Sunday, October 28, 2012

Great Cross Country Courses: The West (Of course I had to mention the dean of all courses in the Bay Area.)


Peter Brewer said...

Well, if we're talking about great courses in the Bay Area, Crystal Springs is just one of several. And in the State of California, that expands to several more than that. If a pedigree on line is the requirement necessary, many course will never get mentioned.

At least Mt. SAC and Woodward Park should get mentioned, if for nothing else than the great races that have been contested there.

And of course I have to nominate the soon-to-be-world-famous Canyon Middle School course, which continues to be one of the most challenging sites for racers in the greater Bay Area.

Peter Brewer
Northgate High

Anonymous said...

Sorry Peter, I have a problem with any course held at a school. In fact I have a problem with both Mt. Sac an Woodward as well due to running on roads, bottle necks and just not being a true xc course. With all the beauty from the Pacific Coast, Redwoods, Sierra's, etc. the best cross country courses are reserved to hopping up and down curbs, dodging traffic and running through school yard basketball courts.

While I do agree that all the courses mentioned deserve recognition as you said they certainly do not belong on an all time list.

And that list is a joke. I've run at many of those places listed in the blog... Definitely not the best of the west.

alamedamom said...

Okay, then. What are some of those best of the west that you have experienced first-hand?

I would like to put Lithia Park in Ashland, OR on the list - some paved paths at the beginning, but mostly trail that breaks from city park into fire roads and local trails. Beautiful creek, nice uphill climb and welcome downhill returning!

Albert Caruana said...

I would love to hear about the other awesome courses in the west as well.

I think when it comes to history, Mt. SAC and Woodward Park definitely belong on the list. Running fast on those courses gives you instant recognition (ie. Sarah Baxter, German Fernandez etc.)

Peter Brewer said...

Well, what remains unsaid here is the definition of a "true" cross country course. That could be a conversation all by itself, as we all argue about the dist ainctions and qualities that make any course "true" or legitimate or whatever other term used.

However, I can tell you (and I'm sure you all could tell me as well) the courses that rank as horrible cross country courses. My personal top-ranked non-favorite is the Nike National course with the little artificial landscaped whoop-de-doos.


Anonymous said...

If we're going for worst courses, the Limeridge Open Space has to be one of the worst in at least the East Bay.

But for great California courses, you can't leave out Toro Park. That has some history to it. And I suppose Woodbridge could warrant some mention.

Hayward high school and Newhall Park in Concord also have some good history as far as NCS championships go.

I agree though, Mt. SAC and Woodward park HAVE to be on there. So much history.

Sure, there's a (very short) bit of pavement, but Woodward Park has everything: a quick start, rolling hills, up and down uneven terrain, a tough (though overblown in diffculty) hill, and a fast finish where that shows who has the most guts.

Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of Hayward for the simple reason that I get to see about 95% of the race.

Rob collins said...

Toro, crystal springs, mt sac, and Woodward fantastic courses are fantastic and in Oregon I loved Blue Lake park and Sandy High school courses. I am not a fan of the Nike course at Portland Meadows, that course just a little tight and really narrowed to much for large fields. The whoop de doo's were a little problem, for me !

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