TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Terre Haute maybe a little more crowded than usual this weekend. That's because a huge event is happening in eastern Vigo County. The Nike Cross Regionals Midwest is being hosted by the Lavern Gibson Championship cross country course. Saturday, November 16th is the big day.
More than 4,000 runners will be participating in this weekend's event. Workers were at the course throughout the day on Thursday making sure it was ready for the many people that will come through.
The Nike Cross Regionals Midwest is a five-state high school race. Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, and Michigan will be there and high schoolers will race in 10 races. The winners will get an all-expenses-paid trip to Nike nationals out in Oregon.
There will also be a community race and a kid's race so there will be a total of 12 races.
Executive Director of the Terre Haute Convention and Business Bureau David Patterson says a ton of talent will be in Terre Haute this weekend. He says it's no surprise that the Lavern Gibson Course is playing host and he's very excited for the event. "We've become a mecca for cross country and have a lot of wonderful people on our team that put all this stuff together," he said, "To have the chance to change a sport and be a part of that positive impact is really a pretty cool thing so I feel really lucky to be a part of it."
Patterson also mentioned the positive economic impact the Terre Haute community will feel as a result of this weekend. He says everything, as far as lodging arrangements, in Terre Haute is full and stressed that this is a multi-county effort. It won't only have a positive financial boost on Terre Haute, but surrounding communities as well.
He says the positive economic impact isn't the main reason they host this event, but it is an added bonus. "This weekend should generate half to three-quarters of a million dollars in financial impact for our community and impact communities around the region," Patterson said, "It's just a wonderful event."
Next Saturday, Lavern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course will host its 13th Division 1 National Championship.