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Letter: Grand Forks is a destination this fall for cross country

After the collapse of the Milaca Mega Meet, a race in central Minnesota self-proclaimed as the “Largest Cross Country Meet in the World,” Central and Red River head coaches Sean Allan and Richard Dafoe, respectively, pounced at the opportunity to bring a big-time cross country race to Grand Forks.

Letter to the editor FSA
We are part of The Trust Project.

I write today to stand up for the little guy, the often-overlooked sport mostly forgotten this time of year: cross country.

Grand Forks has quietly been growing into a running community, but this fall it will be a cross country destination. On Sept. 24, Grand Forks Central and Red River will be hosting a meet for the ages, the Border Battle. After the collapse of the Milaca Mega Meet, a race in central Minnesota self-proclaimed as the “Largest Cross Country Meet in the World,” Central and Red River head coaches Sean Allan and Richard Dafoe, respectively, pounced at the opportunity to bring a big-time cross country race to Grand Forks. The meet, which will see over 50 teams compete, will include some of the top talent from North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Manitoba. Throughout the meet, scores will be tallied to determine which state or province reigns supreme in cross country. The meet is free and a great opportunity to support some outstanding high school programs and athletes in our community.

If that’s not enough, UND will be hosting the Summit League Championships on Oct. 29 at Ray Richards Golf Course. A battle between UND, NDSU, and South Dakota State University for the team title is a sporting event that even the most fair-weathered sports fan wouldn’t want to miss.

Until you experience a cross country meet for yourself, the magic that surrounds the sport will escape you. Watching athletes push themselves to their limit beneath the canopy of cottonwood trees in Lincoln Park on a beautiful fall day will move you in a way that no other sport will. Seeing the joy spread across a runner’s face after their miles and miles of hard work earns them a new personal-best time will leave you inspired. The words of encouragement, accompanied by the ringing of cow bells, provided by athletes and fans along the course are enough to make you want to hop in the race and run.

I invite you to share in this marvelous experience that is cross country, to come and see for yourself why so many in our community will be standing up for the little guy on Sept. 24 and Oct. 1.

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