words // Adam Arthur
Nike Cross Nationals gives high-school runners the chance to compete against elite runners across the nation. After eight highly intense and competitive regional events, the focus is set on Portland, Oregon, where those runners who qualified will race for the chance to win the coveted Winged Goddess of Victory status at NXN 2013.
Per tradition, the championship event is held at Portland Meadows, a horse racing venue that’s converted into a spectacular cross-country course. Like traditional European cross-country meets, the event features a multiple loop racecourse staged with man-made obstacles. Attendees can expect temperatures between 30º and 50ºF. While most participants (and especially spectators) will hope for warm and dry conditions, wet and extreme weather are not uncommon this time of year in Portland.
Whether NXN is accompanied by rain, snow, or sunshine, it’s certain to be a memorable occasion for each athlete who qualified. Competitors arrive on either Wednesday or Thursday. This gives them at least one day off to relax, hang out, and prepare for the final. Pre-race events include personal gear fittings from Nike pro athletes, campus runs, and the opening ceremonies.
On Saturday, runners get their chance at cross-country glory. The girls’ championship race kicks off around 10 am PT and is followed by the boys’ championship race, which starts around 11:30 am PT. Award ceremonies follow each race. Later that night, runners can attend a farewell dance (if they have any energy left), where they can celebrate their athletic journey and all of their accomplishments by enjoying music and having some fun.
Eastbay has been a proud sponsor of Nike Cross Nationals since 2006.
Want to learn more about NXN? Check out runnerspace.com/nxn for more info.