Berry Picker: Not your average 5K |

Berry Picker: Not your average 5K

Chris Freud


It’s the Teva Berry Picker Trail Run presented by Tiga Advertising on Sunday at 9 a.m.

From Lionshead all the way up to Eagle’s Nest, we’re not talking about winding your way up cat walks.

It’s straight up the mountain on Berry Picker Trail.

“It’s a challenge for everybody, whether you’re trying to run it for a (personal record) or whether you’re just trying to make it,” Vail Recreation District race Organizer Mike Ortiz said. “It’s just a challenge. I think the most important thing you have to do is pace yourself. You need to run your pace and not try to get caught up into what someone else is trying to do and you’ll make it and finish.”

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How demanding is the lung-busting climb? Well, Boulder’s Mark Werner finished the 5K … in 34 minutes, 31 seconds.

With the steep climb and in light of the recent rains, runners would be advised to bring trail-running shoes. The rain has also had an added benefit to the course.

“The mountain’s really pretty right now. All this rain has greened everything up,” Ortiz said. “But this trail runs through the evergreens, through the aspens. There’s a couple of very pretty sections where you just run through trees and you don’t notice everything around because you’re in a dense pocket of forest.”

Pre-registration is available through the end of business today at the Vail Tennis Center at Ford Park or online at for $20. On race day, registration is $30 at the base of the gondola.

Vail Resorts will be offering free gondola rides to spectators from 9-9:30 a.m and race organizers will be bringing up racers’ post-race garb up to Eagle’s Nest.

At the top of the mountain, organizers will be handing out free T-shirts to runners as well as well-deserved food, drinks and prizes.

The Berry Picker Trail Run is the fourth installment of the 2002 Teva Vail Mountain Trail Running Series. The series concludes Sept. 22 with the Evergold 10K. For more information on the series, call (970) 479-2280.

Chris Freud is a sports writer for the Vail Daily. Contact him at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614 or

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