By Sherry Stevens,

Managing Editor,


Bismarck, ND – There will be an organized cross-country meet at the Sage-Coulee Outreach/Wellness Center on Saturday, October 17th at Bismarck for fourth through sixth-grade children to show-up, and join in the cross country competition events.

 Coach Damon Brady of Bismarck, a Girls’ Team Coach at Shiloh, has managed to plan the event and make it fun for the entire family. He has also managed to do this with the highest levels of social distancing in mind, “Chairman Fox wanted to keep everyone’s safety in the forefront when planning this event and per Chairman Fox, “Participation will be limited, including the mandatory use of masks by all persons present at the

Damon Brady is an Exercise Fitness Facilitator at the Sage Coulee Outreach/Wellness Center and primary organizer of this weekend’s ‘Chairman’s Elementary Cross Country Meet in Bismarck’

event. We also want this to be an inviting and fun experience for the children.” Brady further explained:

The purpose of the cross-country meet is to introduce our young athletes to athletics in sports and all of the positive things that go along with it.” He also added, “We want to emphasize that running is a lifetime sport, and we are hoping that at this Sage Coulee event, we can introduce 4th graders through 6th graders to cross-country running and hopefully, turn it into something they enjoy and long term. This early exposure will carry with them throughout their elementary, junior, high school, and maybe even college careers as a developed lifestyle.

 Keeping and Adhering to Strict Social Distancing Guidelines

Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, this year’s meet will be considerably different from those in the past; Brady stated, “We are taking strict health precautions. Usually, we have only one elementary race and put everyone together to run, but this year, we want to go every three spaces, and we want to separate the boys from the girls and stagger the starting position placement to allow a safe distance between each child. This spacing is for precautionary measures, so we do not have runners grouped together.” Brady also commented, “It is an outdoor event, but there will still be adherence to social distancing on a grand scale. Our outdoor Porta-Potties will have Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer to assist with those safety precautions.” 

Face Masks will be Mandatory, and Staff will Monitor Social Distancing

All runners will be given a mask when they register. When their race begins, they can remove the mask and put them back on after the race. Varsity meets are doing the same as a precaution, and Brady wants to follow their lead. Face masks are mandatory. Parents and children are required to wear masks at all times, except while participating in a race and on the staggered starting line. Although this is an outdoor event, every person is required to remain with their family/friend unit and not wander; remain a good space away from other people when they are not running. Brady further comments, “We want it to be fun and not worrisome, but there are strict guidelines and measures of social distancing that will be required.” 

The races will be relatively short from 800 and 1600 meters. Brady gives the reasons for the shortening of these distances of each race and other safety procedures, “What we want to do is break it up because although this group would usually be together at the starting line, and we would separate them at the finish line, we are now separating them at the starting line and again, staggering their positions from each other. This way, we can adhere to social distancing at all times.”

Registration will begin at 10:15 am. There is no entry fee. Every runner will receive a free t-shirt commemorating the event, and we will also have awards. 

 Location: The race will be held at 1321 Elbowoods Lane in Bismarck (by the new Costco wholesale store). Look for the white canopy. 

There will be more information available about a Pre K – Third-grade Virtual Meet very soon.