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LetsRun.com Proud to Be the Official Sponsor of the Boulder 2007 USATF XC Nationals
December 11, 2006
by: LetsRun.com

The XC Nationals in Boulder this year represent the sport of running returning to its roots.

A long time ago, prior to the existence of letsrun.com, cross country running was very simple and very pure. 1 race, 1 champion. There was no debate as to who was the best.  Whoever crossed the line first was the true national champion.  Then in 1998, the IAAF decided to create the "short course" race at Worlds. Immediately winning your race at nationals didn't mean as much.

Thankfully, the IAAF decided to scrap the short course race this year, and as a result USATF followed. So in Boulder this year, the first true national XC champion will be crowned since 1997.

In addition to the nationals returning xc racing to its pure and simplistic roots, the race is taking place in Boulder, the runners' capital of the US (we've determined Boulder is the runners' capital since that's where all the runners live, and Eugene is the running capital). People care about running in Boulder, and winning in Boulder could cap the careers for a few Boulder based athletes.

Men's Race: Eternal Bragging Rights in Boulder
Four of America's top distance runner's, Alan Culpepper (1999, 2003 USATF XC Champ), Adam Goucher (1998 NCAA XC champ, 2000, 2006 USATF champ), Jorge Torres (2002 NCAA XC Champ), and Dathan Ritzenhein (2003 NCAA XC Champ, 2005 USATF Champ), all went to school in Boulder at the University of Colorado and have close ties to Boulder (Torres, Ritzenhein and Culpepper all live there). All have had tremendous success, but the theoretical question is always out there: Who's the best runner from Boulder? In year's past it was impossible to get them to square off all in one race (they actually raced in the 2001 USATF 5k on the track but Ritzenhein was a high schooler and Torres in college). Thankfully, that is not the case this year, as all 4 have indicated they will race in Boulder and eternal bragging rights will be on the line.

The Colorado contingent makes the men's XC nationals the most anticipated XC nationals in years. But the race may turn into an epic battle of the ages.  Worlds this year are going to be held in Kenya for the first time ever, and the desire to represent the USA in the ancestral homeland of cross country is big. Race organizers tell us that Team USA California coach Terrence Mahon has said that Ian Dobson and Ryan Hall, "at this time tentatively plan on racing on Boulder."  Organizers also believe Abdi Abdirahman will be racing and Abdi indicated to them Bernard Lagat may run as well (but they have not heard that directly from Lagat). Former Colorado steeplechaser Steve Slattery is running as well.

Women's Race: Goucher, Culpper, Slattery, Drossin?
The women's race may be nearly as strong as the men's just based on the wives of some of the male runners mentioned above who  are running. Kara Goucher (2000 NCAA XC Champ, 31:18 for 10k last year), Shayne Culpepper (2003 US XC Champ and world 3k bronze medallist), and Sara Slattery (2005 NCAA 10k champ) are all in. And the big gun in American women's distance running, Deena Drossin may run as well. Terrence Mahon told organizers, Deena "has expressed a sincere interest in racing, as well, but no absolute decision has been made."

1 Race Means 1 Helluva of a PartyPost Race Party
True running aficianados likely understand there is one huge side benefit of having all the marbles on the table in a single race - a much better post-race party. Having the long and short course at nationals, put a real damper on the post-race partying because half the athletes raced on Saturday and half on Sunday.  

Thankfully, that's not the case this year, so there will be one official blowout party.  LetsRun.com is very pleased by this fact. As a result, we've signed on as an official sponsor of the post-race party along with Reebok. Originally there was talk of the party being a small private affair but thankfully that was put to rest. XC nationals this year should be huge. And the party is open to athletes, fans, and friends. It will be held at the Lazy Dog on 1346 Pearl Street. Supposedly this place holds 1400.

We expect to see you there.  Buy your tickets Boulder now. This is an event you don't want to miss.  Both the race and the party.

This simple website will be there for the simple race. Will you?

Come the new year, we plan on doing extensive pre-race coverage to the buildup to the Battle in Boulder on February 10, 2007.
*Boulder 2007 Official Race Site

Don't believe us that Boulder 2007 is a big deal. Then listen to CU coach Mark Wetmore,

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