The Alpena High School and Alpena Community College cross country teams have often had to run on courses they didn't enjoy.
So they came up with a good solution: they built their own course and they're hosting a pair of alumni races today to help celebrate.
The men's race starts at 11 a.m. while the women's race starts at 11:45 a.m. The course is located on the soccer fields just past Northern Lights Arena on Woodward Avenue.
The course idea came from Alpena High School cross country coach Joy Bullis and Alpena Community College cross country coach Mark Jacobs.
"Mark Jacobs and I came up with the idea," Bullis said. "We didn't like using the courses we'd used in the past and we knew the kids didn't either. So, we came up with the idea of building our own course with the help of our kids."
According to Bullis, both teams pitched in to help, working to trim branches, move logs and cut away any brush in the way. Steve McDonald also helped out by building a bridge and rototilling the course.
What: Cross Country alumni races
Where: A brand new course at the Woodward soccer fields
When: today; the men's race starts at 11 a.m. and the women's race starts at 11:45 a.m. There will be a cookout following the races
In total, Bullis estimated it took six hours to complete the course.
Bullis sees the course as an way for the Alpena High and ACC teams to build relationships with members of the community.
"We're having a cookout after the race and everyone is invited to attend," Bullis said. "We hope it gives us a chance to talk to people and become more well known in the community."
The races are open to all Alpena Public Schools alumni as well as any current and past Alpena Public Schools employees. The current Alpena High and ACC cross country teams will compete as well.
"About 60 invites have been sent out so far, using Facebook and paper invites," Bullis said.