Apparently things are-a -changing up in the mountain hamlet of Flagstaff, Arizona. The town that not too long ago was considered by many to be the mecca of altitude training for runners in the United States, even more so than Boulder or Eugene is becoming more of a hassle than a training tool for the elite runners in town.
According to an article in the Daily Sun newspaper, the tracks that many elites do their tempo and speed work on are being closed to their use. The outdoor track at NAU Lumberjack stadium is being rebuilt, several high schools received new surfaces and limit their use, and the Sky Dome is limiting access without proper insurance. In the past the insurance for the dome would be covered by various local running groups including the now defunct High Altitude Training Center, but now it is up to the runner to carry or find some training program with that kind of funding.
Many are taking the long trek to Sedona to use the track there as the schools running coaches love to be able to ramble off the names of the elites that sue the track as if they had some part of their metamorphosis into who they are now. But that trip can take a good part of the day and is not at the elevation that Flagstaff is at.
I remember being able to cruise on over to the Dome and being able to run at any time, no one ever said a thing to you. Heck, most of the time you could even get into the weight room with no questions.
I found it very interesting to read the comment from Fasil Bizuneh (the article incorrectly spelled his name Facil) saying that Flagstaff is no longer runner friendly and he would caution any runner who is thinking of moving there to consider alternatives.
To read the article jump all the way over….here.