(BEND, Ore.)— Signaling a major shift in how cross country races are organized and operated, USA Track & Field announced they have selected Bend, Oregon as the site of the 2013 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships.
Bend bid for the event against a number of metropolitan areas, including Chicago, San Francisco, and Long Island. But Bend’s bid was unique, according to Kevney Dugan, director of sales and sports development for Visit Bend.
“We did not use a traditional model with spectators mostly at the start and finish and the runners out of sight for most of the race,” Dugan explained. “We offered the opportunity to change things up using a similar model to what we’ve done with Cyclocross racing, making the event a form of entertainment complete with music and beer gardens. It’s a great testament to USA Track & Field that they were open to making such a significant cultural shift.”
Michael Scott, the cross country chair for USA Track and Field said he and his cohorts are eager to bring the race to Bend. “The site selection subcommittee was impressed with the energy and vision that Bend's bid offers,” he said. “Bend is a beautiful location with a lot to offer the sport, and we’re excited about the way the city embraces major competitions like this.”
This marks the fifth USATF event Bend will be hosting in a three-year period. The 2013 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships are expected to bring 1,200 runners to Bend in December 2013. The USATF event will take place on a Saturday, with Sunday reserved for a special race opening the course to individual runners of all skill levels, genders, and divisions.
“Hosting this event is in line with Visit Bend’s mission to bring visitors to the area during slower, shoulder seasons,” explained CEO Doug La Placa. “Not only does it boost our economy during the race itself, but introduces our amazing city to a new group of people who may eventually choose to spend their vacations here.”About Visit Bend: