Saturday, March 19, 2011

Flood and Team USA check out the Punta Umbria course...

PUNTA UMBRIA, Spain--University of Washington freshman Katie Flood (center, photo by Paul Merca) was one of the nearly 500 athletes who were out inspecting the course for Sunday's IAAF World Cross Country Championships, which starts and finishes at Estadio Antonio Gil Hernandez.

After the team photos were taken, the runners checked out the course on the Punta Umbria Multisport Centre, which consists of a two-kilometer manicured grass loop.

The course has two natural hills, plus a two-meter high artificial hill. The circuit also has three sets of three logs every eight meters positioned at approximately 700m, 1000m, and 1700m on the course, making nine logs the runners must traverse each lap.

Temperatures for Sunday's races are projected to be in the high 60s to low 70s.

After the course tour, Flood commented, "The course is really nice, and it's easy to follow. Great footing, and I really like it".

Former University of Washington assistant coach Kelly Strong (in red jacket), who was on the staff of the Huskies when they won the NCAA cross country title is the USA junior women's team leader.

Universal Sports will provide live coverage at beginning at 6am Eastern time, to 9:45 am (3 am to 6:45 am, pacific time).

Courtesy of USA Track & Field, here's a video I shot with senior women's team runner Shalane Flanagan, on her thoughts about the course.

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