The SeasonFive Summit Games will return to the Frisco Marina this weekend, July 12 and 13. In its second year the multi-sport event is seeing substantial growth from last year’s inaugural running.
“This year we’re getting a lot more support,” event director and SeasonFive apparel founder Mike Fischer said. “Our participation for sign-ups is already going to double last year.”
He said they’ve also expanded on the number of events being offered, including stand-up paddleboard (SUP) races, clinics and yoga, as well as fly-casting competition. New this year are a triathlon and 6K dog run. Free SUP demos will be available throughout the weekend in addition to lessons and live music at the Frisco Bay Marina.
Inspired by Vail’s annual GoPro Mountain Games, Fischer founded the Summit Games last year to create an outdoor sports festival unique to Summit County that would also promote the growth of SUP on Lake Dillon.
While last year’s inaugural games met with the growing pains common to many first-year events, Fischer deemed it a success and a solid foundation to build on.
The biggest change for this year was scheduling. Last year’s competitions took place in early June with cooler temperatures and on a Dillon Reservoir that was well below full. Initially organizers had hoped to capitalize on crowds in the area for Vail’s GoPro games the following week, but Fischer said that in hindsight the decision was a mistake and did not yield the numbers they’d hoped for.
This year is different.
“I’m excited to have it smack in the middle of summer,” he said. “Being at the height of tourist season is awesome.”
Since wetsuit restrictions were lifted on Lake Dillon over a year ago, there’s also a good chance the events will see a higher turnout. Paddleboarding — already popular in other parts of the country — has continued to have a greater presence on Dillon in the last year. A number of area outfitters are offering SUP rentals, and an increasing number of Coloradoans are adding SUP boards to their toy chests.
Paddleboard races and events this weekend are for all ability levels. Participants can use the free demo boards for events on a first-come, first served basis, or are encouraged to rent from a local outfitter to guarantee a board.
The new triathlon will be held Saturday, July 12, in conjunction with the town of Frisco — replacing the town’s annual biathlon. Instead of swimming, the triathlon will include a stand-up paddleboarding stage.
“I’ve been dreaming of organizing a triathlon with a SUP leg for quite a while now and was so excited when we got approval for the SUP portion of the event,” Frisco recreation programs manager Linsey Kach said in a news release.
Organizers opted for shorter distances for each leg of the triathlon to appeal to a variety of skill levels. The race will include a 3K paddleboard course, 15K mountain bike ride and 5K trail run. Participants can register individually or as relay teams.
Proceeds from this year’s Summit Games will again benefit First Descents — a charity group that offers young adult cancer patients and survivors a free outdoor paddling, climbing or surfing adventure.
Sunday’s 6K dog run will benefit the League of Animals and People of the Summit, an animal charity that operates spay and neutering programs and assists with medical costs for pet owners in need of financial assistance.
Day-of registration will be available for all events, and anyone curious about paddleboarding is welcome to a free demo.
More information on this year’s Summit Games is available at www.summitgames.com.