Vail HillClimb returns Sunday |

Vail HillClimb returns Sunday

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The La Sportiva Vail HillClimb has its 33rd running on Sunday at 8 a.m.

One of the most popular races in the local running series, the HillClimb was named best trail race by Colorado Runner magazine.

The 7.5 mile course starts in Vail Village on the paved road located next to Vail’s Mountain Haus and ascends more than 2,400 feet on mostly-gravel trail that is used by snowcats in the winter. The gentle grade up Vail Mountain seems more significant because of the altitude and the climb averages a 7-percent grade.

Walking the route is not unusual and particularly understandable for first-timers or people out to get a workout. The 2,400 foot climb from Vail Village to Eagle’s Nest is free to spectators Sunday from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

There are three aid stations on course at 2.5 miles, 4 miles, and 6 miles, serving water and Gatorade. There is also water at the start line, where runners can drop their sweats, or dry clothes to be transported to the finish line. There are refreshments at the finish line and goody bags for all finishers.

Every race finisher receives a commemorative T-shirt designed by Bernie Boettcher, an artist from Silt, who finished second at last year’s race. Prizes from La Sportiva will be presented to overall and age group winners and raffle-prize drawings will be held at the race awards ceremony.

Locals Dan Weiland, 34, and Anita Ortiz, 45, won the first race in the series, the Summer Solstice 10K on June 20. The HillClimb is followed on July 19 with the longest race in the series, the HalfMarathon, which is actually just more than 14 miles with an average grade of 7 percent. The course has 4,020 feet of climbing with the high point at 11,653 feet.

Register for one event or for the entire series. Individual race entry is $25 or $35 on race day. Register Online at or download an entry form at or register on-site at the VRD offices. You can pick up your race packet either on race morning (arrive early), or on the Fourth of July from 1-6 p.m. at the Vail Recreation District offices.

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