The flrunners.com Invitational 12 is back! We already have 134 schools entered into this year's meet, on pace to take out last year's numbers. We have been all working hard behind the scenes to create another incredible year that is FUN, different, competitive, and safe for everyone. I hope that you all are getting excited about the meet and if you haven't already... MAKE SURE YOUR TEAM IS COMING!
Now for some announcements...
The Nike Big Top is Back!
In case you missed it, Nike made it official and will be back this year as our presenting sponsor for the fifth year in a row. We thank them for their support!
They will be bringing back all of the things you love under the big top tent--including the grafiti artist--and hopefully a few new elements that will make it the most fun meet you've ever been to.
They are bringing 2008 Beijing Olympian Christin Wurth-Thomas to hang out with you and speak. She has run crazy times that most of the boys in the state can't touch: 1:59 800m, 3:59 1500m, and 15:21 5K.
Logo... is... awesome
This year I told Nike that we wanted to get a logo that captured the essence of this course. I personally think it's a beautiful place to run... with the lakes, the bridges, the lookout tower, the wild life. So I sent the graphic designer at Nike a bunch of photos from last year's meet and brainstormed about how to bring this together. After a few rounds of revisions... WOW... I am blown away.
If any of you have been to this course, you will recognize this logo. It is distinctive and dignified yet fun and light-hearted... much like the meet itself. I hope you love it as much as I do... and buy up the shirts.
Oh... speaking of which. It's looking like the colors of this year's shirts are going to be: white, crimson, deep green, and orange. The staff will get gray. Get 'em early... especially the smalls fly off the shelf.
Ten Runners in Varsity
Okay... uncle... uncle... we give. After some internal debate about how many we wanted to put on the course... we are giving into the pressure of coaches who want to run MORE kids in varsity. So if you like... go ahead and run your ten kids! JV is still unlimited (and free) this year, which I may have to revisit next year depending on how much money I lose on all those JV chips!
Speaking of Chips....
We are going with Mike Hill and Elite Timing this year. He has purchased the IPICO chip timing system. Coaches, when you enter your team please enter ALL of our athletes that will run and ONLY the athletes who will run. If you end up having some kids drop out or not show... PLEASE bring back those chips to us. We will be charging a $20 per chip fee for any that are not returned. This is very important to keep our costs (and Coach Hill's) under control.
Race of Champions
We've had a lot of interest in the ROC lately from both teams and individuals. It's going to be another elite year of hot competition. I will slowly start announcing the Race of Champions teams this week.
For those of you who don't know... coaches, you choose which day you are going to race on. If you choose Saturday then we will seed your team into the appropriate race based on strength. Feel free to state your case. I will issue/announce a few invitations at a time of teams who we've awarded a ROC spot to... until we have finally given out all of the slots. We'll hold off some to as late as possible to give some teams/individuals a chance to prove themselves this season.
The Race of Champions (ROC) is the most elite race and is usually reserved for top ten in the state caliber teams. The Invitational is the next tier and as a guide maybe top twenty caliber teams. And then the other teams fall into the Open. We are usually pretty good at seeding correctly... though there are always some who surprise us in the lower races... all races will be competitive. But the ROC will be amazing. Individually... if your team doesn't make the ROC (or is not coming) then with the coach's blessing (and officially representing the school) individuals can qualify to run in the ROC or Invitational. The ROC standard is sub 16 minutes for a guy and sub 19 minutes for a girl. The invitational standard is 17:00 for boys and 20:00 for girls. We really want to encourage athletes to race with their teams when possible... but the reason we do it is to allow the best possible competition for the athletes.
Book your rooms now! They're going fast. The Fairfield Inn and Suites is already booked solid with our teams. There are rooms available at...
We will be adding some more hotels as these book up... I will email coaches with updates and update the meet page.
More Announcements to come
We've got more things that we'll post once they are official. Stay tuned.