Myriad sporting opportunies available over summer

May 7, 2012

Tyler Bodlak
tbodlak@uccs.edu

For sports fans around the globe, this summer can’t come fast enough. The Olympics will soon be here, Lebron James will once again choke in the playoffs, the Tour de France might crown a champion that rides by the rules (kidding) and, well, the Olympics will soon be here. But for sports fans in Colorado Springs, there is more to this summer than just the Olympics.

NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships

Dates: May 24-26
Location: Neta and Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl, Pueblo, Colo.

The skinny:
This year, CSU-Pueblo was selected to host the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships. For students who are fans of track and field, making the short drive to Pueblo for the championships would be worthwhile. Also, as UCCS is a Division II school, it is likely that one or more Mountain Lion athletes will be competing at the championships, as well.

Tough Mudder

Dates: June 9-10
Location: Beaver Creek, Colo.

The skinny:
The Tough Mudder is one of the most demanding obstacle courses in existence. Designed by British Special Forces, the Mudder is a 10-12 mile course that will test your stamina, strength, teamwork and mental will.

With this in mind, the Tough Mudder makes sure that its participants will be anything but bored. There will be running, sure, but it won’t be anything like a marathon (an event that Mudder officials recognize as supremely boring). Competitors will zig and zag their way to the finish line, splashing through mud, water and everything in between to get there.

Despite the fact that completing the Mudder is no simple feat, the Tough Mudder is not to be taken overly seriously. At the finish line, event organizers will provide participants will beer, smiles and a live band, intent on making sure that everyone has a blast.

If you are interested in participating in the Tough Mudder, it is not too late to sign up. Information can be found online at toughmudder.com

Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Date: July 8
Location: Pikes Peak Toll Road

The skinny:
First completed in 1916, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb is the second oldest motor sports race in America. The race course is 12.42 miles long and features 156 turns before finishing at the summit of Pikes Peak. Drivers will climb nearly 5,000 feet during the course of the race. This year, the race has 16 classes and nearly 200 drivers.

In the week leading up to the actual race, there will be a variety of race related events including motorcycle jumpers, beer gardens and live bands. For more information on the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, visit usacracing.com/ppihc.

U.S. Open Ultimate Championships

Dates: July 5-8
Location: U.S. Air Force Academy

The skinny:
This summer, Colorado Springs will play host to the inaugural U.S. Open, a major international Ultimate Frisbee competition and convention. The event hopes to draw more than 20 teams and 600 athletes from around the globe to compete for the championship.

The competition is an invitation-only event, but the convention is open to anyone who wishes to promote and advance the sport of Ultimate.

The convention will feature a number of speakers and discussion groups intent on growing the sports. There will also be a trade show that will include giveaways, competitions and opportunities to meet the athletes. The opening ceremony for the event will be on July 4, with the actual competition beginning on July 5.

World Softball and Boxing Championships

Dates: Aug. 2-11
Location: UCCS

The skinny:
In January, the city of Colorado Springs was awarded with the right to host both the World Softball and World Boxing Championships. The events are open to all student athletes that have not been graduated for more than a year and are between 17 and 28 years old.

Combined, the two competitions are expected to bring more than 300 athletes and officials from 30 countries to Colorado Springs.

The boxing championships will be held at the Gallogly Events Center, while the softball event will be conducted at Four Diamonds. Athletes will be housed at Summit and Alpine village residence halls.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Dates: Aug. 20-26
Location: Colorado (one stage in Colorado Springs)

The skinny:
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is a seven-day stage race throughout the Colorado Rockies. Before the race is completed, riders will tally over 650 miles on their bikes, beginning in Durango and finishing in Denver.

On Aug. 23, competitors will begin the day in Breckenridge and finish in Colorado Springs. While in the Springs, riders will climb through Garden of the Gods before finishing the stage downtown.

For more information on the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and specifically on the Colorado Springs stage, visit RideStage5.com.