Advice for state meet newbie


I’ll be @ The Ridges Saturday for the first time, cheering on my daughter. She’s running in the last race of the day, but I plan on being there to see the Div I boys race and all girls’ races. Any advice re: best places to cheer on the runners on the course? Any other helpful hints would be appreciated.


If you line up along the start, the crowd will take you to all the best spectating spot. I watched the meet my freshman year, and as soon as the runners go by, the whole crowd starts sprinting to their next spot. Really a fun spectating experience.


This is advice for any cross country meet but especially at the state meet make sure you are on the correct side of the course to prepare for your next “spot”. Due to # of runners and roped off areas you will not be able to cross and they WILL yell at you! For that reason make sure you sprint to next location so you can cross course before runners come by!


I would say follow the crowd. Just make sure you can sprint as fast as everyone else spectating! If you want to really try and help your daughter, try and get to the backside of the course. In the last 3/4 of a mile there are some real tough hills, and very few people line up there. When I ran, my coach was there and no where else and he gave me a lot of encouragement and advice.


I’d experiment with the first three races to find the spots you like best. Following the herd is a good way to start, but you may find a less crowded spot by exploring a little on your own. While I agree with DCK that you will be yelled at, my son reports that simply yelling is not always sufficient as he has seen runners have to dodge spectators. Please don’t be that spectator.


One factor to consider is how much importance you or daughter put on your being at the finish line. If you’re out on the course and attempt to head over to the finish near the end, the spectators will be 4-5 deep (if not more). Also, you might want to to check with your daughter’s coach(es) for their ideas. I also concur with LILXC that having folks cheering on their runners on the hilly part of the backside is important.

Finally, I assume from your post that this is your daughter’s first time running at state. Not sure if she’s with her team or qualified as an individual. If possible, have her speak with runners who’ve run the course before for their feedback. Obviously, her coach will have plenty of suggestions, too. It can be intimidating for a young runner on their maiden Ridges run. Good luck to your daughter!


I have been coaching teams at the State Meet for 10+ years now and I have never seen the finish. I have had top 10 runners and state championship teams and have never seen the finish. I would much rather be at the quiet, isolated spots of the last mile and you can make it from the rolling hill section of 2.25 mile and back to where there is 5/600 meters to go. I would rather be there to cheer on my team or sons then at the crowded, roped off finish area where they will never hear me.


This map may be posted somewhere else, but get a map of the course and get some ideas on spots of the course that close to each other. I tend to start at just past the 1/2 mile mark, then work my way south as the race progresses, then back up to see the finish. Be ready for some sprinting around, and be super careful when you cross the course. Best wishes!!


I have never seen my runners finish at the state meet! Somebody mentioned the lonely spot on the course about 800-1000 meters from the finish. There’s the last bowl that the runners drop into and climb out towards the finish which is about 400-600 to finish depending on where you stand. Following the crowd is not always the best bet. Often times they are following somebody else who may be just as clueless. Best bet it look for the coach and follow him or her. They should know the best spot to cheer their runners on!


Thanks for the excellent advice! She is a freshman and her team is running as well. I will certainly ask her coaches for advice, but very much appreciate everyone’s input. I will likely follow some of the advice given and try to get to some of the back corners of the course to cheer her on, even if that means missing the finish.
Is the clubhouse open to buy food/warm up?

Looking forward to Saturday!


You’ll be able to see the finish on Youtube later.


Anybody have any insights on the shuttle situation – best place to get it, time it takes getting to the course once parked, whether there’s a mob scene trying to leave, etc. Does the awards ceremony start promptly?


I get the shuttle at the ice rink. Never been more than 10 people in the bus to the course. Yes, there’s a good chance you will have to wait in a line on the return shuttle, and the bus will most likely fill two people before you get on so you’ll have to wait for the next bus. If your kid or his team ran well enough to go back to the school, who cares if the program starts a little late. Do NOT go to concessions near the end of the meet hoping to get Rockys Pizza for a buck a slice, I’m the only one authorized to buy it from them at that time.


I agree with ccnoob, park at the ice rink, free, all the busses have waits getting back to parking. As far as food and warmth, bring a sub, and pack hand and foot warmers. If you run along with the crowd you’ll stay fairly warm. It’s not going to be as cold as a couple years ago.

Enjoy the day, this is the first meet I’m missing in 6 years as my kids are done running in it. Good luck to all the athletes!


Thanks for the parking advice. Which ice skating rink do you recommend? I found 2 in WR when I searched for it (rec center on 16th, one on 36th). Looks like the rec center is closest to Ridges.


Yes, the rink just south of the HS on 16th. The shuttle runs from both, so either location will get you there.


Thanks @ccnoob