Rise, shine and Run for the Hills
VAIL – One hundred competitors turned up bright and early Sunday morning to run the streets of Vail in the 10th annual Run for the Hills, a 5- and 10-kilometer run, whose proceeds went to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group.
The race, which was part of the Vail Summer Sports Fest, wound its way through Vail Village and Lionshead, and then out towards Ford Park before finishing on Gore Creek Drive near Checkpoint Charlie.
Aaron Berthold, of Denver, would cross the finish line first in the men’s 10K race in a time of 36 minutes, 56 seconds, exactly two minutes faster than second-place finisher, Matt Hayes, who finished with a time of 38:56.
“It was a beautiful day out here and the course was great,” said Berthold, who teaches computer classes and coaches the cross-country team for Regis High School in Denver. “It’s great to run for a good cause also. I tried to keep a nice steady pace and stay in control, but still push myself.”
Ryan Aweida would win the men’s 5K with a time of 18:03.
The women’s 10K would be won by a local, sort of. Aurora Leon, who has spent the last twenty summers in Vail, hails from Mexico City, where she spends the rest of the year. She dusted the rest of the women’s field, finishing in 41:15.
“I have been coming to Vail for the summer for twenty years,” said Leon. “I love to exercise, and I love how beautiful Vail is. It’s the best thing about living here.”
Diana Kohn and Alynn Park finished second and third, crossing the line in times of 48:32 and 50:20, respectively. Jessie Gertz won the 5K with a time of 23:55.
Patti Weinstein, who co-founded the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group with Brenda Himelfarb, explained the significance of this annual race.
“The Run for the Hills helps get the word out about our group,” said Weinstein. “It raises some money for us and helps increase awareness in the community about breast cancer.”
Weinstein couldn’t be happier with the progress she’s seen in breast cancer awareness in the Vail Valley in the last ten years.
“This community has done so much,” said Weinstein. “We have helped 110 women in various ways in their fight against breast cancer since we started.”
David L’Heureux is a freelance writer based in Vail.