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home > races/results > usa: massachusetts > the 20th annual mayor’s cup cross country races—everyone is welcome to racing as it should be

The 20th Annual Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races—Everyone is Welcome to Racing as it Should Be
Twenty Years! This event is different; take a break from the ordinary, a break from the roads. These races are open to all ages and abilities; for many a new racing experience.

The 20th Annual Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races—Everyone is Welcome to Racing as it Should Be

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By Skip Cleaver
Posted Monday, 19 October, 2009

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The Mayor's Cup races are off the pavement and away from the ordinary. The setting is Franklin Park, part of the famous Emerald Necklace in Boston and one of the most recognized cross country venues in the USA. Be there on October 25; there will be six different races, and one of them is for you. This is your cross country race, a true gem for all to enjoy. The race is for teams and individuals looking for a new, enjoyable, challenging, and more intense and rewarding running/racing experience. Get back to basics; it is natural, it is enjoyable, it is cross country for all.

It has been 13 years since the B.A.A. and adidas joined up to develop this set of races into one of the top cross country meets in New England. College and high school teams will be there, as will club and association teams, and simply individuals looking for a great experience at any age. The Franklin Park 5K is open to all, and it is a terrific way to test your mettle in a new (or old) way. How long has it been since you ran cross country? Here is your chance!

Teams registering seven or more runners together receive a discount (before October 21); the top three score in the Franklin Park 5K, and top five score in the championship races. Cash awards are given in the championship events. And the first 500 adults to register and first 350 kids will receive the unique Mayor's Cup t-Shirts. All races will be chip timed.

There will be a women's championship 5K race, and a men's championship 8K event for very high level regional, national, and international stars. (See the Website for eligibility and entry.) There will be three youth races of 1.1 miles for all kids ages 14-and under. And there will be an open competition for all others-the Franklin Park 5K, run on the same course as the championship event. This is running in the fall! This is racing! It is instinctive; it is invigorating; it is as much fun as you and teammates can have in autumn running.

Traditions-20 Years and Great Athletes
This is the 20th year for the Mayor's Cup Cross Country events at Franklin Park and the eighth year for the Franklin Park 5K, the Mayor's Cup race that is open to all runners 15 and older. The Boston Athletic Association is the driving force behind this one with support from adidas, with the USATF-New England Association taking the lead in organization and administration. The B.A.A. supports many community and competitive running activities through out the year, including the sold-out B.A.A. Half Marathon running on October 11 this year through the other parts of the Emerald Necklace; and of course the B.A.A. is best known for hosting the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, the world's oldest and most prestigious marathon-the 114th will be running April 19, 2010.

Best of all in addition to your own race you can thrill to high level competition as a spectator, watching some of the best. And you can watch the kids compete at a level of competition that bodes well for the future of this sport (not your average kids' fun run, but a real racing experience). Then you can run your own race with all the thrills, intensity, and natural beauty of cross country on a course used for National Championships and even a World Championship-truly one of the best venues around. And multi-loop courses make it even more interesting for competitors and spectators alike.
The women's course record is 16:08 (Mary Cullen); and the men's record (8K) is 23:54 (Jacob Korir).

Perhaps you ran X-C in high school or college, and thought it was only for the young. Not true! This event gives everyone-teams and individuals of all levels, all ages--a chance to experience and enjoy this wonderfully organized, beautifully orchestrated, multi-race event. It is a gem alright, easy to enter, and easy to get to; you should not miss this opportunity.

Reintroduce the concept and enjoy the camaraderie of a team on New England's premiere venue for cross country. Run the storied course and experience it with friends. Teams and individuals must be USATF members, or the international equivalent, to participate in the championship races. Membership is encouraged for all others, but is not required for eligibility in the open Franklin Park 5K. You won't want to miss this unique race. No excuses.

Unmatched Course and Venue
The Franklin Park course itself is as much the essence of the Mayor's Cup cross country races as the runners who come to compete. Franklin Park has been the setting for regional and national blockbuster meets for decades. In 1992 it was the proud host of the Cross Country World Championships. Because of this history, the terrain, the convenient location, and course design, it is one of the really storied cross-country venues alongside San Diego's Balboa Park and New York's Van Cortlandt Park.

Designed for racing, the course is honest, classic cross-country. While not necessarily the most demanding of courses, it does include an uphill challenge (once on the 5K and twice on the 8K) at Bear Cage Hill, once home to the bears of Franklin Park Zoo. There is a mix of terrain to keep runners sharp and focused.
It's not just a park that has random trails, and it's not just open fields or golfing fairways shared by runners. This is an actual cross-country course that was designed for the World Championships and for community harriers to run.

Franklin Park provides the entire range of cross country running: uphill, incline grade, downhill and flat; it has been muddy too, depending on the weather. It's got grass, trails, and gravel--good footing and challenging strides.

The 8K and 5K courses are both multiple-loop courses, but runners experience the loops differently each time, running the segments of each loop in a different order. In the men's 8K, for example, runners circle the Franklin Park field (the Playstead) and the venerable White Stadium twice, then climb Bear Cage Hill. The runners descend back to the field and into the Wilderness, a leafy area in full autumn color at the Mayor's Cup. Then it's back to the field and, once again, up Bear Cage Hill, into the Wilderness, and then the race to the finish. Basically the 5K is a three-loop course, the 8K a five loop, and the youth 1.1-mile a single loop course-each loop generally clockwise.

It's probably the best spectator course there is, offering wide open views. Each loop also passes the "Team Area" where many teams set up their "headquarters" tents and setups.

USATF-New England administers the Mayor's Cup. USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running, and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of the Olympic Games. Track and field and cross country are the top high school and junior high school participatory sports, and there are more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. Some of the best-and some of the most enthusiastic of these--will be present at the Mayor's Cup races on Sunday, October 25. This highly anticipated event is truly for everyone-all mainstream runners can get back to their roots and also be a fan/spectator at top level national meet.

Running Cross Country is Exciting-Teams and Individuals

There are many runners who are interested in trying something new and have become bored with the same old road race routine. Some runners are exploring adventure races, trail races, marathons, triathlons, and ultra marathons. But many average runners are anxious to challenge themselves and get back to basics with cross-country too. Though challenging, it is doable for nearly every runner-experienced or new-and offers a quick "adventure" tour that will rev the senses. To cross-country enthusiasts, Mayor's cup signals an opportunity for mainstream road runners to discover new challenges amid new surroundings.
That's why they added the Franklin Park 5K to the Mayor's Cup roster, to provide a welcoming venue and competition level for sampling or reintroduction to cross-country running on one of the nation's top courses. If you haven't tried cross-country, you owe it to yourself to give it a whirl. It's in our ancestral blood, and stimulates our enjoyment for the sport. The unpredictability and strategic nature of cross-country provide the allure. Multiple and changing surfaces make cross-country a test for overcoming natural obstacles as well as the competition. It's a challenge that requires strategy, speed, strength, and endurance. And it is a really fun way to enjoy the sport.

When you're used to running roads, you can get into a very predictable routine, but cross-country isn't a routine sport. With constantly changing terrain and a competitive field, cross-country races can be challenging and really different, and more stimulating and rewarding than a typical road race. Come to Franklin Park and participate at one of the best venues in the country. Enjoy racing, then enjoy watching some of the best in the USA

Boston Mayor's Cup website
Date: October 25, 2009
The first 500 15 and over and the first 350 Youth runners (14-under) will receive Mayor's Cup T-shirts
Start times
10:00am: Girls and Boys 1.1-mile race (10 and under) 10:15am: Girls and Boys 1.1-mile race (age 11-12)
10:30am: Girls and Boys 1.1-mile race (age 13-14)
10:50am: Franklin Park 5K (Open, female and male)
11:30am: Women's Championship 5K
Noon: Men's Championship 8K
Course type
Multiple loop, multi surface, off pavement
Race guidelines
Women's Championship 5K: Under 21:00 (Min. age 18)
Men's Championship 8K: Under 30:00 (Min. age 18) Franklin Park 5K: Open (15 and older, F & M




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