TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today Leon County Government announced its plans to host seven major cross-country events at the County’s award-winning Apalachee Regional Park. Including two national championships in the fall of 2021, the events are anticipated to bring over 35,000 visitors to Leon County and result in $10 million in direct spending. Events include the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men & Women’s Cross-Country Division 1 National Championships, Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) State Cross-Country Championships, USA Track and Field (USATF) Club Cross-Country National Championships, FSU Invite/Pre-Nationals, the FSU Invite/Pre-State Meet, Florida State University (FSU) Cross-Country Open, and the NJCAA Region 8 Championships.
“Following the County’s recent investments in the Apalachee Regional Park, we look forward to hosting thousands of athletes, coaches and visitors from all over the country,” said Leon County Commission Chairman Rick Minor. “Leon County is known across the region and the nation as a cross country sports destination, and this upcoming fall line-up proves we have the ability to host the best-of-the-best.”
Leon County’s Apalachee Regional Park is a multi-use venue that includes one of the nation’s few sites designed specifically for cross-country running. Featuring various course and distance options through rolling hills, lowlands and pine forests, the park can host thousands of runners and visitors at some of the nation’s largest sporting events. Recently the park completed a $2 million enhancement project which included the addition of a multi-purpose building with restroom facility, sidewalk, stage, landscaping, wildlife viewing areas and a permanent finish line structure.
“Apalachee Regional Park is a great example of a shared vision and successful partnership between Leon County, FSU Athletics and Gulf Winds Track Club,” said Leon County Administrator Vincent S. Long. “Having achieved national acclaim, the venue sets the standard for cross country competitions anywhere. And this state-of-the-art facility is available year-round to residents and visitors alike, thanks to the teamwork of the County and our many community partners.”
This year, Leon County will welcome the NCAA Cross-Country Division I National Championships to Florida for the first time in the race’s 83-year history. FSU will serve as the host institution for the NCAA Pre-Nationals Oct. 15, 2021 and the National Championship meet scheduled for Nov. 20, 2021. This is the first NCAA national championship event held in Leon County since the women’s tennis event in 1996.
“We’re excited for the upcoming fall home cross-country schedule,” FSU head cross-country coach Bob Braman said. “The FSU Open will be an early season preview meet, while the pre-national meet will be a late-season, high-caliber meet where teams from all over the country will visit Tallahassee to preview our world-class course before nationals.”
“We continue to see tremendous growth in the economic impact and visibility that cross-country events bring to the county,” said Kerri L. Post, Director of Leon County Division of Tourism. “The recent capital improvements enhance the visitor experience for thousands of athletes, coaches and spectators that visit from all over the country and bring significant economic benefits to the County.”
2021 Upcoming Cross-Country Meets at ARP:
||FSU XC Open
||FSU XC Invite/Pre-Nationals
||FSU XC Invite/Pre-State Meet
||NJCAA Region 8 Championships
||FHSAA State Cross-Country Championships
||NCAA Men & Women’s Cross-Country Division I National Championships
|| USATF Club Cross-Country National Championships
For more information contact Scott Lindeman, Marketing Communications Director, Leon County Tourism/Visit Tallahassee at (850) 606-2322 office or Scott.Lindeman@VisitTallahassee.com.
About the Leon County Division of Tourism/Visit Tallahassee: The Leon County Division of Tourism (Visit Tallahassee) is the official destination marketing organization for Tallahassee-Leon County. Tourism is charged with marketing Tallahassee-Leon County nationally as a premier leisure, business and sports destination through direct sales, advertising, public relations, sports and visitor services. Named as one of Southern Living’s top 10 Cities of the South, in 2020, Tallahassee-Leon County welcomed 1.6 million visitors who contributed $766 million in economic impact and accounts for more than 11,943 people employed in our community in the tourism & hospitality industry. For more information, go to VisitTallahassee.com or call toll free (800) 628-2866. Engage with Visit Tallahassee on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #iHeartTally and #Trailahassee.