Favorite XC Courses


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Favorite XC Courses

Postby Mighty Favog » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:13 am

Im doing a series of posts at my blog about great cross country courses in the USA. I'm also going to do a "best of the rest" summary, and I'm asking for help in coming up with some of those. I've already been given some suggestions but I'm always looking for more.

Here are my basic areas and the places that have been suggested to me. Note that Mt SAC, Van Cortlandt, Gibson (IndSt), Rim Rock Farm, Zimmer (Wisc), and Franklin Park (Boston) are all getting individual writeups.

SoCal: Balboa Park (San Diego)
NorCal: Crystal Springs (Belmont)
Pacific Northwest: either Lower Woodland Park (Seattle) or Ft. Vancouver (Vancouver WA)
Mountains: Cascade Golf Course (Provo UT)
South Central (TX/AR/LA) no idea. Suggestions?
South: Little Everglades (Dade City FL)
Midwest: OSU course (Stillwater OK)
Southeast: Panorama Farms (Charlottesville VA)
Mid-Atlantic: no idea. Suggestions?
Great Lakes: IU course (Bloomington IN)
Northeast: either Maine course (Orono) or Middlebury (VT)
Western Canada: Jericho Beach Park (Vancouver BC)
Eastern Canada: Univ. of Guelph Arboretum

What's your favorite? Is it better than one of the above?
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Re: Favorite XC Courses

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:24 am

Favorite for running or for watching? There is a difference.

Personally I like any course that has been in existence for a while. Like Detweiller Park in Peoria, Illinois where the same, for the most part, 3 mile course for the Illinois High School Champs has been used for decades.
Last edited by Conor Dary on Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Favorite XC Courses

Postby dj » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:31 am

Mid-Atlantic: no idea. Suggestions?
Belmont Plateau (Fairmount Park, Philadelphia)
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Re: Favorite XC Courses

Postby Mighty Favog » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:37 am

Conor Dary wrote:Favorite for running or for watching? There is a difference.
That decision is up to you.
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Re: Favorite XC Courses

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:43 am

Mighty Favog wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Favorite for running or for watching? There is a difference.
That decision is up to you.


No? Say it ain't so. Well if you insist my favorite courses to watch are ones that I don't have to drive far to, and the parking is decent. For example, the Terre Haute course where NCAA's have been has excellent parking. And on the other hand the new course at Madison, Wisconsin really sucks on parking though it is a pretty course. In fact if they don't improve it I doubt I would ever go back.

And is Van Cortlandt all that great to watch? I ran the course once at the 1987 TAC champs and I remember most of the course had few spectators.
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Re: Favorite XC Courses

Postby lonewolf » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:20 pm

I am admittedly prejudiced in X-C course selection but I nominate the Oklahoma State course on the abandoned golf course on the fringe of the campus as a pretty good X-Course.

It has a 100m wide starting line, gentle uphill 400 m to looping right turn before the course narrows, over a turnstile, big back side, fairly flat loop, descending into and out of a substantial creek three times before a slight downhill 300 m dash to the finish.
It has inner and outer loops to accomodate 1mile, 2 mile, 3 K, 5K, 6K, 8 K and 10 K races.

There are numerous fenced long stretches for spectators on the front half of the course and a reasonably mobile spectator can make it to the high point on the course and see the runners virtually the entire course and close up at several junctures.

There is ample parking for buses and cars in adjacent lots and much car parking directly adjoining the course and on neighboring streets.

This year was the 75th Cowboy Jamboree. I was there for the 12th and most of them since the 35th and I can walk the one block from my son's house to the starting line, so, as I said, I may not be entirely impartial.
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