by Alan Babbitt
A familiar, season-opening run for the Hope College men's and women's cross country teams is on the move to a new place.
The Flying Dutchmen and Flying Dutch will host their annual Bill Vanderbilt Invitational on campus on Saturday, August 31.
The four-school event begins with the 10:30 a.m. 8K race for the men. The 5K women's race follows at 11:15 a.m.
"It has not been on campus for a very long time — not in my time as a coach or a student," ," head coach Mark Northuis said. "It's a flat, fast course. Hopefully, we'll get a lot of fast times. It will be a fun experience."
The start and finish lines will be on the lawn between DeVos Fieldhouse and Van Andel Soccer Stadium.
The course will take runners across a closed Fairbanks Avenue to Buys Athletic Fields, where they will race through Van Andel Soccer Stadium, Wolters Softball Stadium and Brewer Track before returning to the finish line along 11th Street just west of Fairbanks.
"We ran the course this week, and our runners seemed to like it," Northuis said. "I think they're looking forward to it."
The Vanderbilt Invtational honors William (Bill) Vanderbilt, Sr. '61 who guided Hope's cross country program from 1971-87.
Hope will run against teams from Calvin University, Cornerstone University, Grace Christian University.