Matthew Landolt, girls cross country coach at Woodland, said the preview is one of the benefits from participating in the Run at the Rock Trail planned next month on the school campus.
He said the 5K event, scheduled July 27, will serve as a fundraiser for Woodland’s track and cross country teams.
“This is a 3.1-mile run through the woods and around an old hay field near our school,” Landolt said.
The coach said Woodland’s cross country and track teams use the trail to train on throughout the year as well as to race. He noted it will host the county cross country championships in October.
Landolt said next month’s 5K is intended to open the course up not just to other local cross country and track teams but also to individuals throughout the community.
“Anyone can run,” Landolt said. “We want to open this up to people of all ages, from little children to retirees.”
He said the race is for competitors.
“We have retirees who will compete. We have some faculty who expect to compete, too,” he said.
He said coordinators expect about 200 participants.
Competitors will get a T-shirt for participating and awards will be presented to the winners of the different categories.
The coach said Woodland athletes won’t be competing in the 5K but will be very involved in coordinating the day.
“Our student athletes will help direct competitors through the course,” he said. “Some athletes will help water the competitors at the one-mile mark.”
He said other programs at the school also are expected to assist race participants.
Landolt said one of the benefits to cross country and track competitors in Bartow County is that it will give them a close look at the course they will be competing on next fall.
“It has one challenging hill but the rest of the course is pretty straightforward,” he said.
The difference is that the competitors will be trying to outdo one another rather than focusing on team achievements.
“During cross country, the teams will be competing,” he said, “but this race is for individuals only. We expect a wide variety in our competitors. We’ve reached out to a lot of individuals.
“We have a limit of 200 and feel we will have close to 200 people in our race.”
Woodland has about 50 youngsters in its cross country program with about 100 in its track program.
Individuals wanting to sign up for the race are asked to go to www.active.com and search for “Run at the Rock Trail 5k.”
Cost is $20 for early registration or $25 the week of the race.