The Course Inspection: The Day Before World Cross Country

By Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell

Aarhus, Denmark, March 29, 2019 Your RG photojournalists spent the day inspecting the course, photographing the athletes, attending a press conference, and generally preparing to cover the event, which will be tomorrow.

The course, by any standards, is stunning – the most difficult these athletes have ever encountered. The 2K loop is run 3, 4 or 5 times, depending on the event. The senior men and women run 10K. Each loop will run through a long beer tent (Runner’s Valhalla) lined with cheering fans, a mud pit, a water splash, a sand pit, a Viking gauntlet, and up and down the steep roof of Moesgaard Museum. The event is referred to as the search for the world’s toughest runner. Athletes like the course and acknowledge that it’s going to be tough. They are ready for the challenge.

Check out this “speed up” view of the course.

We walked the course several times to find the best photo spots and plan our strategy.

The people of Denmark are warm and friendly, and Denmark is routinely rated among the top three happiest countries in the world. Everyone wants to help a visitor. Aarhus is the 2nd largest city in Denmark, a university town, aesthetically pleasing, young and vibrant.

We, too, are excited and look forward to the challenge of covering the event.

Lynn Jennings (USA) 3 time World XC champ with Paul Tergat (KEN) 5 time World XC champ. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Shalane Flanagan and Lynn Jennings. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Stephanie Bruce USA ready for World XC Aarhus (Photo by Karen Mitchell)
Adam Hickey (GBR), Courtney Frerichs (USA), Hellen Obiri (KEN), Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN), and Anna-Emile Moller (DEN). Photo by Karen Mitchell.
Courtney Frerichs USA. (photo by Karen Mitchell)
Bahrain Team
Great Britain World XC ready to go, with the museum roof in the background. (Photo by Karen Mitchell)
Ukraine World XC team in Aarhus. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Irish team at World XC in Aarhus. (photo by Karen Mitchell).
Lebanon team at World XC in Aarhus. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Lynn Jennings, and Paul Tergat, World XC legends. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN), 2 time World XC champ, expresses confidence. (Karen Mitchell)
Sebastian Coe, talked about the true importance of cross country in the world of athletics. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Jakob Larsen, Local Organizing Committee Director, has designed a stunning course. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Adam Hickey (GBR) at the press conference. (Photo by Clay Shaw)
Jane & David Monti USA journalists (Photo by Karen Mitchell)
East Kilbride Tartan Army. It wouldn’t be XC without them boyz. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Lynn Jennings 3 time World XC and journalist Ken Nakamura. (photo by Karen Mitchell)
Shalane Flanagan and Lynn Jennings, two greats from Massachusetts. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Clay photographs the Beer Garden that the runners will run through after the first hill. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Brazil World XC team with flag and warm coats. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Sebastian Coe, IAAF President and Jakob Larsen, LOC Director, who designed this very special course. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Lynn Jennings and Clay Shaw, RG photographer. (Photo by Karen Mitchell)
Geoffrey Kamworor (KEN) World XC Champ with NYC Marathon award. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).
Anna-Emilie Moller (DEN). (Photo by Karen Mitchell)
Women from Team Espana all smiles for World XC Aarhus. (Photo by Karen Mitchell)
Team USA is ready for World XC in Aarhus. (Photo by Karen Mitchell).