VAIL — The Vail Recreation District’s 2013 La Sportiva Vail Mountain Trail Running Series continues Sunday 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 singletrack and doubletrack course with an average grade of 14 percent. The race ends 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’ most-iconic hiking trails,” said Vail Recreation District 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 by going to www.vailrec.com or by calling 970-479-2280. Bib pickup and registration will also be available from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday 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 its Omni-Freeze Zero tech T-shirts.
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.
Following the Berry Picker is the 5K and 10k@10,000 Feet, which is Aug. 25 at the top of Vail Mountain with the majority of the race above 10,000 feet in elevation.
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.