MINTURN – The Mini Mile mountain bike race showed organizers a sized-down version of what this summer’s annual bike series might entail on Tuesday.
With races happening in waves of 20 competitors, as opposed to the mass start format which is standard, the annual kids races are being prolonged over two days this year. Boys raced on Tuesday and girls hit the trails Wednesday starting at 4:45 p.m.
The Mini Mile is a lone kids-only race in a larger series which is open to competitors of all ages beginning next week. Vail Recreation District race organizer Beth Pappas said the Tuesday-Wednesday kids races, while still stretched out over two days, will be a less intense version of next week’s races in Eagle Ranch.
The Eagle Ranch event is currently scheduled to take place next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, but Pappas has plans for both the blue phase and black phase COVID-19 restrictions. If Eagle County is in the black phase by the first day of racing on June 30, the races will be able to be wrapped up in two days instead of three.
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Regardless, everyone who wants to race should be able to.
“I feel confident that we won’t have to turn people away,” Pappas said.
Kids who raced on Tuesday in Minturn enjoyed good conditions as a light rain brushed the area earlier in the day.
Fourteen-year-old Fermin Perochena participated in his first-ever Vail Recreation District Race, along with his cousin, 13-year-old Alonso Perochena. The boys are from Mexico City, living in Vail this summer.
Alonso Perochena received a proper initiation on the Mini Mile trail as he fell off the large and intimidating rock bridge, the marquee feature of the trail. Fermin, who himself had to stop and deal with a chain that came off the ring, waited for Alonso near the finish and they crossed together.
“It was tiring but it was fun,” Fermin said.
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