An unidentified mountain biker rides past a Cedar Point Fire Department  vehicle during the Alien Run Mountain Bike Race on May 5 in Aztec.
An unidentified mountain biker rides past a Cedar Point Fire Department vehicle during the Alien Run Mountain Bike Race on May 5 in Aztec. (Molly Maxwell/For The Daily Times)
AZTEC — As more and more contestants sign up for events such as the Alien Run Mountain Bike Race each year, the precautions that must be taken grow as well. 

The full Alien Run race runs on a track 26 miles long as it covers sections of single track riding as well as sections of oil field roads in Hart Canyon.  Though most local mountain bikers are familiar with the Alien Run trail, many racers come from out of state and may have never ridden it before.  The course also includes the newer and less popular Mountainview Trail, with which some may not be as familiar.
Because this particular trail is set in the high desert rather than a heavily forested mountain, there is much more sun exposure than some may be used to.   

The race, which ran last Saturday, saw many worn out bikers but no serious injuries. However, race director Ed Strauss made sure to be prepared in case there was. 

“We had quite a few abrasions and some punctures from trees,” Strauss said. “Having urgent care at the finish line gave us a chance to look everyone over. We strongly encouraged (riders) to be treated by Urgent Care to prevent infections.”

The Bureau of Land Management requires race organizers to have a certain amount of emergency response crews for events occurring on BLM land. 

Two Center Point Fire Department emergency response vehicles were at the course. One stayed stationary at the Tiger Sports Complex where the race began and ended, and the other drove back and forth to make sure riders on the course were doing OK. 

Aztec Urgent Care was a sponsor of the race and had volunteer responders at the finish line. 

Volunteers were posted all along the course and were able to communicate to each other incase a rider’s condition seemed questionable. 

Similar measures are taken for the Road Apple Rally bike race and the XTERRA Four Corners Triathlon.
Ed Strauss, second from left, and members of the Cedar Point Fire Department go over a map of the Alien Run race route before the race on Sunday.
Ed Strauss, second from left, and members of the Cedar Point Fire Department go over a map of the Alien Run race route before the race on Sunday. (Molly Maxwell/For The Daily Times)


For next year’s race, Strauss said he plans on having helicopter landing sites in case of major emergencies.

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The first, second and third place male winners in the Expert category were Todd Wells, who finished in 1 hour and 36 minutes; Erich McAlister, who finished in 1 hour and 40 minutes; and Jens Nielson, who completed the race in 1 hour and 41 minutes.

On the women’s side, Kaylee Blevins took first place in the expert division with a time of 1 hour and 52 minutes. Brianne Marshall took second in 1 hour and 59 minutes and Hilar Bravenec finished third in 2 hours.

In the sport category, Jake Yackle took first place in 1 hour and 51 minutes. Dave Bellante was behind Yackle in a time of 1 hour and 55 minutes. Sean Borris checked in third in 1 hour and 57 minutes.

In the female sport category, Cemryn Sippy took first place in 2 hours and 12 minutes. Taking second was Miriam Gillow-Wiles, who finished in 2 hours and 27 minutes. Charlotte Lenssen took third in 2 hours and 28 minutes.

The next big mountain bike race in the Four Corners is the 12 Hour of Mesa Verde Endurance Relay Race in Cortez, Colo. The race will be held this Saturday.