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Beat the Heat

Summer’s here and the living’s hot in the Front Range. To cool you down while keeping your adrenaline at a steady boil, we give you Colorado’s best water events—and a few more that will just soak you in sweat. For a complete listing of all Colorado June/July events, go to

Flipping out at Crested Butte Fat Tire Week

Teva Mountain Games • June 4–7

Head up to Vail and partake in the country’s largest celebration of mountain sport, soul and culture with 30,000 of your closest friends. The 2009 Games will host competitions in kayaking, climbing, mountain biking, trail running, road biking, fishing and rafting. Caution: with parties, concerts and a retro prom, the Games’ vibrant nightlife is a sure-fire way to miss your competition the next morning.

Lyons Outdoors Games • June 12–14

The Lyons Outdoors Games started as an excuse for some paddling buddies to get together and play in Lyons’ Whitewater Park. Now in its 7th year, the event has grown into a world-class hootenanny of mountain sports featuring kayaking, mountain biking and the infamous canine cannonball, in which dogs compete for the gnarliest river launch. In addition, the Games offer numerous clinics and exhibitions put on by some of the world’s premier professional athletes.

FIBArk • June 18–21

Now in its 61st year, Salida’s epic Father’s Day weekend event might just be further along in years than your dear old dad. America’s oldest and boldest whitewater festival is all about history, great beer, wild boats, free music and mountain folk. Boasting competitions in every aspect of boating, as well as a parade, carnival and pancake breakfast, this four-day festival welcomes all generations. Not convinced? Fine, spend another Father’s Day playing badminton at Uncle Charlie’s.

Crested Butte Fat Tire Week • June 24–28

This festival celebrates Crested Butte as the birthplace of mountain biking. (Does anyone know for sure where mountain biking was born? Didn’t think so.) Nonetheless, partying at the Gunnison National Forest is always a good idea. Live music, an expo and a beer garden are just some of the amenities in addition to daily guided rides for all levels. The World Famous Chainless Race is always a crowd-pleaser. We can attest that that one is truly a Crested Butte original.

Gunnison River Fest • June 26–28

Our sources tell us that an even bigger and better festival is in the works for 2009. Those same sources have yet to reveal the details. So we’re on the edge of our seats waiting to find out if they can top last year’s new wave at the Whitewater Park. If you’re a rabble-rouser, you’ll definitely want in on the insanity of the Hooligan Build-Your-Own Boat Race. If you’re more artsy-fartsy, please direct yourself to the Artists’ Reception at Gunnison Gallery.

Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hill Climb • July 18

Why not race your road bike 28 miles up America’s highest paved automobile road? It’s only 14,130 feet. And it’s in mid-July, so you’ll be plenty fit by then. Did we mention the scenery? The race is named in honor of five-time race winner Bob Cook, who died of cancer at the age of 23. Tom Danielson remains the current record-holder, with a time of 1:41:20 set in 2004. Jeannie Longo from France holds the women’s record with a time of 1:59.19. The current Elevation Outdoors staff record is 2:59:49, set by yours truly in 2007.

Loveland Lake-to-Lake Triathlon • June 20

Hello TriGeeks! We know you’re out there. You’ve already signed up, haven’t you?  Well for those who haven’t, this Olympic-distance triathlon couldn’t be held in a more beautiful venue. The 1.5k swim takes place in Lake Loveland, visible from Highway 34. The hilly 30-mile bike course travels through Loveland and Fort Collins with a segment around scenic Horsetooth Reservoir. The 10k run features a new out-and-back course this year to cut down on transition zone congestion.

Boulder Triathlon Series • June 21, July 12, August 9

Colorado’s pinnacle triathlon series is now in its 4th year. It boasts over $16,000 in cash and gift certificates from sponsors for the top age-group finishers in the series. All three races take place at the Boulder Reservoir, beginning with the shortest, the Sprint, in June, and ending with the half-Ironman distance in August. In between, you get hit with the Olympic distance in July, called The Boulder Peak, in honor of the grueling climb up Old Stage Road during the bike segment. Races sold out? Share the love—volunteer.

La Sportiva Eldora Trail 10k • August 1

Dirt. Ned. Some oddness. Be prepared for anything in this 10K trail race that takes place on the cross country ski trails up at Eldora. The Eldo Trail’s billed as a good venue for your first-ever dirt race and it’s also the 4th race in the 10-event La Sportiva Mountain Cup national series, so points will be scored leading to $25,000 in overall prizes. No matter how hard you run, it’s a nice way to escape the heat down in town.

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