PGXC Cross Country Teams

For decades, runners from the greater Ithaca area have come together to compete in the Pete Glavin XC Series, a set of five cross-country races held in Ithaca, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo—and parts in between. Teams compete in Open (under 40), Masters (40–49), Vets (50–59), Super Vets (60 and over), and Ultra Vets (70+) categories.

Men and women run the same distances: 5K for the first race, 6K for the next three races, and 8K for the final race. You can run in all the races, some of the races, or just one. Races take place in the Ithaca/Syracuse/Rochester/Buffalo area, and our home meet this year is once again at Taughannock State Park (don’t panic, the course is completely flat!). We typically carpool to races, and carpooling can be a great way to get to know your fellow teammates!

If you miss running cross-country from high school, or you want to experience competing on a team where everyone counts, join us!


  • Sunday, September 8th, 2019: 5K at Long Branch Park in Liverpool (near Syracuse)
  • Sunday, September 22nd, 2019: 6K at Center Park in Fairport (near Rochester)
  • Sunday, October 6th, 2019: 6K at Akron Falls County Park, in Akron Falls (this side of Buffalo)
  • Sunday, October 27th, 2019: 6K at Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg (our home race—don’t miss this one!)
  • Sunday, November 3rd, 2019: 8K at Finger Lakes Community College, Canandaigua

Races generally start at 11 AM, which provides enough time for travel and warmup.

Carpools for the races leave from the southwest corner of Cornell’s B-Lot by the Vet School. We can usually coordinate pickups and mini-carpools for people who live en route to a race or far from Cornell.


Women run on the FLRC team. Contact Tonya Engst at

Men run on the High Noon Athletic Club team. Contact Adam Engst at

In addition to contacting Tonya or Adam, you must register at RunSignUp. During the sign-up process, when you are asked to select your team, pick FLRC (women) or High Noon (men).

Each individual race costs $20, or you can register for the entire five-race series for $70 and get a hat as well.


Courses are generally grassy fields with rolling hills. Cross-country is faster and easier than trail running, and the distances are quite short, from 5K to 8K. Starting this year, men and women run all the same distances! But it’s also tougher than road races, and the footing can be wet, muddy, and slippery — some runners like to wear spikes.

Depending on the age category, teams can be either 8 runners with 5 scoring, or 5 runners with 3 scoring. Non-scoring runners displace other teams’ runners and are thus still key. If we have enough runners in a category, we’ll field multiple teams.

Scoring is simple. Every runner (separated for men and women) earns points for their place — 1 point for first place, 2 points for second place, and so on. The places of all of a team’s scoring runners are added up, and the team with the lowest score wins. There are individual and team awards for each race and for the series overall.

You can’t run on a team for people who are a category older than you (i.e. a 30-year-old Open runner can’t run with the Masters team), but you can “run down” on a team with people who are younger (a 55-year-old Vet can run with the Masters team). We set up the teams for each race based on who is coming.

Although there are five races, you do not have to run all the races. It’s entirely acceptable to miss a race if you have a conflict for that day. However, to be eligible for individual series awards, you must run at least two races, including the championship race (and realistically, you need four races to be competitive). To be eligible to score for a team in the championship race, you must run at least one race earlier in the series.

For even more info about these races and cross country in general, consult Tonya’s FLRC PGXC FAQ.