HalfMarathon: 13 miles and panting | VailDaily.com

HalfMarathon: 13 miles and panting

VAIL -The third race in this summer’s local trail-running series will be a hot one. Literally. The weather forecast for Sunday’s Vail HalfMarathon doesn’t call for a respite from the recent searing heat, with temperatures as high as 50 degrees predicted for the 8 a.m. start and soaring to as high as 75 degrees at the finish.As race coordinator Nancy Hobbs said via cell phone Friday, “Bring your water.””We’re going to have four to five aid stations on the course, but we’re also encouraging people to carry water,” Hobbs said. “Anytime you run for more than an hour, you should be carrying water, and with the heat you should be prepared even more. We’ll also have things for electrolyte replacement at the aid stations. We’ll have Gatorade on the course and some grapes and also some salty things like some pretzels at the half-way point.”Hobbs expects close to 300 competitors for Sunday’s race, which starts at the Vista Bahn and winds its way up and down Vail Mountain before finishing at the Eagle’s Nest summit. Runners will log more than 3,100 feet of elevation gain during the 13-mile grind.”This is the longest race in the series,” Hobbs said. “It’s extremely challenging because of the length. You’ve got a lot of uphill and downhill. You’ve got singletrack and service road. It’s a good mixture of terrain, and you also get that elevation change.”The course, because of its length, gives runners an opportunity to see a great deal of the mountain. “They’ll be on the front side of the mountain for much of the run, including the start and finish,” race director Mike Ortiz said. “They’ll also experience the back bowls where they’ll see an abundance of wildflowers and probably see, or at least listen to, some chirping picas. The climbs are steep and include some technical terrain during miles four through seven. There’s no question this is a tough run, but it’s certainly one of the favorites of the series’ competitors.”After finishing, runners can opt for a run back to Vail Village, or they can take the gondola back down to the base of the mountain.To register for Sunday’s race at the cost of $25 or the remaining series at the cost of $25 per race, go to http://www.active.com on the Web. Runners can also stop by Christy Sports in Vail Village today from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. to register for Sunday’s race at the cost of $25 or pick up their bibs. There will also be day-of registration at the Vista Bahn Sunday morning for $35.Participants will receive commemorative T-shirts, and awards will be presented to overall and age-group winners. There will also be raffle-prize drawings at the race awards ceremony at Eagle’s Nest featuring products from area merchants and national companies.For more information, go to http://www.vailrec.com.Nate Peterson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 608, or via e-mail at npeterson@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

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