In its sixth year in existence, the Lyons Outdoor Games in Lyons, Colo. is quietly becoming a big time event. “We’re growing exponentially,” says Matt Booth, who along with Adam and Amy Schwartz organizes the Games. “Next year we need to look for some corporate sponsorship so we can get more help.”
LOG – as organizers refer to it – features a variety of outdoor events including BMX biking and fishing. But paddlesports is arguably the Games most visible sport.
The South Saint Vrain – one of Colo.’s most technical (and mankiest) creeks – played host to the event’s creek race and boatercross, where Tao Berman ousted Andrew Holcombe by a second to take home the $500 cash prize. Jason Beakes finished third.
On the women’s side, Eleanor Perry took top honors while Maria Kallman finished second and Natalie Kramer third.
The Lyons Festival also features an unorthodox boatercross event where four-person, co-ed teams must do pushups and drag their boats through an obstacle course before competitors hit the water. Berman, Holcombe and Tino Specht took home top honors with Berman running the course twice to make up for their team’s lack of a fourth athlete. “We made Tao do 100 pushups instead of 20 to give them a handicap,” Booth says.
The boatercross also featured one of the biggest hits of the weekend as Dagger’s Ken Hoeve nearly beheaded Specht during the race. “It gave us all a good scare,” Booth says.
There was talk of water issues during the race but competitors said they were stoked on the levels, which were higher than last year. The freestyle event also benefited from higher levels, where Nick Troutman won the men’s event and his fiancé, Emily Jackson won the women’s. This is Troutman’s second big win in as many weeks as he took the freestyle event at the Paddling Life Invitational to finish in a tie for first overall in Stemboat Springs on Memorial Day. Steven Wright and Eric Jackson finished second and third respectively while Elaine Campbell and Perry finished two, three on the women’s side.
See Stephen Wright ripping the Lyons hole here during prelims.
Look for more photos and videos at Lyonsoutdoorgames.com