(Vail)-The Vail Recreation District's (VRD) 2010 La Sportiva Vail Mountain Trail Running Series will kick off the season Saturday (6-19) with the La Sportiva Summer Solstice Twilight Trail Run featuring a 5k walk/run, 10k and kid's fun run on Beaver Creek Mountain. The Summer Solstice race will benefit the Vail Valley Charitable Fund (VVCF) with racers enjoying free food from the Dusty Boot and music by local, Blue Grass favorite, Hardscrabble. Festivities begin at 5 p.m. with the kid's fun run, followed by the 5k and 10k at 5:30 p.m.
Proceeds from the race will benefit the VVCF, a non-profit organization founded in 1996 that provides financial assistance to residents of Eagle County who are experiencing a medical crisis. According to Karen Simon, VVCF Executive Director, the fund raised and distributed a record $700,000 to locals in need last year, and the trail run is important to its success. "In the past two years we've generated nearly $10,000 from the running race for the charitable fund," said Simon. "We hope to increase attendance this year and encourage people of all running/walking abilities to usher in the start of the summer by enjoying a beautiful evening and helping out a great cause in the process." Simon and her 13-member volunteer board will be at the event to provide information about the VVCF. Several board members will also be participating in the race.
Free parking for the Summer Solstice is available at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain in the parking garages on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional parking is available at the base lots with free shuttle transportation to Beaver Creek Village. Registration for the event begins at 4 p.m. in Beaver Creek Village. Entry fees are $35 in advance and $45 on race day. The kid's fun run is free. The race begins and ends in Creekside Park and racers will run on single track and cat track trails including, Beaver Creek Village Trail, Aspen Glade, Lost Buck Spur and Corkscrew. The 5k route gains 811 feet in elevation while the 10k gains 1,535 feet in elevation. There is one aid station on the 5k course and two aid stations on the 10k course. Sponsors of the on-course aid stations are Mountain Health Insurance and East West Resorts with start and finish refreshments sponsored by American National Bank and the Christie Lodge.
Runners take off during the 10k@10,000 Feet race during last year's series.
The 10k is the first scoring race in the La Sportiva Vail Mountain Trail Running Series, Colorado's premier trail running series, which is celebrating its 13th season. The six-race series runs June through September and includes distances ranging from a 5k (3.2 miles) to just over 14 miles. The race series was named Best Race Series in 2005 and 2008 by readers of Colorado Runner. "We're excited to kick off the La Sportiva race series with such a great event, not only for runners but for the community-at-large," said VRD Running Race Coordinator Marc Thomas. "We expect our series to be the best series to date offering something for runners of all skill levels all summer long."
The La Sportiva Series continues on July 3 with the 34th running of the La Sportiva Vail HillClimb. This 7.5 mile route offers 2,200 foot vertical ascent from the base of Vail Mountain to the summit and is the largest event in the series. On July 18, runners will test themselves during the La Sportiva Half Marathon, which is actually longer than a half marathon at just over 14 miles. The Berry Picker trail run follows on Aug. 1 and will take runners 6.5 miles up a tough single track from the base of Vail Mountain to the top at Eagle's nest. The fourth event, the La Sportiva 10k at 10,000 Feet will be held on Aug. 15 with runners riding the Eagle Bahn Gondola to the race start area. The entire race is run above 9,000 feet with the high points above 10,000 feet. The final race of the series, the La Sportiva Evergold 10k on Sept. 12, will begin at the Vail Golf Club and traverse Vail Mountain back to the golf club.
Individual race costs are $25 for pre-registration or $35 on race-day. Registration is available by clicking here or at www.active.com. Entry forms are also available at running specialty stores along the Front Range.
Prizes will be presented to the top three finishers of each age group at each race, with series prizes awarded to the top three finishers who compete in at least five events. Raffle prize drawings also will be held at each awards ceremony featuring products from area merchants and national companies.
For more information, click here or call 970-479-2280.
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The VRD is an equal opportunity service provider and operates under special permission from the White River National Forest.