Fun and games at Heart & Sole benefit for Starting Hearts (sponsored) | VailDaily.com

Fun and games at Heart & Sole benefit for Starting Hearts (sponsored)

Did you realize that we have more than 400 Automated Electronic Defibrillators, which is the highest per capita in the nation, right here in Eagle County? It's all due to the hard work and dedication of Starting Hearts, a local non profit whose mission is to save precious lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims through education and CPR training and by placing Automated External Defibrillators in key locations throughout Eagle County.

Their Heart & Sole event is this Saturday, August 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and aims to not only entertain but to educate. Live music, face painting and a bounce house for the kids along with a healthy lunch will be served, but there will also be free CPR lessons in their signature Heart Rod Bus and a one-mile, 3k and a 5k run/walk led by Josiah Middaugh. Middaugh is an 8-time Xterra World Champion triathlete and although he is the image of health, he knows no one is immune to sudden cardiac arrest.

"I was looking to align myself with a charitable organization and after learning more I decided to team up with Starting Hearts," Middaugh said. "The connection between some of the athletes who I have been close to who have died from sudden cardiac arrest and what Starting Hearts does kind of hit home. It's a way to have a really big impact. To save one life is an amazing thing."

Since the organization began 8 years ago, their mission to educate has spread. "We teach like crazy, we do free CPR classes anytime, anywhere for anyone who wants and I think we've trained over 16,000 here in Eagle County," said Alan Himelfarb, executive director of Starting Hearts.

In addition to the fun and games at Ford Park ball fields, The Great Town of Vail Defibrillator Scavenger Hunt will take participants all over town. Registered teams will have 90 minutes to locate public access defibrillators and the top teams to locate the most will win prizes. The first place team will win a complete $2,195 Philips OnSite defibrillator package.

For more information, visit http://www.startinghearts.org.