Press release from American Trail Running Association partner Collegiate Running Association. Photos by Tim Hibbard.
Athens, OH – The Collegiate Running Association (CRA) and the Southeastern Ohio Trail Runners (SEOTR) announced a partnership extension which will return the Collegiate Trail Running National Championship to Athens, Ohio through 2021. The sold out 2019 event hosted the Collegiate 12K Trail Running National Championship and will offer prize money specifically reserved for college students again in 2020 and 2021.
“We are excited to announce this partnership extension with SEOTR’s Thunderbunny 12K to host both the 2020 and 2021 Collegiate Trail Running National Championships,” said Collegiate Running Association Co-Founder Steve Taylor. “Event Director Michael Owen, SEOTR Events Staff and the community served as amazing hosts in 2019 welcoming students from across the U.S. to Athens, Ohio and Strouds Run State Park for the sold out event. One of the goals of the CRA is to create opportunities for college students in areas of the sport which previously did not exist. The Thunderbunny 12K provides an opportunity for college students to compete for a national championship in trail running. We are ardent supporters of trail running, and this event opens trail running to a broader group – in some cases, college students who have never participated in a trail run or race.”
The Collegiate National Championship within the 2020 Thunderbunny 12K is scheduled for May 8 in Strouds Run State Park near Athens, Ohio, the home of Ohio University. After selling out in 2019, the races will split in 2020 and be held over two days with the 12K event being held on Friday evening and the 25K and 50K events on Saturday providing an opportunity for participants to run both days.
Strouds Run State Park sits on the fringes of the city of Athens with park boundaries coinciding with the city limits in several places. The course is a mixture of mostly single track dirt and grass trails and will have a total of 1,099 feet of elevation gain spread throughout the beautiful loop course. The park comprises 2,600 acres, and includes Dow Lake, a 160-acre lake created in 1960. The start and finish lines are located next to the lake which is a common destination of Ohio University students to enjoy the weather on sunny spring or summer days.
“We are looking forward to being back in Athens” continued Taylor. “The 2019 event was outstanding with course records set in both the male and female competitions with a near photo finish in the men’s race. The event staff is known for their awesome trail races and we are looking forward to the growth of this event in the years to come. Athens and the entire Ohio Valley is full of passionate supporters of active, healthy lifestyles as is demonstrated by this event selling out in 2019. This is a great community with Ohio University and Athens being known for famous festivals. It’s a college community where people enjoy the outdoors.”
“SEOTR is excited to once again partner with the CRA to bring the Collegiate Trail Running National Championship back to Athens, Ohio and the Thunderbunny Trail Races” said Michael Owen, SEOTR Director. “As an organization that aims to promote the sport to all ages and levels, one of the areas we like to focus on is college aged runners, as they represent the future of the sport of trail running”, Owen added. “We already have a great connection with Ohio University students, but having the Thunderbunny 12K represent the College Trail Running Championship will reach college students from all across the nation. The Thunderbunny Trail Races have grown to be one of the largest trail running events in Ohio, and we love seeing people visit Athens, some for the first time, to enjoy our beautiful city and trail system. The CRA Trail National Championship has prompted us to move the 12K distance to Friday evening, allowing more excitement over two days, and giving some runners the opportunity to run multiple race distances at Thunderbunny. We can’t wait to see the 12K race grow with the Trail Running Championship, along with all the runners on Saturday in the 25K and 50K!”
Participants will be chasing prize money specifically reserved for the top male and female college eligible finishers.
Dates: May 8-9, 2020
Location: Strouds Run State Park, Athens, Ohio
Distances: 12K, 25K, 50K
Race Day Schedules:
4:40PM – 12K Pre-Race Meeting
5:00PM – 12K Race Start
8:00PM – 12K Race Close
7:40AM – 50K and 25K Pre-Race Meeting
8:00AM – 50K and 25K Race Start
5:00PM – 50K and 25K Race Close
About the Collegiate Running Association
The Collegiate Running Association (CRA) is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded November, 2013 with a mission to promote healthy lifestyles among college students by providing and expanding opportunities in the sport of running. The vision of the CRA is to offer national championship events in road, mountain, and trail running with prize money specifically reserved for college students enrolled in at least one class. Since 2014, the CRA has awarded over $120,000 in prize money specifically to college students in road, mountain and trail running events. Membership is open to the public.
About Southeastern Ohio Trail Runners (SEOTR)
Southeastern Ohio Trail Runners (SEOTR) is a non-profit group-exempt organization through the parent organization of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). A 501(c)3 “Event Management Company” under the RRCA. SEOTR’s actions are voted on by a board of directors, with the function to carry out events to meet the mission of SEOTR.