Vail Rec District’s trail running series continues with Vail Half Marathon |

Vail Rec District’s trail running series continues with Vail Half Marathon

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The La Sportiva Vail Mountain Trail Running series continues Sunday with the oxygen-depriving 14.5-mile Vail Half Marathon. The race begins at 8 a.m. at the Golden Peak Children’s Center and will test runners of all abilities on a course that’s just over the half marathon distance with an average grade of 7 percent.

The half marathon boasts a 4,020 feet climb up roads on Vail Mountain with a high point on the course at 11,653 feet. The race will end at Eagle’s Nest at the top of the mountain. Aid stations along the route will be at miles three, six, nine, 11 and 13 providing water and Gatorade. Courses will be monitored by Search and Rescue and Vail Mountain Ski Patrol who will be on site to ensure the safety of the runners. Runners of the half marathon will have one hour to reach the first aid station at mile three and then must reach the aid station at mile nine within three hours.

This is the longest race in the La Sportiva Vail Mountain Trail Running series and is almost twice as long as the other events in the series.

“This race is one you plan in your season, not one to run on a whim,” says VRD Sports Director Joel Rabinowitz. “Although the average grade is a mere seven percent, the route boasts over 4,000 feet of climbing. However, the scenery along the way should be spectacular with wildflowers in peak for the summer.”

The Eagle Bahn Gondola in LionsHead will operate from 8:30-9:30 a.m. for race-day spectators. Racers should park in the Vail Village parking structure where parking is free for the summer Registration is available at Day of registration will occur at the race starting area until 7:45 a.m.

The La Sportiva Series, which was named best series by Colorado Runner in 2005 and 2008, continues Aug. 2 with the Berry Picker trail run, which will take runners 6.5 miles up a tough single track from the base of Vail Mountain to the top at Eagle’s nest. The fourth event, the La Sportiva 10k at 10,000 Feet will be held on Aug. 16 with runners riding the Eagle Bahn Gondola to the race start area. The entire race is run above 9,000 feet with the high points above 10,000 feet. The final race of the series, the La Sportiva Evergold 10k on Sept. 13, will begin at the Vail Golf Club and traverse Vail Mountain back to the golf club.

Prizes will be presented to the top three finishers of each age group at each race, with series prizes awarded to the top three finishers who compete in at least five events. Raffle prize drawings also will be held at each awards ceremony featuring products from area merchants and national companies.

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