Shortest Race in the Series, 14 Percent Average Grade, 3.2 Mile Climb
The Vail Recreation District's 2013 La Sportiva Vail Mountain Trail Running Series continues Sunday (8-4) with another oxygen-depriving race, the 3.2 mile Berry Picker Trail Run. The race begins at 8 a.m. at the base of the Eagle Bahn Gondola in LionsHead and will test runners of all abilities on a single track and double track course with an average grade of 14 percent. The race will end at Eagle's Nest at the top of Vail Mountain.

The Berry Picker is presented by Tiga Advertising and is the fifth race of the 2013 La Sportiva Vail Mountain Trail Running Series, which is presented by Columbia Sportswear. "The Berry Picker Trail is one of Vail's most iconic hiking trails," said VRD race director Steve Croucher. "The race is a great way to enjoy this trail in a fun, supportive atmosphere. A lot of people like this race because it's short, but it's still very challenging due to the steepness of the climb." 

Individual race costs are $29 for preregistration or $39 on race-day. Registration is available going to www.vailrec.com, www.active.com or by calling 970-479-2280. Bib pickup and registration will also be available from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday (8-3) at Christy Sports in Vail Village. Day of registration will occur at the race starting area until 7:45 a.m. Spectators and racers are encouraged to park in the Lionshead parking structure where parking is free for the summer. The Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead will operate from 8 to 9 a.m. for race-day spectators and will be free. Those who miss the early ride time will be required to purchase a one-day scenic gondola ride when it reopens at 10 a.m. The gondola also will be free for race participants and spectators to download following the race.

Columbia will be providing all running participants at each race with it's innovative Omni-Freeze Zero tech T-shirts, a temperature-regulating shirt that allows sweat to react with blue rings to lower the temperature of the material. When a runner gets hot, it gets cool. Additionally, with UPF 50 sun protection, quick-wicking fabric and antimicrobial treatment, the shirts have the ultimate technology to ensure each runner stays dry, cool and protected.
Prizes also 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. Racer Refuel from Northside Coffee & Kitchen will provide nutritious, local and tasty fuel to help racers recover from the steepness of the Berry Picker trail run.     ?

Following the Berry Picker, runners will then enjoy spectacular views and trail running during the 5k and 10k@10,000 Feet, which takes place at 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 25 at the top of Vail Mountain with the majority of the race above 10,000 feet in elevation. The final race of the season, the EverGold 5k and 11k, is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15 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 full listing and details are available by going to www.vailrec.com/sports/trail-running-racing. ??Partners and sponsors are being sought for the 2013 Trail Running Series with a variety of opportunities available. Joining 2013 series title sponsor La Sportiva and presenting sponsor Columbia Sportswear are Vail Resorts, Beaver Creek Resort Company, Dusty Boot, FirstBank of Vail, Vail's Mountain Haus, Apex Dental, Central Rockies Mortgage, Peter Rabbit Organics, Northside Coffee and Kitchen, HP's Provisions, Mountainsmith, Tiga Advertising, Howard Head Sports Medicine Centers, The Steadman Clinic, Steadman Phillipon Research Institute, Trail Runner Magazine, Anthem Branding, AmericInn, Gatorade, Elevation Outdoors, New York Life, KZYR 97.7, Road ID, Smartwool, Christy Sports in Vail Village, Trek Light, Optic Nerve and Camelbak.
?Volunteers are needed at each race and will receive a T-shirt and other items for their help.
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/sports/trail-running-racing.


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