November 17, 2020
Huntsville, AL – The Inaugural RunningLane National Cross Country Championships will take place this Saturday, Nov. 21, starting at 9 a.m. at the John Hunt Cross Country Running Course in Huntsville, Alabama.
“We are really excited for the event this weekend,” said Sean Allen. “We are happy to showcase this great course at John Hunt Park that the City of Huntsville has invested so much into. But most importantly, we are so happy for these young athletes and their opportunity to showcase their talents against some of the best runners in the country.”
Will Rodgers and Sean Allen, co-founders of RunningLane, began brainstorming in early October after the cancellation of Team XC Nationals and Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. The cancellation of these national events devastated cross country athletes across the nation. However, Rodgers and Allen saw the cancellations as an opportunity to host a national championship level event at the new John Hunt Cross Country Course and started planning the RunningLane National Cross Country Championships.
“It is our duty to promote sports and support the hospitality industry here in Huntsville while ensuring the safety of our community during these trying times,” said Ralph Stone, Executive Director of the Huntsville Sports Commission. “We knew by implementing CDC COVID-19 guidelines for a non-contact outdoor sport like cross country we could do that.”
The RunningLane National Cross Country Championships has registered over 900 runners from more than 30 states with several top running athletes such as MileSplit50 Individual Boys Rankings No. 1 Parker Wolfe and Individual Girls Rankings MileSplit50 No. 1 Jenna Hutchins.
“It is important for athletes to be able to compete in a safe environment, which the fully outdoor John Hunt Park Cross Country Running Course provides,” said Steve Ivey, Director of Huntsville Parks & Recreation. “We are able to provide an elite course during these times through the help of our event staff, Landscape Management and General Services.”
Strict COVID-19 guidelines are in place and will be enforced. A health and safety plan will require masks and provide sanitation stations and social distancing – including the spacing of racers and the creation of divisions at the start line.
“It has been a top priority for us that detail all aspects of the championships for the safety of all athletes, coaches, spectators and the Huntsville community,” said Stone.
Additional event details, volunteer information and COVID-19 guidelines for the RunningLane National Cross Country Championships are available at runsignup.com/Race/AL/Huntsville/HSXCRace.
The one-day event is estimated to have an economic impact of about $485,000 in Huntsville.
The Huntsville Sports Commission is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), organization that promotes and enhances the quality of life in Huntsville by identifying, recruiting, promoting and staging sports events and meetings. For more information, contact Brooke Izzo, Director of Marketing & Communications, 256-883-3769, firstname.lastname@example.org