Even though you always hear about the loneliness of the long distance runner, I have to say that one of my favorite things about running track and cross county (XC) in high school and college was being part of a team. Since I started running with the Fairhaven Runners it’s been great to experience that feeling of being a part of a team again, yet its still not quite the same. While we train together and go to races together, what is missing is the competition with other teams.
Having the USATF XC Club Nationals in Spokane this year has got me thinking about how there is very little club competition at the local level in the Puget Sound area in XC. In November we have the Pacific Northwest Association (PNTF) meet and the USATF Regional meet leading up to the Club Nationals in December. But other than that we have to find high school invitational meets that have an open race or college meets that allow open runners. What I would like to find out is if there are other runners, as well as clubs, out there who would be interested in putting together a XC season. If we could get maybe four or five meets and then finish up with the Association, Region and Club National meets we would have a very nice season of XC racing. There are quite a few very active running clubs in this area that could take turns hosting meets.
One thing I have noticed is that many adult runners I talk to seem to feel they are too old and/or too slow to run XC. They find the idea of running in a high school, college or championship (whether at the Association, Region or National level) meet too intimidating. But if we had club level meets these runners would be able to see that you don’t have to be school age or an elite in order to run XC.
I realize that there would be quite a few logistical issues that would need to be worked out to put this sort of thing together and I definitely haven’t touched on all of them here. But I just wanted to throw this idea out there and see if I can get a dialogue going. I’m sure ideas like this have come up before, hopefully if enough people get to talking about it maybe we can make something happen. Please let me know what you think about this topic and I will try to come back to it in this blog every so often so we can keep the discussion moving along.