I went up to see National Trail today. It's not good.
The course: Definitely soft and muddy. Several places with standing water. The worst spots seemed to be by the starting area. But all in all, not terrible considering the rain. It could be a mess by the time we get to the last race of the day though. The good news is that the runners themselves should have decent footing and fair conditions (or fair for NTR standards) and that's what really matters, at the end of the day. However...
The facility: Unacceptable. All of the traditional bus parking and the best spectator areas outside of the grandstands are completely closed off so nobody touches the Christmas light show. Could you not have waited until after the first weekend of November for your drive-through Christmas light show? The meet is going to be almost unwatchable unless you are in the stands (which are average at best on the east side, and falling apart on the west side) but my biggest concern: parking.
Where are they going to put cars and busses if they have closed off almost all of the paved parking? What were they thinking?
National Trail Raceway has never been ideal. The past two years have proven that this venue is absolutely unacceptable and unable to host a championship cross-country meet. In a lot of ways, this year is even worse than last year.
Last year with the rain and the historic rainfall totals, hard to avoid what happened. Still, never should have been at National Trail in the first place, but aside from that, nothing anyone really could have done about it.
But this year? No excuses. National Trail should have known what they were doing. OHSAA should not be at the mercy of negligent and uncaring venue owners, who care more about a Christmas display being up in October than hosting the State Cross-Country meet.
This year is the last straw. It has to move somewhere else. National Trail Raceway is an absolute and total failure as a championship cross-country course. OHSAA and OATCCC need to fix this.