Through a series of regional races, teams and individuals are qualified to run in the national race. Nike flies everyone in to Portland, supplies awesome new gear, brings in big-name pro runners for the kids to meet, and generally puts on a great show for everyone involved.
This year Nike changed the race location from Portland Meadows, a horse track, to Glendoveer Golf Course - a change I very much approve. It was a true cross country course and has the Portland, Oregon feel, complete with the scent of pine in the air, rain clouds in the sky, and mud.
Our team, Kamiakin, was up for an at-large place, but was not chosen to run at Nationals. Our nearby rival, North Central from Spokane won first place in the regional race in Boise, Idaho, so qualified for an automatic berth. Since Kamiakin didn't get the wild card, some of the guys came over to run in the citizens' race and got some experience on this course in hopes for better things next year!
Congrats go out to the winners! We're especially proud that the North Central boys placed 3rd as a team, and that their Tanner Anderson took 1st place overall, with a time of 15:11 for 5k. And I can't leave out Richland's Lindsey Bradley who placed 12th in the girls race at 17:44 for 5k.
|The clean up station to wash the mud off|
After the races, Gary had to get the photos downloaded to his computer. While that was happening, we started the drive home, stopping at Starbucks in Hood River, OR, for a coffee and an internet connection so he could get the pics sent to MileSplit. You can find his photos here.
It was bittersweet to say good-bye to this xc season - our last as parents. Will Gary continue to photograph xc events in the Northwest? I'm not sure. We'll see what the future holds.