IT'S ready, set, go for the ninth staging of the North America, Central America and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championship which will take place today at the Manchester Golf Club.
Over 140 participants from across the region, including the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, Aruba, The Bahamas, and host Jamaica, will test their stamina over various distances.
Alfred 'Frano' Francis, chairman of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), told the Jamaica Observer last evening that all is set and ready, as they had just finished a familiarising tour of the course with members of the various teams.
"We are good and we have just finished the course, and everything will be ready for a successful staging of the ninth NACAC Cross Country event," said Francis.
The event includes the 4K junior women set to start at 2:15 pm; the 6K junior men scheduled for 3:00 pm; the 6K women at 3:45 pm and the 8K men at 4:30 on the 2K challenging course.
"We just want the spectators to come and be at their best behaviour. It's free and they can come and cheer for the Jamaican team as well as the visitors to the island," Francis added.
Awards will be presented to the first three finishers of each race, as well as to the top teams in each race. For the first time in a regional or international event in the Caribbean, each participant will wear his/her name on the front and back of his/her shirt as well as assigned numbers.
The NACAC, as a cross-country event, was originated in the USA in 2005 where it was held annually until 2009 when it moved to Trinidad and Tobago.
The Jamaican team will comprise Tanice Barnett, Stephanie Barrett, Rushae Burrell, Danielle James, Damion Bent, Ainsworth Daley, Romar Mundle, and Wayne Beckford.