The John Swain Invitational was one of the biggest High School Cross Country meets in the country.

It let's the better runners know where they are in the competition before the big state meet. Runners get a look at the top talent from not only around the state but the whole region. Runners can see where they stand in their training and where the other runners are too.

This race has a special place in my heart. I had heard about it when I was a kid because all my cousins ran the race, and they were good runners. I wanted this to be a statement for me and show I was working hard to be a better runner.

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 because I wanted to be the 5th man and score so my name was in history.

I was greeted at the finish line by my cousin Randy, who was a state champion for Duluth Denfeld, by shouting that I was the 5th man, I smiled at him, raised my arms in celebration, and puked on his shoes. Great moment, ruined. That race was my favorite and is one of the biggest. The race, though, is no more.


Somewhere in the changing of the guard and costs for putting on the race, it was lost. This race was the race that inspired me to be better and was a jumping place to train harder and eventually got me into a run-off to represent my school at the regional run.

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