2021 Cross Country Events
Sports & Activities
LEON COUNTY KICKS OFF ITS BUSIEST CROSS-COUNTRY SEASON IN HISTORY
Leon County Government held a Grand Opening Ceremony at the County’s award-winning Apalachee Regional Park at the start of the busiest Cross-Country season to date.
2021 Upcoming Cross-Country Meets at ARP:
Sept. 17 FSU XC Open
Oct. 15 FSU XC Invite/Pre-Nationals
Oct. 15-16 FSU XC Invite/Pre-State Meet
Oct. 29 NJCAA Region 8 Championships
Nov. 12 FHSAA State Cross-Country Championships
Nov. 20 NCAA Men & Women’s Cross-Country Division I National Championships
Dec. 11 USATF Club Cross-Country National Championships
Today’s event, the Florida State University (FSU) Cross-Country Open is the first of seven major cross-country events to be held at the newly renovated park, including two national championships. The events are anticipated to bring over 35,000 visitors to Leon County and result in $10 million in direct spending. Future events include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men & Women’s Cross-Country Division 1 National Championships, Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) State Cross-Country Championships, USA Track and Field (USATF) Club Cross-Country National Championships, FSU Invite/Pre-Nationals, the FSU Invite/Pre-State Meet, and the NJCAA Region 8 Championships.
“As we celebrate the completion of phase II of the County’s recent investments in Apalachee Regional Park, we look forward to hosting thousands of athletes, coaches and visitors from all over the country this season and beyond,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Rick Minor.
“Leon County is well-known across the region and the nation as a cross country sports destination, and this season’s line-up proves we have the facility and expertise to host the best-of-the-best.”
Leon County’s Apalachee Regional Park is a multi-use venue that includes one of the nation’s few sites designed specifically for cross-country running. Featuring various course and distance options through rolling hills, lowlands and pine forests, the park can host thousands of runners and visitors at some of the nation’s largest sporting events. In 2021, construction was completed on a $2 million enhancement project which included the addition of a multi-purpose building with restroom facility, sidewalk, stage, landscaping, wildlife viewing areas and a permanent finish line structure.
“Apalachee Regional Park is a great example of a shared vision and successful partnership between Leon County, FSU Athletics and Gulf Winds Track Club,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “Having achieved national acclaim, the venue sets the standard for cross country competitions anywhere. And this state-of-the-art facility is available year-round to residents and visitors alike, thanks to the teamwork of the County and our many community partners.”
This year, Leon County will welcome the NCAA Cross-Country Division I National Championships to Florida for the first time in the race’s 83-year history. FSU will serve as the host institution for the NCAA Pre-Nationals Oct. 15, 2021 and the National Championship meet scheduled for Nov. 20, 2021. This is the first NCAA national championship event held in Leon County since the women’s tennis event in 1996.
“We’re excited for the upcoming fall home cross-country schedule,” FSU head cross-country coach Bob Braman said. “The FSU Open will be an early season preview meet, while the pre-national meet will be a late-season, high-caliber meet where teams from all over the country will visit Tallahassee to preview our world-class course before nationals.”
“We continue to see tremendous growth in the economic impact and visibility that cross-country events bring to the county,” said Kerri L. Post, Director of Leon County Division of Tourism. “The recent capital improvements enhance the visitor experience for thousands of athletes, coaches and spectators that visit from all over the country and bring significant economic benefits to the County.”