Are You Ready for the Rough Rider X-C Invitational?


Lace-up your sneakers! Fall is cross country season and Fresno, CA is the home to one of the most popular high school meets in the region. The Rough Rider Cross Country Invitational is sure to be a competitive event. If you are planning to be in town for this invitational, you’ll want to arm yourself with the information that you need to make the trip a success. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you plan your time in Fresno.


This event is scheduled for Friday, October 19. The meet will be held at Woodward Park. This is also the state meet course, allowing you to get familiar with the environs and the course prior to the championship. The race is chip-timed, providing for the most accurate results. The entry for an individual athlete is $8 while an entire team can compete for $300. There will be medals awarded to the top 25 finishers in each race division with plaques given to the top winner of each varsity race. The top overall combined boys/girls teams of all the age divisions will receive a special award. Schools will be divided into two divisions to account for enrollment size with enrollments of 1,750 or more students being placed in the large school group. There will be competitions for both 3,500 meters and a 5K race. The first race begins at 1:30 pm.


There are a variety of hotels in Fresno CA for athletes and their families to call home base for the weekend of the competition. The Hyatt Place Fresno is conveniently located to Woodward Park and only about 10 minutes from downtown Fresno. The comfortable and modern guest rooms will ensure that you get plenty of solid rest the night before the event. The indoor pool place is an ideal place to relax after a long day out at the course. The Hotel Fresno is a well-appointed, budget-minded option perfect for families and groups. It offers an outdoor pool and is just ten minutes from the Fresno Yosemite International Airport.


October is a beautiful time to explore this region of Central California. You will not regret sticking around after the cross country meet so that you can discover all of the natural beauty and fun of Fresno. The River Park Shopping Center is known as the Central Valley’s premier entertainment district. With over 75 retail options, a movie theater, a Dave & Buster’s, and a host of restaurant options, this is a great place to visit while in Fresno. A stroll through the Fresno Chaffee Zoo is a good way to see one of the most popular sites of the city while also stretching those legs after the big race.


Parma Restaurant is an excellent place to fuel up and carbo-load the night before the race. This cozy eatery features a myriad of pasta dishes that are made from scratch. Start your feast with a fresh Caprese salad or an authentic antipasti plate before moving on one of many choices including gnocchi with bolognese sauce, pappardelle al pesto, and more. For a quick meal while out and about, stop by the local Blaze Pizza for your chance to build your own wood-fired pizza. Mimi’s Cafe is an ideal place to grab a home-cooked breakfast before heading out on your adventure for the day.