Trials of Miles and Tracksmith Are Hosting a Nationwide Running Tournament This Fall

It's called "Cross Country," and it's the most ambitious virtual race we've seen yet

Trials of Miles and Tracksmith Are Hosting a Nationwide Running Tournament This Fall
Trials of Miles

Running collective Trials of Miles has teamed up with Tracksmith for its latest virtual running tournament. The concept is called Cross Country, and will pit runners from eight different regions across the States against each other, over five weeks of “meets” this fall.

In the first week — Regionals, which stretches from September 14 through the 20th — runners will race a 5K against others from their area of the country. Only the top 25 times will advance. If you’re from New York, for instance, and racing in the “Big City” region, you’ll have to post a huge time, or your season could end early. In the second week, the regions pair up and face off in a 50-person dual meet, over 8K. (Big City against New England, Pacific Coast against Rocky Mountain, etc.) The penultimate round splits the country in half, with the fastest remaining 100 running 6K for either East or West. And the final round, Nationals, has the 50 survivors running 10K, with the competition officially concluding on October 25.

In short:

  • Regionals: 5K, September 14-20, 25 runners advance
  • Dual Meet: 8K, September 21-27, 25 runners advance
  • East vs. West: 6K, October 6-11, 25 runners advance
  • Nationals: 10K, October 19-25, top three runners win prizes

And those “prizes” are manna for regular runners: Tracksmith gift cards. We’ve certainly ranted and raved enough about Tracksmith’s handsome singlets and short shorts to make it clear how we feel about the Boston brand. The rest of the running community feels the same way; this is more than enough incentive to run fast. Tracksmith will give $500 each to the fastest man and woman, $250 for second-place finishers, and $100 for third place. Throughout each week, also, there will be smaller gift cards for the quickest times from each individual meet. You can find the full breakdown here.

Runners probably could’ve gotten through this year without any races or meets. But it would have been a tremendous shame, considering the ways in which the sport has flourished. After all, the running community has welcomed thousands of newcomers to its ranks this year, and seen seasoned vets, in a year of pause, fall in love with training again. We all deserve a chance to see that work pay off, and thankfully, Trials of Miles has turned a year of cancellations into one of creativity. Led by event operator Cooper Knowlton, ToM now keeps a running catalogue of the Fastest Known Times (FKTs) over bridge runs in New York and river loops in Austin, has hosted a month-long track meet called Beat the Heat, and pulled off a massive, March Madness-style running tournament called Survival of the Fastest, which I competed in this past June.

Cross Country, meanwhile, will afford runners the opportunity to actually have a season during the best running months of the year. For so many in the sport, running in the fall is where the memories are. Competitors in this tournament will have an opportunity to take their runs wherever they like — to the roads, to the track, to the trails — so long as the net elevation decline doesn’t exceed 50 feet. And the length of the tournament gives its participants a chance to take several cracks at a distance, while thinking strategically about how to steal rest and retain injury during months of racing. You know, like a normal cross country campaign.

To find out more info about the event, head to the Trials of Miles site here. Registration is $17 per runner. Run hard and run fast. Happy trails.

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