Year in review written by Collegiate Running Association co-founder Steve Taylor.
2020 was a year marred with massive interruptions for the organization due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Collegiate Running Association (CRA) was scheduled to host a record six national championships in Snowshoe, Road, Mountain and Trail Running for college students. For the first time in its history, the CRA conducted a Snowshoe championship in 2020 with 5K and 10K races in Leadville, CO.
Championships were to include:
- February 29 – Collegiate 5K Snowshoe National Championships (Leadville, Colorado) – Host: U.S. National Snowshoe Championships presented by Dion Snowshoes.
- February 29 – Collegiate 10K Snowshoe National Championships (Leadville, Colorado) – Host: U.S. National Snowshoe Championships presented by Dion Snowshoes.
- March 28 – Collegiate 10K Road Race Championships (Richmond, Virginia) – Host: Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K presented by Kroger’s.
- May 8 – Collegiate 12K Trail Running Championships (Athens, Ohio) – Host: Thunderbunny 12K.
- July 25 – Collegiate Road Mile Championships (Winchester, Virginia) – Host: Loudoun Street Mile.
- August 16 – Collegiate Mountain Running Championships (Mount Hood, Oregon) – Host: Gnar Gnar Mountain Race.
Only three of the championships were held due to the pandemic. They included the first ever collegiate snowshoe events at the 5K and 10K distances. Amber Zimmerman (University of New Mexico) and Kieran Nay (Western Colorado University) claimed the 10K titles, while Annikka Johnson (Carroll University) won the 5K championships. These events, held within the U.S. National Snowshoe Championships presented by Dion Snowshoes, also selected the U.S team.
The third championship hosted was the road mile championships. The Loudoun Street Mile Race, scheduled for May 25, was postponed until July 25 due to the pandemic. The $4,000 prize purse attracted a competitive field with CRA’s 2019 Male Athlete of the Year, Daniel Jaskowak (Virginia Tech) taking the men’s title and Amy Cashin (West Virginia University) defending her title.
Like many, the CRA is looking ahead to 2021 where they are once again scheduled to host a record 6 championships over the road, mountain and trail disciplines. Tax deductible donations can be made on their website: CollegiateRunning.org
Collegiate Running Association Highlights:
- In 2020 the Collegiate Running Association was scheduled to host a record 6 national championships in Snowshoe, Road, Mountain and Trail Running for college students (10K Road-Richmond, Virginia; 1 Mile Road-Winchester, VA; 12K Trail-Athens, Ohio; 10K Mountain-Mount Hood, Oregon; 10K and 5K Snowshoe-Leadville, Colorado).
- 20 Collegiate Running Association members (12-Women and 8 Men) qualified for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Team Trials held February 29th in Atlanta, GA.
- From 2014 through 2018 –>19 Collegiate Running Association members have qualified for 63 U.S. National Teams.
- In 2018 the Collegiate Running Association expanded its partnership with Sports Backers Kids Run RVA to promote physical activity to youth across the Richmond, VA area. In 2020 the organization was poised to add multiple events before the pandemic impacted.
- Since 2014 over 16,000 college students from across the U.S. have participated in Collegiate Running Association National Championships (as of 8/1/20).
- Since 2014 the Collegiate Running Association and its race partnerships have awarded over $125,000 in prize money specifically to college students to help with rising college costs (as of 8/1/20).
- The Collegiate Running Association supported successful bids to bring the 2019 and 2020 NIRCA Cross Country Championships and 2021 NJCAA National Championships to Pole Green Park (Mechanicsville/Richmond, Virginia).
- To provide opportunities during the pandemic the organization hosted the 2020 Pole Green Park 5k and co-sponsored several other small events this fall. Many COVID-19 protocols were implemented for these events to ensure a safe and exciting race opportunity for local runners and high school club teams.
- 2020 marked the 7th consecutive year the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K presented by Kroger was scheduled to host the Collegiate Running Association’s 10K Road Race National Championships.
- 2020 was scheduled to be the 6th year the Collegiate Mountain Running National Championships were hosted concurrently with the USATF Championships.
- The Collegiate Running Association has over 14,000 members across the U.S.
- In 2015 the Collegiate Running Association created ConnectCRA; an initiative to provide college students with an opportunity to meet and network with local business professionals and other college students from all corners of the country during select championship event weekends. “Bringing today’s business world together with tomorrow’s business leaders.”
- In June, CRA’s 2015 Male Athlete of the Year, Joseph Gray was named the World Mountain Running Association’s Mountain Running Greatest of All-Time. Gray, an 18-time national champion, won the 2016 and 2019 World Mountain Running Championships.
- It’s been a great year for several members including an incredible year for 2019 Ukrop’s 10K/Collegiate 10K Road Championship 3rd place finisher Keira D’Amato (Univ. of Michigan). A regular guest speaker at Kids Run RVA events, she recently capped an amazing year by setting an American Record for 10 miles (51:23).
The Collegiate Running Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, ATRA partner and USATF supporting partner. The Collegiate Running Association offers collegiate national championship events in road, mountain and trail running with prize money specifically reserved for college students. You can support the Collegiate Running Association by becoming a member – for free!