High-caliber runners descend upon Bend, a town in Central Oregon’s high desert, for tomorrow’s USATF Club Cross Country Nationals. They are surveying the championship course at River’s Edge Golf Course.
“It’s by far the toughest and most ‘real’ cross country course I’ve ever run on,” says Bobby Reyes, who’ll toe the line with the BRC/adidas team. “It starts with a 600-meter hill, not to mention the questionable footing, the constant rolling hills, the hay bales.” Oh, and the altitude — Bend is 3,623 feet above sea level. Designed by elite trail-, mountain- and ultra-runner Max King, the course consists of 2k loops. Snow blowers cleared the course this morning.
An elite field, which includes last year’s champions Mattie Suver (BRC/adidas) and Jacob Riley (Hansons-Brooks Distance Project), features Olympian Shannon Rowbury, American mile record holder Alan Webb, and World Championship medalist Matthew Centrowitz. Plus the Nike Oregon Project’s Jordan Hasay, runner-up in the US Outdoor Track Championships 10k.
In all, more than 1,200 competitors from 100 teams will take to the course and compete for $25,000 in prizes. The USATF-hosted meet kicks off at 9 a.m. PST with a Community 4k race. The masters women’s 6k is at 9:45 a.m.; masters men’s 10k at 10:45 a.m.; open women’s 6k at noon; and open men’s 10k.
- Top 10 stories to follow, on Runnerspace.com
- Meet information, on USATF
- More on the course and meet director and ultra-runner Max King, in the Bend Bulletin online