Nothing brings out squad love quite like cross country, and this is also true for Club Northwest. While Club athletes compete regularly in individual road races and USATF track and field events, runners donning the hallmark electric orange singlets swarm en masse to the golf courses and the infamous hills and slippery turns of Lower Woodland to compete in the fall XC season.
Club Northwest began fielding individuals for cross country races in 1974. By the 1976 season, Club athletes’ interest in XC and growth in membership resulted in full teams competing in the men’s races, joined by women’s teams shortly thereafter, in 1979. In addition to its participation, Club Northwest also hosts two local meets: the Emerald City Open and the Pacific Northwest Track and Field (PNTF) Cross Country Championships. Bill Roe, Club founder and event organizer, help launch PNTF in 1973, which has had steady participation of over 150 registrants since 2008. This year, PNTF anticipates a record number of over 200 runners toeing the line of the notoriously tough Lower Woodland course.
The 2018 season kicked off with the Emerald City Open, where both the men’s and women’s CNW teams ran strong on a tough course to take first in their respective divisions. Next up, the Western Washington University Invitational. Riding the Emerald City Open momentum, 65 athletes in orange singlets laced up their spikes and sailed through the sand of the Hidden Valley Golf Course. Club athletes responded to the stiff, collegiate competition with a first place finish for women and fifth for the men. With the next race in Club’s backyard, the formidable sea of orange singlets at PNTF will be nothing less than dominating.
This is my second season participating in XC with Club Northwest, albeit I spent the 2017 season hobbling around the Lower Woodland course on crutches. In retrospect, this tempered foray into XC perfectly suited my anxious reticence to try anything new. As a volunteer, I absorbed all the XC vibes while being made to feel no less of a teammate and integral member of the squad. Volunteers are a vital part of meets like PNTF, and it is an opportunity available to the greater community. This season is especially unique insofar as XC Regionals take place at Magnuson Park, in Seattle, and Nationals in Spokane, Washington. As such, the need for volunteers extends beyond November 11th, and Club wants you to be a part of the XC magic. Whether you are a prospective XC runner looking to get the lay of the land or just in search of a quintessential fall activity, you will find it as a volunteer for Club Northwest XC. We look forward to seeing you along the course. Go, Orange!
Check out upcoming opportunities and register here: http://clubnorthwest.wildapricot.org/volunteer-events