Opportunities like this one don't come around every year. Just this year and next, if you happen to live in Colorado.
The Flatirons Golf Course in Boulder will be the host site of the USA Cross Country Championships for 2014 on Saturday, February 15.
Entries are still coming in, so it's difficult to say exactly who will be lacing up the spikes and racing, but there are already several very recognizable names in the fields.
Starting with the Junior Women's 6K, names you will recognize already among the entries would include Katie Rainsberger, Emily Cutter, and Grace Tinkey. Any athlete who is a US citizen, at least 14 on the day of competition and doesn't turn 20 in 2014, and holding a USATF membership (and they can be purchased right now) is eligible for entry in the Junior division. The current entry fee is $40, but that price goes up after 3 PM on Friday afternoon, February 7.
It's a longer list of familiar names in the Junior Men's 8K. Included there are names like Sean McGorty, Jerrell Mock, Sam Wharton, Joel Such, and Marcel Such. We expect several more names to be added to the list before race day.
When we go to the Open Men and Open Women, the names reach a little further into the past--would you recognize names like Chris Barnicle, Chris Derrick, Hillary Bor, Josh Eberly, Kenyon Neuman, Ben Payne, Luke Puskedra, Patrick Smyth, and Jim Walmsley? Among the women, some of the names with higher local recognition levels might include Shannon Payne, Kara Lubienicki, and Ellie Keyser. And, once again, expect these lists to grow before race day.
Colorado Track XC will be on site to cover all the morning's action. Whether or not you run, please know that you are invited to come out and enjoy all the action. And, just try to tell me you haven't been dying for a chance to get out of the indoor arenas far a day or two this winter. Well, this is your gift-wrapped opportunity.
The course opens at 7 AM, and racing begins at 8 AM. More information is linked below: