The Baylor Red Raiders arrived at Greenway Farms this morning in Chattanooga, Tennessee rather inconspicuously. No buses painted with their school's name and logo. No big yellow school bus. Not even a team van. They showed up individually, most driving their own cars or car-pooling with a teammate. They didn't have a team tent, either. Nor did they have a sign proclaiming their team's location. Just a collection of duffel bags, water bottles, and spikes marked their team's base location for the day, on a weathered tennis court about four-hundred meters from where the rest of the fifteen teams present for the McCallie Invitational had set up shop for the day. After most of Baylor's mens team had arrived, a yellow car covered in bumper stickers with a bike rack on the back pulled in--ignoring the collegiate runners directing traffic--and parked next to the tennis court. Out climbed Van Townsend and his son, Skylar. Though lacking parades and other festivities often found when warriors leave for battle, the Red Raiders were ready to fight.
It's located on a small piece of government property that many citizens of Chattanooga ignore because the only use in their mind is the swimming area. There isn't a whole lot of flat ground, so you can't throw a frisbee or a baseball very well. This piece of property is on the forgotten side of the Chickamauga Dam. On the other side, Chattanooga's Riverwalk and River Park is constantly crawling with people. However, on the opposite side, between the dam itself and a marina, lies a grassy field with a swimming area, several hills, and a sidewalk cutting through the middle. There aren't many who know it well, but a small portion of Chattanoogans know this piece of property, probably far better than they would prefer. This piece of property is the home of the Chickamauga Dam 5k Cross Country course. This weekend, it will be home to the Chattanooga Cross Country Festival.
The McCallie Invitational Saturday hosted many of the top teams in the Southeast region. For both boys and girls team races, no winning team won by more than 20 points. Close from the start to finish, the McCallie Invitational did not disappoint.
This past Saturday brought the arrival of one of my favorite times of the year--cross country invitational season. When the weather is crisp and clear and every single run, be it a training run, an interval workout, or a race, makes me feel on top of the world. There isn't much better than that.
Boys and girls video from the McCallie Invite.
Photos taken at the McCallie Invitational at Greenway Farms in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Meet Comment: McCallie XC Invitational 2007
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