Vail Uphill set for Feb. 21
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL ” Registration is under way for the Second annual Vail Athletic Club (VAC) Vail Mountain Winter Uphill competition, set for 7 a.m. on Feb. 21 on Vail Mountain.
Runners, skiers, snowshoers and outdoor enthusiasts will climb approximately 2,000 vertical feet on groomed trails from the baseof Vail Mountain at the Eagle BahnGondola to Eagle’s Nest. The event is organized by long-time Vail Valley locals Ellen Miller and Hooker Lowe to honor the memory of Vail’s-own Lyndon Ellefson who died in 1998.
Ellefson was a foreman on the Eagle Bahn Gondola and member of the U.S. Mountain Running Team,which is one of the beneficiaries of race proceeds. The event is also a fundraiser for Jack’s Place, a cancer caring house at the Shaw Cancer Center in Edwards.
The inaugural event drew nearly 150 participants and race organizers anticipate a larger field this year.
“This is a great way for people to remember Lyndon while participating in an activity that was so special to him,” said co-race director Ellen Miller. “This year we have invited members of the mountain team to participate in the event and share their experiences from the World Mountain Running Championships with the other competitors.”
According to Brandy Erholtz, top U.S. women’s finisher on the 2008 Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team, events such as these make it possible for the team’s success.
“I am looking forward to the Vail Winter Uphill Race,” said Erholtz. “I think it is awesome that Ellen is putting together a race that will act as a fundraiser for the U.S. Mountain Running Team.”
“We couldn’t have the level of competition that we do now if it weren’t for the funding,” said Laura Haefeli, four-time Teva U.S. Mountain Running Team member and individual bronze medalist in 2007. “Having funding for athletes allows our sport to be very competitive because it allows anyone and everyone to try out.”
The categories for this year’s race are open, which include running shoes, stabilizers or snowshoes; track skis, which include any light weight ski equipment; and heavy metal, which include metal-edged skis such as telemark gear. Participants receive a post-race party with breakfast at Eagle’s Nest, T-shirt, awards and prizes. Prizes will be awarded by overall place and category by gender age group including 18 and under, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, and 70 plus.
Registration is available at vailmountainlodge.com, or on race-day until 6:30 a.m. at the Chop House Restaurant located at the base of the Eagle Bahn Gondola in LionsHead.Race entry is $35 through Feb. 20 and $40 on race day.