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Historical Swain Invitational Underway This Weekend, Chris Allen Was There

European Cross-Country Championships
(Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)

The John Swain Invitational is this weekend, one of the biggest meets in the country. It let’s the better runners know where they are before the big state meet. How hard to work to catch their competition. It also holds a special place for me.
The race, started by John Swain, and run on Enger Golf Course with close to 2500 runners participating, was my biggest race. My goal for my senior year was to run for the varsity squad at the Swain meet. I achieved that goal, becoming the 7th man on the varsity team, little did I know I would surpass that goal and make it my best race ever.

I ran as hard as I could and I was a good runner on the hills, so this course was built for me. I passed the runner on my team that was the 6th man. Now the 5th man and up are the scorers. I wanted to be that guy. I never saw the 5th man and was disappointed when I crossed the finish line. I saw my cousin Randy.

Randy, who was a state champion for Duluth Denfeld, greeted me at the finish shute and told me I was 5th man, I smiled at him and puked on his shoes. Great moment, ruined. That race was my favorite and is one of the biggest. This Saturday will be the next meet in honor of John Swain with the first race starting at 10:00 a.m. The last race, if they’re on time should be about 3 p.m.

Skyline Parkway will be a mess in the area of the Enger Golf Course. There will be 70 different schools that will converge on the golf course for the meet. I wish the runners luck this year. Just know the course is hard, but fair and take in each memory as you run this race.

If you are going, it will be hard to find parking spaces. For those of you that have racers, I have posted a link to the schedule.

Here is the John Swain Invitational Race Schedule

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