As someone who has looked forward to the Flyathlon every year since I started running it, I was pretty bummed when I got word that the race would not be taking place this year. However, my spirits lifted when the Socially Distanced Flyathlon Challenge was announced, as it sounded just as fun (albeit in a different way) as the normal Flyathlon!
Instead of racing against and camping with some of the coolest folks from around the country in the fall, this year we'll be doing our own, self-created, self-paced challenge that's still in the spirit of the Flyathlon. We'll still be fishing, putting in miles on the trail, supporting local breweries, raising money, and making a difference in the community.
As always, money raised goes toward native fish conservation. Normally, it goes to the fish native to the race location, but this year we got to choose which location we'd like to donate our funds to. Since I've been a loyal Lake Fork competitor since the start, I chose to send all of my fundraiser money to the Lake Fork area, benefitting the Colorado River cutthroat trout.
Thank you in advance for any donations and I can't wait to get the ball rolling on the Socially Distanced Flyathlon Challenge!
In the interest of keeping everyone safer this summer, the Running Rivers Board of Directors has spent the last several months locked away in our attics creating the Socially Distanced Flyathlon Challenge as the premier pandemic alternative to our traditional in-person Flyathlon events. The premise of this new challenge is extraordinarily simple. In short, we implore you to get outside, show off your backyard, and give back to your community by completing tasks firmly in the spirit of traditional Flyathlon events.
How does the challenge work?
Between July 1st and October 31st, your mission is to accumulate as many points as possible doing things that you are likely to do anyway because you are Flyathletes. The more points you accrue, the more incentives you will earn, and the more chances you will have to win extraordinary gear donated by our amazing sponsors.
Wow, that sounds amazing! How do I earn points?
A Socially Distanced Flyathlon wouldn't be a Flyathlon at all without trail running, fly fishing, and craft beer (and/or craft whiskey). So, of course, we have designed several tasks around those core disciplines. But as those of you who have truly embraced the spirit of the Flyathlon know, ours events are much, much more than alcohol-infused, multi-sport-parties held in remote and beautiful places. Through six years of events, we have created an incredibly tight community of Flyathletes and sponsors, and in the process have made a significant difference for coldwater conservation, raising nearly a quarter of a million dollars for on-the-ground projects. As such, within the Socially Distanced Flyathlon Challenge, we have created several additional tasks that focus on helping our communities, supporting our sponsors, and raising money for projects on our public lands and public waters. Additional information on all of the ways you can earn points is available on the registration page.
We look forward to seeing where your summer of socially distancing will take you!