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ISU XC: Bengals cross country changing course to Mink Creek Nordic Center

September 19, 2018

The 2018 Idaho State Cross Country Invitational will be held at the Mink Creek Nordic Center. The event is Saturday, Sept. 22 at 9 a.m. The course change comes after the team had raced at Centennial Course since 2002.

The new course is located about seven miles from Pocatello. The East Fork Mink Creek Nordic Center is operated by the City of Pocatello along with the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. In the winter it hosts groomed ski trails and hills. During the non-winter months, it provides access to trails for hiking and running.

“This new course has a lot of variation,” ISU coach Nate Houle said. “Being able to be up in the mountains and the pines presents a different environment that is a little more fun.”

In 2002, Idaho State University unveiled Centennial Course, a cross country trail network that is located north of the ISU Research Park.

“The reason we changed is that the old course required a lot of labor,” Houle said. “There were a lot of erosion issues at Centennial, and with this new area we can just show up and race.”

The new course layout adds several amenities for spectators that were not available at Centennial Course. The Nordic center has permanent bathrooms for those in attendance as well as a dedicated parking lot in the area.

For the runners involved in the race there are also some differences when compared to the old course design.

“This new course is a three-lap course, so we will be able to see our runners three times instead of the old two,” Houle said. “Instead of going down for half a lap and up for half a lap, this new course has a lot more variation. It has more turning and more up and down.”

Directions to Mink Creek Nordic Center

At the intersection of Bannock Hwy and Portneuf Rd, head southwest on S Mink Creek Rd 4.5 miles. Turn left on E Fork Mink Creek Rd (001) and follow that for 1.8 miles. Then turn right onto Forest Rd 524 and follow for .4 miles to the end at the gravel lot.

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