pappas. "In the past five years we've grown from a single day event to five days of fun for the entire family. We'd like to thank our sponsors, especially KEEN, KidSPORT, Vail Valley Medical Center, Horizon Organic, Vail Mountain and the Town of Vail for their support in this annual event. We're also so grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who came out to support the racers and their families."    
In addition to the race action, the event included a three-day Family Adventure Expo and, new this year, a Family Mud Run. Over 325 participants got down and dirty this past Saturday on the one mile course that included fantastic costumes and a lot of mud. The Vail Fire Department was on hand at the end of the race to wash-down participants. Over 76 percent of runners were from outside Eagle County and Vail, with 39 percent of those from outside Colorado.
The VRD would like to thank all its partners an sponsors, including title sponsor KEEN, as well as Town of Vail, Vail, KidSPORT, Horizon Organic, Vail Valley Medical Center, The Steadman Clinic, The Steadman Philippon Research Institute, KZYR The Zephyr, Parent's Handbook, Andy Linke, Timberline Tours, Moe's Original BBQ, Megastar Financial, Red Fox Wireless, Go Pro, Clif Kid, Zip Adventures and Minturn Anglers. A huge thanks to the Vail Ski Patrol for helping make the event such a huge success.
The KEEN Vail Kids Adventure Games was inspired by Billy Mattison, a top international adventure racer, who designed the course to imitate adult adventure races, which can include everything from orienteering to rock climbing to white-water rafting and can last as long as ten days, often in remote or third-world locations. The "first" Games were created by Mattison and his wife Helene with an adventure race birthday party for their two kids. Six years later, the Games are nationwide with two more events scheduled for the summer, one in Big Sky, Mont., and Sun Valley, Idaho. "It has been great being able to reach many more kids this summer in other parts of the U.S. and get them involved," said Mattison. "We've enjoyed watching them get out of their comfort zones, work hard and play hard, while having a true adventure."

Photos of the race are posted on the VRD's Facebook page, available at www.facebook.com/vailrecdistrict. Information for 2015 Vail Kids Adventure Games will be posted at www.kidsadventuregames.com early next year. 


Beth Pappas, 970-479-2280              
Vail Recreation District                       

Billy Mattison, 970-331-2828
Vail Kids Adventure Race
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