8:00am – Bus leaves from High School (est. arrival 8:30am)
10:00am – HS girls race
10:45am – HS boys race
12:30pm – Awards ceremony
1:30pm – Estimated return time
Meet Notes – Last year was the inaugural Fulton County Invitational, and the meet served the dual purpose of fostering a friendly, competitive atmosphere between local programs and giving Wauseon the chance to prep for the NWOAL Championship a few weeks later. Thankfully, unlike last year this year’s meet will be neither on a Tuesday evening nor run in blazing heat. The temperature should be in the upper 50’s and cloudy, so it should definitely feel like fall.
For spectators, the course is fairly accessible, with the start and finish in open areas about a quarter mile apart. There are a couple loops through wooded trails in the first and third miles, but most of the course is out in the open. As such, it’s a fairly flat course with the only “hills” being some minor up-and-down in the woods during the last mile. Not the fastest course we run, but certainly one that can bring some good times.
A word of warning: there’s quite a bit of poison ivy along the woods and trails, so we recommend staying out of the brush. The trails can also have runners going both directions at times, so please be aware of runners and don’t block the course.
*Parking Note – Do not go to the main park entrance. Parking is off of County Road 4 west of the park and should be marked. There is a $5 charge for parking, and it’s a bit of a hike from the parking area to the starting line so plan accordingly.
8:15am – Bus leaves from HS (est. arrival 9:00am)
10:30am – High School girls race (Black Division)
11:15am – High School boys race (Black Division)
12:00pm – Middle School girls race
12:30pm – Middle School boys race
2:00pm – Estimated return to EHS
Meet Notes – This course is a perennial favorite. It offers a little bit of everything: fast/flat first mile (for the HS), grassy and rolling second mile, and the third mile includes wooded trails, a water hazard followed by a steep hill, and a flat, open finish. Most of our runners have been on this course before and will be able to give advice from their experience to the runners who haven’t seen it before. Whereas last year was ridiculously hot, this year is currently set to be cooler and cloudy. Rain the night before will likely make the course a little muddy at points (especially the hill at the end), but the meet organizers usually do a good job of keeping the course in good condition.
Note – Bring extra shoes/sandals, socks, etc. if you don’t want to ride home wet. There is a water hazard near the end of this race and you WILL get wet 🙂
From a spectator standpoint, here is pretty good viewing of the start, one mile mark (HS), and the finish (as well as “the hill” near the finish). Most of the rest of the course is accessible, just be prepared to get some exercise!
7:15am – Leave from High School (est. arrival at Harrison Lake 8:00am)
9:00am – Girls’ middle school race
9:30am – Boys’ middle school race
11:00am – Estimated return to Evergreen
Notes – One of the most beautiful courses we run with a few moderate hills and lots of wooded trails. This course has been pretty fast for middle school runners over the years, with many runners setting a personal record at the meet. It’s also a course that has changed nearly every year, making it somewhat unpredictable.
From a spectator standpoint, the start and finish areas are usually fairly close together, with the finish being a long stretch great for cheering. As mentioned, the course has been modified several times over the years, so double check the start and finish locations on arrival in case they’ve been moved again. Be sure to give yourself extra time to find a parking spot and walk to the start/finish area.
Note: If approaching the park from the north, do not use Biddle Rd to reach the park. Spectators should only use Rt 309/61 to get to the course.
8:30am – Bus leaves from High School (est. arrival 10:30am)
12:00pm – Division II/III HS Boys JV race
12:30pm – Division II/III HS Girls JV race
1:00pm – Division III HS Boys Varsity race
2:00pm – Division III HS Girls Varsity race
4:30pm – Estimated return time
Meet Notes – This is another first time meet for Evergreen, but it’s a great course with a storied history. The course is a looping run around a park, with some gentle hills and pine tree-covered dirt trails. This course can bring some really fast times: Andrew Jordan of Watkins Memorial ran a 14:44 at this meet three years ago, and Coach Schwan has some experience on this course as well from high school.
A few spectator notes:
Admission is $5 for anyone 13 and older
Parking along the lane that borders the course is fairly limited, but there is parking on the far side of the lake with a school bus shuttle to take spectators to and from the parking area. Not sure how often it runs, so if you’re making the trip be sure to give yourself enough time to get to the course. The entrance to this area of parking is directly across Rt.61/309 from the entrance to the Galion Country Club.
We realize this is a long day with it being such a distant meet, and as such we are NOT planning to stop for food on the way home. We should have plenty of snacks and other food to keep everyone fed throughout the day. As we are not running until midday, please make sure to get a good, full breakfast…a good balance of carbs and protein that will stick with you for awhile!
Meet Notes – This meet involves loops around the larger and smaller reservoirs, with hills in between and a downhill finish. The middle school makes one loop around each reservoir. Spectators can see pretty much the entire race, although individual runners can be a little hard to make out when they’re on the far side of the water. This is not a fast course despite being mostly flat; in part, because it’s so open and flat. It’s much harder to push your pace running a one mile long circle around the reservoir. Still, all the runner have to run the same loops, so it’s a chance to get out and compete against some of our NWOAL rivals. Moreover, this year the NWOAL Championship is being hosted by Archbold at this location, so it’s a good opportunity to race on the course ahead of the league meet.
*There will be concessions available. However, we ask that athletes have a healthy breakfast that morning and NOT eat concession food until after they have competed. We will have healthy snacks provided by parents; athletes are strongly encouraged to partake of these after competing.
6:15am – Bus leaves from High School (est. arrival 7:45am)
8:30am – Girls’ Div. III Open
9:35am – Girls’ Div. III Varsity
10:05am/11:00am – Boys’ Div. III Varsity (time slot TBD)
11:25am – Boys’ Div. III Open
3:30pm – Estimated return time
Meet Notes – One of the largest meets in the country, this carnival is in its 50th year and features most of the top teams and individual runners in the state. The first race of the day kicks off at 8:30am, and the last race doesn’t start until 4:45pm. Most of these races will have upwards of 240 runners, making it a pretty intense and unique experience for each participant. This also happens to be the same course on which the Regional meet is run, giving us an opportunity to preview the course without making a special trip in late October. The course is challenging to be sure, but also ripe for some very fast times so it’s a great opportunity all around for the Viking runners. We ran really well here last year, and the conditions look good to do so again.
Note – because our girls run in the very first race, we need to be LEAVING the high school no later than 6:15am. This means we expect all athletes to be there PRIOR to 6:15am so we are loaded and leaving on time.
Tiffin is about 90 minutes from EHS, so give yourself plenty of time
Parking can be challenging. Plan to enter on Summit Street (the “bottom” of the park) and walk to the upper area. You can enter off Coe Street, but you have to pass through several areas that are blocked off during races, making it very difficult to get through. Again, give yourself plenty of time.
They run a VERY tight schedule. If they say the girls’ varsity race is at 9:35 AM, that gun will go off at 9:35 AM.
The side of the start area near the finish is typically very crowded, as are several other areas on that side of the course. There’s a lot of people here, so bring a dose of patience 🙂
Cell coverage is really bad. Calling, texting, tweeting, etc. is a gamble at any given time.
The t-shirts for this meet are usually pretty cool, and you’ll often see runners wearing them at other meets throughout the year. This meet is somewhat legendary among the high school cross country community. That this is the 50th year only adds to the allure.
We are planning on stopping for lunch during the drive back. We welcome anyone to join us, just be advised it may be crowded with 23 runners plus coaches and parents. We’ll let everyone know Saturday where we decided to stop.
*There will be concessions available. However, we ask that athletes have a healthy breakfast that morning and NOT eat concession food until after they have competed. We will have healthy snacks provided by parents; athletes are strongly encouraged to partake of these AFTER competing.