Trophy Challenge Race wraps running series
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” The La Sportiva Vail Trophy Challenge Race caps the Mountain Cup running series on Vail Mountain Sunday at 9 a.m.
The Trophy Challenge starts at at Golden Peak at 8,150 feet above sea level and climbs to Wildwood, the highest point of the resort at 10,874 feet. The climb occurs during the first 5.6 miles of the race.
The final 1.6-mile section runs across the ridgeline and downhill to finish at Eagles Nest at 10,300 feet. The vertical gain is 3,000 feet in 7.2 miles. The course is entirely singletrack terrain, starting off in a deep forest, and finishing above the tree line with great views.
There are aid stations at mile Nos. 2, 4, and 5.6 as well as the start and finish line.
In addition to the Vail Trophy Race, the La Sportiva Mountain Cup included 12 other events held May through August with venues across North America.
The overall standings in the men’s division point to a clear winner ” North Carolinian Shiloh Mielke, in the lead with 40 points, twice the score of his nearest rival, Joe Gray, from Washington with 20 points. Gray has been racing most of the summer in Europe and will not be at the Trophy Race which means that Coloradan Mike Selig will most likely grab second place. The master’s title (runners over 40 years of age) pits Bernie Boettcher of Silt against Simon Gutierrez of Alamosa. Both are slated to compete in Vail.
In the women’s division, North Carolinian Meadow Tarves leads the series with 31 points. Tarves will still need to earn some points to hold off Laura Haefeli of Del Norte, , who has several wins in the series and will be racing in Vail.
Although the series attracts top mountain runners, runners of all ages and abilities are welcome. Because of the elevation gain, many of the runners are relegated to a walk for portions of the course. In this event, there is no penalty for walking. This race is also a tune-up for the final race in the La Sportiva Vail Mountain Trail Running Series, the Evergold 10K on Sept. 7.
Sign up at http://www.active.com, or at the Vail Recreation District offices. You can pick up your race number on Saturday at VRD from noon-5:00 p.m., or on race morning starting at 7:30 a.m. Pre-registration fee is $25 and $35 on race day. Ride the gondola from Eagle’s Nest to Lionshead after the finish. Spectators may ride the Gondola to Eagle’s Nest on race morning for free between 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.