Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Competition

As the Big Sky Distance Project harriers hit the turf at Plantes Ferry Park in Spokane for the USATF Club Nationals Cross Country Championships, they’ll be competing against some of the best athletes in the country. (Or as Bobby Bouchet (aka The Waterboy) would say – “That there’s some high quality athletic competition.”)

On the men’s open front, we have some of the best Training Groups/Distance Teams around. This includes the Hanson’s/Brooks team (Olympic Marathoner Brian Sell is listed as part of their team), ZAP Fitness, McMillan Elite (Andrew Carlson) and the Oregon TC Elite (Ryan Bak, Don Sage and Louis Luchini). Some of the individuals who are listed to compete include runners with Montana connections including Brett Winegar, Seth Watkins and Ted Zderic.

The women’s side seems to be a bit more wide open and doesn’t have some of the top end elites on the men’s side. But, I can guarantee you that the teams will racing hard and looking to take home top honors.

The men’s master’s 40+ team competition could be the most closely contested of the day. Front Line Racing, Fluffy Bunny T.C., Fleet Feet Racing – Boulder, and Club Northwest. Some of the best men’s master’s runners in the countries are competing on these teams. And, I know that some of them take this meet very seriously and structure their fall racing campaign around this meet.

The women’s master’s 40+ team is no cakewalk either. With the Impala, See Jane Run and Club NW teams, the medal slots will be hotly contested. For a full view of who’s competing, check out the confirmed entry list at http://www.usatf.org/events/2008/USATFClubXCChampionships/entry/status.asp.

We’ll see what Saturday brings. It would certainly be an early Xmas present for The Buzzard if one of the 4 BSDP teams had a podium finish. He would even consider a top 5 team finish as making for a Happy Holiday season.

Here’s to hoping that we have fun; but, that we run hard and run fast.

Wish us the best.

The Muddy Buzzard

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