COC annual Cross Country Summer Series returns for 46th year

The College of the Canyons Annual Cross Country Summer Series is returning for its 46th year, offering the Santa Clarita running community and those who want to get into running an opportunity to stretch their legs every Thursday evening starting on July 11.

“It’s a nice event for people to come together and share a passion for running,” said Lindie Kane, COC cross-country coach.

Participants have the opportunity to run a three-mile course that starts at Cougar field, continues through the school’s campus and surrounding area and ends at Cougar Stadium. Each race begins at 7 p.m.

There are over a dozen age divisions as well as a kid’s race for young runners that will take place on the track at Cougar Stadium that starts at 6:45 p.m.

Local high school and college runners in addition to a handful of elite runners can be seen on the trail at the Cross Country Summer Series.

“Sometimes we’ll get some of the elite USA cross-country, track and field athletes come out and participate in it … and then the way that our high school programs are very talented in our area, we tend to get some of our top high school athletes in the state that come out and run it,” Kane said. “It’s an opportunity to see some of California’s best cross-country runners compete.”

The top three male and female runners in each division will receive awards at the end of the final run on Aug. 15. Nightly results will be tracked using chip timing.

Although there are some competitive runners in the events, Kane said the series is a great introduction for beginner runners.

“They’re going to get an opportunity to see proper training or what can be done if you train on a regular basis,” she said. “You can improve and that’s what people see over the course of the six weeks.

“It’s a good opportunity for new runners to be mixed with experienced runners and be able to say okay, I might be able to do that or run faster.”

The series, which is sponsored by Fleet Feet running stores, serves as a fundraiser for the COC cross-country program. There is an entry fee of $10 per race and $20 for the final race and taco truck dinner, but a series card can be purchased for $50 to cover all races and dinner.

Kid’s races are $2 for the first five and $12 for the final race, which also includes dinner. A series pass is available for $25 for the kid’s races.

Participants are encouraged to register ahead of time online on the cross-country page at cocathletics.com. No cash will be accepted for day-of registration, but checks can be made out COC ASG with “Summer Cross Country Series” in the memo line.

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