The Vail Recreation District's La Sportiva Vail Mountain Trail Running Series returns for its 17th year this summer and will offer running enthusiasts 50 miles and 16,475 vertical feet in elevation gain on scenic trails throughout the Vail Valley. Joining title sponsor La Sportiva, The North Face will debut as presenting sponsor and the official apparel partner of the series with participants receiving a North Face tech T-shirt at each race. Named best race series of 2005 and 2008, with the Vail HillClimb being honored as the best non-ultra race in 2011 and the Vail Half Marathon as most scenic in 2010 by regional magazine Colorado Runner, this summer's seven-race series will test runners of all abilities. The series will take place Saturdays and Sundays and distances will range from five kilometers (3.1 miles) to 13.1 miles.
The seven-race series will feature single track, mountain roads and double track and offer runners spectacular scenery throughout the summer. Details are as follows:
The first race, the Boneyard Boogie 11k trail run, presented by the Dusty Boot, will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 17 in Eagle and take runners on a fun, winding single track on Bureau of Land Management trails surrounding Eagle. This point-to-point race will feature a newly-built downhill section on the descent to the finish. Runners will enjoy a free brunch following the run at the Dusty Boot in Eagle. The top female and male winner of the race will receive $150, complements of East West Resorts and Eagle Ranch Fitness Club. It's also a featured event during the Eagle Outside Festival taking place on May 17-18.
The race series will then take runners to Beaver Creek for the Summer Solstice 5k, 10k and Kid's Fun Run at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 21, a benefit for the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. Runners will enjoy single track that winds through dense forest and aspen groves, showcasing a variety of terrain.
At 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 5, the 38th running of the Vail HillClimb, presented by Vail Mountain Haus, will take runners from the base of Vail Mountain to Eagle's Nest for 7.5 miles of uphill running. One of Vail's longest-running trail running races, the HillClimb is a staple of the Vail America Days celebration, which features a parade, fireworks and more.  

At 8 a.m. on Sunday, July 20, runners will be challenged during the Vail Half Marathon, presented by Vail Valley Medical Center, taking runners on a demanding 13.1 mile run from the base of Vail Mountain, up and through Vail's iconic Back Bowls and ending at Eagle's Nest at the top of the mountain.  

Following the Vail Half Marathon, beginning at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3, the Berry Picker 5k trail run, presented TIGA Advertising, will take participants on an intense 3.1 mile climb from the base of Vail Mountain in LionsHead to Eagle's Nest. This is the shortest race in the series and was recently named one of America's best running trails by The Active Times.

Runners will then enjoy spectacular views and trail running during the 5k and 10k@10,000 Feet trail run, presented by FirstBank of Vail, which takes place at 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 24 at the top of Vail Mountain. Racers enjoy spectacular views along the entire course, most of which takes place above 10,000 feet in elevation.
The final race of the season, the EverGold 5k and 11k, presented by Haute Route Gear & Apparel, is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14 and will feature single and double track trails from the Vail Golf Club to Vail Mountain and back and showcase Vail's stunning fall foliage. A post-race and end-of-season party will take place following the race at the Vail Golf Club.  
A full listing and details are available by going to www.vailrec.com/sports/trail-running-racing.
Individual race costs are $30 for preregistration or $40 on race-day. Summer Solstice registration is $35 for preregistration and $45 for day-of, with proceeds benefiting the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. Runners also can register for the entire race series for $185 by May 17. Registration is available by going to http://www.vailrec.com/sports/trail-running-racing or at www.active.com.

"This is going to be a great year for trail running racing in the Vail Valley," said VRD trail running series race director Steve Croucher. "We're thrilled to bring back our long-lasting partnership with La Sportiva and our new official apparel partner, The North Face, as well as many other partners who continue to amplify how great the trail running series is. We're set to showcase some of Colorado's best trail running racing throughout the summer."    

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. La Sportiva will provide winners of each age category a pair of mountain running shoes of their choice. Raffle prize drawings also will be held at each race awards ceremony featuring products from area merchants and national companies.  

Also returning for the 2014 season, the VRD will partner with locally-owned Vail Valley businesses to offer trail running race participants the Racing Refuel program. At the end of each series race, runners will enjoy energy-packed items including bagels, muffins, granola and pastries to jump start recovery. HP's Provisions will provide Racing Refuel following the Boneyard Boogie 11k and Northside Coffee and Kitchen will provide Racing Refuel during the Vail HillClimb, Vail Half Marathon, Berry Picker, 5k and 10k@10,000 Feet and the EverGold 5k and 11k races.

Located in Vail Village, Vail's Mountain Haus offers runners a 30 percent discount. Partners and sponsors are being sought for the 2014 Trail Running Series with a variety of opportunities available. Joining 2014 series title sponsor La Sportiva and presenting sponsor The North Face are Vail Valley Medical Center, Vail Resorts and Beaver Creek Resort Company. Individual race sponsors include TIGA Advertising, The Dusty Boot, Vail Valley Charitable Fund, FirstBank of Vail, Haute Route Gear & Apparel and Vail's Mountain Haus. Partners also include Crazy Mountain Brewery, Central Rockies Mortgage, Northside Coffee and Kitchen, HP's Provisions, Smart Wool, The Steadman Clinic, Steadman Phillipon Research Institute, Vail Mountain Coffee and Tea, Trail Runner Magazine, Anthem Branding, AmericInn, Gatorade, Honey Stinger, Elevation Outdoors, New York Life, KZYR 97.7, Road ID, Optic Nerve, PepPod and Camelbak.

For more information or to become a race series sponsor, call the VRD Sports Department at 970-479-2280 or go to www.vailrec.com.


Steve Croucher, VRD Running Race Director  970-479-2280                     

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