Announcement from American Trail Running Association partner Collegiate Running Association.
The nation’s top runners will hit the region’s streets and trails in 2023 and 2024 when the USA Track & Field Cross Country Championships heads to Pole Green Park in Hanover County as part of the Richmond Cross Country Festival. Organized by USA Track & Field Virginia, each championship will feature more than 700 athletes, who will be competing for national titles and international race qualifications.
The 2023 USA Track & Field Cross Country Championships will tentatively take place on Feb. 4 and the 2024 event will be held on Feb. 3.
Runners in 2023 will be competing for a spot on the U.S. team for the Pan American Games later that year, while the U.S. team for the World Championships will be selected in 2024.
Each of the races will feature six national championship events, including: the U20 Women’s 6K Championship Race (under 20 years of age), U20 Men’s 8K Championship Race (under 20 years of age), Senior Women’s 10K Championship Race (open runners 20-39 years of age), Senior Men’s 10K Championship Race (open runners 20-39 years of age), Master’s Women’s 8K Championship Race (runners 40+ years of age) and Master’s Men’s 8K Championship Race (runners 40+ years of age).
The events will also include the U.S. Armed Forces National Championships, as well as a citizen’s race that will be open to the community.
“We are tremendously excited to be the host site of the USA Track & Field Cross Country National Championships in 2023 and 2024,” John A. Budesky, Hanover County Administrator. “Pole Green Park will be the ideal location for these events and all of our guests will find that Hanover County is a wonderfully accommodating location with our many dining, entertainment and historic attractions. We will look forward to welcoming them.”
“The Virginia Association of USATF is very proud to have been awarded the U.S. Cross Country Championships for 2023 and 2024,” said Ray Funkhouser, USA Track & Field Virginia Association President. “This will bring the very best cross country runners in the United States to Virginia, as they look to earn a spot on the Team that will represent the United States in the Pan AM and World Championships. This is a wonderful opportunity for Virginians and especially young runners to come out and see the very best in the country compete on a course that is very spectator friendly. This event will be an excellent time for many businesses to become involved with this national event and join with us and our partners.”
Richmond Region Tourism, the USATF Virginia Association, Collegiate Running Association and Hanover County worked to bring the event to the region.
“We couldn’t be more excited to see a concept to bring the U.S. Cross Country Championships to the Richmond region and the state of Virginia for the first time in history, turn into reality,” said Steve Taylor, Director of Championships and President/Co-Founder of the Collegiate Running Association. “The commonwealth is a hub for top high school cross country and track and field and we’re thrilled our nation’s best and brightest distance running stars and Olympians will be coming to the Richmond region for the 2023 and 2024 U.S. Championships.”
Athletes will be competing for more than $35,000 in prize money at the events.
Added Taylor: “We welcome our business community to partner with us as we welcome these championships to the state. The Pole Green Park cross country course is one of the best in the eastern U.S.; it’s a remarkable facility and a great location. There’s simply no better place for these championships to be held. We’ll incorporate many of the things we learned from other championships events and add our own ideas in order to provide the best experience for runners, fans and Central Virginians alike. This shows the Richmond region has become a destination for endurance events.”
Previous U.S. Cross Country Championships have been held San Diego, California; Tallahassee, Florida; Bend, Oregon and Boulder, Colorado.
“We’re honored and thrilled to welcome the USA Track & Field Cross Country National Championships to the region,” said Jerrine Lee, Vice President of Sports at Richmond Region Tourism. “This will be a dynamic and historic event for our community as the country’s best cross country athletes race throughout the 232-acre Pole Green Park.”