High Altitude Society: BecTri raises funds, awareness | VailDaily.com

High Altitude Society: BecTri raises funds, awareness

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society
BecTri Sprint Triathlon women’s first place winner Cibelle Hernandez was one of about 100 participants at the eighth annual event on Saturday in Avon.
Betty Ann Woodland | Special to the Daily |

AVON — After a gorgeous sunset on Friday, a phenomenal blue moon rose above the Vail Valley. The BecTri Sprint Triathlon course was ready for racers. The sun rose Saturday and warmed the swimmers who emerged from an open-water swim in Nottingham Lake. Dr. Diane Voytko, who is on the board of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund volunteered on the race course.

“It is a much warmer start this morning than in past years, which is great for the early morning swimmers,” she said.

The participants swam 400 meters, rode 15K on road bikes and ran a 5K on paved recreation paths. Some raced as individuals, while others raced with friends as a team. It was a great race for all levels of athletes who want to experience the challenge of a high-altitude sprint course. There was also a fun-filled kids duathlon with a waterslide and popsicles to refresh the racers.

Volunteer Kathy Brown was thrilled to see families out exercising and having fun together.

“I met a family of four who all participated in the races. They were psyched to do it together,” Brown said.

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This day was all about honoring Rebecca Yarberry, who died tragically in 2007. Her friend and fellow Xterra triathlete Jason Platt reminisced about their racing days together.

“There were a few of us, including David Weider, who would do the Xterra races together. Becky was one of us,” Platt said.

The day was full of family members, friends and community members supporting each other throughout the races and raising funds and awareness for the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. And, of course, there were some winners. First place in the women’s race went to Cibelle Hernandez, who floated across the finish line looking strong and fit.

The top-rated nonprofit Vail Valley Charitable Fund was created in 1996 when a young wife and mother was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Friends wanted to help her husband focus on quality family time, not on the financial burdens. Since then, the Vail Valley Charitable Fund has donated over $7 million, helping more than 1,300 families.

“I cheered all these good people on,” said Bec Tri volunteer Robert Crawford. “I am an Avon resident of 22 years, and I just love my community.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing a medical crisis or you want to donate to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund, please visit http://www.vvcf.org.

Betty Ann Woodland is a longtime local who covers social events including fundraisers for nonprofits, local happenings and soirees of all kinds.

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