Severy Invitational races in Aspen Saturday |

Severy Invitational races in Aspen Saturday

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times

Let’s run.

The annual Chris Severy Invitational will draw 15 high school cross country running teams to Aspen on Saturday.

And the companion event, the Chuck Severy Invitational, will offer citizen runners the chance to run the 5 kilometers of trails before the prep runners.

The races are directed by Aspen High School cross country coach Chris Keleher.

He said the Chuck Severy 5K for citizens will start at 8 a.m. Saturday.

The start/finish for the races is on the Lower Moore Field adjacent to Aspen High School. The trails include many of the cross country ski trails in the area.

Middle school girls will race at 9 a.m. Middle school boys will race at 9:15 a.m.

The JV girls race will start at 9:30 am. followed by the JV boys race at 10 a.m.

The girls high school varsity race is scheduled to start at 10:45 a.m.

The boys high school varsity race is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Many area high schools will compete along with several from out of the area, like Denver North.

Other teams will represent Glenwood Springs, Meeker, Coal Ridge, Telluride, Basalt, Fruita Monument, Ouray and others.

“This is a really spectator-friendly cross country course,” Keleher said.

He said spectators can climb to the high point of the course and watch the runners pass through four different times.

“The course is on the Nordic trails and runs through a bunch of open fields,” Keleher said, adding that spectators will have a great view of the finish stretch at the Lower Moore Field.

He said the course is challenging because it is entirely on trails — no pavement at all.

The runners will have to pay close attention to their footing at the annual Chris Severy Invitational, Keleher said.

Entry fee for the citizens race is $20. Coaches can run for free in the early race.

Keleher invited the public out to cheer on the high school and middle school runners.

Basalt’s Hailey Swirbul is the defending champion in the prep varsity girls race.

Ian Boucher of the Vail Ski and Snowbaord Academy won the boys varsity race last year.

The Chris Severy Invitational is held each year in memory of Chris Severy, an Aspen High School honors graduate and state high school track and cross country champion. He went on to run for the University of Colorado where he was an All-American.

Severy was killed in a cycling accident in the Boulder area just as he was scheduled to enter medical school. Father Chuck Severy, an avid supporter of running in Aspen, died of cancer in 1998.

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