AP NEWS

Summit Christian College hosting 11th annual run/walk

May 8, 2019

GERING — Nearly 200 people will lace up their running shoes Saturday as the 11th annual Summit to Summit run/walk gets underway from Summit Christian College in Gering.

The morning starts early with a pancake and sausage breakfast.

Registration is from 6:30-7 a.m. with the run starting at 7:30 a.m., followed by the walk starting at 7:35 a.m. The event is professionally timed over 7.2 miles. The course goes from Summit Christian College to the summit of Scotts Bluff National Monument and back.

Summit Christian College President Dave Parrish said the event started in 2008, soon after the college moved into its new building at 2025 21st Ave. in Gering.

“One of the pathways going up to the monument goes right by us,” Parrish said. “Our faculty saw that as a responsibility to encourage the community to get involved in using the pathway system.”

The event actually started with interim college president Scott Gribble, who’s a runner.

“He thought that since we were here, why not schedule a race from here to the top of the monument and back,” Parrish said. “It was a simple thing that really grew over the years.”

About 17 runners showed up to run the first Summit to Summit in 2008. The low-key event was primarily to get the college better known in the community.

Parrish arrived the following year as the college’s new president and saw the event as an opportunity to get the word out and generate some support for the school’s mission of training Christian leaders to work in missions and churches.

“The Summit to Summit run/walk quickly became one of my favorite events,” Parrish said. “It’s always been a celebration of our relationship with the general community. It’s also been great to see so many businesses come alongside and support it.”

From an initial field of 17 runners, the Summit to Summit has turned into a community fun day. Local municipalities bring out their fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to go on display. Air Link has also landed their medical emergency transport helicopter at several events.

A bounce house and other fun events for the kids are part of the day as well.

As of Friday, around 100 people have registered to participate. As the day approaches, the number is expected to increase to about 200.

Parrish said with news coverage over the years, they’re getting more runners from outside the area. Some are coming from O’Neill, Omaha and Wichita, Kansas.

Teams of runners can compete for prizes in categories like the fastest team, oldest team, youngest team, the team that traveled from the farthest distance and the fastest family team.

“A lot of people have commented just how beautiful the area is, and they’re amazed at the view from the top of the monument,” he said. “If you like to run, this is an exciting event to take part in.”

Summit to Summit is open to all ages of runners and walkers. Medallions will be awarded to the overall male and female runners and top three runners in each age/gender division. Shuttle service will also be available for anyone wanting to ride to the top of the monument or back to the college.

Registration for the event is still open by going online to summittosummit.org. More information is available from Summit Christian College at 308-632-6933.

jpurvis@starherald.com