It's hard to imagine Santa Fe, Texas, as the center of anything. But the water-skiing universe will converge at Lago Santa Fe's four man-made ski lakes this weekend for the U.S. Open Water Ski Championship. Athletes from all over the world will compete in best professional trick, slalom and jump-skiing categories for a share of the event's $100,000 cash purse. And crowds, colleagues and viewers of the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) will be looking on. "These are the top 4 percent of water-skiing athletes in the world," says Steve McDermeit, executive director of USA Water Ski, the national governing body for the sport. "And Lago Santa Fe is world-record capable." Past men's and women's champions will be on hand, including former U.S. Open jumping king Freddy "Nightmare" Krueger. (No joke.)
Events start at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, August 8 (free); 8 a.m. Saturday, August 9 ($5 to $7); and 10 a.m. Sunday, August 10 ($5 to $7). Lago Santa Fe is located one mile south of FM 517 on Cemetery Road. For information or directions, call 863-324-4341 or visit usopenwaterski.com. -- Eric Norvell
The Asphalt Jungle
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If the wilderness is just too damn easy, why not tackle the urban landscape? Ironpersons will do just that at this weekend's Quest Houston Urban Adventure Race. With mountain bikes, scooters, canoes and feet, three-person teams will try to conquer the late-summer swelter. The contest will take them all around the city, from downtown to Reliant Park, AstroWorld, the Galleria and beyond. There are actually two levels of this exhausting endeavor. The five-hour race is "Quest Basic"; the 24-hour race is "Quest Extreme." The insanity begins at 7 p.m. Friday, August 8. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford, just before the Astros game. To re-Quest information, just call 512-863-3715 or visit terrafirmapromo. -- Eric Norvell