Avon event keeps runner’s memory alive | VailDaily.com

Avon event keeps runner’s memory alive

Sarah Mausolf
smausolf@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

Special to the Daily

AVON, Colorado – Ed Swinford remembers running with his daughter, Crissa Lea Swinford, when she was just 7 or 8.

On Saturday, a run in Nottingham Park will keep her memory alive.

Ed Swinford, a real estate broker and 35-year valley resident, has been organizing the Angels in Action race for the past eight years as a tribute to his daughter. She died at age 25 in a motorcycle accident in Glenwood Canyon.

Instead of a typical black tie affair, the fundraiser held in her honor is a fun, family event, her father said.

The event raises scholarship money for one or two Battle Mountain High School students. Race organizers hope to raise $10,000 this year.

Each year, the scholarship gives the money to someone who displays some of Crissa Lea Swinford’s qualities, her father said.

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“She was very thoughtful and compassionate,” he said. “She walked her Christian faith in her daily life.”

Ed Swinford said his daughter was a hardworking student always willing to help out at church or community events.

“She had an ever-present smile,” he said.

Running was a part of Ed Swinford’s relationship with his daughter. They ran the Bolder Boulder together each year. Crissa Lea Swinford also ran track at Battle Mountain High School and cross country at the University of Colorado.

She was born on Aug. 25, 1975, the same day Ed Swinford had been set to start work as the new assistant principal of Battle Mountain High School.

“It was a hectic day but it was a wonderful day, one of the happiest days of my life,” he said.

In 2001, Ed Swinford and his daughter were riding separate motorcycles through Glenwood Canyon when Crissa Lea Swinford lost control of her motorcycle.

Her favorite saying was “live, laugh, love” –and that’s how Ed Swinford hopes the expected 150 or so participants in Saturday’s run spend their day.

He said it seems each year more people in the community lose a loved one. The race offers a chance to come together.

“I think this event is a way of bringing our community together and providing love and support for one another,” he said.

Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.