Red Lizards' Stumptown Cross Series, and it is also extremely fun for spectators. For some very good reasons, XC brings out a level of competition that's not often seen at your average weekend road race.We are very lucky to live in Oregon in the fall. Aside from the beautiful weather that is right outside for all runners to enjoy, there's a unique cross country race series open to anyone who wants to run. It's called the
Those reasons include top notch courses, timing after the early fall marathons, national competition opportunities, and the team aspect that sets XC apart from other running events. One team that is always fun to watch and root for is the women's elite squad from the Bowerman Track Club. Alongside their elite and master's teams, look for the BTC elite women to throw down some impressive races this fall.
The BTC teams are preparing for the U.S. Club Cross Country Championships, which will be run on December 10th in Tallahassee, Florida. Coordinated by Emily Pritt, Chris Cook, and Everett Whiteside, these three teams are using the Stumptown series as testing grounds to work out their strategy for that national race. The elite women’s team members, as of the start of this season, include Pritt, Carrie Dimoff, Lindsey Drake, Julia Webb, and Olivia Mickle; and they are looking for another 2-5 runners. (They want to have 7-10 runners on the team to send the best possible line-up to Club Cross.)
While I’m impressed by these women’s running, I’m even more impressed by their work ethic. Dimoff, who ran for Princeton, works full time a Nike and has two young children. Mickle’s college running resume includes both Brown and the University of Texas, and she ran in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Drake ran at Gonzaga and has a smokin’ fast 5k PR. Webb, a woman who is the personal hero of more than one of my friends, ran a 38:15 10k pushing a stroller two years ago. NC State is the alma mater of Pritt, who just moved to Oregon in March.
Pritt described the group’s personality as “a committed bunch of athletes who still have elite level running goals and thrive in a supportive, team atmosphere,” many of whom have hopes to qualify to compete at Olympic Trials and with the National Team. These women all have full-time jobs, yet maintain a rigorous training schedule that allows them to compete at the highest level. Even so, Pritt says, “we’re all very laid back.” Just like many runners I know, they’ll put their heart and soul into a speed workout or group tempo run and then get together for beers on another day. She sums it up by adding “Simply put, we love supporting each other and our individual goals for the betterment of the team.”
So whether you’re pinning a bib on or just planning to watch, keep an eye out for these runners and cheer them on! I know I will be rooting for these impressive women. You can see them in action tomorrow (October 2) at the race at Fernhill Park or at the other Stumptown Races (click here for the Stumptown Cross schedule).