Excerpt – “Vermont is the only state in the US that once existed as its own republic (1777-1791). Andorra has remained as an independent republic, despite pressures to join the countries of Spain and France, for over one thousand years. “For Vermonters, they are like our sister country,” remarked veteran Harwood running coach John Kerrigan.
The Vermont Independent is proud to co-sponsor five of our fastest young Vermont runners at the World Youth Sky Running Championships in the independent republic of Andorra – July 28 and 30, 2017.
After the success of the first annual Youth Sky running World Championships held in 2016 in Italy with the attendance of eight countries, the 2017 edition will be held in Andorra with two events, the Vertical: KV Arinsal on July 28 and at the SkyRace® Arinsal on July 30.
54 medals will be distributed in three age group categories plus a combined title. The age group categories are: A (16-17 years), B (18-20 years) and U23 (21-23 years).
Five Members of Kerrigan’s Army/VTXC will be participating in this prestigious event.
The Harwood Cross Country runners participating are Erin Magill, Brendan Magill, Seth Beard, Jonas Merchant and Willa Yonkman. Sam Hodges of Middlebury and Morgan Baughman of Hanover, N.H will join them.
All are members of the Stowe based running club VTXC. VTXC is a Stowe based endurance fitness group coached by Ryan Kerrigan. The philosophy of VTXC according to their website is to build a community of “fun-loving fitness freaks.”
Ryan was a UVM Nordic standout and now competes in Ultra Trail Running competitions. He recently completed the Vermont 100 miler in less than 20 hours. According to Ryan’s father John Kerrigan, the longtime Harwood High School Cross Country Coach, this is the first time Harwood Youth runners will be competing as a team in an international event.
The vertical climb will be 5 kilometers to the summit of Mt. Compaderosa. The Sky Race will be a 15 Km single-track trail run at approximately 10,000 feet. Runners will have to deal with extreme weather conditions, steep terrain and altitude.
The VTXC runners will be competing as both the Independent Republic of Vermont and the United States of America. “Adding the Independent Republic of Vermont to our team representation seems appropriate,” remarked the older Kerrigan. Andorra is a completely independent European country, which borders but is not a part of both Spain and France. “They are a fiercely independent group of people, just like Vermonters.” remarked the Harwood veteran coach.
The team uniform will support patches and pins showing the symbols of 2VR – the 2nd Vermont Republic – provided by Vermont Independent publisher Rob Williams, a fellow runner and supporter of VTXC and the Harwood running program. Vermont was the only state in the U.S. that once existed as its own republic. Andorra has remained as an independent republic despite pressures to join the countries of Spain and France for over one thousand years. “For Vermonters, they are like our sister country,” remarked the older Kerrigan. The seven participants and two coaches will be leaving Vermont on July 24 and returning to Vermont on August 3 after the intense competition and a couple of rest days on the beaches of the Mediterranean.
This will be an amazing experience for all involved, said the veteran coach. VTXC and Harwood hope to pair up in the future to allow more runners and Nordic skiers to gain the experience of international competition. To learn more about VTXC and the Sky running championships, or to make a donation to this outstanding pioneering program for our youth runners and Nordic skiers, go to http://www.vtxcski.org.