If trail running wasn’t outdoorsy enough, there’s an event, known as a “flyathlon,” that combines that plus two more outdoor activities appropriate for the summer: beer drinking and fly fishing. This one-of-a-kind event features four races in 2016 including three in Colorado (one trail building event, two flyathlons) and one in Idaho.
The event’s tagline is straight to the point: “Run. Fish. Beer.”
The flyathlon is a spin-off of a standard triathlon in that it features three disciplines. There is a pre-determined trail running course, adjacent to a river appropriate for fly fishing, followed by an assortment of craft beer waiting for runners at the finish line.
Competitors are timed on the trail run and are judged by the size of the fish they catch during the fly fishing portion of the race. The bigger the fish, the better and the fishing can take place at any point during the trail run.
Competitors take a photo of a fish backed by a scale (see below), which is printed on the back of runners’ bibs, to determine their catch following the race.
“The flyathlon is a unique race event that integrates three of the West’s greatest activities; trail running, fly-fishing, and craft beer,” reads the website.
Certain time bonuses are awarded to runners who catch a cutthroat trout with differing adjustments based on size of the catch. The first unofficial flyathlon was held in 2013 and has grown to 50 participants in 2015.
The race locations range from “easy” to “moderate” in terms of running and fishing difficulty. The events help raise funds for local fish-related projects in either Colorado or Idaho, the two locations where flyathlons will be held this year. The race raised US$22,000 last year.
The race’s trophy is about what you what you expect it to be (it’s pretty great):
More information on the flyathlon series of “alternative triathlons” can be found here.