Origin of the Dirt Dogs Cross Country Series (by Bob Babbitt)

It was October 30, 1999, when Paul Greer and Bob Babbitt were standing together at Steve Scott’s wedding reception.  Since so many of the people at the wedding were from the wonderful world of endurance sports, and since Steve had run 136 sub-four miles in his career, the conversation naturally turned to running and, eventually, to the sport of cross country.
Both Paul and Bob already knew that there were number of cross country events in San Diego, but they weren’t well known, well attended, or well publicized.  Paul was connected with the San Diego Track Club and USA Track and Field.  Bob Babbitt owned Competitor Magazine, hosted Competitor Radio, and had sponsor relationships.  Paul had inroads into reaching the hardest of the hard core runners.  Bob had the pages of Competitor Magazine and the airwaves of The Mighty 1090 to get the word out to the masses of runners and triathletes who shied away from going off-road.

That led Paul and Bob. along with illustrator extraordinaire, Ben Boyd, to create the USATF San Diego Dirt Dogs Cross Country Series in the fall of 2000.  The series became an immediate success, and the events in the series in many cases quadrupled their previous participant numbers.  San Diego runners found themselves racing for prize money, discovering awesome new places to run, getting together with their buddies to try and win team awards, and circling seven dates on their calendar each autumn so they could run in each and every Dirt Dogs event to earn some cool schwag and be known forever as an ‘Iron Dog.’

So when August rolls around and you start to think about setting some running goals, here’s a suggestion:  get off-road, join the movement, and give the Dirt Dogs Series a try!