FARMINGTON >> For the second consecutive year, Piedra Vista cross-country will be holding its summer race series.

The PVXC 5K summer race series began on Saturday at Piedra Vista High School.

The race was the first of four. The final three are scheduled for July 4, Aug. 10 and Sept. 2, which is Labor Day. This year's series is an expansion from three races in 2012.

Race director Sampson Sage was happy with Saturday's turn out as 18 runners competed in the opening race.

"This was a good turn out considering the advertisement for it was minimal," said Sage, who is also the head coach of the Piedra Vista cross-country team.

The course had a different look this year as construction on the PV campus forced Sage to make a few adjustments.

"Normally, we start at the football field and end at the soccer field, but with the construction, I had to create this course last night using Google Maps, and it worked," Sage said. "I tried to keep it as localized as possible."

The course started at the north end of the Jerry A. Conner Fieldhouse and took a lap around the Piedra Vista campus. The course then took the racers through Lions Wilderness Park and along College Boulevard, before finishing back at the fieldhouse.

Steve Stovall, a native of Hesperus, Colo., competed in the series for the first time after finding about it at the Durango Runners Club.

"It's hard, but it's neat. I liked it," Stovall said of the course. "I think Sampson did a great job."

Stovall has been running 5Ks for 42 years and also competed in triathlons before his shoulder forced him to give up swimming.

"I'm so excited about this series. During the summer, I try to do triathlons, but now I have an arthritic shoulder and can't swim anymore," Stovall said. "Two of the races fall on the same day of those races I used to do. I'm so excited to come down here and run without having to worry about the swimming with my shoulder in bad shape."

Sage is expecting larger turnouts for the July 4 and Labor Day races.

"Last year, we had about 45 during the holiday races, and I'd like to see that get up to 60 this year," Sage said. "We'll have more kids running then, and it's a good way to promote healthy living,"

Proceeds from the series benefit the Piedra Vista cross-country team.

Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.