I posted this on another thread but think it also has a place here...
Actually, Boulder 2007 was NOT a sham! I was there, saw great races and had a great time. I think most people who were there would also agree. However, in my opinion, the problem with the lack of participation in the World XC Championships is mostly about money(i.e. big contracts, appearance fees, bonuses, etc)...and it shouldn't be! I bet that if the runners who qualified went to Kenya and missed out on other racing/income opportunities, their income for 2007 would still be more than most people on letsrun.com and the other athletes at the World XC Championships.
Elite runners might think I am CrAzy with this next comment...I believe any National or World Championship, Olympic Trials or Olympics should NOT have ANY prize money or bonuses involved. Those competitions are tremendous opportunities in which you can showcase your talent, represent yourself, your family, and ultimately your country. That should be enough of a reason to participate!! Big contracts and money have ultimately controlled the minds of our nations best runners...that is sad.
So, for next years National XC Championships...host it at another great venue, offer NO prize money, and ensure that those runners who qualify must compete at the World XC Championships. You might not have the big names show up but atleast you will have runners there who are willing to compete against the best in the world.