Collegiate Trail Running National Championships Return to Athens, Ohio
2022 and 2023 Collegiate Trail Running Championships will be held within the Thunderbunny 11K Trail Race in Strouds Run State Park
Collegiate Running Association and SEOTR renew partnership through 2023
December 24, 2021 – Athens, OH - The Collegiate Running Association (CRA) is excited to announce an extended partnership with the Southeastern Ohio Trail Runners (SEOTR) and Thunderbunny 11K Trail Run which will bring the CRA’s 2022 and 2023 Collegiate Trail Running National Championship back to Athens, Ohio. College students, regardless of experience, ability, or age, have the opportunity to join other college students to compete in a trail running championship in beautiful Strouds Run State Park, next to Athens, home to Ohio University.
The pandemic interrupted the event the past two years which will make 2022 the third Collegiate Trail Running National Championship ever held with prize money specifically reserved for college students. Whether you're a college student competing on a NCAA varsity team, working on a post graduate class, attending a local community college or a recreational college runner, you will be able to compete for prize money at the Thunderbunny 11K Trail Run.
“We loved this event in 2019 where it produced the closest finish in our organizations history. We are thrilled to announce this extended partnership for the next two years,” said Collegiate Running Association Co-Founder, Steve Taylor. “One of the goals of the CRA is to create opportunities for college students in areas of the sport which have not historically existed. The Thunderbunny 11K will continue to provide an opportunity for college students to compete for a national championship in trail running, a discipline not supported by the NCAA (track & field and cross country) or USATF (Age based championships). We are happy to fill a void. Having grown-up in nearby Saint Marys, WV, there are a lot of college students within a 250-mile radius that we believe will be drawn to this event in the years to come. I’ve known Athens as a welcoming community and it’s exciting to bring the Collegiate Trail Running National Championship back to the mid-Ohio Valley.”
The 2022 Thunderbunny 11K Trail Run is scheduled for Friday, May 6 with a separate 25K and 50K to be held on Saturday. The schedule provides an opportunity to participate in events on both days, with only the 11K as a collegiate championship event. All the races will take place in scenic Strouds Run State Park near Athens, Ohio, the home of Ohio University. It sits on the fringes of the city of Athens with park boundaries coinciding with the city limits in several places. The course is a mixture of mostly single track dirt and grass trails and will have a total of 1,099 feet of elevation gain spread throughout the beautiful loop course. The park comprises 2,600 acres, and includes Dow Lake, a 160-acre lake created in 1960. The start and finish lines are located next to the lake which is a common destination of Ohio University students to enjoy the weather on sunny spring or summer days.
“SEOTR is excited to extend our partnership with the CRA to bring the Collegiate Trail Running National Championship back to Athens at the Thunderbunny 11K. The Thunderbunny Trail Runs is already such a great weekend and this makes it even better with more opportunity for college runners” said Michael Owen, SEOTR Director. Owen added, “I've been a big promoter of college runners getting into the sport of trail running, and SEOTR shares that same belief. I teach a trail running course at Ohio University, and it's always exciting seeing the passion this age group has for the trails. So, bringing the Collegiate Trail Running National Championship back to Athens gives not just OU students, but college runners all around country, a great opportunity to fuel their passion for trail running. Whether a recreational runner, or an elite runner, they'll have an opportunity to be part of a great sport, and I hope this type of opportunity motivates them to stay involved beyond college”.
“We are excited to be headed back to Athens” added Collegiate Running Association Co-Founder Jon Molz. “It was such a great event in 2019 and the trails were exceptional. The SEOTR is known for their awesome trail races and we are looking forward to the continued growth of this event in the years to come. Athens and the entire Ohio Valley is full of avid supporters of active, healthy lifestyles as is demonstrated by the creation of events like this. This is a great area with Ohio University and Athens being known for famous festivals. It’s a college community where people enjoy the outdoors.”
College students will toe the line Friday evening for the Thunderbunny 11K Trail Run, along with "general public" runners in the 11K, with separate post-race results for the college students. SEOTR will present category awards to the top 5 college runners along with the top 5 earning Collegiate Running Association All-America honors, as well as prize money being distributed to the top 3 men and women college runners. On Saturday, participants are welcomed back to register for the 30K or 50K events.