Before the Meet
Be sure to sign your athlete up for each meet the week prior using the provided emailed link.
All Athletes must wear their Flash uniform, with the singlet tucked into the shorts. Any additional layers for cooler weather should be worn under the singlet or shorts during the race. This ensures a consistent and sharp-dressed team. During cooler weather, be sure to layer, especially for early morning races. It is important for the athletes to keep their body temperature up before the race. Remember...you can always peel off the layers as the day warms up. (Tip: pack your bag the night before!) Please make sure your athlete has their racing shoes along with their (optional) spikes. They should warm up in their running shoes and then put their spikes on when they’re ready to race. Here is some more info on spikes: SPIKES
Day of the Meet
You’ll want to arrive at the meet about an hour before your estimated start time. There is a course walk-through about an hour before the first race begins, for those athletes and parents who want a preview of the course before their race. There will be a Schedule of Events provided for each meet. The age-division/gender start time estimates are usually pretty close to reality. Each race takes 20-45 minutes, depending on age division and distance. Some families will need to arrive for their event and leave right afterwards, but we encourage our athletes to stay and cheer for their teammates if they can. We have found this encourages camaraderie and gives the older athletes a much-needed boost toward the end of the day.
Prepare to leave your home in plenty of time to arrive 1-hour before your first event, to give yourself time to find the team tent or flag, get your packet/bib# and to give your athlete time to warm up. Parents can help by listening for the announcement for each event and making sure their athletes are where they need to be.
Find your coaches when you arrive. A coach will almost always be at the meet to guide athletes and get them checked in. Check-in at the Flash tent (look for the Flash flag) or with your coach to get your bib # and timing chip (if applicable for the event/meet). The coaches will pickup the team packet of bib #'s.
In warm, sunny weather, if your athlete arrives early and has a long wait until their race, try to keep them resting in a shaded spot, so as not to overheat or get too much sun exposure. The Flash tent is a good place for the athletes to sit for some shade. The athletes have priority for tent seating. If you have your own canopy-style tent, feel free to bring it to the race. The more shade the better on a hot, sunny day!
Check in occurs before each event to ensure the athlete is there, to get them to a staging area, and then to make sure they are at the start line at the right time. A PA announcer will call out when event is to check in so it is important to pay attention. Generally there is a 1st call, 2nd call, and final call for each event. Parents generally are not supposed to go on the field so once the athlete goes to check-in, so they should have what they need.
Enjoy the race and cheer loudly for our team and be encouraging to the other teams, as well. Cross Country has the best fans!
What to Bring
Folding/Camp chairs, blankets, if you plan to stay a while. There is usually no seating area/bleachers for spectators.
Sunscreen, tents, umbrellas for shade on sunny days.
Snacks and water for your athlete and yourself. Some meets will offer a limited concession selection, but it is typically not healthy food and should be a post-race treat for athletes.
Ice pack, if you bring a cooler, to treat any soreness/injury
Camera for great photo opportunities.
Something for athletes and/or younger siblings to do (books, toys, etc) if they are going to be there for a while.
A POSITIVE ATTITUDE AND ENCOURAGEMENT FOR YOUR ATHLETE AND TEAM! THINGS DO NOT ALWAYS GO AS EXPECTED AT A RACE, WHETHER IT BE OPERATIONALLY OR PHYSICALLY, BUT A GOOD ATTITUDE GOES A LONG WAY IN AVOIDING UNNECESSARY STRESS AND FRUSTRATION FOR EVERYONE :-)
Athletes should also start hydrating the day before the event. Make sure they drink plenty of water and be sure to hydrate the week of a meet but not overdo it the day of a meet. A small bottle of water the day of a race is adequate (and more afterwards). Athletes should eat their last meal a couple hours before a race and only have healthy snacks up to race time.
Check out this great article on nutrition for cross country meets! Cross Country Nutrition