“To help kids get ready for competitive high school distance running while they still can, in middle school (or maybe just a little earlier)! High school distance running is challenging and takes a couple years of training. So, to hit the ground running, as it were, you need good preparation, and importantly, know-how about the sport & racing techniques! Our hope is Alpha Crush Running Club will serve this need for youth distance runners in Alpharetta, Roswell, and surrounding cities.”
In between sessions we host group runs that are open to the public. Your entire family and runners of all abilities are welcome; club registration is not required. There is no sign-up, no forms, no documents...you simply show up and run! These group runs give new athletes the opportunity to meet the coaches and team members and give our athletes a head start to the upcoming season. We do not hold group runs during the track or cross country sessions; instead, we focus on practice with our registered athletes.
See our team calendar for a list of upcoming Group Runs. The schedule for Group Runs will vary from week-to-week. We update this page and our calendar to announce upcoming group runs. We do not plan these group runs very far in advance, as they are very informal.
Saturday Jan 22 9:30 am - Leita Thompson Park (see below for details)
Saturday Jan 2 9:30 am - Leita Thompson Park (see below for details) Saturday Dec 18 9:30 am - Leita Thompson Park (see below for details)
We also schedule Group Runs over the winter during the 3-month break between Cross Country and Track sessions. We don't typically schedule group runs in the summer prior to Cross Country, as we normally only have a 2 week break between Track national championships and the start of our Cross Country session.
We encourage athletes who are unsure if they want to register for our running club to attend one or more of these group runs.
We run in one or more groups in a group run (hence, the name.) We split into groups and/or alter the route and distance based on ability. We've had athletes that can comfortably run for an hour or more; we have others who can run for 10 minutes.
Group runs are not the same as "practice". Practice consists of a 30 minute warm-up, a 45 minute workout, and a 15 minute cool down, along with instructions, lectures, advice and speeches. Group runs at Wills Park have a short warm-up, an easy run, then a short cool down. Anyone can participate in a group run. Alpha Crush Running Club members participate in practice.
The Wills Park Equestrian Center group runs are best for beginning runners. We meet at the Wills Park Equestrian Center parking lot (Google Maps) which is where we practice when are sessions are in progress. We run a variety of distances from that location.
The Leita Thompson Park location is a scenic, challenging, hilly, 2.5 mile loop (we don't recommend this location for beginning runners); we normally do 2 loops. Located at 1200 Woodstock Rd, Roswell, GA 30075. We meet in the gravel overflow parking lot as depicted here in this Google map location: Google Maps . You can enter the gravel lot from Hwy 92 near the dog park or, if you miss that entrance, turn into the main drive by the white memorial and follow the signs. After our run we typically gather at the Panera Bread location next to the park to get something to eat or drink.
The Garrard Landing Park location is good for athletes of all abilities. Google map location: Google Maps. You enter the park via the Johns Creek Environmental Campus parking lot entrance.
Spring 2022 Track Registration
We have a Spring/Summer track program that begins in March (the Monday after daylight savings time begins) and ends with the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in July.
Track registration typically opens in January and runs through the end of March.
Fall 2021 Cross Country Registration
We have a Fall cross country program that begins in August (historically, the Monday a week after Fulton County schools begin) and ends with the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships in December.
Cross Country registration typically opens in July.
We have a Spring/Summer track program that begins in March (the Monday after daylight savings time begins) and ends with the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in July.
Track registration opens in the January/February time frame.
We have a Fall cross country program that begins in August (the Monday a week after Fulton County schools begin) and ends with the USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships in December.
Cross Country registration opens in the July/August time frame.
While registration is open, we do allow athletes to attend a practice session to determine if they wish to register with our club. While registration is closed, only registered athletes can attend practice.
We do not offer any other program other than our track and cross country programs.
We do not offer what is commonly referred to as a "summer program."
We do not offer a summer camp.
We do not offer a winter indoor training session.
We also schedule Group Runs during the 3-month break between Cross Country and Track sessions. We don't typically schedule group runs in the summer prior to Cross Country, as we only have a 2 week break between Track and Cross Country. Group runs give new athletes the opportunity to meet with the coaches and other team members. These Group Runs are open to all. Watch our team calendar for details.
Registration fees range from approximately $125 to $230, depending on season (track or cross country) and whether you are a new or returning athlete (i.e. whether you need a uniform or not.) The fees cover athlete club administration costs, team t-shirt, uniforms, meet entry fees, and end-of-season team party.
The uniform singlet is needed for meets and competitions; occasionally, some athletes wear their singlet to practice.
For cross country we require a warm-up jacket, as it makes our athletes look like a team when worn during cooler weather at the meets. Only in really cold weather do they wear the jacket during the race.
New policy as of Fall 2020 Cross Country
While USATF Membership has always been a requirement, it is now the responsibility of the parent/guardian to purchase and manage the USATF Membership for their athlete(s).
See our USATF Membership page for additional details.
Fees for the Track season range from $125 to $155:
$125 registration fee (all athletes). The registration fee covers meet entry fees (except where indicated), team t-shirt, end of season party and club administrative costs.
$30 uniform/singlet (required for all athletes; returning athletes can use existing uniform; athletes provide their own black shorts).
Fees for the Cross Country season range from $125 to $230:
$125 registration fee (all athletes); this covers meet entry fees (except where indicated), team t-shirt, end of season party and club administrative costs.
$30 uniform/singlet (required for all athletes; returning athletes can use existing uniform; athletes provide their own black shorts)
$45 warm-up jacket (required for all athletes; returning cross country athletes can use existing warm-up jacket) .
$30 warm-up pants (optional)
Uniforms and Uniform Sizes
A uniform singlet is required for all athletes.
A warm-up jacket is required for all cross country athletes. Warm-up pants are optional.
You will have an opportunity in the first couple weeks of practice to try on a uniform for sizing purposes.
We try to keep a reasonable number of uniform singlets in inventory. But, with 3 different sizes (small, medium, large) and 3 different styles ( youth, men's, women's) we may have to order additional items if we run out of a size in the 9 different combinations of size and style.
For the new athletes...
This is a recap of information found elsewhere on this page and website.
While registration is open, we really mean it when we say you can come to practice to give it a try before you register. No need to ask in advance, just show up! This offer is valid from the first practice of the current session until registration is closed. Once registration is closed practice is open only to registered athletes.
We practice Monday, Tuesday, Thursday from 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm. Coach Matthew usually arrives by 5:30 pm.
We practice at Wills Park and meet in the area near the equestrian center off Wills Road, near the corner of Wills Road and Alpharetta Hwy / S. Main Street / Hwy 9.
This Google maps link shows the exact spot where the team meets. From the Google maps image, you can see the parking lot where you can park and you see the grass field where we warm up. Coach Matthew stands in that spot at least 10 minutes before practice begins.
Please be careful when entering the parking lot. It is congested!
Please DO NOT stop at the entrance to drop off your athletes. Drive just a little further down the parking lot where you can let them out and they can walk back to our meeting area.
Please park in designated areas only (you know, between the white stripes.)
There is plenty of parking. It is congested where we meet, but there are plenty of spaces available.
A typical practice starts with 30 minutes of warm-up drills and exercises, 20-40 minutes of running, and another 10-15 minutes of exercises and stretches. All ages practice at the same times. All athletes of all ages do the same workouts, though the intensity, frequency and duration will change to accommodate their ability. All athletes of all age divisions and genders workout together, at the same time and same location.
For the first few weeks of practice athletes will not be far from "base camp". We typically do a series of out-and-back runs, or runs on an established loop, where new runners can take frequent breaks.
While the athletes practice, parents can wait in their cars, stand around and talk, can sit at the benches or picnic tables under the trees, can run with us or walk around the park.
Athletes should bring their own water.
Athletes are not required to attend all practices, though it is encouraged. We do not require you tell us in advance if you cannot attend a practice. It is not a problem if you miss the first practice. We understand that some athletes may have scheduling conflicts during the season or that some athletes may need additional rest between practices.
Our online registration system organizes the athletes by "team." Placing an athlete on a team is a manual operation. The "teams" are configured by age division and gender and is a way for us to organize the athletes in the online registration system. As a reminder, all athletes practice together, at the same time and same location, and all do very similar, if not identical, workouts (based on ability.)
About our Club
We provide track and cross country coaching to boys and girls ages 7 - 18 living in the north Fulton County cities of Alpharetta, Canton, Cumming, Johns Creek, Milton and Roswell.
In track our athletes focus on the 1500m/1600m/1-mile, 3000m/3200m/2-mile and distance relay events. As a by-product of this distance training some athletes also participate in the 800m event.
See our USATF Junior Olympic page for a list of events.
We practice at Wills Park in Alpharetta. See below for additional details.
Below are the counts of registered athletes for each season based on age division and gender to give you an idea of the size of the club each session and how many athletes were in each age division and gender.
The athlete will participate in the age group determined by the athlete’s age as of December 31 of the current year. See the USATF website for the youth age group divisions.
Roster sizes were restricted in 2020 XC and 2021 track due to COVID-19. We gave middle school aged athletes priority, therefore limiting the size of the 10 & under age groups.
Alpha Crush was founded in August 2011.
2021 Registration opened July 26
Where our athletes live
As of 8/6/2019
Since "the beginning of time", cities where our athletes reside:
Primary cities (10 or more athletes):
Johns Creek (68)
Ball Ground (2)
Holly Springs (2)
Peachtree City (1)
Peachtree Corners (3)
Sandy Springs (1)
Sugar Hill (2)
Find a Club
If you are interested in sprint/field events or a USATF club located closer to your home visit "Find a Club" at the USATF website.
In track, we do not specifically train for sprint events (distances of 400m or less) or do any training for field events (such as long jump, high jump, etc.) Alpha Crush athletes are welcome to participate in sprint and field events even though we do not train for those events. USATF clubs that train for sprint and field events in the Alpharetta area:
The Atlanta Track Club Kilometer Kids program may be more appropriate for young athletes new to the sport, see: https://www.atlantatrackclub.org/kilometerkids.
Can we attend practice before we decide to register?
While session registration is open your athlete can attend a couple of practices to see if they like it before you make the commitment to register. No reservations, forms or documents are needed for those interested in attending a practice to learn more about our club. Once registration is closed practice is open only to registered athletes. We also have Group Runs (see details on this page) which are another way for athletes to try our club and see what we are all about.
Where we Practice
We practice at Wills Park and meet at the equestrian center parking lot just off Wills Rd (11915 Wills Road, Alpharetta, GA 30009). We practice Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of each week from 6:00-7:30 pm. See our schedule for more details. Note: In the fall when we revert to standard time from daylight savings time we have to start practice earlier (between 5:15-5:30 pm) since it is dark by 6:15 pm.
Athletes are not required to attend all practices, though it is encouraged. We do not require you to tell us in advance if you cannot attend a practice. We understand that some athletes may have scheduling conflicts during the season or that some athletes may need additional rest between practices.
A typical practice starts with 30 minutes of warm-up drills and exercises, 20-40 minutes of running, and another 10-15 minutes of exercises and stretches. All ages practice together at the same time. All athletes of all ages do the same workouts, though the intensity, frequency and duration will change to accommodate their ability. All athletes of all age divisions and genders workout together, at the same time and same location.
Our focus is on competitive running, which may be a challenge for beginning runners unable to run continuously for 15+ minutes, but that should not stop them from trying! We encourage all athletes to attend the meets and compete! It is especially important for our athletes to compete in cross country meets as it takes five athletes in each age division and gender to compete as a team in cross country. The developmental meets are perfect opportunities to compete in a friendly atmosphere. Participation in meets is encouraged, but not required.
Note that early in the season the meet schedule / calendar is still in flux, especially the developmental meets.
How fast do they need to be able to run?
We welcome athletes of all abilities. Ideally, athletes should be able to run their USATF race distance prior to the first practice, but it is not a requirement. See our results page for historical performances of athletes. Below are suggested times for various distances:
Cross country athletes:
2K (1.24 miles) for athletes 8 years old and under less than 15 minutes
3K (1.86 miles) for athletes 9 - 12 years old less than 21 minutes
4K (2.49 miles) for athletes 13 - 14 years old less than 24 minutes
5K (3.11 miles) for 15+ years old in less than 28 minutes
1500m (0.93 miles) in less than 10 minutes
3000m (1.86 miles) in less than 21 minutes
To make our best attempt to ensure the safety of our athletes, we reserve the right to limit the size of the team.
Inclement Weather Policy
We will send out an email communication if we know in advance we plan to cancel practice.
In reality, Coach Matthew is at Wills Park every practice day, regardless of weather, to make a last minute decision, so we don't normally send an email.
Often times rain is scattered and it is difficult to determine with certainty if it will affect practice.
Parents can always use their own best judgement if they want to try to bring their athletes to practice or not.
We will not run if lightning is in the area.
We may run if it is raining (depends on intensity and temperature.)
We may run if it is smoky from forest fires (depends on intensity.)
We may run if it is a bad air quality day (depends on intensity.)
We run if it is cold. Dress in layers. Wear gloves Bring clothes to "stand around in" for before and after the run.
The social impact a running club
Many of our athletes form lasting friendships. There is a certain camaraderie that comes from training with athletes of similar abilities, competing in meets, and cheering on your teammates. Our club has athletes of varying ages from many area schools. As they move into high school, they enjoy seeing their former teammates at track and cross country events.
Calendar of Events
Our calendar has the current practice and meet schedule. We run a mix of middle school, developmental league and USA Track & Field (USATF) & AAU events. See our Results page to get an idea of the meets we participate in. See the USATF / AAU youth calendar for future event planning.
For middle school meets, athletes in all grades, typically 6th-8th, run in the same race (with girls & boys events).
For our development league meets we run according to USATF age divisions
For the competitive events, we run by the sanctioning group's age divisions
We want the kids to ramp up their training to get them ready for the mileage that high school will require and we want them to run in different kinds of competitive situations. Middle school meets will expose them to the environment where a variety of schools and older kids are competing. Our developmental league meets will introduce them to their local peers at other feeder programs. The competitive USATF & AAU meets give them the chance to compete at the state, regional, and national levels.
School Teams and Alpha Crush Running Club
Our calendar has the current practice and meet schedule. We understand that some middle school athletes participate with their school teams in addition to running with our club. It is very unlikely a high school coach would allow athletes to participate in our club during the school season. And in many cases the high schools do not want their athletes participating in summer track. There is some leeway among high schools to allow their athletes to participate in club cross country once their high school season is complete.
Alpha Crush Invitational Fall Cross Country Meet
Alpha Crush hosts a cross country meet during the Developmental part of the season. Parents will be asked to support the event by volunteering to help. We typically have over 500 athletes participate. This meet is traditionally held in September.
Coaches / Volunteers
All coaches have completed the USATF required background check and are active USATF members. Our club is sanctioned and insured by USATF. Anyone wishing to join or support the coaching staff should email Team@AlphaCrush.org or talk to one of the existing coaches. The main requirements are a willingness to run, to follow the workouts, and to display a positive attitude with our kids.
The site also has information on the coaches, on USATF & AAU, and we’ll post announcements and team photos from each event. We will also make announcements at practice and send out a periodic newsletter via email.
Thanks again for considering our team. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Team Coaches and Staff