One of my favorite moments of this trip is when we make the turn onto Central Ave in Milaca, and team members that are new to this meet see for the first time buses parked end to end on both the right and left sides of the road for almost two miles. The magnitude of this meet is evident at that moment. I also love how my heart rate increases as I get closer to the race course and I can hear the music that is broadcasted loudly, for the next five hours, out to the crowd. I grin when I see the long barricaded fencing along to finish used keep the crowds back for the finish. The evidence of having 5000 runners is shown in the colorful rows of tents proudly displaying their team colors behind the finish line. THIS is the experience I want my team to have, I want them to feel, hear, and enjoy all of this attention that is given to them today for their sport. Saturday is a celebration of cross country runners, and I as coach love to see how our team reacts to being on the big stage. Some will have great days, and some will struggle, but hopefully all will have fun and want to return and achieve bigger things next year.
There will be a lot of nervous athletes on Saturday, but I always tell the team, that a larger meet like this is just a chance to beat more people, that this is their day to show off all the hard work they have done. Our athletes have always risen to the challenge of this meet, and I know this year it will happen again. I expect we will see another day with a huge number of personal records.
The atmosphere at this meet is special, there are races starting every 15 minutes, the announcer is constantly introducing the starters for the next race and encouraging the finishers of the current race. There are also races for all different age groups, which allows our team to measure themselves against their peers. Just talking about this makes me wish it was Saturday already!! If parents travel to only one meet a year out of town, THIS should be the one, other than our own state meet of course.
Hints for spectators:
* there is a admission fee: $2 adults, $1 students
* lines for bathrooms, concessions, souvenir clothing are all LONG!!
* If you want a t-shirt, get there early, smaller sizes sell out fast!
* bring a fold out chair if spending the day, its a LONG day of standing
* bring your own snacks and water
* be prepared for rain
* our team tent is usually behind the starting line
* be prepared to park and walk a long distance to the course
Milaca MegaMeet Race Schedule
10:00 8th Grade Boys 3200 meters
10:15 7th grade Boys 3200 meters
10:30 8th Grade Girls 3200 meters
10:45 7th Grade Girls 3200 meters
11:00 9th Grade Girls 4000 meters
11:15 9th Grade Boys 5000 meters
11:30 10th Grade Girls 4000 meters
11:45 10th Grade Boys 5000 meters
12:00 Varsity A Girls 4000 meters
12:15 Varsity AA Boys 5000 meters
12:30 Varsity AAA Girls 4000 meters (based on school size)
12:45 Varsity AAAA Boys 5000 meters
1:00 Varsity AA Girls 4000 meters
1:15 Varsity AAA Boys 5000 meters
1:30 Varsity AAAA Girls 4000 meters
1:45 Varsity A Boys 5000 meters
2:00 JV Girls 4000 meters
2:15 JV Boys 5000 meters
2:40 Alumni race 3200 meters
** Maroon races will have GFC athletes in them
Results will be posted on Apple Raceberry jam
Directions, course map and Meet website
Below is my own hand drawn map and directions