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McCormick race offers challenge, leisure for runners

Local runners looking for a challenging course or some friendly competition can find it at Saturday's 12th annual Dennis McCormick Road Race.

The race will feature college runners and some of the top high school cross country runners in the state. Or if a nice early morning stroll is more your speed a mile fun run/walk will also be held.

"Anybody who's interested is welcomed," Collins Hill cross country coach Andrew Hudson said. "It's a lot of fun and it's a great race for the local community."

The 5K begins at 7:30 a.m. and the mile fun run/walk starts at 8:15 p.m. The race, which is expected to draw 400 runners, begins at Collins Hill, goes down Taylor Road, weaves through the Richland subdivision and finishes at the Eagles' track.

The race is named in honor of McCormick, who was a major supporter of Collins Hill youth athletics before passing away in the mid-90s.

"It's not a very fast course. It's not as fast as a lot of local races," said Hudson, who will be charting times of his runners. "The first mile is a lot of downhill, the second mile there's a big climb and the third mile is pretty flat."

Collins Hill is the defending Class AAAAA state champion in the boys and girls cross country. Saturday's race will be used a yardstick to determine which runners will compete on the varsity this season.

Hudson was unsure if last year's McCormick race winners Philip O'Brien and Amanda Winslow would compete on Saturday. Winslow is a rising senior and the defending Class AAAAA state champion, but has battled a foot injury this summer.

The course record is 15 minutes, 36 seconds is held by Mill Creek cross country coach Tom Kutter. The women's record is held by Collins Hill alum Natalie Florence with a time of 17:20.

Runners can register for the race Friday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Collins Hill or prior to Saturday's race from 6 to 7 a.m. Money from the race benefits the Collins Hill cross country program.

SideBar: RUNNING

What: 12th annual Dennis McCormick Road Race

When: Saturday, 5K at 7:30 p.m., 2K walk/run at 8:15 p.m.

Where: Collins Hill High School

Registration: Friday, 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday 6 to 7 a.m. at the high school