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Winter Teva Mountain Games brings ski boot runners to Vail

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Ski boots weren’t made for walking, much less running, but that didn’t stop some of the fittest athletes in Colorado from buckling up for the inaugural Eddie Bauer Boot Run in Vail on Saturday.

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“We got to dress up in costumes and run in our ski boots. That sounded awesome,” said Kari Bangston of Minturn.

Runners were required to wear hard-shelled ski boots as they navigated two laps of an obstacle course filled with hay bales, tires and mounds of snow.

“I didn’t know it would be uphill,” said Krista Driscoll of Minturn. “But we did practice by walking over here as a team.”

One of the few non-competitive events at the Winter Teva Mountain Games, the Boot Run drew athletes of all ages.

“It just sounded kind of crazy and fun,” said 11-year-old Maddie May of Fort Collins.

Check here for photos from the Boot Run.

Much like the Mud Run of the summer Teva Mountain Games, the emphasis was on fun. Costume clad runners dominated the field while pretending to take the event seriously.

“I feel like because it’s such a new sport--it’s really just blossoming right now—even a beginner like myself can be competitive,” joked Mark Sorensen of Broomfield.

Ross Leonhart came all the way from Maryland to compete in the Boot Run. He finished dead last, with a huge smile on his face. “I ended up behind all the kids so I’m sure they’re happy they beat someone,” he said.

Lindsey Jackson of Eagle had only one complaint: “I think they should have opened the beer booth before the race started.”

But even without her pre-race carbs, Jackson finished strong and is already planning for next year’s event. “I’m going to start training in September. I’ll probably even build my own course.”