by Dathan Ritzenhein | Dec 07, 2009 |
I would have written earlier than this, but the NXN High School Cross Country Championships were hosted by Nike here this past weekend in Portland. I love this weekend, but for someone like me that is all consumed in training, it is a very busy weekend as well. It was so cool to see all the kids in town and I am envious that we did not have NXN when I was in school. We always had a great cross country team in high school but we never had the opportunity to race the best teams in the country.
One side note that is really damaging to my home state, is that Michigan is still the only state in the country that does not allow teams to go to this meet because the MHSAA wont allow it. I hope one day they will see that this holds these kids back from an amazing experience. It was great, however, to be there all weekend and see how excited the kids were. Nike does an amazing job with this event and it is incredible how the event has grown in just six years. I love to see the enthusiasm the kids have and it brings back so many great memories from my high school experience.
We were doing a Q and A and our boss at Nike mentioned to the crowd that it was 10 years ago when Alan Webb and I first raced at the Footlocker Championships and that just blew my mind. It is hard to believe that it has been that long. Some of the kids out there will be where I am at now and they will be possibly filling the void when my generation retires. I can see the potential in many of those guys. I was very impressed with the Rosa twins; I got a chance to talk to their coach, and I think they have a very bright future. Also Katie Flood was amazing in the way she came back from injury after being at the event two years ago, and then winning after the disappointment of not making it last year. She looked very strong and I think she is a big talent. It was also great to spend time with all my competitors. Nike brings in so many good runners and we rarely get to hang out with each other outside a competitive environment. It was great to see Abdi and Lagat as well as all the girls. I have to say Abdi is a blast to hang out with.
As much fun as it was, it was also tiring because training never stops for us. There are no holidays or weekends and so we had to squeeze in training with all the added workload and I was beat last night. Until next time…