The tips of the iconic Flatirons of Boulder hid under the cover of low-laying clouds Saturday morning. There was a bite in the air and the scent of freshly cut grass lingered. While the hearts of the leaves along the course at Viele Lake were still green, the tips had faded into reds, oranges, and some yellows.
Fall had descended on the Front Range just in time for the Pat Patten Invitational at Fairview High School in Boulder.
While previous editions of this race drew mediocre numbers and finishes, this year's invitational nearly doubled the entrants and could be viewed as prelude to state. Six of the top 10 boys and four of the top 10 girls in the state toed the line, along with the best teams in Colorado.
'The Meet of Destiny' proved to be just that, as the battle in the 3-0-3 clearly hinted at what's to come at the Norris Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs next month.
Like gravity, it appears that Boulder has once again found a way to draw Colorado's elite in to run on its trails. Or maybe everyone had ulterior motives and wanted to get to town early and watch the Colorado Buffaloes take on the Washington Huskies.
Regardless, it was an iconic day for cross country running in Boulder.