The inaugural SeasonFive Summit Games will take place this weekend, June 1 and 2, at the Frisco Marina. Think Vail’s Mountain Games meets Dillon Reservoir.
“We don’t have a big outdoor [sports] festival here in Summit,” said event founder and title sponsor SeasonFive apparel president Mike Fischer.
He said he hopes the event will be a staple of summer in Summit County for years to come.
The games will include stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), mountain biking, running and kayaking races. Both the running and mountain biking races will take place on courses set up along or below the normal shoreline of Dillon Reservoir.
“It started as a cool idea to do something in the mud,” said Jen Shimp, office manager at the Frisco Marina.
The games will also include a “gear town” with retailers and company representatives from across the world of outdoor sports set up in the marina area.
After this year Fischer hopes to expand the games and will consider adding whitewater kayaking on Ten Mile Creek and also incorporating the Frisco Adventure Park. He sees this year as a trial run and an opportunity to get word out about the games.
“We want this to be an annual event that brings out competitors and spectators alike to kick off the summer season,” says Fischer.
The event was inspired in part by the Teva, now Go-Pro, Mountain Games in Vail, and a change in Dillon Reservoir regulations, which lifted paddleboard restrictions on the water. Fischer and marina officials hope the games will draw attention to the new paddleboarding opportunities on Dillon.
Earlier this year the Dillon Resevoir Recreation Committee (DRRec) amended its policy regarding stand-up paddleboarding. Going forward, paddleboarders on Dillon will no longer be required to wear wetsuits and booties; the relaxed restriction does not apply to windsurfers.
The change came about as a result of area residents, clubs and retailers meeting with DRRec and proposing a revision to the policy. One of the key arguments was the idea that paddleboarders stay on top of their boards, not in water, and they could be in danger of overheating in a wetsuit.
Fischer believes the increasing popularity of paddleboarding could provide a boost to the summer economy in the area.
In recent years, other parts of the country have seen the popularity of stand-up paddleboarding explode. Fischer and others in the industry believe that the same could happen on Dillon Reservoir with the new relaxed policy.
With the rule change so recent, his biggest challenge in organizing the event has been the short time frame he’s had to work with. Typically an event of this kind requires a significant amount of time to plan and coordinate with sponsors.
“It’s not like Mike has had six months to a year to put this on,” says Shimp. She commended his efforts, saying he’s been the most organized even planner she’s seen.
“I think it’s great. I’m excited to have this event go on,” says Shimp.
The Summit Games will coincide with the marina’s Rock at the Dock marina party on Saturday and continue through Sunday. The Saturday marina festivities will include food and live music from Urban Island, a Colorado steel-drum band.
Proceeds from the Summit Games will benefit First Descent, a charity that provides cancer patients an opportunity to participate in various outdoor adventure sports.
Event registration is ongoing. For more information visit www.thesummitgames.com