GoPro Mountain Games 10Kish Trail Run sees 12-year-old on podium
VAIL — At 12 years old, Alayna Szuch finished third in the GoPro Mountain Games 10Kish Trail Run on Sunday, and she showed off her intelligence immediately after.
“Well, there’s a 7-mile marker,” she said of a race that is usually 6.2 miles.
The challenging course took runners across Vail Mountain on a sunny summer day, and Alayna finished in 56 minutes, 43 seconds, just under three minutes back from the women’s winner, 36-year-old Megan Kimmel.
“It’s really cool to actually see young gals coming out here,” Kimmel said.
Running is a family affair for the Szuchs, who live in Evergreen. On Friday, Alayna won the 5K Trail Run, beating her older brother, Colin, 14, and sister Cara, 3, was there cheering on.
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“I’m probably the slowest one in the family,” said Pete Szuch, aka Dad. “I can still beat one of them, but we all run together and work out together.”
‘It’s your life’
The young runner is drawing praise from her older competitors, as well.
“I think it’s great for her,” said local yogi Kim Fuller. “I hope she represents Colorado for a good number of decades.”
“It’s impressive that she did it,” said men’s winner Joseph Gray. “You gotta do what your passion is. It’s your life, spin it how you spin it.”
Competing against talented women is helping keep Alayna near the top of the field.
“It’s really cool,” she said. “It makes me push harder.”
For finishing third place, Alayna received a one-of-a-kind GoPro Mountain Games medal, as well as $350, which will be put toward “travel expenses,” she said.
On Sunday, she stood on the Mountain Games podium made up of Yeti coolers, and it probably won’t be the last podium we see Alayna standing on.
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Intagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.