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High School 9:12 Inaugural Cross Country Invitational Coming to Clay County on September 9th

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. (June 13, 2023) High School 9:12 is partnering with Clay County and the Jacksonville Athletic Club to announce the Inaugural Cross Country Invitational on September 9, 2023.

The invitational will feature a community 1K fun run, 3K, and a 5K at the Clay County Fairgrounds located at 2497 FL-16 Green Cove Springs, FL. Gates open at 6:30 a.m. followed by registration at 7:00 a.m. The 5K begins at 8:00 a.m., the 3K begins at 9:00 a.m. and the 1K starts at 10:00 a.m. To register for any of the races, visit the Jacksonville Athletic Club website.

“We are extremely excited to be able to partner with Clay County and High School 9:12 to bring this cross-county event to the youth of the greater Jacksonville area,” said Eli Sunquist with the Jacksonville Athletic Club. “Running is an activity that can be enjoyed by all ages, and we can't wait to share our love of the sport with the community. This meet will serve as a great early season test for some of the high school programs, a much-needed open race for the middle school teams and club athletes, and an extremely fun opportunity for the youth (and their parents) in the 1K fun run!”

“This event is hopefully the start of many annual events that bring youth athletes to Clay County,” said Clay County Commissioner Mike Cella, who also serves as chairman of the Tourist Development Council. “We appreciate the partnership with Airstream Ventures, the Jacksonville Athletic Club, and the Clay County Agricultural Fair Association to think outside the box and use the Fairgrounds as a cross-country course that challenges junior high and high school competitive cross-country athletes. September is a need period for our hotels, so this event is helping us fill hotel rooms, local restaurants, retailers and attractions with new business during a traditionally slower time of year.”

The Invitational will benefit High School 9:12, a 501(c)(3), designed to help young people throughout Jacksonville and the First Coast by creating change in our community. The focus is taking a holistic approach to guide high school students and athletes to reach their full potential. This program utilizes academics, sports, and life skills to increase students' success opportunities after graduation.

Individual runners will be competing from all over the state, including high school and middle school cross country teams. Food trucks and vendors will also be on-site at the Clay County Fairgrounds for this inaugural event.


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