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Scott Wirth was the overall winner of the 9th annual Tour De Lights VSHS track/XC fund-raising 5K.

Somewhere in a closet or storage bin, Vinton-Shellsburg Cross Country Coach John Frazier has eight similar but different T-shirts, one from each of the first eight annual Tour de Lights fund-raising 5K race. Next year, the 2014 Tour De Lights T-shirt will join the 2013 version (blue with a snowman in a Santa's hat, running under the well-known Vinton street lamps).

The first few annual races helped fund the Vinton-Shellsburg High School cross country team. In recent years, the track teams have also participated and shared the funds, with VSHS track coaches Aric Chvala and Heather Kalous helping to organize the event. Each year, depending on participants and sponsorships, the event nets between $2,000 and $3,000 for those VSHS teams.

Freshman Scott Wirth won this year's race, the 9th Annual Tour De Lights. He was one of several VSHS runners to receive medals in the event.

"Next year will be our 10th Tour De Lights, and we will plan something special," Frazier told the crowd of runners and organizers as they gathered for the award presentations.

Ashley Albers won the women's race, which featured approximately 113 runners.

The snowy weather kept some people from running, made the course a bit slick, causing a few people to slip and at least one to fall as he rounded the final corner. It also kept some runners from making the drive to Vinton, and delayed one regular participant.

Ashley Hesson was en route from Chicago with her family when accidents on the interstate caused a delay of well over an hour.

"It was frustrating watching the arrival time on my GPS get closer and closer to 5," she said. Fellow Vinton Chiropractic runner Malea Lee waited for Ashley and the two started the race several minutes after the rest. The Vinton Chiropractic team has completed its goal of running a race every month this year, and plans to participate in other running events in 2014.

Some runners wore Yak Trax cleats, with metal spikes and coils to aid in traction.

Kauder Race Results, which scores VS cross country meet, also ran this year's event, using electronic chips tied to shoes to determine finishing times. Results are available HERE.

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