Cross Country Update #2: Practice Begins Next Week!
Dear Cross Country Families,
We are very excited to kick off the fall cross country programs! Our advanced groups will begin on Tuesday, September 14, and our Sunday-only group on Sunday, September 19.
Program Updates and Calendar:
We send all of our club updates through a blog connected to our website. You are currently subscribed to “cross country” and “club-wide announcements” and will sometimes receive a direct email with an update, or an email that will alert you to a new post. When it is very important info like in this update, we will send it as an email, and then also post a duplicate to the blog. This will allow you to go back to any previous update at any time. You can navigate to the Family Portal from our main website, or click here: Family Portal.
Once you are on the Family Portal you can subscribe or unsubscribe to any group you wish, look up posts from each program, keyword search, etc.
The Club Calendar is also in the Family Portal. It is a live Google calendar that you can subscribe to by clicking here, or on the link at the top of the calendar page. Clicking on the google icon at the bottom of the calendar will not work to subscribe — you will need to click the link which opens up the full feature calendar app.
Advanced Groups, Tuesday and Thursday, 10:00am or 5:00pm, and Sunday at 5:00pm:
If you signed up for the morning sessions, we will meet at 10:00am, and if you signed up for the evening program, we will meet at 5:00pm. The Sunday session is 5:00pm for both groups. In the Club Calendar you will only see the 5:00pm weekday sessions, but the morning session location will always match the evening location. Both groups will meet on 9/14 at Challenge Grove Park in Cherry Hill. Our specific meeting location will be at the back of the gravel parking lot that is adjacent to the main driveway, on the left, across from the pavilion and rest rooms. This lot backs up to the soccer fields. This is technically Croft Farm, but we will use different parts of the whole area. We will check everyone in the first day and have a quick parent meeting. Here is a google map link of the exact location.
If you are signed up for the morning sessions, please understand that we decided to run that program based on having enough interest. You may substitute an evening session now and then, but in general we would like kids to stick with the session they signed up for.
Sunday-Only, Beginner/Casual Group (and Advanced Groups):
On Sunday, September 19 we will meet as one giant team! We will meet at Challenge Grove Park in Cherry Hill. Our specific meeting location will be at the back of the gravel parking lot that is adjacent to the main driveway, on the left, across from the pavilion and rest rooms. This lot backs up to the soccer fields. This is technically Croft Farm, but we will use different parts of the whole area. We will check everyone in the first day and have a quick parent meeting. Here is a google map link of the exact location.
This first Sunday will take some time to get organized, as we will check in each kid, and give them a name badge that they will pin to their shirts. We will have several volunteers checking the kids in based on last name. At the end of practice we will collect the name badges. This will be our check-in and check-out procedure every week. Please have at least one parent or guardian available the first night for a meeting at the start of practice. Our coaches and volunteers will get the kids moving right away, while Coach Craig provides from important information.
Additional Calendar, Location and Time Information:
As noted above, we use a live google calendar so you can see any updates in real time. Sometimes different events force us to change locations, but we will do our best to stick with the practice schedule as it is now set. Any changes will be announced through the Family Portal email updates. With that in mind, make sure our updates are not landing in your spam folder.
We will rotate practice sessions between two locations: Challenge Grove Park, and Pennypacker Park. Please check the calendar for each session so you know where we are meeting. For Pennypacker, we meet at the baseball field across from the Cherry Parke Apartments. Here is a Google Map Link. There is a small parking lot, and lots of street parking.
Morning sessions are always from 10:00am to 11:00am, and the evening sessions will be from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. After daylight savings time ends we will shift to 4:00pm for the evening sessions.
Cross Country Meets and other Competitive Events:
We have several options for competition this year, but keep in mind that competition is always optional, and we do not want parents to push kids into competition before they are asking for it. Gentle nudging is fine. We will end the program by hosting our own cross country festival on 11/14, and that will provide lots of age-appropriate options for kids to race.
Philly Express Track Club hosts meets each Saturday until the championship on 10/30. The fee for this series was included in the Advanced/Competitive program fee. We will attend some of these meets as a team, but families can attend any of them on their own. We will let you know exactly what ones coaches will attend very soon. If your child is in the Sunday-only program, and they wish to compete at Belmont, you can register online here. (As of today there is no registration info posted on the Philly Express website, but it should be up soon). The Belmont series has different race distances based on age, and you can see all the info on their website (there is a downloadable pdf with detailed info).
We also have a meet on Sunday, October 3rd, at 10:00am, at Gwenned Mercy Academy in Pennsylvania. This meet is being hosted by our good friends at Ambler Olympic Club, and it would be great to have a lot of kids participating. There will also be different race lengths based on age (8 and under — 2000m, 9-12 — 3000m, 13-14 — 4000m). I will see if kids over 14 can compete. The fee for entry is $6.00, which helps the host cover the cost of awards and a timing company.
On Monday, October 25, at 3:00pm, there is an open middle school meet at Gloucester County Dream Park. This is a great opportunity for our middle-school-aged kids to compete.This is a well-run meet by South Jersey Track Coaches Association that runs lots of xc, indoor and outdoor track meets. Entry fee is $15.00. If you would like to participate, payment can be made to SJTFC and we will take care of registration.
You can also find some end-of-season championship meets on the calendar, like the USATF/AAU qualifiers and national championships. We support athletes participating in these events, but in general it is up to families to handle the details and attend on their own. If there is enough interest, we may attend the CCCNYC Regional Champs on 11/7 as a team.
See you soon!