Awards Ceremonies at The Beach

Friday May 24th, Saturday May 25th, and Sunday May 26th

Friday and Saturday evening at 7:30pm and Sunday at 4:30pm there will be an awards ceremony to hand out prizes to the lucky winners of the competitions and giveaways! All of these ceremonies will be held on the Stage at The Beach at South Main. Come enjoy some food, beverages, and music while you check out the cool prizes.


US National Freestyle Championships and Kayak rodeo

Friday, May 24th - Saturday, May 25th

If you haven’t checked out the high-flying, freestyle action of the US National Championships and Kayak Rodeo, be sure to come out this year! Many of the best freestyle kayakers from around the world will showcase the cutting edge of freestyle at the Buena Vista Whitewater Park in South Main. As one of the first freestyle events on the Colorado circuit, the US National Championships and the kayak rodeo has become a festive and exciting kick off to the Colorado season for spectators and competitors alike. Cash and prizes awarded to winning competitors.

* All registered racers must check in at the judging tent 30 minutes prior to your class start time.

Cost:  $40-$45


Yucca Classic Disc Golf Tournament 

Saturday, May 25th @ 9:00am

The 9th Annual Yucca Classic will feature a Men’s Advanced and Intermediate, Women and Youth divisions. The Advanced Men will play 27 holes, Intermediate Men and Women will play 18 holes, and Youth will play 9 holes. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Prizes include cash prizes for top finishers, a “closest to pin” (CTP) competition, as well as an ace pot. Awards ceremony to follow completion of each division.

Cost: $10 - Youth / $20 - Adult



Saturday, May 25th @5:00pm

Join your SUP paddling peers for an “attainment” up stream and down stream race in the Buena Vista River Park. The race will start with an upstream paddling section around buoys and finish with a down river section around buoys to the finish line in South Main.  Men’s and women’s qualifying heats and finals all in a one-hour super session. Quick, up-down and dirty SUP fun. Be ready to paddle hard.

Meet at the South Main River Park at 4pm for heat registration with your boards and all your gear. Race starts at 5pm sharp. Cash & prizes for the winners, and cold beverages too.


Participants must have prior SUP River experience. PFD’s and helmets are required. No leashes. This is not a beginners race.

Cost:  $35


Spirit Trail Run: 8K and Half Marathon

Sunday, May 26th @ 8:15am

Course map and Elevation profile: Click here

8K map:

Half Marathon map:

Saturday Packet Pick up: 

5:00pm to 7:00pm @ the Buena Vista Community Center

Sunday morning Packet Pick up:

7:00am to 8:00am @ the South Main River Park

Paddlefest Spirit HALF MARATHON (13.1 miles) – The 5th Annual Paddlefest Spirit Half Marathon is a fun, beautiful yet challenging trail run through the Buena Vista Trail system, including portions of the River Park Trails, Whipple Trails, the Broken Boyfriend, the Midland Grade, and incorporates our newest trails, Fist Full Of Dollars and the Django Loops.  This race does have a moderate amount of elevation gain. The course is amazing and scenic, 60% single track trail and 40% dirt road, offering a ton of variation with the best views in Colorado.

- Elevation Gain/Loss:1247 ft., # aid stations: 4, Entry limit: 200

Paddlefest SPIRIT 8K TRAIL RUN - The Spirit 8K Race is a fun, single track run through Buena Vista’s premier Barbara Whipple trail system. Total mileage is 8 kilometers or about 4.97 miles. The race will wind through the hills above the western banks of the Arkansas River and along the Broken Boyfriend Trail, providing runners with incredible views of the Collegiate Peaks, and an inspiring, fun-fulfilled way to start your Sunday morning!  This race does have a moderate amount of elevation gain.

- Elevation Gain/Loss: 500 ft., # aid stations: 4, Entry limit: 100

Prizes for top three placers for Mens and Womens for the Half and 8K. Awards ceremony to be held at 12:00pm on the South Main Stage. Stay and enjoy some music, food, and libations.

Cost: $25/8K - $75/half marathon


Clauson Challenge Numbers Raft Race

Sunday, May 26th @ 8:30am

"Many of you knew John Clauson who lost a short battle with cancer in 2012.

I had the pleasure of working alongside John for a couple of years at AVA back in 2001 and 2002.  Ever since, we shared a kinship, like many of you, driven by a deep passion for the things that we love in life.  Being fortunate enough to be able to pursue and share this passion with friends, and even the public through our jobs/ careers, has been a wonderful way to live.  In my opinion, John’s spirit represented what is so special about this lifestyle. The generosity to share your expertise with others in a positive way, to remain positive in the face of adversity and significant challenge, to enjoy the challenge of reaching deep within yourself to find the strength to push yourself farther, and race harder!  These were some of the things that we enjoyed together. John’s spirit lives on in many of us that knew him and enjoy this lifestyle."

~ Mark Hammer, Race Sponsor

The Clauson Challenge is a legacy race in John Clauson’s honor. Teams of 4-6 paddlers will race the Numbers section of the Arkansas River. Releasing one raft at a time on one minute intervals, racers will compete from Number 1, racing 1.25 miles, through Number 5 and finishing when the bow of their boat crosses the finish line in the eddy at Number 5.5 on river left.

Shuttle for competitors will be provided by The Adventure Company from Railroad bridge to the AHRA put-in.

Boats not provided. A limit of 10 raft teams, all must have solid Class IV paddling experience. Prizes awarded to the top three Mens and Womens Divisions finish times.

Cost: $30 per team


Numbers Kayak Race

Sunday, May 26th @ 9:00am

This time-trial race takes place in the Numbers section of the Arkansas River. At 9am racers will be released at 1 minute intervals to race a roughly 1.25 miles from Number 1 to the eddy at Number 5.5 on river left, finishing when the bow of their boat crosses the finish line.

Race is limited to 80 Kayakers and Canoeists who must have solid Class IV paddling experience. One of three classes can be chosen - Mens Long Boat (9ft-12ft 6in), Mens Short Boat (under 9ft), and Women's Long Boat (9ft-12ft 6in), Women's Short Boat (under 9ft). Cash purse and other prizes awarded to winning competitors.

​Cost: $35


Open Bouldering Competitions @ BV Rocks/Peak Fitness

Sunday, May 26th @ 12:00pm

The Peak Fitness bouldering competition will be an open event. The scoring categories will consist of beginner, intermediate, and advanced for both male and female. Beginners should be able to climb V1 to compete. Adult climbers will have 30 minutes to complete as many routes as possible. There will be 45 minutes of climbing specific games for kids.

Questions? Please contact Libby Nye:

Cost: Kids: $15 / Adults: $20


Badfish River Surf Competition

Sunday, May 26th @ 2:00pm

We love surfing in Colorado. Let's have some fun in this light hearted river surfing comp for women, men and kids and to showcase some of Colorado’s really fun waves.  

Registered contestants will meet at the Staircase Wave at 1:30pm for warmups.  The competition will begin at 2pm. We will have open heats of 5 surfers at a time. Each surfer enters the wave and surfs for up to one minute at a time.  Once you blow off the wave (or your minute is up) the next ready rider enters. Scoring is based off of the patented Badfish River SUP scoring system. A limit of 40 River SUP Surfers with solid river surfing experience.  Classes - Men’s class and Women's class.

Cost $30


Race to the Grill

Monday, May 27th @ 12:30pm

The River Runners’ “Race to the Grill” is a fun, downriver sprint through the infamous Milk Run (family float section) of the Arkansas River. The race is open to any craft- Kayak, Ducky or SUP.  The race is a one at a time time-trial release down this Class 2+ section of whitewater, beginning at Wilderness Aware and ending at River Runners Grill for an afternoon of relaxation on the sandy beaches of the Arkansas River. Cold beverages and hot tacos will be waiting for you at the River Runners Riverside Grill, just across the the river from the Fisherman’s Bridge boat ramp.
Come out and participate in this fun-filled event! Jr. racers may need to be accompanied by an adult. You will need to be comfortable and experienced in Class 2 + whitewater and have the gear to accompany.
Cost: $10 per racer