The Stumptown Cross has become an excellent cross-country series for both competitive runners and those just looking for a challenge. (That doesn’t cost an arm and a leg) That being said: you’ll be glad if you have spikes. Most participants compete on a team – which can be an organized club or a casual group of people you happen to know – but you can also run unattached.
The 2017 series consists of 5 races, starting September 30. Registration for the entire series is only $50; or $70 if you want to add on a TRL membership. You can also register for races separately for $15 per race. (You can sign up DOR for $20/person.) Click here for 2017 Stumptown Cross registration. Here’s the schedule (each link is for a course map for that race):
Race #1: Saturday, September 30th at Portland Meadows. All runners compete on a 5k course starting together at 8a.
Race #2: Saturday, October 14th at Lents Park. The women’s 5k starts at 9a and the men’s 5k at 9:30a. 9am
Race #3: Saturday, October 21st at Gabriel Park. Both men and women will run 4 miles, but the women start at 9a and the men at 9:45a.
Race #4: Saturday, November 4th at Pier Park. This race is also the USATF Oregon State XC Championships. Women will run first at 9a and complete a 6k, the men’s race is a 9:45 and is an 8k.
Race #5: Saturday, November 18th at Fernhill Park. This race is also the USATF Regional XC Championships. Women again will kick things off with a 6k at 9a, then men’s race is a 10k starting at 9:45a.
As with all cross-country meets, team results are the most important figures at the end of the race. Many teams are highly competitive, stacked with post-collegiate and sometimes even professional runners, but I have yet to see anything but good sportsmanship and a supportive atmosphere at a Stumptown race. My husband runs for the NAC team, which is usually in the top 5, but their team includes runners of all paces who are working to do their own personal best even if their finish doesn’t earn points for the team. (The series does also keep scores for individuals running unattached.)
The way that team scoring works is that out of all team members competing, only the first four finishers on that team “count” towards the team’s score. If there happens to be a tie between two or more teams, the 5th finisher’s place is counted. Each runner earns points based on where they finish. The first person to finish the race earns one point, 2nd place gets 2 points, and so on. So if the first four runners across the line are all on the same team, their team score is 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 = 10. If a team’s first four runners come in 10th, 15th, 17th, and 33rd, their team score is 10 + 15 + 17 + 33 = 75. Men’s and women’s teams are scored separately, and are therefore different “teams.” Some clubs will also field an open and a master’s team, especially if they have enough competitive runners to try and edge out other teams from the podium.
Races are timed by Huber Timing and Win Goodbody does an amazing job of taking photos at the meets. Friends and family members often show up to watch the race, as it’s easy for a spectator to jog a short distance to see the racers pass by at a different point in the race. Many of the parks at which these races are run have playgrounds, and I can promise you there’s a Starbucks on the way to each and every one of them. Whether or not you know anyone, these are fun races to watch because you can watch the race unfold and get really close to the action. If you aren’t sure about showing up solo, volunteer! The Red Lizards would love to have you, and you can get your run in afterwards if you volunteer for sweeper or to help clean the course markings. Simply email Torrey Lindbo at email@example.com and ask how you can help.
If you’re showing up to spectate, here are some things you might want to bring, since many of these races end up running in the rain.
- Waterproof hooded coat (better than an umbrella, since you’ll want to clap
- Thermos with a good seal for your coffee or tea, so you can set it down to cheer runners on – and put the lid on tight as you run across the park to watch another segment of the course
- Waterproof boots
- Dry socks & shoes to change into, if you don’t have waterproof boots
- A cowbell
- If you’re coming with kids, a complete set of dry clothes – all these venues have wonderful puddles to splash in after it rains
Hope to see you there! The NAC team’s tent sponsor is Run Oregon, so you can almost always find me at these races … running after my kids!