Pro Team Cross Country and the Running Event Coming to Austin on December 1

By LetsRun.com
October 29, 2022

Professional team cross country is coming to Austin, Tex., on December 1 with the Fitness Bank Cross Champs hosted by Sound Running. The Cross Champs are being held in conjunction with The Running Event (TRE), the biggest running specialty trade show in the world for running specialty retailers, which is November 29 – December 1 in Austin.

Most of America’s biggest pro teams have already committed to the event. Sound Running founder Jesse Williams said HOKA NAZ Elite, Hansons-Brooks, the Brooks Beasts, Puma Elite, Empire Elite, US Army, Taylor Made, On Athletics Club, McKirdy Trained, and Railroad Athletics are already committed to the event. “We have heard from a few other teams and really hope that we will get ALL of the pro groups to Austin,” said Williams via email.

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In addition, Williams said they have “a few big individuals” that they will announce soon.* The Cross Champs is a Gold level event on the World Athletics Cross Country Tour, which means there are a ton of world ranking points available for placing high. (Gold level events have more points than the US Cross Country Championship and top 3 at a Gold level event is roughly equivalent to finishing 6th-8th at the World Cross Country Championships). Considering eight people will qualify for the 10,000m on the track at the 2023 Worlds from the world cross country rankings, there will be a strong incentive for people worried about hitting the 27:10 qualifying standard to consider running the Cross Champs and other World Athletics Gold level XC events.

Dillon Maggard en route to winning the 2021 Cross Champs at Mt. SAC. Photo by Karl Winter.

“Team cross country allows these professionals the rare opportunity to run as a team. Our sport needs to give fans the ability to follow teams/build allegiances and hopefully Cross Champs will be that culminating moment each year!” said Williams.

8km Course – Top 4 on Each Team Score

The Cross Champs will be 8km for men and women and feature 4 runners on each scoring team and be held over a roughly 1 mile relatively flat course that is predominantly grass. They will be held at St. Stephen’s School in Austin (where the headmaster was on the high school cross country team of LetsRun.com founders Wejo and Rojo) and open to the public.
Thousands of running specialty store owners, race directors, and industry professionals will be at TRE (which is not open to the public) and hopefully come to watch the Cross Champs. “We are very excited to bring this event to Austin in partnership with The Running Event. This partnership allows us to spotlight our sport for this captive audience of running brands and retailers. It’s a great celebration of running each year in Austin and what better way to entertain this audience than a race with their favorite teams,” said Williams.
Prize Money (More may be added)
Team: 1st – $3000, 2nd – $2000, 3rd – $1000
Individual: 1st – $2500, 2nd – $1500, 3rd – $1000, 4th – $750, 5th – $500, 6th – $400, 6th – $250, 7th – $100

*Speaking of individuals, Sound Running is most well-known for putting on some really fast track races and getting Jakob Ingebrigtsen to race its 5k earlier this year.
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