The regionals are done, the teams are in Portland, or on the way, and for the first year, individuals will be joining the fields at the Portland Meadows for a most unique day of cross country!
For a preview of December 6 at Portland Meadows, please click here: http://www.atf-athlete.com/nxn-2008-championship-preview.
The NXN, formerly the Nike Team Nationals, continues to innovate each and every year. This year, thanks to the support of NIke, websites such as RunningNetwork.com, Runnerspace.com, YouthRunner.com, Flotrack.com, dyestat.com and of course the folks at Runners World and Running Times, will be covering the event live. By clicking on http://www.atf-athlete.com/read_feature/special-nike-cross-nationals, you will be able to see all of the coverage of the NXN extravaganza.
In watching most of the video coverage of the meets, and checking out the Nike Bust tour coverage of the major xc meets in the U.S., it is evident to me that digital media is taking our sport to a new and exciting audience.
Kids who could never have travelled to the meets can now watch the races in between Calculus homework or working on the final English paper of the year. This also gives them something to dream about.
Foot Locker is continuing to draw athletes, but it has, unfortunately, starting to get hurt by the NXN event. For that, I do not blame NXN or Nike. I think that Foot Locker has to look at its important place in the schedule and determine how it needs to change or evolve.
All of the NXN meet goes back a decade to a little dream meet that Nike geeks Josh Rowe and John Truax dreamed up. I had made nine of the ten Border Clashes, until this year, when weather and needs of business hampered my trek to the Beaverton campus to see the best little cross country race in the country. I would go out to the event each year to check the temperature of Nike management on the sport of running.
Now, the NXN has become such a focus that the significance of the Border Clash, and the pure simplicity of 40 runners from two states going at it over muddy paths and in typical Northwest weather may get overshadowed. That is okay, but, let all who watch the NXN tomorrow, and who join me walking the course, remember that one must be careful when you wish for things. The Border Clash begat the Nike Team Nationals, which gave us NXN. What next?
I also wanted to thank the folks at Runnerspace.com who have done such a nice job on the NXN and Bus tours. Also Toni Reavis and Rich Gonzales, both friends of the sport, are naturals for a weekly running show on some regular TV network. That, dear friends, is my next wish.
So, I am packed and heading to the aiport. I arrive in Portland about seven pm tonight and off for a nice walk and dinner with friends. See you all at Portland Meadows tomorrow morning!
For complete coverage of the NXN: