Sunday, February 27, 2011

Brooks PR Invitational

Blazing fast high school runners
I just finished watching the inaugural Brooks PR Invitational, and it was amazing. The fast high schoolers from across the country were in attendance at the University of Washington's Dempsey Indoor Track. This event drew attention to the best high school track athletes out there. They were competing for bronze track spikes, which is a pretty unique prize. Much more unique than a ribbon or a medal. I heard multiple athlete interviews where they couldn't believe how well Brooks took care of them and outfitted them with the coolest gear and really catered to them as runners. It was really awesome to watch.

Bronze track spike award
I also learned more about the Brooks Inspiring Coaches Program. Unfortunately, a lot of high school track and cross-country programs are underfunded and struggling to stay afloat because track and cross-country just doesn't draw the same kinds of crowds that football and basketball do. Because of that, they are among the first teams to get cut out of the high school athletic budget. Track and cross-country coaches often have to spend their own money to keep the programs alive. We all know that running coaches don't make a tons of money, so it's out of a pure belief in the athletes that they keep trying to make the programs work. Brooks started the Inspiring Coaches Program to highlight the efforts of those coaches and outfit their teams with much needed gear to help them to continue to be successful.

The Brooks Beast
It sounds like this event will be a really great step in highlighting American running. Almost all of these athletes are going on to run pretty high level championship races for the remainder of the running season. I even saw that one of them is going to Spain to compete in the 2011 World Cross-Country Championships. That's a pretty awesome bullet on your resume.

Lastly, there were sightings of the Brooks Beast. I heard small children were disappearing throughout the day. Unlucky. He looks mean, but I bet he's really fast.


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