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Well it is that time of year again, travelling around Colorado, connecting the dots from all the competitions across the state leading me to Lyons.


I have been going to the Lyons outdoor games pretty much since the beginning around 6 years ago. It is another one of my favorites, with some great creek racing and freestyle. This year they tied is Slalom too to make a well-rounded triple crown.


It was semi ironic with the water levels; the freestyle hole was epic and some of the most water we have seen in Colorado this year, while the SSV creek was some of the lowest water I have ever seen in it. Though the organizers were able to pull it all together for a great weekend.


We started off with the creek race on Friday with the Freestyle. 4 heats of Men’s Prelims, 2 rides both count. It was a close cut from 18 down to 10 for Semi Finals. Top three were Mathieu Dumoulin in third, Dane Jackson in second and myself in 1st. I had the highest scoring ride of the comp with a 1530, one of my better rides ever in a competition.


Saturday was the creek race down the 4-minute racecourse on the local favorite South Saint Vrain. I was having some great practice runs and felt really solid of the whole course. Though my first race run was possibly the worst run I have ever had on the South Saint Vrain creek. I sprinted too hard off the start and I started to make some mistakes in the end of the 4-minute course, two big pitons, and an eddy out (not fast). Though luckily for me it was best of two runs, so I was able to do it again and redeem myself. My second run I took it a little easier and really focused on nailing the lines perfectly, which I felt I did, though without sprinting in the flatter sections my time wasn’t going to be a winning time. I ended up third behind EJ in 1st and Dane in 2nd. The Zen swept the top four places with Clay being behind me in 4th while Dave Fusilli was in a close 5th.


In the afternoon was the Boater-cross relay. It starts off with 20 pushups, then a couple 100-yard sprint with your kayak to the put-in, and boater-cross with a gate and a paddle toss and then tag your partner and do it again. It is a total of four runs each team member doing it once. My team consisted of EJ, Dane, Country and myself. It was a close race, though with our paddle throwing skills we took home 1st out of the 4 teams.


Sunday was the Freestyle Finals and Slalom race. We started off with the Men’s Semi finals cutting from 10 down to 5. It was another extremely tight cut with some amazing paddling not making it to finals. The judging was tight and you needed over 1000 points to make it. The Finals consisted of Stephen Wright, Eric Jackson, Mathieu Dumoulin, Clay Wright and myself. The final three rides of finals were even more competitive as finals went on. I ended up in 3rd just pushing Mathieu off the podium, while EJ was 2nd, and Stephen took home 1st.

After Freestyle Finals we raced downstream to catch the slalom race. I felt like I had moments of excellence in the slalom boat, though with a couple touches I added seconds to my time quickly.


At the end of the weekend we did the Triple Crown standings. EJ took home the overall top honors with a 1st in the creek and two 2nd place finishes in slalom and freestyle, I was 2nd Overall with two 3rds in Freestyle and creek and a 5th in slalom, while Dane was 3rd Overall with a 2nd in the creek race, 8th in freestyle, and 4th in slalom.


In the end it was another amazing weekend, and a great event. I am now in the airport on my way to the Reno River Festival.


Nick Troutman