Genesee Valley Harrier (GVH) Cross Country Invitational

With the lure of $5,000 in team and individual prize money, elite harriers from across the United States and Canada will once again descend on Rochester, New York on October 13.

The $5,000 Genesee Valley Harrier (GVH) Cross Country Invitational is slated for Sunday, October 13 at Black Creek Park in the Rochester suburb of Chili.

The women’s 5k is scheduled for 10:30am while the Men’s 8k will go off at 11:15am. The race is a part of the 13 year-old Upstate New York Cross Country Series and will serve as the 2002 Niagara Association Senior Men’s and Women’s Championship.

The GVH Invitational, coupled with the Mayor’s Cup Cross Country races two weeks later in Boston gives American post-collegiate runners a great opportunity to hone their cross country skills as they lead up to this years’ Fall Cross Country Nationals in Rocklin, California.

The $5,000 in prize money available at the GVH Invite also makes the event a “can’t miss” opportunity for US and Canadian athletes preparing for national and international cross country competitions.

$3,300 will be given out to the top 4 men’s and women’s teams ($750-$400-$300-$200) while $1,700 is to be distributed among the top 5 male and female finishers ($300-$175-$150-$125-$100).

Entry information for the meet is available on the Genesee Valley Harrier website ( Meet Director Peter Glavin can be contacted at gvh@frontiernet or at 585-720-9252



1999: 191 at Rochester’s Genesee Valley Park in what was called the $5,000 Home Depot Invitational. Sandu Rebenciuc of the Greater Springfield (MA) Harriers (25:01) held off Derek White of the Syracuse Chargers (25:02) for the Men’s 8k title while Michelle King led a 1-2-3 the Toronto Olympic Club sweep of the Women’s 5k. The Greater Boston Track Club nipped the Syracuse Chargers to win the $600.00 Men’s 1st prize while the Charger women won the distaff title.

2000: Home Depot upped the prize money to $10,000 and the race became arguably the best cross country race ever run in Upstate New York. 239 competed on a rainy, blustery day at Genesee Valley Park. Kenyan Paul Mwangi led 10 men under 24:00 in the 8km while Colette Liss of the Indiana Invaders began her rise to national prominence with a victory in the Women’s 5km. Team Kenyada of Hamilton, Ontario edged Hanson’s Running Shop of Michigan for the $1,000 first place men’s prize and Liss’s Invaders went 2-3-4 behind her to secure the women’s team title.

2001: A new sponsor and a new venue. 191 compete at Black Creek Park in the Rochester suburb of Chili and compete for $5,000 in prize money, put up by the host club, the Genesee Valley Harriers. Liss and her Invader teammates once again dominate the women’s field. Priscilla Hein, who would later win the Fall XC Championships title in Mobile, finishes second. Rick Sluder of the Invaders runs away from Ricardo Santos of the Toronto Olympic Club to win the 8km. Santos and his TOC win the team title, though and the $750.00 that went with it.