High Country Running: 6-race Summer Series sees price drop

High Country Running: 6-race Summer Series sees price drop

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Sacred Mountain Prayer Run 5K in 2014

Runners start the Sacred Mountain Prayer Run 5K in 2014.

I’m excited to announce that online registration for the 16th annual Flagstaff Summer Series is now live at flagstaffsummerseries.com/registration.

Congratulations to last year’s overall champs, Stephanie Hunt and Joel Liechty. Kudos also go out to Grand Masters (60 and older) winners Karin Ross and John Bogen; Masters (40–59) champs Dawn Greenwalt and Will Drexler; and Open (20–39) winners Missy Verhaeghe and Kyle Larson. All won free entry into this year’s series.

Because the Mountain Charter School is putting its race into hibernation, the summer series will drop back from seven to six races for 2020, with the Native Americans for Community Action Sacred Mountain Prayer Run kicking it off June 6. The series will conclude with Gaspin' in the Aspen on Aug. 22.

While we’re sad to see Run for the Mountain take a hiatus after 20 years, the good news is that we’re dropping early-bird pricing down to $180 for the full adult series until Valentine’s Day! The 5K races plus Downtown Mile adult package is $150. The student (18 and younger) full series package is $150 for any combination of races. And the Kids Dash package is $50.

With the change to a six-race series, competitive runners will only be scored on their three highest-percentage races, just as they were scored in the previous six-race series (held between 2011 and 2015). This means some competitors may not go head to head. But as usual, you will have an advantage over your friendly “nemesis” if you do all six races.

Also new for this year, I’m thrilled that the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff Half Marathon and 5K will move to Thorpe Park. This eliminates the nightmarish traffic gauntlet on Aspen Avenue at the start and finish. For the half, we’ll add distance just past the A1 Mountain Aid Station with a short out-and-back. For the 5K, we’ll take runners a little farther up into the beautiful meadow just past the usual 5K turnaround.

A new, exciting perk of this year’s series will be a Pizzicletta pizza for any runners who complete four or more races, thanks to Caleb Schiff. On top of that, we’ll have a new NATRA prize for those who run all six, the popular sponsor series race caps to all and of course, the year-end Flagstaff running community picnic. You just can’t beat the value and camaraderie of the series, and I hope to see us back over 200 participants this year!

NATRA director Neil Weintraub has voluntarily organized the Flagstaff Summer Series since its inception in 2005. He thanks volunteer scorekeeper Gail Hughes, Run Flagstaff’s Vince Sherry, and the race directors who continue to support the series package deal.

Do you have a column, tip or idea for High Country Running? Send it to coordinating editor Julie Hammonds at runner@juliehammonds.com.


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