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Additional race information can be found at http://www.vailrec.com/sports-activities/vail-race/vail-grail/vail-winter-uphill-race.
The Vail Athletic Club Vail Mountain Winter Uphill is one race in the four-part Bloch and Chalpleau Vail Grail Winter Snow Race Series. Join us for the Nordic Citizens Race on January 19 at Maloit Park in Minturn, Vail Derail Bike Race on Saturday, February 9 and the Krueger Family Shamrock Shuffle on Saturday, March 9. Register for all four races for only $80 adults/$60 students.
The annual Vail Athletic Club Vail Mountain Winter Uphill Race and Hike returns on Sunday, Feb. 18, as skiers, snowboarders and winter runners tackle 2,200 vertical feet of groomed trails to reach Eagle's Nest at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola in Lionshead. This event is ideal for competitors and non-competitors featuring categories for each, and honors the memory of Vail local Lyndon Ellefson who was instrumental in starting the U.S. men's mountain running program, with some of the race/hike entry fees supporting the U.S. Mountain Running Team.
For the past ten years, the Vail Mountain Uphill has proven to be a challenging midwinter competition for some, and a fun, non-competitive community hike for others. It presents an opportunity to support a worthy organization, while also paying tribute to Ellefson, a trailblazer in the sport of mountain running who lost his life in a 1998 accident near the Matterhorn while training for a mountain race in Italy. Ellefson was the foreman for the Lionshead Gondola. Ellen Miller, along with fellow mountain runner and Vail local Hooker Lowe, started the race in 2008 to spread their passion for mountain running and uphill skiing (skinning) and to pay homage to Ellefson.
"The Vail Mountain Winter Uphill is a meaningful event for our community. We started it in the memory of Lyndon Ellefson and it has always been a fundraiser and a tribute to the US Mountain Running Team, of which Lyndon was a pioneer. This is a fun hike up Vail Mountain for people of all ages and abilities. I am thrilled that Vail Rec is operating the event this year!," said Miller, Vail Mountain Uphill founder.
Miller, who coaches athletes year-round primarily through the Vail Vitality Center and also serves as the women's team manager for the U.S. Mountain Running Team, reminds participants that this is not a snowshoe race.
"Most folks wear running shoes with stabilizers and some wear skis," said Miller. "If it snows a lot participants might wear snowshoes, but I don't see too many at this race unless we see a lot of snow the night prior to the race start."
The event begins at 7 a.m. in the Lionshead base area, adjacent to the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Categories include ski, splitboard and non-ski options and prizes will be awarded by overall place and category by gender age group, including juniors 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69 and 70+. The finish line features separate portals for competitive and non-competitive participants and results are posted for competitive racers only.
Following the race, Vail Resorts and US Foods will be providing breakfast at Eagle's Nest for all event participants.
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