2017 NUTC Beginners’ Guide: Regionals

Nothing bad has ever happened in the great state of Iowa.

Iowa became a territory in 1838 and achieved statehood in 1846. Nothing bad has ever happened there. The Civil War was not fought within its borders. Iowa entered the Union as a free state. Unlike Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri, there was no major internal wrangling about slavery. Nothing bad has ever happened in Iowa, ever, in the 171 years of its existence. There have always been jobs and good football teams in Iowa, and there will be jobs and good football teams in Iowa in perpetuity. I’m excited. You should be excited.

In an effort to illustrate how idyllic and pastoral the state of Iowa is, the National Intercollegiate Running Club Association has decided to host the Great Plains Regional Championships in Iowa City (which is in Iowa, by the way). Participating in the race will grant teams qualification to the National Club Running Championship (the Natty has an open race that is open to all, however, if you can’t make it to Iowa). Iowa is most definitely not riddled with Trackmetrician partisans, pining to overthrow the Exarchate of Distance. They will definitely not try to hamper NUTC’s progress for a second consecutive year. Iowa is a great place.

This year, NIRCA has decreed that there will be a qualification process for the ‘A’ Race at NIRCA Nationals, because apparently club running has to be exactly like the NCAA in its selectivity. This sounds more dangerous than it appears. Six teams and 20 individuals will qualify from the Great Plains Regional, which is a lot. Both the NUTC men and women stand a good chance of qualifying by placing in the top six teams. The women could even win the whole thing in their second year. Nothing bad has ever happened in Iowa, so I fully expect both of these things to occur.

The race will be held at the Ashton Cross Country Course, which is  “a large open field with wide paths and gentle terrain changes.” One wonders if this is really a cross-country course or just a random field that they are calling a cross-country course. I mean, if you think about it, all of Iowa can be considered a very large open field with wide paths and gentle terrain changes.

Look at those puns.

Nothing bad has ever happened in the state of Iowa. President Herbert Hoover was from Iowa, and he definitely never presided over any bad times throughout his presidential career. Iowa has the best remnants of an industrial economy you will find in the Midwest! It also has the most uplifting and bright cities that definitely do not shut down after 8 p.m. Iowa also has several great football teams that are very exciting and dynamic. For example, the Iowa State Cyclones defeated Oklahoma this season! Who cares that Iowa State has not won a conference title in football since 1912, when they won the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MVIAA)? Who cares? Nobody cares, because everything is good in Iowa.

You know what’s great? Iowa.

Where should you go on vacation next? Iowa. Good news, that is where most of you are going this weekend. There are many, many A-list chain restaurants to choose from. You will definitely never waste time arguing with your friends.

You know where you never get in trouble with anyone because they’re all super chill? Iowa.

You know where women have to wait 72 hours before you can get an abortion, while also receiving mandatory materials on babies and pro-life propaganda? Iowa.

From Wikipedia: “After President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, [Iowa senator] Chuck Grassley advised people suspicious of the Trump administration to “Suck it up and move on.” Chuck has been a senator since 1981. Hooray. The other Iowa Senator, Joni Ernst opposes, in no particular order: gun control of any kind, climate change science, the Department of Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, same-sex marriage, public health care, abortion, marijuana legalization, states not being allowed to nullify federal laws, any type of central government, the overall legality of Barack Obama’s presidency, Social Security, Trump’s ban on transgender soldiers [huh?], insecure borders [but also anti-repealing DACA, strangely], and various United Nations sustainability initiatives. Make of that what you will.

Nothing bad has ever happened in Iowa. The state is really exciting, as evidenced by the state’s many toll roads and large swathes of cornfields. Iowa’s cornfields are major league. They stretch into infinity. They will never end. The latest news in Iowa is about introducing more restrictive voter ID laws, but this strikes me as overkill considering…how many people without IDs would it take to change something in the great state of Iowa?

Nothing bad has ever happened in Iowa. Ever.

How many times do I have to explain this to you?