INDIANAPOLIS – The USATF Foundation took a look back at its Distance Center funding for 2010 during its recent board meeting and the feeling was unanimous; the Bay Area Track Club (BATC) is hitting on all cylinders. BATC, based in Oakland, CA, and serving the entire San Francisco Bay Area community, is currently one of seven approved Distance Centers throughout the country that is supported in part, by the USA Track & Field Foundation through the USA Distance Project.
“BATC started with ambitious goals for the support of some of America's top athletes, as well as for community action,” said Jack Wickens, USATF Foundation Director and USATF Vice-Chair. “Congratulations on executing beautifully on both goals,” continued Wickens.
As evidence of their commitment to elite and youth track and field, the club recently sponsored two highly successful events; the inaugural Bay Area Cross Challenge (BAXC) and the Spring 2011 BATC Kids Clinic.
The BAXC held on January 16, 2011, presented a unique opportunity to San Francisco Bay Area runners to compete alongside professional runners from around the country on a cross country course in Golden Gate Park. Local athletes towed the line with the likes of Molly Huddle (5000 meter American record holder), Magdalena Lewy-Boulet (2008 Olympic marathoner/club member) and David Torrance (elite middle distance runner/club member). Elite athletes from as far away as New York City, and representing many of the Distance Centers, were on-hand to compete and support this inaugural event.
“We were very pleased that other distance centers chose to send athletes to the BAXC,” said Tony Kauke, President/Co-Founder, BATC. “Those athletes certainly made our event special, and we hope the race helped them prepare for USA Cross Country Championships and beyond.”
Besides the open women’s and men’s competitions, races for under-20 girls and boys were also contested. A rousing kid’s race ended the day’s competition, followed by food, raffles, prizes, music, and the opportunity to mingle with professional runners. Other BATC club members handled every duty imaginable, from leading the raffle, handing out prizes, to stocking the food booths…a true team effort.
Feedback from the athletes, attendees and community was excellent. Plans are already under way for the 2012 Bay Area Cross Challenge, with deeper men’s and women’s elite fields expected. Club organizers look for this event to become a fixture on USATF’s cross country calendar. For additional information about the Bay Area Cross Challenge, please visit http://www.bayareatrackclub.com/page/BAXC-2011.
The Spring 2011 Kids Clinic was held at both Campolindo High School in Moraga, CA on February 12, and at the School of the Arts/McAteer High School in San Francisco on February 19. The clinic targeted kids 12-18-years-old of all ability levels, with elite runners offering guidance on training and competing for success.
These young athletes were instructed in the proper technique for warming up, building speed and mechanics, efficient recovery from hard efforts, core/general strength, dynamic flexibility and establishing a pre-race routine.
You can view highlights from the Campolindo clinic here.
The BATC provides elite runners support and access to resources (financial, training and health care) allowing them to excel at a world-class level. Additional information about the Bay Area Track Club’s community and elite activities can be found by visiting www.bayareatrackclub.com.
The USATF Foundation provides a means to attract and guide funds to new and innovative track and field programs with an emphasis on providing opportunities for youth athletes, emerging elite athletes, distance training centers and anti-doping education. The Foundation depends upon donations from its Board of Directors and from generous fans of track & field.
For more information or to contribute to the USA Track & Field Foundation, visit www.usatffoundation.org.