SportsEvents Magazine

AUG 2018

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Page 42 of 67 August 2018 43 t SPORT Report cross country. The area hosts the Na- tional Scholastic Athletics Foundation's (NSAF) Great American Cross Country Festival, which is hosted annually at the WakeMed Soccer Park's cross-country course. The festival began in 1999 and was purchased by the NSAF in 2002; it has been hosted at the WakeMed Soccer Park since 2009. "It's a great facility," said Jim Spier, NSAF executive director and meet director. "In my opinion, it's one of the better cross-country courses in the country. It's great because it seems like it's not challenging but it really is and it's a beautiful design of the park where you run in the woods a lot. And in addition, the area itself is terrific with a great standard of living. We enjoy having the event there." The festival averages approximately 2,500 runners each year, according to Jason Philbeck, assistant director for the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance, and it draws runners from all over the country. "In addition to being a high-lev- el cross-country event, it also offers a festival atmosphere, so it's a fun event for participants," Philbeck said. "WakeMed Soccer Park houses a great cross-country course, one that has hosted everything from ACC Conference Championships and other conference championships to high school and state cross-country cham- pionships. They also host a Nike regional event each year in November and an Adidas event every September." ► Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance The Great American Cross Country Festival in Raleigh, N.C.

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