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RiverWalk, Smith Park closed for Wingfoot XC Classic Saturday

More than 4,000 runners from north Georgia high school and middle school cross country teams, as well as teams from Tennessee and Alabama, will descend on the Etowah RiverWalk and Sam Smith Park Saturday for the Atlanta Track Club’s inaugural Wingfoot XC Classic.

The races, up to 5 kilometers in length, are run on varying surfaces such as grass, dirt and gravel according to the Atlanta Track Club web site. The course is a single loop with traditional European cross country elements such as hay bales or logs. The event is open to middle school and high school cross country teams as well as the general public.

“This event gives Cartersville a chance to showcase our park system while giving our community a chance to see an outstanding cross-country event,” said Greg Anderson, director of the Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department. “Several of the schools are from out-of-state and are staying overnight in our local motels. With many of the local motels and restaurants being used, this will have a positive economic impact of our local economy. This is the first year of what is planned to be an annual event.”

Anderson said Sam Smith Park and the Etowah RiverWalk will be closed from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.