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  #1  
Old 09-25-18, 07:08 PM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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Today vs Yesterday

I just got back from a meet where Woodridge, Crestwood, Field and Rootstown ran against each other. Nice little meet. When I ran in the 80's it would have been a dual meet, but that is a thing of the past and it's now super duals where you get the league stuff out of the way early and in one big meet. But the reason I decided to write something is because of the conversation I had with one of the coaches. Believe it or not, he coached against my teams. He's been at it that long. But he brought up where we used to run our league meet and the course at Woodridge CVNP (A course I raced on once a week or at least every other week in HS.) Our league meet was held at Paradise Lake golf course. There were rolling hills and then a hill that is more like a cliff than a hill. We ran (fell) down it and then hit a flat loop at the bottom before we would go back up a very long hill with turns in it to get back to the main race elevation.

I remember hitting the bottom of the hill and my legs being so dead that I was barely moving. I was convinced that I was in big trouble and that everyone was going to catch me. No one else could possibly feel that bad. Just when your legs would come back, BAM the big up hill. I'm done. Everyone else has to feel better than me and it's just a matter of time now before I'm caught. The Woodridge course was/ is a lot like that. The first mile is down hill and you go through the mile mark at like 4:45 like it was nothing. Then you hit a steep hill. You crawl up that then at the top you go down a free fall of a hill that has your legs turning over so fast it almost hurts. Then you feel horrible and can't get into any type of a rhythm then you hit killer hill and by the top of it you could walk faster than you are running. Two hundred meters of really feeling sorry for yourself and knowing that the entire field is going to eat you up before you can run again. Then just one more really steep downhill and two very steep uphills oh, and the other downhill you forgot about. No rhythm at all.

That's how courses were. The course up in Perry had us running through creek beds that you had to pull yourself up the bank on the other side with tree roots. It snowed there twice when I ran and rained real hard another.

Most courses I ran, if you ran stupid, went out too hard or just pushed too hard in a part of the race you shouldn't, you could get into big trouble. You paid a price and the rest of the good runners would make you pay. It's not like that now. Goodyear had one hill and it was the downhill that hurt you, but that course is history too. The courses are not a factor anymore. You don't have a Paradise Lakes where there is a stupid crazy downhill in the middle of the race where if you run stupid to get there, you're done.

We can all marvel at the times the kids run now, but I ran a 15:15 on a course that most would call hard by today's standards.

We run at Brecksville which is a nice course and the Woodridge CVNP, but there aren't many like those anymore.

Cripe, I'm old. I've turned into my dad.
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Old 09-25-18, 07:50 PM
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Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery is offline
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FWIW, my cousin got married on the 1st tee at Paradise Lake CC in what he called a "get fed quickly" ceremony that lasted maybe 2 minutes. It was beautiful!
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Old 09-25-18, 11:51 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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Hmm, Dovers course still keeps with that. Tough hills there, and when it rains it get muddy as well.

Another course that I liked was the Tuslaw Invitational course at clays park. That one was pretty cool.
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Old 09-26-18, 07:27 AM
yj_runfan yj_runfan is offline
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We used to host meets at a county park. The course we laid out literally had no flat parts. Nobody (including state champion teams) ever broke 17:00 there. Almost every team that ran there loved it. It got so big on Saturdays we had to move it back to a weekday to hold down the crowds. Now we host meets on a floodplain that's as flat as the football field.
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Old 09-26-18, 07:43 AM
mathking mathking is offline
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Originally Posted by yj_runfan View Post
We used to host meets at a county park. The course we laid out literally had no flat parts. Nobody (including state champion teams) ever broke 17:00 there. Almost every team that ran there loved it. It got so big on Saturdays we had to move it back to a weekday to hold down the crowds. Now we host meets on a floodplain that's as flat as the football field.
I believe I took my Walnut Hills teams to that park course in 1999 or 2000. It was a nice course. Great place to get kids to buy into racing.
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Old 09-26-18, 07:50 AM
EuclidandViren EuclidandViren is offline
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I can never look at a Popsicle stick again without searching for the # on it.
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Old 09-26-18, 08:27 AM
Rohbino Rohbino is offline
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I'll probably get beaten up for voicing this but the popularity of sites like Milesplit have been a contributing factor in easier courses becoming more popular. Social media has also played a role. Milesplit incessantly pimps runners based on who has the fastest times. Everyone wants to be the person or team that gets pimped by Milesplit and the only way to do that is to have the fastest times. Within a few seconds of a sub-15 effort it's being Tweeted. Little Johnny in Columbus or NE Ohio finds out that Little Dustin just ran under 15 and hopes that the course he's getting ready to run on will be as fast. Little Suzy, or Little Suzy's coach, want to be able to run a faster time because Little Taylor is getting close to breaking 17 minutes.

I voiced elsewhere that the NE Ohio teams are always slept on because, in general, the courses in NE Ohio are more challenging. That makes sense given the topography of the state but there are still courses that could be used that are tougher in all parts of Ohio. I would think that even in "flat as a pancake" Central Ohio that courses could be tougher. For some reason Rapid Run Park in Cincinnati is no longer used. Why is that? Everyone is concerned about times, that's why. I actually overheard a conversation a few years ago that someone was having about the Cedarville course. I could not believe that I actually heard the words "too hilly" being used in reference to the course. The course has some rollers, grades, and false flats but "too hilly"? Please! I've heard people say that Indian Riffle in Kettering is too hilly. There is a very short and steep hill that is traversed twice but that shouldn't make the course "too hilly."

Sometimes I think that people are happier to run a fast time and not win a race instead of winning with a slower time. This discussion seems to come up every now and then and I understand the argument that brutal courses can't be run week in and week out. There should be a good mix of courses - hillier and more demanding courses to develop power and the flatter/firmer courses to develop leg turnover and speed. For whatever reason, everyone wants to ignore the power aspect and only work on speed. I believe that the "reason" is that everyone wants to bask in glory by being able to claim fast times. They want to be talked about.
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Old 09-26-18, 08:29 AM
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I think the bigger question is: are we coaches, parents, and athletic departments doing the right things to make cross country fun and memorable. For those of us who ran in the multiple chute/popsicle/wipe-the-bib-with-a-rag days, there were so many things that made CC fun. We didn’t have team camps, we hung out in the bus and mooned each other and other teams. We didn’t walk the course in the morning, we jogged it and tried to pick up girls from other schools along the way because they didn’t know how dorky we were yet. We threw up in front of everyone we possibly could which was ok because we were allowed to eat on the bus and have enough calories. We had a 4-week stretch when we ran Tuesday and Saturday, and the workouts in between weren’t too bad because we had done the hard work in July. We ran at the Cambridge mental hospital and hung out with patients, no joke, before we even thought about that hill.

Honestly, I don’t know what kind of memories a kid who is a mid-packer, doesn’t advance out of Districts, only thinks about his PR time differences from week to week, and also does 12 other extracurriculars, etc., is gonna have from CC. I think adults have taken the fun out of CC.

Are we doing the right things? Probably not. What’s the answer? My best guess is that we need to get out of the way. But that ain’t gonna happen, I’m afraid.

Just my $0.02-worth. Never ran CVNP in HS, so cant speak to how epically I would have handled it. Probably a safe bet I wouldn’t have cracked 18.
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Old 09-26-18, 09:15 AM
dado6 dado6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohbino View Post
I'll probably get beaten up for voicing this but the popularity of sites like Milesplit have been a contributing factor in easier courses becoming more popular. Social media has also played a role. Milesplit incessantly pimps runners based on who has the fastest times. Everyone wants to be the person or team that gets pimped by Milesplit and the only way to do that is to have the fastest times. Within a few seconds of a sub-15 effort it's being Tweeted. Little Johnny in Columbus or NE Ohio finds out that Little Dustin just ran under 15 and hopes that the course he's getting ready to run on will be as fast. Little Suzy, or Little Suzy's coach, want to be able to run a faster time because Little Taylor is getting close to breaking 17 minutes.

I voiced elsewhere that the NE Ohio teams are always slept on because, in general, the courses in NE Ohio are more challenging. That makes sense given the topography of the state but there are still courses that could be used that are tougher in all parts of Ohio. I would think that even in "flat as a pancake" Central Ohio that courses could be tougher. For some reason Rapid Run Park in Cincinnati is no longer used. Why is that? Everyone is concerned about times, that's why. I actually overheard a conversation a few years ago that someone was having about the Cedarville course. I could not believe that I actually heard the words "too hilly" being used in reference to the course. The course has some rollers, grades, and false flats but "too hilly"? Please! I've heard people say that Indian Riffle in Kettering is too hilly. There is a very short and steep hill that is traversed twice but that shouldn't make the course "too hilly."

Sometimes I think that people are happier to run a fast time and not win a race instead of winning with a slower time. This discussion seems to come up every now and then and I understand the argument that brutal courses can't be run week in and week out. There should be a good mix of courses - hillier and more demanding courses to develop power and the flatter/firmer courses to develop leg turnover and speed. For whatever reason, everyone wants to ignore the power aspect and only work on speed. I believe that the "reason" is that everyone wants to bask in glory by being able to claim fast times. They want to be talked about.
I loved running at Rapid Run park. We attended the Elder CC Relays there in 1973. The old French Park course that Sycamore used for their invitational that year was a hilly one; I saw people bear crawl up the back hill.

Our course at Norwood had a pretty steep hill, but you couldn't run a large number of teams on that course.

Our league meets (old Hamilton County American) were at Greenhills; they had a pretty good hill there too.
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Old 09-26-18, 09:39 AM
Rohbino Rohbino is offline
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Another factor that I overlooked was the demise of the dual meets or even super duels. Some of the more difficult courses probably have more limited parking. With everyone now always running mega-invitationals, there has to be parking that can accommodate the crowds. Psycho mentioned Goodyear. Goodyear isn't exceedingly difficult but does have a big uphill/downhill and some other long grades. It could never be classified as an easy course. I'm actually surprised that it hosted the district meet for as long as it did with the somewhat limited parking but I heard the reason that it left was due to the site manager. Aside from hosting the district meet, Goodyear was primarily a site of duels and league meets. It could never host a big invitational. French Park that dado referred to has very limited parking. It probably couldn't be used for anything other than a duel, tri, or quad. Other venues are similar and the big invitational is now "the thing." Having said that, I also believe that the big invitationals and the popularity of those events are partially a product of being pimped by the aforementioned Milesplit and other similar forms of media.
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Old 09-26-18, 12:29 PM
mathking mathking is offline
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Honestly I feel like our kids, from the varsity runners to the mid packers to the tail enders have a good time. Largely similar to the good times that I had in high school as an athlete. The team is an extended family during (and out of) the season. I don't think that participation numbers show XC becoming not fun. Kids are still having fun.

I do miss smaller meets. We enjoyed our two year stint at the dual at the DeWine's meet. They help kids focus on racing, rather than time. I don't have any desire to increase the number of meets we attend but I would be OK with replacing a couple of our invitationals with dual meets. I had a crazy idea this summer of hosting a dual meet some Friday evening before a football game, against the same opponent as the football team.

Milesplit and social media sites are certainly changing the sport. But I think that we as coaches are little too willing to buy into the "this is ruining the sport" mentality when there are changes we don't like. (I am not saying I like them any more than anyone else here, for the record.) Participation numbers are at an all time high. So we clearly are not killing the sport in a participation sense. I firmly believe that XC is about racing and not times. But I know that kids sometimes want/need the validation of fast times. Think about this, every time one of us argues that a course must be short because the times are too fast, we are telling kids that times are what matters. If you keep telling your kids that racing is what matters, mostly they are going to listen. If you demonstrate enthusiasm and passion, they are going to notice. We are largely the ones that determine what kind of experience our kids have as athletes.
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Old 09-26-18, 03:44 PM
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Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathking View Post
Honestly I feel like our kids, from the varsity runners to the mid packers to the tail enders have a good time. Largely similar to the good times that I had in high school as an athlete. The team is an extended family during (and out of) the season. I don't think that participation numbers show XC becoming not fun. Kids are still having fun.

I do miss smaller meets. We enjoyed our two year stint at the dual at the DeWine's meet. They help kids focus on racing, rather than time. I don't have any desire to increase the number of meets we attend but I would be OK with replacing a couple of our invitationals with dual meets. I had a crazy idea this summer of hosting a dual meet some Friday evening before a football game, against the same opponent as the football team.

Milesplit and social media sites are certainly changing the sport. But I think that we as coaches are little too willing to buy into the "this is ruining the sport" mentality when there are changes we don't like. (I am not saying I like them any more than anyone else here, for the record.) Participation numbers are at an all time high. So we clearly are not killing the sport in a participation sense. I firmly believe that XC is about racing and not times. But I know that kids sometimes want/need the validation of fast times. Think about this, every time one of us argues that a course must be short because the times are too fast, we are telling kids that times are what matters. If you keep telling your kids that racing is what matters, mostly they are going to listen. If you demonstrate enthusiasm and passion, they are going to notice. We are largely the ones that determine what kind of experience our kids have as athletes.
We once ran a dual meet against a team during the break between JV and varsity soccer games. We were the visitors. The kids started and finished on the field (had to be inside the stadium by a certain time before the gate was shut, couldn't delay the start of the soccer game), and the host school fed the runners afterwards. The ironic part was the host school didn't actually have an XC course. As far as we know, it is the only XC meet that school has ever had on their campus. Their girls have won a few state titles since then, and their boys have come close a few times as a team and have produced a few individual state champions. Most of the race was run on a sidewalk and also a crushed limestone multi-use trail that was a block or 2 from the school. The kids complained about it all before the race, but after they finished and saw that they were going to get to stuff themselves with pizza, snacks, cookies, and drinks, they changed their tune rather quickly and remarked about how much fun it was. Something like that might not be too hard to orchestrate in place of a mid-week workout. It might also help you pull a few soccer players in your direction.


One thing that I believe has created a negative unintended consequence is chip timing. On one hand, chip timing is great because it helps score the meets more quickly and helps the meets be run more quickly because the opportunity exists to run a large number of kids in 1 race. Parents love that they may spend 2 hours or less at a meet now and can then try to set a new PR for how quickly they can take their kid and go home. If I had a dollar for every time a parent has told me how much more they love XC than track because of the whole idea of "get in, get out quickly." At many meets, it's almost not worth the effort to set up a tent unless rain is in the forecast because a kid might spend a grand total of 15 minutes under the tent during the whole time the team is at the meet.

All of that convenience and efficiency might be coming at a cost though: How many meets now don't bother having a JV/open race because of chip timing? This is more of a phenomenon at small and mid-sized meets with primarily DII and DIII schools. Your larger meets or meets with some large DI schools are still running JV/open races. In the absence of JV/open races, a large batch of runners go from being at the front of a race field where they can actually think about racing to being mid or tail end of the pack runners in varsity races. Many of those 8th-14th on their teams have little to shoot for other than a time in a varsity race. Bring back the JV races, and suddenly those runners' places matter because they're in scoring positions or acting as displacers for the JV team. I think it's important for those kids to get the experience of being in that competitive situation where their performance is going to carry more significance than what their final time says. Nowadays, my school only competes in 1 meet all season where the team is split into varsity and JV races.

When I ran in the late '90s, I never minded that we were going to spend all of the morning and maybe also the early part of the afternoon at a meet. There were even some meets where you could think about catching a nap before you had to warm up. The parents were cool with it as well. The meet was the centerpiece of their day rather than something that was going to interfere with their main Saturday plans. My teammates took pride in doing well in the JV races, and those guys helped us maintain a strong program for over a decade from the mid '90s to mid '00s.
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Old 09-26-18, 08:21 PM
apeg apeg is offline
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Loved that meet at Mitchell Memorial Forest!
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Old 09-26-18, 08:43 PM
fanofrunning fanofrunning is offline
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Originally Posted by dado6 View Post
I loved running at Rapid Run park. We attended the Elder CC Relays there in 1973. The old French Park course that Sycamore used for their invitational that year was a hilly one; I saw people bear crawl up the back hill.

Our course at Norwood had a pretty steep hill, but you couldn't run a large number of teams on that course.

Our league meets (old Hamilton County American) were at Greenhills; they had a pretty good hill there too.
That back hill at Rapid Run Park (where few spectators ventured) was a total as* kicker. But dang, if you were good at running uphill, you could demoralize many runners runners there.
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Old 09-26-18, 09:37 PM
mathking mathking is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Slippery View Post
We once ran a dual meet against a team during the break between JV and varsity soccer games. We were the visitors. The kids started and finished on the field (had to be inside the stadium by a certain time before the gate was shut, couldn't delay the start of the soccer game), and the host school fed the runners afterwards. The ironic part was the host school didn't actually have an XC course. As far as we know, it is the only XC meet that school has ever had on their campus. Their girls have won a few state titles since then, and their boys have come close a few times as a team and have produced a few individual state champions. Most of the race was run on a sidewalk and also a crushed limestone multi-use trail that was a block or 2 from the school. The kids complained about it all before the race, but after they finished and saw that they were going to get to stuff themselves with pizza, snacks, cookies, and drinks, they changed their tune rather quickly and remarked about how much fun it was. Something like that might not be too hard to orchestrate in place of a mid-week workout. It might also help you pull a few soccer players in your direction.


One thing that I believe has created a negative unintended consequence is chip timing. On one hand, chip timing is great because it helps score the meets more quickly and helps the meets be run more quickly because the opportunity exists to run a large number of kids in 1 race. Parents love that they may spend 2 hours or less at a meet now and can then try to set a new PR for how quickly they can take their kid and go home. If I had a dollar for every time a parent has told me how much more they love XC than track because of the whole idea of "get in, get out quickly." At many meets, it's almost not worth the effort to set up a tent unless rain is in the forecast because a kid might spend a grand total of 15 minutes under the tent during the whole time the team is at the meet.

All of that convenience and efficiency might be coming at a cost though: How many meets now don't bother having a JV/open race because of chip timing? This is more of a phenomenon at small and mid-sized meets with primarily DII and DIII schools. Your larger meets or meets with some large DI schools are still running JV/open races. In the absence of JV/open races, a large batch of runners go from being at the front of a race field where they can actually think about racing to being mid or tail end of the pack runners in varsity races. Many of those 8th-14th on their teams have little to shoot for other than a time in a varsity race. Bring back the JV races, and suddenly those runners' places matter because they're in scoring positions or acting as displacers for the JV team. I think it's important for those kids to get the experience of being in that competitive situation where their performance is going to carry more significance than what their final time says. Nowadays, my school only competes in 1 meet all season where the team is split into varsity and JV races.

When I ran in the late '90s, I never minded that we were going to spend all of the morning and maybe also the early part of the afternoon at a meet. There were even some meets where you could think about catching a nap before you had to warm up. The parents were cool with it as well. The meet was the centerpiece of their day rather than something that was going to interfere with their main Saturday plans. My teammates took pride in doing well in the JV races, and those guys helped us maintain a strong program for over a decade from the mid '90s to mid '00s.
That is an interesting perspective. I ran at a smaller school in HS (only one season of HS XC in 1985) and coach at a D1 school now. So from my perspective meets take a lot longer now in general. Most of our meets this year have had Varsity, 9-10 and open races. So we actually enjoy the few races which are smaller with everyone running one race.
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Old 09-27-18, 03:28 AM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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The sport is bigger and better than ever. Mid pack runners are much better than when I ran. Girls are getting better year after year. The meets are getting too big in my opinion, but the kids love it. Parents don't understand the scoring which is just amazing to me. How simpler could it be? My youngest son loved Saturday Night Lights. It was a pretty cool event. He is now looking forward to the Stow meet so he can run a fast time. He is very motivated by that. He wants to get into the 17's.

At these big meets, I marvel at just how many people are there. Competitors and fans. It's amazing. There are things I don't like, but it's obvious that many more people don't care about the things I care about and the sport grows in spite of what I think. It drives me nuts that Results are not always correct with the chip timing. We've had kids not show up in the standings because their chip didn't register. Who cares? We are out of here. There is little concern about what place the teams come in. At Centerville, our boys were 3rd. Little to no difference if they were 1st or 5th. It's not teams from our division or part of the state, so, does it really matter? Best meet of the year according to my son.

I think the big meets are great, but I'd like to see meets where the teams are more evenly matched. Meets where the non elite runners and teams compete against each other rather than scoring 2000 points and coming in 34th place. But, the sport is bigger and better than ever, so what do I know?

The running a dual meet before a football game is a great idea. Especially if it was two equally matched teams.
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Old 09-27-18, 07:56 AM
yj_runfan yj_runfan is offline
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Loved that meet at Mitchell Memorial Forest!
What team were you with?

I visit the park quite often and I never fail to think of the meets we held there. We had a blast!
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Old 09-27-18, 09:14 AM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_dad View Post
The sport is bigger and better than ever. Mid pack runners are much better than when I ran. Girls are getting better year after year. The meets are getting too big in my opinion, but the kids love it. Parents don't understand the scoring which is just amazing to me. How simpler could it be? My youngest son loved Saturday Night Lights. It was a pretty cool event. He is now looking forward to the Stow meet so he can run a fast time. He is very motivated by that. He wants to get into the 17's.

At these big meets, I marvel at just how many people are there. Competitors and fans. It's amazing. There are things I don't like, but it's obvious that many more people don't care about the things I care about and the sport grows in spite of what I think. It drives me nuts that Results are not always correct with the chip timing. We've had kids not show up in the standings because their chip didn't register. Who cares? We are out of here. There is little concern about what place the teams come in. At Centerville, our boys were 3rd. Little to no difference if they were 1st or 5th. It's not teams from our division or part of the state, so, does it really matter? Best meet of the year according to my son.

I think the big meets are great, but I'd like to see meets where the teams are more evenly matched. Meets where the non elite runners and teams compete against each other rather than scoring 2000 points and coming in 34th place. But, the sport is bigger and better than ever, so what do I know?

The running a dual meet before a football game is a great idea. Especially if it was two equally matched teams.
Sounds like you should have watched the Dover invitational. Or you should come to the Tuslaw Invitational (in Clays Park).
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Old 09-27-18, 10:25 AM
mathking mathking is offline
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Originally Posted by yj_runfan View Post
What team were you with?

I visit the park quite often and I never fail to think of the meets we held there. We had a blast!
What year did Taylor start hosting that meet at the park?
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Old 09-27-18, 11:09 AM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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A lot of good points.

At the end of the day, CC is in a better spot today for reasons that are mentioned.

Big meets have electric environments. People and runners love them.

Grass on track is great. Running fast is entertaining. Watching a kid win in 17:45 is boring.
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Old 09-27-18, 03:16 PM
apeg apeg is offline
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Originally Posted by yj_runfan View Post
What team were you with?

I visit the park quite often and I never fail to think of the meets we held there. We had a blast!
Knew kids and coaches at Roger Bacon and Elder.
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  #22  
Old 09-27-18, 08:00 PM
Altor Altor is offline
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It's pretty amazing the differences across the state. I work 5 regular season meets and a conference meet during the season. Only one uses chip timing and has more than four races (not counting elementary "fun runs").

Told the kids at the starting line a couple weeks ago to make sure they grabbed their "paycheck" as they went through the chute. Most of them knew what I meant.
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  #23  
Old 09-27-18, 08:27 PM
EuclidandViren EuclidandViren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrunner609 View Post
A lot of good points.

At the end of the day, CC is in a better spot today for reasons that are mentioned.

Big meets have electric environments. People and runners love them.

Grass on track is great. Running fast is entertaining. Watching a kid win in 17:45 is boring.
Gotta agree with you.

Running fast is what it is all about. Nostalgia is great, but when it is all said and done XC has exploded. Times are exponentially better. Women are incredible. What used to be all state at 19:00 now sniffs top 50 or more.

I love it either way. Kids are amazing, teams are amazing, it is all amazing to watch and soak in.
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  #24  
Old 09-28-18, 07:20 AM
yj_runfan yj_runfan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathking View Post
What year did Taylor start hosting that meet at the park?
I believe it started around 1998 - 2000.
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  #25  
Old 09-28-18, 08:54 AM
mathking mathking is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yj_runfan View Post
I believe it started around 1998 - 2000.


Thatís what I thought. I remember coaching Walnut Hills there the year it started, and those were the years I was coaching at WHHS. It was a very nice place for a meet.
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  #26  
Old 10-04-18, 01:11 PM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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Not sure if this is mentioned but today I feel like race variance has come along way. 2 mile races are great.

Also today the access to great training and the overall concentration on aerobic development is better for all athletes.
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  #27  
Old 10-07-18, 05:54 AM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrunner609 View Post
Big meets have electric environments. People and runners love them.

Grass on track is great. Running fast is entertaining. Watching a kid win in 17:45 is boring.
Too many teams only go to big meets and I think that is a mistake. I think you need a combination of large and small fields. If all you do is run big meets, your middle of the road and back of the pack runners are just out there running and not competing. A smaller meet exposes the runners more and doesn't hide them in a pack. The key to team success is to develop 19 min runners into 17 min racers and just training isn't enough usually. Racing and having some success is more beneficial IMO. Finishing 12th in an race does more to a kids confidence than 178th.

I completely disagree with saying watching a kid run 17:45 is boring. If you took the watch away, you would have no idea if that kid was running 15:00 or 17:00. I've been watching races for nearly 50 years and I can't tell what a kid is running. I am equally entertained by watching girls run as I am boys and girls win races in much slower times than 17:45. I am much more entertained by a lead pack of 4-10 runners than I am by one kid way out from the start and no one trying to go after him/her. I'm more entertained by racing than running. I remember a year when Hudson didn't have a true front runner, but they would start scoring around 20th place and end scoring about 25th place. Watching that was very entertaining. It was text book. I still for the life of me do not understand what is gained by winning a race by 60 seconds and never being challenged, when you could hang back and help teammates and still win the race by 5 seconds. Even LeBron James doesn't win championships alone. Team results mean more to me than individual results and it blows my mind that TEAM is not the first priority.
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  #28  
Old 10-07-18, 08:30 AM
said_aouita said_aouita is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_dad View Post

If you took the watch away, you would have no idea if that kid was running 15:00 or 17:00. I've been watching races for nearly 50 years and I can't tell what a kid is running. .
I politely disagree with this part. If comparing form and turnover of runners two minutes apart, you'll have a noticeable difference.
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  #29  
Old 10-07-18, 10:56 AM
madman madman is offline
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I've got to agree with Psycho-Dad on this. Whether a kid runs 18.0 sec/100m (15:00 pace) versus 20.4 sec/100m (17:00 pace) isn't what makes a race exciting or interesting. Neither pace would hold our interest on the track for 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, etc. In an XC race we're usually only seeing the runners for 100-200 meters at a time. Until kids start running near their speed limit (~11 sec/100) I don't think speed really holds our attention.

I think most are impressed when athletes hammer at one another (Allan Badar vs Wesley Smith at 2001 State Championship) regardless of pace. It's the battle that's interesting. When a guy runs 14:54 for 5k XC we all go "wow!" if we believe the distance was correct, but we would do that whether we saw the race or not. I think epic battles that we observe remain in our psyche much longer than a fast run.

I don't have a clue what time they ran, but I will always remember watching this finish:

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  #30  
Old 10-07-18, 03:29 PM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madman View Post
I've got to agree with Psycho-Dad on this. Whether a kid runs 18.0 sec/100m (15:00 pace) versus 20.4 sec/100m (17:00 pace) isn't what makes a race exciting or interesting. Neither pace would hold our interest on the track for 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, etc. In an XC race we're usually only seeing the runners for 100-200 meters at a time. Until kids start running near their speed limit (~11 sec/100) I don't think speed really holds our attention.

I think most are impressed when athletes hammer at one another (Allan Badar vs Wesley Smith at 2001 State Championship) regardless of pace. It's the battle that's interesting. When a guy runs 14:54 for 5k XC we all go "wow!" if we believe the distance was correct, but we would do that whether we saw the race or not. I think epic battles that we observe remain in our psyche much longer than a fast run.

I don't have a clue what time they ran, but I will always remember watching this finish:

That picture doesnt justify anything. Most of those professional races are crap. THey jog around for most laps then sprint the end. Not interested.
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