Tallahassee, Fla. (May 2, 2016)- USA Track & Field announced that two of its 2016 national championships will be held at Tallahassee-Leon County’s Apalachee Regional Park.
The events include the Nov. 6 USATF Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships and the Dec. 10 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships.
With the addition of these two events, the more than 100-acre facility will host nine major events this year, concluding with the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships. The season begins Oct. 7 with the Florida State Cross Country Invitational, followed by the Oct. 8 Florida State Cross Country Invitational High School Pre-State Meet, a preview event for the Florida High School Athletic Association championship on Nov. 5.
The Nov. 6 USATF Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships include races for men and women, 40 years and older, competing in age divisions up to 80 years and older. The Dec. 10 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships feature four races with men’s and women’s teams competing in masters and open categories.
The USATF National Club Cross Country Championships originated in 1980 and were last held in Florida in 1998 at Walt Disney World. Deland hosted the USATF Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships in 2001. This will be the first time that one community hosted both events the same year.
“Hosting national meets of this caliber brings considerable prestige to our area and Apalachee Regional Park,” Visit Tallahasssee Director of Sports Brian Hickey said. “The events also bring visitors from throughout the country and economic benefits when the area needs it most.”
Hickey estimates that the two meets will attract more than 2,000 runners, more than 4,000 visitors using more than 2,750 hotel rooms and bringing nearly $2.4 million in direct spending to the county.
Apalachee Regional Park hosted four major cross country meets last fall including the FHSAA and Atlantic Coast Conference championships. The community realized nearly $4 million in direct spending from teams and spectators from those meets.
The park is one of the few facilities of its kind in the nation designed for competitive cross country running events. It is also a popular destination for jogging, hiking and mountain biking.
USA Track & Field 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, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.USATF.org.