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  #1  
Old 11-15-17, 08:14 AM
ENA2 ENA2 is offline
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Fixes for the State Meet at National Trail

A few sites have banter about the State Meet. This is aimed to be for constructive critisism that meet management could do. From what I know, the location will be at National Trail for the next couple years at least, so instead of discussion about where to move it or what a "disgrace" National Trail is.... Let's talk about what can be done to improve the event at National Trail.
I will go first:

I. the course ....
1)is GREAT from an Athletes perspective. All of our kids who have raced there love the course. a couple do not like the 180 degree turn 1000 meter in, but those kids still say it is the best couse they have ever run. Our kids really like the Woods and the Finish in front of the crowd.
For what's it's worth, 95% of those who raced at Scioto Downs felt the same way. It IS the State Meet afterall.
2)As a coach I like the set up where fans can not get close to the Start so parents/fan do not get in the way of what I am trying to do. At many meets this is a problem and I have to run through masses of people to get a good view of the athletes. I do NOT like that I can't get in the field coming out of the woods(last 1200) and will ask meet management about that
3) as a spectator the course can be improved and still keep it runner-friendly.
My wife spent some time in the east stands and thought it was better than the west stands to see the entire loop after the mile. Still, the course could pass the stands more often, and still not just be loops which the kids don't want.

I have made changes to the course that I will submit to Terry Oartman (Meet Management) Both include the woods (which the kids seem to like) and both also bring the kids closer to the crowd. One brings them infront of the stands another time and the other takes them along the fans by the snow fence towards the end. (last 800 or so).
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  #2  
Old 11-15-17, 08:45 AM
ENA2 ENA2 is offline
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II) Parking
I did not see as much a problem with parkingthis year other than some coaches/parent who brought athletes in cars having to park across the street. but parking was a problem at Scoioto Downs, at Jessie Owens for Track, at our District and Regional sites when a lot af people are coming or going at the same time.
1) Spread the races out longer. Start at 10:00 am and go every hour instead of every 45 minutes. If you take 90 minutes between last girls race and first boys race (if you need to) that will only make the day 30 minutes longer. If many wait to see the final race, there will still be congestions, but it should be less
2.) Those with a runner should have a pass to put in their cars to get them to the Athletes gate... simple fix... contact Meet management and have them FAX a PASS (like the Media gets)


III. Awards
Heard complaint about giving awards while another race was going on as some could not see the race due to fans taking picture of the podium or visa-versa.
1) Changing the time schedule and Starting at 10:00 could fix this (see above) as the appeal process in 30 minutes. Still, those results are pretty quick and they should be quicker at getting the top 25 up there... before the last finisher crosses the line.... team awards then could proceed ASAP.
2.) I will also suggest for the OATCCC to consider awarding TOP 30 as ALL-OHIO as now 20 teams and about 170-180 kids are in each race. Used to be 16 teams and about 140-150 total runners.
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Old 11-15-17, 09:44 AM
mathking mathking is offline
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ENA2, I think your point #1 is important. I have found that our kids like the course. No doubt they like it because it is the state meet. It is interesting to me that we had five boys and four girls who ran at SD in 2010 and NT in 2011. They all liked both courses. I think that kids will largely take their cue on a course from their coach.

There are some changes that could make the course better. I would like it if they made the loop after the mile on the west side accessible to fans for one. If a way to go through the woods twice could be found that wasn't just making the course two loops it would be nice. (One of my kids noted this year that if they just continued up along the drag strip after the 180 turn then turned up into the woods the existing course would be just about a perfect two loop course, and it would be more fan friendly. But I am not a fan of that for a state meet course.)

I think spreading out the races a little more would help with parking/access as well. This was the first time we have gone down there for a later race without having kids racing earlier. We breezed in, arriving between the girls D1 and boys D3 races. With a little more spread things might be better. On the other hand, it makes for a little longer day for teams with both boys and girls running. But as you point out, not really that much longer.
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Old 11-15-17, 11:04 AM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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come on guys...this is not a "Nice" course. artificial camber for about 1/2 mile, zig zag loop after the mile is just terrible. And dont forget that there is a drag strip in the middle of a CC course.

If this course is a teams favorite I would hate to see what they run during the year. Maybe they meant its the "easiest"
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  #5  
Old 11-15-17, 11:44 AM
yj_runfan yj_runfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrunner609 View Post
come on guys...this is not a "Nice" course. artificial camber for about 1/2 mile, zig zag loop after the mile is just terrible. And dont forget that there is a drag strip in the middle of a CC course.

If this course is a teams favorite I would hate to see what they run during the year. Maybe they meant its the "easiest"
I had the exact same thought when I read that.
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  #6  
Old 11-15-17, 12:18 PM
Eye89 Eye89 is offline
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My kids like the course. Adjusting to make a little more spectator friendly is a worthwhile exploration.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #7  
Old 11-15-17, 12:20 PM
mathking mathking is offline
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I believe we have had 29 different athletes run on the NT course. Some of them more than once. One of them four times. Several of them have been on the podium, we have also had the last finisher. We have the first place team and the 16th place team. Some of the kids have expressed that they don't like the 180 degree turn, but even that is done mostly in the context of figure out the best way to navigate it depending on where they are in the race. Most of them really like the last mile. None of them has ever said they don't like the course. Not even the kids who ran at both SD and NT. They mostly take their cue from us. If you don't like a course, and consistently express that you don't like a course, then chances are your kids aren't going to like it either.
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  #8  
Old 11-15-17, 12:23 PM
ENA2 ENA2 is offline
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We have a survey for our runners with question about favorite course and least favorite course and Why?
Since we have been going to National trail... thsoe who have run there say it is their favorite. the Why? is usually answered by: 1) level of competition - racing against the best 2) challenge of the race - probably due to competition rather than the course 3) or, as one said, they didn't have to worry about running into spectators.4) they ran fast there

Some courses listed as least favorite: and why? (over the past 5 years)
Tiffin: Too many people to pass (400 in the DIII race), course too easy,
Malone: 3 loops of the same thing
Salem: too many turns
Van Wert: Too flat, boring "just go arond a big lake", too long of strait-a-ways.
Boardman: they say because it's two loops,or because the crowd interferes with the midpack runners by cutting across the course... but probably due to ending the season there with out qualifying.

Long ago, we ran at Galion and some hated the course because it was too easy (flat)...including the kid who broke the school record. She later broke the record at Scioto Downs but did not think it was "easy".

Note: this year I did have an alumni who raced there in the past who said that they loved to race on the course, but hated to watch a a the meet at National Trail.
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  #9  
Old 11-16-17, 10:57 AM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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I have no problem with the course itself other than it is not a challenging course. There is nothing about the course that can put a runner in trouble by going out too hard or anything like that. Very advantageous for front runner or pace/rhythm runners. I'd like to see some sort of hill or rolling hills even if man made at some point in the course. It's not going to be what we have here in the NE, but if it were, it would not be fair to kids from the NW. I'd like a hill or two. Nothing there counts. I think part of the sport is being able to run smart, but you don't have to at NTR.

How I experience a meet is different than others I suppose. I love the start. I get a rush. I like to move around and get to certain points and shout instructions to runners for the team I support. They are used to me doing that every meet. I rarely see the finish and that's not important to me like it is others. I like the tactics of the race and want to see the guts of the race so to speak and the actual finish is not the important part to me. I know that's probably completely opposite from 95% of people there watching.

So, what would I do?

I would sell special tickets that allowed people to have access like coaches and press and be able to be out in more places on the inside of the course. Open more of the course to rowdy kids cheering on teammates/ schoolmates. Allow places where crowd is within 10 feet of the runners. Also allow college coaches access to the inside of the course so they can get a better feel for who they are recruiting. Sort of customize the ticket packages.

Shorten the loop out by the mile and bring the runners back around inside the stands and have them go out to the woods from the east side of the drag strip.

Better sound system. Shorten the protest period and get the individual awards done earlier and then make sure nothing team wise or otherwise is going on at the start of other races. Sort of a respect thing. And make sure the crowd knows the start of the race is happening. Maybe a video board of just the start from a fixed camera. I'd have some access to the first mile loop

The location of the meet is good. The restrooms and concessions are good. The parking and getting in and out are also good.

All that said. I go nearly every year. I didn't go a few years ago because I could no longer get anyone to go with me like I used to be able to. Everyone that came with me to NTR just didn't like it. You just can't see enough of the race and you can't see the start and the finish from the same place.

I would shorten the woods loop so that you could bring the kids back in front of the stands one more time if possible.
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  #10  
Old 11-16-17, 11:27 AM
Altor Altor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_dad View Post
Shorten the protest period and get the individual awards done earlier and then make sure nothing team wise or otherwise is going on at the start of other races.
The protest period is set by rule. So, I don't know how it can be shortened. They could go ahead and give awards while the protest clock is running, but then you risk having to call everybody back to exchange awards if a protest is upheld.
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  #11  
Old 11-16-17, 03:11 PM
madman madman is offline
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Does anyone get decent reception at NTR? I have Verizon and the concept of being able to follow "live" results has been a poor joke.
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  #12  
Old 11-16-17, 03:41 PM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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some coaches by the woods seemed to be looking up live results, but I was over in that general area and I had nothing from Verizon. Very spotty at best.
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Old 11-16-17, 04:30 PM
said_aouita said_aouita is offline
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrunner609 View Post
If this course is a teams favorite I would hate to see what they run during the year.
This.

Granted, the atmosphere of state may be the teams favorite of the season but saying NTR is their favorite course.......? No way.
The sport is not as fun, since so many coaches focus on times and only running fast courses.

Last edited by said_aouita; 11-17-17 at 03:47 AM..
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  #14  
Old 11-16-17, 08:20 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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I never personally raced the state course, but I was there to support one of my former Coventry teammates who had qualified in 2015. Also, I have siblings that ran cross country for SVSM, so ive been down there on a couple of other occasions as well. Needless to say, I personally do not think I would have liked the course. That long straight 1000 meters to the finish line would certainly have been tough mentally, as it just feels like your not really making any kind of progress. Surely the ohsaa could be more creative for a state meet course than a drag-strip. I dare say, I really did not enjoy the being restricted that much from the sidelines either. Nice parking, but, 6/10, would not recommend.

Last edited by CoventryTrackXCguy; 11-17-17 at 12:06 AM..
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  #15  
Old 11-20-17, 10:20 AM
ENA2 ENA2 is offline
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OK here is what I know.
1. The OHSAA is (or was in the last couple days) in negotiation with National Trail for a contract to keep the meet there.... past next year.
Why keep it there?:
- The State cross country meet makes $ instead of going it the RED like it used to. There was over 12,000 paid attendance this year.
- other sites have been considered and looked at. Are they "better" sites? From what I have heard, they may be better for fans to watch the races, but not better for the athletes (out and back course, or loops) or big enough for seating/parking.
2. Meet management will consider changes in the course
- this may include another layout and even some moving of dirt, to make some rolling hills.
-could bring the runners closer to the crowd or infront of the grandstand once more if a 5K works and the finish is still in front of the stands
- probably will NOT consider getting sectators on or nearer the course than they are now. any chance of fan interference has to be reduced or eliminated.
3. The OATCCC will honor the top 30 in each race as "ALL-Ohio" starting next year. Probably still have 20 on the podium.
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Old 11-20-17, 06:05 PM
Altor Altor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ENA2 View Post
- The State cross country meet makes $ instead of going it the RED like it used to. There was over 12,000 paid attendance this year.
I was under the impression that the State meet has always made money (at least in recent memory). The problem has been in the financial reports that they lumped the state tournament in with the regional tournaments, which always lost money because they had not been charging admission until the last few years.

I do believe the attendance figure is higher than it was at SD. But, you also have 24 more teams and probably 20-30 more individuals participating than there were a couple years ago.
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Old 11-20-17, 07:20 PM
madman madman is offline
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I'm not sure what the problem is with loops. I believe the IAAF mandates that 2000 meter loops be used for IAAF Championships. Boardman has been two loops for as long as I can remember.

We need to stop throwing up unecessary blocks to potentially good ideas.

Loops don't make the course better or worse for athletes. There are plusses and minuses to loops for athletes, too - just as there is for ANY course design.

We have essentially ejected dual meets from our schedules and with that made the sport hard enough for friends and families to see meets locally. I think it is in the best interest of our sport to do our best to make things like championship meets far more fan friendly.

The current layout at NTR makes it very hard for spectators to follow the races. This isn't one of the most challenging problems confronting mankind.
I have faith that we can certainly find ways to improve the spectator experience without harming the athletes' experiences and may even improve the later as we improve the former. Sacred cows make great hamburgers.
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Old 11-20-17, 08:27 PM
ENA2 ENA2 is offline
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Alter, When I say the State Meet, I meant the State tourney which include the Regional (but not Districts) and they have made $ due to Regional income the last couple years. Still, the attendance at National trail this year was the 2nd most ever for the State CC meet. the Extra qualifiers has some impact, i'm sure, but many sports operate in the "red" and it's nice that CC does not have to rely on the "cash cows" of football and basketball to pay the bills.

Madman, One of the sites that has been checked out is just an out-and-back course with about 12' wide on each side (From what OAT&CCC rep reported) each way and would not accomidate 180 runners. I think it had the parking and ohter things.

Also, It has been reported that NT will do what they can to improve the course.
They cut down the trees and made the trail through the woods for CC. They probably would do what is requested, but spectators will NOT be able to get any closer than the did at Scioto Downs or do at National Trail.

I know those who run the meet are open to other sites and will look at anything, however, I have been to to about 100 different meets in the past 30 years and know of none that could hold the state meet with the same offerings at NT. I agree that some courses are better for viewing, some have the parking and other needed facilities, some have great (more challenging) courses. but NT has it ALL....potentially. This post is about how to make NT better (I think it should improve) so let's try to stick to that if possible.

Contact your OATCCC District rep with suggestions. If you submit them in writing it will probably be better. you can find their E-mail address at www.oatccc.com under "Contact us"
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Old 11-20-17, 09:28 PM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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They need to open up a bigger gate in the fence that is about 800m to finish. They can then run that loop backwards and move startline closer to stands. You run a figure 8 style course and then finish in the same spot
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