College of the Canyons is gearing up for the 44th annual Cross Country Summer Series, set to run from July 6-August 17 this summer.
“It’s a tradition of a community running,” said COC cross country coach Lindie Kane. “(We) keep it going with all of our youth programs we have and the high school programs, college athletes … so it’s a good opportunity for them to run as well as just recreational runners.”
The races will be every Thursday, with a kids race beginning at 6:45 p.m. and the main race starting at 7 p.m.
All ages are welcome, with participants divided into 13 different ages groups.
Some runners use the course to prepare for the high school or college season, while others just run for fun.
“Anybody can come and run (the races) and that’s what’s so unique about them,” Kane said. “We have families that come, we have people that have done it all 44 years, believe it or not. We have new people that come to it every year.”
The three-mile course begins at the COC baseball field, takes a loop through the cross country course and finishes at Cougar Stadium.
The fee for each race is $10, with the exception of the $20 final race that includes dinner and an award ceremony.
A discounted rate of $50 is offered before the first race and covers all fees for the series.
Kane expects somewhere between 300 and 500 runners per race night, provided the weather is agreeable.
“It’s a big community event,” Kane said. “We’re excited to be hosting the 44th year of it and we want to encourage people to stay fit and come out and run.”