CHILLICOTHE, Ill. (WMBD.WYZZ) — No tricks, all treats.
Peoria’s Adam White thinks he has a pretty good idea how his invitation-only 2020 XC Championships will be received.
“If the kids are smiling, if their parents are smiling, I think that will tell us if it was a success or not,” White said.
White and his business partner Brad Henz have spent the last two weeks laying out a five-kilometer course at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe. Their company, ShaZam Racing, is teaming with MileSplit Illinois to host a championship race after the Illinois Elementary School Association regionals and the Illinois High School Association sectionals.
The two running companies are looking for a way to give cross country runners some closure in a year when there are no IESA or IHSA state championships.
“Everyone wants to get to the end of the book, everyone wants to read the final pages and close it and move on,” White said. “The way things were left with so many of these kids, it was going to leave the final chapter and a half unwritten.”
White, who owns RC Outfitters in Peoria, hesitates calling his event a state championship meet because it’s not sanctioned. Runners won’t be able to wear their school uniforms and their school coaches can’t coach them.
But his goal is simple. He wants to bring the top runners around Illinois to the Peoria area and have them compete as if it were a championship meet.
Runners apply for consideration to the event and White’s team will use state rankings, official times and race results to make the field. The races are open to club teams and individuals.
“The way the rankings are right now, we have 85-90 percent of the best who have applied for consideration to be invited to this event,” White said. “It will be a championship event on the highest level.”
The grade school championship races are scheduled for Nov. 1. The XC Championship races for high school runners are Nov. 6-8.