The Gold Standard
Fort Knox, KY | September 20, 2013
Former Garrison Commander Col. Bruce Jenkins had a vision to host a quality cross-country course on post. That vision will soon become a reality.For the first time, the Fort Knox High School cross-country teams won't have to travel for a competition. The Eagles host the Gold Rush Invitational Saturday at Heard Park in conjunction with John Hardin High School.
The meet comes after nearly a year of effort from members of the community in developing a loop around Heard Park. The 5k course takes runners around the park three times, and will be a major challenge to participants due to its steep hills.
"It's the toughest course they'll run on all year," boy's cross-country head coach Scott Curley said. "We're looking at these kids adding a good two to three minutes onto their times."Bill Core, Chief Warrant Officer 3 with the 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), was tasked with the responsibility of developing the course and did so with a fan-friendly atmosphere in mind.
"I was looking for a spectator-friendly type of course so parents could see their athletes as many times as possible without running all over the place," said Core, who is also the girl's cross-country coach at John Hardin.
"You can be here and watch your child run and keep cheering them on from this one field area.
"Much work has gone into making Heard Park ready for the competitors. Jenkins believed Heard Park was an ideal location, and Core initially ran the trails in an effort to determine where the course could be set up. Once potential start and finish lines were established, the course had to be certified by the KHSAA.Some of the challenges included getting racing officials, authorized timers and having Emergency Medical Services on standby. There were also certain guidelines the course had to meet in order to receive certification. The park and trail are open to the general public year-around for recreational use.The course is unique because unlike most, the surface is the same throughout. The course is 12 feet wide throughout, giving runners plenty of room to run side-by-side if they choose.