In only its second year, this meet has grown into a major event, including one of the biggest middle-school races in the sate.
For a meet with only one year of history under its belt, this one sure has grown quickly. According to co-founder Brett Honeycutt, the meet was originally conceived from the need for private schools to be able to compete in a Saturday invitational at McAlpine Park; non-NCHSAA schools are not allowed to attend either Wendy's or the Providence Invitational. Run on Labor Day weekend last year, the meet was moved back this year in order to increase potential participation, and it worked: 33 high schools, public and private, as well as 19 middle schools will participate this weekend (ironically, the private schools have no problem inviting public schools to their meets). As for the unique name of the meet, in the words of Joe Vignolini: Cross country can be dated back to the early 1800’s in England where it was a team sport in public schools. At that time, the sport was named “Hare and Hounds” or “The Paper Chase”. The sport would consist of a group of runners that would lay a trail of paper or other devices to mark a trail and another group of runners would follow the trail. In 1837, the first competition was held at Rugby School, which later turned into the sport having a course pre set over open country land. Participants sometimes had to run through streams, jump fences, and go through hedges.
Last Year's Combined Results
There's not much to say about McAlpine Creek Greenway that hasn't already been said. The last time I was there, for the Providence Invitational, I was reminded of how much of the course is actually quite lonely. Despite the massive, screaming crowds at the start, around the lake, and even at the base of the hill, significant portions of the first mile and the third mile are contested in the quiet, gently-twisting, wooded trails of the park. It must be quite jarring for the athletes to make the transition from the quiet to the noise, then back to quiet, and finally into the noise for the finish. Keep an eye out for my first-ever video course walk of McAlpine, coming later this week!
(Collegiate and high school, from MileSplit)
(High school onlt, from NCPrepTrack.com)
North Carolina Top 100 All-Time at McAlpine
Directions to McAlpine
GPS Address: 8711 Monroe Rd, Charlotte, North Carolina
- From Greensboro, Raleigh, and points East: directions via Google Maps.
- From Fayetteville, Wilmington, and the Sandhills: directions via Google Maps
- From Rock Hill, Columbia, and central South Carolina: directions via Google Maps
- From Asheville and southwestern North Carolina: directions via Google Maps
- From Spartanburg and western South Carolina: directions via Google Maps
- From Winston-Salem: directions via Google Maps
- From northwestern North Carolina: directions via Google Maps
Things to Do Outdoors Near Charlotte
Last time, we highlighted the U.S. National Whitewater Center. This time, take a look at one of central North Carolina's favorite recreation areas: Lake Norman. The largest man-made lake in the state with 520 miles of shoreline, Lake Norman boasts just about every water-based recreational activity you could hope for, including excellent fishing.
- Lake Norman State Park: boating, camping, hiking, fishing, biking, swimmings. Click here for more information.
- There are many places to rent boats if you can't bring your own; click here for a Google search.
- The area has many parks with a wide variety of activities, summarized nicely here by Visit Lake Norman.
- If golf is your thing, there are four courses in the immediate area to choose from.
Also, check out Great Outdoor Provision Co.'s great new list of places to hike, starting with the Charlotte area (click on "Camp/Hike" to go to the larger list).