Eric Spry Memorial 5K hits Minturn on Saturday | VailDaily.com

Eric Spry Memorial 5K hits Minturn on Saturday

And stick around for the Battle Mountain Invitational

The Battle Mountain cross-country team is hosting the Eric Spry Memorial 5K Race on Saturday at 9:15 a.m. at Minturn's Maloit Park.
Special to the Daily

In Battle Mountain running parlance, doing the “Spry Dog” is running the 3,200 meters, followed by running a leg of the 1,600-meter relay.

The catch is at most track meets the 4-by-4 relay immediately follows the 2-miles run and the athlete is usually understandably exhausted after going 3,200 meters.

Eric Spry, Battle Mountain Class of 2010, did it because the team needed it.

“He did it frequently,” Huskies cross-country and track and field coach Rob Parish said. “It was two things. We didn’t have a lot of depth and no one in their right mind would run the eight hard laps in the 2-mile and run another hard lap in the mile relay five minutes later. That was Spry Dog.”

For the record, current Battle Mountain runner Ezri Purdue actually did the feat at last spring’s Battle Mountain Invitational. But back to Spry, he’d do it because he loved running, be it cross-country or track.

He died while at college in 2011, and Battle Mountain cross-country has hosted the Eric Spry Memorial 5K ever since as part of the festivities of the Battle Mountain Invitational at Minturn’s Maloit Park. Saturday is ninth running of the race open to the public.

The Spry race is at 9:15 a.m. If you want to go full bore, enjoy yourself. Technically, it is a run/walk. The greater importance is to raise money for the Eric Spry Scholarship Fund.

It’s $25 to register in advance and $35 on Saturday. Go to http://www.vailrec.com to register.

“He was such a fantastic representative of Battle Mountain High School cross-country and track and field,” Parish said. “He was, by no means, the fastest, but he was one of the most enthusiastic kids to come through our school. He did more of what all of us should do — appreciate running, the team being outside and his family.”

And, oh, after the race, it’s probably a good idea to stick around and watch the high school teams race. The boys take off at 10 a.m., followed by the girls at 10:30 a.m.

The Battle Mountain Invitational on Saturday is one of two chances to see the Huskies and Devils in action locally this season — the Eagle Valley Invite is Sept. 14 in Gypsum.

The Huskies started the season with their girls finishing second at the Cheyenne Moutain Stampede, while the boys were third. Eagle Valley, headlined by Joslin and Samantha Blair, is also a major player in state running circles.

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