Spotlight on Cougar XC Challenge at Tallahassee

05/15/2017 - 17:05

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Jose Fernandez is proud of the Cougar XC Challenge hosted by Godby High School, where he coaches cross-country, track and field, and teaches math. Mulitiple races are included in the activities at Elinor Klapp-Phipps Park.

The event, scheduled for Aug. 26, keeps growing. Begun in 2013, it had 239 participants in four races — 107 high school boys, 71 high school girls, 44 middle school boys, 17 middle school girls.

“Last year, we had a total of 701 athletes among those same races. We added a community run two years ago with 25 runners. Last year, we added a college division with three junior colleges and one NAIA university with 35 participants. This year, we have added an elementary school division.”

The first race is the Community 5K at 7:15 a.m., followed by the the Girls High School 5K at 8 a.m., then the Boys High School 5K at 8:40 a.m.

The Girls Middle School 3K is at 9:15 a.m., then the Boys Middle School 3K at 9:40. The final event will be the Elementary School half mile at 10:10 a.m.

The Community 5K run entry fee is $5 plus an admission fee of $3, an extremely low $8 total when most races around the country charge far more.

Fernandez said the focus is on what every athlete, coach, spectator, and volunteer experiences. “I do everything I can do to make sure those experiences are positive ones. I want them to return the following year. I want them to speak positively about the event to those who missed out."

The cross-country course “is somewhat challenging,” Fernandez said. “The first half is downhill and flat. The second half has several hills and undulating terrain.”

Tech t-shirts are awarded to the top 25 in the high school and middle school races, plus the top 5 male and females in the Community 5K.

The college division races will be held on Friday, Aug. 25, with the women’s 5K set for 5:30 p.m. and a men’s 8K at 6 p.m.

Complete information, including registration:

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