All have a chance to be harriers | VailDaily.com

All have a chance to be harriers

Shauna Farnell

Special to the DailyFrom left to right, Battle Mountain's Johnny Steven, Ben Rogers and Shea Phelan start out fast at a race at Delta earlier this month.

BEAVER CREEK – For those who think high school sporting events are merely child’s play, think again.Saturday, the public will have the opportunity to experience the same race course that high schools across Colorado will also experience. An open citizens race will take place at 1:15 p.m. after the high school race. Winners will receive cash prizes, and all proceeds will benefit Battle Mountain’s cross country program.

In last year’s Battle Mountain Invitational, the winning high school boys time was almost two minutes faster than that of elite runners in the citizen’s race.Unlike any other high school cross country race in the state, or country, for that matter, about 15 high schools from Colorado will be running straight up Beaver Creek mountain for the first mile of the 5-kilometer course before winding through aspen groves on dirt roads, descending, and climbing the same hill a second time before dropping into the finish.

The citizens race will follow exactly the same course, giving adults a taste of what the teens will go through.Local runner Dan Nielsen won the citizen’s race last year in 19 minutes and 11 minutes. Glen Randall, the state champion from Palisade High School, won the boys’ race with a time of 17:20. Battle Mountain graduate Grant Stevenson had the best time for the Huskies in 19:17. Battle Mountain’s Leslie Peterson finished within two and a half minutes of local professional triathlete Lisa Isom, who won the women’s citizen race with a time of 20:30.

“It’s definitely one of the more challenging courses in the state,” said Battle Mountain cross country coach Rob Parish. “It’s probably one of the more unique ones, too. And in the middle of all the fall colors, it’s a perfect time for it.”The harriers have been training on the Beaver Creek course every week since the middle of August. They will host around 15 teams for the invitational.

“Everyone takes a lot of pride in this course,” Parish said. ” It’s great we have so many adult runners who participate in the open race. It shows them what kind of shape our kids are in when they can compete with some of the top adult runners in the area.”Registration for the citizens race is $15 or $25 with a T-shirt. Registration is available at http://www.active.com, or at Beaver Creek prior to the race Saturday. For more information, call 390-1512.Vail Colorado